Milton Frank Pavlic, born in Trieste, Italy, 27 December 1909, was appointed Midshipman 25 June 1928, and commissioned Ensign 2 June 1932, and Lieutenant Commander 15 June 1942. He served in New York, Mississippi, Tracy, Melville, and Barney. From 17 June 1940 to 9 March 1942, he served at the Naval Academy; then helped fit out South Dakota and was on board the battleship when she commissioned 20 March 1942. South Dakota sailed to the Pacific and fought in the Santa Cruz Islands, and at Guadalcanal. In the fierce Naval Battle off Guadalcanal early on 15 November, South Dakota’s Task Force engaged a force of Japanese warships. She was badly damaged in the action. Lt. Comdr. Pavlic died in the battle and posthumously was awarded the Purple Heart Medal.
(APD–70: dp. 1,370; l. 306’; b. 37’; dr. 12’7”; s. 24 k.; cpl. 374; a. 1 5”, 6 40mm.; cl. Amesbury)
Pavlic (APD–70) was laid down as DE–669 21 September 1943 by the Dravo Corp., Neville Island, Pittsburgh, Penn.; launched 18 December 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Milton F. Pavlic; completed by the Consolidated Steel Corp. of Orange, Tex.; redesignated APD–70 on 27 June 1944; and commissioned 29 December 1944, Lt. Comdr. C. V. Allen, USNR, in command.
After shakedown out of Bermuda and amphibious training at Portsmouth, Va., Pavlic departed Norfolk 22 February for Hawaii via the Panama Canal and San Diego arriving Pearl Harbor 21 March. Following training exercises, she departed Pearl Harbor 13 April and steamed via Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands and Ulithi, Caroline Islands for the Ryukyus.
From 3 May to 9 May she was stationed on the picket line off Okinawa fighting off several raids and performing rescue work. On the 10th, she escorted Relief (AH–1) to Guam, returning to Hagushi Anchorage two days later to resume patrol work.
On 18 May Pavlic was designated as a special rescue vessel and continued her rescue work while undergoing several heavy enemy raids.
On 27 May, she repelled her first direct suicide attack. On 28 May, she opened fire on a low flying “Betty”, a Japanese torpedo bomber, which veered away. Then the fast transport and Yokes (APD–69) picked up survivors from Drexler (DD–741), sunk by two suicide planes, and took them to Hagushi Anchorage. On 29 May she picked up survivors from Shubrick (DD–639), also damaged by a suicide plane.
For the remainder of the war she continued to serve in the Pacific war zone, primarily in the Ryukyus. On 14 August she got underway to join the 3rd Fleet off Tokyo. Four days later she made rendezvous with the British Pacific Fleet, and took on board a Royal Navy and Royal Marine landing force from HMS Newfoundland and HMNZS Gambia. On 27 August Pavlic arrived Honshu, Japan, entering Sagami Wan, in the shadow of Mount Fujiyama, and on the 30th she steamed into Tokyo Bay with Sims (APD–50) and Barr (APD–39), and debarked landing forces to demilitarize Forts No. 2 and 4, guarding the entrance to Tokyo Bay and to raise the colors. The landing forces returned, and Pavlic proceeded to Yokosuka Ko.
On 31 August, with L Company of the 4th Marines embarked, Pavlic made the short run to Tateyama Wan to secure the large Japanese naval air station and remained there until 3 September supporting the Marines. On that day, after an Army Occupation Regiment relieved them, she reembarked the Marines and returned to Yokosuka Ko. On 9 September, Pavlic was designated as a barracks ship.
On 15 April 1946 Pavlic sailed for the United States and, after overhaul at the Philadelphia and Charleston naval shipyards, was towed to Green Cove Springs, Fla., where she decommissioned 15 November 1946. She was struck from the Navy List 1 April 1967 and was sold for scrapping to North American Smelting Co. 1 July 1968.
Pavlic received one battle star for World War II service.