The Story of Fleet Logistics Afloat in the Pacific During World War II

Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil

Rear Adm. Worrall Reed Carter
USN (Retired)

with a Foreword by
The Honorable Dan A. Kimball
The Secretary of the Navy

Seahorse (image for Logistics)
and an Introduction by

Admiral Raymond A. Spruance, USN (Retired)

who helped turn back the Japanese at Midway and later took from them the Gilberts, Marshalls, Marianas, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa

Admiral Raymond Ames Spruance, USN
Admiral Raymond Ames Spruance, USN


Chapter   Page
Foreword v
Introduction vii
Preface xi
I. Pre-World War II 1
II. The Service Force 7
    Laboring Giant of the Pacific Fleet 7
III. Early Activities 11
  Asiatic Fleet in Dutch East Indies 12
  Logistics of Raiding Forces 17
  Coral Sea 21
  Midway 21
IV. In the South Pacific 23
  Taking the Offensive 23
  Guadalcanal 28
  Logistic Outlook 30
V. Logistic Organization and Sources, South Pacific 35
  Damages and Repairs 35
VI. Building Up in the South Pacific 49
VII. The Southwest Pacific Command 63
  Early Logistics 63
VIII. In the Aleutians 69
IX. Operation GALVANIC (the Gilbert Islands) 87
  Mobile Service Squadrons Begin Growing 90
  Service Squadron Four at Funafuti 91
X. Service Squadron Ten Organizing at Pearl 95
  Relationship of the Service Administrative Squadron Eight 96
XI. Early Composition and Organization of Service Squadron Ten 105
  Ordnance Logistics 107
  Administration of Ordnance Spare Parts and Fleet Ammunition 108
XII. The Marshall Island Campaign 115
  The Truk Strike 121
XIII. Multiple Missions 129
  The Palau and Hollandia Strikes 129
  Marcus and Wake Raids 132
  Submarine Bases at Majuro 133
  Growth of Service Squadron Ten at Majuro 134
XIV. Operation FORAGER, the Marianas Campaign 137
  Floating Logistic Facilities 138
  Servicing the Staging Amphibious Forces 140
  Replenishment of Fast Carriers 143
XV. FORAGER Logistics in General and Ammunition in Particular 149
  Service Squadron Ten at Eniwetok 163
XVI. STALEMATE II: The Western Carolines Operation 171
  Preparations at Seeadler Harbor and Eniwetok 173
XVII. Logistic Support at Seeadler and at Sea 185
  Service Unit at Seeadler 185
  Oilers With the Fast Carrier Group 190
  Ammunition, Smoke, Water, Provisions, Salvage 197
XVIII. Further STALEMATE Support 207
  Medical Plans and Facilities 207
  Mail 210
  Service Unit at Seeadler 210
  With the Fast Carriers 212
  Squadron Ten Prepares to Move 213
XIX. Service Squadron Ten Main Body Moves to Ulithi 217
  Reduction to Minimum at Eniwetok 220
  Improvement in Salvaging 225
XX. The Philippines Campaign 233
  Forces and Vessels 233
  Logistic Support of the Seventh Fleet 237
  Battle of Leyte Gulf 243
XXI. Logistic Support of the Third Fleet 249
  Submarine Attacks at Ulithi 259
XXII. Leyte Aftermath 267
  Ormoc Bay and Mindoro Landings 267
  Admiral Halsey on the Rampage 271
  "Bull in the China Sea" 272
  Some Dull Routine at Ulithi 276
  Another Midget Attack--Ammunition Ship Mazama Hit 278
XXIII. Iwo Campaign 281
  Fifth Fleet Relieves Third 281
  Forces and Vessels 281
  Logistics Prescribed 282
  Logistics Support Group--Service Squadron Six 283
  Service Squadron Ten Still Busy 291
XXIV. Service Squadron Ten Grows Up 293
  The Guam Base 303
  Seventh Fleet Logistic Vessels and Bases 306
XXV. Operation ICEBERG: The Okinawa Campaign 311
  The Forces Involved 312
  Staging Logistics 317
XXVI. Activities at Saipan and Ulithi 323
XXVII. Logistics at Kerama Retto for the Okinawa Operation 331
  Suicide Plane Attacks 335
XXVIII. Expansion of "At-Sea" Support by Service Squadron Six 355
XXIX. Support Activities at Leyte-Samar
  Service Squadron Ten Main Body Moves to San Pedro Bay 370
  Naval Bases on Leyte-Samar 373
  Reorganization of Service Squadron Ten 379
  Dysentery in Fleet Anchorage 382
  Service Force Pacific Absorbs Service Force Seventh Fleet 383
XXX. Okinawa After 1 July 1945 385
  Operations Under Service Squadron Twelve 388
  The Move to Buckner Bay and Service Activities There the Remaining Days of the War 392
XXXI. The Giant Takes Off His Armor 399
  Surrender 399
  Changes in Logistic Services 399
  Getting Back Toward Peace Routine 400
  Pipe Down 403
  Appendix 405
  The appendix contains a list of commanding officers of service vessels under Commander Service Force Pacific, photographs of vessels and small craft representative of the principal types engaged in logistic support activities under Commander Service Force Pacific, and a glossary of abbreviations.  

List of Photographs

Neosho fuels Yorktown in heavy sea 19
Kitty Hawk supplying planes to the Long Island 29
USS Kitty Hawk at Pallikulo Bay, New Hebrides, unloading torpedo plane to self-propelled 50-ton barge 31
Minneapolis, bow blown off 44
Minneapolis, bow repaired with coconut-palm tree trunks 45
Honolulu at Tulagi with bow damaged by "dud" torpedo 56
Ortolan raises two-man submarine 59
PT boat fueling depot Base No. 8, Morobe, New Guinea 65
Submarine undocking from ARD-6, Dutch Harbor 70
Sweepers Cove, Adak, Aleutian Islands 71
Finger Bay, Adak Island 72
Torpedoes being hosted aboard Lexington 113
Small floating drydock 124
The concrete stores barge Quartz, one of the many of this type construction 127
Ammunition ship Shasta loading 14-inch powder and shells onto the New Mexico 155
New Mexico sending 14-inch H.C. shells to the magazines 156
Ships in Eniwetok, Marshall Islands 164
An LCT alongside the Yorktown 166
Ships in Seeadler Harbor, Manus Island, in the Admiralty Islands 186
Argonne damaged by the blowing up of the Mount Hood 187
The Boston fueling a destroyer 192
Fueling from both sides 195
Gasoline lighter and an LCT alongside the carrier Intrepid 198
Transferring bombs from LST to the carrier Hancock at sea 199
Taking sugar on the carrier Lexington at night 202
The Houston--what holds her up? 227
The Reno hard hit and barely afloat 229
The Mississinewa torpedoed by a midget 260
One of the midgets 262
Load of powder midway between the Shasta and the cruiser Vicksburg at sea 285
Randolph damaged by suicide plane 297
Franklin hit hard 298
Closeup of the Franklin 299
Pittsburgh in a drydock, Guam 304
Bow of Pittsburgh, towed in, cut up, and restored to the ship 305
Destroyer Newcomb damaged by suicide attacks 334
Damage to the flight deck of Sangamon 336
Damage to Kiland's flagship, Mount McKinley 338
Damage to the destroyer Hazelwood 341
Pennsylvania low in water after being torpedoed by plane 342
Maryland taking turret-gun powder 344
YMS-92, stern blown off 352
The oiler Cahaba fueling the battleship Iowa and the carrier Shangri-La on a smooth day 360
The Ocelot--"Spotted Cat"--Carter's flagship 372
The Ponaganset loading fresh water at Balusoa Water Point, Samar 377
Raising a Jap midget by net layers 391
News of the surrender of Japan 395
Celebrating the good news 396

List of Charts

Title Page
Southwest Pacific, Australia, New Guinea, Borneo 14
New Hebrides 27
Australia 62
Aleutian Islands 74
Gilbert Islands 88
Marshall Islands 116
Majuro Atoll 119
Marianas Islands 150
Eniwetok Atoll 153
Caroline Islands 172
New Guinea (and small part of Australia) 181
Ulithi Atoll 223
Philippines 235
Leyte Gulf--Surigao Strait--Samar--Leyte 252
China, Japan, and the Philippines 273
Kerama Retto 332
Okinawa Shima 386

Transcribed and formatted for HTML by Patrick Clancey, HyperWar Foundation