Submitted by Arden R. Hunt
My father was Arden Lee Hunt but he was known as Al Hunt. He served as a signalman on LCI 226 from July 18, 1944 to April 13, 1945. During this time he kept a daily journal. I have copied most of them (skipping some that did not mention the ship or crew). They are presented as he wrote them (with poor spelling & grammar) with the exception that a lot of the entries were printed in all capital letters in which case, I changed to mixed case. Another error on his part is his entry dated Feb. 29 which actually was the day of March 1 as 1945 was not a leap year.
His journal continues with his service aboard LCI 72 April through October 1945…
July 18 (1944)
Came in to Bostrem Bay early this morning. – I am now on another L.C.I. the 228, waiting to be stationed on L.C.I. 226 which is not in Bay yet. These are the older type L.C.I. They have all seen plenty of action. This is our home base (all amphib) called “Alixhaven” “Madang” the hardest fought Jap air field is only a few miles away. These bases were captured from Japs about four months ago.
To my disapointment we chiped paint all day today on L.C.I. 228.Tonight LCI 226 pulled in. I will go over on her tomorrow L.C.I. 2261000 in morning
I am now on LCI 226 – stationed at last on a ship after 10 months in the navy. I am now a signalman striper. Like it swell aboard. There is a swell write up about L.C.I. 226 on her trip across the Pacific starting at Norfolk and in action on raids. In “Lifes” issue of March 27, 1944 page 53-60
Wrote Bob a letter. Worked on signaling up on signal bridge. Summers is helping me. He is from Kentucky and has been over seas 19 months. He is going to states soon. His mother died about a month ago which is hard on him. He is SM 3/C and is a Christian I’m sure. My cleaning station is the passage way.
Stood signal watch on L.C.I. 25 with Summers. Were kept buisy receiving messages. There is another signal striper just starting, also name is Sommers from Pa. I have a big start on him. He did not go to school.
Rich’s birthday (16). Wrote him a letter. Went to church this evening with Summers on the beach. Practices signaling quite late every night. There are about 30 different L.C.I’s here with their ramps let down on the beach. We go ashore when off working hr.
Stood signal watch on L.C.I. 25 with Conway SM 2/C (Ohio). Very little at this base. Some Austrailians on beach and few sea bees. This use to be a coconut plantation. Tops of many of the trees have been blowen off by shells and bombs. Lot of natives around.
We pulled alongside L.S.T. 455. Stood signal watch with Summers on it. When moving to L.S.T. we run in to another L.C.I. and it sank its moter boat which was along its side. No damage otherwise.
Moved our ship back to shore. practice semaphore today.We are in LCI group 19. Our group commander is aboard LCI 25. LCI 28 is our flag ship. We are also in Flot 7.
Left for shuttle run to Finchaven. We took state side boys, eight Aussie officers and mail. Got underway at 1700.
Very rough water, with a strong headwind and rain. Stood my first signal watch under way on the Captians watch. The waves are washing clear over the weld deck. It is my worse storm by far. It looks as if we would go right on over. Got into Finchave at 1400. We went along side the “Crux” which I was on before. We started back at 1800 with mail and some Aussie troops. Which soon got sea sick. Our starboard quad is out.
Returned into Bostrem Bay at 1400. Let off Aussies.
Pulled alongside L.S.T. 455 today. Saw Morgan on L.C.I. 430. Went with Summers to small stores. Helped him pack up to go back to the good old states.
My buddy Carl Summers left on a shuttle run to Finchaven to go back to states. Kimbell QM 2/C also went. My swellest pal.
Went into dry dock at 1000. We found a full barrle of oil jamed between our starboard screw and the skid. We returned all the way from Finchaven on the one screw. We scraped and painted the whole port side today – Every one works in dry dock. tough work. Floating dry dock.
We finished scraping bottom of ship and painted once. I got most of the paint on my self. Wrote Ellen Schlundt and Marion Mowser today.
Worked late tonight painting the stern. Getting tired of dry dock. We work from 8 in morning till 10 o’clock at night.
Left dry dock at 0800 with ony port screw on. Only can use port quad untill go back and have it finished. It took just a 1/2 hour to sink the dry dock so we could get out. Saw Kulas today.
Missed church today. Went to Jap air field. Got some sovenuiers off of Jap zeros and dive bombers. Sent home. 5 New guys came aboard. none rated. Wrote 4 letters for once.
Went to signal school on L.C.I. 430. (Morgan’s ship.) Played a tied up soft ball game with 430.I found out for sure today that I was rated SM 3/C on the first day of August. I now make $96.00 a month overseas. Stood mid-nite signal watch
Were going to the rifle range this morning but it rained. (Women) I saw the first women today since I left the states four months ago. They are on the Quarter deck of the LCI 30 next to us. They are Aussies and only three of tham. Burned my eyes.
Entered dry dock at 0700 this morning. We put on the anti fossile coat in 7 hours. The screw is being worked on tonight. Wrote Summers + Hicks.
We cast off from L 591 and went to beach. Received message that all L.C.I’s anchor out in Bostrem Bay and leave for Hollandia New Guinia at 0600 k tomarrow morning Aug 31. Rained tonight – Received letter from home.
Hit the deck at 0530 – All L.C.I’s got underway at 0600. Form 18 – There are three Divisions, seven L.C.I’s in each division. We are last ship in the collum of Division three with LCI 224 ahead. I have second Div. watch, with Mr Coulson as O.D. + Brendal as B os’t. Water calm.
All’s well. Have changed course serval times up to now. Kept good formation last nite (moon). Had G.Q. this afternoon. Fired all our four 20 M.M. = Entered Bostern Bay at Hollandia at 1600. We are now anchored out by ourselves. Lot of ships here. Received 00 mes. from P0 OP6 (Admiral).
I received a priority message this morning from 224. We were to get underway at 1800 this evening. But are exhaust water line is broken so we will leave alone in the morning and go back down the coast to Tipitid and pick up troops for the raid. Went too a show on Amycus a LST repair ship. Lot of ships here at Hollandia.
Left Hollandia alone last night at mid-nite. Good sailing. We got into Topia at 1000 in morning. Very good swiming water here. We took on troops (U.S. ARMY) to make a practice beaching early tomarrow morning. All troops waded up to their waiste when they came aboard at 1600.
Went out to sea serval miles so we could make practice beaching with troops on. Had G.Q. on way in, than beaching station. I had a lot of flag hoist. We hit beach at 0800 and troops from Gr. 19 poured ashore through waste deep water.
We have been diving and swiming off of our ship. Took on Fuel and lube oil and water today from a U.S. tanker. We tied up alongside LCI 224 but water so rough we anchored out. Talked to Maurice Ryan by blinke and asked him to come over. He couldn’t.
Not much happen today which is unusual when getting ready for a raid. The war in Europe is expected to be over by last of October. Received some back mail today. Wrote home today.
Conway, Sommers, and I painted the quarter deck in about one hour. Wrote Charlotte and Betty today. Captain went swiming with us over side.
We had a lot of traffic today. Sommers and I received a 17 word message too all LCI’s GR. 19 and a 47 word from Squad L.C.I. 7. Captain told us when + where the invasision was.
Will take on troops today. I received most of the 00 mes. today. Received a 71 word one from Wasachas. Went swimming off port side. We took on troops and their supplies at 0400. The shore was very rough. Troops are sleeping No. 3 hole so I will sleep in the polet house tonight. We are now anchored out.
Got underway at 0800 this morning. It is quite a large convoy. The Wasacak is the flag ship. About 5-L.S.T.’s 6-Destroyers, 20 L.C.I’s, and 4 P.C. Speed 8 knots. The troops eat C + K rations that I wouldn’t feed a dog. What we the crew don’t eat they snatch it off our trays fbefore we can throw it overboard.
Are making good time. No rough water at all yet. It was quite dark last night. Hard to keep in collom. Are going north + soon will cross equator. Passed Hollandia last night. Another task force went in with ours. There is about 90 ships in whole conovy now. (L.S.T’s) (L.C.I’s) (L.C.T’s) Destroyers, + P.C. I also man the walkie talkie (S.C.R.) at night. A man fell over board last nite on a ship somewhere in convoy. (was found.)
Received a 48 word mesg early this morn. It rained on every watch today but mine. I could see Biak betwen 1200 and 1600 today as we passed it 25 mi to our port. Many lives were lost their lately. Also crossed equator at 1830 this evening.
This morning 4 aircraft carriers, and 5 cruisers joined our convoy. Don’t know where they came from. Troops are getting restless. The convoy made a 5? flank movement yesterday.
We are now getting very close to our objective. I saw an air vew map of Morotai the island we are to take. It is about 17 mi wide + 26 mi long. It is about ten miles north of Halmahera. Only expect serval hundred Japs. We attack early tomarrow morning on a pennichil at south west side. Phillphines are only 300 miles away. This is an importain steping block for air craft to bomb Phill. This after noon Jap zeros were believed to be coming our direction. It was a false alarm so far. Tomarrow will tell all.
INVASION (D-Day) at MOROTAI
I was on the 4 to 8 watch in morning with Mr. Coulson, + Brendel (Bo’s). We sighted land as soon as it was light. We all slowed down while the cruisiers + destroyers went in close to bomb + shell beach. Also our air craft went in to strafe. There was hardly any opesition that we could see. After two hours of shelling the island we proceded in. We hit beach at 8:45. There was a lot of coral on bottom. The troops waded through sholder deep water to get too beach. After troops off we could not retrack from beach because we were stuck on the coral bottom. Two LCI’s could not pull us off together. So a big bulldozer on the beach that had just been unloaded from an LCT came out into the water four feet deep and helped the two L.C.I. get us off. We were very lucky that the Japs were not near by, because the could have shelled us. We than headed back for Hollandia. Which is 900 miles from Morotai. Morotai is only 360 miles from Phillipiens. We could see as we headed back the artilleary shelling the Japs. This concludes D Day at Morotai.
We are still headed back to Hollandia. No rough water. A few quick + short rain squals. About 10 of us LCI’s are in this convoy making 12 knots. We ran into 10 LST’s loaded with supplies headed for Moratai we think.
Sunday Sept. 17
Good sailing weather. Short rain squals in morning. We passed back over equator at 0800 this morning. Could see Biak on our starboard mast the day. Wrote home this Sunday.
Last evening about 1600 our port screw gear box burned out. We could not keep up with the rest of convoy, at 12 knots so they went on, leaving LCI 27 + 25 to assist us us. LCI 27 is now towing us with a double cable, while 25 our group 19 flag ship is plotting out our course. We are making 10 knots this way. Heard news on radio about Morotai + Hallameara which we are returning from.
We anchored just in side of Hollandia bay at 0400 this morning. We are now way back in the bay passed a lot of native houses build out on water. I received 13 letters today, some being back mail. Received nice letter + pictures from Ruth. 10 days get here in. Had busy signal watch tonight. We Heard news that Germany surrendered. (not sure)
Received box cookies from Wittlesey’s and three Hearlod Argus Newspaper. L.C.I. 29 came along side today. I had nice talk with Wain. We got underway for Milne Bay at 1900 this evening. Only have starboard quad to go on. (one screw) LCI’s 225 + 224 are with us. LCI 225 is the sopus ship. Have mail and few passengers aboard.
Wrote home and Robert today. Sea is still quite choppy. Have a little hard time keeping up on one screw. We arrived at Aitape at 4:00 this afternoon. Let off two Austrailian officers. Next stop is Alix Haven, 250 miles from Aitape. That is where I started my first life aboard LCI’s. (HOME)
Water is becoming much rougher this evening. Water washes clear over the bow. We passed the Mountain of Blublub, Bam [active volcano], and Manum volcano. Speed about seven knots on one screw in rough water. LCI 224 Went way ahead about 1400 this afternoon. All’s well.
We arrived at Alex Haven at 1100 on my watch. I was supprised not to see by + LCI 26 there beside the Achilles. Went alongside Achilles to get supplies, and parts for our port gear box. I bought $5. worth of candy on LST Achilles and sold it on our ship. All three of us LCI’s went to the beach and took on water and got a lot of beer. I went ashore and got some coconuts. It seemed like home here. Austrailians had left and beached look clean. We got underway at 1800 that same evening for Finch Haven. Water little rough.
Coast on way to Finchafen is quite pretty. We arrived at Finchaven about midnite. But the shore station wold not let us go in. We just followed L.C.I. 225 untill morning. It rained hard on my 12 to 4 watch.
We entered Fenchafen at dawn. Water is stirred up from the heavy rain. We stayed here all day. This evening we took aboard about 50 sailors just from Milne taking tham back. Took army rations aboard for tham. Cool last nite.
We three L.C.I’s 224 – 225 – 226 got underway once more. Left Finchafen at 0700 this morning for Milne Bay about a 1000 miles away. Could make it in three days but have only one crew and travel only 6 or 7 knots. Will probbly take five days. No more stops between.
We had our runing lights on most the night. Passed Buna and Cape Sudest early this morning. Making only six knots on the once scraw. Starboard side is about to burn out. Quite rough last night with strong wind. Waves about ten feet high.
Water and wind much quiter this morning. This afternoon we passed through the Goshen Strait in to the Minlne Bay parss. Arrived into Milne Bay just after sun down. Many lights on both sides most the way in. After getting clear in at Stringer Bay we came alongside 224 which is alongside 225. There are many ships. Many lights on beach.
Anchored out in Stringer Bay this morning. Afternoon 225 and us went five miles across bay too Camp Gamma Dodo to unload some empty oxygen tanks. No plase to take tham off at, so returned to Stringer Bay and anchored on beach. All three are together. Went ashore this evening and saw a show.
This morning they took off both our ramps and the 20M.M. on the bow. We then went down the beach aways and anchored on the beach. Tried to have a barbeque but meat didn’t get done in time. Our ships working party brought supplies from Gama Dodo. Went to show on beach.
Went to church for first time for a long time. After church Sarge, Shook, and my self went for a hike to the air strip. We went about 20 miles by catching rides from jeeps etc. Saw planes take off and come in etc. Received two letters today – Eleanor’s one from home telling just about Rich. being in the Hospital. Went to show tonight.
I went to Gama Doda today to get all kind of supplies for our ship. I went to chow at No. 2 Chow hall and walked through the Ranger barrack where I used to stay when I first came across. Deck gang started painting passage way for me. Our ship is anchored near Gama Doda tonight.
I painted passage way by radio shack. Our ship went into a big floating dry dock this afternoon. LCI 225 is also in here. I didn’t go to the show held on the dock. Wrote Ellen a letter tonight.
Had signal classes etc. this morning. I used the dry doc signal light to signal LCI 224 today. they have a 6 xx. light on it. Wrote letters to Warren W. + Steve. Still in this old dry dock.
About 0800 this morning we left the dry dock, also did 225. We are anchored out in the bay, near Jetty. We are now waiting for our rocket racks, which are still in the states yet. Good new today. about 10 of the older crew is going to Sidney Australia as soon as they get transportation. I may get ten to if they get back in time.
It may take serval days before they can get transportation to Sidney. trying to go by plane. We got some side knives today.
“Sidney” boys are to go ashore in morning. Mo left tonight. Anchored as before.
The boys going to Sidney, went ashore at 0800 this morning. They expect to leave by plane Tue. If they get back before the rocket racks arrived from the states, we newer bunch may get to go. I sure hope so.
Vary hot today. I went ashore in the small boat and got the ships bread (8 loaves). I think the boys gg to Sidney, left today on a L.C.I. Will take about five days for tham to get there. I wrote Betty Doyle, a birthday letter, Sunday.
We were told today to come into dock, but we requsted a tug to help us in. Being we have but one screw. Tug has not come yet. Had flag hoist drill this afternoon.
I stood the deck watch for Majestic this morning 5 to 8. Last night he go the end of his finger cut off by a L.C.V. (small boat) coming alongside. We came in to the dock with 225. are tied on their port. Saw good show tonight. “The Hitler’s Gang”. Is about Hitler coming in to power.
Had blinker class in two hole. Received a letter from Carl Summers, who has malaria. R alongside dock.
O cleaned passageway good today. I think that the boys going to Sidneyarrived there today. Put cord on blinker light. Put up all new Halyards the 18 of Oct. Saw good show tonight. Mickne Rooni Andy Carnie
Wrote Ellen a letter yesterday. We got our two twin 50 cal. machine guns. I was Shore Patrol (SP) on liberty party today. Wrote Whittlesey a thank U letter.
Went to church on shore today. I took a little walk back in the jungle today and run on to eight natives. But could not talk with tham, they didn’t know English. Slept most the afternoon.
Andy painted the conning tower today. I was S.P. on liberty party today. Received news of Grndma loosing her car on the R.R. track. News of Jimmy Well’s death.
Stood deck watch for Majestic yet. Still moored alongside dock. Had our two 50 cal. stands put in. Very hot today. Wrote Carl Summers yesterday. He has malaria.
Washed my blues today. Workman are putting the 40MM. gun on the bow. Working at it tonight. Saw the show “Good Luck, Mr. Yates”. Ann Savager.
We are right next to the dock now. about the hotest day since I have been aboard L.C.I. 226. Shook retuned aboard today. We thought he went to Sidney with the rest, but he got malaria and had been in a hospital here at Milne. There are two women aboard on the Quarter deck with the officers.
Chief and I put together a 500 piece Jigsaw Puzzel. Hot day – received three old v-mail. Slept most the afternoon.
Went ashore and got some coconuts. It rained just after the show. They mounted the 40MM gun on this morning. Conway + Sommers went over to a tanker.
Today is my birthday, but it sure does not seem like it. I am now 20. The starboard section, which I am on went to fire school all day. We had real building fires to but out. It was very hot work. Mr. Coulson (Ex.) officer returned from Austraila this noon. He sure looks bad.
Port side went to fire school. Our ship is now finished, but waiting for the rocket racks and gear box. We and LCI 225 left the working dock, and came over to Stringer bay where LCI 224 is. Stringer bay is just two miles across the bay from Ladava where we were.
I didn’t do much today. A working party went to Gamadoda today and got a washing machine. Boys have not returned from Sidney yet.Yesterday (Sunday) I finished reading all the books in the New Testament. I started the day I left San Francisco to come over seas (May 8, 44)
We worked all day. Did some painting in No. 4 hole. We retracked from the beach this evening as the tied was in. We are now tied alongside LCI 224 anchored out. We will go over to Ladava tomarrow to have our rocket racks put on, which just came from the states.
Sunday, Nov. 19
Got underway this morning. Went to Gamadoda and got 22 rocket racks. All together we can fire 528 rockets at one time. After the rockets were loaded we went over to Ladava. Anchored out.
Quite cool today, with strong wind. All three of us LCI’s are docked up against the dock. We put the rocket racks together today. We have 44 rocket racks. 22 on the port, 22 on the starboard. Each rack shoots 12 rockets. We can shoot 528 rockets at one time.
Rained some today. Dock workman are working on the rocket racks.
Mr. Anderson, Sommers, + my self worked on the shelves in No. 4 hole. The boys returned from Sidney this afternoon. They were all glad to be aboard again and had a lot of stories to tell.
Thanksgiving, Nov. 23
Had turkey I finished painting in four hole this morning. Dock workers are putting on the rocket electrical connection boxes today. We are getting all set for our big drive to the Philippines.
Painted in No. 2 hole this morning. The workmen are working on thewiring which is the bigest job of all. Received a letter form Ellen today. Talked to a signalman on LST 462 named Miller.
Worked all day. Got the washing machine working for the first time. It was 125? at 8:00 this morning.
Went to church this morning with Jordan. Wrote Ellen and home this afternoon. A little cooler today. Received a letter from Ruth + Martin with picture album in.
Painted in No. 2 hole today. Wrote Ruth + Martin a letter today. Shoot the breeze with LST 462. Miller was not aboard. Helped a kid find his ship they left him. YP 278
L.C.I. 225 is finished, and went out this morning to try their rockets and guns out. We are almost finished. Getting ready to paint the Con. Went to show with Conway tonight. Five new men came aboard from Gamadado.
LCI 224 pulled away from the dock this morning. We were finished with the rocket racks and this evening. Talked with L.C.I. 608 this evening.
Got underway from the dock at 0900 to take on 20,000 gals. of desiel oil here at LaDava. From here we went to Stringer Bay, and tied alongside LCI 225 + 224. We got our first rockets today. 20 boxes. And 96 boxes of 40 MM shells, or 1520 shells. We are going out tomarrow for trial run etc.
Dec. 1, 44
Got underway for Shortland Island 50 miles from Stringer bay, too practice shooting off our rockets and 40MM and 20MM + 50 cal. We arrived at the island at 1100. Shot off 100 or so rockets. They are a lot more powerful than I thought. It chipped paint off the deck when leaving the racks. I was the first one to place a rocket in the rack on this ship. LCI 225 + 224 came 2 hrs after we were there. Passed in the China Straights on the way. Returned to Stringer bay at 1730.
Received three letters today, from Mom, Eleanor, and Charlotte. We are on the beach here at Stringer bay. Sent home $160.00 in money order today.
LCI 224 and 225 left for Leyte in the Phillippine this morning. We are still waiting on the gear box. Did not get to church today, because we got underway to compansate our compasses. This evening I went ashore and hitched hiked to LaDava by road to see movie.
Pearl HarborDec. 7
Received a nice box of candy from Martha Hiigli. The ship bought a radio and phonograph combined, for $200.00 We all paid $6.25 each.1717, the amphib base is moving up north nearer to the Phillippines and the fighting front. (Stringer bay).
Our gear box arrived today aboard L.C.I. 434, which has just come from Australia with 4 other LCI’s. We got underway from Stringer bay to patoon dock at LaDava to have gear box installed. Received 8 Herald Argus papers.
We haven’t the gear box aboard as yet. Very little happen today. Wrote Marion and Hick’s today.
The gear box is aboard now. It was 121? at 0700 this morning. Wrote home and grandma today. Went to church on the base.
I climbed to the very top of the mast this morning to put a pully on the ensign staff. Sommers came in drunk tonight. Played Pop a couple games of chess tonight.
I painted the ships mast today. Very windy, hard to hang on. Royer and the new boy returned on board this afternoon. They were put in the brig last night, for going into the womens hut.
Painted in the con a little this morning. Saw good movie tonight called “Widow of West Point”. We are still waiting for the engines + gear box to be finished.
Rained today. Deck gang are painting in No 3 hole. Wrote home, and Steve.
Aired some flags out today. We got underway from patoon dock at 1530. Went to Stringer bay to pick up rockets. We finished loading serval hundred rockets by 1730, and than went to see our last movie at Milne bay.
Got underway for Leyte in the Phillippines at 0700 this morning. Both quads work swell. We went out to Shortland island again. We shot all the racks full of rockets. We shot all the other guns on board, all so the 50 cal. which I am on. My ears are very num from all the explosions. Sea is very calm this evening.
Passed Buna a little after midnite last nite. Pass quite a few liberty ships. Sea is very calm. Saw a school of porpoys. They look like shars and were 10 ft. long. lot of flying fish.
This morning the water is a little rough. Today we passed Bagabag, Mam, Bam, and Blupblup islands. Passed by Finchhafen last nite, and Alexhafen this morning.
It was very rough and windy last nite on my midnite watch. Passed Atopa this noon. Will reach Hollandia tonight probably on my watch.
We arrived in Hombold bay at 2200 last nite. There are hundreds of ships here. We have orders to be ready for sea Dec 22. I went to show on the base. Sure hot here.
Tonite we loaded 1500 rockets. I worked until midnite while some of the others worked until 0400. We got about five new boys. One is a Quater master striker.
This morning we took on fuel and 50 smoke rockets. LCI 225 + 226 (our selves) got underway from Hollandia at noon for Sansapor on the northen end of New Guinea.
I had the midnite watch last night, it rained the whole watch carried by a hard wind. We are the leading ship. Will pass Biak tonite.
Christmas Eve.Dec. 24- Sunday
Passed Windy and Biak last nite. Water was very calm and moon was out. Beautiful.
Christmas, Dec. 25
Arrived in Sansapore this morning at 0800. I found a boy I knew in signal school on AP 171 today. His name is Chanler. Poor chow for Christmas day. Commander Day showed us all about rockets. Signal watch
We got a little fresh meat today for a change.Commander Day came aboard this afternoon. We went up the coast about three miles and practiced firing rockets and all guns.
We went out again today with LCI 225. We did much better shooting than they.Yesterday the combat unit Photographer took Sommes and my picture. He came aboard at Hollandia and is going to take pictures of our next invasion which will be soon.
Got underway to take on water, fuel from AO 50, provision for 30 day. This evening about 7:00, two Jap planes came over. There are about 40 ships here. We all had Black out and General Quarters. The big search lights found the planes so ships began too open up on tham. The Jap didn’t do nothing but run back were they came from. Had black out all nite.
Received Typhoid shot today. We got tetnus shot yesterday. We got 5 gals. of ice cream from AO 50 today. Rained this evening.
First Jap PlaneLast nite about 1:00 all ships sounded G.Q. We were all at our guns when a twin motor Jap bomber came over. It was up very high, but search lights picked it up. All large ships started firing. It got all most over when a shell hit it. It burst into flames, burning all the way down. It hit water and blew up about a mile off. We than secured from G.Q. All ships here at Sansapore got underway at 0330 for the Phillippnes. We are behind LCI 690, Flag ship of Squad 66. D day is 10 days. Pick other ships up at Leyte. We are going to attack Lozone, 100 miles from Manila, 500 from Hong Kong China. Biggest convoy ever in this part of the Pacific. Will be only 12 of us rocket ships.
Proceeding at a slow speed of eight knots. Had shooting practices this morning. Made serval Corpen movements this afternoon.
Jan. 1, 1945
I saw the new year come in just after I came off the 2000 to 2400 watch. But all was dark. Last nite we had a big smoke screen made by all ships, than did two turn movements in it. Worked well.
Jan. 2, 1945
We are now serval degrees north of the equator. We are now six days minus D day. The combat Photographer took a single picture of all hands on board. Sub was reported in this area by radio. Later this afternoon two Destroyers picked up a sub. They droped serval dept charges but didn’t get it. They followed it over the horizine. This morning we sighted another large convoy three points aft our starboard beam. Carriers in it.
There is two air craft carriers in our convoy now. Rained hard but short this afternoon.
The water is full of swells which makes us rock. About four oclock this evening a smaller convoy from Manus came out and joined us. Some rocket ships were in with tham. We saw Layte ahead as the sun went down. The sun set is most beautiful in the Philippines.
Passed through the Surigao Strait down and around Layte, through the Mindanao Sea around Philippine island of Negros. Enemy planes picked up twice last nite. Had G.Q. twice in four hours.
Water is quite choppy today and tonite. We have G.Q. ten minutes before sun set and sun rise until one hr. after.
This forenoon about 75 of our 25’s flew over to bom somewhere. We had G.Q. a couple times again today. Shot down a Jap plane at the front of the convoy. Passed Mindon on our starboard. We are heading north up the Mindora Strait towards Corregidor.
Had two short air attacks last nite. Shot down a couple Jap planes. This morning a Jap plane attacked one of the carriers astern of us. They shot it down, on the way down it tried to crash the carrier but missed. A Jap Zex flew like hell over the convoy low but we all missed him. He was shot down later.The convoy entered the Gulf about 2:00 the morning of the ninth. The water is very quite, and moon is out. We are going along very slow with engines ahead 1/3. It seems very spooky with all ships slipping so quietly through the water. We can see larger ships ahead of us firing on the beach.
LINGAYEN GULF Jan. 9
D. Day at LINGAYEN GULF on LUZON
We all went to General Quarters at 0500 in the morning. It is not dawn yet. All the Can’s and Cruisers opened up as soon as it was light anought. There was also three battle ships firing, the first I have seen over seas. They sure could throw the shells in.
We were to lay back until 0900, than proceed to the beach and fire our 528 rockets. Before this we had an air attack. We came very close to hitting one zero. They hit a destroyer with a bomb. We The convoy shot down serval of there planes. One plane crashed dived on a ship setting it a fire. Don’t know how many were killed.We went in at 0900. We could now hear the battle ships shells singing by over our heads. We were about 200 yd. from the beach when we started letting the rockets go. About that time there was a big explosing and water shot way up about a 100 feet off our stern. About ten seconds later there was another about a 100 feet on our port beam. By now we were so scared we were laying on the deck. Than the big one came. It hit just a little over 10 feet from our port bow, spraying us all with water. The boys were really scared now. By now we had launched all the rockets and were back away from the beach like hell, with engines all wide open. Two more shells hit close off our starboard beam on the way out.
We were never so glad to leave a beach. By now it was pretty quite on the beach, after our rockets tamed it down. The Army went in now, on tanks that float in the water. The tractors climbed right onto the beach firing at ever thing. After 200 tank tractors went ashore, small boats started bring in the troops. We saw a few get shot but not many. Most of the Japs had been killed by our guns or fled to the hills. A couple of cruisers did point firing all nite. We had an air attack about 1300 in after noon. I was sending a signal by light at the time, when a Jap Zero came cutting above the water. It was very close to us. I got down off the light right in the middle of my msg. and ran to my G Q station. The plane dropped a bomb near a Can which was too clost to us. This about concludes D Day.
We had more air attacks but the Japs afraid to come close. We maned our guns all nite. It is blamed last nite Jap Pt boats sneaked up on large ships and threw hand greneads on board. Had another small air attack. To nite we received orders with a few other LCI’s to anchor in a circle around the Amphib Flag Ship “Fremont”. We were to shoot at all boxes in water, and small boats if they did not reply to us. It was reported a Jap P.T. boat tried to damage it the nite before. Also reported that Japs were coming out from the rivers with bombs on their bodys to blow up ships. We had five watches all nite carrying tommy guns. We shot atmany boxes.
This morning we saw a water bufflo swimming in the water. It came right along side our ship. Mr Joyce was going to shoot it but the crew would not let him do so.Last nite we listened to Mr. Gunnison give serval radio broadcast to the States from the Wasastch here at Lingayan Gulf about this biggest operations in the Pacific. We are 110 miles from Manila. Our troops have had little opposition so far, but believed they fled to the hills. We get lots of broad casts from Japan which are not true.I talked to Paul Markel on LCI 338 by semaphore. First I have seen him since we were assigned to LCI’s a half year ago.
Had a tough little air raid this morning. About three Jap planes came over. Two of tham suescide dived on ships. The first one missed the ship and crashed into the water. The second dived into an APD setting it on fire. Don’t know how many were killed as yet. Another plane dropped a bomb.
We were able to obtain a few provisions today, from an APA transport. While leaving this APA, a Jap plane flew over quitley, and dropped a bomb 10 yds. off the boy of another APA. We were the next ship closes to the fallen bomb. The plane got away with out getting hit. I met a friend who is a Q.M. on YMS (33)? We along with about 20 other ships got under way for Leyte all most unexpectly at 1800
Sunday, Jan. 14
We are still makeing our way down the coast of Luzon. Will pass adout 50 miles out from Manila tonite. About 40 ships in this convoy mostly LST. One air craft Carrier (96) About eight of us LCI’s. Don’t seem like Sunday.
Today while under way we went along side serval LST to pick up 140 units of blood plasma. We than took it back to the air craft carrier which had casualties from a Jap suicide diver. This evening LCI 338 brought us mail. Were we all glad to see it. The first we have had for two months. I got nice Christmas box from Aunt Catherine.
Still under way – passed by Mendono last evening. I got six letters in last nites mail call.
Expect to arrive at Leyte tomarrow morning. Sea got kind of rough lastnite from a strong wind.
We arrived at Layte 0900 this morning. There are many Philippineos natives who come alongside our ships and trade with us. Some of the women are nice looking. Two brough out little babys. I got a Peso off a girl for a dollar. It rained this evening and last nite. Got letter from Rich Dec 30 car turned over.
We were anchored alongside LCI 430 which Morgan is on. Rained a lot today. We are anchored with LCI’s 224, 227, 225, and LCS 27 this evening. I heard seven were killed on LCI 70 which Maurice Ryan is on. It was hit about three minus D. day. Don’t know how he came out yet.
Still here at Layte waiting for next operation, which is the 29th of this month. Went alongside Liberty Ship to get provisions for 6 rocket ships. Started at 2200, finished at 0200.
Unloaded provisions on the rocket ships this morning. Kuhlas, Markel, and my self were talking together. This evening ship went into floating dry dock to get port screw fixed.
We got our of dry dock at 1600 this evening. Put new port screw on. We are now anchored out in vinicity of LCI 28, our Flot flag ship.
Still here at Layte. Had repair work done today. I was talking to two Filippino boys today. They wrote their name on paper for Jerry.
Getting ready for operation the 29th. Took on fuel, water, rockets, and ammo. I think operation will be at Bataan. We get underway in morning.
Six Rocket Ships + LST’s and liberty ships, DD, DC, APD’s etc got underway for Bataan at 0600 this morning. Sea is quite.
Sea is quite calm. We have been going only 5 knots. Not much going on.
Wrote a letter too Carl Summers today. Moon is very pretty on the nite watches.
Sunday, Jan. 28
Day before D day at Bataan. Seas is little choppie tonite. Another convoy, mostly of troops joined us this evening. Sure doesn’t seem like
Sunday. I have 12 – 4 tonite.
D-Day at BATAAN
Went to G Q station at 0600. The Cans and larger ships didn’t fire on beach. There were natives who came out too meet us in dug outs. We could allso see natives on the beach. We were afraid our orders were to fire the rockets, and many of the natives would get killed. But as we were going in, we received orders not to fire on beach as the natives reported there were no Japs around. So the troops went in in the small boats. It was a beautiful sight as the sun cast many shadows of the troops as they clamered ashore on the sandy white beach, while the natives came running too greet our troops, yelling and claping their hand with joy. I shall never forget that sight, not a shot was fired.
We guarded the beach and ships from Jap PT boat attack. Our troops are only 36 miles from Manila. I talked to a Filipino today who went to a University in Manila.The Filipino here are prettyer looking, and seem nicer. We traded clothes today for 10 chickens from them. We had to clean them our selves. I got about a 100 Pasos in trading etc. Natives are very good looking.
The other 4 rocket ships returned last night from shelling Grandy island in Subic bay. We ate the chickens we got from the natives today. Very good. Most all the ships left here.
Feb. 1, 1945
The natives have been trading souviners for soap cloths with us. Japs took all of there cloths. All the 1/C Petty officers went ashore today. We all like the Filipinos here. A Jap small boat sunk a S.C. a little south of here. We are getting underway 0720 tomarrow D.
We got underway for Subic Bay this morning. It took us two hours to arrive here in the 8 knot convoy. We saw the island in the middle of Subic bay that we left 16 inch guns on when the Japs took it in 1941. The guns are still there. They took Subic bay Jan 30 the day after we took Bataan. There were no Japs on the island in Subic Bay.
Subic Bay is a very good bay. It was a navy base before the war. We were to form convoy and get underway for Layte tonite, but did not becaue of a storm that came up. I have been standing radio watch on the T.C.S.
in radio shack at night.
SundayFeb. 4We went over to Grandy Is. today. I got ashore. The island was sure bombed up. I set on our big 6 inch Coustal Guns we had in 1941. They still are not in such bad shape. A lot of Jap writting around.
Today we went back into a Jetty at the farther most poin in Subic bay to take on water. The whole ship got leave for two hours. I saw serval little villiages. One was wrecked by bombs completly. We were walking only seven miles from the front lines. The Artillery let fire behind us and over our heads, at Jap who were in the Mt. Pass.
We got a little ice cream from LCS 49 today. I finished making Anchor ball today. Conway fell at GQ last nite and broke his little toe. We are alongside LCS 29 tonight.
Painting the passage way. Still here in Subic Bay waiting for almost any thing, espectialy mail.
Captain Harned went aboard LCS 48 to a confferance. Four Cruisers came into Subic bay today. Looking for mail soon. Went ashore on Grandy Island this after noon to drink deer. Waiting for next operation.
Took on water and provission. Heard scuttulebutt that we were going to land troops on the main land in Passed Corregdor.
Went to church for first time for over two months. We went to church on the Crusier Denver. I looked the whole ship over. Still no mail. We went to Grandy Island this after noon to go swimming.
Doc. stayed on his original ship last night, LST 457. Got small stores today. We saw a submerine come into Subic Bay today.
Captain Harned went aboard the LCI 430 (Gr. Flag Ship). He got all the dope on our next invasision. D Day is Feb. 15, at Mariveles. The next morning we go in too Corregidor in Manila Bay. Mariveles is a small bay about four miles from Corregidor.
Loaded rockets this morning. Preparing guns etc for action. We got under way for Manila Bat at 1500 this evening. We headed north until dark an than headed south for Manila Bay. We did this to fool the Japs on the mountain which our troops were still fighting.
D Day at Mariveles -Battaan, Phillippines
Feb. 15, 45
When the sun came up our, not to large convoy was about six miles from Corregidor which is located at the mouth of Manila Bay. There was six LCI Rocket ships and six LCS Gun boats. Mine Sweepers had been through here before us.Corregidor had serval good bombing before today.
About a half mile away from Corregidor the Japs opened up with a big 8 in. gun hid some where in a cave. Their first few shots did not hit any thing. Than one shell hit very close to a small boat carring troops, it did not turn over but it almost. We did not think any one was hurt.
About five minutes later the same boat came by us told us by semaphore they had four wounded men who were in bad shape and wanted us to take tham. We could not stop so they tied along side us still underway. We were now heading into Mariveles Harbor. Ships were shelling the beach already. We carryied the first man aboar whos arm was hanging on by the skin underneath, he was one mass of blood. The second one I helped carry. His shoulder was layed open about six inches long and three in. deep. I got stick blood all over my hands, and the wound smelled terabile. The third man had shell fragments in his skull, and chest. His face was covered with blood. The fourth man died just as they were about to take him out of the boat, so they left him in and threw him on beach as soon as they landed. Blood was all over our deck now. Our P.H. Mate had the three carried down in Six Bay, which is in Three Compartment where I sleep.
I now had to get back on my fifty cal. gun as we were going in on the run. We let go all our rockets which sure cleared the beach. Than troops went in. At the same time a L.S.M. hit a mine and caugh on fire. It blew a half truck full of troops clear us on the top deck killing all. Many were killed.We now loaded all forward rack for any emergecy run. We gave the beach a heavy shelling with our 40MM and other guns.We went along side an LCI who had a doctor on, right away as the wounded men were very bad. The man with the arm all most off was by now all most dead, from lack of blood even though our P.H. Mate did give tham plasma. By now the army had the beach quiet well theirs. This concluded our part of the operation on D Day. We finiche loading our racks, for Corregidor tomarrow morning. We anchored all night here in Mariveles harbor.
D Day on Corregidor
Feb. 16, 1945
Today I saw one of the most alful sights that I shall neve forget as long as I live. The day stared at 0300 in the early mourning. The reason G.Q. was sounded at this time was that serval Jap P.T. boats sneaked into Mariveles Harbor, and were raising hell! When I got on top side I saw one LSM and one LCS all in one big mass of flames. We got all the fire fighting equipment out and stood by our guns for the unknown. By now tracers and large shell were flying all over th harbor. We couldn’t see what they were shooting at. The harbor was so small that shells were hitting all around us. Just than another one of our LCS blew up. The shells were still hitting all over the harbor. LCI 225 got hit by a 40MM
shell in their fog generator and drums. A couple of their crew got shell fragament in them, but not hurt bad.
By now two more LCS were hit. The one bursted in to flames and blew up and went straight to the bottom with all hand still aboard. The other LCS was still on fire but she ramed her bow on the beach so she could not sink. Half her crew were killed. Shells and tracers were flying all over the harbor like mad yet. Than the LCS next to us burst into flame and blew up. We could hear their men scream as their ship went to the bottom. Only a few were saved. We were all so scared by now we didn’t know what to do. We though we were next because we were next in the line of ships that blew up. We did not know how the Jap were blowing up these ship and still do not know. Now all the firing had stop. All was quite except for the crys of the many survivors floating in the water. We were all sick now our selves. Things were so mixed up, that we never found out how many Jap small boats we sunck. We could hear men yelling for help. The LCI’s got orders to pick tham up.
In the 24 hours we took over Mariveles Harbor we lost, two LSM’s and four L.C.S which have been over seas only four months. The one LCS did not think because it was ramed upon the beach. We lost about 200 men whom
serval I knew, and six ships, beside the others hit by smaller shells.We now got orders by radio to proceed out of habor and form column for our protection. We went out to sea about six miles and than returned. By now the sun was coming up. When we got back in Mariveles Harbor all was quiet. The LCS was damaged on the beach. The other were sunck.By now it was light an ought to get ready for the landing on Corregidor.
We got under way for Corregidor at 0800 from Mariveles Harbor two mile from Corregidor. All morning our large ships were shelling the island, and bombers and dive bomber were strafing and bombing Corregidor for they
were worth. Our planes dropped 147,000 tons of bombs on Corregidor. On the way across the Manila Channel we were headed straight for a floating mine. An A.P.D. signal us to stop. We backed down all engines full. We might have hit it if it wasn’t for the A.P.D. At 0830 our planes started dropping air born troops on Corregidor. I saw serval parechutes that did not open. They kept dropping troops until 1000. Than 225 and 226 went in. We let go our rockets and backed off to strafe the caves and pill boxes. We knocked out serval pill boxes. We could see Japs firing at us. Than water flew all around the ship and we could hear bullets sing all around. We all fell close to the deck. We could hear the bullets hitting our ship. After backing out full speed. We were hit six difference places by Jap 50 cal machine gun fire. The bullet went all the way in the ship, hitting lockers etc. No one hit.
We arrived in good old Subic Bay at 0200 this morning, and were we all glad to get back here even though there was no mail waiting for us. They are all most stoped having ship black out here at Subic Bay at night, becaus the Japs have only about 40 planes in the whole Philippines. Our Cans guard the mouth of the bay by Grandy Island forJap P.T-boats and barges.
We tried to go to church on the Crusier Clevland but we could not find her. I stood signal watch on 225 last nite as they are alongside. 228 is also alongside us.
They had fuernel services of the boys lost at Mariveles Harbor the early mourning of the 16th on the Fletcher. 225 and us are takeing turns standing signal and radio watches. Wrote home last night.
Received mail from LCI 778 today. We sure went nuts over it. I got pictures of Christmas at home. First mail for one month.
Went over to Longapoe to get water. Got ashor for one short hour. Sure lots of little kids in the town. Took on fuel from – AO 38.
Took on rockets today from -AK 99- took on eleven hundreds. Got small stores and ships service off Pollux today for the six rocket ships and the two LCS’s. Now alongside 225 at Subic Bay.
Bought some small stores today. Could not get show boat tonight.
Sunday, Feb. 25
Did not get to church this Sunday again. This morning our ship and L.C.I. 340 went alongside a LCT and took on G.S.K. (General Stores) for all six LCI’s.All of a sudden this evening we left Subic Bay with L.C.I. 340, 225, 226, 337 for an operation which D Day is unknowen. We will pass Manila Bay tonight. We have no ships to protect us. We pick up main convoy at Mendoro tomarrow.
We arrived at Mendoro at -1300- this afternoon. We had a $15.00 anchor pool. Myers won. We went alongside 342, I got to talk to Miner on that ship. They left that eveing in convoy to hit some where a 100 miles from Boreno, the 27. Mendoro has the biggest air port I have seen over seas. Very windy here.
This afternoon we anchored on beach. I got ashore 2 hr. that afternoon. It is very dirty and dusty here. Have about 100 B24 Liberators here. They have been bombing Formosa lately. This evening I went over and watched tham come in from Formosa. I got to go inside and look over one B24 as long a I wanted. The have many other planes here, also sea planes.
We found out today that our D Day is the 29th. We will hit the island of Lubang, just a little south of Manila Bay and Corregidor. It is little over a 100 miles from Mindoro where we left at 1600 this evening. Will land only 500 troops just to knock out a Jap radar station. Expect no opposition. Only think 300 Japs on island. Use and 225 will not throw rockets but guard entrance of bay with a (D.E.)
Feb. 29D Day at Lubang Island
H Hour is to be at 0830, which it was. We went around to other side of the island to land on. We layed off until one D.D. and D.E. shelled the beach starting some very large fires, beleived to have been gasoline. Then some A-20’s let go with bombs. LCI’s did not fire rockets as there was hardly no firing from the beach. The troop LCI’s and LSM’s proceeded to beach. There was no opposition. The troops probably did have plenty of opposition later: we took the radar station with out trouble. About 1600 that evening we started back to Mindoro. We arrived at San Jose0700 the following morning.
March 1, 1945
Went to church at an Army base in the Filipino town of San Jose. It was very good. It is very dusty here at San Jose. Quiet a nice town.
Was sick today with sore throat, stiff neck and a head ack. Had temperature well over a 100, felt very sick. Got little mail today. Books from Eleanor.
I am still in bed but feel alot better today. Doc. is sure good.
Captain Harned received his orders today to go State side. He gave us a fare well speech. We hated to see him go, but glad he got to go. He was the best skipper in the whole Pacific, to my notion. He left Mindoro. (Skipper 7 mo.)
March 8, 1945
Got underway at 0700 with Bennet Coulson as our new skipper, for a landing on the island of Mindanao south of Layte. The convoy was quiet large mostly made up of Amphib. except for D.D. D.E. one CL.
The sea is very rough. Water washed up on the quarter deck. Last night, a LSM lost one of here troop, who fell over board in the rough sea. Tomorrow morning at 0830 is H Hour on the pennsula of Zamboanga on Mindanao.
*March 10, 1945
D Day at Zamboanga on Mindanao.
The D.D. and D.E. started shelling at day lighg, starting several large fires. At 0830 all LCI(R)’s and Gun Boats started in for the beach to clean it out for the troops who followed us up in Water Bufflos. Close to 500 or 700 Japs here. They could not fire back except with machine gun fire as we kept tham down with terrefic rocket and gun fire. Troops next went ashore with all their machine guns spitting fire.
That afternoon Japs were throwing morters out in the water at LST’s comeing in to unload. None were hit but very close hits. We had serval near misses. Our troops could not take the town of Zamboanga that day. That night we anchored still having Condition II. Kept close watch for Jap P.T. and Crash Boats.
Sunday, March 11,
At 0600 this morning we went on patrol. All day we stood by at Condition II, waiting for the Army to call on us to throw rockets in the town if there was too mush oposition for tham. By evening they took the town with heavy shelling, but did not call on us. The town which was very nice one at one time is now almost wrecked. Moter fire hit out in water today from Japs back up in the mt.
Last night we had patrol duty all night along with 225, and LCS 30. Jap PT Boats were belived to have been trying to get in. Saw gun fire on beach all night off and on. This morning we went up along side the town to see if troops needed us as they advanced. Japs are putting up a last man to man fight. After noon we returned to the big Flag Ship “Rock Mountain”. Japs fired at us from the hill with light MM fire when we went in close to help troops. It came very close but none of us were hit. Also they fired on serval small boat loaded with troops. We had patrol duty all night. About 1900 Japs back up in the hills started shelling our beachhead. We were patroling only 500 yds. from beach and some shells were landing in the water too close to us for comfort. They stoped about 2100. Don’t know how many of our troops they killed.
Didn’t do much today, only stand by for emergecy. Last night we patroled again. It is to dangerous to anchor at night as Jap midge subs may sneek up on us. About mid nite last nighg, the Japs hit a lucky shot and blew up a lot of our oil and fuel on the beach. The fire lite every thing up for miles around. LCI 225 left in convoy last night.
Did nothing but anchor and stand by all day. We are to moor east side of Samboanga Pier tonight. I don’t like this as Japs are still to close around for comfort. Last night at 1800 two Jap planes came over for the first time here. They dropped a couple bombs on beach. We did not shoot at tham because they never came over the water. B24s have been bombing the Japs in the hills. Tonight all LCI’s + LCT, tied up to Zamboanga Pier. We did not get tied up until 2300 that night. LCS’s did the patrolling.
We all stayed tied alongside the pier all day. Being in close we could see that the town of Zamboanga was nice one before the Japs bombed it. Beautifuf street lights. That afternoon two mines were seen floating towards the pier. So the LCI 337 demmolition crew got on a LCM and went after it. Two swimmers dove under the mind and tied a line to the mine
anchor chain. They towed it out a mile and than blew it up by shooting at it. It took a minute and a half for all the pieces to come down. The did like wise to the other one. That night we anchored out as we were going on another operation in the morning.
March 16, 1945
D Day at Saoroc Point, on the Island of (Basilan).
The island of Basilan is located about 40 miles south of Zamboanga. We got underway at 0800 in the morning. Troops were carride across in LCS’s. LCI 337 and us were the only rocket ships. We got there at 1100. Threw our rockets and got out. We saw no enemy fire at all. About 1400 in afternoon we returned to Zamboanga Peninsula, and tied alongside the
pier. Went to show held on the pier. That evening the Japs capatured our P.T. Base up the point aways. Our PT’s got out just in time.
Are still tied to pier, with LCI’s 227, 337. We started chiping quarter deck today. Army having slow and hard time getting Japs out of the mt.
Did not have Holaday routine today much to my disgus. Chiped quarter deck all day again. Stilled moored to dock yet.
Moored to dock as befor. Had air raid alert, no planes came over.
Got underway for Red Beach. We loaded a LCM up with all our rockets, about 1550. They took it to beach where they unloaded 250. Brought rest back and loaded back aboard. Went over to Rocky Mount to pick up guard mail. Also got mail off L.C.I. 778. I got 15 letters. First mail for over a month.
Anchored out all night. We got under way at 1800 for Latey, a two and a half day trip. We are missing next small operation to our delight. About 15 ship convoy.
Wrote home and Warren today. Sea is very choppy. Should arrive at Leyte tomorrow evening.
Still underway, but expect to arrive at Leyte about 11:00 tonight. There is reported a big storm comeing our way with a 40 mile wind. We hope to reach Leyte before it hits us. But we have 60 miles to go yet, and sea is getting choppy already.
We arrived at Leyte at 11:00 last night. There was a very strong tropical wind. It is quiet cool and rains a lot. Tomsom won the $90. anchor pool comeing into Leyte. Quiet a lot of repair ships here, and cargo.
Rained most of the day. Went on liberty in navy base near Tacklogan. Many Filipino both women men and babies, selling or trading everything they could get a hold of. I bought a good Filipino knife about 12 in. long for 10 Pesos, and a grass skirt for 8 Pesos. Had only 2 hour liberty. Went over on LCI 227.
Starting today we have six day availibility alongside the repair ship Oglala. End April 4th. I heard our next landing will come up with in two weeks, and composed of about 300 ships. Be near Zamboanga again. Very cool here. Today is Good Friday but few people pay attention to it.
In sack from swelling on the right side of my jaw.
April 1, 1945
I got the opertunity to attend church this Sunday for the first time for over a month. Held on LST Repair Ship “Remus”. Most of crew wored all day. Liberty party went ashor. Didn’t seem much like Easter, but my Lord is with me. War in Europe sounds as if it’s end was near. (Raining)
Met two boys on the Oglala who stood gun watch with me while comeing over on the Day Star.
Went into AFD 3 Dry Dock at 4:00 this evening. We scraped until 10:00 that night. Got three letters. Most all the mail that came today was in bad shape, from being wet. I saw Dr. Feller on LCI 28 about my sore neck.
Finshed ship in dry dock today. Painte side and bottom. Left dock at 1600.
Captain Coulson left for State side today. Ensg Joyce has been promoted to Lt (QG). Now our commanding officer.
We thought we were getting underway for Mindoro today but think we leave tomorrow. We took group of officers over to the Henry T Allen (AG 90). Mr. Green on 225 was aboard today. Flew up from Cebu.
Went on liberty on LCI 778. Got 3 letters from home + 1 from Robert. Saw Filipino show on beach.
Sunday, April 8, 45
Got underway for Mindoro at 0800 today. Went through the straight above Leyte. Big ships cannot pass through here it is so shallow. Sea is very calm. Had target practice at sleev pulled by plane. We have 10 LCI’s in convoy and one LCS, and a PC for screening. Wrote home. No church.
Sea very calm. We arrived at Mindoro at 1600 today. Tenderfoot 0 Gang is here. Found out we had lots of mail here, but LCI 224 took it down to Leyte from which we just came. We sure are sick about it. Wrote Ellen tonight. We have beached.
I went to show last night, and was to be aboard ship by 1000. I got back to the beach but our ship pulled off without me. They had orders to pull off beach before full tied went out, as we all were gg to make dry run tomorrow. So I stayed on LCI 72 all night. We all started on the dry run at 0700 + finished at 1500. I stood by flag bag on the 72. I got on my ship tonight after beaching. I was off about 24 hrs. Captain didn’t mind.
Today we worked the con., painting. I got the sad news tonight that we had to transfer one signalman to LCI 72. I had to be the one to go because I came aboard last of us S.M. I was to get aboard 72 by the 13. I feel very bad leaving the crew on 226. I packed tonight.
I am still on 226. About one this afternoon there small boat got me and my gear. I don’t know how I’ll like it here yet. But may it be the Lord’s will. They have 1 SM + 2 QM’s