The Coast Guard at War
PREPARED IN THE
PUBLIC INFORMATION DIVISION
U.S. COAST GUARD HEADQUARTERS
JULY 1, 1947
THE COAST GUARD AT WAR
This edition is designed for service distribution and recipients are requested to forward corrections criticisms, and comments to Commandant, Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington, D. C., Attention Historical Section, Public Information Division.
Table of Contents
Sixteen Coast Guard Vessels Lost Twenty eight Coast Guard and Navy vessels (Coast Guard manned) were lost 1 CGC Alexander Hamilton The sinking of the CGC Alexander Hamilton 1 Perfect Discipline 1 Icelandic Hospitality 1 Many burned by live steam 1 Hamilton one of newest cutters 3 CGC Acacia (Tender Class) CGC Acacia (Tender Class) is sunk: 3 A shot rings out 3 Enemy uses machine guns 3 Enemy sub approaches as cutter begins to settle 3 Sub departs 3 Navy planes and destroyer to the rescue 3 Acacia 23 years old 5 CGC Natsek CGC Natsek disappears without trace 5 Bluebird parts company 5 Nanok makes last contact with Natsek 5 Cause of disappearance of Natsek unexplained 5 Natsek only a year old 6 CG-85006 CG-85006 (ex-Catamount) explodes and sinks 6 Cause of explosion unknown 6 CG-85006 apparently in good condition 6 Boat built originally for inland waters 6 CG-58012 CG-58012 burns and sinks after explosion 6 Boat in good condition 8 CGC Escanaba Escanaba blows up and sinks 8 Testimony of survivor 8 Escanaba escorting convoy when sunk 8 Description of the CGC Escanaba 8 CG-83421 SC-1330 collides with CG-83421 in convoy 8 Convoy vessel changes course 8 CGC EM Wilcox CGC EM Wilcox founders off Nags Head, NC 10 "We have got to get back to port" 10 Sends SOS 10 Starts a Bucket Brigade 10 "Man overboard" 10 A cruel decision 10 "Ship off stern" 10 "Boys, we are not going to give up" 11 To the rafts 11 "She's going down" 11 Rescued 11 CGC EM Dow CGC EM Dow grounded off Mayaguez, Porto Rico 11 Hurricane conditions 11 Seeks shelter 11 Calls for assistance 12 Abandons ship 12 Former menhaden fisherman 12 CGC Bodega CGC Bodega grounded off Cristobal, Panama Canal Zone 12 Preparations to take off crew 12 No line ready on freighter 12 Bodega is grounded 13 Plans to rescue crew of Bodega 13 Final rescue with no lives lost 13 CGC's 83415 and 83477 Two boats of Rescue Flotilla lost in storm 14 CGC's Bedloe and Jackson Two cutters founder off Cape Hatteras 14 Life rafts spotted by planes 14 Crews of each cutter looked to other for rescue 14 Bedloe goes under 14 End of the Jackson 14 "We made it" 16 CG LIGHTSHIP 73 Lightship missing 16 CGC Magnolia CGC Magnolia sinks after collision 16 Imperfect signal 16 Magnolia on starboard side of channel 16 TWELVE NAVY VESSELS--COAST GUARD MANNED--LOST USS Muskeget USS Muskeget disappears without trace 17 Enemy subs in vicinity 17 LST-167 The occupation of Vella la Vella 17 LST-167 burns after being bombed 17 Order to abandon ship 17 LST-203 LST-203 stranded on coral reef 18 Unloads further awaiting high tide 18 USS Leopold (DE-319) USS Leopold torpedoed 18 USS Joyce (DE-317) is sighted 18 Bow breaks away 18 "God Bless You We'll be back" 20 Only 28 out of 199 survive 20 LST-69 LST-69 burns in second Pearl Harbor disaster 20 Screw abandons vessel 20 Rescue work 20 LCI(L)-85 LCI(L)-85 hits mine 20 Men were hit and men were mutilated 22 Ship was hit about 25 times 22 End of one LCI 22 LCI(L)-91 LCI(L)-91 also mined 22 LCI(L)-92 LCI(L)-92 burns after explosion 22 LCI(L)-93 LCI(L)-93 stranded under fire 24 Evacuation orderly 24 USS Serpens (AK-97) USS Serpens (AK-97) explodes 24 Eye witness account 24 USS Sheepscot (AOG-24) USS Sheepscot goes aground off Iwo Jima 24 Steps to avert disaster 24 Attempts to pass line fail 25 Line fowls the Sheepscot's screw 25 A line is passed 25 Safeguard's efforts come too Late 25 Sheepscot grounded--no lives lost 25 USS PC-590 USS PC-590 founders in Okinawa typhoon 25 Warning received 27 Typhoon strikes 27 Anchor chain parts 27 Underway--Plan of procedure 27 Asks for tug 27 Situation becomes worse 27 Aground 28 Afloat and again aground 28 Help at last 28 All hands saved 26 APPENDIX A 30 APPENDIX B 30 APPENDIX C 30 APPENDIX D 30 APPENDIX E 31 APPENDIX F 31 APPENDIX G 32 APPENDIX H 33 APPENDIX J 34
Sixteen Coast Guard Vessels Lost
TWENTY EIGHT COAST GUARD" AND NAVY VESSELS COAST GUARD MANNED) WERE LOST
During World War II the Coast Guard lost eleven of its own name vessels of 65 feet or over in length, five 65 to 100 feet in length, and twelve Navy vessels which were wholly Coast Guard manned at the time. Other Navy vessels which were sunk had some Coast Guardsmen among their crews. The story of the loss of three Coast Guard cutters has already been told.1 Brief summaries of the loss of these cutters,--the CGC's Alexander Hamilton, Acacia, and Escanaba--are given here. Most of the 572 Coast Guardsmen listed as killed in action were the members of the crews of these 28 vessels. Coast Guard losses of 72 officers and 966 enlisted men overseas represented respectively .005 per cent of the active peak officer strength and, .006 per cent of the active peak enlisted strength. These compare with similar Marine Corps figures of .055 and .044, and .018 and .014 for the Navy. Coast Guard losses of 95 officers and 784 enlisted men in the U.S. area represent .007 and .004 of officer and enlisted active peak strengths, respectively, as compared with .026 and for the Marine Corps and .010 and .003 for the Navy in the U.S. area.
CGC Alexander Hamilton
THE SINKING OF THE CGC ALEXANDER HAMILTON
Shortly after she had cast off from a disabled Navy supply ship which she had been towing off the coast of Iceland at about 1312 on January 29, 1942, the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Alexander Hamilton was jolted by an explosion on her starboard side. All hands immediately took their battle stations. Two shots were fired from one of her guns to attract attention and flares were sent up. Listing badly to starboard, the cutter settled but remained afloat. She remained afloat for many hours. However, as she was being towed into Reykjavik, Iceland, the wrecked cutter suddenly capsized. A few gun shots from other ships sent her to the bottom. Although no one saw a submarine, the officers were sure she had been struck by a torpedo, for had it been a mine, the blast would have occurred outside, not inside the ship. The shattering blast took place inside the engine room and caused live steam from broken pipes to spurt up through the midsection of the vessel. It has been officially reported that twenty six men lost their lives in the disaster. Twenty were killed in action--one chief warrant officer and 19 enlisted men. Six died of wounds.2
Although most of the crew of some 200 enlisted men were new men, making their first sea voyage, no confusion followed the terrific blast amidships. There was perfect discipline at all times. One of the first things the men did was to set the machinery of the cutter's supply of depth bombs on "safe" so that they would not explode if the ship sank, thus imperiling men in lifeboats in the vicinity. There were no survivors among the seven members of the watch in the fireroom, engine room and auxiliary engine room. The blast destroyed or carried away three of the Hamilton's seven lifeboats. This did not leave enough boats for the entire crew, so the uninjured remained on the ship, some of them as long as an hour, so that the injured could be removed in the remaining boats. One hundred and one men were taken off by the destroyer USS Gwin which pulled alongside the crippled cutter, being one of two destroyers only a few miles away. Another group was in a lifeboat only half an hour before they were picked up by an Icelandic fishing trawler. Just after leaving the cutter they had picked up seventeen men, two of them badly injured. These men had been catapulted into the sea when their lifeboat capsized. The sea was intensely cold. The waves were mountainous.
On finally reaching shore, these forty men were taken to a native Icelander's home where they were given dry clothing, food and first aid treatment. Their host was the wealthiest citizen of the small fishing village. Other groups of survivors taken to homes of native fishermen received similar excellent treatment. A group in one lifeboat, unable to transfer seven badly injured men into a trawler, were towed ashore by the trawler. Eighty four men were taken to the hospital immediately. All but the more severely injured were released in a day or two.
MANY BURNED BY LIVE STEAM
When the explosion occurred, five men were trapped in a closed and darkened companionway. All were badly burned by live steam. Although portions of his hands and arms were burned, one of them, Seaman Howard Wolf, struggled with the compartment's steel door and finally managed to free his companions and himself. Some of his companions were injured more than he. When the floor of a room over the engine room was blown out, a few men were hurled into the wrecked and steam-filled engine room below, where boiling water slopped about as if in some satanic cauldron. Another man fell fifteen feet through a warped grating into this steaming cauldron and crawled up a stanchion to reach a lifeboat. The steam was so terrific that when he crawled out, his normally straight hair was reported to be curled. Army base hospital attendants in Iceland were surprised to find among the survivors one man with a broken leg already in a cast. He had been a patient in the "sick bay" after an accident aboard the Hamilton. When the explosion occurred he was knocked from his hammock to the floor and momentarily
Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton after being torpedoed
Coast Guard Cutter (Tender class) Acacia
stunned. The next thing he remembered was being picked up and put on a stretcher and carried out to a lifeboat.
HAMILTON ONE OF NEWEST CUTTERS
The Alexander Hamilton was one of the Coast Guard's newest and finest cutters. Built at the New York Navy Yard, at a cost of $2,500,000, she was commissioned on March 4, 1937. She was 327' long, 41' beam and had a draft of 12' 6 1/2". Her displacement was 2,216 tons. With a steel hull, she was fitted with a geared steam turbine, with twin screws. She was capable of a maximum speed of twenty knots and an economical speed of 12.5 knots, Her cruising radius at maximum speed was 4700 miles, and at economical speed 9000 miles. She was an oil burner with a fuel capacity of 135,940 gallons. Her normal peacetime complement was twelve commissioned officers, four warrant officers and 107 enlisted men. Her wartime complement was sixteen commissioned officers, five warrant officers and 200 enlisted men.
CGC ACACIA (TENDER CLASS)CGC ACACIA (TENDER CLASS) IS SUNK
The Coast Guard cutter Acacia, (Tender Class), en route from Curacao, Netherlands West Indies to Antigua, British West Indies, was sunk March 15, 1942, by a submarine of unknown nationality. The crew of about thirty to thirty-five officers and men were all rescued by a Navy destroyer and arrived at San Juan, Puerto Rico, the following day. The cutter was on temporary duty at Williamstad, Curacao, Netherlands West Indies, when a dispatch was received March 12, 1942, from the Commandant of the Tenth Naval District, with orders to proceed, when in all respects ready for sea, to Antigua, British West Indies, and complete some unfinished work there. Preparations were made to leave on the following day. Fuel, water, and provisions were ordered and taken on at once, routing instructions were obtained from the British Naval Office, and permission was granted to sail the next morning, March 13th at 0530.
A SHOT RINGS OUT
The weather was clear on both the 13th and 14th, with a moderate easterly wind and sea. The entire day of the 14th was uneventful. At daybreak on March 15th, at about 0535, a shot suddenly rang out from a point about three points off the starboard bow of the Acacia. Since no signals had been passed, nor anything sighted previous to this, it was assumed that the shot came from an enemy submarine. Engines were stopped at once, a general alarm sounded and boats lowered to the rail to await further orders. An SSSS message was sent after the first shot had been fired. The commanding officer had prepared the positions of the Acacia for every two hours on the previous evening, and was carrying them in his pocket as an emergency measure.
ENEMY USES MACHINE GUNS
The first shot did not hit the cutter. The enemy, however, kept up a slow fire after about a minute or two from the first shot, until the Acacia started to send the SSSS message, stating her position. Then the submarine commenced using machine guns. It was thought that the enemy used two of the same type but with two different colors of tracer bullets, namely red and green. Two guns of heavier caliber were also used at intervals, probably 3" and 4" guns. At 0540 all hands were ordered to abandon ship. This was five minutes after the first shot and by this time a great many shots were finding their mark and had already started fires in the upper deckhouse, which was of wood construction. Several of the crew were hit by many fragments of shells flying around the cutter's lifeboat. Four men were hurt badly enough to draw blood, but only one man required medical attention. He was struck on the right cheek by a fragment of shell and cut so deeply that the cheek bled profusely and swelled. He was given first aid in the lifeboat and later one stitch was taken by the doctor on the destroyer which picked up the crew.
ENEMY SUB APPROACHES AS CUTTER BEGINS TO SETTLE
At 0600, the sumarine, now in plain sight, approached the burning cutter, now a blaze from stem to stern, an inferno of smoke and fire. Some of the shots had broken gas pipes in two gas buoys which were on the forward deck, and at least one gasoline drum had been punctured. The submarine passed the ship's stern at a distance of about two hundred yards and made a half circle of the ship, keeping at about the same distance, apparently trying to read the cutter's name on the stern and determine her type. The submarine then opened fire once more with what appeared to be a 3" gun, and fired fifteen or twenty more rapid shots into the Acacia's side. Immediately after this last burst of shell fire the cutter started to settle rapidly and took on a starboard list; then the stern settled and at 0625 she went down stern first.
The submarine was still on the surface about one mile away, heading East as the Acacia went down. Then the submarine slowly submerged, still heading East, and was not sighted again. The only object visible after the cutter sank was one of the gas buoys which had floated clear. All three lifeboats headed for this buoy and moored there awaiting rescue, which the crew knew would arrive sooner or later because their SSSS message had been acknowledged by at least five or six ships almost immediately.
NAVY PLANES AND DESTROYER TO THE RESCUE
A few hours later a U.S. Navy PBY plane was sighted. It was soon followed by another. Both planes flew low over the lifeboats and signalled that assistance was coming. It was then 0810. The planes remained at the scene of the disaster continuously until the stranded crew were picked up by the destroyer USS Overton at about 1430. The destroyer did not have room for all three lifeboats, so the two motor lifeboats were taken on board, and the launch and gas buoy were sunk by shell fire from the Overton. The destroyer arrived at San Juan, Puerto Rico at 0700 on March 17, 1942. While no lives had been lost, all personal effects of the officers and men of the Acacia were sunk with her.
Coast Guard Cutter Natsek
Its bulkhead, ladders and railings sheathed in ice a Coast Guard combat cutter comes out of a winter gale somewhere off the Greenland coast
ACACIA 23 YEARS OLD
The CGC Acacia (Tender Class) had been built in 1919 by the Fabricated Ship Corporation, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at an original cost of $540,000. She was a steamer, twin screw, with steel hull and was 172' long with a 32' beam. She drew 11' 6" when loaded and had an indicated horsepower of 1,040. She was an oil burner with a displacement of 1,130 tons and had a speed of 10 knots. Her permanent station was San Juan, Puerto Puerto Rico. She had a regular complement of 7 officers and 24 men.
CGC NATSEK DISAPPEARS WITHOUT TRACE
Sometime during the 17th of December, 1942, the CGC Natsek, a 225 ton converted fishing vessel, disappeared without trace in Belle Isle Strait, Newfoundland. The Natsek was proceeding from Narsarssuak, Greenland to Boston, via Belle Isle Strait in company with the USS Bluebird and the CGC Nanok. In command of the Bluebird was Lt. Comdr. James F. Baldwin, USNR, senior officer of the three ships. He had conferred on the 13th of December with the commanding officer of the Natsek, Lt. (jg) Thomas La Farge, USCGR, and the commanding officer of the Nanok, Lt. Magnus G. Magnusson, to arrange that the ships proceed to Boston in column, the Bluebird leading.
BLUEBIRD PARTS COMPANY
The Bluebird and Natsek got underway about 0800, and the Nanok delayed about half an hour to receive mail and passengers. The Bluebird, while proceeding down SkovFjord closed the North Star, proceeding up, to receive mail and also a trawler to receive a passenger. During this time the Nanok joined the Natsek and, receiving no signal from the Bluebird, the Nanok and Natsek proceeded to sea. When the Bluebird was again ready to proceed, the Nanok and Natsek were some 3 or 4 miles ahead. The Bluebird tried to communicate with them by searchlight but failed. The Nanok and Natsek maintaining greater speed than the Bluebird could attain, eventually parted company with her. On 17 December, 1942, the two vessels sighted Belle Isle Strait about 0100.
NANOK MAKES LAST CONTACT WITH NATSEK
About 0215 on the 17th of December, snow began to fall and Belle Isle Light became obscured. The commanding officers of the two vessels conferred by hailing back and forth and decided to proceed during darkness through Belle Isle Strait as long as their positions were known. The Natsek was to lead and keep the Nanok informed of the water's depth, as the fathometer on the Nanok was inoperative. Because of the heavy snowfall, the two vessels soon lost visual contact with each other. The last contact the Nanok had with the Natsek was a little later that morning when the Nanok sounded two blasts on her fog horn, which was answered by a flash of white light from the Natsek. About 0245 the Nanok stopped and lay to about four hours. After determining her position, the Nanok proceeded through Belle Isle Strait. When she came abeam of Point Amour Light the weather cleared, the wind hauled to the West, and within an hour reached gale force. The spray, whipped up by the high wind, froze, forming ice on the ship. By nightfall on the 17th the Nanok was West of Rich Point, with heavy icing conditions prevailing until the 22nd when she passed south of Cape Sable. For three days following 17th December the Nanok's crew worked long hours to break ice from the ship's structure so as to prevent a dangerous accumulation. Meanwhile the Bluebird, failing to overtake the other two vessels, proceeded, navigating to the east of Newfoundland and on to Boston arriving there on the 26th.
CAUSE OF DISAPPEARANCE OF NATSEK UNEXPLAINED
The deckhouse structure of the Natsek and Nanok were similar, being secured to fore and aft beams by through bolts bearing against washers of such small area that, under heavy strain, the wood in the way of the washers failed, permitting loosening of the deckhouse structure enough to destroy watertight integrity. Both vessels had radio transmitters and receivers, and 500 and 2670 kilocycles were to be guarded according to communications plan. Voice radio equipment was also available but was to be energized only on whistle signal from one or the other vessel. Channel "B" was to be used for voice communication. Vessels like the Natsek had safely encountered icing conditions similar to those of 17th December, 1942, while fishing. On the 26th of December an inquiry from the representative of the Commander, Greenland Patrol in Boston was retransmitted to "COAC" and "NOIC" Sydney, Nova Scotia. On 29th December, a description of the Natsek, her destination, etc., was given to "COAC", "FONF", and "AIRJOHN." Inquiries were made throughout Newfoundland and Nova Scotia by "ADC" and shipping and naval authorities were requested to investigate. On 30th December "AIRJOHN" was requested to make an air search of southern and eastern coasts of Newfoundland. The U.S. Army was requested to search the western and southern coasts from Belle Isle. "AOC" and "EAC" were requested to search the Nova Scotian coast. The Argentia Air Detachment was ordered to search the Southern coast of Newfoundland, while the CGC Algonquin was directed to search the vicinity of Belle Isle Strait. The only result of these searches was a report from "ADC" that a vessel answering the description of the Natsek was seen crossing west of Belle Isle on a southerly course about 1400 (local time) on 17th December, and appeared to be heading toward Quirpon or Cape Bald. The most probable cause of foundering was structural damage due to the bolts holding the superstructure working through the wood or loss of stability from ice accumulation. The Natsek was seaworthy and her commanding officer, Lt. (jg) LaFarge was an experienced seaman, well qualified to command. Less probable causes might have been
(a) stranding on outlying rocks of the Newfoundland coast in an attempt to gain a harbor of refuge or
(b) engine failure.
It is possible that the work of freeing the ship from ice was not started in time or pursued with enough vigor. The entire crew of 23 men and one commissioned officer are considered to have met death in line of duty on or after 17 December, 1942, as a result of drowning.3
NATSEK ONLY A YEAR OLD
The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Natsek was built by the Snow Shipbuilding Corporation of Rockland, Maine, in 1941 and was placed in commission in June, 1942. The cutter, which bore the Eskimo name for Fjord Seal, was 116.9 feet in length, with a beam of 23.16 feet and a draft of 11.8 feet. Her gross tonnage was 225 tons and her net tonnage was 134.
CG-85006 Ex-CATAMOUNT EXPLODES AND SINKS
The CG-65006 (Ex-Catamount), while on regular patrol duty off Ambrose Light, was destroyed by explosion on 27 March, 1943. The cause of the explosion was never ascertained. The vessel had been assigned to Ditch Plain Lifeboat Station, Montauk, N.Y., on November 5, 1942, for rescue and observation duty. Later it was assigned to Coastal Picket patrol duty. Of a total of ten crew members four were drowned. Five others were reported missing. Only the commanding officer, Garfield L. Beal, CBM, USCG, escaped.--He was picked up six hours later by the SS Charles Brantley Aycock. The body of Robert W. Angus, S1/c, USCGR, was also recovered by the Aycock, while the bodies of William Morris, CMM, USCG; James P. Meehan, BM2/c, USCGR; and John P. Parzych, S1/c, USCGR, were recovered from the water on March 28, 1942, by the USS SC-662.4
CAUSE OF EXPLOSION UNKNOWN
On March 26, 1943, the CG-85006 put out from Manasquan Lifeboat Station, N.J. at 1120 for patrol duty off the Atlantic coast. While proceeding to its assigned patrol area the boat developed motor trouble which was reported by Morris to have resulted from clogged feed lines from two of the fuel tanks. This trouble was remedied either by cleaning the clogged lines or connecting other tanks to the engine and the boat then proceeded to its patrol area and began its patrol. Shortly after 0001 on 27 March, 1943, Beal, who had been on watch, turned the watch over to Meehan, Parzych and Warlich and laying down on a bench in the wheel house, fell asleep. He was awakened shortly after 0400 by what he thought were gasoline fumes. He got off the bench and had opened the door of the wheel house when the explosion occurred. The cause of the explosion is unknown. Beal immediately stepped out and fell down into what he thought was the bilge. From here he made his way to the stern. The four depth charges carried at the stern of the vessel were at that time intact, being set on "safe." The vessel sank rapidly and the water was strewn with small pieces of wreckage and burning gasoline. Beal, Angus, Parzych, Quigley and Warlich found a large piece of wreckage to which they clung. Beal heard Meehan call out and then Meehan disappeared. Beal was rescued by the Aycock at 1010 that morning, the only known survivor.
CG-85006 APPARENTLY IN GOOD CONDITION
The CG-85006 had undergone extensive repairs to its motors at St. George Depot, Staten Island, about a month previously. These repairs had been made by the crew and had been completed satisfactorily. The boat had under gone other extensive repairs at Marine Basin, Brooklyn, N.Y., which had also been entirely satisfactory. When she left Manasquan to go on patrol the vessel was in good condition, except for sediment which was present in the gas tanks located amidships, behind the engine room. Just prior to 2400 on 26 March, 1943, the radio set broke down and it was impossible to send or receive messages.
BOAT BUILT ORIGINALLY FOR INLAND WATERS
The CG-85006 (ex-Catamount) was built by the Luders Marine Construction Company of Stamford, Conn., and was accepted by the Coast Guard on October 15, 1942. The boat transfer report signed by Joseph F. Cieslak CBM, USCG, (3rd Naval District) on that date, bears a notation "the boat was built originally for inland water only." She was 85 feet long, 15 foot beam and drew 7 feet 6 inches of water. The construction was wood. She was twin screw with gasoline engine of 500 H.P. The cost is not known. The survey report, however, indicates that the appraised price in 1939 was $90,000.
CG-58012 BURNS AND SINKS AFTER EXPLOSION
On 2 May, 1943, the CG-58012 got underway from Sandwich, Mass., (Cape Cod Canal) about 0545 and proceeded on patrol duty under orders from the Captain of the Port. Only four crew members were aboard out of a normal complement of eight. These included Alvin D. Robinson, CBM, USCGR; one seaman, 2nd class, who was at the wheel in the pilot house; one seaman, 1st class, who was in the galley washing dishes and one seaman, 1st class, who was in the pilot house, having just been relieved as steersman. Robinson was also in the pilot house. The boat had been underway about an hour and a half and was near the Mary Ann Rocks Whistle Buoy off Manomet Point when an explosion took place in the engine room. The explosion blew the pilot house to pieces and immediately afterwards the engine room was in flames, Robinson pulled the controls that set in motion the fire extinguishing system and grabbed an extinguisher. Neither seemed to have any effect on the flames and the crew began bailing water with buckets in an attempt to keep the flames from the gasoline. Robinson then shot off six or eight flares. When the explosion occurred Earl Temple, seaman 2/c, who was at the wheel, was blown through the roof of the pilot house and landed on his back in the water about 300 yards away. Hanging to a window frame he floated around for about half an hour when a fishing boat, attracted by the flares, came alongside and picked him up. It then picked up Robinson and the other two crew members and took them ashore. Soon after the explosion, ammunition started going off and the crew could do nothing to stop it as the flames prevented them from going below to throw it overboard. After the crew had left, a picket boat attempted to put out the fire with a hose and either flood it or sink it to prevent further explosions. The boat finally sunk a total loss.
The only two survivors of the United States Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba
The United States Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba
BOAT IN GOOD CONDITION
The boat was said to have been in good condition with no minor or major repairs necessary. There had never been any previous reports of gas fumes while running. Both machinists mates, assigned to the engine room, were at liberty at the time of the explosion. Robinson, who claimed experience with gasoline engines, was taking care of the engine, though he was not in the engine room at the time. The engine was 175 H.P. and was located a little aft of amidship, directly beneath the pilot house. The boat was 58 feet long with a 15 foot beam. The bilges had been cleaned out about ten days previously when the boat was in drydock.
ESCANABA BLOWS UP AND SINKS
On the 13th of June, 1943, at 0510, the Coast Guard cutter Escanaba blew up and sank within three minutes in the North Atlantic. The entire crew of 103 of the vessel was lost with the exception of two men. These were Malvin Baldwin, BM 2/c, USCG and Raymond F. O'Malley; S1/c, USCG. The cutter was under the command of Lt. Comdr. Carl Uno Peterson of Newtonville, Mass. Observers aboard the CGC Storis, the vessel nearest the Escanaba at the time, saw a cloud smoke and flame billowed upwards into the air and the cutter sank, leaving only small bits of wreckage afloat. The ship sank so quickly that it had no time to send but signals. The CGC Raritan picked up the two enlisted men who said they had no idea what caused the explosion. The most probable explanation is that the disaster was caused by a mine, torpedo, or internal explosion of magazine or depth charges, but the evidence is not sufficiently conclusive to attach a cause directly or even remotely to any of these.
TESTIMONY OF SURVIVOR
Raymond O'Malley, S1/c, one of the survivors, who was helmsman at the time stated that a noise which sounded like three or four bursts of 20 MM machine gun fire was clearly heard in the pilot house immediately preceding the explosion. He further stated that such firing on the Escanaba was virtually impossible and that no other ship was sufficiently close at the time to have done such firing. One remote but possible explanation would be the hydrophone effect of a torpedo heard through the loud speaker, which was connected and clearly audible in the pilot house.
ESCANABA ESCORTING CONVOY WHEN SUNK
At the time of the sinking the Escanaba was part of Task Unit 24.8.2 which was escorting convoy GS-24 from Narsarssuak, Greenland to St. John's, Newfoundland. The convoy had departed Greenland on the 10th. of June and was made up of the CGC Mojave (Flag), the CGC Tampa and the CGC Escanaba, escorting the USAT Fairfax and the USS Raritan. On the 12th the CGC Storis and CGC Algonquin joined as escorts. Before their departure the Storis and Algonquin had been ordered to conduct a search for a submarine reported by the Army to be in Brede Fjord. Other vessels anchored in the fjord had been ordered to prepare for action and had listened on their hydrophones for any indication of the presence of a submarine but without results. The convoy accordingly, at 2200 on the 10th of June, 1943 had gotten underway. On the 12th many bergs and growlers were encountered and dense fog at times made navigation difficult and dangerous. The convoy proceeded to the northwest in order to pass around the ice. Early in the morning of the 13th they had passed to the west and south around the ice field and had reached position 60°50'N, 52°00'W, when at 0510 dense black and yellow smoke was reported rising from the Escanaba. She sank at 051. The Storis and Raritan were ordered to investigate and rescue survivors and the convoy began zigzagging and steering evasive courses to avoid any submarine which may have been in the vicinity. At 0715 the Storis reported returning with the Raritan to the convoy, having rescued 2 survivors and found the body of Lt. Robert H. Prause, which was on the Raritan. No explosion had been heard by the other escort vessels and no signals had been either seen or heard. Although the Storis and Raritan were at the position of the sinking within ten minutes after disappearance of the Escanaba, only these two survivors could be found.
DESCRIPTION OF THE CGC ESCANABA
The CGC Escanaba was one of six cutters of her class and was built at the Defoe Works, Bay City, Mich., in 1932. Her hull was steel, strengthened for ice-breaking, and before entering upon convoy duty in the North Atlantic, she was used on the Great Lakes with Grand Haven, Mich., as her permanent station. She carried two 3 inch 50 caliber guns and two six pounders. She was powered with turbine machinery with double reduction gear and burned oil as a fuel. She was 165 feet in length 36foot beam, with a maximum draft of 13'7". She had a displacement of 1005 tons and a gross tonnage C.H. of 718. She had a speed of 13 knots and her engines developed 1500 H.P.5
SC-1330 COLLIDES WITH CG-83421 IN CONVOY
The USS SC-1330 collided with the CG-83421, an 83 foot Coast Guard cutter, at 2336, June 29, 1943, in a position approximately seven miles north of Great Isaac Light at 26°14'N, 79°05'W, while both vessels were part of the escort of the SS Jean Brilliant en route from Miami, Florida to Nassau, B.W.I. As a result of the collision the stern of the CG-83421 had two water-tight compartments at the stern carried away, but remained afloat due to the remaining watertight compartments, though its watertight integrity was impaired. The crew was accordingly taken off and the vessel taken in tow by the SC-1330. After being in tow for about two hours, the CG-83421 sank in deep water and the tow line was cut. There was no loss of life nor serious injury to personnel. The commanding officer of the CG-83421, Ensign Lawrence E. Gallagher, USCGR, was exonerated of the charge of neglect of duty.
CONVOYED VESSEL CHANGES COURSE
Twenty two minutes before the collision the SS Jean Brilliant
Crew members of the Coast Guard patrol vessel Wilcox
These crew members of the United States Coast Guard patrol craft Wilcox spent 17 hours clinging to rafts in pitching seas after their vessel foundered during a storm off the East Coast. Only one Coast Guardsman was lost.
had changed her course from 078° to 120° T before passing through the point designated for turning on the routing instructions previously handed to all five escorts. All vessels were darked out. Twelve minutes later the SC-1330 changed course to 101° T. Sometime between 22 and 4 minutes before the collision the CG-83421 had changed course to 100° T. Four minutes before the collision she changed to 000° T. When sighted, the SC-1330 was only 35 yards distant. The CG-83421 swung left and the SC-1330 stopped engines and backed but did not avoid striking the port quarter of the CG-83421 about 3 feet abaft of the after engine room hatch.
CGC EM Wilcox
CGC EM WILCOX FOUNDERS OFF NAGS HEAD. N.C.
The following first hand account of the foundering of the 247 ton CGC EM Wilcox was given by the commanding officer, Lieut (jg) Elliot P. Smyzer, USCGR. The Wilcox foundered off Nags Head, N. C, on September 30, 1943: "Ky ship had formerly been a menhaden fishing vessel, and had been converted into a Coast Guard patrol craft. We departed Baltimore on September 29, 1943 and going down the bay had to stop and make some repairs to the engine. We headed out with a following sea and increasing winds. With the following seas I though we would be all right but as the sea and wind increased in velocity I found that we were rolling very badly, sometimes as much as 30 degrees. As darkness approached we continued along the same course. We were forced to stop two or three times with engine trouble again and on stopping I tried to calculate where we were. Toward morning the engine room reported that we would have to stop because something had gone wrong with the main bilge pump. While we were stopped we rolled almost as much as 75 degrees and it seemed that we would surely go over, but she righted herself and I knew that if she didn't go over in seas like that, she would stay afloat."
"WE HAVE GOT TO GET TO PORT"
"Sometime between 0430 and 0500 the engineering officer came up and said that he was having serious trouble 'It looks bad,' he said, 'but if I can get my auxiliary bilge pump going, we will be able to hold our own.' He went back to the engine room and soon called up to say that the auxiliary pump would be all right. Then apparently something else went wrong for he called up a short time later and said 'Captain, we have got to get to port; 'something has gone wrong and we are taking in water so fast that I cannot keep ahead of it. Can we put into port somewhere along here?'"
"I knew that there was no port we could reach, but I thought that is we changed our course and headed directly to the beach, the waves would not be so severe when we got in far enough, and we could swing the ship around just keeping enough headway so that we wouldn't be beached. I didn't want to run up on any rocks, and I didn't know precisely what the condition of the beach along there was." (The Wilcox was then east of Nags Head, N.C.) "I called my radioman and told him he were going to send an SOS. As we stood at our chart table writing out the message, the lights went out. Word came from the engine room that our last generator had stopped. We immediately hooked up our portable set. Then the radio operator sat at that set for the next hour, sending out messages asking for help, but apparently they were not picked up by anyone."
STARTS A BUCKET BRIGADE
"My engineer came up to the bridge and said 'Things are in pretty bad shape, Captain; I have started a bucket brigade. I think we are probably good for four-hours.' 'If we are good for four hours we can reach the beach' he said. But a short time later we were forced to slow down again; then we stopped. The main engine had failed again."
"We got going again and steamed along on a course due west. I tried a course of northwest, but the seas were so great along that course that I changed to a due westerly course on my magnetic compass. The engineer came up to report that every wave we were taking on board was just" flooding us out. Shortly after 0800 a cry went up 'Man overboard!'. I guess the man was pretty well up forward when we suddenly dived into a terrific sea that swept over the entire superstructure and washed him over the side. I immediately stopped my engines and threw him a life ring."
A CRUEL DECISION
"It was a cruel decision that faced us. Being stopped, as we were, the seas broke over us with greater force and fury than when we were under power. I had 34 enlisted men and three other officers aboard to think of. If I tried to swing my ship in those seas, she would go over and I would lose everybody. The wind was blowing about sixty miles an hour and seas were about thirty feet high, entirely too much for a ship of this size. I decided to proceed toward the beach." (The man lost overboard was Harry S. Dennis, S1/c).
"SHIP OFF STERN"
"The engineer said he could give me 350 revolutions again, which was our normal speed, but this didn't last long for at 0830 our main engine stopped again. We were not able to get it going again but we kept the ship heading in a general westerly direction, with a southwest wind blowing us in a northeasterly direction. I decided against abandoning ship because I knew no one could live on a raft in such seas. "The engine room was taking all the water. It was apparently coming in from the lazarette. I ordered the bucket brigade to keep going as long as humanly possible. Later the seams along the side of the engine room began to let in water as the beating of the seas washed out the caulking. Suddenly someone shouted out 'ship off stern!' It looked as though he were headed directly for us. My first thought was that he had received our S.O.S. As he approached, however, he changed course and went over a ways to our port and then changed course again to run parallel to our position. I had a distress signal hoisted. We fired off rockets. We fired our 20 MM gun whose shells contained quite a few tracers. We were not
able to use our big blinker because our power was done, but we had a portable blinker that we got up to topside and my quartermaster signalled him and got a reply. We explained our precarious position and asked for help. He lay to for a few minutes but we couldn't get a definite signal out of him. In other words we were not sure he understood us. Then he very shortly proceeded on his course and was soon lost over the horizon!"
"BOYS, WE ARE NOT GOING TO GIVE UP HOPE!"
"The morale of my crew dropped to nothing. I heard remarks such as 'What's the use, we are licked!' I called everybody up to topside; I crowded as many into my room as I could and the rest stood out on deck. I said, 'Boys, we are not going to give up hope. You are all cold and wet the same as I am, but you must have faith. We are going to pull through this. You are going to do exactly as I tell you. It will be tough, but we are going to fight this out until the seas go down so that I feel it will be safe to ride the rafts. Not one man goes over the side on a raft until I give the word.'"
TO THE RAFTS
"We split the bucket brigade into two watches. As soon as one watch was relieved they turned in for half an hour then up and back to work immediately. The boys did just exactly as ordered. They were sick from the rough seas and lack of proper food. Our galley fire had been out since the day before and we could not make coffee. We could not get fresh water to drink because we had no power to pump it. At 2220 the seas were breaking over the stern and the water was gaining on us. I could feel that we were rapidly developing a terrific port list. I cleared everybody out of the engine room and ordered them to stand by their rafts. Every man had been in a life preserver all day long. When everybody on the port side were at their rafts I gave the word to lower away, get on their rafts and get away from the ship as quickly as they could. This was about 2230. When the port rafts had cleared the ship I went over to the starboard rafts. When everyone was on his raft I gave the word for them to lower away. They had just begun to pull away from the side when I saw my chief engineer still aboard. I thought he had gone on one of the rafts. We climbed to the topside where our dinghy was secured and prepared to lift it out of its cradle and slide it over the port side. I had loosened it that afternoon and placed all my equipment inside but somebody had tied it up again. We were unable to get it loose."
"SHE's GOING DOWN"
"'Get over the side as fast as you can' I told the chief engineer. 'In another minute she's going down.' I got him over the side and I was the last man aboard ship. Then I climbed down myself. I had a terrible time getting away from the ship because the suction was tremendous, but I fought my way around the stern. In the distance I could see a string of life rafts, tied together as per my instructions so they would stay together. I was trying to swim fast enough to catch up with the rafts, when my shoulder brushed against a ladder about 3½ feet long and 2 feet wide that was floating. I climbed up on it and tried to paddle with my hands, but could not make as much headway as I could by swimming, so I got off the ladder and started to swim toward the rafts. I could not make much headway. I had injured my arm that day in a terrific roll and it seemed to have no strength. I swam until exhausted and finally tried just to keep afloat. In a short time I found the ladder back again. I decided it must be there for a purpose and climbed on it. The last time I saw my ship the mast was parallel to the sea."
"I spent 17 hours fighting with that ladder. Sometimes it would float along for what seemed quite a spell, then I'd lose my balance and roll into the sea again. My men spent the same time on their rafts only they had fresh water and sea rations. Sometime the following afternoon I heard rockets and could hear someone talking loudly. Then I heard a motor. Looking around I saw a blimp, and in the distance when the sea would wash me up high enough I could see the outline of some ships. I don't know how many there were, but I noticed one coming in my general direction. The blimp passed over but I don't believe he saw me. Someone on the ship saw me, however. And they came over and picked me up. All my crew was accounted for except the man who had fallen over the side. Finally I can only say that every officer and man on the ship did everything possible. There was not one single man who shirked his duty. I can thank God that I was able to bring my crew, with the help of the ships that picked us up, to safety once more."
CGC EM DOW
CGC EM DOW GROUNDED OFF MAYAGUEZ, PORTO RICO
On October 14, 1943, the CGC EM Dow, Lt. (jg) Edward W. Doten, USCG, commanding, grounded a quarter of a mile south of Point Jiguero Coastal Lookout Station, near Mayaguez, Porto Rico. She was abandoned and the hull and fittings later sold. No lives were lost. The entire crew were removed by the CGC Marion.
The Dow was on patrol duty at 1600 on October 13, 1943 in the entrance of Mayaguez when she received a radio message to proceed to meet the CGC Marion at 2000 on that day. The Dow immediately got underway and proceeded out to meet her. She expected no difficulty until she reached the southern part of Mona Island when, at 2000, she ran into a squall and had to run south in order to have her headings to the wind. She proceeded on that course for about 2½ hours and then changed course to 285°, in an attempt to meet the Marion west of Mona Island. She stayed on that course for about two hours and then headed in the opposite direction on course 105°. She continued on that course until about 0900 on the 14th of October when we sighted the Marion. She exchanged messages by blinker with the Marion, informing her that she was taking on water gradually, but managing to hold her own as long as the bilge pumps were able to operate.
The Dow requested and received permission from the Marion to shelter in Mayaguez and about 0900 on the 14th proceeded in the direction of that harbor. The Marion was off her
starboard bow, approximately two miles. Then the sea gradually became worse as the barometer fell, and the visibility became so low that the Marion was obscured. The Dow continued on her course until about 1300 when the commanding officer deemed it advisable to change course in the opposite direction to avoid going on the shoals and also to wait a possible break in the storm.
CALLS FOR ASSISTANCE
However, the storm became worse after the Dow came around on the opposite course, and, after about two hours, she contacted the Marion and stated that she needed assistance. She also advised the Marion in which direction she was going. She received a message in reply from the Marion stating she should come around at that time. All hands were ordered into lifejackets and the Dow came full right until the sea was on her starboard bow. She could, however, make little progress in her attempts to get her bow heading into the sea and in the direction of Mayaguez harbor. However, after about an hour, the barometer gradually fell and there was a possible chance that the Dow could withstand the sea and storm. Shortly afterwards she contacted the Marion and told her to come to her assistance, as she could not head back into the harbor. Five minutes later all her radio equipment was awash and she could no longer receive or send messages. She continued in her attempts to bring her bow into the sea. In the roughness of the sea, the combing around the mast had fallen on the deck. It was about an hour after making contact with the Marion, stating her approximate position, that the cutter was sighted off the Dow's starboard bow. The Dow communicated with the Marion by blinker and in reply to the Marion's question whether or not she wanted to abandon ship, replied "NO."
About thirty minutes later the Dow's engine stopped and she immediately communicated with the Marion asking for assistance and stating that she would have to abandon ship because she was broadside to the sea. The Marion came to her lee side and the Dow secured a line from her port side so that the Marion could attempt towing if desirable. With Marion on her port beam, the Dow lowered two life rafts and secured them together. Then she secured lines from one raft to the Dow and from the other to the Marion. They then proceeded to abandon ship by ferrying the life rafts back and forth, six men at a time. At 2020 all hands were safely aboard the Marion. The officers and crew totaled 37. There was no loss of life and only a few minor injuries.
FORMER MENHADEN FISHERMAN
The EM Dow was a former menhaden fishermen of 241 gross tons. As the seaworthiness and stability of the Dow, and other vessels of its class, had been adversely affected by adding deck houses, guns, and other military equipment, and as the ship's crew had knowledge of this as well as of the recent foundering of the EM Wilcox, the officers and men are believed to have stuck to their posts as long as possible under most adverse conditions. The commanding officer is believed to have used good judgment in his decision to abandon an unseaworthy vessel, thereby probably saving the lives of the members of his crew.
CGC BODEGA GROUNDED OFF CRISTOBAL, PANAMA CANAL ZONE
While attempting to take off the crew of a merchant vessel, aground off Margarita Point, Canal Zone, the 249 ton ex-whaler, CGC Bodega, Lt. Thomas M. Duer, USCG, commanding officer was grounded on December 20, 1943. The SS James Withycombe had grounded off Margarita Island on the previous day and at about 1645 on the 20th, the vessel buckled amidships on the shoal and the master broadcast an SOS that he was aground and needed all small boats to aid in abandoning ship. At 1656 the Harbor Entrance Control Post of Cristobal sent a message to the CGC Bodega, a 103 foot patrol vessel, operating under Commander, Cristobal Section, Inshore Patrol, which was then departing Cristobal for her assigned patrol station, asking her whether she would stand over to a merchantman aground and remove the personnel to safety as they were abandoning ship The commanding officer of the Bodega replied "Proceeding. Will try." The fact that the order was given just before nightfall and that the crew of the Withycombe were abandoning ship indicated the urgency of the matter to the commanding officer of the Bodega. Included in the orders was one of the seventy five footers in Cristobal Harbor who replied that it was too rough for him to go outside the breakwater. The Bodega proceeded over a course that brought her to a point about 600 yards northwest of the grounded freighter, signalling the USS Diver, standing by, and asking the depth of the water in by the grounded freighter. The reply was that there was 28 feet forward and 26 feet aft.
PREPARATIONS TO TAKE OFF CREW
The Bodega was now barely creeping along on a course parallel to the beach. The engines were stopped and started alternately and everybody was ordered into lifejackets. All the batches on the Bodega were dogged down and the depth charges set on safe. "Astern Slow" was given the engine room so as to make sure there was no water in the reverse engine. An officer was stationed on the flying bridge to look out for shallow water and another on the annunciator to the engine room. All lines were brought on deck and boatswain Olson, a man who had been on the water all his life, was placed in charge of the men with the lines on the gun deck. Boatswain King took his station on the bridge with a megaphone to relay all orders from the bridge to the deck.
NO LINE READY ON FREIGHTER
The Bodega had now worked over to a point about due north of the freighter and about 400 yards out from her stern. The Bodega then sent a message to the freighter asking how much water he had around Mm and received the reply "From our last soundings was 24 feet forward and 28 feet aft and good lee." (An examination of the Withycombe's log later showed that these figures had been reversed and that the depth of water was 24 feet aft and 28 feet forward). The Bodega then signalled "Have a line to put aboard us x will come on port quarter." To which message the Withycombe replied "Come around
to ship side x there is plenty of water and good lee. You can lay alongside." The Bodega made her approach just a little east of north of the freighter and came in at dead slow speed. A man was on deck with a lead line going as she made the approach. The Bodega was rolling about 35 degrees on the side and because of the lifting, rolling and yawing of the ship, it was impossible to get an accurate fix by taking bearings with the chart on the east breakwater and Palma Media Island. When the Bodega was about a hundred yards to weather of the freighter, a man on the stern of the freighter yelled at the Bodega through a megaphone that there was plenty of water and a good lee under his quarter. So the Bodega eased ahead dead slow, the engines alternatively stopped, looking for shoals and breaking white water. There was one patch quite obvious off her port about 150 yards SE of the freighter's quarter but the other water back under her quarter was not broken at all. The Bodega came as close to the freighter's stem as she dared, with the sea slightly on the starboard side, the skipper knowing that if he was picked up by the sea and thrown anywhere, he would be thrown away from the freighter. Just as the Bodega was lined up with the freighter dead astern, about 40 or 50 feet off her counter, a rather large sea picked the Bodega up and threatened to carry her into the beach. The sea moved her about 30 or 40 feet. The skipper gave her "Ahead one half. Right full rudder" which brought the Bodega right up under the freighter's quarter. When she arrived at that point the Bodega's bow was ahead, Just astern of the freighter's bridge, and about 40 or 50 feet to the leeward. The Bodega's stern was about 40° to 45°angle from him. When the next sea dropped her, the Bodega barely touched bottom but lt was almost impossible to tell where. When the second trough hit her, her bow lay right under the quarter of the other ship. For the second time the Bodega's skipper gave the engine room "Ahead one half" or "Ahead full," he doesn't remember which, and with the rudder amidship he had the idea of kicking up just for a second and she banged into that trough just as the engine took hold. There was no one on the freighter to pass a line. The whole crew of the freighter was huddled up on the leeward side of the bridge with sea bags and suitcases. Then the engine room of the Bodega reported that the screw was jammed and wouldn't turn forward or astern. The crew of the Withycombe made three attempts to throw heaving lines which fell short owing to the fouling of the lines. The crew of the Bodega attempted to heave a line to the deck of the Withycombe but failed because of the high freeboard of the freighter and the necessity of heaving into the wind. A line was finally shot by Lyle gun from about amidships on the freighter and an eight inch hawser passed to the tow of the Bodega.
BODEGA IS GROUNDED
At this point the Bodega was about 75 feet leeward from the freighter and parallel to him, resting on what felt like a single lump of coral because the bow and stern would swing in as the sea hit her. The Bodega took a slight strain leaving considerable slack in the freighter's line, with the bite just touching the water. Then she surged with the sea and the Bodega did not make a lee with her bow. A couple of big seas came along and lifted the Bodega hard on the reef. The skipper managed to get about so that her bow was headed directly toward the freighter. The Bodega was calling for a heavier line as they still had steam on the windlass but could get no response from the freighter. It was ten minutes after they grounded that they got the first line and they never did get a second line, although when the Bodega first came over the freighter's counter, they could have easily dropped one on her stack. Eventually that line parted and there was a cross-rip coming around from the bow and stern of the grounded freighter which was breaking just inside the Bodega. The seas seemed to increase and finally worked the Bodega in farther. The ship had listed at first on the first reef. Then she was lifted over that reef and for a while was standing up almost straight. Then she finally got lifted up on the shoal, taking a decided list.
PLANS TO RESCUE CREW OF BODEGA
Before it got too dark it was the skipper's idea to establish a line with the shore to get his crew of 33 off. After they had gone over the first shoal, he had the engine room secured, with all valves off and the fireroom secured. Everything was dogged down and orders given that no one was to go below. At that point the Bodega looked like she might turn over, so they tied open the safety valve letting all the steam off the boiler to prevent it from blowing up. The crew were all sent forward. There was about a foot and a half of fuel oil on the floor of the fireroom, apparently from a ruptured tank. They got one of the life rafts on the leeward side launched and the four best swimmers were sent ashore so that a line could be established between the ship and the beach by using the life raft as a sort of floating buoy. The line was fouled on the coral, however, and they lost contact with the raft The seas were breaking very heavily on the ship so they made the other life rafts secure to the leeward rail and the men went into the mess deck to keep out of the seas which were sweeping around the decks in all directions. The Bodega now took on a distinct starboard list of about 22 degrees.
FINAL RESCUE WITH NO LIVES LOST
The night passed eventually and dawn came. All the life rafts but one had disappeared during the night. The men's morale was wonderful. The next morning they gathered all the line they could find on the ship and made it fast to the remaining life raft and boatswain King and six men set out for the beach. They tied a couple of extra life rings and preservers to the float so that they wouldn't get snarled. About that time one of the planes that flew over dropped a six thread line between the Bodega and the beach and this was recovered with a heaving line and made fast to the raft. It looked like a simple operation to run the raft back and forth with a guide on it. There was now much signalling between the Bodega and the beach and the freighter. The latter wanted to use the large life raft, so the Bodega brought it down on a line around their bow and made it fast about 30 feet from their bow. Then everybody was ordered to Jump overboard and throw lanyards around it and when every man was off, the skipper followed them and came on in. The only casualty was the bruised knee of a machinist's mate.
Coast Guard Cutter Bedloe
CGC's 83415 and 83477
TWO BOATS OF RESCUE FLOTILLA LOST IN STORM
On June 21, 1944, a very bad storm hit the coast of France, just two weeks after D-day and two of the 83 foot Coast Guard boats of the Rescue Flotilla were lost. There had been 60 of these boats, 30 assigned to the American and 30 to the British sector of the Normandy beachhead. At the time of the storm six of these craft were operating a cross channel dispatch service, making a total of four crossings a day carrying guard mail, urgent Army dispatches, etc. Originally the Army had used planes for this service but found that the 83 footers got the information across faster than the planes. The boats crossed in 6 hours. While the crossing by plane was much faster, the conditions in France were so chaotic that the delay in getting mail from the landing strip to its destination reduced the value of the plane service. When the storm broke many of the skippers of the 83 footers got underway and got out but some were trapped in near shore and the whole area was so filled up with underwater obstructions, unmarked wrecks, etc., that it was inevitable some of the small craft found it impossible to keep way on and the wind and sea were too much for their light ground tackle. Then to make matters worse, every type of craft from LST's on down dragged anchor and swept like an avalanche onto the beach, taking everything in their path along with them. One of the 83 footers had her whole bottom taken off by some submerged obstacle and sank in thirty feet of water. Another was crushed onto the beach with LST's and everything else, six deep on top of her and was a total wreck. A third had the same experience but her only damage was the loss of a large section of her keel and a hole 5' x 6' in her sides. This third boat was repaired and soon again placed in operation.
CGC's BEDLOE and JACKSON
TWO CUTTERS FOUNDER OFF CAPE HATTERAS
Two Coast Guard cutters the CGC's Bedloe (ex-Antietam) and Jackson, foundered in heavy weather off Cape Hatteras on 14 September, 1944. The cutters had gone to the assistance of a Liberty Ship which had been torpedoed off the North Carolina coast and almost driven ashore in a later hurricane but she had weathered both blows and was towed to Norfolk with no casualties among her 40 man crew and only slight damage to her cargo. The two cutters were each 125 feet in length and of 220 tons each. The commanding officer of the Bedloe was Lt. A. S. Hess, and of the Jackson, Lt. (jg) N. D. Call. The Bedloe had 5 officers and 33 men on board when sunk, of whom 2 officers and 24 men were lost. The Jackson bad 5 officers and 36 men on board and 2 officers and 19 men were lost.6
LIFE RAFTS SPOTTED BY PLANES
Twelve survivors from the Bedloe and nineteen from the Jackson were spotted on life rafts, those from the Bedloe being spotted by a patrol plane and picked up an hour later by a Navy minesweeper. Those from the Jackson were spotted by a Coast Guard plane from Elizabeth City, N.C., and picked up by a 36 foot cutter from the Oregon Inlet Lifeboat Station, 15 miles away. The former had been in the water 51 hours and the latter 58 hours. The Coast Guard planes landed in the swells, a plane next to each liferaft, and crew members dived into the sea and hauled semi-conscious men onto the wings of the tossing planes, where first aid was administered. A Navy blimp dropped emergency rations. Guided by PBM's and another Navy blimp, the Coast Guard cutter made directly for the Jackson's survivors and quickly hauled them aboard. Near the shore the men were transferred aboard a Navy vessel, where they were treated by a physician until Coast Guard PBM's landed and flew them to Norfolk for more hospitalization. An intensive search was instituted for the 48 officers and men reported missing in the twin disaster, including the 23 year old skipper of the Jackson, Lt. (jg) N. D. Call.
CREWS OF EACH CUTTER LOOKED TO OTHER FOR RESCUE
Survivors said 37 officers and men originally clung to the three Jackson rafts, but 17 died during the second night from exposure and exhaustion. Added to the torment of parched throats, crowded rafts and heavy seas during their 58 hour vigil were sharks and "Portuguese men-of-war," multi-tailed marine pests whose stingers continually lashed the bodies of the storm tossed men. Ironically enough, crew members of each vessel pinned their hopes on rescue by the other, unaware of the like doom of each ship. Lt. Hess of the Bedloe explained: "Skippers often think alike. I was trying to work our way out to sea a bit to avoid the heavy swell hitting near the shore and I figured the Jackson was doing likewise and would be somewhere in the vicinity.
BEDLOE GOES UNDER
Struck four times by the towering waves, the Bedloe tossed like a matchstick in the ocean before going down. All 38 officers and crew men safely abandoned ship and at least 30 were able to obtain a hold on the liferafts. However, the strain of fighting the hurricane aboard, plus the ordeal of banging to liferafts for 51 hours, proved too much for most of the men and only 12 were able to bang on until rescued. One man slid under the water only minutes before the rescue craft came into sight.
END OF THE JACKSON
Borne to the top of a huge swell, the Jackson was struck by two swells and rolled over until the mast dipped water. As the swells subsided, the ship righted and was hit by another high sea and turned on her side a second time. Struggling out of that, the vessel was carried high by a third sea. It seemed then, survivors said, that she hung in mid-air for seconds; then the wind seized her, turned her on her side and completely over. She disappeared under a huge wave. Next day two of the survivors had tried to swim ashore which they thought was 10 miles away. After swimming about 3 hours they realized they were making little headway and decided to return. Turning back one of them saw a shark about 30 feet away headed for the other. The shark was more than six feet long but passed him without barm.
Survivors of the Coast Guard Cutter Jackson which capsized in a hurricane off the Virginia coast are transferred from the wing of a Coast Guard rescue plane into the after cockpit of a Coast Guard vessel which rushed them ashore for hospitalization
"WE MADE IT"
William W. McCreedy, boatswain's mate 1/c from the Oregon Inlet Lifeboat Station who assisted in the rescue of the survivors from the Jackson said the first thing he saw was a man doubled up in a small raft, his eyes resembling "a couple of blue dots in a beefsteak." "He flashed a beautiful smile that couldn't be missed" McCreedy continued, "I felt I had looked at something a man sees, once in a lifetime--sort of thought I had come to the edge of heaven. Then, as though his last will to fight had been lost when he saw us, he slumped into the water. The radioman grabbed him and held him in the raft. I went overboard to help and the three of us dragged the raft down. The unconscious man's foot was twisted in the lines, but I cut him free and we put him in the boat. "Just before reaching shore, the man reached up, stroked McCreedy's face and mumbled "We made it." Then he died.
CG LIGHTSHIP NO. 73
The devastating hurricane in which the CGC's Bedloe and Jackson foundered, caused the loss, on the same day, September 14, 1944, of the 123 foot Coast Guard Lightship #73 on the Vineyard Sound Station. The 693 ton vessel was missing from her position off the tip of Cuttyhunk Island in Vineyard Sound, R. I., and all hands, including 12 officers and men on board, were lost.7 Bodies of two of the crew were washed ashore and identified. The skipper of the vessel, which was steam propelled and built in 1901, was boatswain Edgar Sevigny, USCG, of New Bedford, Lass.
CGC MAGNOLIA SINKS AFTER COLLISION
As a result of a collision with the SS Marguerite Lehand about 2329 on 24 August, 1945, in the vicinity of red nun buoy No. 12 in Mobile Ship Channel, the CGC Magnolia sank in 22 feet of water. Later she slid into 42 feet of water and still rests there on even keel. The Magnolia was a tender class cutter, built in 1904 with a length of 173 feet, steel hull, and powered by one 850 H.P. reciprocating engine using twin screws. The Lehand was a C3 type of freighter, built in 1945, owned by the War Shipping Administration, and operated by the Matson Navigation Company of San Francisco. She was powered by a steam turbine 8500 H.P. and is a single screw vessel. Harold G. Harwell (538-439) Fireman 1c, USCG, a member of the crew of the Magnolia, was the only casualty. He was drowned at sea.
The Lehand had stood from Mobile on that evening for New Orleans and was travelling without cargo. S. E. Dorgan, Mobile Bar Pilot and a Lt. Comdr, in the USCGR(T) was at the con and directing all of the ship's movement during the entire time. She arrived at Buoy 16 and 17 in the Mobile Ship Channel without incident and was proceeding seaward at a speed of about 15 knots by engine revolutions. Here the pilot himself took the wheel and for a period of 10 to 15 minutes before the collision was actually at the wheel himself. Nearing buoy 16 the lights of an approaching vessel were noticed slightly on the starboard bow of the Lehand. When the two vessels were about 1½ miles apart, the Lehand blew one blast on the whistle signal signifying a port to port passage. Apparently this signal was not heard by the Magnolia, as the wind was away from her. The masthead light and the red side light of the Magnolia were visible from the Lehand in a position slightly on her starboard bow. No change of course to the right was made by the pilot on the Lehand. At this point the Lehand was slightly to port of the center of the channel, which was 1500 feet wide at this spot. As no answer to the single blast from the Lehand was heard, this situation continued until the vessels were less than half a mile apart, with the Magnolia still bearing slightly on the starboard bow of the Lehand. The vessels were closing at a speed of about 23 knots (15 knots by the Lehand and 8 knots by the Magnolia) and the distance between them became very close, about 300 yards. It was at this point that the pilot of the Lehand blew a two blast signal indicating a starboard passage and put his wheel hard left. This second signal of the Lehand was heard as a one blast signal aboard the Magnolia, due to steam condensate being in the line of the Lehand's whistle. The Magnolia was noticed from the Lehand to have put her wheel hard right and was seen to be swinging rapidly in that direction, at the same time sounding one blast in reply, which was heard aboard the Lehand. The vessels collided on the left side of the Channel. The bow of the Lehand struck the port side of the Magnolia just abaft of midships, the sterns of the two vessels being at an 80°angle at the moment of collision.
MAGNOLIA ON STARBOARD SIDE OF CHANNEL
The Magnolia noticed the lights of an approaching vessel when she was in the vicinity of nun buoy No. 4. She was on the starboard side of the channel proceeding north and steering slightly eastward to its axis, which at this point runs roughly north and south, due to the fact that at this point in the channel, on an ebb tide, there is a slight set to westward. The lights of the approaching Lehand were seen bearing slightly off her port bow. As she took buoy No. 8 close aboard to starboard, and set course for buoy No. 10 the lights of the Lehand were visible 1½ points off her starboard bow. As she reached buoy No. 10 she altered her course slightly to starboard about 5 or 10 degrees in order to stand for flashing red buoy No. 12. Due to alteration of course the lights of the Lehand now bore 5° on her port bow. Here the channel becomes quite wide. The vessels approached each other with the Lehand being almost dead ahead or slightly to port of the head of the Magnolia. At No. 12 buoy the vessels were about a mile apart. Lt. (jg) W. C. Wann, USCG, acting commanding officer of the Magnolia, now heard what sounded to him to be a one blast whistle signal. Other officers and crew on the Magnolia corroborated this. The Magnolia answered this signal with a one blast signal when the ships were not less than mile apart and immediately applied half rudder to port. After the Magnolia has started to swing to the right, right full rudder was ordered. This was held until the collision occurred, with the Magnolia headed approximately east at the moment of impact.
The Magnolia's skipper now ordered his crew to abandon ship and, after searching all compartments personally, abandoned ship in the Magnolia's remaining launch. The crew members of the Magnolia, in her launch, and in two boats put over by the Lehand, were taken from the water and brought aboard the Lehand, where they were mustered by Captain Pederson of the Lehand at the request of the Magnolia's acting commanding officer. One member of the Magnolia's crew was found to be missing. With the assistance of other Coast Guard and Army boats, a very thorough and adequate search was made for his body, but without success. The Magnolia was abandoned as a total loss.
TWELVE NAVY VESSELS--CG MANNED--LOST
USS MUSKEGET DISAPPEARS WITHOUT TRACE
The U.S. Weather Observation Station Ship Muskeget (ex-Cornish) departed Boston on the afternoon of 24 August, 1942 enroute to Weather Station No. 2, 53°E--42°30'W. The first weather report from the vessel originated 28 August, 1942 while enroute to her station. On 31 August, 1942 she took over the station and continued with routine duties of making regular reports on weather conditions. The last report on the weather was received from her 9 September, 1942 when she was awaiting arrival of her relief, the CGC Monomoy. On 11 September, 1942 the Monomoy reported she was unable to effect relief of the Muskeget due to failure to establish communications. Enemy submarines were reported active and a message was transmitted by the Monomoy for action of the Muskeget but the weather patrol vessel again failed to answer her call. Repeated efforts were made by the Monomoy to contact the vessel without success. On 13 September, 1942 the Monomoy arrived at Weather Station No. 2 and cruised on station for 9 days. On 15 September, 1942, upon a report from the Monomoy of inability to communicate with the Muskeget, all aircraft and ships in the vicinity were directed to search for her and report any positive results. This search on 16 September, 1942, proved fruitless.
ENEMY SUBS IN VICINITY
On 1 October, 1942, having been relieved of patrol, the Monomoy departed the weather station en route to Boston. Arriving there on 12 October, 1942, she reported that from 20 to 35 enemy submarines were daily within striking distance of Weather Station No. 2. The area between Halifax N. S., Cape Race, N. F., and Iceland, within which Weather Station No. 2 was located, was a seething and continuous mass movement of convoys and enemy submarines with, as a general rule, two or more convoys daily shadowing the enemy submarines found operating there.
ENTIRE CREW PRESUMED LOST
After a year had elapsed, with no further information concerning the Muskeget or any of her 9 officers and 111 enlisted men,8 the entire personnel on board was declared to be officially dead. The Muskeget, which had operated on the Great Lakes, had been chartered by the Navy and turned over to the Coast Guard, having been commissioned in June, 1942.
THE OCCUPATION OF VELLA LA VELLA
The Coast Guard manned LST-167 was a unit in a convoy which departed Guadalcanal on 24 September, 1943, and was ordered to beach at Ruravai, Vella La Vella, a beach not previously used by LST's. An advance group of seven APD's had arrived off Barakoma on Vella La Vella, with 6 destroyers as escorts. At dawn on 15 August, 1943 and begun an unopposed unloading of troops and equipment. These had departed within an hour and were followed at 0715 by 12 LCI's which had completely unloaded by 0900. As a third group of 3 LST's, which had arrived at 0800, were awaiting their turn to beach, they were attacked, without damage, by 15 to 20 enemy fighters. Four hours later a second attack on these LST's which were still unloading, was broken up by our Combat Air Patrol, with the loss of 10 enemy planes. On the return trip to Guadalcanal, two of the three groups bad been subject to air attacks but without damage. Altogether they had landed 4600 troops, including 700 Navy personnel with 15 days supplies. Four more echelons of from 3 to 4 LST's each, which had made the trip from Guadalcanal to Vella La Vella within the next fifteen days had been attacked by air with only slight damage. The successful occupation of Vella La Vella, at the cost of only 150 of our men killed; had been finally completed on 6 October, 1943.
LST-167 BURNS AFTER BEING BOMBED
The beach at Ruravai to which the LST-167 had been ordered, not having been previously used, was without shore defenses and with a minimum of facilities for beaching and unloading. The LST had beached at 0745 on the 25th of September, and all of the 77th Marine Combat Battalion's equipment had been unleaded by 1115. At 1116 the executive officer reported a possible "bogie" distant about 40 miles. Thirty seconds later a patrol plane reported "lots of bogies and about 20 angels." A few seconds later three dive bombers were picked up, coming in directly out of the sun and diving at the LST. All 20 guns on the LST immediately opened fire but before any of the planes were hit, their bombs had been released. Then the plane burst into flames and another began to smoke heavily. Two bombs struck the LST-167 and a third was a near miss. When the bombs struck, the terrific impact knocked nearly everyone off his feet. One bomb struck the main deck, port side, exploded, penetrated the deck and came out through the skin of the ship. The second struck the main deck forward and exploded in the provision room. This started a fire on the tank deck, in the gasoline and oil which had not yet been unloaded. Flames immediately leapt up through the cargo hatch and after ventilators. The electrical circuits had been damaged and power could not be kept on.
ORDER TO ABANDON SHIP
Dead and wounded littered the main deck. The order was given to secure all engines and abandon ship. Between 1122 and 1135 all
living casualties were removed and given first aid at an emergency casualty station in a native dwelling on the beach. In fighting the fire on the LST the CO2 extinguishers were ineffective due to the draft of air through the tank deck. There was no pressure on the fire main. The 40 MM ammunition on the main deck began exploding about 1140, so fire fighting had to be discontinued and the order given to stay clear of the ship. At 0900 on the 26th, the 167 was still burning and exploding too heavily to permit inspection. At 1530 when the fire had subsided, a portable fire pump was rigged and water played on the fire. 2 officers and 5 enlisted men were killed in action and 3 enlisted men died of wounds. 5 enlisted men were missing in action.9 1 officer and 19 enlisted men were wounded. The LST was unbeached and towed to Rendova.
LST-203 STRANDED ON CORAL REEF
At 0836 on 30 December, 1943, the Coast Guard manned LST-203 beached on Nanomea Island and started to unload cargo. At 0115 on 1 October, 1943, having completed unloading the LST began maneuvering at various speeds in order to back off the beach. With her ramp raised, her starboard door did not close fully being slightly sprung, the LST attempted to retract without success. From 0400 she continued in her efforts to back off the beach but was apparently held fast by a coral reef which caused her to pivot on the bow. There was a 6 to 8 foot surf which pounded her against the fingers of the reef. A boat was put over the side to assist in pulling the stern out. At 0600 water was entering the shaft alley and the engineroom, which fire and bilge pumps were unable to handle. The USS Manley (DD-1) also assisted with her boats and a line, but by 0725, the deck plates on the port side of the main engineroom were reported breaking through.
UNLOADS FURTHER AWAITING HIGH TIDE
At 0815, the Manley's cable snapped and at 0945 the ramp was lowered and further unloading begun, while awaiting the next high tide. At 1632 unloading was stopped and new attempts begun to pull the vessel off. At 1950 the Manley's cable again parted. Oh the 2nd at 0725, the Manley tried again and again the cable snapped at 0805. The LST continued unloading cargo and at 1900 on the 2nd of October, new attempts, this time with YMS-53 and Manley both assisting, were unsuccessful. Again on 3 October at 0713, an attempt was made but the cable parted at 0745. The power was off the ship's circuits during most of these operations. Another unsuccessful attempt at 0807 on 4 October was followed by an unusually heavy swell which pounded the ship with more water being taken into the auxiliary engineroom. At 1430 on 5 October the LST began discharging the ship's ammunition for use by shore units. On the 7th the crew moved to temporary quarters ashore and a security watch was left on board. All of the ship's supplies and equipment were removed during the next few days. On the 13th of October at 1605, the tug Kingfisher attempted to pull the LST off the reef but as the water was entering the engineroom faster than the pumps could handle it, attempts to float her were abandoned and the stripping of the now stranded vessel continued.
USS LEOPOLD (DE-319)
USS LEOPOLD TORPEDOED
On the 9th of March, 1944, the Coast Guard manned USS Leopold (DE-319), with other Coast Guard manned destroyer escorts was escorting a convoy in the North Atlantic, 400 miles south of Iceland when she made contact with a Nazi submarine just after dusk. The Leopold attacked at once. General Quarters was sounded, a flare released, and gun crews strained to "fire on sight." The U-boat was almost submerged when spotted and the gun crews had to work blind. "We hadn't fired more than a few rounds," said Cleveland Parker, Chief Commissary Steward, the highest ranking man rescued, "when another sub lying in wait off our port quarters threw a torpedo at us." Troy S. Gowers, seaman 1/c was at his gun station when the torpedo struck. "When the fish exploded" he reported "I was blown right out of my shoes and into a life net a dozen feet away. I crawled back to my station and, since the electric power was now off, tried to work the gun manually, but she was jammed. Then came the order to abandon ship. I helped release a liferaft on the starboard side and jumped into the water. The water was almost freezing and the wind felt even colder. When I pulled myself aboard the raft there were 18 or 19 of us. When we were finally picked up, three or four."
USS JOYCE (DE-317) IS SIGHTED
A storm was blowing and the waves started to break over the small life raft. Gowers and Joseph M. Hanysz, seaman 1/c, crawled around, trying to keep the men awake, so that they would not freeze or be washed overboard. "But those who were freezing knew it" Gowers said. "One boy said 'I'm dying--I can't hold on any longer.' and in a minute he was gone." Finally the Coast Guardsmen left on the raft, saw a ship, another of their DE's--the Joyce--which had dropped behind for rescue work. The Joyce saw them but couldn't stop to pick them up at that moment because a U-boat was firing torpedoes at her. The men on the raft watched in despair as the Joyce slowly pulled out of sight.
BOW BREAKS AWAY
Another survivor, W. G. O'Brien, S1/c, was still aboard the torpedoed Leopold. He watched the fore part of the ship break away about 3/4 of an hour after the explosion and then walked to the stern where 40 of the ship's crew and officers had congregated. There he heard about one man who had been pinned under a heavy galley range by the explosion. He had pleaded with an officer to shoot him and when the officer refused, he begged him to leave a gun by his side so that he could shoot himself. But they freed him from the wreckage and lowered him to a boat. He died before they picked him up. O'Brien helped pull three men out of the water, one of them Commander Kenneth Phillips, the Leopold's commanding officer, who had been blown off the ship by the explosion.
These seven Coast Guardsmen shown in a hospital somewhere in the British Isles survived the sinking of the Coast Guard destroyer escort Leopold by a German sub somewhere in the North Atlantic
LST-69 at Tarawa
LST-69 at Tarawa
"GOD BLESS YOU. WE'LL BE BACK"
The ship was settling deeper and deeper into the water. The storm was blowing up stronger. An officer went below and came back with medical whisky and blankets. Then they saw the Joyce and signalled it with a flashlight. "She came within 500 yards of us" O'Brien reported "and her skipper hollered through a megaphone." 'We're dodging torpedoes. God bless you. We'll be back' and then they went away. In a little while the stem of the Leopold rolled straight over to the port side and a lot of the men were thrown off. The skipper was one of them and I didn't sea him again. The ship stayed like that for an hour and a half, all the time getting lower in the water. The waves were about 50 feet high and, one by one, the men were washed off. I'd see a big rave coming and close my eyes and hold my breath until the stern raised out of it. In one of these the water didn't go down and I realized the stern had finally gone under for good. So I let go and my life jacked carried me to the surface. After a while I saw a life raft and struck out for it."
ONLY 28 OUT OF 199 SURVIVE
O'Brien boarded the same raft with Richard R. Navotny, S1/c, whose back was injured in the explosion. "I don't even remember the explosion," Navotny said "one second I was at my battle station, and the next I came to in the water, swimming toward a life raft." There were 20 men aboard this raft. Only three lived to be rescued. All of the Leopold's 13 officers and 158 of her complement of 186 enlisted men were lost.10 There were only 28 survivors, all enlisted men. The Joyce, four miles distant at the time was designated rescue ship. Twice, while dead in the water picking up the survivors, the Joyce had to get underway precipitately to evade torpedoes.
LST-69 BURNS IN SECOND PEARL HARBOR DISASTER
The Coast Guard manned LST-69, on 21 May, 1944, lay inboard of four other LST's in a nest of eight such vessels at Tare 8, West loch, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The ship, having returned to Pearl Harbor in a broken down condition, had no power available, her main engines having been secured on entering port so that repairs could be effected. The Commanding, Executive and Gunnery officers were off ship on various duties but all other officers were aboard, including the Officer-of-the-Deck, who was alert and on deck and two thirds of the crew. Various watches, including security and boat, signalman, messenger, roving and fire latches, were being stood. At about 1505 an explosion occurred on one of the outboard ships of the nest, the LST-353, where ammunition was being handled. This explosion brought all hands of the LST-69 on deck and they then reported to their mooring stations to cut away the outboard ship. Repeated explosions following and the LST-69 caught fire in several places. This original fire was brought under control, but the crew was unable to get all the mooring lines off and the ship to starboard would not drift clear. Fires again started on the deck and bridge deck and hoses were manned. There being no power on the LST-69, request was made of the LST-274, inbound of the LST-69, to tow the 69 clear, but all lines could not be severed to the outboard ship because of the fire's rapid spread and the repeated explosions.
CREW ABANDONS VESSEL
As the LST-274 managed to break clear of the nest, the order to abandon ship was passed by word of mouth on the LST-69, there being no other means available. The 69 was then aflame from the break in the foredeck to the deck house, the five inch projectiles on the main hatch also being aflame and out of control. Earlier a clear-thinking signalman had doused the ammunition with a boat deck hose. As the fire and explosion carried from one ship to another, the gunnery department personnel had flooded magazines on the LST-69. There was no means of flooding the cargo ammunition and demolition outfits in the after end of the tank deck. When the men could no longer stand on deck, having been flown from their stations several times, many of them injured, and after the fire was beyond control due to intolerable heat, explosions and flaming high octane gasoline from the ship next outboard, all hands, who had not been blown clear or already driven off by fire, abandoned ship as an organized unit and went ashore by small boat or by swimming. Here they were hospitalized or sent to Pier 11 for housing. The ship's log, bridge book and signal book were saved.
Many of the LST-69's crew were engrossed in the saving of life. Both the LST-69's boats rescued men from the water and ferried them ashore, the boat crews continuing their rescue work in spite of being repeatedly blown down by explosions and hit by flying debris. None of the LST-69 crew was lost, though many were injured fighting fires on their own and adjacent ships. Two officers and 11 men were seriously injured and two officers and 25 men received minor injuries. Besides the ship's crew, about 200 Marines were on board the LST-69 at the time of the explosion and also a 13-man crew of naval reserve personnel for the LCT-983, which was lashed to the ship's main deck. Less than five minutes had elapsed from the first explosion until the LST-69 was engulfed in flames.
LCI(L)-85 HITS MINE
Four Coast Guard manned LCI(L)'s were lost in the Normandy invasion on 6 June, 1944. These were the LCI(L)'s 85, 91, 92, and 93. "Going into the beach, this craft hit a mine," Lt. (jg) Coit T. Hendley, Jr., USCGR, Commanding Officer of the LCI(L)-85 reported, "She careened through a jumble of beach defenses and finally got her ramps down for the troops to disembark. Before the unloading was completed, a cross fire of German 88's, machine guns and sniper fire blew one ramp off, killed 15 men, wounded another 40 and set her blazing in three compartments. Approaching the beach from the transport area, no sign of trouble was seen. There were flashes from the warships,
Coast guard LCI-85 lists sharply after being fatally hit during the invasion of the coast of France
LCI(L)-92 at OMAHA Beach
LCI(L)-92 at OMAHA Beach
ferreting out gun emplacements. There were the usual black puffs of shellfire on the water's edge. The beach itself seemed calm enough. Other ships were on the beach, and the area just off the beach was crowded with craft. The obstacles could be seen plainly. They were thick over the whole of the beach, with small teller mines attached to most of them. Some were submerged, some half out of the water. The only thing to do was to pick a likely spot and ram through. The ship headed in at around 12 knots. The third of underwater obstacles could be heard flat on the bottom and sides of the ship. As the bow grounded, a mine exploded, ripping a hole in the forward part of the ship. One ramp went over and a seaman went down it to the beach with a heavy line, to assist the troops as they waded ashore through waist-deep water. Then trouble began."
"MEN WERE HIT AND MEN WERE MUTILATED"
"The 88's began hitting the ship, they tore into the troop compartments and exploded on the exposed deck; they smashed through the massed men trying to get down the ramp. Machine guns opened up. Men were hit and men were mutilated. There was no such thing as a minor wound. When the shells hit they blew off arms, legs and heads. The guns seemed to concentrate on the forward part of the ship, and so well did they do their work that unloading was stopped because it was impossible to get past the pile of dead and wounded. Finally a hit finished off the ramp."
SHIP WAS HIT ABOUT 25 TIMES
"While the ship was standing off the beach about 100 yards, where she had backed after her ramp was destroyed, the damage control party began fighting the fires which had started in her three forward compartments, while the Army doctors on board and the Coast Guard's pharmacists' mates began doing what they could for the wounded. Small boats from the large transports came alongside and finished unloading the men who had not been able to get ashore. Luckily the fires were caught in time. The ship had a list from the water coming in through the shell holes. She had been hit about 25 times. A leg was lying on the deck of the radio room. A shell had exploded, wrecking all the equipment and mangling the man in the room, who was dragged out of the mess and will be all right except for the leg. The deck was so slick with blood, and cluttered with bits of flesh and dead and mutilated men, that it was difficult to move from one part of the ship to another."
END OF ONE LCI
"The ship made it out to the transport area, 10 miles from the beach, taking water slowly. Our emergency pumps could not keep ahead of the water. The wounded and dead were transferred to the transport by cargo boom. The Army medics and doctors who had stayed to help with the casualties climbed into a small boat furnished by the transport and headed for the beach they had just left. They took their equipment and said nothing. They knew they were needed on the beach. The ship backed away from the transport and a salvage tug came alongside to determine whether she could be saved. But even their pumps could not keep up with the water. Slowly she settled by the bow and finally began to turn on her side. The crew scrambled up to the tug and she went over. She floated for a while, her stern just showing. The tug sent over a small boat with a demolition charge to finish her off. The charge went off, and that was the end of one LCI."
LCI(L)-91 ALSO MINED
Upon approach to Dog White Beach, OMAHA Assault Area of Normandy Beachhead early on 6 June, 1944, it became evident to the officers on the Coast Guard manned LCI(L)-91 that the proposed markers for a cleared channel through underwater obstructions had not been placed nor a channel cleared, lt being blocked by a sunken tank. The beaching was made at the scheduled time at 0740 and the troops disembarked reluctantly in the face of heavy enemy fire. A guide rope was led from ship to beach by a crew member through a maze of stakes, each topped by a teller mine. The rapidly rising tide and slow departure of troops made it necessary to move the vessel forward to keep her grounded, but after 20 minutes no further forward movement was possible due to the teller mines on the stakes. While retracting the ship, she hit a teller mine on her port bow which exploded, killing several men and tearing a two foot hole in the bow of the LCI(L) just above the water line. After retracting further, the ship signalled for assistance in unloading the remaining 200 troops. As no aid was forthcoming, a second beaching was made 100 yards west of the first one. A portion of the troops had disembarked at this spot, when a violent explosion was heard forward, followed by a blast of flames. Within seconds the entire well deck was a mass of flame which it was impossible to control. The damage to the hull made it impossible to retract. "Abandon ship" was therefore, ordered.
LCI(L)-92 BURNS AFTER EXPLOSION
The Coast Guard manned LCI(L)-92 arrived at the rendezvous area off OMAHA Beach as part of Task Force 124 on scheduled time. At 0710, on the 6th of June, 1944, she left the rendezvous area for Dog White Beach in order to land 192 troops on board. The approach to the beach was heavily obstructed. The LCI(L)-91, which had beached half an hour earlier, was in flames, and it was decided to beach to the left of the 91 and in lee of her smoke, which could be used as a screen. At 0810, she passed through the first row of obstacles and cleared the outer three rows successfully. When apparently clear, however, a terrific explosion on the port side rocked the ship, setting the No. 1 troop compartment in flames and spraying the entire forward deck with burning fuel. At about the same time a shell exploded close aboard to starboard. The engines were ordered ahead but she was unable to move over the runnel. Unloading over the starboard side was begun, but heavy rifle and machine gun fire caused a shift to port side unloading. In the meantime the ship's crew began to fight the fire and flames. After all the Army personnel had left, an attempt was made to retract, but the high tide obscured the mines and made it advisable to remain at the beach. The fire gained headway and the order was finally given to "abandon
The USS Serpens a cargo ship manned by a Coast Guard crew lost as the result of enemy action
Abandoned Coast Guard LCI(L)-93 abandoned on OMAHA beach after being raked by Nazi fire
ship" about 1400. There were no casualties to the ship's crew.
LCI(L)-93 STRANDED UNDER FIRE
Participating in the operations off the coast of France on 6 June, 1944, the Coast Guard manned LCI(L)-93 disembarked two loads of troops, encountering little enemy action on the first trip but sustaining several direct hits on the second. The second landing was made during a rapidly falling tide on the afternoon of 6 June. As the vessel approached the beach, she had to pass over a sand bar. She accomplished this and proceeded about 20 yards further to Easy Red Beach in the OMAHA area to disembark troops. While unloading she heaved around on the stern anchor slowly to prevent being stranded by the falling tide. About 25 troops remained on board when the enemy found the range and concentrated several heavy batteries on the vessel. Four troops were seriously injured and were later evacuated with the crew, one soldier being killed. The crew suffered five shrapnel casualties and two others were seriously injured. After the remaining troops had been disembarked, an attempt was made to retract. The engines and stern anchor took the 93 off the beach, but she could not pass over the bar astern of the ship. By this time the vessel had received at least 10 direct hits, two passing through the pilot house, two through the starboard bow at the forecastle and the remainder along the port side. Shrapnel from the bursts had made a sieve out of the port passageway.
Failing to get off the bar, and still under heavy enemy fire, the ship called for a small boat to evacuate the wounded soldiers and crewmen. Later in the afternoon two more small boats evacuated those left on board. There was no sign of panic, all hands obeying orders and no one leaving the ship until ordered to do so. Three days later an inspection of the vessel found two holes in the starboard bow, each at least a yard in diameter; a hole two feet wide and six feet long on the port side caused by several hits; while aft a mine had exploded throwing the starboard engine over against the port engine. Two troop compartments, the crew's quarters, the engine room, the boatswain's locker and the forward peak tank were all flooded.
USS SERPENS (AK-97)
USS SERPENS (AK-97) EXPLODES
The USS Serpens (AK-97), a cargo ship manned by Coast Guard personnel, sank after an explosion on 29 January, 1945, while anchored off Lunga Beach, Guadalcanal. The explosion was possibly due to an enemy attack. A 14,250 ton ammunition ship, the Serpens was loading depth bombs at the time. A number of other ships nearby were damaged in the explosion, which also caused some damage ashore. Eight officers and 188 crewmen, all that were on board at the time, were killed.11 The only survivors were 2 officers and 8 men who were ashore at the time of the explosion. In addition, 57 Army personnel, including one officer, were killed.
EYE WITNESS ACCOUNT
"As we headed our personnel boat shoreward" an eye witness reported, "the sound and concussion of the explosion suddenly reached us, and as we turned, we witnessed the awe-inspiring death drama unfold before us. As the report of screeching shells filled the air and the flash of tracers continued, the water throughout the harbor splashed as the shells hit, We headed our boat in the direction of the smoke and as we came into closer view of what had once been a ship, the water was filled only with floating debris, dead fish, torn life jackets, lumber and other unidentifiable objects. The smell of death, and fire, and gasoline, and oil was evident and nauseating. This was sudden death, and horror, unwanted and unasked for, but complete."
USS SHEEPSCOT (AOG-24)
USS SHEEPSCOT GOES AGROUND OFF IWO JIMA
On the morning of June 6, 1945, the Coast Guard manned USS Sheepscot (AOG-24), a 700 ton tanker, went aground in a storm on the eastern side of Iwo Jima. The vessel had been ordered to the pumping station there and the commanding officer, Lt. George A. Wagner, USCGR, had requested that he be furnished all weather information as soon as received, due to the dangerous conditions existing and the fact that the vessel was moored only 200 yards from shore. She had one 8" manila line to a buoy on her port bow two 8" manila lines to a buoy on her port quarter, and one 8" manila and a 2" spring lines to a buoy on her starboard quarter. On the previous day a storm had been reported about 750 miles south and west of Iwo Jima but its exact location was not then definitely known. A storm somewhat north of this had dissipated but there were indications of another storm forming. The general trend of this storm, at about noon of the 5th, was northerly with advance speed of 4 knots and a wind velocity at center of 40 miles per hour. This storm was, at that time, however, expected to pass north and west of Iwo Jima. At 1800 on 5 June there was no change in this forecast. A weather plane which had started out to investigate had turned back with engine trouble. A second plane had been sent out. At 2000 on the 5th the center of the storm was reported as 26°N, 134°E, with the estimated position at 1000 on June 6th, as 29°N, 136°E. The position of the Sheepscot was approximately 24°46'N, 141°18'E. The storm was at this time, therefore, expected to pass well to the north and west of her position. Between 0000 and 0400 on the 6th, weather messages received by the Sheepscot were general, one indicating that the weather would remain unchanged during the night. Another received at 0309 was to the effect that winds might reach 25 knots by 0800.
STEPS TO AVERT DISASTER
At this time two starboard and three port tanks were ordered ballasted, the operation being completed about 0630. About 0430 all hands were called and SOPA was advised that the Sheepscot was casting off all lines and standing out to sea. The wind was then SSW at 25 to 30 knots, in gusts, seas 6, with heavy rain squalls reducing visibility to about 1000 yards at times. After the bow lines were off at 0510 the starboard stern wire was let go. At 0530 a port line snapped and was left hanging in
the water, the vessel sent a message to SOPA for help in getting under way, telling him what had happened. Several other messages were sent out giving the vessel's position and the information that she was then being held by only one line. SOPA came back with advice that the USS Winnetka (YTB-376) was being dispatched to assist. Voice messages between the USS Safeguard (ARS-25) and the USS Bitterbush (AN-39) were overheard about 0545 indicating that they also were proceeding around the island, having been assigned to assist with Bitterbush in charge of the operation.
ATTEMPTS PASS LINE FAIL
A visual message was sent to PC-616, which was standing off quite a distance from the Sheepscot's stern, asking the PC to cone alongside so that the Sheepscot could pass a line, as she was in danger. The PC came in on the starboard side and the tanker shot the gun at least three times but the line never reached the PC. Another attempt from the stern was unsuccessful. A third attempt being without result, the PC signalled that her air bottles were low and that she would have to stand clear. The Bitterbush arrived on the scene about 0615, and, being informed of the situation, sent an LCM to assist. The LCM coxswain informed an officer on the Sheepscot, on arrival, that an eight inch line was hanging over the vessel's stern. The LCM attempted and failed to get a four inch line from the Sheepscot to a buoy on her port quarter, also to get an eight inch line from the Sheepscot to the Winnetka, who had arrived at 0700. The LCM then returned to the Bitterbush to be fueled and remained inactive until used to pick up survivors.
LINE FOULS THE SHEEPSCOT'S SCREW
The Sheepscot's engines were backed one third for a few seconds after this, followed by two thirds for about three minutes at which time the engine stalled due to the starboard quarter's eight inch manila line having fouled the screw. Efforts were made to clear the fouled screw but to no avail. In the meantime the ship drifted and a heavy strain was taken on the port quarter's eight inch manila line. Shortly afterwards this line snapped and was fouled by the starboard line. Both anchors were let go and orders to abandon ship were given by the commanding officer. These orders were not carried out. The ship drifted with the wind and sea, grounding on Red Beach with the shoal buoy on her starboard quarter.
A LINE IS PASSED
At about this time the Winnetka succeeded in passing an eight inch line, 300 feet in length, to the Sheepscot. The Sheepscot then backed at full speed for 15 or 20 minutes. The anchors were slipped and the Sheepscot sent a message to the Bitterbush requesting salvage vessels to stand clear as she was proceeding under her own power. Despite this maneuver, the Winnetka still bad a line to the Sheepscot. The Sheepscot backed faster than the Winnetka went ahead. The towing line parted when the Sheepscot had arrived at a position about 500 yards from the beach. The engines were stopped and given full ahead. Almost immediately full astern was given and the engine stalled due to a line in the screw. The Winnetka stood and passed a one inch wire to the bow of the Sheepscot. This wire parted almost immediately. The Sheepscot was now drifting broadside to, in the trough of the sea in the direction of Futatsu Rocks. The CO2 system in the Sheepscot was turned on to prevent any gasoline fires on grounding, and "abandon ship" was ordered.
SAFEGUARD'S EFFORTS COME TOO LATE
During the time that the tanker was backing seaward, the Safeguard, who had reported on the scene about 0630, and who had been directed to get a line to the Sheepscot, dropped anchors and veered chain to 100 fathoms so as to be in a position to pass a tow line. The distance was too great, however, to pass a line, and the Safeguard picked up anchors and backed down toward the Sheepscot. She again dropped anchors, veering the chain to 60 fathoms and closing the tanker satisfactorily. By this time, however, the tanker had grounded on the Futatsu Rocks, and the personnel had abandoned ship, leaving no one on board to receive the line.
SHEEPSCOT GROUNDED NO LIVES LOST
The Sheepscot grounded on the rocks at 0805 and capsized to port. She then flooded and settled in 30 feet of water. An examination six days later revealed 80 feet of the starboard turn-of-the-bilge protruding six feet above the surface. The average tidal range at this point is three feet. Seven officers and 58 men were on board. There were no fatalities. The Captain received a broken ankle and various crew members suffered minor gasoline burns, bruises and shock.
USS PC-590 FOUNDERS IN OKINAWA TYPHOON
The Coast Guard manned USS PC-590 foundered in a typhoon off Okinawa on 9 October, 1945. There was no loss of life. On 28 September, 1945, at 1455, while undergoing engine repairs at Buckners Bay, Okinawa, the PC-590 was ordered to proceed to Unten Ko, Okinawa, about 80 miles distant, to escape an approaching typhoon. Proceeding immediately at a speed of 14 knots the ship was forced to anchor south of Ie Shima for the night, proceeding to Unten Ko and thence to Katena Ka next morning, to an anchorage considered satisfactory for small craft from the average typhoon. This typhoon passed to the west and the 590 returned to Buckner Bay on the 2nd of October and anchored close to Baten Ko. During the forenoon and afternoon of 4 October, 1945, the wind increased in velocity, and heavy swells ran into the harbor. The 590 was forced to move her anchorage into the middle of Buckner Bay. Another typhoon warning was now received, this one reported to be passing eastward. On the 5th the weather calmed down and the 590 made an uneventful passage to Miyako Retto to the south to pick up mail for an expeditionary group and then continued on 80 more miles south to deliver mail. During the morning of the 6th another typhoon warning was received, this one being some 350 miles northwest of Saipan at the time, and advancing on. a west northwest track at the rate of about 15 knots per hour. This track showed the possibility of the typhoon passing south of Miyako Retto directly toward Formosa as had the one of 29 September, or by recurving, passing near Okinawa.
USS PC-590 after typhoon of 9 October, 1945, Okinawa
Ishigaki Haguchi orders were received to proceed to Okinawa to escape this typhoon. On the 7th a dispatch requesting typhoon instructions remained unanswered and the 590 arrived at Buckner Bay at 0721 on the 8th.
The wind had lessened considerably, but at 0840 the vessel received a warning that the latest reports indicated the typhoon would pass close to Okinawa and that ships had sortied east to take shelter at Baten Ko. The 590 had on board 15 enlisted men from the DD-461 for transportation to the Receiving Station at Okinawa and requested boat transportation for them from the Receiving Station. A landing boat arrived alongside at 1430 and all passenger personnel departed. Meanwhile the wind began to increase to force 6 and the barometer had dropped to 29.14 at 1500. The typhoon was too advanced now to make a night run to Unten Ko, 80 miles north, where only daylight entrance was considered safe. The vessel therefore proceeded at 1530 toward anchorage in the clear area of Baten Ko. Typhoon warnings now began coming on repeatedly, one received at 1845 stating that the typhoon was expected to pass close to Okinawa.
The vessel rode well through the night of the 8th. The anchor was holding, but the winds steadily increased to force 9-10 and the barometer dropped to 2900. The ship was swinging widely at anchor on tacks up to 50 degrees off the wind. By 1100 on the 9th the wind had increased to force 11 and the barometer had dropped to 28.80, but the ship was still maintaining her position. 11 vessels were observed to have begun moving and starting for the beach and the PC-469 had broken or dragged free and disappeared down-wind in the storm.
ANCHOR CHAIN PARTS
At 1130 the anchor was still holding, but the bow soon drifted off the wind and the ship entered the trough of the sea, rolling badly. All hands were piped to emergency anchoring stations and the ship was maneuvered to port and starboard, 2/3 to standard being required on main engines with full rudder, to take in anchor chain and keep bow into seas. In this maneuver a destroyer mooring buoy was narrowly missed, as was a reef to the south and starboard. The electric windlass was not considered satisfactory. The chief carpenter's mate was badly hurt and knocked unconscious by a terrific heave of the bow and five feet of solid water, which washed the entire anchorage detail 30 feet aft. The windlass continued slowly to bring in the anchor chain until it was discovered that the chain had parted at the 30 fathom connecting shackle. The port anchor was not dropped because under the then violent conditions sixty fathoms of chain would not have been effective.
UNDERWAY PLAN OF PROCEDURE
Various courses were now necessary to avoid other vessels and the great difficulty of heading into the seas. The objective was to proceed eastward as slowly as possible to the lee of Tsuken Shima Island, to ride out the typhoon for the duration of the easterly gales, then to proceed to the west shore of Buckner Bay, to ride out an expected period of westerly gales, and finally to anchor to port chain when the typhoon abated. The radar indicated Tsuken Shima Island with breakers, marking the long reef to its south, plainly visible on the scope. After closely avoiding about 12 ships the top of Tsuken Shima Island appeared above the level of the driving salt spray at about 1250, two points off the starboard bow. Simultaneously an APD loomed 100 yards to starboard at anchor, with several net tenders at anchor dead ahead, and a YMS blinking to "stand clear, we are underway." The island was now 800 to 1200 yards distant. Wind velocity had increased to force 14 at 1330 and the barometer dropped to 28.50. It was decided not to anchor because of the short chain on the port anchor; the impossibility of adding the weakened starboard chain; and the lack of searoom sufficiently close to shore. Instead, tacking procedure from port to starboard was again adopted, requiring full ahead, sometimes on both engines, with full rudder to maintain position the same distance off the island and keep the bow near the wind. Four narrow escapes were experienced in avoiding ships, twice requiring all back full. By this time ships were first visible when their blinker lights were used.
ASKS FOR TUG
Tacking to and fro continued in between the net tenders and the APD and a certain facility was developed in balancing the angle of the hull with the wind, using lower engine speeds with full rudder and requiring fewer RPM changes. The top of Tsuken Shima hill was visible and the PC-469 was reported seen and signals exchanged. The wind was now about 85-90 knots and the barometer down to 28.42. The port engine had been stopped and when air was injected into it for starting, the port exhaust happened to be underwater. One of the cylinders back-fired through the intake side of the turbo-charger into the engine room, in a sheet of blue flame and black smoke. At 1430 the PC-590 notified the port director by radio that a tug was required immediately, the ground tackle being useless and the engines overheating from lube oil exhaustion. She gave her estimated position as 500 yards west of Tsuken Shima. There was no "Roger" on this message because CNB, Okinawa, who guarded for the Port Director, was unable to answer, having previously reported transmitter trouble.
SITUATION BECOMES WORSE
By 1440 the situation had changed for the worse. The wind had increased to force 15-16 with gusts to force 17. A layer of racing spray existed about a yard above the water, making impossible any abandon-ship intentions. At 1455 a second message was sent asking the port director for a tug immediately. The barometer was now down to 28.20 and the visibility down occasionally to 150 feet. Looking to windward was almost literally impossible because of the driving spray. At 1500 the starboard engine developed a loud knock, which seemed to be a connecting rod bearing gone in No. 5 cylinder due to excessive strain. No. 1 auxiliary generator then failed due to a broken fuel line. No. 2 auxiliary generator was started within a few minutes in the light of battle lamps. The situation, with surrounding invisible reefs to east, north and west
and with no fix possible, was creating an untenable position. It was decided to get to the southeast to south if possible, regardless of stability or anything else. Some seconds later, the ship in a slow turn with heading about 350 degrees, hit a reef at 1540.
All engines back full was given and the ship answered for some seconds, when the mid and after section of the ship struck another reef. All engines were stopped immediately. No abandon-ship stations were ever called, the port anchor was dropped to its limit of 60 fathoms. Watertight integrity was checked throughout the ship as well as the ammunition stowage. A final check was made on all hands for life jackets. The ship began to pound throughout her length with a general port list of 5-10 degrees with the wind on her starboard bow. A third message was sent the port director at 1542 notifying him that the ship was aground and where; that the anchor was gone and the fuel tank ruptured; and requesting immediate assistance to transfer personnel as they would have to abandon ship within a few hours.
AFLOAT AND AGAIN AGROUND
By this time the ship had pounded off the reef into open water, the bow drifting off the wind rapidly in spite of the port anchor and the 60 fathoms of chain which did not hold at all. The ship's head laid off down wind, with the seas immediately becoming higher with green water. The leeway was estimated to be south, with the wind on the starboard quarter. The anchor chain seemed to be tending aft under the ship. After travelling about a mile, the ship hit another reef at about 1600. The mast of a YMS showed occasionally dead ahead. It seemed fast aground. The steering cable now broke and sagged in the engine auxiliary room. The booster pump was still running but a reef head had apparently damaged the sea suction foot valve and it made a grinding noise and could not be primed, even by hand. There was a ripping noise on the port side of the auxiliary engine room stores compartment and what sounded like the first water in the engine spaces began rushing in. At 1625 engine spaces were abandoned and water-tight doors and hatches secured. Thereafter the ship was without power and lights, radio and blinker, except for one Aldis lamp for signalling. The masts of a large ship were visible at intervals through a rift in the storm. She was blowing "not under command" signals at regular intervals. A man was seen drifting the starboard bow in a life jacket from the westward, crying for help. An attempt was made to get a line to him but the high seas and winds prevented action in time and he was carried on past the bow and disappeared. A small landing boat appeared on the port side and disappeared rapidly. Another ship (LSM-143) was then seen coming out of the northwest. She grounded between the PC-590 and the YMS-146 on even keel.
HELP AT LAST
The barometer, for the first time, began to rise slowly. It was later learned, from a radar plot ashore, that the exact eye of the typhoon had passed five miles to the east. The winds continued over 100 knots and the ship made slow movement in the direction of the LSM, rolling against the reef to port. The stern was slowly settling in the water. At 1645 a depth charge broke loose and the executive officer and two crew members secured it with great personal danger. By 1700 the barometer had risen to 28.18 with winds at force 15. At 1710 a large ship on the starboard beam was seen looming larger and moving steadily directly for the PC-590. Collision seemed probable and all hands were ordered out of interior compartments. The large ship (USS Mona Island--ARG-9) blinked over telling the 590 to "stand clear." At this moment a buckling of the deck was appearing on the starboard side at frame 59. The Mona Island moved astern until, their stern was some 150 feet from that of the 590 and stopped abruptly. Cargo nets ran down their port side and the possibility was seen of using them to get aboard if the ship drifted against the 590. The stern of the 590 was still settling as the rescue ship again moved astern some 100 feet, finally stopping 50 feet away from the 590's stern shaft. A line gun was fired from the rescue vessel. The crew rushed aft and began hauling on the gun line and brought aboard a 3 inch manila line which was made fast around the stick and taut aboard the rescue ship. Waves across the after deck were meanwhile increasing in violence and solid water was being thrown up to the signal bridge. In short order a breeches buoy type of bosun's chair was let run down the 3 inch line to the PC-590, with hauling lines rigged at each end. The breeches buoy was found to be too far off the deck to be readily accessible so the line was hauled in farther and made fast around the deck bits on the port side at frame 63. The first man went up the breeches buoy to safety at about 1755, and after a few slow trips the rescue cycle was reduced to 127 seconds per man. By 1800 the force of the typhoon was brought more broadside, the waves increased alarmingly and the roll and crash of the ship against the reef became more violent. By 1813, ten men had been drawn to safety; by 1836, 19 men. The wind had now backed past northwest and was driving huge waves across the decks. To avoid serious injury and prevent them from washing overboard, the last men were sent forward to the wheelhouse, in spite of the ship's progressive breaking up. By 1845 the line tending position became perilous with the gunnery officer, the executive officer and others nearly washing overboard. Then two ammunition lockers broke loose and charged against the untended bitter and somehow by great good fortune jammed it against further slipping. Officers and men were personally seen completely submerged a dozen times and forcefully hurled against life lines, always somehow to crawling back to temporary safety again.
ALL HANDS SAVED
"The absence of any loss of life is due only to God's will" the commanding officer, Lt. Charles C. Pool, USCGR, later reported. By 1925 forty men were saved. Twenty minutes later the gunnery officer started up the line. Midway in transit the hauling line fouled around the engineering officer's right foot and he was jerked out of the 40 MM gun tub. At the same time his left foot twisted in the drifting gun cover and jammed on the upper gun tub edge. He was badly split apart by the tension and was upside down for a moment, his head under water. He was immediately extricated by the two officers still remaining on board, the commanding officer and executive officer. Meanwhile, the sudden stopping of the breeches buoy caused the gunnery officer to bounce in the catenary
and parted the 3 inch line dropping him into the seas. He started to sink at once, but heard a cry to "Hold On!." and was brought like a shot up to the deck on the Mona Island. Within a few minutes the hauling line was pulled back aboard the 590, along with the breeches buoy and the remainder of the 3 inch line was attached. This was made fast around the 40 MM gun foundation and the engineering officer and executive officer went up without mishap. The commanding officer had gone up the line ten feet when the hauling line, now unattended, jammed again. Return to ship was necessary to clear the badly twisted line. After three attempts to clear it, a knife was finally sent down the sloping line, the 590's hauling end was cut, and the trip up made safely. Shortly after this, at about 2015, the PC-590 broke completely in half.
TORPEDOED OFF ICELAND JANUARY 29, 1942
KILLED IN ACTION--BODIES NOT RECOVERED Chief Machinist Ludvig V. T. Sieck Lieut. (jg) COSTIGAN, James E. WT1c BROOKS, Livingston W. WT2c LITTLE, Clarence F1c EMMANUELLI, Joseph AS BOOTH, Julian C. F3c LIEBRA, Otto CMM(a) REYNOLDS, George W. CMM(a) VAS, Michael T. F1c LINDSAY, Clifford A. F1c ROBERTS, Ennis L. MM2c ZAJAC, Walter P. MM2c FLETCHER, Charles H. Sea1c KMENT, Joseph F. F3c COVINGTON, Cecil L. Yeo3c HOLUBEC, Nicholas T. F2c YATES, Herbert W. MM2c MCKINNEY, John E. F3c McGRANE, James B. WT2c SABELLI, Nick MM2c DIED OF WOUNDS WAGDA, Teddy Sea2c HOLL, George J. SM3c MUSSELWHITE, Edwood F. AS DAVIS, Bruce E. MM1c LEARNER, Robert B. Sea2c CAPPORELLI, John Sea1c
PERSONNEL ON BOARD CGC NATSEK--17 DEC. 1942
LaFARGE, Thomas S. Lieut. (jg) USCGR EATON, Carl McK. CBM(Pro) USCG RICHARDS, Louis A. CQM(Pro) USCG McKAY, Alton P. BM1c USCG SCHWENCKE, Henry D. SM2c USN LAWSON, Kenneth MoMM1c USCGR MATTSON, Ray E. RM1c USCG HINCH, Lloyd E. MoMM1c USCGR SHEWBRIDGE, Melvin E. MoMM1c USCGR WATERS, Nelson A. MoMM1c USCGR JENSEN, Charles F. RM2c USCG WILLIAMS, Charles C. RM2c USCG REPUCCI, Robert E. Yeo2c USCGR BENASH, Chester SC2c USCGR NEIL, Allen G. Cox USCG YARNELL, Charles E. GM3c USCGR PARDOE, William E. QM3c USCG BARAM, Harry Sea1c USCGR CATTELL, Clarence Sea2c USCGR FUCHS, Warren H. Sea2c USCG HERRING, William J. Sea2c USCG HILL, Tauno Sea2c USCGR SARGENT, Kenneth A. Sea2c USCGR WHITE, Norman MAtt2c USCG
CG-85006--27 MARCH, 1943
DROWNED--BODIES RECOVERED MORRIS, William CMM USCG MEEHAN, James P. BM2c USCGR ANGUS, Robert W. Sea1c USCGR PARZYCH, John P. Sea1c USCGR MISSING HARRIS, William L. MoMM1c USCGR KOWRY, John MoMM1c USCGR CALDERON, Joaquin SC1c USCG QUIGLEY, George S. Cox USCGR WARLICH, Louis F. Sea1c USCGR
CGC ESCANABA--13 JUNE, 1943
PETERSON, Carl Uno Lt. Comdr. PRAUSE, Robert Henry, Jr. Lieut. HUNT, John N.C. Lieut. SULLIVAN, James Lieut. ((jg)R) THOMAN, William Perley Lieut. (jg) TREADWELL, Jesse Carter Lieut. ((jg)R) ARRIGHI, Richard Andrea Ens. R DAVIS, Daniel Cornelius Ens. R CAMERON, John David, Jr. Ens. R GARCIA, William Cline Ens. R McGEHEARTY, Robert E. Ens. R WILKINS, Woodrow Wilson Ens. NIX, Ralph Robert Ass't Sur. USPHS ALSTON, John RM3c R ANDERSON, Ralph Ashford SM2c R ARIDAS, George Sea1c R BATHS, William Y2c R BAUER, Norman Michael Donald WT2c BIGGS, Melvin Gear Sea2c R BONHAM, Mas Anderson MM1c BROWN, Oren Ernest SOM3c R BUKES, Ted Speros RM3c BURNS, Thomas Francis SM2c R BYKOWSKI, Raymond Joseph Cox CARD, James Freeman F2c R CHAPLEAU, Eugene Gilbert Sea1c R CHAPMAN, Lyle Thomas Sea1c CHRISTENSON, Clarence Edwin BM2c CHUDACOFF, Sam Y3c R CILO, John, Jr. MM2c R CLARK, Alfred Eldon MM2c CLARK, Herman Reginald SOM2c COREY, William Horace CM1c COUNSELOR, Layton Richard CMM CZELUSNIAK, George, Joseph Sea1c DAVIS, James Francis, Jr. CY R DELSART, Leonard RM1c DEYAMPERT, Warren T. OffStd2c DODGEN, Paul Chapman QM3c ESTOCAPIO, Pedro Abenoja OffStd2c FARRAR, Clarence Albert CMM FERRIS, Donald Edward WT2c FOSTER, Charles Robert RM2c GADEK, Eugene RM1c GATOS, Lloyd James F1c
GMEINER, George Walter Sea1c R GRAHAM, Leroy J. Allen AOM2c HAWK, Arthur Lloyd Sea2c R HOOPER, Frank Van EM2c HOSTAK, Quirin Sea1c R JAROUSKY, Phillip WT1c JOHNS, Floyd Raymond Sea2c R KENNY, Joseph Paul Sea1c R KLETZIEN, Kenneth Albert SOM2c KUCIA, Edward John WT2c KURCZ, Stanley Joseph RM1c LARSON, George Wilfred CBM LAYTON, Clyde CBM LIETZ, Ralph Frederic Sea1c LOBOSCO, Angelo Frank Sea1c R LONDO, Victor Joseph, Jr. WT1c LUCAS, Joseph William SC1c MCCARTHY, Barton GM3c McCREADY, Robert Garr SM2c R MCGOWAN, Ralph Sea1c R MENKOL, Theodore Thomas GM2c MYERS, John Benjamin SC2c MICKLE, Charles Ray C WT MOHLER, Ma1colm Eroy WT2c MORE, Sidney Albert SOM3c NEALE, Arthur Frederick RM3c R NILSEN, Roy Sea1c R NOWAKOWSKI, Bronislaw Sea1c O'LEARY, Walter Francis Sea1c R PALSER, Hugh QM1c PAOLELLA, Valentino Natale Sea1c PETERSON, Leo Rudolph Cox R REDNOUR, Forrest Oren SC2c RICE, James Joseph SK2c R ROWLAND, Robert Hall SOM3c RUIDL, Patrick Carl RDM3c SALM, Victor Nicholas CM3c R SALTER, Claud Alexander CBM SATTLER, Kenneth Eldon RM1c SICKLES, Frank Ernest, Jr. Sea1c R SKARIN, Clifford Burton Y2c R SMITH, Clayton Robert Sea1c SOMES, Thomas Bennett QM1c SOMMERS, Joseph Charles Sea1c R SWANDER, Dwight Earl RM2c TESCHENDORF, Leo LeRoy CMM TIERNEY, William Charles PhM2c R TILLETT, Thomas MATT1c TYRUS, Earl James MAtt2c R WELSH, Dean Marvin CM1c WETMORE, Edward Valentine Tait, JR F2c R WIDMAN, Axel Victor Waldemar RDM3c WILLIAMS, Samuel, Jr. MATT1c YORK, Clyde Bradley MM1c YURIK, Victor F2c
MISSING NESENGER, William T. Jr. Ens. BAUER, Roderick John CBM CLEMENTS, Robert Wheeler MoMM3c CUNTAN, George Sea1c ENOCH, Paul Clark MoMM2c GILL, David Ernest Sea1c GRIMES, Mavis E. Sea2c HERBST, George Edward SoMM2c JOHNSON, David SC2c LEAR, Jack SoM2c LINEK, Thomas Joseph, Jr. MoMM2c LOFTON, James Henderson Sea1c MANTANI, Adolph RM2c McCUSKER, Leo Joseph Sea1c MULHERN, Ray Joseph, Jr. Sea1c MYLES, Hugh L. Sr. Sea1c POGORZELSKI, Charles Julius RM3c RILEY, Daniel Webster St1c TILL, Donald MoMM2c VISSMAN, Paul Louis Sp3c WEBER, Thomas Jay Cox WILDUNG, Lea William RT3c BODIES RECOVERED PETERS, Maurice W. Ens BERGREN, Ernest GM3c FRANZINA, Robert Carl Sea1c VERNIER, Norman Robert Sea2c
LIST OF MISSING CALL, N. D. Lieut (jg) ZIMPEL, Joseph W. Ens. CONDON, William Timothy MM2c OSLLEN, Lawrence F. PhM2c FLYNN, Joseph S. L. Y1c GRIFFIN, James Arvie St3c HADEN, Mensel Richard Sea1c KARP, Hyman Albert Sea2c KROFF, John Hugh MoMM3c MICHALSKI, Jerome Joseph Sea1c MINGIONE, John RdM3c McCUE, Edward James, Jr. F1c NICHOLS, Richard Carroll Sea1c PARKER, James Augustus RT3c PATTON, Robert Austin Cox POSHINSKE, William Patrick GM3c SNYDER, Arthur J. F. RM2c TILLER, Jennings Rufus Sea2c WATERS, William F. Mach WELSH, Denver Carlyle QM3c DeLeROI, Edwin Frederick BM2c
CGC VINEYARD SOUND
LIST OF DROWNED AND MISSING CONSTANTINE, Vangel Sea2c GORDON, Joseph George, Sea1c HAMMETT, Jack M. Sea1c HULL, Allen Leslie Sea2c KOLOZSKY, John MM MICHALAK, Peter Paul Sea1c STARRATT, Lawrence Roland MM3c SEVIGNY, Edgar Bosn STECKLING, Edward Walter CMM STELTER, Frederick, Julius WT1c STIMAC, John Joseph Sea1c TALBOT, Richard Ship's Cook2c
PERSONNEL LOST AIETA, J. V. Ens R BAUERSFELD, P. M. Ens CLARK, R. J. Lieut FULD, S. L. Ens R HUNTER, C. R. Ens R SPOONER, W. R. Lieut (Jg) STEHLE, J. C. Lieut (jg) R SULLIVAN, T. M. Ens R TOFT, C. E. Lieut Comdr OSIER, Leuign W. CMM STANLEY, Joseph C GM CANFIELD, Cecil S. CMM HILL, Charles H. CMM STODA, Edward F. C WT NORDYKE, Archie V. CCStd SYVERTSON, Harold T. CCStd KELSCH, Albert A. BM1c MORLEY, Warren H. EM1c WALKER, Allen B. RM1c WILLIAMSON, Victor L. RM1c HYRES, Paul H. CM1c BUSTARD, Christopher C. MM1c GRAY, Irvin P. MM1c VINESKY, Peter WT1c MARTINDALE, Frank W. Y1c McDonald, John W. PhM1c FLOYD, Walter M. BM2c JOHNSON, Rolland C. BM2c VRABEL, Steve R. BM2c PROFIT, Walter, Jr. GM2c SMILLIE, Allan B. GM2c MAYER, Edward S. QM2c SIEDLECKI, Alexander J. QM2c R MULLEN, Robert F. CM2c R STEFENDEL, Frank L. EM2c R LUTHYE, Henry J. MM2c R WEBSTER, William D. MM2c WILLIAMSON, Delma R. MM2c BRUCKNER, Irving L. WT2c R KOWALSKI, Tadeus WT2c PARKER, Samuel T. Y2c REINHERZ, Frank L. SK2c R HVIZDOCK, Martin T. SC2c R SHEARER, Robert F. SC2c ASTLEY, George L. Cox R BRADBERRY, Robert C. Cox CLARK, John W. Cox PAWLUSIAK, Stanley E. Cox BURDEN, Alvin B. QM3c R VAIL, Walton B. QM3c FARR, Erman R. SOM3c MARTIN, Ivan E. SOM3c WEINER, Murray F. SOM3c R LIEN, Kenneth M. RM3c LOPEZ, Carlos A. RM3c MORGENSTERN, Leon RM3c PETERSON, Donald R. RM3c REYNOLDS, William J. RM3c ALTMAN, Albert J. Y3c DOWNEY, John V. SC3c ANDERSON, Donald J. Sea1c DEXTER, Norman R. Sea1c R ETHER, John H., Jr. Sea1c HARTMAN, Roy Sea1c HAWKRIDGE, Earle F. Sea1c R MURRAY, Harold A. Sea1c R OHLSEN, Francis W. Sea1c PAINE, Robert V. Sea1c POSNANSKY, Max H. Sea1c ROBINSON, William L. Sea1c RUGGERI, Anthony Sea1c STANLEY, George A. Sea1c TURANSKI, Joseph E. Sea1c VanALSTYNE, George P. Sea1c BUTLER, John J. F1c R MANISCALCO, August G. F1c PERRY, Frederick E. F1c R PETERSON, Roy E. L. F1c ROBINSON, James E. F1c R TUCCILLO, Vincent J. F1c WOLEVER, Harold R. Jr. F1c POWER, Edmund F. Sea2c GRAHAM, Ronald T. Sea2c TRAHAN, James J. P. Sea2c TRIMBOLI, Stephen E. Sea2c WARD, Ralph E. Sea2c DeSILVER, Carroll A. F2c R DOMANICH, George F2c R EGAN, John O. F2c R MEDEIROS, Gebbert F. F2c NALBONE, Samuel J. F2c R RESTAINO, Aniello F2c SARRISIN, Gerald J. F2c R WEYMAN, John W. Jr. F2c BRYAN, Herman A. AS R DAUPHIN, Maurice L. AS R DAVIS, Israel W. AS R GAVEY, Robert AS R HALLIGAN, Thomas J. AS R KINKSON, Clarence AS R HUMES, Francis J. AS R KIMBER, Clifford R. AS R LATTA, William J. AS R TOWNE, Francis I, AS R WHITE, Ralph C. AS R CLARK, Henry B. Jr. F3c R EGGERS, Vessie F. F3c R NEEDS, Paul A. F3c SILSBIE, Harold C. Jr. F3c R STEIGER, Alfred F3c VELASCO, Braulio M. OffStd2c WAHAB, John Jr. MAtt2c ALLEN, Clifton R. MAtt3c GREER, George MAtt3c GRIMES, Charlie S. MAtt3c R MASON, Carl S. CBM MOUNT, Grover J. Sea1c HARBOUR, Francis H. F3c JONES, Robert E. MAtt1c CRANSHAW, Charles E. MAtt3c R
PERSONNEL LOST MILLER, Robert W. Ens WELLS, Harry F. Ens ANDERSON, Roy F1c BUBECK, Sheldon T. Cox HAMMOND, Gerald O. WT1c POFI, Giovanni EM3c RIECKERT, Frederick Y2c SEXTON, Donald A. Sea1c 1 enlisted Nary man was killed in action. 1 enlisted Navy man died of wounds. 5 enlisted Navy men were missing in action.
USS Leopold (DE-319)
PERSONNEL LOST PHILLIPS, K. C. Comdr CONE, B. P. Lieut AYRAULT, George Lieut (Jg) DUHAMEL, Harold S. Lieut (Jg) EVANS, Arthur B. Jr. Lieut (jg) GARSIDE, Frank Lieut (Jg) HOFFMAN, Claude J. Lieut (Jg) NELSON, Kenneth B. Lieut (Jg) SPENCER, William E. Lieut (Jg) WESCOTT, Robert J. Lieut (Jg) LOGUE, Samuel C. Ens TILLMAN, William N. Ens VALAER, C. W. Ens ANCHALES, Basilio St2c ANTIOR, Jerome F1c ASTYK, Vincent Edward MM3c AUSTGEN, John Carl Sea1c BALLENGER, Clyde Edward BM2c BECKER, William Frederic QM3c BELL, John Donley Sea2c BILLET, Joseph Powers EM2c BIOTTI, David Charles F1c BOBLITT, Clyde Alvin EM3c BOLTON, Robert John Sea2c BORDOVSKY, Gilbert Alfred WT2c BRACKNELL, Huey Leon MoMM1c BRADLEY, Charles Francis GM1c BALCZON, Joseph Edward Sea2c BISSETT, William Harold Sea2c BRESSLER, Seymour Sea2c BROWN, Shirley Junior Sea1c BUSEY, James Arthur F1c CANTINE, Richard Lee Sea2c COOPER, Eldridge Hugo Sea2c COTTREALL, Harold Francis Sea2c CRONIN, William Stephen CY CROSWELL, Lindsay Freeman RM2c CARBON, Frank Anthony SK1C CLAUS, Gerald William Sea2c CLARK, William Henry Jr. MoMM 2c CORP, Henry Joseph BM2c COVIELLO, Michael Joseph RM3c COVINGTON, Robert Thomas Jr. MoMM1c CRANDALL, Robert Francis Sea1c CROTEAU, Joseph James Sea1c CULKIN, Daniel Francis Sea2c CURREY, Francis Patrick SM3c DANIELSKI, John MoMM2c DAVEY, William James Sea1c DAVIS, Lee Winter F1c DEATON, Lawrence Thomas Sea1c DILUVIO, Bartolo F2c DONOHUE, Leo Edward Cox DURRENCE, Leon Ellis Sea1c EASTMAN, Joseph Benjamin MM3c EICK, Robert Willis MM3c ELLIOTT, George Leslie SC2c ELLIS, Joseph Jr. Sea1c FOLLMAN, Clarence Henry F2c FARNSLEY, Raymond Jams Sea2c FERENCIK, John Sea2c FITZGERALD, Charles Marshall Sea2c FLINN, Harry Robert Sea1c FRAZIER, Edwin Ward Sea1c GEASMAN, Glenn Dale SoM3c GILDER, Robert Walter MM3c GIROUX, Loris Winfield C MoMM GOAN, Louis McFerrin CMOMM GRAHAM, Richard Leo CQM GREENE, Ozzie Lee Sea2c GUENTHER, John David GM3c GEE, William Arthur RM3c HARRISON, John Francis CM1c HAUN, Harold Huey RdM3c HAYES, Daniel Joseph SM3c HANZARAK, John Sea1c HAKE, Hans August Claus SC2c HAMILTON, Stephan Howard Sea1c HEFFERON, John Francis EM1c HEIKE, Edward Andrew Sea1c HOOPES, William Patterson MM2c HOPPE, Albert Edward F2c HUNT, Frank William SK2c INGRAHAM, Edward Sea1c JASKOWIAK, Earl Julius Joseph Sea2c JOHNSON, Kenneth Jack F1c JONES, Robert Edward RM2c JUSZKIEWICZ, Menceslaus Sigismund, Jr. CRM KINNARD, Benjamin III CRM KACZYNSKI, John Joseph GM3c KERR, Augustus Spurgeon CPhM KLEIN, Bob Charles Sea2c KNOX, William Charles F1c KRATOCHVIL, Robert Sea1c KURPIEL, Frank Charles Sea1c LaROCHE, Gayhart Benedict QM1c LARSON, Ernest Martin, Jr. Sea1c LOWRIE, James David RM2c LaREAU, Kingsley Jay CBM LARSON, Theodore EM1c LICHVARCIK, William Y1c LIESER, Irving RdM3c LOZON, Edwin H. BM1c MARCOULLIER, Howard Joseph GM2c MARTENSEN, Orville Earl TM3c MILES, Charles Kupraites MoMM1c MOORE, Bradner James, Jr. CMoMM MacLENNAN, William Rogerson Sea2c MASCETTI, Albert Peter Sea1c MATHEWS, Eugene Wallace EM3c MIECZNIKOWSKI, John Stanley MoMM1c MILLER, Everett Vernon Sea1c MOLDER, Lecil Kirtland Sea1c MORAN, Hugh Joseph Sea1c MOSIER, William, Jr. Sea2c MULLINAX, William Arthur MM3c MUSETTI, Almo Edward Sea1c NEFF, William Henry, Jr. F2c NICHOLAS, Charles Augustus Sea2c O'GRADY, John William Sea2c OHAR, John Sea2c OTT, Harry William EM2c PORTER, Bennie Ralph Sea2c PAWLEN, John Sea1c PELLETIER, Victor Camille Sea2c PERKINS, John Wentworth Sea1c PETERSON, Leonard Sea1c POWLEY, Jack Junior MM3c PRUSS, Walter MM1c REITSEMA, John Jacob MoMM1c RIDENOUR, Forrest Dunfee Sea1c ROBERTS, Joseph Louis GM3c ROBINETIE, John Galvin GM3c ROTRUCK, Elwood Eugene Sea1c ROWELL, Donald Merrill GM3c RYAN, Vance Eugene Sea1c SAMSON, Eddie "B" St1c SAVAGE, Edward Arthur MoMM2c SAVOY, Joseph Horace PhM3c SIMON, Elmer, Stephen Sea2c SITGREAVES, Howard, Reese F1c SNOOK, Marshall Fullilove C GM
STARRETT, Willard Leroy Sea1c STEPANEK, Lyle William Sea1c STOBART, James Alfred Sea1c STORTS, Richard Price Sea2c STROUSE, John Ackerly QM3c SULLIVAN, Raymond Eugene MoMM1c SUTTON, Virgil Leroy F2c SWEENEY, Leon Emmett Sea1c SCHMALFUSS, William Joseph RM3c SIMPSON, George StM2c SNOOK, Edwin Dupes SM3c STEVENS, Eddie Milton StM2c TALSMA, Jacob F1c TAMAS, John, Jr. RM1c TIMOCKO, Paul Sea1c WASSILAK, Frank, Jr. Cox WIGGER, Paul William MoMM1c WOODIN, Sherman Francis F2c WAHL, Lester Andrew MoMM2c WARD, Walter Lee RM3c WASSMER, John Howard Sea1c WELLS, Ray Leonard Sea2c WHITE, James Peter Sea2c WINGATE, Lester Brayton SoM2c WINTER, Francis Frederick Y2c WRIGHT, Gabriel DeVeber Cox VALLET, Rene SC2c VANCE, Dala Leon Sea2c VAN EGMOND, William James Sea1c
USS Serpens (AK-97)
MISSING AFTER EXPLOSION AIKEN, John Gayle, III Lieut KOTKAS, William Charles Lieut AUBLE, George Coleman Lieut (jg) JOHNSON, Robert Joseph Lieut (jg) PRANCE, Warren Clyde Lieut (jg) Davis, Max Edward Ens QUESTAD, Roy Arthur Ens SHOGREN, Jacob Harold Ens ABLES, Edwin Atwater EM2c ANDERSON, Roy Gordon PM2c ANTKOWIAK, Edwin Frank Cox ARO, Harry Edward WT1c ASHBY, Clifford Daniel AS BABCOCK, Woodward Solomon GM3c BAKER, Edward Albert Mach BARER, Jacob GM3c BARNHOUSE, Charles Richard Sea1c BIELINSKI, Joseph Sea1c BOYD, Billy LaVere SK1c BRANDLEN, Lester Leonard Sea1c BREEN, Gerald Clement F2c BROOKS, Chester Std2c BROSHEAR, James Melvin QM3c BURKE, Leo Henry Sea2c BURNS, Keith Dale Sea2c BUTLER, Junior Walter F1c CALLAHAN, Raymond Francis Sea1c CAMARLINGHI, Gilbert Joseph Sea2c CAMBRIA, Anthony Sea2c CAMMARATA, Michael Louis Sea2c CAREY, Louis Stanley Sea1c CARR, Charles Edwin Sea2c CASSARIS, Peter Angelus Sea1c CATGENOVA, Pete Sea2c CERVANTEZ, Philip Reyes CM3c CHADWICK, James Ernest MM2c CHAMBERS, Leslie Earl S2c CIANCO, Frank Joseph Sea1c COPE, Joseph Sea1c COTE, James Victor Sea1c COWHEY, William Sea1c CRAFT, Charles Edward Sea1c CREECH, Lawrence "F" Sea2c CROOK, Lovell Romayne Sea1c CROWE, Ranard Mason Sea1c CUMMINGS, Arden Orville MM1c CURTIS, Albert Bradley F1c DALY, John Clifford Sea1c DANCISAK, John Albert Sea1c DAY, Clarence Willard Sea2c DAY, Howard Edward Sea1c DEDMON, John Clifford, Jr. Radarman3c DEERMER, Henry Karl Sea2c DeGAETANO, Samuel Sea1c DEGREVE, Robert Myles Sea1c DEROUEN, Marvin Sea1c DICKERSON, George Lester StdM1c DIEHL, Lee Henry Sea1c DISTEL, Harold George F1c DIX, Homer Allen, Jr. Sea2c DOHERTY, William Charles Sea1c DONATO, Edward Joseph CM3c DONOVAN, Donald Robert Sea1c DUNN, William Curt Sea1c DRAGO, James Sea2c EASTERDAY, Robert Allen MoMM3c ECKART, Gustave Fredrick Cox ELSASSER, Sylvan Bernard Sea1c DURSO, Edmund Joseph Cox FAUST, Joseph David Cox FIDURSKI, John Sea1c FLETCHER, Ira Vernon Sea1c FLOWERS, Murray Caldwell Sea1c FORKNER, Fieldon "B" EM3c FOX, Warren Emmett CM2c FREGIA, Roger William Sea2c FRENCH, Jay Fred Sea1c FRITZ, Ralph Charles Sea1c GALLO, Jim Cox GAMSU, Ely Sea1c GARZON, John Louis F1c GIBSON, Mack Everett Sea1c GLAZE, Robert Leland CHF BM GOLDSTEIN, Sheldon Gordon Hos Att2c GONZALES, Emelio Cruz Sea2c GORAL, John Kenneth Chief Pay Clerk GRAEBER, Charles Edward PM3c GRANGER, Warren Joseph Ship's Cook3c GRANT, Daniel Laban, Jr. Y3c GRAY, Hean Pierre Dessaint Sea1c GREGORY, Freeman Sea1c GRETZ, Frank Jerome Sea1c GRISBAUM, Stanley Raymond Sea1c GRISAMORE, Lorren Edward Sea1c GUTHRIDGE, Boyce Frank RadioTech3c HAGEMEIER, Elmer Pratt, Jr. WT2c HAGENDORN, Arthur Charles, Jr. PM3c Hamilton, Raymond Charles Radarman3c HAMPTON, John William BM2c HARLOW, William Henry F1c HARMON, Kenneth Harold F1c HART, Donald James Sea2c HARTLEIB, James F1c HARTZLER, William Carleton MM3c HASKELL, Melvin Sea1c HEADRICK, Perry Paul Sea2c HELSEM, Leslie MM2c HENIGAN, Felix Leon F2c HENSHAW, George Arthur Ship's Cook2c HERRINGTON, Robert Allen F1c HICKMAN, Marcus Runnel StdM3e HIGGINS, Thomas Leland Sea1c HINSON, Henry Cannon GM3c HODGE, Robert Blake Sea1c HOUCHEN, Bernard James Sea1c
HOYT, Robert Laverne Sea1c HUBACHER, Raymond Earl QM3c HULL, Otis Dewert Sea1c HUTCHINSON, Colon Joseph Sea1c JACOBS, Vernard Connin MoMM2c JAISSLE, Paul Robert Sea2c JOHNSON, Norman Anthony Sea2c KADILAK, Frank SK1c KELLAR, Milton Russell, Jr. Sea2c KETTUNEN, Arnold Edward F1c KILEY, Ralph Dana Sea1c KIRCHNER, Richard Otto Sea1c KOLAR, Melvin Marceline MoMM3c KRUEGER, Norbert Edward Sea1c KURDILLA, Vincent John Sea1c KUSEK, Stanley John Sea1c KYLE, Charlie Golden StdM1c LAIRD, James Edward Sea1c LAMBERT, Walter Paul Sea1c LANHAM, Woodrow Sea1c LEGO, Noaln Raymond, Jr. Sea2c LEVERENTZ, Russell Carl MM3c LEWIS, David Fielding Ship's Cook3c LLMBACHER, Walter John, Jr. SK3c MacFARLAND, Charles Thomas MoMM3c MACKEY, Joseph James Cox MADDOX, Samuel Monroe Sea2c MANKE, Albert Junior Cox MAZZANTI, Raymond Gregory Cox McCARTER, John Herman MM3c McCAW, John Lewis WT3c MCCULLOUGH, William Joseph, Jr. MM3c McDANIEL, Harold Myers, Jr. SK3c McGUCKIN, Harold Myers, Jr. SK3c McLARTY, Lloyd Arthur RM2c MENARD, Alvis Joseph MM3c MILLER, Madge, Victor StdM2c MIRON, James Joseph Sea1c NIVIN, William Fossett Sea1c OAKLUND, Douglas Harry Sea1c O'DONNELL, William Richard Cox ORTON, George Edward ChfMM PAYNE, Charles Clay F1c PAZUREK, William Oscar SM3c PETERSON, Lincoln Fowler WT3c QUALMANN, Frederick Edward Adolph StdM3c REUTER, Orville Frederick Sea1c RICCARDI, Hugo MoMM1c ROYER, Fred Otto RM3c RUDY, Paul ChfMM RUGGIERO, Eugene ChfMM SAMPAY, Roy Anthony MM3c SANDOVAL, Alfonso Celso Sea1c SARKISOFF, Lewis John Cox: SCHMOOK, John Phillip F1c SCHRADER, Charles Eugene Sea1c SELAYA, James Daniel Sea1c SELEMAN, William "H", Jr. Cox SNEDDON, Robert Charles Sea1c SMITH, Robert Joseph WT3c SORENSON, Robert Harry MM3c STEINMAN, Cyril David, Jr. RM1c STILLMAN, Washington Edward ChfPM STRICKLAND, Myron Kendall RM3c STUCKEY, Floyd Cox THOMAS, Robert Ernest Y1c THORNBURGH, James Robert MM1c TURNER, Hubert MoMM1c TWAIT, Vernon Henry BM2c VAUGHAN, William Warner QM VEDDER, Edgar Lloyd ChfEM VILLEMONT, Samuel Earl WT3c VINCENT, Harold Lacier WT2c WALKO, John Francis Cox WARD, Eugene Jacob Std1c WARDLE, Delos Ray Cox WEST, Kinchion Dale SM2c WETTS, Woodrow Herman Sea1c WHITE, Alton Sea2c WOOD, Charles Bernard Ship's Cook1c ZAFFORE, Tom SM3c