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ACTION REPORT USS LCS (L) (3) 57, BATTLE OF OKINAWA AT RP STATION #1, APRIL 12, 1945

PDF Version [5.9MB]

ENCLOSURE (A)

(ALL TIE ITEM ZONE)

(1) 1345 – FROM RADIUM TO DOLLY 3 MOHAIR 2 IBEX 7 BREAK STATION ASSIGNMENT X FROM SUNSET TO SUNRISE X DOLLY 3 BEARING 160 DISTANCE 10 MILES IBEX 7 BEARING 210 DISTANCE 5 MILES MOHAIR 2 BEARING 300 DISTANCE 10 MILES X ALL BEARINGS ARE FFROM ROGER PETER ONE STATION CENTER X COLLECTIVE CALL RADIUM GANG.

(2) 1430-FROM IBEX 7 TO RADIUM WE ARE NOW ON STATION BREAK 090500

(3) 2015-FROM RADIUM TO RADIUM GANG FRIENDLY PLANE MAKING WATER LANDING DUE NORTH OF US ABOUT 10 MILES

(4) 2020-FROM RADIUM TO RADIUM GAND FRIENDLY WILL CRASH CLOSE TO US

(5) 2030-FROM RADIUM TO IBEX 7 PILOT SPLASHED APPROMIMATELY 330 3000 YARDS FROM YOU

(6) 2045-FROM RADIUM TO IBEX 7 SPLASH 305 TRUE 6000 YDS.  FROM OUR PRESENT POSITION.

(7) 2105-FROM RADIUM TO IBEX 7 COME TO COURSE 305 SO THAT WE MAY SEARCH THIS AREA TOGETHER SPEED 10

(8) 2117-FROM RADIUM TO IBEX 7 EXECUTE TO FOLLOW CORPEN 130 SPEED 08

(9) 2119-EXECUTE CORPEN 130 SPEED 08

(10) 2132-FROM RADIUM TO IBEX 7 STANDBY TO EXECUTE CORPEN 148

(11) 2135-FROM RADIUM TO IBEX 7 EXECUTE CORPEN 148

(12) 2200-FROM RADIUM TO IBEX 7 EXECUTE TO FOLLOW CORPEN 180

(13) 2205 FROM RADIUM TO IBEX 7 EXECUTE CORPEN 180 10 APRIL 1945

(14) 0011-FROM IBEX 7 TO RADIUM BREAK RESCUED SECOND LT.C.H. COPPEDGE OF VMF 441 X HE REPORTS OTHER FLYERS BAILED OUT THIS VICINITY X SHALL WE CONTINUE SEARCH OR PROCEED TO NEW STATION.

(15) ????-FROM RADIUM TO IBEX 7 MICE GOING ON THAT RESCUE CONTINUE SEARCH AS LONG AS YOU HAVE HOPES PATROL THE NORTH EAST SECTOR RADIUS OF 10 MILES.

Page 2

D.  DISPOSITION OF OWN FORCES AT OUTSET OF ACTION WAS AS FOLLOWS, DD 793 AND 734 PATROLLING ON LINE 315(T) THROUGH BASIC STATION, THIS SHIP WAS STATIONED WITHIN A RADIUS OF 2 ½ MILES OF A POINT BEARING 210 (T) 16 MILES FROM BASIC STATION.  LCS(L) 33 WAS STATION 120(T) 16 MILES FROM BASIC STATION.  LCS(L) 33 WAS STATION 120(T) 10 MILES FROM RP STATION, LCS(L) 114 300 (T) 5 MILES, AND LCS(L) 115 300 (T) 15 MILES.

E.  ENEMY FORCES ENCOUNTERED WERE APPROXIMATELY 25 AIRCRAFT COMPOSED OF VALS AND NATES.  THIS SHIP WAS ATTACKED BY 2 WAVES OF 4 NATES EACH APPROACHING IN LINE ABREAST WHICH PEELED OFF SYSTEMICALLY TO MAKE RUNS ON THIS SHIP.

PART III, V, VI.

SHIP HAD BEEN PATROLLING AT CONDITION ONE EASY OR TWO FOR THREE DAYS, MOSTELY IN RAINY WEATHER, DURING THE ATTACK THE SEA WAS CALM THE DAY BRIGHT AND CLEAR. WIND FORCE WAS APPROXIMATELY FORCE 2 FROM 040(T), STRATUS CLOUDS COVERING 5/10 OF THE SKY, VISIBILITY GOOD.  AT 1313, COMDESDIV 126 WARNED BY SCR OF UNIDENTIFIED PLANES HEADING TOWARD STATION FROM THE NORTH.  WENT TO BATTLE STATIONS…AT 1320 BOTH DESTROYERS WERE OBSERVED TO OPEN FIRE WITH 5 INCH BATTERIES.  AT 1335 APPROXIMATELY 15 ENEMY AIRCRAFT WERE ALSO IN VACINITY.  ONE ENEMY PLANE WAS SHOT DOWN BY A FRIENDLY AT ABOUT THIS TIME, THREE MILES TO THE EAST.  DD’S WERE ABOUT 5 MILES NORTH OF THIS SHIP AT THE OUTSET OF THE ATTACK.  AT 1347 ENEMY PLANE FROM A GROUP OF 8 COMMENCED RUN ON THIS SHIP AT RANGE 4000 YARDS.  ALTITUDE 600 FEET FROM 10 DEGREES OFF STARBOARD BOW.  THIS PLANE WAS OBSERVED TO DROP A BOMB OR OTHER OBJECT ABOUT 200 YARDS FROM THE SHIP, AND HAVING BEEN REPEATEDLY HIT BY THE FORWARD 40 AND 20 MM GUNS, PEELED OFF AT 100 YARDS FROM THIS SHIP AND SPLASHED 50 YARDS OFF THE PORT QUARTER.  ONE MAN WAS WOUNDED IN THE LEFT ARM BY 30 CALIBER MACHINE GUN FIRE FROM THIS PLANE.  TWO WAVES OF 4 ENEMY PLANES ABREAST APPROACHED THE SHIP FROM THE EAST AT ABOUT 1000 FT. ALTITUDE.  THE FORWARD SINGLE AND TWIN MOUNT 40 MM GUNS WERE ORDERED TO TAKE UNDER FIRE THE FIRST WAVE.  THE AFTER TWIN MOUNT CONTROL WAS USED ON TWIN MOUNTS INITIAL RANGE 2500 YARDS.  20 MM GUNS FIRED ON TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY.  AT THIS TIME THE SHIP WAS HEADING NORTH, SPEED SIX KNOTS.

    A PLANE FFROM THE FIRST WAVE PEELED OFF FROM THE FORMATION AND COMMENCED A LOW RUN ON THE SHIP FROM DEAD AHEAD SKIPPING ALONG THE WATER FOR ABOUT ONE MILE, 1 LOSING ITS LANDING GEAR IN THE PROCESS.  THIS PLANE KEPT UP CONTINOUS 30 CALIBER MACHINE GUNFIRE THROUGHOUT THE RUN.  SINCE PLANE CAME IN HED ON, COURSE CHANGED WAS MADE TO PRESENT SMALLEST TARGET FOR PLANE AND SPEED WAS REDUCED FROM 11 KNOTS TO 6 KNOTS TO ASSIST FIRE CONTROL.

(OVER)

PAGE “2” CON’T

    REPEATED HITS, PROBABLY 20 MM, WERE OBSERVED.  THE FORWARD TWIN MOUNT 40 MM CEASED FIRE WHEN THE PLANE WAS ABOUT 800 YARDS FROM SHIP SARETY CAMS HAVING CUT OUT FIRING MECHANISM DUE TO LOW POSITION ANGLE OF TARGET.  WHEN WITHIN A VERY SHORT DISTANCE OF THE SHIP, PLANE SUDDENLY ELEVATED, VEERING OFF TO PORT STRIKING THE FORWARD TWIN MOUNT 40 MM GUN TUBE A GLANCING BLOW, LANDING IN THE WATER TO THE PILOT WAS DEAD BEFORE HITTING.  THE HIT RENCERED THE FORWARD 40 MM TWIN MOUNT INOPERATIVE CAUSING OTHER DAMAGE TO SUPERSTRUCTURE AND GUNTUBE.  ONE MAN RECEIVED A GUNSHOT WOUND FROM MACHINE GUNFIRE OF THIS PLANE.  CHANGED COURSE TO SOUTHWEST INCREASING SPEED TO 10 KNOTS TO ALLOW AFTER GUNS TO BEAR ON PLANE WAVES AHEAD.  1352 TWO NATES OF THE SECOND WAVE WERE SHOT DOWN BY THE AFTER TWIN 40 MM USING DIRECTOR CONTROL, RANGE ABOUT 2000 YARDS, PLANES PARALLELING OUR COURSE AT ABOUT 600 FEET ALTITUTE.

PAGE “3”

    ONE PLANE FROM THE SECOND WAVE WHICH AND LEFT THE FORMATION SUDDENLY APPEARED 2 MILES OFF THE PORT QUARTER, SKIMMING THE WATER HEADING IN DIRECTION OF SHIP, FIRING AS IT CAME.  THIS PLANE WAS TAKEN UNDER FIRE BY 2 PORT 20 MM AND AFTER 40 MM TWIN USING DIRECTOR CONTROL SWITHING TO TRACER CONTROL AS THE PLANE APPROACHED PLANE WAS HIT AND EXPLODED ABOUT 10 FEET FROM THE SHIP.  ALTHOUGH THIS HIT PROBABLY SAVED THE SHIP, THE FORCE OF THE EXPLOSION BLEW A HOLE 8 FEET IN DIAMETER IN THE PORT QUARTER EXTENDING 3 FEET BELOW THE WATER LINE, BLEW FOUR MEN FROM THE GUND CREW INTO THE WATER RENDERED THE AFTER TWIN MOUNT 40 MM INOPERATIVE, DAMAGED STEERING, DESTROYED ALL INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS, CAUSED SHORT CIRCUITS AND STARTED FIRES IN THE AFTER MAGAZINE AND ON THE FANTAIL, THE MAGAZINE WAS FLOODED, GASOLINE JETTISONED.  THE MAGAZINE SPRINKLER SYSTEM APPEARANTLY TOOK NEARLY ALL THE CAPACITY OF FIRE AND BILGE PUMP, WHICH, COUPLED WITH DAMAGE TO PIPING, RESULTED IN ONLY ONE HOSE BEING BROUGHT TO BEAR ON FIRE IN GYRO ROOM JUST FORWARD OF MAGAZINE.  THIS WAS EXTINGUISHED WITH C02.  GASOLINE FIRES ON DECK WERE IMMEDIATELY BROUGHT UNDER CONTROL WITH C02.  HOLES IN ENGINE ROOM CAUSED BILGES TO FILL RAPIDLY.  BOTH HALE PUMPS WERE DAMAGED BY THE EXPLOSION, AND BOTH P-500 JOHNSIONS, ATHOUGHT OPERATION REFUSED TO WERE BADLY BURNED BY THE EXPLOSION, ONE RECEIVING TWO BULLET WOUNDS. THE GYRO COMPASS WAS COMPLETELY DEMOLISHED AND THE MAGNASYN COMPASS WAS COMPLETELY INOPERATIVE.  THE SHIP LISTED ABOUT 10 DEGREES TO STARBOARD.  OPERATING WITH EMERGENCY STEERING THIS SHIP COMMENCED MANOUVERING TO SEARCH FOR MEN BLOWN IN THE WATER, HITS AND SPLASHED WERE REPORTED TO DD 793 (MESSAGE 37) WHICH ADVISED THAT LCS(L)33 WAS COMING TO OUR ASSITANCE.  LCS(L) 33 CLOSED THIS SHIP AND WAS ASKED BY BLINKER TO ASSIST IN THE SEARCH.  BOTH DESTROYERS APPROACHED FROM THE NORTH AND SIGHTED OUR MAN CLOSED ABOARD ABOUT A MILE TO THE EAST.  DD734 ADVISED US OF THEIR WHEREABOUTS BUT DID NOT STOP TO PICK THEM UP.  DESTROYERS PROCEEDED TO A POINT 4 OR 5 MILES TO THE SOUTH.  DD 793 WAS NOT SEEN AFTER HIS.  ALL MEN WERE FOUND UNINJURED, AND RESCUED BY THIS SHIP.  LCS(L) 33 HEADED NORTH EAST.  BADLY BENT BARRELS OF AFTER 40 MM WERE CHANGED.  ROCKETS, SMOKE POTS, AND OTHER TOPSIDE EQUIPMENT WAS THROWN OVERBOARD.  LANES WERE SIGHTED TO THE NORTH WEST BUT PROVED TO BE FRIENDLY. THE INTERIOR COMMUNICATION SYSTEM OF THE SHIP HAVING BEEN DESTROYED, BUNS WERE PLACED UNDER ORDERS OF GUN CAPTAINS.  A SINGLE PLANE APPROACHED ON OPPOSITE COURSE TO SHIP, APPROACHING TO WITHIN 2500 OF SHIP OFF STARBOARD BRAM.  FORWARD SINGLE 40 MM AND TOW STARBOARD 20 MM OPENED FIRE, BUT WERE STOPPED BY MEGAPHONE FROM THE CONN, THE PLANE BEING FRIENDLY.  THE INTERIOR COMMUNICATIN SYSTEM OF THE SHIP HAVING BEEN DESTROYED, GUNS WERE PLACED UNDER ORDERS OF GUN CAPTAINS.  A SINGLE PLANE APPROACHED ON OPPOSITE COURSE TO SHIP, APPROACHING TO WITHIN 2500 OF SHIP OFF STARBOARD BRAM.  FORWARD SINGLE 40 MM AND TOW STARBOARD 20 MM OPENED FIRE, BUT WERE STOPPED BY MEGAPHONE FROM THE CONN, THE PLANE BEING FRIENDLY.  AT ABOUT 1420 ENEMY PLANES APPROACHED OFF STARBOARD BOW WITH FRIENDLY IN PERSUIT.  ENEMY PLANE COMENCED 60 DEGREE DIVE ON THIS SHIP FROM ABOUT 2500 FEET.  OPENED FIRE RANGED 800 YARDS.  FRIENDLY PLANE WAS ALSO FIRING AND ENEMY PLANE CROSSED OUR BOW AT 2500 FEET ALTITUDE, WITH FRIENDLIES IN PERSUIT AT SOME DISTANCE.  BY THIS TIME GUNS AND OPERATION WERE, ONE SIGN 40 MM, 2 PORT AND 2 STARBOARD 20 MM AND 2 STARBOARD 50 CAL. MACHINE GUNS.  COMMENCED FIREING ON PLANE WHICH IMMEDIATELY MADE A STEEP DIVE AT THE SHIP APPROACHING OFF STARBOARD BOW.

(OVER)

PAGE “3” CON’T

PLANE PULLED OUT OF DIVE AT 500 FEET, CIRCLED TO THE LEFT, THEN BALNKE STEEPLY TO THE RIGHT.  IN A STEEP BANK CROSSING STERN FROM STARBOARD TO PORT AND HEADING BACK TOWARD THE BOW, PLANE COMMENCED DIVE AT THE SHIP FROM ABOUT 300 FEET.  BOTH PORT 20 MM WERE FIRING BY TRACER CONTROL, THE MK 14 SIGHTS HAVING CEASED TO FUNCTION DUE TO POWER FAILURE.  BOTH PORT 50 CAL.  WERE INOPERATIVE AND AT THAT MOMENT FORWARD SINGLE MOUNT 40 MM JAMMED FOR UNKNOWN REASON. DUE TO APPEARANT MISJUDGEMENT ON THE PART OF ENEMY PILOT, PLANE HIT WELL FORWARD, HITTING BARREL OF SINGLE 40 MM, COMPLETELY DEMOLOSHING THE GUN, KILLING TWO MEN OUTRIGHT AND CAUGHT RIGHT WING IN STARBOARD BULWARK CAUSING IT TO SPLASH TEN YARDS FROM THE SHIP TO STARBOARD.  A GASOLINE BOMB EXPLODED IN THE WATER; THE SHIP WAS DRENCHED WITH GASOLINE WHICH DID NOT FIRE.  AS A PRECAUTIONARY MEASURE FORWARD ROCKET MAGAZINE WAS FLOODED.

PAGE “4”

IT WAS SOON DISCOVERED THAT FORWARD LIVING COMPARTMENTS WAS FLOODED AND OFFICERS QUARTERS HALF FLOODED, THUS FLOODING ABOUT ONE THIRD OF SHIP ON THE SECOND DECK.  THE SHIP TOOK A HEAVEY LIST TO STARBOARD.  THIS WAS REPORTED TO DD 734 (MESSAGE 39) AND PERMISSION WAS REQUESTED TO PROCEED TO PORT (MESSAGE 42).  PROCEEDED SOUTH ON BASIS OF MESSAGE 45.  AFTER PROCEEDING 5 MILES NOTICED LCS (L) 33, WHICH HAD BEEN ORDERED TO STANDBY, WAS NOT FOLLOWING, AND BEING UNABLE TO CONTACT HER BY RADIO, RETURNED TO BATTLE AREA.  SINCE BOTH DESTROYERS HAD LEFT, FRIENDLY AIRCRAFT WHICH HAD COVERED THEM DURING ATTACK COVERED THE FOUR LCS(L)’S NOW GROUPED TOGETHER.  NO FURTHUR ENEMY PLANES WERE SIGHTED.  LCS(L) 33 HAD RECEIVED A HIT AMIDSHIPS BY SUICIEE PLANCE, HAD BEEN ABANDONED, AND WAS BURNING.  SHE WAS CIRCLING SLOWLY TO PORT, FINALLY BLOWING UP AND SINKING.  LCS(L) 115 HAD PICKED UP SURVIVORS AND WAS STANDING BY TO RESCUE OTHERS.  REQUESTED PUMPS AND C02 FROM LCS(L) 115 WHICH CAME ALONGSIDE.  TRANSFERRED DOCTOR FROM THIS SHIP WHO HAD TAKEN CARE OF OUR WOUNDED TO LCS(L) 115 WHICH HAD BADLEY BURNED MEN FROM LCS(L) 33 ABOARD.  RECEIVED ONE PUMPM BUT SINCE THE BURNING LCS(L) 33 WAS DRIFTING DOWN ON US, CAST OFF AND CLEARED AREA.  IT WAS FLOODED WHILE FLOODNG MAGAZINES, SINCE VENTS LEADING TO BOTH HAD BEEN LEFT OPEN.  FLOODING STOPPED WHEN SPRINKLER SYSTEM WAS CLOSED.  LCS(L) 115 WAS ORDERED BY COMDESDIV 126 TO CONTINE SEARCH FOR SURVIVORS UNTIL SUNSET, WHILE LCS(L) 114 WAS ORDERED TO TAKE SERIOUSLY WOUNDED MEN TO PORT AT BEST SPEED.  LCS(L) 114 CONSENTED TO ACT AS PROTECTICE ESCORT FOR THIS SHIP UNTIL AFTER DARK.  PROCEEDED SOUTH AT 10 KNOTS.  AFTER 40 MM WAS NOW ABLE TO OPERATE IN MANUAL CONTROL.  HOWEVER, NO FURTHER ENEMY AIRCRAFT WERE SIGHTED UNTIL AFTER DARK.  AT 1800 LCS(L) 114 CAME ALONGSIDE, LENDING THIS SHIP FURTHER PUMPS AND C02.  FORWARD LIVING COMPARTMENTS WERE PUMPED NEARLY DRY BY 1900.  AT 2100 REACHED OUTER SCREEN NEAR IE SHIMA.  SAW A SHIP SHOOT DOWN ONE ENEMY PLANE IN THE DARK ABOUT 2 MILES OFF THE STARBOARD BOW.  THIS SHIP HOVE [sic]TO WHILE FLARE WAS LIGHTED.  CONTACTED PCE 852 WHICH CONSENTED TO ESCORT THIS SHIP TO TRANSPORT AREA (MESSAGES 51 TO -67).  AT 0020 ANCHORED IN TRANSPORT AREA LAT 26 DEGREES 20 MIN. LONG 127 DEGREES 40 MINUTES.  PCE 852 CAME ALONGSIDE AND ALL WOUNDED WERE TRANSFERRED FOR MEDICAL TREATMENT.

PAGE”5”

SUMMARY:

1347 NATE RAN ON SHIP FROM DEAD AHEAD, SHOT DOWN BEFOE REACHING SHIP.

1350 NATE MADE LOW RUN ON SHIP FROM DEAD AHEAD, PILOT PROBABLY KILLED BEFORE REACHING SHIP, PLANE HITTING SHIP A GLANCING BLOW, KNOCKING OUT TWIN 40 MM:

    1352 SHOT DOWN ONE NATE NOT ATTACKING SHIP.

    1353 SHOT DOWN ANOTHER NOT ATTACKING SHIP.

    1355 NATE MAKING LOW RUN ON SHIP FROM PORT QUARTER, EXPLODED CLOSE ABOARD CAUSING EXTENSIVE DAMAGE AND KNOCKING OUT ONE TWIN 40 MM.

    1420 NATE MAKING STEEP DIVE ON STARBOARD BOW WITH FRIENDLY IN PURSUIT. SHOT DOWN BEFORE REACHING SHIP.

    1430 NATE MAKING STEEP BANKING DIVE ON PORT BOW, HITTING SHIP AND DESTROYING SINGLE 40 MM, KILLING TWO MEN.

PART VII PERSONNEL

    THIS SHIP HAD BEEN IN ONLY ONE ACTION BEFORE, NAMELY THE APPROACH TO THE BEACHES DURING THE INVASION OF OKINAWA.  AT THE TIME THERE WAS NO ENEMY RESISTANCE, NOR WAS THE SHIP FIRED UPON.  THIS ACTION WAS THEREFORE THE FIRST REAL ACTION ENCOUNTERED BY 90 PERCENT OF THE CREW.  GUN CREWS DID A REMARKABLE JOB AS SHOWN BY THE NUMBER OF PLANES SHOT DOWN, STANDING BY THEIR GUNS TO THE END IN THE FACE OF SUICIDE PLANES.  DUE TO THEIR EFFORTS, THOSE OF DAMAGE CONTROL PARTIES, AND ALL HANDS, THIS SHIP REMAINED AFLOAT FIGHTING AND UNDERWAY AFTER THREE ITS BY SUICIDE PLANES.  THAT GUN CREWS STOOD BY THEIR GUNS WAS ADMIRABLY PROVED BY THE FACT THAT ONE PLANE WAS DIVERTED WHEN LESS THAN 50 FEET FROM THE SHIP RESULTING IN ONLY A GLANCING BLOW, AND ONE EXPLODED ONLY 10 FEET FROM THE SHIP.  DAMAGE CONTROL PARTIES AFT FOUGT FIRE IN A MAGAZINE, ONE WOUNDED MAN ACTUAKKY ENTERING THE SMOKE FILLED AND FLOODED COMPARTMENT BLACK GANG MEMBERS REMAINED IN THE ENGINE ROOM DESPITE RISING WAER, HEAVY FUMES AND SMOKE FROM BURNING INSULATION, AND DARKNESS.  COMMUNICATIONS WITH OTHER SHIPS NEVER FAILED.  ONE MAN SWAM OUT FROM THE SHIP WITH A LINE TO RESCUE MAN BLOWN IN WATER.  ELECTRICAL REPAIR WERE EFFECTED DURING LAST PHASW OF THE ATTACK.  QUICK ACTION ON THE PART OF ONE WOUNDED OFFICER, RESULTED IN THE IMMEDIATED FLOODING OF THE AFTER MAGAZINE BY OPENING A STUCK SPRINKLER SYSTEM VALVE, THE OFFICER RECEIVING A BAD CUT IN THE PROCESS.  THE DEPORTMENT OF ALL HANDS WAS MOST COMMENDABLE.

PART VI

    THE FORWARD SINGLE MOUNT 40 MM JAMMED FOUR TIMES DURING THE ATTACK.  IT WAS LATER DETERMINED THAT THIS WAS DUE TO RUST AND WET AMMUNITION.  DURING THE INVASION OF OKINAWA, CANS OF 40 MM HAD BE BEEN LEFT OPEN ON THE DECKS WITH LIDS DISCARDED.  SUBSEQUENTLY MORE AMMUNITION HAD BEEN OBTAINED, FILLING THE MAGAZINES, AND THESE CASES REMAINED ON DECK.

(OVER)

PAGE “5” CON’T

DURING THE ATTACK, LOADERS GRABBED AMMUNITION FROM THESE CANS WHICH WERE CLOSER THAN GREASED AMMUNITION IN THE AFTER READY RACKS.

    THE FORWARD TWIN 40 MM HAD ONE LOADING JAM WHICH WAS CLEARED BEFORE FIRST ATTACKING PLANE COMMENCED ITS RUN.  DURING SECOND ATTACK GUN CEASED FIRE WHEN SAFETY CAMS OPERATED DUE TO LOW ANGLE OF ATTACKING PLANE.

PAGE”6”

THE AFTER TWIN 40 MM HAD VARIOUS LOADING JAMS ON ONE BARREL AND SAFETY CAMS STOPPED FIRE ONCE, MOMENTARILY, DURING THIRD ATTACK.

ONE 20 MM SUFFERED A BROKEN STRIKER PIN, BUT CONTINUED TO FIRE, ONE MAGAZINE WAS HIT BY 30 CA.  ENEMY FIRE AND WAS THROWN OVERBOARD. ALL MK14 SIGTS DID NOT OPERATE AFTER SECOND HIT DUE TO POWER FAILURE.

ONE 50 CAL. JAMMED ONCE AND WAS CLEARED EARLY IN THE ACTION. TWO 50 CAL. JAMMED DURING THE THIRD ATTACK AND WERE NOT CLEARED.  THE BARREL OF ONE WAS PLACED ON THE FOURTH 50 CAL. WHICH HAD RUPTURED CARTRIDGE CASE IN THE BREECH, THIS GUN CONTINUING TO FIRE DURING THE REMAINDER OF THE ATTACK.

PART VI E ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.

    ALL COMMUNICATINS WERE CARRIED OUT THROUGH SCR 608 OR 610, AND VISUALLY.

    ALL PLANES WERE PICKED UP WITH THE NAKED EYE OR BINOCULARS.

    ATTACKS WERE MADE USING VARIOUS TYPES OF APPROACH AS DESCRIBED IN SECTIN III.

    ALL PLANES APPROACHED AT ABOUT 70 KNOTS.  PLANES DID NOT ATTEMPT TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE SUN.  POSSIBLY 12 PLANES WERE TAKEN UNDER FIRE BY THIS SHIP.

    NUMBER OF GUNS ORIGINALLY FIRING WERE: 2 TWIN MOUNT 40 MM DIRECTOR CONTROLLED, ONE SINGLE MOUNT 40 MM, ARMY TYPE, FOUR 20 MM WITH MK 14 SIGHTS, FOUR 50 CAL. MACHINE GUNS WITH RING SIGHTS.

    FOUR PLANES ATTACKING SHIP WERE SHOT DOWN SURE, THREE HITTING SHIP.

    ONE PLANE ATTACKING SHIP SHOT DOWN SURE ASSISTED BY CORSAIR.

    TWO PLANES NOT ATTACKING SHIP WERE SHOT DOWN SURE.

    GUNS RESPONSIBLE FOR SHOOTING DOWN PLANES AT RANGES OVER 500 YARDS WERE PROBABLY 40 MM.  GUNS RESPONSIBLE FOR SHOOTING PLANES CLOSE TO SHIP WERE PROBABLY 20 MM.

PART VIII.

7   THE FOLLOWING SIMPLE LESSONS WERE LEARNED:

1) KEEP ALL AMMUNITION DRY AND FREE FROM CORROSION.

2). PAY CAREFULL ATTENTION TO MATERIAL CONDITION OF SHIP CLOSING OF PROPER WATERTIGHT FITTINGS.

3) TEST PORTABLE PUMPS REGULARLY.  ALTHOUGH NO SUBSTITUTE CAN BE RECOMMENDED, JOHNSON P-500 PUMPBS ARE NOT CONSIDERED RELIABLE.

4) FORSIGHT IN PLACING FIRST AID EQUIPMENT AT EACH GUN TUBE PROVED TO BE OF INESTIMABLE VALUE.

5) DO NOT CARRY ROCKETS ON THIS SORT OF MISSION. THEY ARE OF NO HELP AND ARE ONLY AN ADDITIONAL HAZARD.

6) AMMUNITION WAS PLACED IN READY RACKS PREPARITORY FOR BEACH BOMBARDMENT RATHER THAN AIR ATTACK.  THAT IS, THE TIP TWO ROWS OF 40 MM READY RACKS CARRIED HEIT, THE BOTTOM ROW NON-EXPOLSIVE AP.  THIS RESULTED IN A GOOD DEAL OF INEFFECTIVE AP BEING FIRED ON PLANES. SELECTION OF AMMUNITION IS IMPORTANT.

PAGE “7”

CONCLUSION:

    WHETHER ATTEMPTING TO MANOUVER THE SHIP BY RAPID CHANGES OF SPEED AND COURSE WOULD BE OF ANY HELP IS HARD TO SAY FROM THIS EXPERIENCE.  JUDGING FROM THE INABILITY OF MORE MANEOUVERABLE SHIPS SUCH AS DESTROYERS TO DODGE HITS, IT WOULD APPEAR TO BE OF LITTLE ASSISTANCE.  THIS SHIP TRUSTED TO EFFECTIVE FIRE CONTROL, THEREFORE REDUCED SPEED DURING EACH ATTACK AND MAINTAINED COURSE TO ASSIST GUNNERS. CERTAINLY THE SHIP SHOULD NOT BE BROADSIDE TO THE APPROACHING PLANE.  IT SHOULD EITHER BE ENDON SUCH AS TO PRESENT A SMALL TARGET, OR AT AN ANGLE, THUS ALLOWING A MAXIMUM NUMBER OF GUNS TO BEAR ON TARGET. WERE THERE AN ADDITIONAL TWIN MOUNT DIRECTOR CONTROLLED 40 MM ON THE BOW, A HEAD ON ATTACK WOULD BE MET WITH AS UCH FIRE POWER AS THE SHIP HAS AT PRESENT. A HEAD ON HIT IS NOT ONLY DIFFICULT FOR ENEMY PLANE BUT IF SUCCESSFUL WOULD NOT SINK SHIP WHERE AS AN AMIDSHIP HIT PROBABLY WOULD.

RECOMMENDATION:

    THAT AN ADDITIONAL TWIN MOUNT 40MM, PLACED ON ALL SHIP OF LCS(L) FLOTILLA THREE, AS PER ORIGINAL SPECIFICATIONS FOR THESE SHIPS.  THESE SHIPS ALREADY HAVE MOUNTS TO RECEIVE THEM AND WIRING INSTALLED FOR THE DIRECTOR.  IF THIS TYPE OF SHIP IS TO CONTINUE ON SUCH DANGEROUS ASSIGNMENTS, EVERY EFFORT SHOULD BE MADE TO PROVIDE IT WITH MAXIMUM FIRE POWER.  IT IS FELT THAT BETTER OPPOSITION TO ATTACK BY SUICIDE PLANES WOULD BE PROVIDED IF SHIPS WERE CLOSER THAN 4 MILES FROM THIS SHIP WHILE UNDER ATTACK.  CONSEQUENTLY THERE WAS NO SUPPORTING FIRE POWER.

    SMALL SHIPS OF THIS TYPE ARE EFFECTIVE IN DIVERTING SUICIDE ATTAKS FROM PORTECTED SHIPPING.  IF BETTER RADAR EQUIPMENT WERE INSTALLED IN LCS(L)’S, RADAR PICKET DUTY COULD BE TAKEN OVER ENTIRELY BY THESE SHIPS, SAVING MORE VALUABLE, LARGER SHIPS FOR OTHER DUTY.

    IT IS FELT THAT AIR COVERAGE COULD BE HEAVIER ESPECIALLY IN STATIONS WHERE ATTACKS ARE TO BE EXPECTED—IN THIS CASE, THOSE NEAREST JAPAN OR FORMOSA.

    THESE SHIPS SHOULD BE PROVIDED WITH CAMERAS.

HARRY L. SMITH

Published: Mon Jan 14 13:17:12 EST 2019