U.S.S. Allen M. Sumner DD-692
Lingayen Gulf Action Report


Cover Page of the Report

DD692/A9 U.S.S. ALLEN M. SUMNER (DD692).
Serial 05 c/o Fleet Post Office.
San Francisco, Calif.
16 January 1945.
C O N F I D E N T I A L
From: The Commanding Officer.
To: The Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet.
Via: (1) Commander Destroyer Squadron 60.
(2) Commander Task Unit 77.2.1 (ComBatDiv 3).
(3) Commander Task Group 77.2 (ComBatRon 1).
(4) Commander Task Force 78 (Com 7th AmphibFor).
(5) Commander Task Force 77 (Com Luzon Attack Force).
(6) Commander Seventh Fleet.
(7) Commander in Chief, U. S. Pacific Fleet.
Subject: Action Report U.S.S. ALLEN M. SUMNER (DD692) for
Luzon Attack Force Operation, 2-13 January 1945.
Reference: (a) Commander Task Group 77.2 Operation plan 3-44.
Enclosures: (A) DRT tracks during actions.
(B) Extracts from TBS log.
(C) Copy of Battle Damage Report.
(D) Copy of report on personnel casualties.

PART I

          1.           General narrative of the action: Prior to midnight, 2 January 1945, this vessel got underway in company with DesRon Sixty to sortie with part of Task Group 77.2 from San Pedro Bay, Leyte, P.I. The portion of the task group, consisting of USS NEW MEXICO (CTU 77.2.1, Rear Adm. Weyler), MISSISSIPPI, PORTLAND, MINNEAPOLIS, LOUISVILLE, HALL, SANDS, BRYANT, KIMBERLEY, DICKERSON, PAUL HAMILTON, CLEMSON, NEWCOMB, W. D. PORTER, DesRon Sixty, two DE’s, WINOOSKI, SALAMONIE, SUANICO, HMAS AUSTRALIA, SHROPSHIRE, ARUNTA, and WARRAMUNGA formed in Leyte Gulf and made a feint course toward the eastern end of Surigao Strait good, until dawn. On the 3rd Task Group 77.4 consisting of escort carriers joined in Southern Leyte Gulf. The two groups exchanged several escorts and proceeded via Mindanao Sea, Sulu Sea, and South China Sea to Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, P.I. Enemy air attack occurred only once on the 3rd, while on the 4th, they approached at intervals throughout the day. On the evening of the 4th the USS OMMANEY BAY was hit by a suicide enemy plane and had to be abandoned and sunk. Shortly after noon on the 5th the search planes ahead of the groups reported two enemy destroyers. Air strikes were launched and the destroyers reported disposed of. Later in the afternoon the LOUISVILLE was hit by bombs and later a suicide plane. HMAS ARUNTA was also hit by a suicide plane, as was the HMAS AUSTRALIA, the destroyer escort STAFFORD, and the CVE MANILA BAY.
                       On the morning of the 6th CDD120 in A. M. SUMNER took charge of the minesweeper support unit in place of USS BARTON (CDS60). Enemy suicide planes approached out of the sun on the port bow strafed and crashed into the rigging, the after stack, and after torpedo mount, killing 14 men, wounding 29 others, and causing extensive damage as noted in enclosure (d). Because of damage, A. M. SUMNER was ordered to return to screen of TG 77.2 and BARTON (CDS60) took over as minesweeper support unit. The heavy ships of TG 77.2 conducted a bombardment of San Fernando vicinity, CDD120 acting as screen commander. The USS NEW MEXICO, WALKE, and HMAS AUSTRALIA were hit by suicide planes, about this time the group retired to seaward at sunset, SUMNER going alongside USS WEST VIRGINIA to transfer wounded men at dusk. Cruised uneventfully at sea to northwest of Lingayen Gulf during the night of 6-7 January, and entered the gulf again at dawn on the 7th , conducting burial at sea services for 13 dead enroute. Heavy ships conducted bombardment of Santo Tomas vicinity enroute to the southern end of the gulf. During the afternoon of the 7th, conducted bombardment of assigned area in vicinity of San Fabian in support of underwater demolition teams on landing beaches. The task group retired to sea again cruising to the southwest of the gulf during the night. Air attacks occurred frequently on the 5th, 6th, and 7th, causing the damages mentioned to our forces and the enemy suffering the loss of an estimated 10 planes as a result of ships gunfire. At dawn on the 8th TG 77.2 again entered the gulf and bombarded the vicinity of the landing beaches. The HMAS AUSTRALIA was once again hit by a suicide plane. One of our CAP planes from the HOGGATT BAY without I.F.F. ventured too close in the dawning light and was shot down. The pilot bailed out and was picked up by SUMNER during an air attack. After the morning’s bombardment by heavy ships, SUMNER fueled from NEW MEXICO in the gulf and transferred the injured pilot from the HOGGATT BAY. The heavy ships again bombarded the beaches during the afternoon, while destroyers screened. About midafternoon the group retired to the northern part of the gulf in order to conduct heavy ship bombardment of San Fernando town. Leaving several fires burning in this vicinity, the group retired to seaward, to contact the approaching landing attack units and returned in their van to southern Lingayen Gulf.
                       Early on the morning of the 9th Task Group 77.2 took up stations for shore bombardment as scheduled for S day. Conducted bombardment of left half of blue-2 beach in advance of initial landings. The landings took place on schedule and with apparently only token or no opposition. Air attacks occurred on the 8th and the 9th with the customary suiciders succeeding in hitting the COLUMBIA, MISSISSIPPI and HMAS AUSTRALIA for the 4th time, while a shore battery scored a hit on the JENKINS. SUMNER screened the MISSISSIPPI and HMAS AUSTRALIA after H hour. In the afternoon SUMNER was ordered to report to CTF 79 for duty, and by the latter to remain in present vicinity (off Blue Beach) until further orders. During the night swimmers and power boats succeeded in attacking several ships with explosive charges, while star shells over the beaches kept the ships in the harbor well silhouetted. The 10th was spent screening ships anchored within the gulf and awaiting departure of a transport convoy. CDD120 was assigned screen commander for the returning convoy of transports with 13 ships of various types including "cripples" as screen. Departure from the gulf and return to Leyte with this convoy was conducted without any noteworthy incidents other than the usual air attacks, with the exceptions that only six ships reported for screening duty for the convoy of 19 APA’s and another successful suicide plane attack on USS DUPAGE at dusk prior to the screens joining the convoy. SUMNER shot down one plane at the time of the DUPAGE attack.

          2.           (a) Embodied in paragraph 1.
                       (b) The SUMNER’S mission was one of screening heavy ships of Task Group 77.2

and Task Group 77.4 enroute, and of bombarding Blue Beach prior to the assault landing. SUMNER’S doctrine was standard destroyer doctrine; her plans in accordance with the operation plans as modified by events; and her assumptions as stated in the operation plans as supplemented by subsequent dispatch intelligence reports. On the eve of the action the tactical aspects of the situation were as follows:
                       (1) Hostile surface forces of major composition were unlikely and would probably be intercepted and destroyed or forced to retreat by Third Fleet operating to NE of Luzon. Encounter with small minor units up to DD size are possible but improbable in view of coverage and previous operations in the gulf. Even in the event of a heavy ship attack our forces would heavily outweigh the enemy force.
                       (2) Hostile minor war vessels are likely to be encountered.
                       (3) Enemy aircraft will be encountered in spite of heavy CAP, and suicide tactics will be
employed.
                       (4) Shore batteries may be encountered even after the preliminary bombardments and apparently abandoned beaches. Even if these should open up in numbers their fire would be silenced that day by the large fire support units of which SUMNER is a part.
                       (5) Mines and torpedoes implanted or maneuvered cunningly into position may be encountered in spite of negative sweep results. Limpot mines are possible.
                       (6) Camouflage in all forms may be expected on the beaches.
                       (7) Friendly natives may appear within the gulf in numbers in small boats.
                       (8) Screening of heavy ships and called fire would be our primary duties.
                       (c) Incorporated in action reports of seniors.
                       (d) Enemy forces encountered by SUMNER consisted entirely of planes and shore gun positions. One Judy or Zeke attacked from out of the sun, at a position angle of 15, strafing as he dove and crashed on torpedo tube mount #2. Numerous planes including one Val and one Zeke were also fired upon.
                       (e) Incorporated in action reports of seniors.

PART II

                       Narrative of action (chronological) from first to last contact with the enemy: First contact with the enemy was made by SUMNER at 1912 on 3 January 1945 (S-6 day) while south of Bohol Island in the Mindanao Sea. The plane, a Zeke was fired upon with the main battery bearing 070 T., at 6,000 yards. The target turned away and withdrew from range. 1914 Ceased firing. 2122 Passed Siquijor Island abeam to starboard, distant 12 miles

4 January 1945

                       0043 Unidentified aircraft bearing 228 T., distant 12 miles. 0210 Changed course to 330 T., having rounded the southern tip of Negros Island. 0247 Unidentified aircraft bearing 240 T., distant 18 miles. 0325 Unidentified aircraft bearing 040 T., distant 12 miles and unidentified aircraft bearing 098 T., distant 7 miles. 0336 Anti-aircraft fire from van and rear groups. 0620 Carriers launched aircraft. 0648 Unidentified aircraft bearing 060 T., distant 11 miles. 0800 Assumed radar guard. 0834 Off Nasos Point, Negros Island, changed course to 000 T. 1115 CAP intercepted enemy planes bearing 330 T., distant 30 miles. 1227 Unidentified aircraft bearing 030 T., distant 13 miles. 1434 Possible periscope sighted inside formation. Proved to be fishing stake. 1705 Carriers recovered planes. 1717 Enemy planes over van and rear groups; heavy anti-aircraft firing. 1718 Sighted large explosion astern; later found to be USS OMMANEY BAY hit by suicide plane. OMMANEY BAY had to be abandoned and sunk by own torpedoes. 1754 Heavy anti-aircraft fire on enemy planes over van group. 1905 Formed cruising disposition 4RN; fleet axis 330 T. 2000 Entered Mindoro Strait.

5 January 1945

                       0235 Unidentified aircraft bearing 240 T., distant 9 miles. 0250 changed base course to 340 T. 0320 Sighted flares to southwest about 8 miles. Apparently dropped by planes. 0329 Anti-aircraft firing from rear group; enemy planes over both groups. 0353 Unidentified aircraft bearing 050 T., distant 5 miles. 0610 Unidentified aircraft bearing 357 T., distant 20 miles. 0646 Carriers launched planes. 0705 Changed fleet axis to 000 T. 0713 Passed Cape Calavite, Mindoro, abeam to starboard at 24 miles. 0739 CTG 77.4 assumed tactical command of van group. 0820 Enemy planes reported in vicinity. 1039 Passed Lubang Island abeam to starboard about 30 miles. 1047 CAP reported splashing one Judy. 1051 Unidentified aircraft bearing 250 T., distant 5 miles. 1308 WALKE came alongside to deliver OM mail. 1450 CAP reported two enemy destroyers about 60 miles north of formation. 1545 Carriers launched strike against enemy destroyers reported ahead. 1602 Second strike launched. 1610 Enemy plane reported over the formation. 1652 Anti-aircraft firing from rear group. 1705 Anti-aircraft firing from rear group. 1710 Anti-aircraft firing from van group. 1714 Two low flying enemy planes came into van group between screen stations 4 and 6. One crashed on HMAS ARUNTA in station 6, the other though hit and burning crashed into the LOUISVILLE and exploded. ARUNTA lost steering control and dropped out of formation. INGRAHAM ordered to stand by ARUNTA; screen equalized. 1735 IZARD in station 4 reported that one of enemy destroyers was now 15 miles bearing 029 T. 1740 Sighted one Val bearing 137 T., distant 12 miles. 1747 Enemy planes attacking rear group, heavy anti-aircraft fire; one Val reported splashed. 1750 HMAS AUSTRALIA hit by suicide plane. STAFFORD (DE) hit by suicide plane (in rear group). 1751 Sighted 4 enemy planes bearing 250 T. 1753 CVE MANILA BAY in rear group reported hit by suicide plane. 1838 BARTON, WALKE, and MOALE escorted HMAS STROPSHIRE to rear group and took stations in rear group screen. 1809 Sighted plane as it burst into flames and crashed bearing 040 T., distant 12 miles. 1918 Anti-aircraft firing at 020 T., distant 12 miles. 1930 Heavy anti-aircraft fire from van group. 2000 SUMNER, LAFFEY, and O’BRIEN, proceeded to stations in rear group 13 ship circular screen.

6 January 1945

                       0130 BARTON reported casualty to main battery control. 0242 Unidentified aircraft bearing 135 T., distant 20 miles. 0250 Enemy planes bearing 156 T., reported intercepted by friendlies. 0253 Enemy plane 155 T., distant 7 miles, closing. 0255 Anti-aircraft firing 165 T., distant 5 miles. 0257 Unidentified aircraft bearing 165 T., distant 7 miles, opening. 0310 Unidentified aircraft bearing 270 T., distant 8 miles. 0315 Enemy plane dropped float lights at 120 T., distant 6 miles. 0448 Unidentified aircraft bearing 160 T., distant 12 miles, closing. 0500 Task Group 77.4 and Task Group 77.2 proceeding toward gulf. Task Group 77.2 then divided into Task Unit 77.2.1 and Task Unit 77.2.2; ARUNTA and WARRAMUNGA shifting from Task Unit 77.2.1 to Task Unit 72.2.2. The Lingayen Bombardment and Fire Support Unit (Task Unit 72.2.2) was to bombard Santiago Island and the San Fabian unit (Task Unit 77.2.1) to bombard Poro Point. SUMNER in screen of Task Unit 77.2.1 on circle 7. 0554 Anti-aircraft firing observed bearing 170 T. 0738 North of Cape Bolinao entering Lingayen Gulf with Task Unit 77.2.1. Unidentified plane over formation. 0843 Screen closed to circle 5. 0915 CTG 77.2 ordered CDD 120 in SUMNER to replace CDS60 in BARTON as CTU 77.2.9, screen and fire support for the minesweeping and hydrographic unit. 0930 Enemy shipping reported in San Fernando harbor. 1005 Heavy ships of Task Unit 77.2.1 launched spotting planes. 1024 CDD120 in SUMNER with WALKE left Task Unit 77.2.1 to take station astern of Task Group 77.6 off eastern beach. 1030 Contacted CTG 77.6 for information on swept channel and proceeded to assigned area. 1052 Task Unit 77.2.1 heavy ships firing on assigned targets. 1104 Received report that minesweepers of Task Group 77.6 were being fired upon. 1120 Enemy plane attacked bombardment group and was driven off by heavy anti-aircraft. 1135 Unidentified aircraft sighted bearing 135 T., flying low. 1138 Entered swept channel. 1148 Shell from shore batteries passed over HMAS AUSTRALIA and landed 1500 yards on our port bow. 1153 Sighted explosion at 200 T., distant 15 miles. 1158 Enemy plane coming in from starboard quarter (250 T.). Commenced firing on plane with main battery and radical maneuvers at 25 knots. 1200 Ceased firing on plane bearing now about 080 T., SUMNER headed 270 T. Second enemy plane threatening attack bearing about 075 T. Commenced swinging right slowly. 1201 Third enemy plane approached on port bow (255 T.) strafed and crashed on after torpedo mount after diving through the rigging and hitting No. 2 stack. Bomb dropped on torpedo mount 2, exploding while plane struck main deck starboard side and crashed into water close aboard to starboard. Right full rudder was effected at first sighting of this plane so that the ship was in hard right turn at 25 knots as plane struck. Damage and casualties as shown in enclosures. WALKE was hit by suicide plane on port side of the bridge at same time. 1220 Sighted three unidentified aircraft low on the water bearing 270 T., distant 10 miles. INGRAHAM ordered to relieve SUMNER. 1233 Sighted 2 men in water off the port bow. INGRAHAM arriving as SUMNER’S relief picked up men while SUMNER joined Task Unit 77.2.1 taking station No. 3 on circle 3.5. WALKE relieved by O’BRIEN. WALKE joined screen of Task Unit 77.2.1 also. 1247 Heavy ships still steaming in column off Poro Point conducting shore bombardment. CDS60 in BARTON relieved INGRAHAM as CTU 77.2.9 in support of minesweepers. CDD120 in SUMNER became screen commander of Task Unit 77.2.1, BARTON remaining with minesweepers until afternoon of S-1 day (8 January 1945). WALKE rejoined Task Unit 77.2.1. Screen now consists of DesRon 60 less BARTON and O’BRIEN plus 5 APD’s. 1403 Jettisoned adrift torpedo warheads that had been sheared by hit. 1429 O’BRIEN hit by suicide plane on port side aft of Mount No. 3. O’BRIEN directed to cease minesweeper support duties and rejoin Task Unit 77.2.1 screen. 1435 Three enemy planes reported bearing 075 T., distant 10 miles. 1436 Formation under attack by 3 Judy’s. Heavy anti-aircraft fire from formation. 1515 Task Unit 77.2.1 with heavy ships still in column, having completed the bombardment of Poro Point, took position astern of Task Unit 72.2.2. Screens of two units combined to form circular anti-aircraft screen for heavies as the units proceeded south into Lingayen Gulf for further shore bombardment by heavies. 1620 Sighted two Jap planes bearing 215 T. 1622 Formation putting up heavy anti-aircraft fire at plane coming in low from the land. SUMNER commenced firing. One Jap plane observed to crash in water. 1623 Ceased firing. 1628 Three unidentified planes reporting coming in from out of the sun (bearing 240 T.). 1630 Minesweepers reported results of sweeps so far were negative. 1720 Suicide plane crashed on NEW MEXICO. 1725 A Val was reported bearing 105 T., distant 10 miles. 1728 Formation under attack by several planes; anti-aircraft fire heavy; SUMNER commenced firing. 1729 Firing on plane on port quarter. 1730 Ceased firing. 1731 HMAS AUSTRALIA reported being hit by suicide plane putting all heavy anti-aircraft guns out of commission. 1733 Three unidentified aircraft bearing 060 T., distant 6 miles. 1732 Unidentified aircraft coming in low from 160 T. 1740 Unidentified aircraft fire from formation on planes approaching from bearing 280 T., SUMNER commenced firing. 1753 Ceased firing. Planes identified as Vals; anti-aircraft fire drove them off. 1755 One Judy sighted at bearing 270 T., distant 11 miles. 1757 Two planes sighted at bearing 190 T., distant 10 miles. 1800 Formation fired on low flying planes approaching; SUMNER commenced firing. 1805 Ceased firing; attacks driven off, one plane being shot down by combined fire. 1830 Jap plane made steep dive on HMAS STROPSHIRE who shot it down. Two parachutes observed emanating from falling plane, one supporting what appeared to be possibly a mine. 1852 Bombardment completed. Heavy ships commenced recovery of spotting planes. Destroyers screened individual heavy ships as planes recovered. 1900 Task Unit 77.2.1 and Task Unit 77.2.2 joined and formed disposition 5RO-1, CDS56 in LEUTZE is commander screen. CDD120 ordered to assign stations 1-12. 1920 Went alongside WEST VIRGINIA to transfer wounded. Darkness enveloped and made the maneuver difficult and slow. Eleven men transferred. 1940 Task Group commenced withdrawal from gulf. 1959 Unidentified aircraft bearing 070 T., distant 6 miles, closing. 2105 Left alongside WEST VIRGINIA and took station No. 1 in screen 4RO-1. 2210 On station No. 1, CDD120 controlling forward semi-circle of screen, CDS56 in LEUTZE is commander screen.

7 January 1945

                       0119 Unidentified aircraft bearing 190 T., distant 35 miles. 0133 Unidentified aircraft bearing 165 T., distant 20 miles. 0645 Approaching Lingayen Gulf. 0725 Task Group 77.2 split into Lingayen and San Fabian units, the latter forming column on course 160 T., with screen ships to seaward and at the ends of the column. 0835 Entering Lingayen Gulf to conduct shore bombardment. 0915 Conducted burial at sea services for 13 men killed in action on 6 January 1945, in latitude 16-24.5 N, longitude 120-11.8 E. 1012 Heavy ships launched spotting planes. 1105 Heavy ships on individual stations commenced shore bombardment; destroyers screening heavy ships to seaward. 1415 All ships proceeding to assigned stations for fire support of UDT’s, DD’s screening heavy ships enroute. 1440 All ships on stations off Lingayen and San Fabian beaches. 1528 On station about 3,000 yards off the beach. Commenced firing, again bombarding vicinity of blue beach. 1530 Swimmers of UDT’s in water approaching beaches. 1645 Swimmers reported recovered and boats on way back to parent ships. UDT operation apparently successful; very little fire observed from beaches, bombardment ships firing on targets of opportunity. 1740 Ceased bombardment firing and commenced withdrawal to take station in screen of Task Unit 77.2.1. CTU 77.2.1 directed LOWRY substitute for SUMNER in San Fabian night harassing unit. 1810 Took station in screen for disposition 5RO-1 as for previous night. MOALE and LOWRY detached to carry our night harassing mission. 1842 Jap Val sighted bearing 210 T., distant 10 miles, closing. 1845 Unidentified aircraft bearing 140 T., distant 8 miles. 1902 Anti-aircraft firing on starboard quarter on what proved to be friendly plane. 1905 Disposition 5RO-1 completed being formed, SUMNER on station No. 1 of 22 ship circular screen, axis 000 T. 1910 LOWRY reported a Jap Jake dropped a bomb about 500 yards from her and retired to southward. 1915 Formation under attack by enemy planes. Commenced firing with main battery and 40MM’s on plane on starboard bow. Plane dropped bomb that landed about 1000 yards on starboard bow. 1917 Ceased firing. Air attacks continued until about 2000. Heavy AA fire from formation at intervals. 2125 Took station on circle 8. Task Group made sortie from gulf and cruised to northwest during the night.

8 January 1945

                       0457 MOALE and LOWRY rejoined formation as task group stood into gulf and took stations in screen. 0500 Unidentified aircraft bearing 235 T., distant 3 miles. 0610 Lingayen and San Fabian units separated. San Fabian Unit SS’s and APD’s formed screen on circle 3 around heavy ships proceeding into Lingayen Gulf for further shore bombardment. 0639 Unidentified aircraft bearing 307 T., distant 10 miles. 0644 Observed anti-aircraft firing off port bow. 0718 Another enemy suicider attempted to crash the HMAS AUSTRALIA but was shot down and crashed into the water near the center of the formation. SUMNER fired on this plane, also. 0721 Ceased firing; friendly planes reported overhead. 0730 sighted pilot in water bearing 346 T.; proceeded to pick him up. 0733 Sighted enemy plane dead astern; commenced firing. 0734 Plane made steep dive toward AUSTRALIA from the port quarter through heavy anti-aircraft fire. Plane leveled off into a shallow glide at about 200 feet, hit the water skipped, and crashed into AUSTRALIA’s port side, exploding. This makes AUSTRALIA’s third suicide hit. 0735 stopped to pick up pilot in water. Pilot proved to be Navy FM pilot from CVE HOGATT BAY shot down when confused with enemy planes attacking. 0805 Heavy ships in column on course 160 T. DD’s 1500 yards to seaward of heavies for anti-aircraft support with APD’s forming A/S screen at ends of column. 0818 Heavy ships launched spotting planes. 0819 Heavy ships commenced shore bombardment of east coast of Lingayen Gulf, DD’s and APD’s screening to seaward. 1050 Left screening station to go alongside NEW MEXICO to refuel. CDD120 delegated commander screen to O’BRIEN during absence of SUMNER. 1135 Alongside NEW MEXICO on center of gulf. Refueled and transferred wounded pilot; received 75,000 gallons. 1344 Rejoined formation and took station in screen. CDD120 resumed commander screen duties. 1524 LOWRY left screen to give fire support to minesweepers. 1545 Bombardment completed San Fabian Unit formed disposition 7VW on signal of CTU and proceeded to vicinity of Poro Point. APD’s were ordered to join Lingayen Unit. 1635 Changed formation to 4CW, screening column of heavy ships; SUMNER in station No. 1. 1740 CDS60 in BARTON rejoined screen and relieved CDD120 as commander screen. 1745 Heavy ships in column bombarded San Fernando and Poro Point; screen 1000 yards to westward. 1841 Bombardment completed, formed disposition 4CW and proceeded to rejoin Task Unit 77.2.2 in southern part of the gulf. 1848 Heavy ships recovered spotting planes. 1850 LOWRY rejoined formation and took station in screen. 1856 Sighted anti-aircraft firing in direction of Lingayen Unit. 1930 Two units joined and reversed course to stand out of gulf for the night. 1932 LAFFEY and INGRAHAM left formation on assigned night harassing mission in place of damaged O’BRIEN. 2100 Task Unit 77.2.1 and Task Unit 72.2.2 formed disposition 5RO-1. LAFFEY and INGRAHAM rejoined formation having completed assigned mission. Task Group 77.2 cruised just outside gulf during the night.

9 January 1945
(S-Day)

                       0410 Task Group 77.2 preceding assault forces into Lingayen Gulf. Task Unit 77.2.1 and 72.2.2 separated and proceeded to assigned bombardment stations. 0500 Individual ships proceeding to assigned bombardment stations. 0540 Sighted anti-aircraft firing on port quarter about 12 miles. 0545 Heavy anti-aircraft fire from ships in gulf. 0630 Ships on stations for initial shore bombardment; assault forces moving into gulf from seaward. 0700 Heavy ships commenced bombardment. 0710 CTG 77.2 ordered CTU 77.2.1 to report to CTF 78, Vice Adm. BARBEY, Commander San Fabian Attack Force for duty. San Fabian Bombardment and Fire Support Group became a part of San Fabian Attack Force. 0715 Observed heavy anti-aircraft fire bearing 030 T. 0719 Landing craft began assembly and commenced moving in toward the beaches. 0747 Enemy plane over Lingayen Beach transport area. One Jap plane was shot down by anti-aircraft fire. 0750 Suicide plane dove and crashed into COLUMBIA in Lingayen Beach area. 0845 Bombardment ships moved into close in stations. Assault craft headed for beaches. 0900 Commenced bombardment of left half of Blue 2 Beach off San Fabian town. 0925 ceased firing. 0930 H hour - first assault waves hit the beaches. Heavy ships continued bombardment of targets inland. 0942 No opposition reported on Blue Beach. Boats continued to pour troops ashore with only token opposition at White Beach; remainder of beaches, no opposition. 1002 JENKINS reported being hit by shore battery which she then silenced. 1303 Two Jap suicide planes came in from the south without being detected. One crashed into the MISSISSIPPI. The other strafed a Higgins boat, missed an AK with a bomb and crashed into the forward stack of the AUSTRALIA. This made #4 in 5 days to hit the AUSTRALIA. 1304 Commenced firing on plane that later struck AUSTRALIA. 1306 Ceased firing. 1330 Unidentified aircraft bearing 185 T., distant 15 miles, very high. 1400 Unidentified aircraft bearing 190 T., distant 10 miles. 1715 Received orders with WALKE and O’BRIEN from CTG 77.2 to report to CTF 79. CTF 79 in turn ordered ships to remain in present areas until further orders upon the ships reporting as directed. 1825 Sighted on Val bearing 230 T., distant 20 miles. 1834 CTF 79 ordered smoke laid by ships under his command. Commenced making smoke in vicinity of MISSISSIPPI. 1856 Heavy anti-aircraft fire on enemy planes over Lingayen beach transport area, continuing intermittently until about 1925. 1903 Commenced firing on Jap plane. 1906 Ceased firing. 2005 More anti-aircraft firing. Observed one plane go down in flames. 2121 Maneuvered slowly in transport area throughout the night while starshells were fired intermittently throughout the night in the vicinity of the beaches.

10 January 1945

                       0445 Jap torpedo boats reported in transport area. An LST and an AP were reported hit by torpedoes, and another ship hit by a charge thrown from a small boat. 0653 Enemy air attacks; heavy anti-aircraft fire and on enemy plane shot down. 0712 One Val sighted high overhead going into a dive. Commenced firing. Heavy anti-aircraft fire. Plane hit by heavy fire, tried to dive on a destroyer but missed and crashed into the water. 0714 Ceased firing. 1010 Two man midget submarine reported bearing 210 T., distant 5 miles. 1017 CONY reported having picked up two Japs in the water swimming with explosives strapped to their backs. Additional reports were received of enemy swimmers and a search was conducted of the area to westward by several destroyers. 1030 Ordered to fuel from MT. OLYMPUS. 1100 Attempted to go alongside MT. OLYMPUS but found process too treacherous due to heavy swell causing excessive roll. 1107 Left from alongside and proceeded on patrol in gulf as before. Having fueled from NEW MEXICO the previous day, sufficient fuel remained on hand to make return trip to Leyte without again refueling. 1400 WALKE and O’BRIEN fueled to 60% from AGC’s in transport area. 1600 Received orders to report to CDD120 doe escort of convoy departing at 1800. 1707 Observed anti-aircraft firing off port bow. 1735 Arrived at rendezvous point and circled awaiting convoy and escorts. 1800 Proceeded with O’BRIEN, WALKE, LANG, PEIFFER (DE), SOUTHARD (DMS), BLESSMAN (APD), and HMAS GASCOYNE to form circular screen around column of 5 APA’s leaving Lingayen transport area to join others departing San Fabian area. 1850 Screen formed; transports now 8 in number. 1902 Enemy planes overhead; observed anti-aircraft firing bearing 305 T., distant 6 miles. 1903 Commenced firing on Jap Val sighted to northeast. 1905 Ceased firing; observed plane to go into dive out of control and crash into water to northwest. 1915 Heavy anti-aircraft firing over ships within southern part of gulf and at mouth of gulf. 1919 DUPAGE of Task Group 79.14 observed hit by suicide plane to northwest. 1930 Preparing to join 3 columns of ships which comprise the remainder of the convoy. Task Unit 79.14.2 screen formed circle around all four columns. Convoy speed 12 knots. 1935 O’BRIEN sent astern to search for survivors of DUPAGE. 1944 Observed large explosion on horizon bearing 101 T. 2040 Passed out of Lingayen Gulf convoy of 17 APA’s, 2 AKA’s, 2 LSD’s and 1 KA formed in 4 columns with screen of 8 ships formed on circle 3 equally spaced; SUMNER on station #1. 2125 Changed screen to concentrate more ships forward for anti-submarine purposes. 2330 Passed Lingayen bound convoy.

11 January 1945

                       0128 LANG, SOUTHARD and 3 APA’s left convoy to return to Lingayen Gulf. 0130 Reformed screen to move stations #4 and #5 out to 4,000 yards circle. O’BRIEN was designated FD ship. Passed another Lingayen bound convoy. 0730 CAP overhead taken over by O’BRIEN. 0953 Convoy slowed to 5 knots to permit exchange of passengers between large ships. 1053 WALKE left station to investigate sound contact on starboard beam of convoy. 1100 WALKE reported good contact and dropped pattern of depth charges. 1105 WALKE made reattack dropping a second pattern. 1135 WALKE reported no further contact and proceeded to rejoin formation. 1635 Rounded Lubang Island, changed course to 147 T. 1826 CAP reported Jap plane in area. Enemy plane did not make appearance in vicinity of convoy. 2230 Contacted convoy bearing 125 T., distant 10 miles. 2319 Passed friendly convoy of LST’s and LCI’s abeam to port off central Mindoro.

12 January 1945

                       1050 Passed Ambulong Island abeam to port 7 miles. 0300 FOOTE and NICKEL (DE) joined formation. Screen was reoriented to accommodate two more ships. 0540 NICKEL and FOOTE detached from screen to join disabled submarine off San Jose, Mindoro. Screen reoriented to former status. 1439 O’BRIEN procured CAP of 8 planes which were unable to find their designated convoy. 1817 Unidentified aircraft reported bearing 192 T., distant 45 miles. 1825 Unidentified aircraft bearing 205 T., distant 12 miles, closing. 1835 Unidentified aircraft commenced opening without attacking convoy. 2000 Changed course to 090 T., having passed southern tip of Negros Island. 2235 Passed Silino Island abeam to starboard 8 miles.

13 January 1945

                       0125 Surface contact astern of convoy; identified as FOOTE and NICKEL rejoining. 0145 FOOTE and NICKEL rejoined and took stations as previous night. 1344 HMAS GASCOYNE detached to proceed to destination. 1209 Convoy commenced to disperse off Dulag, Leyte, P.I. Convoy ships and escorts proceeding to destinations.

PART III

          1.          Performance of Own Ordnance Material and Equipment:
                      (a) All ordnance equipment during last year has been subjected to hard and continuous usage. To date it has stood up under the strain very well. Just prior to leaving on this operation the universal coupling in the "A" end of the elevation power drive mount one broke making it necessary for the pointer to operate in manual. During the scheduled bombardment a gasket in the top cover plate "A" end, train power drive, mount two blew out and dumped a large quantity of oil on deck before the unit could be stopped. Blast from mount two firing near mount one caused the drain line leading from the "—" end to the part on the train power drive. Both casualties were corrected with little difficulty. Mount three was subjected to heavy bomb blast and survived with damage except to the pointers sight and shrapnel holes in the shield. A total of 1334 rounds of five inch were fired with excellent material performance.
                       It is recommended that a more convenient and easily operated elevation and deflection spot transmitter be developed for anti-aircraft firing. The present transmitter located down inside the director makes it a little awkward for the control officer to watch the target and bursts and still try to grope around for the spot knob he wishes to use. A simple joy-stick control located near the slew sight should facilitate spotting in the fast moving anti-aircraft problem.
                       No serious training difficulties were encountered. Fire discipline was good. The mark 12 radar performed with excellent results in full and partial radar control.
                       (b) Ammunition expended:

Shore Bom- Surface Anti-air- Jetti Total
bardment Action craft action soned
5" 752 0 582 93 1427
40MM 224 0 1536 32 1792
20MM 0 0 1235 120 1355
Torpedoes 0 0 0 5 5
Depth Charges 0 0 0 4 4
                       (c) Gunnery effectiveness is considered satisfactory, except against suicide planes. Evasive tactics and radical maneuvering employed by the enemy presents a very difficult anti-aircraft fire control problem. The shore bombardment problem was conducted from the director selecting targets visually by means of the optics. Ranges and bearings to the assigned target area were sent up from Combat. Fire was evidently very effective judging from the little or no opposition encountered by the troops upon landing.
          2.           The only enemy ordnance equipment observed by this ship was that of the suicide plane. His strafing was accurate if he attempted to hit the main deck amidships on the port side, however it is logical to assume that he was attempting to strafe the bridge. In this case his fire was ineffective. Only two men were hit by the strafing. One 40MM director sight and one 36" searchlight were hit by the strafing. One of the planes wing guns which remained aboard after the explosion was examined and found to be of about 17MM caliber and constructed very similar to the 20MM Oerlikon. It is believed to be designed almost entirely from the Oerlikon gun, slight modifications being made necessarily to accommodate the design for aircraft fixed position use. The bomb or shell carried by the plane was not actually seen but is believed to have been about 500 pounds or a 14-16" shell. Enclosure (c) speaks for its effectiveness.

PART IV

          1.           Own Battle Damage:
                       (a) See enclosure (C).
                       (b) Damage control was entirely satisfactory. A large fire resulted from the hit undoubtedly caused by the plane’s gasoline. The compartment below the main deck where the bomb exploded contained bunks and mattresses. Fire proof mattress covers were in place on all bunks. As a result hardly more than smoldering mattresses were found. These were quickly reduced to a minimum and never threatened to breed a large fire although it took a few hours to finally locate and extinguish all smoldering embers. The warheads were sheared off the torpedoes by the impact; the left barrel, torpedo, and warheads were blown overboard. Two of the remaining warheads fell to the main deck and two remained on the superstructure deck, all without detonating. These were jettisoned to eliminate an unnecessary hazard for continued operations. The deck house structure had to be well shored under torpedo mount two and the remaining port bulkhead of the deck house in order to allay threatening collapse of the after end of the deck house structure due to the weight of the tube mount and torpedoes. Severed and ruptured salt and fresh water lines were secured aft of the forward engine room to prevent further flooding of compartments. Attempts were made to pump compartment C-203 with small and large handy billies as well as with a submersible pump. However the oil and water soaked debris plus the great specific gravity of the liquid would not permit maintenance of the suction in spite of all efforts over a period of three days. One man was trapped in the after diesel generator room and could not escape through the only hatch due to the flooded compartment aft into which it opened. This man was finally rescued by removal of a section of the vent uptake on the port side. The man was fortunately of slight enough build to allow him to work his way up this trunk past two bends.
          2.           Enemy Battle Damage:
                       A. Shore Bombardment:
                            Hits scored on four gun emplacements believed to be approximately 75MM near Blue Beach.
                            Trenches, possible gun emplacements, and revetments covered by area bombardment.
                       B. One Judy or Zeke destroyed by suicide attack on this vessel.
                            One Val shot down
                       (b&c) Summary of damage and estimated material and personnel casualties:
                       One Jap Judy or Zeke serial # 4001 completely demolished with pilot. Four shore battery positions possibly with personnel believed demolished. Unknown damage inland from beaches. Assisted in eventual destruction of one Val and one Zeke by gunfire.
          3.           Copy of Battle Damage Report appended as enclosure (c).

PART V

          1.           (a) Sound powered telephone circuits and interior communications were satisfactory.
                       Radio communications were satisfactory. Antennas as noted in enclosure (c) were destroyed; however, within 30 minutes all necessary radios were again in full commission. The TBS circuit was heavily loaded, but discipline was considered excellent for the number of ships present and the magnitude of the operation. Security was often a facetious term in application to the information being transmitted. Shackles were compromised, ships movements, formations, and maneuvers were disclosed by aggravated, excited, or inexperienced personnel.
                       Visual communications were satisfactory.
                       No intercepts of enemy transmissions were experienced on 31.6MCS, 3000KCS, 3115KCS, 411KCS, 34.8MCS, 142.74MCS, 3548KCS, 3172KCS, 72.1MCS, 4340KCS, 3980KCS, 3905KCS, 2716KCS, 469.5KCS, 3176KCS, 142.02MCS, 4115KCS, 8830KCS, 13245KCS or 17660KCS during the periods these were guarded. Japs were heard on MN, 30.14MCS.
                       (b) The SG-1 radar operated entirely satisfactorily throughout this operation. A task group of major warships was detected at 44,000 yards and a convoy of small landing craft was picked up at 30,000 yards. The very low and even land contour in the south end of Lingayen Gulf made it difficult to establish navigational fixes by radar. However, after several visual navigational fixes were obtained, it was noted what contours could be depended upon to obtain accurate fixes by radar.
                       It is noted that the remote PPIs located in the pilot house and on the open bridge are nearly always off centered. This may be caused by gun blast or by some magnetic disturbance. This casualty makes it extremely difficult to maintain accurate station in formation at night, due to the error in bearing which is introduced. The cause for this error should be investigated and corrected if practicable.
                      SC-3 radar operated satisfactorily up until the hit was sustained. After this time the antenna control became slightly irregular and remained so for the remainder of the operation. Once started rotating it occasionally could not be stopped or would oscillate in direction of rotation without manipulation of the controls. The sensitivity also appears to have been impaired by the hit. This reduction in addition to the previous reduction caused by shrapnel hits in the antenna and wave guide in a previous engagement leave the air search radar in a weakened condition. Efforts of our technician personnel have kept this radar in sufficiently effective working condition to enable tracking of aircraft up to 70 miles on occasions. Its reliability is not sound, however, and cannot be so without extensive search for and remedy of defects in inaccessible locations.
                       The MK12 fire control radar operated very satisfactorily - tracking planes to 56,000 yards. The MK22 fire control radar requires frequent attention as a result apparently of its exposed location. No major casualty to either was experienced in this operation. The MK22 radar is operating only 80% efficient and therefore does not obtain ranges up to the standard expected. Heavy seas enveloping the director several months ago entered the MK22 units and has adversely affected its performance beyond ship’s force repair. Both SG-1 and SC-3 radars were used to designate targets to the MK37 director from CIC. Telephonic designation paralleled with the target designation system through the VF. RPPPI was used in the case of surface targets with entirely satisfactory results. The SG-1 was used in several instances to designate low flying planes which the SC-3 could not pick up. The VF was hardly ever used in conjunction with the SC-3 although such provision exists. The reason for this lies in the larger presentation of targets on the SC-3 PPI scope and the rapidity of changes in the case of air problems.
                       (c) Blue air operations consisted of searches, strikes and patrols both combat and anti-submarine. Both Army and Navy planes were used in all of these operations, the air superiority of Blue forces was chiefly naval air. Enemy air operations were apparently limited to snooping, and combination bombing suicide attacks with available planes of various types. This vessel did not act as fighter director but did control anti-submarine patrol on the return trip to Leyte. From this ship’s point of vantage an accurate estimate of enemy strength in their air attacks could not be made. Generally speaking the attacks were sporadic and conducted by but few planes employing the conceded effective suicide tactics. It is known that Zekes, Vals, Judys, Bettys, and Tojos were employed, all utilizing attacks from a land background or from out of the general direction of the sun in daylight. For the most part these attacks occurred at dawn and dusk from low levels and with speeds of not over 200 knots estimated. It is estimated that 20% of all attackers were destroyed. The plane which struck this ship may have been from a carrier source. A nameplate was found on one of the many pieces of it scattered over the after part of the ship giving the serial number as 4001 and bearing the inspector’s stamp almost identical with the anchor type of U. S. Navy inspectors stamp. One of the wing guns from this plane was also found, bent and out of commission, on deck. This has already been discussed in part III, paragraph 2. Radar detection was far from dependable, evidently due to very high or very low approaches and poor radar reception in Lingayen Gulf. It is known that several attacks were detected and intercepted. The fighter director ships in this operation are appropriate for such comments. Black Widow fighters at night often showed only weak IFF and caused numerous "bogey" alarms. The low flying ASP planes likewise often were confused with enemy attackers. Low altitude CAP were fired on in several instances when "bogies" were known to be present. The pilot rescued by this ship was a victim of such an incident. The flash and control conditions were more appropriately employed in this operation than has been experienced in the past. However, control green was not strictly adhered to.
                       (d) Enemy air tactics have already been covered somewhat in this report. The Jap suicide pilots have been observed to operate in groups of two or three. One plane will attempt a run on a ship and then sheer violently and climb when gunfire is directed against it. Another will maneuver at maximum effective gun range to attract attention while the third will make his attack from the sun. When making a run the pilot seems to prefer to start in at an altitude of 3000 to 5000 feet and come in with increasing speed at a glide angle of about 15 to 30. The glide is generally not aimed directly at the target ship. At about 2000 or 3000 yards from the target, the Jap will make a slight turn and occasionally a flip over to crash. This maneuver will defeat our 5"/38 caliber fire control equipment unless spots are applied to lead the target and it also throws off the automatic weapon fire at the most effective range for these weapons.
                       The best defense appears to be early and continued heavy volume of fire and radical maneuvering. They are hard to hit. Their shore tactics on the landing seemed to be to clear the beach areas during the bombardments, to retire to positions in the hills behind rather than attempt to make a stand on the beaches. The Orange tactics in employing swimmers with demolition charges and small boats armed with charges are successful to a minor extent, several ships being damaged thereby. Against a force of such magnitude these orange tactics can not have been more than desperation measures.
                       (e) Blue forces used smoke at dawn and dusk on S+1 and S days, respectively, within the gulf to reduce effectiveness of the suicide attacks. This proved successful in the areas in which employed (transport and beach areas). The enemy used no smoke, although it is felt that the effectiveness of the Blue bombardment and hydrographic work would have been reduced thereby. Blue force deception measures are more appropriately discussed by higher echelons in this operation. The enemy used no form of deception evident to this command. Enemy shore positions were camouflaged, however the high degree of success of the bombardment would seem to indicate that such was ineffective. Actually the concentrated deluge of explosives used on their positions probably obviated the necessity of knowing exact locations of enemy positions in order to obliterate them.
                       (f) CIC functioned smoothly and satisfactorily. Difficulty was experienced in attempting to keep in complete touch with all phases of the operation continuously, but the enormousness of the operation was such that a destroyer organization cannot hope to keep up to date in all phases. On a few occasions the intense activity on the bridge prevented prompt exchange of information between CIC and command, but never to the extent of impairing the ship’s operations.
                      (g) Navigation was done by visual and radar as appropriate. No difficulties were experienced with radar navigation. At times identification of landmarks was not immediately established.
                      (h) The engineering plant functioned entirely satisfactorily, no particular difficulties being experienced even upon receiving the suicide crash. Flank speed was maintained through the incident, and steering control was not interrupted.
                      (i) Supply - After being damaged, ship’s store stock intended to be issued for morale purposes was inaccessible due to flooding of the compartment above. A trip alongside a heavy ship mad necessary by the fuel contamination and subsequent shortage, made possible supplies for this purpose.
                      (j) A suicide crash on this ship caused damage, as a result of which there were 14 men killed and 29 men injured. Two of the injured men were critical and six men were serious. The CPhM was among those killed.
                      Medical aid was administered as quickly as possible. One important feature in the handling of these cases deserves comment. The first aid parties evacuated the men from the damaged area as quickly as could be expected, but they were reluctant to undress those injured, in order to ascertain the extent of their injury. This problem consumed a great amount of time by the Medical Department itself. Complete and thorough examination has been stressed in First Aid Lectures but apparently the men have not grasped its importance.
                      The immediate follow up care for seriously injured men is very difficult aboard a ship of this type. The three bunks available in officers state rooms forward on the main deck were used for the seriously wounded. The remainder of the cases had to be bunked in the passageways where light and ventilation is very poor and special treatment is rendered very difficult. A well ventilated and well lighted six bed sick bay adapted for the use of special equipment such as intravenous sets and traction splints would greatly improve the care of seriously injured men.
                       Blood plasma, petrolatum, muslin bandages, ace bandages, sulfanilamide powder and battle dressings were used extensively. All men with puncture wounds were given cc of tetanus toxoid. The injured who were kept aboard were started on oral sulfathiazole grams, 3 daily. These essential supplies proved adequate in quantity and quality.
          3.           Lessons learned, conclusions, and recommendations:
                       Flash proof clothing is invaluable in the reduction of injuries in the form of burns. Such injuries always seem to involve the majority of the personnel injured. The special new padded khaki colored flash proof suits issued to this vessel for test purposes have been worn by all repair party personnel at every general quarters since they were received aboard in September 1944. Their value cannot be overestimated. They are hot for this climate but are deemed a necessity to keep a fighting ship fighting upon sustaining a hit. Men wearing these suits were able to pass though compartments filled with flames without being burned and without damaging the suit. This enabled the rescue of several injured men. Several men were killed while wearing these suits but the cause of death was entirely due to physical crushing by shrapnel. These suits launder satisfactorily and wear well. They are recommended for issue to all types of ships for all topside personnel and repair parties.
                       It was necessary to remain at general quarters stations during daylight hours for 8 consecutive days. This put great strain on all personnel. There was no other choice in defending the ship against suicide attacks. Personnel were allowed to relax on stations somewhat, but vigilance could never be relaxed during daylight. In this connection, the absence of provision for partial body relaxation while maintaining an alert lookout on stations was brought strongly and abruptly to attention. The desirability of seats for personnel on stations had been realized long before this operation, but not so forcibly. It is inefficient to expend the energy supporting and controlling the entire body continuously when by far the greater part of the time, only optical vigilance and expenditure of energy is called for. As a solution to this problem, the issue of camp stools and the provision of racks at the stations for storage is recommended. Light cotton battle dress without visors should be furnished for the protection of the head from the direct rays of the sun. The helmet heats up tremendously during the day and need not be worn continuously for protection.
                       Adapters for handy billies should be allowed for all types of ships regardless of freeboard in order to allow for compensation of increased specific gravity and viscosity of fluids necessary to be pumped from below deck compartments in the vicinity of fuel oil and diesel oil tanks. This ship was unable to pump the mixture of oil and water in a first deck compartment where the freeboard was only six feet. The handy billies would take a suction but would lose it almost immediately due to the heavy viscous fluid. It was necessary to leave this compartment containing the fire hazard of about 11 inches of unpumpable oil and water mixture. Placing of men in such a compartment to hand bail when short of personnel and when continuing in action is extremely undesirable as a solution. The dangers are obvious.
                       It is further recommended that the fiber glass board type of insulation be replaced with an asbestos composition. Blast and shocks caused by gunfire loosens the fiber board and particles resulting in numerous skin irritations and may give rise to chronic lung diseases. Blowers disseminate the glass throughout the closed compartments. The ship’s doctor considers this a serious health menace.
                       The chief lesson learned was already understood by many, but this operation made the understanding unanimous among both officers and crew. "Eternal vigilance is the price of safety". Every Jap plane that I have seen has been a suicide attack unit. The planes have been of various types and approaches have been of no set pattern. I estimate that 75 percent of them succeed in damaging our ships once they sight their targets.

PART VI

          1.           Personnel Performance and Casualties:
                       Nothing but the highest praise can be said for all personnel. As previously mentioned all daylight and twilight hours for 8 consecutive days were spent at general quarters. Constant vigilance and alertness was demanded of all personnel. The physical, mental, and nervous strain on both officers and men was the greatest any have ever experienced. It is difficult if not impossible to conceive without actual experience the effects that the constant threat of an enemy bent on destroying you at the complete disregard of what happens to himself, have on even spirited men who are willing to do the same for their country and cherished ones at home. The repair parties are particularly to be commended on their excellent performance even after the loss of one complete repair party in the explosion. Those killed with two exceptions died at their stations in line of duty in a manner fully in keeping with the most honorable traditions of the Navy and their country. Two of those killed having inactive stations at that particular time (K guns) had left their stations to observe the anti-aircraft action, preceding the hit. Both were killed instantly in the vicinity of their stations. Thorough training of the damage control personnel resulted in the damage being dealt with in a routine manner. Loss of the Chief Pharmacists Mate by instant death in the explosion cut the medical department to 75% strength. One pharmacist mate was unnerved by the episode leaving the medical personnel at 50% strength or 2 men. The doctor and several willing assistants but they were capable of being utilized chiefly for manual labor tasks in spite of the extensive lectures and demonstrations he has conducted, to prepare for just such an eventuality. The doctor’s able assistant was a second class Pharmacists Mate who will be recommended for suitable awards and the entire party for individual letters of commendation. These men worked incessantly removing wounded, fighting a serious fire and preventing further damage; as well as in minimizing the effects of the damage. One of the 20MM gunners and Mount 42 personnel are commended for their agility and fortitude in getting their guns into action and producing results in precious seconds of time, and in the face of enemy strafing. All officers performed their duties in a manner completely satisfactory and in keeping with the highest traditions of the service. It is impossible to single out any individual acts of heroism, other than those already mentioned. The officers and men worked as the team they must have in order to efficiently fight the ship. A copy of the report on personnel casualties submitted to the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery is appended as enclosure (d). It will be noted that 14 men were killed and 19 injured in this action; 13 of those injured necessitating transfer for hospitalization. This is a serious reduction in on board personnel, particularly since the complement of this class ship is the barest minimum for fighting the ship efficiently. The loss has already been felt in the 7 days subsequent to the suicide attack.

N. J. Sampson

A sincere Thank You to Ron Babuka who supplied us with this report