Naval History and Heritage Command

Action Report: Commander Western Carolines Sub Area, 15 August 1945 

Covers Period 2-7 August 1945

[DECLASSIFIED NND917001] 

 

ACTION REPORT

COMMANDER WESTERN CAROLINES SUB AREA

SERIAL P-00701

15 AUGUST 1945

RESCUE AND SEARCH FOR SURVIVORS OF USS INDIANAPOLIS CA 35 AND RECOVER – IDENTIFICATION AND BURIAL OF BODIES.

COVERS PERIOD 2-7 AUGUST 1945.

[end Cover]

 

[Begin Document 1: Front Matter]

Return Address:

Navy #3254

% Flt Post Office

San Fran., Calif.

 

File No. P1/L11-1

Serial No. P-00701           

30/cch                  

COMMANDER WESTERN CAROLINES SUB AREA

15 August 1945

From: Commander Western Carolines Sub Area.

To: Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet.

Via: (1) Commander Marianas, (2) Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean Areas, Advance Headquarters.

Subject:  Rescue and Search for Survivors of U.S.S. INDIANAPOLIS (CA 35) and Recovery, Identification, and Burial of Bodies.

Reference: (a) ComWesCarSubArea Secret Ser. 00697 of 3 Aug. 1945 directing IsCom Peleliu to provide for hospitalization and to comply with existing directives regarding the submission of casualty and interrogation reports.

(b) IsCom Peleliu Secret Ltr. File A8:G-2:VW-rtd of 6 Aug. 1945 with Encl. (A) Battle Casualty List – survivors. Encl. (B) – Summary of information available in regard to the sinking of USS INDIANAPOLIS based on interrogation of survivors.

(c) CinCPac serial 8194 of 4 Aug. 1945 – Travel Authority for certain newspapermen and Lt. Comdr. H. REQUA, Jr., and Lt(jg) James LAHEY regarding gathering of news material.

(d) CinCPac Secret Disp. 042351/August 1945 regarding Still and Motion Picture coverage of survivors of USS INDIANAPOLIS.

(e) IsCom Peleliu Secret Ser. 001022 of 9 August 1945, regarding Still and Motion Picture coverage.

Enclosure: (A) CO, USS CECIL J. DOYLE Secret Memo Report on Rescue of INDIANAPOLIS Survivors 2-4 August 1945.

(b) CO, USS CECIL J. DOYLE (DE 368) Secret Ser. 0062 of 9 August 1945 with Enclosure (B) thereto, giving list of bodies recovered and buried at sea.

(C) CO, USS ALVIN C. COCKRELL (DE 366) Secret Ser. 0012-45 of 8 August – Report of Rescue Operations 3-6 August.

(D) CO, USS FRENCH (DE 367) Secret Ltr. File P6, Ser. 005 of 9 Aug. 1945 with Encl. (B) thereto, giving List of bodies found.

(e) CO, USS MADISON (DD 425) Conf. Ltr. File A16-3 Ser. 034 of 6 Aug. 1945 with Enclosures (A), (C) and (D) thereto: (A) Narrative of Search; (C) Record of Air Support and (D) Copy of letter to C.O. USS INDIANAPOLIS regarding bodies recovered.

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 (F) CO, USS RALPH TALBOT (DD 390) Conf. Ltr. File Lll, Ser. 078 of 6 Aug. 1945 with Enclosures (B) and (C) thereto: (B) Log of Events during period of Search and (C) List of Survivors recovered.

(G) CO, USS AYLWIN (DD 355) Conf. Ltr. File A16, Ser. 0195 of 6 August 1945.

(I) CO, USS REGISTER (APD-92) Conf. Ser. 047 of 8 Aug. 1945.

(J) CO, USS DUFILHO (DE 423) Conf. Ser. 025-45 of 9 Aug. ’45.

(K) CO, VPB-152 Secret Ltr. File A16-3, Ser. No. 057 of 9 Aug. 1945 with Enclosure (A) thereto – Report of Participation in Rescue of INDIANAPOLIS Survivors.

(L) Extracts from VPB-23 (Rescue Squadron) Log 2-6 August inclusive; with report of Army plane OA-10 No. 914, 4th ERS Squadron, temporarily working with VPB-23.

(M) Extracts from ComWesCarSubArea Operations Watch Officer’s Log 2-8 August inclusive.

(N) Flight Operations record of planes launched in connection with subject search and rescue from 2 to 7 Aug. 1945 inclusive.

(O) Plots of each day’s surface searches by all surface vessels participating – prepared from individual ship plots.

(P) Plots of each day’s air searches by all aircraft participating.

(Q) Plot of all sea areas searched by participating surface and air craft.

 (R) ComWesCarSubArea Secret Ltr. File Pl/Lll-l, Ser. 00699 of 11 Aug. 1945, (without enclosures), to IsCom Peleliu submitting data on body identification.

(S) ComWesCarSubArea Secret Ltr. File Pl/Lll-l, Ser. P-00700 of 13 Aug. 1945, to IsCom Peleliu submitting data on body identification.

(T) Press interviews – per reference (c).

1. At 1205 King on 2 August 1945, information was received by Commander Western Carolines Sub Area Watch Officer by telephone from Group Operations Watch Officer that a plane from VPB Squadron 152 on routine search and reconnaissance flight in search sector 19V258 had sighted survivors in water Latitude 11°30’ North, Longitude 133°30’ East and that the plane had dropped a life raft and transmitter. At 1330 King VPB-152, Search and Recon-

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-naissance Squadron, Duty Officer, telephoned Sub Area Operations Watch Officer that a message had been received from the same source in substance as follows: “Latitude 11-54N, Longitude 133-47E; send rescue ship. Survivors, 150 in number, in lifeboat and jackets. Dropped sono-buoy.” Subsequently dispatches containing the above information were received through regular communication channels. Meanwhile however, and prior to receipt of official dispatches, airplanes were dispatched to the area reported as soon as possible after receipt of telephone information, and the USS CECIL J DOYLE was diverted to the area reported from Latitude 8°34’N, Longitude 135 ° 10’E where she was at the time of receiving Commander Western Carolines Sub Area dispatch to conduct Air-Sea Rescue Operations. U.S.S. CECIL J. DOYLE was returning to the PALAUS from the vicinity of Latitude 10 ° 57’N, Longitude 136 ° 23’ E where she had been dispatched on 31 July to conduct a JASASA operation. U.S.S. CECIL J. DOYLE was dispatched to rescue area at 1245 King on 2 August and planes from VPB-23 (Dumbo Squadron) and VPB-152 were dispatched at 1242 King and 1245 King respectively. U.S.S. CECIL J. DOYLE was only (DE) available to Commander Western Carolines Sub Area at this time, the U.S.S. ALVIN C. COCKRELL (DE 266) having been dispatched on a JASASA mission to the southwest of Peleliu and U.S.S. FRENCH (DE 367) was returning from Hollandia where she had brought FS-151, which had been salvaged after grounding on Helen Reef. These DE’s were dispatched to the rescue area as soon after they returned to Peleliu and completed fueling as possible.

2. In order to get as much survival equipment as possible to the area, all available planes including two transient Army B-17 planes and the flag plane were dispatched from Peleliu with all available life rafts and jackets, their times of takeoff from Peleliu, and return, together with rafts carried being submitted herewith as enclosures (N) which includes a record of subsequent flights through 8 August. During the afternoon and evening of 2 August survival equipment was dropped to survivors by planes, and at about 1605 King Lieutenant R. A. MARKS, USNR, pilot of Dumbo B-72 (Buno 46472) made an open sea landing to render direct assistance as possible in the absence of surface craft. Lieutenant MARKS and his crew performed and outstanding service to survivors while awaiting the arrival of the U.S.S. CECIL J. DOYLE which was to arrive about midnight, the plane taxiing around such as to rescue and take on board 53 survivors. First Lieut. R.C. ALCORN, Army Air Corp, 4th Emergency Rescue Squadron in OA-10 (Dumbo) made a successful open sea landing at 1940 King, though he succeeded in picking up only one survivor. And indication of the valuable services performed by Lieut. MARKS and crew of the Navy Dumbo; by Lt. (jg) W.C. GWINN, USNR, pilot of the plane first sighting survivors, and by Lt. Comdr. G.C. ATTEBERRY, USNR, Commanding officer, VPB-152, is indicated in press interviews, enclosure (T) and other enclosures

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herewith. Others, also performing outstanding services were not interviewed. The Army Dumbo successfully took off on the morning of 3 August but the Navy Dumbo had sustained such considerable damage that it was deemed advisable to sink it, which service U.S.S. CECIL J. DOYLE performed.

3. Meanwhile additional ships had been dispatched to the area by Commander Marianas, Commander Philippine Sea Frontier and Commander Western Carolines Sub Area, the latter involving destroyers under Commander Ulithi Patrol and Escort Unit. The U.S.S. BASSETT (APD 73) and U.S.S. DUFILHO (DE 423) arrived in the area soon after the U.S.S. CECIL J. DOYLE and all vessels proceeded to rescue survivors. The U.S.S. RINGNESS (APD 100 ), U.S.S. REGISTER (APD 92), U.S.S. MADISON (DD 425), and U.S.S. RALPH TALBOT (DD 390) arrived later on the morning of 3 August and assisted in organized search and rescue work. These vessels were later augmented by U.S.S. HEIM (DD 388), U.S.S. AYLWIN (D355), U.S.S. FRENCH (DE 367), and U.S.S. ALVIN C. Cockrell (DE 366). The reports of the above vessels except two of those attached to the Philippine Sea Frontier (U.S.S. RINGNESS and U.S.S. BASSETT) which have not reported to Commander Western Carolines Sub Area are submitted as enclosures (A) to (J) inclusive. These vessels, again excepting those attached to the Philippine Sea Frontier, have submitted to this Headquarters all available information on bodies recovered, disposition of such records by Commander Western Carolines Sub Area being indicated in enclosures (R) and (S) herewith. From these enclosures it will appear that a total of 91 bodies were examined in an attempt to effect identification.

4. Until after the arrival of the U.S.S. CECIL J. DOYLE in the area this command had no knowledge of the ship to which the survivors were formerly attached. The possibility was even considered that the survivors might be from a Japanese submarine which was reported to have been attached by convoy escorts in the vicinity a short time before. No distress or emergency signals were heard or recorded by Peleliu Communication facilities. However, from reports of searching vessels and a dispatch from the Philippine Sea Frontier on 2 August, stating that the U.S.S. INDIANAPOLIS had not arrived at Leyte as scheduled, no doubt remained as to the identity of the survivors.

5. On 3 August Commander Western Carolines Sub Area advised searching vessels and Commander Philippine Sea Frontier that hospital facilities were available at Peleliu and instructed SOPA to dispatch vessels with survivors to Peleliu. However, SOPA advised that U.S.S. BASSETT was returning to Leyte with about 150 survivors and that U.S.S. CECIL J. DOYLES was returning to Peleliu with about 932. U.S.S. REGISTER and U.S.S. RINGNESS were also di-

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rected to discharge survivors to Peleliu. Attempt was made to have U.S.S. BASSETT also discharge survivors at Peleliu but efforts proved unsuccessful. U.S.S. CECIL J. DOYLE, U.S.S. RINGNESS, and U.S.S. REGISTER discharged a total of 189 survivors to Base Hospital No. 20 from 0300 King to 1300 King on 4 August. They had not been sent in earlier as their condition was such that further search, without jeopardizing survivors, was considered justified by circumstances. A report and list of survivors was submitted by Island Command, Peleliu, as noted in reference (b), copy of which with enclosures was furnished Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Commander Marianas, Bureau of Naval Personnel, Secretary of the Navy, and others, and which accordingly is not included with this report.

6. At 2100 King on 4 August 1945 U.S.S. TRANQUILITY (AH 14) arrived at Peleliu and at 1300 King on  6 August departed for Guam with all rescued personnel brought to Peleliu except one who was retained for further hospitalization. Eighty (80) stretcher cases and 86 ambulatory patients were embarked in U.S.S. TRANQUILITY. Except for 5 officers and 144 enlisted survivors understood to have been discharged to Fleet Hospital No. 114 per CNB Samar dispatch, this command knows of no other survivors. Still and Motion picture coverage of survivors of the U.S.S. INDIANAPOLIS was forwarded to Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Advance Headquarters, as per reference (d) and (e).

7. Air and surface search continued until night of 7 August, some vessels returning to Peleliu for fuel as necessary and returning immediately to search area. When all possible survivors had been rescued, vessels complied with instructions to recover and bury dead bodies and attempt through every means possible to identify them.

8. A large air and surface search area was covered as will be indicated by enclosure (Q). Detailed daily composite surface search is indicated in enclosure (0) as taken from navigational tracks of searching vessels. Daily composite air search is indicated in enclosure (P) as much in detail as practicable.

9. Requests of Commander Philippine Sea Frontier and Commander Ulithi Patrol and Escort Unit for release of vessels was granted when results of further search appeared to be futile. U.S.S. FRENCH  and U.S.S. CECIL J. DOYLE were, however, retained in the area to work with aircraft in a final effort to locate and identify as many bodies as possible. At 1825 King on the night of 7 August a search and reconnaissance plane reported fifty yellow and

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gray rafts between Latitude 11 ° 25’N, Longitude 135 ° 52’E, and Latitude 11 ° 55’N, Longitude 136 ° 04’E, which one of the searching DE’s was ordered to investigate with air cover at daylight on 8 August. The SOPA was given authority to have both DE’s leave the search area if he considered further search futile. Both DE’s accordingly proceeded to investigate the new area which after careful search throughout the day of 8 August revealed nothing except orange boxes and other wreckage. The search in the former rescue area was not resumed thereafter.

10. When the tragic situation of the U.S.S. INDIANAPOLIS personnel became known, the problem of immediate rescue of survivors inspired the personnel of all participating air, surface, and shore units to their utmost exertion. Through their efforts, and many individual and collective acts of heroism, it is believed that all personnel it was possible to rescue, were rescued; and that those whose privilege it was to perform rescue and other services for U.S.S. INDIANAPOLIS personnel are deserving of the highest commendation.

 

[signed]

M.A. ANDERSON

By Direction.

Copy to:

BuPers

Senior Surviving Officer,

U.S.S. INDIANAPOLIS . (1)

ComPhilSeaFron(1)

ComFairwing 18(1)

CTU 94.11 (1)

CTU 94.6.2(1)

CTU 94.6.1(1)

AtCom Ulithi (1)

CO, VPB-23(1)

CO, VPB-152(1)

IsCom Peleliu(1)

ComMarianas Legal Unit(6)

 

[end 6 & Front Matter]

[Begin Document 2: Cecil J. Doyle (DE-368)]

COPY

DE 368/A16        

U.S.S. CECIL J. DOYLE (DE 368)

c/o Fleet Post Office,

San Francisco, Calif. 

SECRET

Memorandum Report on Rescue of Survivors of USS INDIANAPOLIS (CA 35) August 2 -4, 1945.

1.  At 1405 King, while en route to Kossol Passage from vicinity of 10 ° 57’N, 136 ° 23’E after completion of an unsuccessful JASASA operation, ComWesCarSubArea’s secret dispatch 020245, ordering air-sea rescue of survivors sighted by 19V258, at position 11-30 North 133-30 East, was received. This message was decoded and course reversed at 1418 King, and speed gradually increased to 22 ½ knots. At this time the ship’s position was 08°-34’(N) 135°-10’ (E). At 1435K communication was established on 4475 KC with Gambler Leader, the VPB 152 search plane who was already at the scene. This vessel assumed the call of Bird-dog One and thereafter maintained continuous communication with search and rescue planes engaged in the operation.

2. At about 1830 King a dispatch giving further details obtained from planes was forwarded to ComWesCarSubArea by 2716 KC voice. Several corrected positions were received, both from PELELIU and planes, and slight course corrections accordingly made. Information from the planes was received that first one and then two dumbos had made successful water-landings and had gathered near them a large number of survivors, many of them in a critical condition. At 1633 King ComWesCarSubArea’s dispatch 020601 was received, indicating that U.S.S. RALPH TALBOT (DD 390) and USS MADISON (DD 425) were en route. At 1856K voice communication was established with the MADISON on 2716 KC and his ETA determined to be about 0345 King; at 2000 King, voice communication was established on the same circuit with the RALPH TALBOT, and his ETA determined to be 0400 King. Both DD’s were informed that this ship’s ETA was 0000 King.

3. At 2149 King, the loom of an aircraft flare was sighted ahead and verified by voice radio with planes at the scene. From this time until arrival at the dumbos on the surface, flares were continuously visible. At 2242 King, this ship illuminated the sky with 24” searchlight to give planes our position and to encourage survivors in water. Later reports indicated that this beam was sighted at the scene and was helpful for this purpose. From this time on, searchlight was used intermittently and frequent sweeps ahead were made to avoid possibility of running down survivors. At this time it was thought that the majority of the most critically injured survivors were near the planes on the water, and it was determined to proceed directly to them first and to return to search for other groups later. Avery’s pistol flare was seen at some distance shortly before reaching the planes on the water, but its investigation was deferred for this reason.

ENCLOSURE (A)

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4. At 0000K the planes in the water were sighted and at 0010K the ship’s motor whaleboat was lowered and proceeded to the nearest dumbo, Number B-l72. The position of the planes at this time was 11°45’ (N), 133° 35’ (E). Wind was from NNW, about 8-10 knots, and the planes were drifting steadily in a direction of about 160°T. The first survivors were brought on board at 0300K, and as soon as details could be determined urgent secret dispatch 021500 was forwarded to ComWesCarSubArea, reporting arrival on scene and identity of survivors.

5. Thereafter the whaleboat continued to shuttle between ship and plane with survivors, and the ship cruised slowly in the vicinity searching with searchlights and aircraft flares for other groups. At 0300k two rubber life rafts with seventeen (17) survivors were located (first indication was hearing whistle blown by one of the survivors) and ship maneuvered alongside. At 0443K, two more rubber rafts were found by searchlight and twenty-two (22) more survivors taken aboard. In the meantime, fifty-three (53) survivors had been ferried from the first dumbo (B-72), nearly two-thirds of whom were stretcher cases, and one from the other dumbo on the water. At this time a total of ninety-three (93) survivors had been taken on board. Search was continued throughout the night without further success, the motor whaleboat remaining in the water and investigating all objects located by searchlights. The B-72 dumbo had been so damaged that the pilot thought a take-off impracticable, and at his request, after no further survivors were located in the area, the motor whaleboat returned to the plane and removed the remaining crew and all salvageable gear. This was at 0600 King. The boat was then hoisted aboard and search continued in the vicinity to the south of the dumbos, where the pilots reported other survivors had been seen before dark. Planes still flying in the area were unable to locate any further groups of survivors in the darkness.

6. In the meantime, other ships had arrived in the area. At 0110K, a searchlight was observed to the north and the ship identified by exchange of signals as the U.S.S. BASSETT (APD 73). She was asked by signal to close this ship and assist with her four LCVP’s, and warned to proceed cautiously to avoid running down survivors. She soon encountered several groups of survivors whom she picked up. TBS voice communication could not be established with her, but she remained within visual signaling distance. She was subsequently asked to send a boat when possible to take off crew and gear of Dumbo B-72, but this was cancelled when she reported all her boats engaged with survivors and when this vessel found its boat free and no more survivors in the vicinity.

7. At about 0315 King, a second ship arrived in the area and was identified as the U.S.S. DUFILHO (DE 423). Communication was established on TBS and MAN (34.8 MC), and she was informed that the survivors were from the U.S.S. INDIANAPOLIS and were scattered over a large area. She was also notified that both surfaced planes had been investigated and survivors in the immediate area picked up. At 0353K the U.S.S. DUFILHO reported a good underwater sound contact, and all lights were extinguished and the ship maneuvered until the contact was classified as probably a non-sub a short time later. The U.S.S. DUFILHO proceeded to search north and east

[end 2]

of the surfaced planes, in an area which had not been covered, but found no more large groups. She picked up one (1) survivor before daylight.

8. Between 0130K and 0230K, calls were exchanged on 4475 KC and 2716 KC with the destroyers MADISON and RALPH TALBOT. In answer to questions, they were informed that this ship was at the scene and picking up survivors, and that searchlights were being used. The number of survivors on board at that time and the ship’s position were reported to the USS MADISON. Subsequently searchlights were seen over the horizon which were believed to come from these two ships, and communication was established with them also by MN (30.14MC). The TBS receiver of this ship was giving difficulty and had to be secured for several hours for repairs but communications were maintained on other circuits. The USS MADISON asked for and received reports from all ships present on the number of survivors each then had on board. In answer to another question, MADISON was informed that none of this ship’s survivors was then in critical condition, and that this ship would be able to remain in the area for a daylight sweep. At about 0615K, as soon as the crew from the abandoned dumbo B-72 had been taken aboard, a report was made by MN to MADISON stating that one dumbo would attempt take-off at dawn and that the other had been abandoned and received from MADISON to stand by the plane which was to take off until it was airborne, and to sink the other at discretion. Thereafter, further search for survivors was made south of the two planes, without success, and at 0720K the B-72 was burned and sunk by 40MM Fire. The other dumbo thereafter made a successful take-off.

9. Just prior to this, shortly after dawn, visual contact was first made with the two destroyers. The USS MADISON was advised that the dumbo pilot on board reported survivors had been seen well to the south of him the previous night, and a scouting line was accordingly formed by MADISON with this ship as at which the dumbo was destroyed. Several planes were in the vicinity, and, after discussing the matter with the dumbo pilot, it was suggested to the MADISON that at least two of them be sent off to search at some distance from the ships. This was done, and later in the morning two other rafts of survivors were found by these planes and closed and picked up by the destroyers. During this daylight search this ship passed from twenty-five (25) to fifty (50) individual bodies floating in lifejackets, and investigated and picked up a number of rubber rafts, all empty. The location of the bodies was reported to MADISON, but the search was not stopped to recover them as it was still believed that more survivors could be found. At 1220K, MADISON ordered this vessel to proceed to PELELIU to discharge survivors, and course was set direct to PELELIU, speed 22 ½ knots. Several more empty rubber rafts were located and recovered shortly thereafter, but no further survivors were seen. PELELIU was reached at 0200K on August 4th, and survivors discharged.

[end 3]

10. It is believed that once the survivors were discovered, everything was done to recover them that could have been done by planes or ships. No difficulty was experienced in communicating with planes, and very little with other ships, in spite of temporary TBS failure. Considerable difficulty was had in communicating with PELELIU and most messages required one or more relays with considerable delay. Until the USS MADISON arrived shortly before dawn and took charge, this vessel as the first on the scene gave instructions and information to planes and the other ships as they came up, although no time was taken in the short time before the MADISON arrived to determine which of the three ships was actually the senior. (The USS RINGNESS (APD 100) was not in the immediate area and had no contact with this vessel prior to dawn). Each was engaged in searching an area not previously covered by any other and it was felt that more could be accomplished by giving each ship all the available information and having him search independently until daylight then by attempting to prescribe what each should do. Planes in the air seemed unable to locate any more groups of survivors at this time. This vessel was preparing to send an amplifying report to ComWesCarSubArea on the ships present and total number of survivors picked up when the MADISON arrived; thereafter all reports were made to him as SOP.

/s/ W.G. Claytor, Jr.

/t/ W.G. CLAYTOR, JR.,

Lt. Commander, USNR,

Commanding Officer

COPY

[end 4]

COPY

U.S.S. CECIL J. DOYLE (DE 368)

c/o Fleet Post Office

San Francisco, Calif.

 

File No. DE368/A9/P6

Serial No. 0062

 

SECRET 9 August 1945

From: The commanding Officer.

To: Commander Western Carolines Sub Area.

Subject:  Report on Search conducted August 5-9, 1945.

Reference: (a) ComWesCarSubArea secret dispatch 040052.

(b) ComWesCarSubArea secret dispatch 070825.

(c) C.O., USS CECIL J. DOYLE (DE 368) secret Memorandum Report DE 368/A16 of 4 August 1945.

Enclosure: (A) Track Chart showing movements of USS CECIL J. DOYLE (DE 368) July 31 – August 9, 1945.

(B) List of bodies recovered and buried at sea, with geographical positions.

1. At 1945K, August 4, 1945 on completion of fueling from SS LOOKOUT, this ship left BARNUM BAY in accordance with reference (a) to participate in further search for survivors of USS INDIANAPOLIS (CA 35). At 0600K, August 5, 1945, radio communication was established with OTC in USS MADISON (DD 425). Shortly thereafter, contact was made with the adjacent ship in the scouting line, U.S.S. FRENCH (DE 367), and search was commenced in accordance with attached track chart, Enclosure (A). Although some empty life-jackets were recovered as indicated on the track chart, no survivors, bodies or wreckage were found during the search on August 5.

2. After daylight on August 6, all ships departed the area except USS FRENCH (DE 367), and this vessel. OTC was in the USS FRENCH (DE 367). Search was continued as indicated on track chart, and during the day seventeen (17) bodies were recovered. All bodies were discolored and bloated, and some were in an advanced stage of decomposition and were almost skeletonized. In the opinion of the medical officer, all had been dead for a period of at least three (3) days. The first group was taken on board and, after identification, was buried at sea with services conducted by the Commanding Officer. Photographs of the services were taken and will be available if it is considered desirable to send them to the families of the deceased. After the first group, on the advice of the medical officer, further bodies located were identified and buried directly by the medical officer and party working from the ship’s boat without attempting to bring them aboard for more formal burial service. All personal effects were removed, collected, and properly marked, and are being forwarded separately to ComWesCarSubArea for further disposition. As indicated on the track chart, all bodies found on August 6th were located in an area in the vicinity of 11°25’(N), 132°27’(E).

ENCLOSURE B

[end 5]

3. On August 7th, search was commenced again as indicated on track chart, and four (4) more bodies as well as two (2) rubber life-rafts (one not inflated) were recovered. Of the total of twenty-one (21) bodies recovered, thirteen (13) were at least partially identified as indicated in Enclosure (B). In addition, approximately fifty (50) empty life-jackets were recovered during these two days.

4. In accordance with reference (b) and orders of USS FRENCH (DE 367), this vessel proceeded to the east in company with U.S.S. FRENCH (DE 367) during the night of August 7-8 to search an area in which numerous life-rafts had been reported by search planes. Search was conducted with planes all day, but all objects reported as rafts were identified as floating trash and garbage, apparently dropped by passing ships. At 1400 King, however, at position 12°07’(N), 134°58’(E), a floating mine reported by the search plane was located. The mine a spherical type with numerous horns, was very rusty and appeared to have been in the water a long time. It was exploded by rifle fire. Thereafter, the search revealed nothing further, and, in company with FRENCH, this ship returned to PELELIU.

5. In order to give the complete picture of this vessel’s movements from July 31, 1945 when she left KOSSOL PASSAGE on a JASASA mission, the accompanying track chart, Enclosure (A), includes the track of this ship on its JASASA mission, showing the area ordered covered by the search planes, and also the track of this ship on its first trip to the scene of INDIANAPOLIS disaster the night of August 2-3, 1945, to which it was diverted while returning to KOSSOL PASSAGE from the JASASA operation. The full report of this mission, in which ninety-three (93) survivors were picked up, is given in reference (c) and is not repeated herein.

W.G. CLAYTOR, JR.

cc: CTU 94.6.1.

U.S.S. FRENCH (DE367).

 

COPY

 

[end 6]

 

COPY

BODY NO.

POSITION

NAME AND SERIAL NO.

DATE & TIME

1

11-26-55 (N)

132-34-20(E)

ERNST, Robert C. 566 31 28

0910K

6 Aug. ‘45

2

11-27-40(N)

132-35-10(E)

DANIEL, H.W.

0939K

6 Aug. ‘45

3

11-27-40(N)

132-36-00(E)

HUBBARD, L.R.

0952K

6 Aug. ‘45

4

11-28-10 (N)

132-36-00(E)

NEAL, C.K.

 

1003K

6 AUG. ‘45

5

11-25-00(N)

132-28-20(E)

GAITHER, Forest M.

 

1058K

6 Aug. ‘45

6

11-26-30(N)

132-28-50(E)

HAYNES, Wm. A.

1128K

6 Aug. ‘45

7

11-28-00 (N)

132-29-00(E)

KELLY, C.

1153K

6 Aug. ‘45

8, 9, & 10

11-28-00 (N)

132-28-30(E)

 

1215K

6 Aug. ‘45

11,12,13 & 14

11-28-00 (N)

132-28-30(E)

 

1325K

6 Aug. ‘45

15

11-27-20 (N)

132-28 (E)

SUDANO, A.A.

1505K

6 Aug. ‘45

16

11-27-10 (N)

132-28-55(E)

BING

1623K

6 Aug. ‘45

17

11-27-10 (N)

132-32(E)

BRIGHT, Chester lee

 

1717K

6 Aug. ‘45

18

11-13-50(N)

132-08-30(E)

 

1245K

6 Aug. ‘45

19

11-13-50(N)

132-08-30(E)

POHL, Theodore

 

1255K

6 Aug. ‘45

20

11-15-10(N)

132-08-00(E)

PURCEL, F.W.

 

1315K

6 Aug. ‘45

21

11-12-50(N)

132-07-10(E)

 

1408K

6 Aug. ‘45

ENCLOSURE (B)

[end 7 and Document 2: Cecil J. Doyle (DE-368)]

[Begin Document 3: Alvin C. Cockrell (DE-366)]

COPY

U.S.S. ALVIN C. COCKRELL (DE 366)

DE366(WGT)/A4/A16-3

Serial: 0012-45. 

 

c/o Fleet Post Office,

San Francisco, California,

8 August 1945.

SECRET

From: Commanding Officer.

To: Commander Western Carolines Sub Area.

 

Subject: Report of Rescue Operations U.S.S. ALVIN C. COCKRELL (DE 366) – 3 to 6 August 1945.

Reference: (a) Secret dispatch 030315 of August 1945.

(b) ComWesCarSubArea Secret dispatch 030810 of August 1945.

(c) U.S.S. ALVIN C. COCKRELL Secret dispatch 030449 of August 1945.

(d) ComWesCarSubArea Secret dispatch 030720 of August 1945.

(e) ComWesCarSubArea Secret dispatch of 050446 of August 1945.

(f) ComWesCarSubArea Secret dispatch 050550 of August 1945.

(g) U.S.S. ALVIN C. COCKRELL Secret dispatch 050931 of August 1945.

(h) ComWesCarSubArea Secret dispatch 051605 of August 1945.

(i) U.S.S. ALVIN C. COCKRELL Secret dispatch 060317 of August 1945.

Enclosure: (A) Track Chart of Operations, U.S.S. ALVIN C. COCKRELL (DE 366),

(B) Seven envelopes containing all identification of bodies disposed of by U.S.S. ALVIN C. COCKRELL (DE 366) on 4 August 1945.

1. In compliance with reference (d), report of subject operations is forwarded with track chart as Enclosure (A) and identifying features of seven bodies as Enclosure (B).

2. At 1538 King, 3 August 1945, U.S.S. ALVIN C. COCKRELL (DE 366) departed Peleliu in compliance with reference (a). A log of events follows:

(a) 1815 King, 3 August 1945 – investigated possible sub contact at 07-46 N., 134 -05E Results negative.

(b) 0608 King, 4 August 1945 – Arrived at scene of operation and proceeded to Station four per orders of OTC, U.S.S. MADISON (DD 425) and as set forth in reference (b). Arrived on station #4 at 0744 King and commenced search for survivors in conjunction with plane assigned to our sector. U.S.S. AYLWIN (DD 355) joined on Station #4 soon afterwards and search continued.

(c) At 1007 King, 4 August plane sighted wreckage and soon afterward both AYLWIN and ALVIN C. COCKRELL commenced discovering floating bodies in the general area 11-31 N. , 142-49 E. The remainder of the day was spent by both vessels in identifying and sinking as many bodies as possible. All bodies

ENCLOSURE (C)

[end 1]

encountered were shark-bitten and in an advanced state of decomposition. Enclosure (?) gives all identifiable material and resume of circumstances surrounding the discovery of each of seven bodies recovered by this vessel. Reference (c) reported to OTC and CTG 94.5 location of bodies encountered and results of days search in sector #4.

(d) At 0635 King, 5 August – On station scouting line established by reference (d). This line continued with negative results throughout the day with planes being given search sectors by OTC in U.S.S. MADISON (DD 425). At 1500 King, 5 August U.S.S. MADISON and U.S.S. RALPH TALBOT departed for Ulithi for fuel as authorized by references (d) and (f). OTC then became C.O. this vessel. Throughout the remainder of the day the scouting line was continued with negative results. Plane searches were made to a distance of 100 miles from the scouting line and except for 3 buoys which were sunk by U.S.S. AYLWIN and three life floats picked up by U.S.S. REGISTER (APD 92) the results were negative.

(e) Since U.S.S. MADISON had departed reference (g) was initiated as reply to reference (e) and action recommended was approved by reference (h).

(f) At 0600 King, 6 August ships present were deployed as specified in reference (i) and U.S.S. ALWIN C COCKRELL proceeded to Peleliu for fuel.

/s/ M.M. Sanford

M.M. SANFORD.

COPY

[end 2 and Document 3: Alvin C. Cockrell (DE-366)]

[Begin Document 4: French (DE-367)]

COPY

SECRET U.S.S. FRENCH (DE 367)

File No. DE 367/P6          

Serial No. 005

 

c/o Fleet Post Office,

San Francisco, Calif.,

9 August 1945.

 

From: The Commanding Officer.

To: Commander Western Carolines Sub Area.

 

Subject: Search for bodies, rafts and debris from U.S.S. INDIANAPOLIS

Reference: (a) ComWesCarSubArea dispatch 040052.

(b) ComWesCarSubArea dispatch 040720.

(c) FRENCH’s dispatch 070746.

(d) ComWesCarSubArea dispatch 070825.

Enclosure: (A) Track chart of search by U.S.S. FRENCH

(B) List of bodies found by U.S.S. FRENCH (three copies).

1. In accordance with references (a) and (b), FRENCH departed Peleliu on 4 August to participate in a search for survivors, bodies, rafts, and other debris of the U.S.S. INDIANAPOLIS.

2. At about 0630, 5 August, this vessel commenced an all day search as one unit of a scouting line with seven other ships (OTC in U.S.S. MADISON). The track of the FRENCH on this and subsequent days is shown on enclosure (A). Except for one life jacket, as far as the FRENCH was concerned the result of this day’s search was entirely negative.

3. At 0615, 6 August, this vessel was designated by the CO U.S.S. COCKRELL as OTC of the search, COCKRELL having relieved MADISON in this capacity during the night. Of the other ships, only DOYLE remained on the scene. Shortly afterward search was recommenced with the two vessels five miles apart and a search plane assigned to each. Search commenced along a line roughly parallel to that of the day before. During the morning FRENCH recovered three rafts and a net and sighted several ammunition and powder cans, all of which turned out to be empty. On these rafts were a gutted fish, fishing tackle and an ammunition can containing burnt rags.

4. At 1230 FRENCH recovered another group of three rafts and a net in which a body had become entangled. Another body was recovered at 1317. Between 1515 and 1915 nineteen more bodies were recovered. (For details refer to enclosure “B”).

5. By the end of the day it had become clear that the local currents were generally southwesterly with a drift of about one knot. During the night, therefore, the vessels were maneuvered so as at dawn to be downstream, as it were, from the point where operations had been suspended the previous evening and at a distance from that point which could efficiently be covered by noon. Between 1135 and 1445 eight more bodies were recovered and numerous empty life jackets were spotted.

6. It should be noted that at the close of the day an area had been covered roughly eighty miles wide extending one hundred fifty miles in a generally

ENCLOSURE (D)               

COPY

[end 1]

southwesterly direction form the point where survivors were first picked up. (Reference (c) erroneously described the area as “150 miles… from point of sinking.”)

7. At 2030 reference (d) was received directing at least one DE to proceed to points where fifty life rafts had been reported. It was decided that both DE’s should proceed on this mission as the division medical officer expressed the opinion that no further bodies would come to the surface and it was felt that the probable area in which any bodies would be found had already been thoroughly covered.

8. On 8 August a careful search was made over an extent of at least three thousand square miles having the reported points as its center. One or two orange crates, a small punt, a carpenter’s work horse and a large log constituted the sum total of objects sighted.

9. Throughout the four days of search the work of the assisting planes was outstanding. They displayed the greatest patience and a high degree of cooperation in giving the areas the most thorough coverage. Practically nothing was recovered that had not first been sighted by them.

/s/ R.C. Robbins, Jr.

R.C. ROBBINS, JR.

Copy direct:

CTu 94.6.1 (less enclosure “A”)

[end 2]

COPY

BODIES FOUND BY U.S.S. FRENCH (DE 367)

Body No.

1. 8/6/45. Unidentified. Medium size, medium build, appeared to be rather young. Very advanced stage of decomposition and appeared to have been partially eaten by sharks. Hair missing. Remnants of mustache present. Inspection of teeth indicated no fillings or missing teeth apparent but advanced stage of decomposition made close dental check impossible. Fingerprints taken of thumb, first, and second fingers of right hand. Man found entangled in a life net suspended under water. No ring or wrist watch on body. NO identification tags. Body unclothed.

2. 8/6/45 Identification tags: NORBERT, George Boss, USNR-A-T-4-45-C. No fingerprints taken because of advanced stage of decomposition of body. Small light blue St. Christopher’s Medal attached to one identification tag. Body found floating in a life jacket with arms extended and legs spread apart, face up in the water. Life jacket appeared to have slipped up over head. Body swollen with gas. No rings or wrist watch on body.

3.  8/6/45. 1526. Identification tag: HUEBNER, Harry Helmet, T -1-44-B USNR. Keys #1146 and #1042 and National Lutheran Council Medal on ID tag chain. USN ring found on ring finger of left hand. Body clothed in dungaree trousers only, stencil “HUEBNER.” Advanced stage of decomposition. Found in life jacket floating face up. Fingerprints impossible to take. Found in pocket (right) of dungaree trousers: Identification tag for SELLERS, Leonard Edson, T-8-42 A USNR-P.

4. 8/6/45. 1606. Unidentified. No wrist watch, identification tags, rings, or other means of identification whatsoever. Medium height. Body badly decomposed, lying face down in water, unclothed. Impossible to take fingerprints.

5. 8/6/45. 1624. Unidentified. No identification tags, rings, wrist watch, or other means of identification. Body unclothed, large size, black hair, face apparently blown off by explosion, badly decomposed, lying face down in water. Impossible to take fingerprints.

6. 8/6/45. 1640. Unidentified. No identification tags, rings, wrist watch, or other means of identification. Body short and stocky, unclothed, badly decomposed, dark hair. Impossible to take fingerprints.

7. 8/6/45. 1755. Unidentified. No identification tags, rings or wrist watch. Body fully clothed except for shoes; no markings in clothing except for stenciled “CEM3DIV” on shorts. Pocket knife found in pocket (right) of dungarees trousers. Body badly decomposed. Fingerprints impossible to obtain.

8. 8/6/45. 1830. No identification tags. Class ring found on ring finger of left hand. “Boulevard” waterproof wrist watch with gray leather strap found on left wrist stopped at 5:15. Clad only in shorts, stenciled “R.E. KING.” Body badly decomposed. Impossible to obtain fingerprints.

9. 8/6/45. 1840. No identification tags. Gold wrist watch on left wrist. No rings. Clad in white trousers and jumper, skivvy shorts and shirt. “J.A.SAENZ” stenciled on one pocket of trousers, “SAENZ stenciled on

[end 3]

other pocket. Evans cigarette lighter in right pants pocket. Body medium build, dark hair, badly decomposed. Impossible to take fingerprints.

10. 8/6/45. 1850. Identification tags on chain around neck: JAMES MONROE DOSS, USNR-0 T-4-45-P. Two keys on ID tag chain. Body clad in dungaree trousers and white shorts (both unmarked), both feet off, floating face up with life jacket around hips.

11. 8/6/45. 1902. No identification tags, rings, wrist watch or other means of identification. Body short and stocky. Unclothed, no life jacket, badly decomposed. Fingerprints impossible to take.

12. 8/6/45. 1906. Identification tags: RALPH JOHN HELSCHER, t-4-44-A USNR-P. No rings or wrist watch. Body found face down in water, wearing life jacket, dungaree shirt and socks (unmarked, badly decomposed. Key #1140 on chain around neck. Fingerprints impossible to take.

13. 8/6/45. Identification tags: ROSE F. E. Type-o T.8/44 USMCR. Key on ID chain, “Chicago Lock Co., Chicago, Ill., 1145.” Body badly mutilated by sharks.

14. 8/6/45. 1832. Identification tag: PAUL FRANKLIN MC COSKEY USNR-P T-5-44-A. Fully clothed with dungaree shirt and trousers, skivvy drawers, shoe and sock on left foot (right foot missing). Key on ID tag chain, “Chicago Lock Co., Chicago, Ill., N1183.”

15. 8/6/45. 1910 Unidentified. Clothed with dungaree shirt, dungaree pants, shoes, and socks. Left sock stenciled with first four letters of name, “MANE---“. Rest was torn away. Right sock was stenciled with initials “CFM” and letter “A” under initials. Had black onyx ring (gold) on ring finger of left hand; something removed from face of stone of ring (possibly metal initial or insignia). Body badly mutilated by sharks.

16. 8/6/45. 1819. Unidentified. No ID tags, rings, wrist watch or other means of identification. Body not clothed, 5’8”, stocky build, with appendicitis scar 4” long and hernia scar on right side 6” long. Body not harmed by sharks.

17. 8/6/45. Unidentified. No identification tags. Had gold ring with blue square stone on ring finger of left hand. Catholic religious medal on chain around neck. Wore life jacket and shirt. Scars and marks: 1” crooked scar on left cheek, pitted scar under chin, ½” wide x 1” long angular scar on left elbow, 1” horizontal scare on right kneecap. Height 6’, red hair. Life jacket up around head, neck was swollen, believed neck was broken.

18. 8/6/45. Unidentified. No identification tags. Wedding band on ring finger of left hand; only marking inside ring was “4K.” Body 5’8”, heavy set build, very badly bloated. 2” angular scar on penis, pitted scars on right kneecap.

19. 8/6/45. 1735. Unidentified. No identification tags, rings, watch, or other means of identification. Body unclothed badly burned and badly

[end 4]

Mutilated by sharks, 5’ 8-1/2” tall. Appendix scar, complete oval scar on chin about 1/2” in diameter, deep scars on forehead and scalp (not sure whether caused by sinking or not).

20. 8/6/45. 1845. No identification tags, rings, watch or other means of identification. Body unclothed except for pair of socks unstencilled. Body 5'11", black hair, no distinguishing scars or marks. Very badly mutilated by sharks.

21. 8/6/45. 1925. Unidentified. No identification tags, rings or watch. Had identification bracelet but it was lost overboard while removing it from arm of body. Height 6'. No marks or scars. Body very badly mutilated by sharks and decomposed.

22. 8/7/45. 1135. No identification tags, rings or watch. Wore belt stenciled "LUNDGREN, A.D." No other identification. Body facing upward in life jacket, clad in dungaree shirt and trousers, no shoes or socks. Badly mutilated on left side and badly decomposed. No fingerprints taken.

23. 8/7/45. 1155. No identification tag. Ring on ring finger of left hand. No watch or other identification. Body badly mutilated, decomposed, without clothing. Fingerprints not taken.

24. 8/7/45. 1215. No identification tags, rings, watch or other means of identification. Body not clothed, lying on life jacket, badly mutilated by sharks and decomposed. Body not brought on board.

25. 8/7/45. 1231. No identification tags, rings, watch or other means of identification. No clothing. Body badly mutilated by sharks and badly decomposed. Not brought on board.

26. 8/7/45. 1310. Identification tag: DELBERT E. DUFRAINE USNR-O-P T-1-45. Clad in dungarees and skivvy drawers, socks, shoe on right foot. Letters in left back pocket. Had in pocket: $5 bill, two keys, one comb, one 25c piece, four pennies, cigarette case (these items in front left pocket). Height 5'11", not badly mutilated by sharks but badly decomposed.

27. 8/7/45. 1414. Identification tag: CARL EMERSON MIRES USNR-0 T-7-43-P. Had wallet containing: Navy Identification Card, nine pictures, one newspaper clipping, wallet identification card, address book, certificate of Domain of Noptunus Rox, Curtis-Wright Servicemen Organization card of Indianapolis, Ind., 2 keys (both with #2H550, Yale), 18 pennies, 2 nickels, 2 dimes, three $2 bills, one $1 bill and numerous papers. Body very badly mutilated and decomposed. Clad in dungarees. No fingerprints taken. No rings or watch. Man lying face up.

28. 8/7/45. 1440. Unidentified. No identification tags, rings, watch or other means of identification. Body clad in dungaree trousers only, badly mangled by sharks, badly decomposed, no marks or scars. Dungarees not marked. Had chain with peach seed basket on dungarees. No fingerprints taken. Found lying face up. Identification impossible.

29. 8/7/45. 1445. No identification tags, rings, watch, or any other means of identification. Identification impossible. Clad in life jacket. Body in mutilated condition and badly decomposed. Wore no clothing. Facing downward.

[end 5 and Document 4: French (DE-367)]

[Begin Document 5: Madison (DD-425)]

FILE NO:              

DD425/A16O-3 

Serial (o34)

 

U.S.S. MADISON (DD425)

c/o Fleet Post Office

San Francisco, California

6 August 1945.

 

CONFIDENTIAL

From: The Commanding Officer.

To: The Commander Western Carolines Sub Area.

 

Subject: Narrative of search Operations 2 to 5 August 1945 – U.S.S. MADISON (DD425).

Reference: (a) ComWesCar Sub Area secret 040720, August 1945.

Enclosure: (A) Narrative of search.

(B) Track Chart.

(C) Record of Air Support.

(D) Copy to letter of C.O. U.S.S. INDIANAPOLIS.

1. In compliance with reference (a) enclosures (A) through (D) are forwarded herewith.

/s/ DONALD W. TODD.

Donald W. Todd.

Copy to: Commander Marianas (less Enc. B).

Commander Philippine SeaFrontier (less Enc. B).

CTG 94.6 (less Enc. B.)

C.O INDIANAPOLIS (less Enc. B).

FILE (with Enc. B).

 

COPY COPY COPY

ENCLOSURE (E)

[end 1]

NARATIVE OF SEARCH OPERATIONS 2 TO 5 AUGUST 1945.

2 August 1945.

1600 U.S.S. MADISON patrolling sector 6-E off Ulithi, received orders with U.S.S. RALPH TALBOT (DD366) to proceed at best speed to rendezvous position latitude 011°, 47.0' N, longitude 133°, 45.0' E. (CTU 94.6.2's 020601).

1605 Left station proceeding at flank speed. Sea and swell slight, visibility fair, night very dark with frequent heavy rains. During the night preparations were made to receive an unknown number of survivors. Soup, coffee, blankets, stretchers, and rescue gear were broken out. The showers, laundry, living spaces, first aid, and plasma stations, were made ready. About twenty volunteer swimmers were mustered and instructed.

3 August 1945.

0214 Sighted light on port bow which was later identified as the rescue group.

0312 RALPH TALBOTG (DD366), appeared on radar screen abaft the starboard beam. Search light looms were observed ahead.

0400 Commenced slowing. Set special lookouts.

0425 Went to general quarters. Identified MADISON by green very star on T.B.S. to USS CICIL J. DOYLE (DD368) who was at a distance beyond nearest rescue group.

0430 Arrived at scene of rescue of survivors from USS INDIANAPOLIS, the U.S.S. BASSETT (APD 73) and DUFILHO (DE423) were actively engaged in recovering survivors from the water. All vessels were showing lights as were planes aiding in locating the rafts. The night was dark and occasional heavy squalls reduced the visibility, sea and swell were slight.

0450 BASSETT reported 150 survivors aboard and requested medical assistance, saying that she had been ordered to return to Leyte.

0515 Lt. (jg) H.A. STILES (MC), USNR was transferred by LCVP to BASSETT and requested permission to remain because of condition of survivors. At this time it was learned from the boat's crew the identity of the survivors and the fact that the INDIANAPOLIS was twice hit by torpedoes on 29 July 1945.

COPY ENCLOSURE (A) COPY

[end 2]

3 August 1945 (continued)

0548 BASSETT was then released to return to Leyte in accordance previous orders.

0600 Set condition II. Special lookouts on station.

0630 At daybreak ships present were MADISON, RALPH TALBOT, DUFILHO, and 3 PBY and 2 PV-1 Planes. TALBOT reported recovering 9 survivors.

0642 Attempt to form scouting line on course 150° was made but new survivors reported by planes, precluded anything but individual investigation of rafts and floating objects. The general movement was to South West.

0700 About this time CICIL J. DOYLE and two PBYs on the water were sighted and closed. CICIL J. DOYLE reported that the crew and valuables had been removed from one PBY which she destroyed. The other took off and returned to base. About this time DUFILHO requested permission to conduct search to Southward for a specific group of survivors and was released with orders to return.

0815 Seven planes, 3 PBYs and 4 PV-ls on station, ships engaged in picking up rafts, survivors, and investigating objects spotted by planes. Two bodies sighted close aboard. No attempt was made at this time to recover bodies, while survivors still in sight of planes. Search moving in an Easterly direction.

1000 About this time a plane reported two groups of survivors about 40 miles to the North. MADISON, RALPH TALBOT proceeded at flank speed followed by CICIL J. DOYLE. Planes in the vicinity caused some deviation from the course to investigate possible survivors in rubber boats and rafts.

1202 Sighted boat and raft ahead. Lowered motor whale boat to investigate partially covered boat. Three bodies were found in raft, boat was empty. (Enclosure D). About this time we intercepted a message from RINGLESS to plane that she had recovered second group of survivors which included Captain McVay, U.S. Navy. The Commanding Officer of the INDIANAPOLIS. These were the last survivors to be recovered by any ship. MADISON and RALPH TALBOT were in an area which contained many life jackets, bodies, boats, and rafts both rubber and balsa. The area was heavily marked with oil. Investigation disclosed no living occupants of the rafts and it is believed this position was the scene of the earliest rescue and the probable sinking point. The position was reported in MADISON's 030250, August 1945, as the center of recommended area for further search.

COPY  ENCLOSURE (A) COPY

[end 3]

3 August 1945 (continued)

1300 About this time CECIL J DOYLE was detached and ordered to proceed to Peleliu with 93 survivors, several in serious condition. Search was continued Northward, rubber rafts and rafts being picked up or destroyed enroute.

1400 About this time RINGLESS and REGISTER were closed. Captain McVay stated that he believed this group to be the furthest North of any and since orbiting planes had reported no objects further in this direction it was decided to cover the area not covered to the South East. The bulk of the survivors had been recovered well to the South West of the original location. The point of original search was also noticed to be South West of the rendezvous given.

1431 Formed scouting line of four ships on course 135° T (toward Peleliu) at about 15 knots, distance three miles. Planes continued search. Shortly thereafter DUFILHO reported negative results from her sweep and joined the scouting line. Both RINGLESS and REGISTER had less than 30% fuel remaining. They had recovered 38 survivors between them. REGISTER was ordered to remove 24 survivors from RALPH TALBOT and one from DUFILHO for transportation to Peleliu.

1600 RINGLESS and REGISTER detached with orders to deliver survivors to Peleliu, fuel and return to area. Changed scouting course to 270°. Three ships, MADISON, RALPH TALBOT AND DUFILHO. An envelope sweep was ordered for the night, reaching well to the Westward, and North of the previous well covered area. The night was dark, overcast, and frequently squally, although the sea remained slight. Vessels were given permission to use lights at discretion and to leave station for investigations.

2000 Changed course to North.

2300 Changed course to East.

COPY ENCLOSURE(A) COPY

[end 4]

4 August 1945

0400 ComWesCarSubArea 030810 assigned stations and calls for five ships and ships proceeded to stations marked on track chart with ships name. Changed course to 180° to take station.

0600 U.S.S. ALVIN C. COCKRELL (DE366) reported for duty and was assigned station four. Each ship had planes searching in her area:

Reference Point- MADISON

Station One – RALPH TALBOT

Station Two – HELM

Station Three- DUFILHO

Station Four- ALVIN C. COCKRELL

AYLWIN (DD355)

Upon arrival AYLWIN was assigned sector four with ALVIN C. COCKRELL as the most likely position for wreckage or survivors. All ships picked up and destroyed boats and rafts encountered to reduce confusion with newly found rafts. The air and surface search covered a wide area thoroughly during the day. At night ships remained in their assigned sectors until early morning.

1500 DUFILHO (sector three) reported a possible submarine contact and proceeded to make one depth charge attack and two attacks with ahead thrown weapons, without result. AYLWIN was ordered to aid in search to regain contact and arrived on station about 1700. Two planes assisted in the search from time of contact until 1800 and 1830. Retiring search plans 6 and 10 were executed without results.

1640 Sound contact believed to be fish investigated.

1709 Sound contact investigated evaluated non-sub.

5 August 1945.

0600 Went to general quarters. Set condition II at 0645.

0630 U.S.S. French (DE 367) and U.S.S. CECIL J. DOYLE (DE 368) reported for duty, and took station in scouting line. Scouting line (ComWesCarSubArea 040720) on course 018, speed 14, distance 8 miles for ninety miles and reverse. Point of origin latitude 011°01'N, longitude 132°55' E, as shown on chart (Enclosure B). There were two planes on station. One was ordered to sweep the length of the line ahead to point out floating objects with smoke and dye, and to zoom the nearest ship if not identified. The calls and stations of ships were given to this plane. The other plane was ordered to orbit 50 miles west and ahead of the line where it was anticipated bodies would be found.

COPY ENCLOSURE (A) COPY

[end 5]

5 August 1945 (continued)

1100 About this time HELM on the Westward end of the line was led by plane to about 10 bodies which she attempted to identify and bury. Ships left 90°.

1120 The line at this time was moved 12 miles Westward to cover assigned area.

1202 Ships right 90°. About 1400 the U.S.S. REGISTER having delivered survivors and fuel at Peleliu joined the scouting line which was expanded to the Westward, to accommodate her. MADISON had at this time about 13% burnable fuel on board. RALPH TALBOT less than 30%. The decision to refuel at Ulithi was made because of probable abandoning of the search before rejoining was possible and because of difficulties experienced by RINGLESS and REGISTER in fueling at Peleliu.

1500 MADISON and RALPH TALBOT departed leaving COCKRELL SOP. The scouting line was then in column on a Westerly course to close up and move twenty-five miles to the Westward, for the return sweep. This decision was reached by the finding of a large number of bodies just west of the line as formed.

COPY ENCLOSURE(A) COPY

[end 6]

RECORD OF AIR SUPPORT

3 AUGUST 1945.

Time

0210       U.S.S. DOYLE (DE368) (PATCHPOCKET) reports operating with PBY ("Dumbo").

0430       "PT" reports presence of 3 or 4 survivors to U.S.S. DOYLE.

0446       Conversation between two aircraft indicates two aircraft in area. (voice calls "PT" and "PS", "PT" is probably PBY).

0448       "PS" reports leaving in 10 minutes – no further transmissions from "PS", probably left as announced.

0504       "PT" reports survivors he reported at 430 have been picked up.

0512       "PT" reports another plane identified by him in area and departs for home. Plane reported by "PT" never identified nor heard from, probably non-existent. "PT" may have been referring to "PS" with whom he had conversation at 0448. NO planes but the possible one reported by "PT" now in area.

0626       One PBY (PLAYMATE 6) reports in area.

0700       "BIRD DOG" (believed to be CECIL J. DOYLE, DE 368) reports has removed pilot of "PLAYMATE 2" (PBY) and is planning to sink "PLAYMATE 2". This is the first mention MADISON has of "PLAYMATE 2".

0701       "PLAYMATE 6" directs unidentified ship to two life rafts.

0830       "PLAYMATE 6" reports 3 "PLAYMATES (PBY's) and two "GAMBLERS" ('s) in area. Whether this count includes "PLAYMATE 2" not known. Calls of PV-1's are "GAMBLER 5" and "GAMBLER 6".

0833k6502 (army plane – type unknown) reports for himself and one other army plane K8286. Army planes diverted from other missions to assist for 5 hours. Planes now

ENCLOSURE (C)

[end 7]

3 August (cont'd)

0833 (cont'd)      in area: 3 PBY's (probably includes 1 PBY in process of being destroyed), 2 PV-1's, and 2 army planes. PBY's and PV-1's all searching area as they see fit. Location of planes unknown. Occasional plane seen in SC but identity not established except for two army planes and "GAMBLER 6" who is located at approximately 0940 by means of emergency IFF. Two army planes (K8286 and K6502) directed to orbit at 5 and 12 miles radius respectively.

0938       "GAMBLER 6" reports 5 men on raft. "GAMBLER 6" is located at 030° 35 miles from MADISON, (MAHOGANY) by means of his emergency IFF.

1014       "GAMBLER 6" reports four more life rafts with 25 to 30 men aboard.

1021       "PLAYMATE 7" reports to relieve "PLAYMATE 6".

1024       "PLAYMATE 3" heard on air. This is probably one of three PBY's reported on scene by "PLAYMATE 6" at 0830.

1032       K6502 (army plane) departs for base. Probably took other army plane with him as other army plane not heard from this time.

1047       "GAMBLER 1" (PV-1) arrives on scene to relieve "GAMBLER 6".

1121       "GAMBLER 6" departs for base. Former "GAMBLER 1" assumes call "GAMBLER 6".

1122       "GAMBLER 5" relieved by "GAMBLER 4". Former "GAMBLER 5" departs for home. Relief plane (GAMBLER 4) now assumes call "GAMBLER 5". Now have 2 PV-1's and 2 PBY's in search area.

1133       "GAMBLER 5" reports 1 survivor on raft bearing 063-3 miles from MADISON.

1146       "GAMBLER 5" ordered to orbit MADISON with 5 miles radius.

[end 8]

3 August (cont'd)

1204       "GAMBLER 5" ordered to orbit MADISON at limit of visibility.

1243       "GAMBLER 6" vectored 180 to investigate possible survivors reported by unknown station. Nothing found by "GAMBLER 6".

1249       "PLAYMATE 3" reports engine trouble. No further reports received on this matter.

1323       "GAMBLER 5" ordered to search to southeast of MADISON.

1432       "GAMBLER 5" departs for base, reports "have been relieved by "GAMBLER 6".

1433       Unidentified plane (HEPCAT 1) arrives in area.

1446       "HEPCAT 1" relieves "GAMBLER 6" and assumes call "GAMBLER 6". Former "GAMBLER 6" presumably leaves for base.

1822       "GAMBLER 6" reports several empty life rafts bearing 015-5 miles from MADISON.

1823       "GAMBLER 6" states will search until 1830 and then depart for base. No further record, but presumably left as scheduled.

1838       "GAMBLER 5" departs for base.

1900       No record of PBY's leaving, but probably left about this time. There were no planes in area after 2000.

4 August 1945

0632       "GAMBLER 6" (PV-1) reports. Ordered to orbit MADISON at 10 mile radius.

0654       "PLAYMATE 1" (PBY) reports.

0700       "PLAYMATE 3" (PBY) reports.

0743       "BIRD DOG 4" reports "PLAYMATE 4" PBY on station.

ENCLOSURE (C)

[end 9]

4 August (cont'd)

0757       "GAMBLER 6" reports debris, possibly containing bodies, bearing 180° -8 miles from MADISON.

0800       There is no record of "PLAYMATE 2" reporting, but he is known to have reported about this time. All "PLAYMATES" (PBY's) stationed in accordance with operation plan over four "BIRD DOGS".

0806       "GAMBLER 5" (PV-1) reports. There are now 4 PBY's and 2 PV-1s in search area.

0825       "GAMBLER 5" ordered to operate with "GAMBLER 6".

0916       "GAMBLER 6" and "GAMBLER 5" ordered to orbit MADISON at limit of visibility.

0943       "PLAYMATE 3" develops engine trouble and heads for base. "PLAYMATE 6" announces his presence in area and assumes "PLAYMATE 3"s station, retains call of "PLAYMATE 6". During this readjustment, presence of "PLAYMATE 7" to south of six ships is ascertained. Apparently "PLAYMATES 6 and 7" were of independent search mission to south of the six ships. "PLAYMATE 7" remains on his assigned station.

1045       "GAMBLER 7" (PV-1) reports, relieves "GAMBLER 6", and assumes call "GAMBLER 6". Former "GAMBLER 6" leaves for base.

1403       "PLAYMATE 1" leaves for base because of low fuel.

1452       Another PV-1 relieves "GAMBLER 5" and assumes call "GAMBLER 5".

1541       "GAMBLER 10" relieves "GAMBLER 6" and assumes call "GAMBLER 6". Former "GAMBLER 6" departs for base.

1627       "PLAYMATE 6" reports low on gas and is granted permission to return to base.

1646       "PLAYMATE 7" reports he has thoroughly searched his area and requests permission to return to base. Permission granted. Planes now known to be in area: 2 PV-1's, (GAMBLER 5 and 6) and 2 PBY's (PLAYMATES 2 and 4).

ENCLOSURE (C)

[end 10]

4 August (cont'd)

1930       "GAMBLERS 5 and 6" departs for base.

1930       No record of "PLAYMATES 2 and 4's" departure, but are believed to have left before dark.

5 August 1945

0638       "GAMBLER LEADER" (PV-1) reports.

0647       "GAMBLER 9" (PV-1) reports.

0708       "GAMBLER LEADER" assigned to search on east-west line 20 miles ahead of scouting line. "GAMBLER 9" assigned to search 50 miles southwest of west end of scouting line.

1017       Conversation between "GAMBLER LEADER" and "PLAYMATE 1" shows "PLAYMATE 1" in area. Time of arrival unknown.

1043       Conservation with "GAMBLER LEADER" indicates "PLAYMATE 3" in area. Time of arrival unknown.

1053       "GAMBLER 11" relieves "GAMBLER LEADER". "GAMBLER LEADER" takes "GAMBLER 9's" station. "GAMBLER 9" apparently returned to base because of engine trouble – pertinent message not clear.

1118       "GAMBLER 16" relieves "GAMBLER LEADER", who departs for base.

1200       "PLAYMATE 2" arrives to relieve "PLAYMATE 1" (Approx.)

1230       There is no record, but "PLAYMATE 1" is probably relieved by "PLAYMATE 2" about this time and departs for base.

1513       Air control turned over to U.S.S. ALVIN C. COCKRELL (DE366) (WHITE SLAVE). At this time 2 PV-1's (GAMBLERS 11 and 16) are in area under direct control of MADISON, 1 PBY (PLAYMATE 2) is in area under direct control of U.S.S. AYLWIN (DD355) (WIGWAM), and possibly one other PBY (PLAYMATE 3) is in area.

ENCLOSURE (C)

[end 11]

REMARKS

Air support during operation is considered quite adequate. Planes were, without exception, very competent and cooperative. No difficulty was experienced in communications.

DONALD W. TODD.

ENCLOSURE (C)

[end 12]

7 August 1945.

CONFIDENTIAL

From: The Commanding Officer

To: The Commanding Officer, U.S.S. INDIANAPOLIS.

 

Subject:               Identification of bodies recovered, report of.

1. It is reported that on 3 August 1956 at Latitude 11°41'N, Longitude 131° 22' E a balsa raft and life boat (plane rescue type) lashed together were examined for survivors, an officer and a pharmacist mate.

2. One wore underwear and a dungaree shirt both marked: BATSON.

3. One body wore underwear and a web belt marked: PAYNE, G.D.

4. The identification tags worn by the third are enclosed marked: ALVIN WILDER RAHN, 1-4/44 – AB – USNR P. Both tags were removed through error.

DONALD W. TODD

ENCLOSURE (D)

[end 13 and Document 5: Madison (DD-425)]

[Begin Document 6: Ralph Talbot (DD-390)]

COPY

L11/DD390

Serial 078

               

U.S.S. RALPH TALBOT (DD390)

CONFIDENTIAL 

6 August 1945

From: The Commanding Officer.

To: The Commander, Western Carolines Subarea.

 

Subject:               Search and Recovery of Survivors – Report of.

Enclosures: (A) Plot of Ship's Movements During Period of Search.

(B) Log of Events During Period of Search.

(C) List of Survivors Recovered by RALPH TALBOT.

1. Enclosures are submitted in accordance with ComWesCarSubArea dispatch orders.

2.  No bodies were recovered.

3. Due to the condition of the survivors and the absence of dog tags in many cases, enclosure (DC) cannot be considered accurate.

W.S. BROWN

Copy to:

CTG 94.6 (less enc (A))

CO USS MADISON (less enc (A))

 

COPY

 

ENCLOSURE (F)

[end 1]

LOG OF EVENTS

On the afternoon of 2 August, 1945, the RALPH TALBOT was patrolling picket station A-6, fifty miles north of Ulithi Atoll. Following is in order of events for the subsequent three days:

Time Zone (-10)

2 August

1601       Departed from picket station A-6 on course 287°T, speed 27 knots, in accordance with CTU 94.6.2 020558 of 2 August.

1640       Changed course to 230°T upon receipt of detailed orders.

1719-1735            Increased speed to 32 knots.

3 August

0235       Sighted illumination from searchlight of CECIL J. DOYLE (DE368) bearing 275°T. Changed course to 275°T.

0337       Set condition of readiness one.

0400       Reduced speed to approach area in which survivors were reported.

0449       Arrived on scene with MADISON (DD425). The following ships are present: MADISON, RALPH TALBOT, CECIL J. DOYLE, DUFILHO (DE423) and BASSET (APD73). OTC is the Commanding Officer, MADISON. Commenced illumination with 36" searchlight in search of survivors.

0540       Sighted two life rafts tied together.

0558       Recovered six survivors from the two rafts and took the rafts aboard.

0628       Set condition of readiness III. BASSET is leaving the area enroute Leyte with survivors.

0655       Sighted a single life raft with survivors.

0705       Recovered eight men from the raft. Destroyed the raft. Sighted another single raft with survivors. Sighted numerous bodies in water, majority in life jackets.

ENCLOSURE (B) TO RALPH TALBOT

CONFIDENTIAL SERIAL 078 OF 6

AUGUST 1945

[end 2]

 

0721       Recovered ten men from the raft and destroyed it.

0730       Investigated two rafts which were empty.

0734       Formed scouting line with MADISON and DUFILHO on course 206°T, scouting distance four miles. DUFILHO is guide. Order of ships is RALPH TALBOT, DUFILHO, and MADISON. CECIL J. DOYLE is leaving the area enroute Peleliu with survivors.

0744       Investigated two empty life rafts.

0911       Changed course and scouting line front 090°T. RALPH TALBOT investigating area in which a smoke pot was dropped by a PBY.

0937       Results negative. Resumed search.

0945       MADISON left scouting line, proceeding to vicinity of PBY reported to be over survivors in rafts with RINGNESS (APD100) and REGISTER (APD92) effecting rescue.

1024       In accordance with orders from OTC, proceeded with DUFILHO to join MADISON.

1121       Investigated empty life raft.

1205       Destroyed small boat with 20MM gunfire after removal of survivors by MADISON.

1222       Destroyed two life rafts with 20MM gunfire.

1310       Formed scouting line on course 135°T, scouting distance 3 miles. Order of ships: MADISON, RINGNESS, REGISTER, RALPH TALBOT, and DUFILHO.

1328       Investigated empty raft.

1445       Commenced transfer of 24 survivors to LCVP from REGISTER.

[end 3]

1510       Transfer completed. Screened REGISTER while she took survivors aboard from LCVP.

1515       Transfer completed. Investigated a large buoy and destroyed it with 20MM gunfire.

1615       Rejoined scouting line now on course 270°T. Order of ships: MADISON, RALPH TALBOT, and DUFILHO. RINGNESS and REGISTER are leaving area enroute Peleliu with survivors.

1704       Investigated and destroyed empty life raft.

2000       Changed course and scouting line front to 000°T.

4 August

0400       Changed course and front to 180°T.

0615       Changed course and front to 270°T.

0643       Proceeding in accordance with orders from CTG 94.5 to station #1. COCKRELL (DE366) and HELM (DD388) arrived in area.

0825       On station bearing 315°T distance 35 miles from reference point occupied by MADISON. Commenced patrolling area, assisted by dumbo.

1306       Investigated and destroyed a large buoy.

1615       Proceeded to area 20 miles east of present station, advising the OTC of the change and that the dumbo detailed to search this area had departed for base upon completion of search due to fuel shortage.

1739       Commended patrolling new area.

1836       Sighted object and spray believed to be blackfish but due to resemblance to a broached torpedo, manned depth charge quarters and searched area thoroughly.

[end 4]

2155 Radar contact bearing 255°T, distance 5600 yards. Contact was lost at 5100 yards. The area was searched thoroughly, results negative.

5 August

0202       Departed from assigned station in accordance with orders received from ComWesCarSubArea, proceeding to take station in scouting line to be formed at 0630.

0630       Formed scouting line on course 018°T, scouting distance 8 miles. Order of ships: HELM, AYLWIN (DD355), RALPH TALBOT, MADISON, DUFILHO, COCKRELL, FRENCH (DE367) and CECIL J. DOYLE. Assisting aircraft are searching 20 miles ahead of scouting line.

0930       Recovered floater net.

1020       Scouting line executed 9 turn.

1105       Scouting line executed turn 9.

1135       Investigated a small boat and destroyed it with 20MM gunfire.

1510       Due to fuel shortage, departed in company with MADISON, enroute Ulithi, The Commanding Officer, COCKRELL, assumed the duties of OTC.

[end 5]

LIST OF SURVIVORS RECOVERED BY RALPH TALBOT

CONFIDENTIAL

Name

Service No.

Rating

BLANTHORN, B.

 

Slc

CAMBELL, H. E.

 

GM3C

CLARK, Orsen

 

S2c

COIMAN, R.E.

 

F2c

FARMER, Archie Calvin

 

Cox

FORTIN, V.L.

 

WT3c

HUPKA, C.E.

 

Bkrlc

KISELICA, J.F.

 

AMM2c

LOPEX, D.B.

 

Flc

McGUIGGAN, R.N

 

Slc

NESTAS, N.A.

 

WT3c

NASPINT, J.K.

 

F2c

NICHOLA, W.F.

 

Slc

NIXON, D.F.

-----

--

OSBORNE, F.R.

-----

--

PACE, Curtis

 

S2c

PASKET, L.M.

 

S2c

PRICE, J.D.

 

Slc

REEVES, C.O.B.

 

S2c

SHIPMAN, R.L.

 

--

SMITH, C.L.

 

Cox

STEVENS, G.G.

 

WT2c

THOMPSON, D.A.

 

EM3c

ZINK, C.W.

 

EM3c

 

[end 6 and Document 6: Ralph Talbot (DD-390)]

[Begin Document 7: Aylwin (DD-335)]

COPY

U.S.S. AYLWIN (DD355)

DD355/P6/A16 

Serial 040

 

9 August, 1945.

CONFIDENTIAL

From: The commanding Officer

To: The Commander Western Carolines Sub Area

 

Subject:  Search operations for 4-5 August, Report of.

Reference: (a) ComWesCarSubArea secret dispatch 040720 of August, 1945.

Enclosure: (A) Three track charts of various phases of operation.

1.  In accordance with reference (a) the following report is submitted:

At 1640 K, 3 August, this vessel, on patrol in picket station #B6, off Ulithi Atoll, was verbally directed in C.T.U. 94..6.2 despatch 0306145 to proceed to latitude 11° 45' N.; longitude 133° 35' E. to assist in search for survivors.

Arrived at reference point at 0800 K, 4 August, and were directed by the U.S.S. MADISON, O.T.C., to proceed to station four, 35 miles southwest of the reference point to work with the U.S.S. ALVIN C. COCKRELL (DE366).

By arrangement with the COCKRELL, the AYLWIN took the northern portion of sector 4. Patrol plane 4 was assigned to work with both the COCKRELL and the AYLWIN.

A block search plan for the northern portion was established but before it could be put into operation, our aircraft reported life rafts, debris, and life jackets bearing 330°T. About 8 miles from us. We arrived in the designated area at 1000K and remained within 5 miles of this spot for the remainder of the day's search.

Life nets and life rafts were first investigated in the belief that at this late date the living would almost inevitably have to be on some sort of float. About six bodies were passed during this investigation. When investigation of the rafts and nets revealed no life the motor whaleboat was lowered with the ship's doctor aboard and directed to various bodies in the vicinity.

Between 1000K and 1155K three bodies were examined and buried. All identification was removed and fingerprints were obtained from two bodies. During this period two aircraft type rubber life rafts and one floater net were recovered and hauled aboard to eliminate the problem of repeatedly having the plane spot the same floating objects. Several life jackets were similarly recovered.

ENCLOSURE (G)

[end 1]

At 1155K the patrol plane located and reported 2 lifeboats about 4 miles bearing 020° T. from us; the whaleboat was hoisted and we proceeded to the spot designated. The boats were both overturned but in good condition. The larger was a parachute type rescue boat and had been dropped from aircraft; the smaller was a merchant type dinghy. There was no evidence that either had been occupied at any time and there were no bodies in the immediate vicinity. Efforts to hoist the larger boat proved futile and it was sunk by gunfire; the smaller was brought aboard.

At 1503 K the U.S.S. DUFILHO in search station 3 reported having made several runs on a sonar contact and the AYLWIN was ordered by the O.T.C. to join the DUFILHO in a hunter killer search. Left search station 4 informing the COCKRELL that there were several bodies in the general area which we had been forced to leave when diverted by the plane's discovery of the lifeboats.

A retiring search was started on the AYLWIN's arrival at 1750 K, the DUFILHO having lost contact during our approach. Plan #7 followed by plan #10 of FTP223A were selected and carried out with negative results.

At 0440 K, 5 August, the sound search was discontinued on orders of the O.T.C. and the two ships set course for assigned stations in eight ship scouting line as directed by the ComWesCarSubArea dispatch 040720.

AYLWIN arrived on station bearing 108° T. 8 miles from reference point at 0630 K, having passed U.S.S. MADISON (O.T.C. enroute. U.S.S. RALPH TALBOT had not yet joined the formation, MADISON was about 16 miles to starboard, and U.S.S. HELM was 8 miles to port. At 0630  scouting line commenced search ahead – course 018° T., speed 14 knots.

At 0735 K RALPH TALBOT joined, AYLWIN and HELM moving right to adjust stations.

AYLWIN discovered and sank a small conical buoy at 0825 K. At about 0850 K, HELM, the westernmost ship in the line, was directed to investigate debris sighted by aircraft approximately 8 miles west of the formation. The HELM left station and did not rejoin the scouting line during daylight.

[end 2]

Visibility closed at 0908 K and AYLWIN reduced speed to 10 knots. Twenty-four minutes later the entire formation reduced speed to 5 knots on orders of O.T.C. When visibility improved at 1019 K O.T.C. ordered all ships less AYLWIN and HELM to increase speed to 15 knots and change course to 288° T. When the line closed us we turned 288° T. at 1043 K, and at 1101 K O.T.C. ordered us to rejoin. At 1102 K formation resumed course 018° T., speed 14 knots.

No objects were sighted or reported and formation steamed on base course until 1445 K when ships executed 90° turn to port to course 288° T. on orders of O.T.C.

At 1500 K MADISON and RALPH TALBOT left formation and commanding officer of COCKRELL was directed to assume duties of O.T.C. AYLWIN left the line at 1512 K on orders of O.T.C. to investigate buoys discovered by aircraft #16, about 16 miles to northwest of formation. While AYLWIN engaged in this mission, formation changed course to 198° T. at 1615 K. Between 1635 K and 1653 K AYLWIN sank #8 sighted and reported life rafts to southwest. O.T.C. ordered us to investigate. Sank one oil drum at 1728 K enroute to spot described by plane.

At 1730 patrol plane #8 reported having us in sight and directed us on various courses towards the life rafts. As we had a patrol plane on reciprocal bearing indicated, directions given by patrol plane 8 were followed until at 1831 it became evident that patrol plane 8 had mistaken another ship of the scouting line for AYLWIN. At this time rafts were already being investigated and AYLWIN was directed to rejoin rafts were already being investigated and AYLWIN was directed to rejoin the scouting line taking the right flank position. Course was set to intercept the line but because of a growing shortage of fuel with no indication as to extent of continued search operations speed was held to 20 knots. Rejoined formation at 2345 K and took formation course 198° T., the speed 15 knots, AYLWIN station bearing 288° T. from the U.S.S. DUFILHO, distance 3 miles, distance between ships having been changed to 3 miles during our absence. Remained with the formation in the area until 0525 K, 6 August, when we were detached by O.T.C. verbal dispatch 051919 to proceed to Ulithi.

/s/ K.F. NEUPERT.

Copy:

C.T.U. 94.6.2.

War diary.

COPY

 

[end 3 and Document 7: Aylwin (DD-335)]

[Begin Document 8: Helm (DD-388)]

 

COPY

 

DD388/A16        

Serial 0195

               

U.S.S. HELM (DD388),

6 August 1945.

 

CONFIDENTIAL

From: The Commanding Officer.

To: The Commander Western Carolines Sub-Area

(Commander Task Group 94.5).

Subject:               Search for Survivors, Period 4-5 August 1945 – Report of.

Reference: (a) ComWesCarSubArea Secret Despatch 040720 August.

Enclosure: (A) Track Chart of 4 August.

(B) Track Chart of 5 August.

1. HELM was patrolling Radar Picket Station Able-6, when, at 1645 King, 3 August, received orders to proceed to Lat. 11°42' N, Long. 133°20' E and assist in the search for survivors of a sunken ship. Proceeded at 26 knots HELM was directed to conduct search in Area 2, the center of which was 35 miles distant, bearing 045°T from the Reference Position.

2. HELM arrived at center of Area 2 (Lat. 12°06' N, Long. 133°46'E) at 0840, 4 August, and started the search (covered in enclosure (A)) at speed of 12 knots. HELM was assisted by a search plane with call of "Playmate 2". Results were negative – no sign of wreckage, oil, bodies, or survivors or any other indication of a sunken ship. Gained underwater sound contact at 1955 in position Lat. 12°13' N, Long. 133°50' E, and proceeded to attack. One attack was made, dropping five depth charges. No further contact was made after 40 minutes of A/S operations – resumed search for survivors. At 0230 on 5 August, received orders to proceed to Lat. 11°01' N, Long. 132°55' E to arrive at 0630 in accordance with reference (a). At that time all ships would form a scouting line (axis 108°T, interval 8 miles) and conduct a search on course 018°T, speed 14 knots for a distance of 90 miles, then reversing course to the left and returning on a track 4 miles west of the 018° track. HELM was assigned the station at Point of Origin, with MADISON OTC and guide.

3. Arrived at Point of Origin at 0630. However, by this time had lost radar contact with the other search units, so proceeded to the eastward to close guide and take station-interval 8 miles from the AYLWIN (covered in enclosure (B)). At 0650 when 8 miles distant from AYLWIN, assumed search course 018°T. At 0845 an assisting search plane with call "Playmate 2", sighted wreckage and bodies in the water about 20 miles west of the HELM. Left the scouting line and proceeded at 25 knots to investigate search plane's report. Arrived at debris area at 0930. Sighted approximately 100 empty 40 MM boxes, two yellow deflated rubber life rafts (it would have been impossible to inflate these rafts as they were badly ripped), several kapok life jackets, streaks of oil, and flotsam resembling insulating material. The life rafts were taken aboard. At this time the search plane reported bodies in the water about four miles west of the HELM. Proceeded to this position, and sighted many bodies in this area: Lat. 11°28' N, Long. 132°47'E.

ENCLOSURE (H)

[end 1]

4. All bodies were in extremely bad condition and had been dead for an estimated 4 or 5 days. Some had life jackets and life belts, most had nothing. Most of the bodies were completely naked, and the others had just drawers or dungaree trousers on – only three of the 28 bodies recovered had shirts on. Bodies were horribly bloated and decomposed – recognition of faces would have been impossible. About half of the bodies were shark-bitten, some to such a degree that they more nearly resembled skeletons. From one to four sharks were in the immediate area of the ship at all times. At one time, two sharks were attacking a body not more than fifty yards from the ship, and continued to do so until driven off by rifle fire. For the most part it was impossible to get finger prints from the bodies as the skin had come off the hands or the hands lacerated by sharks. Skin was removed from the hands of bodies containing no identification, when possible, and the Medical Officer will dehydrate the skin and attempt to make legible prints. All personal effects removed from the bodies for purposes of identification, and the Medical Officer's Reports are forwarded herewith to you in lieu of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery and the Personal Effects Distribution Center, Farragut, Idaho, on the assumption that you will assemble such effects from all ships recovering them. After examination, all bodies were sunk, using two inch line and a weight of three 5"/38 cal projectiles. There were still more bodies in the area when darkness brought a close to the gruesome operations for the day. In all, twenty-eight bodies were examined and sunk. The last bodies were picked up in position Lat. 11°26' N, Long. 132°37' E.

5. Information on the bodies now available is as follows, bodies being numbered in the order they were recovered:

(1)          BARKSDALE, T. Leon.

(2)          ?

(3)          HICKEY, Henry Todd, USNR.

(4)          STRIPE, William Stanley.

(5)          MASSIER, George Racade.

(6)          LATIMER, William S.

(7)          JENSEN.

(8)          E.W.N. (had perfect teeth).

(9)          HOV, Donald A.

(10)        GREEN, Robert U.

(11)        KLEIN, R.J.

(12)        McD, F.G.

(13)        JONES, Kenneth M.

(14)        GRINER, A.L.

(15)        ?

(16)        DEMENT, Dayle.

(17)        SHELTON, W.E. Jr.

(18)        ?

 

[end 2]

 (19)       ? (tatoo on left upper arm – heart with an arrow through it and name "Vera" in center).

(20)        ?

(21)        LEWIS, Eugene Johnson.

(22)        GRIMM, L.E., U.S.M.C.R.

(23)        GARDNER.

(24)        G.S.A.-5.

(25)        C.C.E. ("E" could be any letter of the last name because piece torn from clothing between second "C" and the "E").

(26)        ?

(27)        J.M.S.

(28)        MC HONE, 0.

 

6. At 0530 on 6 August, received orders from OTC to proceed to Ulithi. Set course for Ulithi and left search area.

/s/ A.F. Hollingsworth.

A.F. HOLLINGSWORTH.

 

Cc:

CDD-10

CTU 94.6.2

COPY

 

[end 3 and Document 8: Helm (DD-388)]

[Begin Document 9: Register (APD-92)]

COPY

U.S.S. REGISTER (APD-92)

c/o Fleet Post Office

San Francisco, Calif.

 

JRF/ls

File: APD92/A16-3

Serial: 047

 

CONFIDENTIAL

8 August 1945

From: Commanding Officer, U.S.S. REGISTER (APD-92).

To: Commander Western Carolines Sub Area.

 

Subject:               Search Operations of U.S.S. REGISTER (APD-92) for Survivors of U.S.S. INDIANAPOLIS.

Enclosure: (A) Position Plotting Sheet Showing D.R. Track.

1. Proceeding to Latitude 11-01 N Long. 132 -55 E in compliance with ComWesCarSubArea's dispatch 040720.

0835       Parted company with U.S.S. RINGNESS (APD-100). Proceeding independently to join scouting line consisting of U.S.S. HELM, U.S.S. AYLWIN, U.S.S. RALPH TALBOT, U.S.S. MADISON, U.S.S. DUFILHO, U.S.S. COCKRELL, U.S.S. FRENCH, and U.S.S. DOYLE per orders.

1040       Sighted object on starboard bow.

1043       Object identified as spherical buoy. Fired one 40mm round at buoy.

1530       Received orders by voice radio from OTC on the U.S.S. COCKRELL to take station on right flank of scouting line after it came to course 198°T.

1600       Changed course to 305°T, to take station on scouting line bearing 288° (relative) distance 8 miles from the U.S.S. AYLWIN.

1700       Received orders from OTC on the U.S.S. COCKRELL to proceed immediately at best speed to position 11- 25 N 132 – 45 E to rendezvous with U.S.S. HELM to assist in recovery and identification of bodies.

1713       Radar picked up plane showing emergency IFF, distance 25 miles. Changed course to 250°T to investigate.

1730       Plane no longer showing emergency IFF, changed course to 205°T. to join U.S.S. HELM.

1754       Plane (Gambler 8) circled ship and headed back in direction from which he came. Changed course to follow plane steering various courses between 260° and 275°T.

1815       Sighted four (4) rats tied together dead ahead.

COPY

ENCLOSURE (I)

[end 1]

1830-1924            Picked up four Navy Standard 25 man rafts and floater net containing sundry items including life belts, water, K rations, hand axe, knife, medical supplies.

1924       Headed for plane which was circling another floater net. Course 192°T. speed 21 knots.

1945       Floater net brought aboard. Plane departed to join U.S.S. COCKRELL. Changed course to 196°T. speed 21 knots to join U.S.S. HELM.

2015       Received orders from U.S.S. HELM to take station bearing 000° relative, distance 1500 yards from him. U.S.S. HELM now on course 180°T. Speed 12 knots, steaming in a clockwise direction making a square 12 miles on a side, executing course changes by turn movements.

2120       On station. Course 270°, speed 12 knots.

0315       Received orders from U.S.S. HELM that next course change would be on designated time, thereafter course changes to be made every 45 minutes.

0552       REGISTER AND RINGNESS received orders from OTC in U.S.S. COCKNESS, his 051951. "Mission completed. Proceed in accordance with basic orders. Make report of your movements to proper authorities.

0558       Ordered by RINGNESS to form 90° relative to him when he was on course 265° speed 10 knots.

0612       Proceeding to Leyte, P.I. in company with U.S.S. RINGNESS in accordance with CTU 30.9.15's dispatch 290350.

/s/ J.R. Furman

J.R. FURMAN.

COPY

[end 2 and Document 9: Register (APD-92)]

[Begin Document 10: Dufilho (DE-423)]

COPY

USS DUFILHO (DE 423)

Fleet Post Office

FileNo. DE423/WGT/A16-3/A9/ajs

Serial No. 025-45

9 August 1945

 

CONFIDENTIAL

From:    Commanding Officer.

To:          Commander Western Carolines Sub-Area.

 

Subject:               Rescue- Survivors Search, August 3-6, 1945.

Reference: (a) ComWesCarSub-Area Despatch 040720 of August 1945.

Enclosures: (A) Track Chart, U.S.S. DUFILHO (DE423).

1. In compliance with directives contained in Reference (a) enclosure (A) is submitted herewith.

2. This vessel picked up one survivor and later transferred him to the U.S.S. REGISTER  (APD 92). He was identified as: RINERY, Frank, S2c USNR.

3. No bodies were recovered by this ship.

/s/ A.H. Nienau

A.H. NIENAU

COPY

ENCLOSURE(J)

 

[end 1 and Document 10: Dufilho (DE-423)]

[Begin Document 11: Air Rescue]

COPY

UNITED STATES PACIFIC FLEET

AIR FORCE

PATROL BOMBING SQUADRON 152

 

Fleet Post Office

San Francisco, California

 

VPB152/A16-3  

Ser. 057               

MSL:jlg

 

9 August 1945.

 

SECRET

From: Commanding Officer, Patrol Bombing Squadron 152.

To: Commander Western Carolines Sub Area.

 

Subject: Sighting and Air-Sea Rescue of INDIANAPOLIS Survivors, Report of Participation in.

Enclosure: (A) Subject report.

1. Enclosure (A)  is submitted herewith pursuant to instructions.

/s/ G.C. Atteberry

G.C. ATTEBERRY.

COPY

ENCLOSURE (K) 

[end 1] 

SIGHTING OF SURVISORS OF THE U.S.S. INDIANAPOLS; PARTICIPATION IN AIR-SEA RESCUE AND SUBSEQUENT SEARCH FOR BODIES AND DEBRIS 2-7 AUGUST 1945

In the following account, all times are King (-10) except date-time groups of despatches. Where orders were received from the Commander Western Carolines Sub Area by despatch or by telephone to the squadron duty officer (so that receipt of orders was logged), exact time of receipt is stated. In most instances, however, orders were given orally to the squadron commander or by telephone to the flight officer. In such cases, the best estimate of the time of receipt is stated.

2 August 1945

Lieut. (jg) W.C. GWINN, with squadron voice call Gambler 17, was on patrol of sector 19V258, on the outbound leg, when an oil slick was sighted. Following it, and reducing altitude to investigate, Gwinn discovered 30 survivors at 1120. He immediately dropped his life raft and a sonobuoy, turned on his emergency IFF, and sent his despatch 020125 (so monitored by squadron duty radioman, though later copy by the teletype read 021125). This despatch gave the position of the survivors at 11-30N, 133-30E, a dead reckoning position used in the interest of speedy transmission.

Gwinn continued to examine the oil slick, which ran in a northeasterly direction from the position of the first sighting. Another group of approximately 150 survivors was found at 11-54N, 133-47E, this being a position determined by a Loran fix. Gwinn dropped another sonobuoy and sent his dispatch 020245, requesting that a rescue ship be sent to the scene.

Meanwhile, Lt. Comdr. G.C. ATTEBERRY, squadron commander (Gambler Leader-7CV258) had taken off at 1244 to relieve Gwinn, and a despatch to that effect had been sent to Gwinn. The squadron relayed the new position and number of survivors to 70V and to the Dumbo which was also en route (020321). Gwinn left the scene when relieved by Gambler Leader, landing at the base at 1630.

Gwinn's co-pilot is lieut. (jg) E.W. COLWELL; the other members of the crew are:

JOHNSON, J. K.,AMM2c(T)

HICKMAN, H. H., AOM3c

HARTMAN, V. I., ACRM(T)

A PBM en route to the Philippines, call sign K9244, reached the scene at about 1345, sighted additional survisors, dropped three life rafts, and sent three despatches (020430, 020445 and 020540) before continuing on course.

Arriving at the second position given by Gwinn, Lt.Comdr. Atteberry continued the search for additional survisors. Upon the arrival of the Dumbo continued the search for additional survisors. Upon the arrival of the Dumbo from VFB-23, at about 1520, Lt. Comdr. Atteberry guided it to the four separate groups of survivors which had been located. The Dumbo decided to attempt an open sea landing, to afford support for some of the survivors who were not in life rafts. The landing was made successfully (despatch 020715 from 70V258). Lt. Comdr. Atteberry then guided the Dumbo by voice to individuals and groups

[end 2]

Without rafts.

By despatch 020700, Lt. Comdr. Atteberry had requested that a relief plane be sent immediately.

Sub Area, during the afternoon, had organized a flight of planes loaded with all available life rafts. Two PV's of this command were assigned to this mission, Lt.(jg) J.W. SCHULTE (Gambler 11, 40V258) and Lt.(jg) W. R. LUNDREN (Gambler 13, 37V258). They took off at 1738 and 1749 respectively. However, Schulte's plane developed engine trouble, and he was forced to return to base, landing at 1830. Lundren continued to the position of the survivors, circled dropping smoke lights and flares, and directed the first surface vessel at the scene to the survivors. He landed at the base at 0130 on the 3rd.

Upon the arrival of the B-17 with an airborne motor rescue boat, and the B-17, R4D and PV with additional life rafts, Lt. Comdr. Atteberry directed them to the various groups of survisors to obtain the best possible distribution among them.

Lt. Comdr. Atteberry was in constant communication with Bird Dog 1 after 1545, and kept it informed of developments. He departed at 1950 and was on the deck at 2135.

First information that the survisors were from the INDIANPOLIS was received during the night by despatch 021645 from APD 73, the BASSETT.

3 AUGUST 1945

During the evening of the 2nd, Sub Area ordered this command to maintain two PVs at the scene on the 3rd to assist the surface vessels in air-sea rescue beginning at dawn. It was specified that the two PVs use the voice calls "Gambler 5" and "Gambler 6".

The first two planes were Lt. M. V. CRITES (Gambler 5, 33V258) who took off at 0454 and Lt. J.J. WIGMORE (Gambler 6, 38V258) at 0514. Crites proceeded to the position of the larger group of survivors, cooperating with the surface ships in the location of survivors and life rafts. He landed at the bas eat 1300.

Wigmore, en route to the same position, discovered another group of survivors at a point about 52 miles southwest of the ships. He reported this fact to the SOPA, and remained at that position until a surface vessel had arrived to pick up the survivors. He landed at the bas eat 1310.

Crites and Wigmore were relieved by Lt. C.D. KEPHART (Gambler 5, 42V258), and Lt. J. F. HUNTER (Gambler 6, 36V258). Hunter took off at 0819 and Kephart at 0837. Both went to the position of the survivors located by Wigmore and remained there, assisting in the location of survivors, until departure for the base. Additional rafts with survivors were located. Kephart landed at 1625 and Hunter at 1645.

[end 3]

Pilots of the next two planes on the scene were Lt. D.R. JEFFRIES (Gambler 5 39V258) and Lt. Comdr. V.J. COLEY, JR. USN (Gambler 6, 18V258).(Lt. Comdr. Coley, Executive Officer of VFB-133, was SOP of a three plane detachment from that squadron temporarily detailed to work with this command to insure the constant availability of three plane for special weather flights ordered by CincPac).

JEFFRIES WAS OFF AT 1230 AND Coley at 1240. They went to the second position originally reported by Gwinn, where they conducted 30 mile square searches to the southwest. They located one group of rafts containing bodies. The position was marked with dye marker and smoke lights. Rain squalls hid these from view before a surface vessel arrived. Jeffries and Coley landed at 2009 and 2020 respectively.

4 AUGUST 1945

The plan for operations on the 4th was set up by Sub Area's despatch 030810. The plan instructed the SOPA to take daylight position at 11-42N, 133-20E, with four ships forming a square around that position, distance 35 miles, bearing 315, 0r45, 135 and 225 degrees respectively. Two PVs were to continue search of the central area. Use of voice calls Gambler 5 and 6 was continued on this date.

Lt.(jg) J. A. BURTON (Gambler 5, 71V258) took off at 0447 and Gwinn (Gambler6, 73V258) took off at 0445. Gwinn conducted 15 and 30 mile square searches with the square. Burton conducted a criss-cross search in the same area. Both planes sighted debris which they orbited until a ship arrived at the position. Burton was on the deck at 1235 and Gwinn at 1236.

Their reliefs were Lt.(jg) R. J. GREENEBAUM (Gambler 5,33V258) and Lt. P.D. COLBENSON (Gambler 6, 08V258) who were airborne at 0848 and 0849 respectively. Both of them conducted searches within the square of ships returning to base and landing at 1727 and 1730.

KEPHART (Gambler 5, 42V258) and Lt.(jg) C. ROYER (Gambler 6, 53V258), took off at 1323 and 1330 respectively, and were over the center ship at 1500. After they had searched the area within the square for about half an hour, they had searched the area within the square for about half an hour, they were informed that the ship at the southeast corner had a possible submarine contact, and were ordered to conduct anti-submarine operations with that ship (Bird Dog 3). For approximately two hours Kephart orbited the ship at a distance of two miles, and Royer at 3 miles. The distances were then extended, Kephart to orbit at a maximum distance of 6 miles, and Royer at 6 to 10 miles. This was continued for another two hours, after which the two planes departed for base, Kephart landing at 2129 and Royer at 2131. Their search was negative.

5 AUGUST 1945

On the afternoon of the 4th this command received by had a copy of a despatch addressed for action to the ships conducting the search. This directed the formation of a scouting line at dawn of the fifth along a bearing of 108 degrees from point of origin 11-01N, 132-55E, to advance at 14 knots on a course of 018 degrees. The mission had become the recovery and identification of bodies, and the sinking of or picking up of debris. Two PVs and one Dumbo were to assist. Use of the Squadron's regular voice calls was resumed.

[end 4]

The first two PVs were piloted by the Lt. Comdr. Atteberry (Gambler Leader, 70V258) and Lt.(jg) R. H. LUNDBERG, (Gambler 9 38V258), and took off at 0425 and 042 respectively.

Lundberg was on station at 0609. For about half an hour he searched along a line 10 miles ahead of the scouting line. He was then ordered to search west of the line for a distance of 50 miles. On the return leg of that search he sighted about 8 bodies, 4 empty life rafts, and debris 20 to 30 miles distance from the scouting line, to which he coached one of the surface ships. He departed for base at 1110, landing at 1250.

Lt. Comdr. Atteberry was on station at 0615 and located the ships at 0700. He was requested to search back and forth on an advancing line 20 miles ahead of the ships. He departed at 1105 and was on the deck at 1300.

Schulte (Gambler 11, 41V258) and Greenebaum (Gambler 16, 08V258) were airborne at 0854 and 0917 respectively. Schulte was over the scouting line at position 11-50N, 133-10E, at 1150. He continued the search 20 miles ahead of the scouting line until 1550. He sighted one small boat, which was destroyed by a surface vessel. He landed at 1745.

Greenebaum was on station at 1100, when he was directed to search the area west of the scouting line for a distance of 50 miles. Two floating buoys were sighted 30 miles to the west. One of the ships ("Wigwam") sank them. He departed at 1630 and landed at 1827.

Hunter (Gambler 1, 36V258) and Wigmore (Gambler 5, 34V258) departed the base at 1322 and 1344 respectively. Hunter, over the ships at 1515, continued the search of the area west of the scouting line to a distance of 50 miles. When he left the ships at 1945, their position was 11-44N, 133-16E. He was on deck at 1230.

Wigmore was on station at 1552. He conducted two 50 mile sweeps northwest and northeast of the scouting line, followed by one search west for a distance of 100 miles and return. Departing at 1940, he landed at 2140.

Pursuant to order of Sub Area, a third plane was added to the search in the afternoon. Crites (Gambler 8, 42V258) was airborne at 1400 and on station at 1530. While on a 50 mile search to the southwest of the scouting line, he found four ships' rafts lashed together at 10-54N, 132-40E. No signs of life were visible. He remained at that position until the arrival of a surface vessel. He departed at 1905 and was on the deck at 2055.

6 AUGUST 1945

The first two flights, scheduled to take off at 0430, were cancelled by telephone call from the Sub Area at 0235. At 0455 Sub Area ordered two planes to continue the search for bodies and debris.

Lt. L.B. BROWN (Gambler 3, 73V258) and Royer (Gambler 10, 53V258) took off at 0616 and 0626 respectively, both arriving over the ships at 0830, position 11-30N, 132-30E.

[end 5]

Brown searched the area within a radius of 15 miles of that position, directing the ships to three groups of rafts and a number of bodies. He departed for bas eat 1320 and was on the deck at 1510.

Royen orbited Des which covered the area to the north and south of the above position, between 11-40W and 11-00N. Ne sighted one large life raft and 14 bodies, to which he coached surface vessels. He also assisted Brown with the rafts mentioned above. At 1245 he departed the ships at the original position, landing at 1430.

Burton (Gambler 15) and Jeffries (Gambler 2) (71V and 34V258 respectively) took off at 1147 and 1148. Burton arrived over the ships, at 11-19N, 132-19E, at 1410. He searched an area approximately 10 by 20 miles to the west and south sighting and coaching surface ships to about nine bodies. The ships were at the original positon when he return to base, where he landed at 2100.

Jeffries arrived over ships at the position 11-32N, 132-21E, at 1400. He circled them within a radius of 10 miles until 1835, when they were still at that position. During that time he guided ships to about nine bodies. He landed at 2040.

7 AUGUST 1945

At 2050 on the 6th, Sub Area requested by telephone that one of our planes arrive at dawn, to work with the ships and one Dumbo in continuing the search for bodies and debris. It was arranged by telephone at 2105 that no relief plane could be sent without further direction by Sub Area. At 2210 Sub Area directed the first plane to instruct the SOPA to give Sub Area an estimate prior to 0900 whether air support would be required beyond 1200.

At 0540, Lt.(jg) C.R. DRYDEN (Gambler 14, 37V258) was airborne. He proceeded to the last known position of the ships, as reported by Jeffries, and was examining an oil slick there when contacted by the SOPA. The ships' position was given as 11-30N, 131-41E, where Dryden arrived at 0800. He found two ships on a course of about 070 degrees, and was instructed to conduct search to port and 20 miles ahead of the ships. He returned to the ships at 1015. About 1030 a number of bodies were sighted by the plane which orbited and assisted. He departed the ships at their original position at 1135, landing at the base at 1320.

Meanwhile, Sub Area, having received a message from the SOPA, directed about 0845 that a second plane be sent out to relieve Dryden. Accordingly Greenebaum (Gambler 16, 53V258) departed at 0949. At 1130 he was over the ships at position 11-10N, 132-20E. He remained in that area, except for one sweep on a bearing of 225 degrees two a distance of 40 miles. He directed the ship to four bodies, an oil drum and a group of seven rafts. At the time of his return to base (1510) the ships were still at the same position. He was on the deck at 1655.

[end 6]

At 1145 further instructions had been received from Sub Area to continue the assistance of one PV at the scene. Colbenson (Gambler 7, 34V258) was airborne at 1315. He found the ships at 1512, giving their position as 11-11N, 132-12E. They were then on a course of about 200 degrees. Colbenson was sent on a 20 mile sweep to starboard, during which he found and orbited a raft until it was picked up by a surface vessel. Upon his return to the ships, they were on a course of about 180 degrees. He conducted another 20 mile search to starboard, followed by  a 50 mile sweep on a heading 230 degrees from the ships. After that he ran another sweep to a starboard, the ships being on a course of about 210 degrees.

At 1800 the ships were at 1047N, 131-48E. Colbenson left them at that position, taking a course of 180 degrees for a sweep of 50 miles. That search being negative, he returned to base, landing at 1950.

Further search for bodies and debris, scheduled to be conducted on 8 August, was secured by Sub Area during the evening.

Plane maintenance required the cancellation of night ASP on the nights of 2-6 August. However, all patrols of V258 sectors were flown during the period of this report, with the single exception of 19V on 3 August.

Respectfully Submitted:

/s/ Malcolm S. Langford

M.S. LANGFORD, Lieut. USNR.

Air Combat Intelligence Officer.

 

Approved:

/s/ G.C. Atteberry

G.C. ATTEBERRY, Lieut. Comdr. USNR.

Commanding Officer.

COPY 

[end 7] 

SECRET

COPY    

 

7 AUGUST 1945

MEMORANDUM FOR OPERATIONS OFFICER, SUB AREA

EXTRACTS FROM VPB-23 DUTY OFFICER'S LOG, SUPPLEMENTED TO GIVE FULLER PICTURE OF OPERATIONS

THURSDAY, 2 AUGUST, 1945.

1150       VPB-152 D.O. CALLED, REPORTING THEY HAVE SIGHTED SURVIVORS APPROXIMATELY 275 MILES OUT, LAT. 11-30 N. LONG. 133-30 E. PV WILL STAY ON STATION UNTIL DUMBO ARRIVES.

DUTY OFFICER CALLED THE GAS TRUCK AND OIL FOR 1T. MARK'S PLANE, NOTIFIED LT. MARKS, GASSED PLANE TO 1400 GALS.

LT MARKS AND LT. BLACKMAN, THE ACIO, MADE TRIP TO GROUP OPNS FOR INFO., FOUND THEY HAD NONE, GAVE THEM WHAT WE HAD FROM VPB-152 AND HAD THEM CALL SUB AREA WITH OUR INFO. ALSO.

ADDITIONAL ASR GEAR WAS PUT IN LT. MARK'S PLANE.

1245       LT. MARKS AIRBORNE IN B-72, CALL PLAYMATE 2. GROUP OPRNS D.O. NOTIFIED OF DEPARTURE.

1300       ARMY ERS-H SQUADRON REPORTS ONE CREW READY FOR DUMBO ALERT, REPLACING LT. MARKS.

1350       OPERATIONS REQUESTED ADDITIONAL DUMBO TO CONTACT DE DOYLE NORTH OF PELELIU.

1355       OPERATIONS REQUESTED ADDITIONAL DUMBO TO CONTACT DE DOYLE NORTH OF PELELIU.

1355       REQUEST CANCELLED—DOYLE HAS BEEN CONTACTED BY SHORE RADIO AND IS ENROUTE TO SCENE.

1410       OPERATIONS NOTIFIED US OF CHANGE IN POSIT OF SURVIVORS TO 11-54 N. 133-47E NO. OF SURVIVORS NOW ESTIMATED AT 150.

1450       MAJ. CHAMLERIN GIVES 2400 AS ETA FOR DOYLE (DE-368) ON SCENE OF SURVIVORS INFORMS US TWO OTHER SHIPS BEING SENT FROM ULITHI, APPROX, ETA SOMETIME EARLY TOMORROW MORNING.

1605       SUB AREA TELEPHONES THAT AS MANY LIFE RAFTS AS POSSIBLE ARE DESIRED AT SCENE. PREPLARTIONS BEGUN TO PUT TWO MORE DUMBOS INTO AIR.

1655       LT. ALCORN, ARMY PILOT, AIRBORNE, CALL PLAYMATE 4. IS CARRYING 5 EXTRA MARK VII LIFERAFTS, 6 EXTRA MARK IV RAFTS, JUST TAKEN ABOARD.

1710       LATEST POSIT OF SURVIVORS REPORTED AS 11-45 N. 133-35 E.

1726       LT. LEBLANC AIRBORNE IN B-62, CALL PLAYMATE 3. GASSED AND EQUIPPED TO STAY ALL NIGHT ON SCENE. CARRIES 8 EXTRA MARK VII RAFTS AND 3 EXTRA IV RAFTS. OPERATIONS NOTIFIED.

1730       CALLED COMMANDER ANDERSON, GIVING DEPARTURES AND NUMBER OF RAFTS.

2400       COMMANDER ANDERSON CALLED: GAVE THE NAMES OF SURFACE CRAFT TAKING PART IN SEARCH. THEY ARE: DOYLE (DE-368), BASSETT (APD-73), DUFILHO (DE-423), RALPH TALBOT (DD-390), MADISON (DD-425), LCI 990. WE ARE TO KEEP ONE PLANE ON SEARCH CONTINUOUSLY, UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE,  IS CALL TO BE PLAYMATE 3, WITH NO CHANGE IN THAT CALL, I.E., THE PBY IN THE AIR OVER SEARCH AREA WILL USE PLAYMATE 3. VPB-152 WILL HAVE TO PV'S ON STATION CONTINUOUSLY WHOSE CALL WILL BE GAMBLER 5 AND 6 RESPECTIVELY. THESE CALLS WERE ASSIGNED BY SUB AREA. ASR FREQUENCIES 4475 AND 140.58 ARE IN EFFECT.

FRIDAY, 3 AUGUST, 1945

0105 LT. (jg) LANDERS AIRBORNE TO RELIEVE LT. LE BLANC. CALL PLAYMATE 6.

0525 LT. LE BLANC, PLAYMATE 3 PANCAKED.

0730       LT. CDR. RICKETTS AIRBORNE TO RELIEVE LT (jg) LANDERS. CALL IS PLAYMATE 7 BUT WILL ASSUME THE CALL OF PLAYMATE 3 WHILE ON STATION

CONTINUED

ENCLOSURE (L)

[end 8]

0940       LT. ALCORN, OF ARMY, PANCAKED AFTER SPENDING NIGHT ON OPEN SEA ACCORDING TO WORD FROM LT. ALCORN, LT. MARKS SCUTTLED B-72 (PLAYMATE 2) ON THE WATER AT 0700. (ACTUAL TIME WAS SAID LATER BY LT. MARKS TO HAVE BEEN 0800).

1225       LT.(jg) LANDERS PANCAKED.

1355       PLAYMATE 7, LT. CDR. RICKETTS, REPORTS HE IS RETURNING TO BASE WITH ENGINE TROUBLE IN B-62. WORD PASSED TO US BY JCC.

1530       LT. CDR. RICKETTS, PLAYMATE 7, LANDED.

1630       PLANS FOR SEARCHES ON 4 AUG. ANNOUNCED BY LT. CDR. MAMER, WHO HAD MADE TRIP TO SUB AREA TO CONFER ON PLANS. FOUR 50-MILE SQUARE SECTORS ARE TO BE SEARCHED, EACH BY A DIFFERENT PBY, AND EACH WITH ITS OWN SURFACE VESSEL. LT. TURNER TO TAKE 0430 HOP IN SECTOR #4; ARMY PLANE TO TAKE SECTOR #3; AND TWO PBY6A'S FROM VPB-53 IN SAMAR TO TAKE SECTORS #1 AND #2.

1900       ALL FOUR PILOTS ASSEMBLED AT VPB-23 HUT AND WERE BRIEFED ON SEARCH PLAN FOR TMORROW (I.E. THE FOUR SECTORS).

2130       WORD RECEIVED THAT LT MARKS DUE IN ON USS DOYLE AT 0200.

2140       VPB-53'S PLANES HAVE BEEN FURNISHED WITH ADDITIONAL FLOAT LIGHTS: 15 MARK IV'S AND 18 MARK V'S.

2150       PBY FROM ULITHI DETACHMENT OF VPL-23 LANDED HERE AFTER BRIEF SEARCH BEFORE DARK.

2200       LT. CURRY, OF SUB AREA CALLED TO INFORM US THEY HAD RECEIVED WORD FROM TU 75.1.3 (VPL-53) FOR THE TWO PBY-6a'S TO RETURN TO SAMAR IMMEDIATELY. SUB AREA IS SENDING A DESPATCH TO 75.13 THAT THEIR TWO PBY-6A'S WILL GO OUT ON ASSIGNED SEARCH AND LEAVE FOR SAMAR UPON COMPLETION OF SEARCH. LT.(jg) KENNEDY (VPB-53) NOTIFIED.

2335       RECEIVED WORD IN DESPATCH THAT POSSIBLE BIRDDOGS ON SEARCH TOMORROW MAY BE: HELM (DD-388), AYLWIN (DD-355), FROM PELELIU AND PATTISON (APD-104) FROM ULITHI.

SATURDAY, 4 AUGUST, 1945

0340       LT. (jg) KENNEDY, PLAYMATE 1, IN R-64033.

LT. (jg) MACDONALD, PLAYMATE 2, IN R-64006

LT. ALCORN, PLAYMATE 3, IN 914

LT. TURNER, PLAYMATE 4, IN B-74.

ALL OF THE ABOVE SCHEDULE TO TAKE OFF AT 0430. ALCORN AND TURNER TO RETURN TO BASE, ETA 1630; KENNEDY & MACDONALD TO RETURN TO ASAMAR, AT END OF SEARCH, ETA 1830. CLEARANCE FOR ALCORN & TURNER OBTAINED FROM BASE OPRNS. KENNEDY & MACDONALD HAD TO FILE A FLIGHT PLAN.

0438       LT. TURNER AIRBORNE

0440       1ST LT. ALCORN AIRBORNE

0450       LT. (jg) KENNEDY AIRBORNE

0455       LT. (jg) MACDONALD AIRBORNE. PV'S HELD UP TAKE-OFFS OF 6A'S.

1200       1ST LT. ALCORN PANCAKED FROM SEARCH, RETURNING EARLY DUE TO ENGINE TROUBLE.

1720       RECEIVED MESSAGE FROM LT. TURNER (4V256) THROUGH JCC THAT HIS STARBOARD ENGINE WAS CUT AT POSIT 9-32 N. 133-27 E. AT 1630 K. A SECOND MESSAGE FROM THE SAME PLANE FILED 20 MINUTES LATER, WAS GIVEN TO US SIMULTANEOUSLY THAT HE WAS THEN 132 MILES AWAY FROM A BEARING OF 350.

1727       LT. LE BLANC, PLAYMATE 7, AIRBORNE TO INTERCEPT LT. TURNER AND ESCORT HIM TO BASE.

1730       LT. CDR. MAMER MADE TRIP TO SUB AREA TO CONFER ON PLANS FOR SEARCHES FOR 5 AUG. BROUGHT BACK WORD OF AN 8-SHIP SCOUTING LINE TO SWEEP 90 MILES OUT AND BACK, WHILE PLANES SWEEP IN PERMENDICULAR TRACK AHEAD OF ADVANCING VESSELS.

CONTINUED

[end 9]

PAGE 3 OF SUB AREA MEMO DATED 7 AUGUST 1945

1827       LT. TURNER 4, PANCAKED ON ONE ENGINE AFTER FLYING LAST 170 MILES ON SINGLE ENGINE.
1835       LT. LE BLANC, PLAYMATE 7, ON DECK
1845       LT. MARMON, WHO HAD TAKEN OFF FFRCN VPB-23’S ULITHI BASE, PANCAKED AFTER    PARTICIPATING IN SEARCH.
1913       LT. WALLACE, ALSO FROM VPD-23’S ULITHI DETACHMENT, PANCAKED AFTER SEARCH.
1930       TWO PBY PILOTS WHO WERE TO TAKE PART IN TOMORROW’S SEARCH AHEAD OF SCOUTING LINE WERE BRIEFED BY ACI OFFICER.

SUNDAY, 5 AUGUST, 1945

0421       LT. (jg) GILLOU, PLAYMATE 1, AIRBORNE ON SEARCH AS ASSIGNED
1005       1ST LT. ALCORN AIRBORNE, PLAYMATE 2, TO RELIEVE LT. (JG) GILLOU ON SEARCH
1245       WORD RECEIVED TO ALERT LT. MARMON FOR ADDITIONAL SEARCH.  THIS WAS DONE.
                PLANE R-632 WAS GASSED FROM 800 TO 1400 GALS.
1342       LT. MARMON AIRBORNE, PLAYMATE 3
1625       LT. (jg) GUILLOU PANCAKED
2030       RECEIVED ETA’S FROM PLAYMATES 2 OF 2143 AND FROM PLAYMATE 3 OF 2200: ALSO WORD FROM PLAYTIME 2 THAT THE WORK IN VICINITY OF THE HELM WAS TOO MUCH TO  FINISH TODAY.
2140       LT. MARMON PANCAKED
2150       1ST LT. ALCORN PANCAKED

MONDAY, 6 AUGUST, 1945

0220       RECEIVED CALL FROM LT. MC MANN OF SUB AREA TO SEND OUT TNCPLANES TO BE ON STATION BY 0700.
0230       D. O. MAKING NECESSARY CHECK UPS IN B-62 AND B-71. PLANES GASSED TO 1400 GALS AND OIL CHECKED OKAY. CREWS AWAKENED
0330       AFTER INTENSIVE ATTEMPTS TO HAVE PLANES CHECKED UP, FOUND IT COMPULSORY TO DOWN BCTM PLANES.  B-71 NEEDS A SOLENOID SWITCH FOR THE STARTER ON THE STARBOARD ENGINE.  ALSO UNABLE TO START IT MANUALL.  B-62 SROPS OFF 150-175 RPMS ON STARBOARD        MAGNETO OF PORT ENGINE.  D.O. NOTIFIED LT. CDR. MAMER, WHO NOTIFIED SUB AREA.
0415       LT. CDR. MAMER CALLED DUTY OFFICER TO SECURE FLIGHTS.  CASU WAS NOTIFIED IMMEDIATELY AND THEY HAD MEN WORKING ON THE TWO DOWNED PLANES AT 0430.
0630       PLANE AVAILABILITY:- B-71 CUT, B-62 CUT, B-74 CUT, R-632 GASSED TO 800 GALS., OIL CK OK, READY FOR RETURN FLGIHT TO ULITHI.
0835       B-71 NOW IN COMMISSION
1225       SUB AREA ASKED IF OUR PLANES COULD GO OUT AT ANY TIME.
1230       SUB AREA WAS NOTIFIED THAT WE HAVE ONE PLANE AVAILABLE, B-71.
1235       COMDR. ANDERS FROM SUB AREA CALLED A REQUESTED A COPY OF ALL LOGS CONCERNING PLANES ORDERED OUT BY HIM, AND ALL INFORMATION CONCERNING SURVIVORS. (THIS REPORT IS THE LCG: SURVIVOR INFORMATION WAS CONTAINED IN DAILY REPORTS PREVIOUSLY SUBMITTED).
1356       LT. MARON AIRBORNE IN R-632 FOR FLIGHT TO ULITHI
1415       B-62 NOW IN COMMISSION
1630       B-74 DOWN INDEFINITELY – NO HYDRAULIC PRESSURE.

RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED,


/s/ J. L. Blackman

J. L. BLACKMAN

LT. USNR
AIR COMBAT INTELLIGENCE OFFICER 

COPY 

[end 10] 

COPY

SECRET


4TH EMERGENCY RESCUE SQUADRON
FLIGHT D DETACHMENT
APO 265

6 AUGUST 1945

Subject:  Rescue operations 2 Aug. 45 through 5 Aug.

To: Sub Area Operations.

The following is the complete story of work done by a crew on an Army 0A-10A during the period of 2 August 1945 through 5 August 1945.  The men of the crew are members of the 4th Emergency Rescue Squadron stationed in the Palau Islands.

The crew as airborne at 1650 on August 2, 1945 to aid in rescue for the survivors of the CA Indianapolis which had been sunk on July 29, 1945.

The Army rescue plane arrived in the vicinity of the survivors at 1915 only to find a Navy Cat already on the water picking up survivors. After dropping 3 life rafts to survivors it was discovered that the survivors were too weak to make any use of them.  The Pilot, Lt. R. C. Alcorn decided to attempt a water landing in order to be of more assistance to the drowning men.  A safe landing was effected at 1940 with no damage whatsoever to the aircraft or crew.  Although it was already nearly dark one survivor was spotted by himself so the crew immediately set about to rescue him.  He was brought aboard at 1955 and put under the care of Surgical Technician Sgt. Roy T. Sutrov.  The pilot continued to taxie in the darkness stopping every few feet for floating objects only to find them to be dead bodies and debries.  Finally after considerable taxing the pilot decided there was far too much debries to continue after dark so the engines were cut.  Immediate upon cutting the engine many cries for help were hear seemingly in one group.  The crew members informed the survivors to hold on as help was on the way.  T/Sgt. L. U. Needham, engineer ad S/Sgt. W. H. Higbee, radar operator decided to attempt to get to the survivors in a life raft.  The swells were so high though that the pilot decided that they should not take the life raft beyond the limits of the rope aboard the plane.  The two crew members went out as far as possible but were unable to get to the survivors.

Aircraft circled the area all night and the crew members of the Army rescue plane kept them informed of the location of the survivors by signaling with lights.  The Navy plane had landed much earlier and its batteries were too dead to signal.  Finally at about 0230 on August 3, 45 a DE arrived in the vicinity and started picking up survivors.  After taking the survivors from the Navy “Cat” and the DE proceeded to Army “Cat”. The DE took the one survivor aboard and the crew members informed the vessel of the group of survivors that had been calling to them.  The vessel then proceeded over to the area and picked up survivors.

The next morning it was found that the Navy Cat had suffered damage from picking up so many survivors it was scuttled. Although the sea was very rough and the wind had picked up considerably from the time of landing the night before the pilot of the Army plane decided to attempt a take off.  The aircraft was airborne at 0730 with little trouble and with no damage to the plane or crew.

[end 11]

The crew flew a total of forty hours during the four days of August 2 through August 5, 1945.  Their missions were to help surface vessels spot survivors, bodies and debries from the wreckage.  Members of the crew were: Pilot, 1ST Lt. R. C. Alcorn; Navigator, 1ST Lt. F. C. Ehtridge; Engineer, T/Sgt. F. U. Needham; Radio Operator, S/Sgt. V. F. Duchscherer; Radar Operator, S/Sgt. W. H. Higbee; and Surgical Technician Sgt. R. T. Sutrov.

 

/s/    Lt. Richard C. Alcorn
RICHARD C. ALCORN,
1ST LT. AC
COMMANDING

[end 12] 

COPY

SECRET

4TH EMERGENCY RESCUE SQUADRON
FLIGHT D DETACHMENT
APO 265

8 AUGUST 1945

Subject: Search Operations of 7 Aug. 45

To: Sub Area Operations

Aircraft #914, radio call playmate 1, was airborne 0427 King 7 Aug. 45.  Mission orders were to proceed to 11° 32’N - 132° 21’E and contact DE French, radio call “avocado” for instructions concerning search for bodies.

Playmate 1 arrived at the given coordinates at 0651 King and was ordered by Avacado to fly heading of 260° for 62 miles.  While on the course of 260° for the DE the crew spotted some bodies and informed Avacado.  Avacado noted the coordinates and ordered 914 to proceed to her coordinates.  Playmate 1 was over the DE French and DE-----at 0731.  At this time a PV aircraft, call Gambler 14, joined the search and Playmate 1 searched from the south of the DE’s while Gambler 14 searched to the north.  The search was to proceed 20 miles to the north and 20 miles to the south of the DE on a course of 80°, direction of the bodies spotted at 0658 by Playmate 1.  Nothing was sighted by any of the vessels or planes until 1015 when both the PV and 0A-10A arrived in the vicinity of the 0A-10A’s position, 11° 28’N 0 132° 15/E.  In an area of approximately 10 miles square, several bodies were spotted by both planes.  The two DE’s proceeded full speed ahead to the point and had picked up and buried 8 bodies by 1315 when Playmate 1 was relieved by Playmate 3.

Playmate 1 arrived safely back at base at 1540 King.

Total flying time for the crew of #914 from 2 Aug. 45 through 7 Aug. is as follows:

2 Aug. 45-11:00
3 Aug. 45-9:40
4 Aug. 45-7:25
5 Aug. 45-11:55
7 Aug. 45-11:10
 TOTAL-51:10

/s/ Lt.    Richard C. Alcorn
RICHARD C. ALCORN
1ST LT. AC
COMMANDING

COPY

[end 13]

EXTRACTS FROM OPERATIONS WATCH OFFICERS LOG COVERING RESCUE OF SURVIVORS FROM INDIANAPOLIS (CA-35). PERIOD 1205 K 2 AUGUST TO 0030 K 8 AUGUST.

2 August

1205 -    Following info received from Group Operations: PV from VPB 152 (19V258) sighted survivors in water at 11-30 N 133-30 E.  PV Dropped life raft and transmitter.  PV can be on station until 021530 K.  No further details available at present.  Dumbo plane to take off from Peleliu as soon as possible. – Info passed to Comdr. Anderson.
1240 -    Doyle directed to scene of survivors - 11-30 N 133-30 E.
1250 -    Dumbo plane off at 021242 K to scene of survivors - 11-30 N 133-30 E.
1330 -    Lt. Hunter (VPB 152 Duty Officer) phoned following info:  Messaged received by VPB 152 from 19V152:  Send rescue ship to 11-30 N 133-30 E.  150 survivors in life boat and jackets.  Dropped red ramrod (expendable Sono Buoy).
1400 -    Doyle advised of new position - 11-30 N 133-30 E; Doyle advised estimated number of survivors 150. Doyle is to report ETA new position.
1415 -    Doyle rogered for CWCSA 020245 at 21407 K.
1430 -    Message received from ComMarianas directing that 2 DD’s be sent on survivor mission –message sent to CTU 94.6.2 for compliance.
1500 -    Phone Group Operations:  ETA of Dumbo (survivor mission) is 021515 K.
1520 -    Received message from Doyle stating she is proceeding at maximum speed and has established contact with Dumbo.
1600 -    19 V from VPB 152 returning to base;  relieved 70 V from VPB 152;  70 V estimates 75-150 scattered survivors.
1601 -    R4D (Lt. Baker) to augment search;  to carry all available life rafts.
1650 -    Phone Air Base:  B-17 No. 9496 – voice call Jukebox 9496 -  – off 1550 K.  B-17 No. 9488 airborne at 1725 (Jukebox 9488).
1655 -    Phoned Group Operations: One Dumbo on station now.  2 Dumbos (Playmate 3 and Playmate 4) took off at 1655 K and 1725 K respectively.  Admiral’s R4D off at 1620.
1720 -    1 PV on station – voice call Gambler Leader – due at Base Peleliu at 022100K.  2 other PV’s standing by to carry life rafts – info on take offs not available at present.
1721 -    Doyle’s ETA area is 030030 K.

THIS IS CERTIFIED TO BE A TRUE COPY OF RELEVANT ENTRIES IN COMWESCARSUBAREA OPERATIONS WATCH OFFICERS LOG.


/s/          H. M. Blake
Ens., USNR.

[end 14]

1730 -    Phone Group Operations asking for ETA at Base Peleliu of Dumbo (Playmate 2) – approx 22300 K.
                Note to OWO:  Special check should be made with Group Operations so that OWO will know ETA’s of dumbos far enough ahead of time to notify Base 20 hospital to have ambulance on field for those dumbos picking up survivors.  The first dumbo (Playmate 2) landed at sea and should have survivors.
1747 -    Group Operations phoned that first B-17 off had no life rafts, one life boat (capacity 10 men) and that second B-17 carried 18 life rafts (capacity 2-3), no life boats.
1758 -    ETA Doyle at scene is 0040 K 3 August.
1759 -    Plane 70 VPB 152 reports dumbo landed okay.
1805 -    Playmate 2 to ASR vessel (Doyle) intercept indicates survivors in bad condition, and that Dumbo cannot take off.
1845 -    Corrected position reported by planes through Doyle is 11-45 N 133-35 E (25 miles from position to which DD’s from Ulithi directed) informed Major Chamberlain.
1920 -    Talked with CO VPB-23. Playmate 6 will be off at 0100, Playmate at 0630.  Requested no action be taken to take Playmate 2 under tow.  Requested further info on condition Playmate 2.
1930 -    Gambler 13 has relieved Gambler Leader.
2000 -    Air Base Operations phoned that Baker, in Admiral’s R4D, had completed mission, returning to base.  No ETA yet.
2055 -    Called VPB-152 to arrange for transfer of 6 life rafts which were originally to be dropped by Gambler 11 to VPB-23, to be used, if needed, by Playmate 6, whose takeoff time is 0100. Gambler 11 had returned to base without reaching destination due to engine trouble.
2115 -    Received telephone report from Lt. Baker, who just landed from mission.  Lt. Baker estimates about 150 men strung out over a distance of about 20 miles.  The great majority, at this time, appeared to be supplied with life rafts or jackets.  Our R4D dropped 5 rafts, and a large number of life jackets, attempting to distribute them around the outer edges where stragglers without equipment could use them.  A large portion of the life rafts that have been dropped are equipped with pyrotechnics.  Requested Lt. Baker give this info directly to Comdr. Anderson at camp.
2220 -    Lt. Comdr. Attebury reported back from area.  Advises second Dumbo (Playmate 4) is now on surface.  Considers it impossible for them to take air.  Also reports plenty of rafts and life jackets in the area.

[end 15]

2220 (Cont’d.) - Plans for future activity formulated by Comdr. Anderson, Capt. Oates:  One Dumbo (call while on scene will be Playmate 3) will be over area continuously.  At dawn two PV’s (calls while                 on scene Gamblers 5 and 6) will be overhead.  Reliefs will assume calls as they take over.  2 DD’s        from Ulithi ETA 0500 K. APD and DE from ComPhilSeaFron should arrive in morning.  LCI-990 has   been directed to scene.  ETA not known.

Two (2) FAirWing 2 Dumbos will examine area enroute Guam about dawn tomorrow, dropping rafts if needed (they have 2 7-man rafts each).  See our 021320 and 201404 for details.  When DD’s from Ulithi (Ralph Talbot and Madison) arrive, Doyle will return to Peleliu.  Capt. Oates  emphasized that operations Watch Officer must notify Base 20, the Air Base, JOC, and Port   Director as relevant, of the ETA of any survivor, their condition and number of them, so that        proper medical and ambulance facilities will be ready.  This is the IWI’s responsibility.

3 August

0102 -    PBY took off to relieve Playmate 3, now circling area.
0210 -    Received message from 021500 from the Doyle identifying survivors as those of (CA-35) Indianapolis, torpedoed and sunk night of 29 July.  Tried to contact Comdr. Anderson on direct             line but failed.  Called Security Officer for Camp (Mr. Blake) and asked him to relay information               to Comdr. Anderson.
0300 -    Had above message (021500) passed to ComPhilSeaFron for info, as directed by Staff Duty  Officer.  This info will provide ComPhileSeaFron with material prior to the arrival of the Bassett     and the Dufilho.  Her dispatch 021342 gave instructions to her two ships to advise her of said  info.
0511 -    Air Base reports PBY who was relieved as Playmate 2 has landed and Lt. LeBland makes the  following info available:  There were three ships on scene, and pciking up of personeel was     taking place as rapidly as possible.  The two PBY’s on water were okay, were planning to take off  in morning wind if not over 5 knots and swells are not bad.  Planes in area during knight dropped flares as needed.  Radius of survivors was estimates as 10 miles, have tried to stay in  groups of around 25, conditions of survivors are quite critical.
0520 -    VPB-152 called giving departure time for the PV who have voice calls of Gambler 5 and 6 took off from here for location at 0454K and 0514K.

[end 16]

0625 – Air Base reports arrival of one PBY from scene of rescue. This PBY is one of the three sent out from Samar by ComPhilSeaFron. The other two are to arrive around 0800K. These planes have been in air 13 hours. After relaying info to Staff Duty Officer, and Comdr. Anderson, called Air Base and told them to have men stand by (after eating chow) for further instructions.

0730 – PBY takes off for relief of Playmate 3. His call on way out is Playmate 7 but will assume Playmate 3 on relieving plane. This flight was one hour late as their original plane scheduled for this trip was grounded, and it was necessary to gas plane that came in at 0511K.

0733 – Second plane (PBY) from Samar pancaked for refuel and orders. Air Base says first plane landing at 0625 is ready for take off for return to scene Told them to stand by for orders from Operations Officer.

1409 – VPB 23 Duty Officer called to report that no Dumbo will be on rescue mission in area of survivors. Playmate 7 is returning because of engine trouble and no other is available until morning.

1930 – Phoned Base Hospital No. 20. Following info passed: DOYLE ETA Orange Beach 040200K – 93 survivors aboard – 50 of which are stretcher cases. Dr. Haking, Duty Officer, said he would have 8 ambulances at Orange Beach at 040130K, each ambulance can accommodate 4 stretcher cases.

1946 – Phoned Port Director concerning arrangements made for handling survivors from DOYLE. LCT-773, ST-569, one LCVP (to handle lines at buoy), and as many LCM's as needed will be on hand. The Port Director's office has 102 stretchers on hand (Base No. 20 advised of this).

2055 – Air Base Duty Officer phoned reporting receipt of messages from CTU 75.1.3 asking that Catalinas be returned to Samar. Told Duty Officer to hold up delivery of these messages to the pilots of the Catalinas until I contacted Comdr. Anderson.

2135 – Comdr. Anderson directed that a message be sent to ComPhilSeaFron, info CTU 75.1.3 and VPB-23, stating one of Catalinas returned to Samar (left Peleliu at 031410K, arrived Samar at 031914K). The other 2 Catalinas are scheduled for searches tomorrow (4rth) morning, to return Samar from searches (ref ComWesCarSubArea 031147).

2140 – Notified Air Base Duty Officer to send messages from CTU 85.1.3 to VPB-23.

2141 – Phoned VPB-23. Advised Duty Officer to send Catalinas on scheduled mission tomorrow. Planes to leave area when deemed expedient. To return Samar. To advise ComWesCarSubArea when planes plan to leave area. Also called attention of duty officer to ComWesCarSubArea 031147.

[end 17]

2228 – Phoned Port Director Duty Officer ambulance situations is as follows: 8 from Base 20; 3 from MAG 11; 1 from CASU 49; all to be at Orange Beach to handle DOYLE survivors.

Situation of 032300K:

DOYLE ETA Orange 040200; 93 survivors; 50 of which are stretcher cases; 12 ambulances to be on hand; Port Director has arranged for small craft, mooring, and lights. Base 20 to receive patients; 102 stretchers at Orange Beach; DOYLE to relieve PC-1600 as ComScreen.

REGISTER and RINGNESS ETA Orange 041200k. RINGNESS has 37 survivors and CO of INDIANAPOLIS. REGISTER has 25 survivors.

ComWesCarSubArea has sent message (ref. 030705) to MADISON directing all vessels with survivors to bring them to Peleliu.

BASSETT and RALPH TALBOT have survivors aboard, no info as yet as to their ETA Peleliu.

TRANQUILLITY (AH14) to report to Ulithi for routing to Peleliu for loading care of, etc., of survivors, thence Guam.

HELM (DD 388) and AYLWIN (DD 355) proceeding from Ulithi to area.

Cockrell (de 366) ARRIVES AREA 040630.

Base 20, JOC, Air Base, and Port Director have been advised on: Info on TRANQUILLITY, ETA of DOYLE and survivors (including stretcher cases), ETA of REGISTER and RINGNESS and survivors aboard.

4 August

0055 – Port Director relayed by phone to Operations Watch Officer message received from DOYLE, requesting info as to when CO of that vessel could be of most help to this command in making report. Asked Port Director to relay answer requesting that he report these headquarters as convenient after 0800 morning 4th.

0059 – Received copy of voice 031434 from DOYLE to Port Director requesting clothing for 75 men and oxygen tent be available on first LCM alongside. Checked and discovered Base 20 will furnish clothing and jury-rig oxygen tent, the best available in the area.

0145 – Checked with Port Director to ascertain that all ambulances had been contacted, and facilities ready.

[end 18]

0230 – Port Director reported DOYLE at Orange and first LCM alongside.

0330 – Unloading and transfer of patients proceeding very smoothly, no mishaps, reports Beachmaster. Transfer to ambulances proceeding very efficiently.

0515 – Checks with Dumbo (VPB-23) and VPB-152 indicated following takeoff times for their mornings area coverage: PV's Gambler 17 and 15, off at 0445 and 0447 respectively; Dumbos as follows: Baker 74 (Playmate 4) off at 0438; OA-10 (Playmate 3) off at 0440; PBY6A (Playmate 1) off at 0450; and PBY6A (Playmate 2) off at 0455.

0630 – Received info through Base 20 that 93 patients had been transferred from the DOYLE into Base 20 Hospital, with no deaths in the process of transfer. The first patient was logged in at 0310, the last patient at 0430.

0645 – Discovered from Communications Watch Officer at JCC that our 030810 (today's search plan and instructions) had never been passed to AYLWIN and HELM DD's from Ulithi, as Comdr. Anderson had instructed. Told CWO to raise precedence to OP and deliver to these two ships as info addees at top speed.

1000 – Checked with Port Director and Base 20 and find everything is in readiness for receiving patients who will arrive at 1200K.

1200 – Received report from Port Director that ETA for REGISTER and RINGNESS is 1230K. Informed Lt. Olds in order that Admiral and party would have correct ETA.

1530 – Called Base Hospital 20, final count on survivors was 37 from REGISTER, 39 from RINGNESS. Total 76. First group arrived at hospital at 1410K and last man was in at 1520K.

1630 – Port Director (Lt. Nelson) reports RINGNESS and REGISTER are having difficulty in fueling, and will not be able to depart at 2100K, will report ETD later.

1740 – Call from Group Operations: Playmate 4 returning from air sea rescue of survivors has one motor conked out, is out approximately 140 miles. A PBY has been sent out to escort him in, has an ETA of 1830K. Group is in contact with him.

1812 – Port Director called says latest info on fueling is that both RINGNESS (APD 100) and REGISTER (APD 92) are down to 15% capacity. It is planned to refuel both simultaneously from CHARLES JONES (XAK0 with one connection to each. It will require an estimated five hours to fill to capacity. Best ETD now is 2400.

1830 - VPB-23 report that Playmate 4 arrived safely at 1825.

[end 19]

2245 – Port Director called to say Capt. B.W. Hogan, S.M.O. and Capt. M.D. Mullen, CO of TRANQUILLITY (AH 14) will call on Capt. Oates about 0915K tomorrow. Then go to Base 20 Hospital for conference.

2318 – Duty Officer VPB-152 reports that Gambler 4 and Gambler 10 were taken off search for survivors at scene by SOPA and ordered to assist Birddog 3 on Anti-submarine search. Full report will be made in morning. Result of contact was negative.

2345 – Called Port Director to check on RINGNESS and REGISTER (APD's). Fueling is slow they do not yet have 85% capacity. Port Director has ordered them to depart as soon as they do have 75% capacity. This is in agreement with verbal orders passed to Port Director by Operations Watch Officer after talking with Commander Anderson at 2145.

5 August

0130 – REGISTER and RINGNESS underway at 050100K with 75% fuel on board (ref 041510).

0320 – Received message from MADISON (ref. 041101) recommending center of search be moved to position 11-30N 133-00E. Also MADISON requested fueling instructions. MADISON reported only 17% burnable fuel remaining. RALPH TALBOT (next senior) 40%. Other ships higher percentage.

0325 – Consulted staff duty officer concerning MADISON's message (041101). Staff duty officer directed OWO to phone Comdr. Anderson.

0330 – Phoned Comdr. Anderson. As a result of call, message 041823 sent, which directs MADISON to send vessels requiring fuel to Peleliu or Ulithi. MADISON directed to conduct search as outlined in ComWesCarSubArea 040720.

0430 – Phoned VPB-152: Gambler Leader (PV) off at 050425K; Gambler 9 (PV) off at 050428; Gambler 11 (PV) due off at 050900; Gambler 16 (PV) due off at 050900; Gambler 1 (PV) due off at 051330K; Gambler 5 (PV) due off at 051330K.

0435 – Phoned VPB-23: Dumbo – Playmate 1, off at 050421; Dumbo – Playmate 2 due off at 051000.

1300 – Received 042350 from MADISON recommending line be moved 75 miles to west. Our 050245 okayed plan.

1308 – Called VPB-152 requesting that they contact MADISON to discover if LCI-990 is operating with them. Also requested takeoff times on 2 PV's.

1310 – Called Dumbo to pass latest position to extra Dumbo flight leaving.

1410 -  Received call from VPB-152 informing us that PV call Gambler 8 was off on special hop at 051400K.

[end 20]

1420 -    Checked with Dumbo who had special Dumbo in air at 051335.
1640 -    Called PV squadron to check on second PV’s takeoff time.  Was informed that second PV was    unavailable but Gamblers 1, 5 and 8 were already on scene.  Gave Maj. Chamberlain take off     times on PV and Dumbo.
2130 -    JCC does not have plan from Cockrell, tried to raise them on voice, unable at this time.  Comdr. Sweeny says attempt to raise them through Aylwin, Helm or Dufilho.

6 August

0120 -    Received search plan form Alvin C. Cockrell in dispatch 050931.  Notified Staff Duty Officer who gave instructions for preparing dispatch answer to Cockrell.
0155 -    Staff Duty Officer approved answer to Cockrell.  Message given to CWO for transmission.
0200 -    Called VPB-23. Asked for two planes to fly search tomorrow.  Duty Officer said he would call back after checking with Co.
0225 -    Lt. Comdr. Namur of VPB-23 says they will have two Dumbos off between 0400 and 0430 but does not believe they will be able to supply relief for them.
0235 -    Called VPB-152 who have copy of Cockrell dispatch giving plan for search.  Advise them that dumbos will fly first search mission.
0435 -    Lt. Comdr. Namur called to report that Dumbos will not be able to get two planes in air for search.  Army plane in at 2230 is in commission but has one crew only.  Ultihi PBY632 in at 2230 not in commission.  Peleliu PBY71 in at 1700 not in commission.  Peleliu PBY62 magneto trouble, CASU working on it.  Peleliu PBY74 came in on 4th on one engine, one not in commission.
0440 -    Notified Staff Duty Officer who said Call VPB-152 and get 2 PV’s to take over.
0445 -    Called VPB-152 and duty officer says he will get two off as soon as possible.
0450 -    Notified Lt. Comdr. Namur that PV’s will take over.  He says they will continue to work on dumbos and have them in commission as soon as possible.
0530 -    Schedule for PV’s on search given as: Gambler 10 off at 0615, return 1430;  Gambler off at 0615, return 1430.
0630 -    Duty Officer VPB-152 reports that Gambler 3 was airborne 0616K and Gambler 10 at 0626K.

[end 21]

1212 -    Phoned VPB-152: Gambler 2 off at 1148K; Gambler 15 off at 1147K.
1420 -    Tranquility departed Orange Beach at 061300K, speed 15 knots.  Routed Apple – Skip, to Guam (ref. 060329).  Ship embarked 166 survivors; 80 stretcher cases, 86 ambulatory cases.  One     survivor remained at hospital for further treatment.
1506 -    Phoned VPB-152: Gambler 10 in at 1430K; Gambler 3 in at 1500K.
1530 -    Ringness and Register released from search: ETA Leyte 070700K.
1630 -    Received Cockrell’s 060317: French (SOPA) and  Doyle remain on scene to dispose of bodies. Cockrell due to Orange at 070200K.
1945 -    Received French’s 060651.  In Duty Officer’s absence, attempted to contact Comdr. Anderson. Capt. Oates received call, and directed that OWO answer 060651 approving recommendation and arrange for 1 PV and 1 Dumbo to provide air support.
2015 -    Called VPB-23 and arranged for one Dumbo to be at position 11-32N 132-21E at dawn     tomorrow.  Voice call is Playmate 1.  A second Dumbo will be on alert status at 1030K to relieve  first Dumbo if search not secured, and when so directed by this command.
2025 -    Called VPB-152 and arranged for 1 PV (voice call Gambler 14) to be at French’s position at dawn. A PV will be on alert status at 0930 to take off to relieve Gambler 14, if so directed by this command.
2050 -    Sent out our 061101 approving French’s suggestion and reporting voice calls of planes to being area tomorrow, as directed by Chief of Staff.  Note:  To be on scene to relieve first flights, second Dumbo must leave here at 1030, second PV must leave at 0930.  Have requested both VPB-23 and VPB-152 have first planes to scene request that French evaluate whether or not  afternoon search should continue, to this command, if possible, by 0900, so that we know whether or not to send off second PV and Dumbo.  Both planes will be ready to go at 0930 and  1030 respectively, but will NOT take off unless so ordered by us.  Info should be in our hands in time for Comdr. Anderson to make decision.

7 August

0430 -    Received Cockrell’s message 061715.  We did not have ComPhilSeaFron message 060815 to which he referred in his message, checked with JCC, who have message but can’t break it.  They have request repeat but not received it as yet.  We have to have that message in order to know     what Cockrell is talking about.  CWO asked them to hurry it up if possible, and make another try at breaking.

[end 22]

0435 -    VPB-23 reports Dumbo off to location of rescue of survivors with French and Doyle.  Call Playmate 1.
0540 -    VPB-152 reports PV off for search with French and Doyle.  Voice call Gambler 14.
1006 -    Cockrell refueled and reporting to Orange Beach, says Port Director.
1710 -    Called VPB-23 and VPB-152 to have each squadron have one plane over Cecil J. Doyle (DE) and French (DE) for continued for continued search tomorrow at dawn.
1855 -    Lt. Comdr. Richardson of VPB-23 phoned:  Only 2 Dumbos available.  If 1 Dumbo is sent on  mission to Indianapolis search and 1 Dumbo sent on new search, no Dumbos will be available to    cover strikes.
1927 -    Phoned VPB-23:  1 Dumbo to be sent to scene of old search (Indianapolis) to arrive by daylight.

8 August

0030 -    Received French’s 071232, and checked with Dumbo Squadron to insure that they had received it and would divert their morning coverage from Indianapolis position designated in outgoing              070825.

THIS IS CERTIFIED TO BE A TRUE COPY OF RELEVANT ENTRIES IN COMWESCARSUBAREA OPERATIONS WATCH OFFICERS LOG.


/s/          H. M. Blake
Ens., USNR.

[end 23]

Record of Flight Operations in Search for Survivors from USS INDIANAPOLIS (CA 35)

2 August 1945

Flight

Plane

Pilot & Call

Takeoff

Landing

Remarks

1

PV-538

GWINN

19V258

Gambler 2

020852K

021517K

Searched 3.0 hours around 11-54N, 133-47E

Dropped 1 Mk. VII raft.

2

PBM

Unknown

K9244

Unknown

Unknown

Searched immediate area for 1.2 hours and dropped 2 or more rafts, type unknown.

3

PV-570

ATTEBERRY

70V258

Gambler Ldr.

021242K

022132K

Searched area around 11-54N, 133-47E for 4.0 hours.

4

PBY-5A

46472

MARKS

Playmate 2

021242K

021700K

Searched 10 mile square around 11-54N, 133-47E. Dropped 2 Mk. VII and 1 Mk. IV rafts. Landed at scene (scuttled next day)

5

*B-17

9496

CARLEY

Jukebox

021550K

022124K

At scene for 1.5 hours. Dropped 1 airborne lifeboat, type A-1.

6

*B-17

9488

MEYERS

Jukebox

021725K

022137K

At scene for 0.5 hours. Dropped 17Mk. VII rafts.

7

R4D

BAKER

41X158

021620K

022102K

At scene for 0.6 hours. Dropped 3 Mk. VII, 2 Mk. IV rafts, and 17 life jackets.

8

OA-10A

3914

ALCORN

Playmate 4

021654K

030940K

Dropped 2 Mk. VII and 1 Mk. IV rafts. Landed on water at dusk. Took off 0730. Recovered 1 Survivor during night.

9

PBY-5A

LE BLANC

Playmate 3

021725K

030525K

Had 5 Mk. VII and 2 Mk. IV rafts aboard. Over scene for 6.0 hours during night.

10

PV-537

LUNDBERG

37V258

Gambler 13

021749K

030145K

Over search for 4.0 hours.

11

#PBY-6A

KENNEDY

Creeper Roger

Samar

030559K

Left Samar for search. Remained over scene for 5.5 hours during the night.

12

#PBY-6A

MC DONALD

Creeper Sugar

Samar

030733K

Left Samar for search. Remained over scene for 6.5 hours during the night.

13

#PBY-6A

WATSON

Creeper Tare

Samar

030746K

Left Samar for search. Remained over scene for 6.5 hrs. during the night. Left for Samar next day due mechanical failure.

* Transient U.S. Army planes dispatched from Peleliu, where they had landed on routine flight.

#Rescue planes furnished by Philippine Sea Frontier to assist in search

ENCLOSURE (N)               

[end 24]

3 August 1945

Flight

Plane

Pilot & Call

Takeoff

Landing

Remarks

1

PBY-5A

46537

LANDUS

Playmate 6

030105K

031225K

Searched 25 square mile area around 11-45N, 133-35E for 6.8 hours.

2

PV-538

WIGMORE

Gambler 5

030454K

031302K

Searched area 50 miles SSW of 11-45N, 133-35E for 4.0 hours

3

PV-533

Crites

Gambler 6

030514K

031312K

 

Searched area around 11-45, 133-35E for 4.0 hours.

4

**PBY

CARR

K6502

030502K

Guam

Searched and assisted rescue in nearby area for 5.0 hours, landing at Guam.

5

**PBY

OTEY

K8286

030502K

Guam

Searched and assisted rescue in nearby area for 5.0 hours, landing at Guam.

6

PBY-5A

46462

RICKETTS

Playmate 3

030727K

031530K

Searched a 20x30 mile area for 4.0 hours from positions 12-00N, 133-20E; and 12-20N, 132-50E.

7

PV-542

KEPHART

Gambler 4

030838K

031612K

Searched area around 11-11N, 133-16E for 4.0 hours.

8

PV-536

HUNTER

Gambler 1

030819K

031637K

Searched area around 11-11N, 133-16E for 4.0 hours.

9

*B-17

CARLEY

A9496

031218K

Tacloban

Briefed to search 100 miles north of area and 100 miles west of area to limit of endurance, landing at Tacloban.

10

*B-17

MEYERS

A9488

031219K

Tacloban

Briefed to search 100 miles north of area and 100 miles west of area to limit of endurance, landing at Tacloban.

11

PV-539

JEFFRIES

Gambler 2

031227K

032003K

Searched 40 miles moving square from 11-11N, 133-16E on course 180 for 4.2 hours with ship.

12

PV-418

COLEY

Hepcat 1

031240K

032015K

Searched 40 miles moving square from 11-11N, 133-16E on course 180 for 4.2 hours with ship.

13

PBY-5A

MYKLAND

2V700

Playmate 1

Ulithi

032146K

Briefed to search an expanding square search, origin 11-45N, 133-35E, beginning outside the center ten mile square. Searched for 1 hour before dark.

*U.S. Army planes utilized to extent of endurance in connection with routine flight Peleliu to Tacloban.

**Transient planes passing through Peleliu-requested to assist.

[end 25]

4 August 1945

Flight

Plane

Pilot & Call

Takeoff

Landing

Remarks

1

OA-10A

33914

ALCORN

Playmate 3

040437K

041158K

Searched for 3.0 hours in sector 3 of search plan for the day.

2

PBY-5A

46474

TURNER

Playmate 4

040437K

041825K

Searched for 8.0 hours in sector 4 of search plan for the day.

3

PBY-6A

KENNEDY

Playmate 1

040453K

Samar

Searched for approximately 7.0 hours in sector 1 of search plan, landing at Samar.

4

PBY-6A

MacDONALD

Playmate 2

040455K

Samar

Searched for approximately 7.0 hours in sector 2 of search plan, landing at Samar.

5

PV-573

GWINN

Gambler 17

040446K

041231K

Searched for 4.0 hours a 15 mile square around 11-42N, 133-20E.

6

PV-571

BURTON

Gambler 15

040446K

041232K

Searched area within radius of 35 miles of 11-42N, 133-20E for 4.0 hours.

7

PBY-5A

46632

MARMON

Playmate 5

040640K

041843K

Relieved Playmate 3 in sector 3; continued search for 6.7 hours.

8

PBY-5A

46469

WALLACE

Playmate 6

040625K

041911K

Searched area from 11-48N to 12-35N; 132-35E to 133-20E at 4-mile interval for 7.0 hours.

9

PV-533

GREENEBAUM

Gambler 16

040848K

041727K

Searched 30-mile square from 11-42N, 133-20E for 4.0 hours.

10

PV-408

COLBENSON

Gambler 7

040849K

041725K

Searched 40-mile square around 11-37N, 133-30E for 4.0 hours.

11

PV-542

KEPHART

Gambler 4

041330K

042108K

Searched area around Birddog 3 for submarine for 4.0 hours.

12

PV-535

ROYER

Gambler 10

041334K

042113K

Searched within ten-mile circle of Birddog 3 for 4.0 hours.

 

[end 26]

5 August 1945

Flight

Plane

Pilot & Call

Takeoff

Landing

Remarks

1

PBY-5A

46537

 

GILLOU

Playmate 1

050420K

051622K

Searched near area 11-27N, 132-40E for 7.5 hours. Bodies and debris found.

2

PV-570

ATTEBERRY

Gambler Ldr.

050430K

051258K

Swept area ahead of ships for 4.5 hours.

3

PV-538

LUNDBERG

Gambler 9

050431K

051246K

Swept area ahead of ships, also searched 50 miles west for 5.0 hours. Discovered debris.

4

PV-541

SCHULTE

Gambler 11

050854K

051745K

Searched an area 20 miles from ship sweep at 11-50N, 133-10E for 5.0 hours.

5

PV-408

GREENEBAUM

Gambler 16

050917K

051827K

Searched an area 50 miles south and west of ships for 5.5 hours.

6

OA-10A

3914

ALCORN

Playmate 2

050954K

052146K

Searched an area near 11-25N, 132-45E for 7.0 hours. Found many bodies.

7

PV-536

Hunter

Gambler 1

051322K

052120K

Searched an area 50 miles west of scouting line starting at 11-44N, 133-16E for 4.5 hours.

8

PV-534

WIGMORE

Gambler 4

051344K

052130K

Searched two sweeps of 50 miles NW and NE one sweep of 100 miles from ships for 4.0 hours.

9

PV-538

Crites

Gambler 8

051400K

052043K

Searched 50 miles SW of scouting line (10-15N, 132-40E) for 3.5 hours. Rafts located.

10

PBY-5A

46632

Marmon

Playmate 3

051343K

052139K

Searched an area 100 miles west of 12-28N, 133-35E for 2.5 hours. Found scattered debris.

 

[end 27]

6 August 1945

Flight

Plane

Pilot & Call

Takeoff

Landing

Remarks

1

PV-535

ROYER

Gambler 10

060626K

061427K

Started search at 11-10N, 132-30E, covered area north and south between 11-00 and 11-40N for 4.2 hours.

2

PV-573

BROWN

Gambler 3

060616K

061501K

Searched area for 15 miles around 11-30N, 132-30E for 4.8 hours.

3

PV-534

JEFFRIES

Gambler 2

061148K

062027K

Searched area for 10 miles around 11-32N, 132-21E for 5.0 hours.

4

PV-571

BURTON

Gambler 15

061147K

062050K

Searched an area 10x20 miles west and south of 11-19N, 132-19E for 5.8 hours.

 

[end 28]

7 August 1945

Flight

Plane

Pilot & Call

Takeoff

Landing

Remarks

1

OA-10A

3914

ALCORN

Playmate 1

070428K

071532K

Searched area bounded by 11-30N, 132-25E; 11-22N, 131-22E; 11-04N, 131-26E; 11-15N, 132-24E for 6.0 hours.

2

PV-5367

DRYDEN

Gambler 14

070540K

071315K

Searched 20 miles to port and ahead of ships on course 070° at 11-30N, 131-41E for 3.5 hours.

3

PV-535

GREENEBAUM

Gambler 16

070949K

071648K

Covered ships at 11-10N, 132-20E; scouted for distance of 40 miles, bearing 225°from ships for 3.8 hours.

4

 

PBY-5A

4637

Marks

Playmate 3

070955K

071950K

Searched near 11-02N, 132-19E; also searched for 20 miles on 120° from line 11-02N, 133-19E and 10-45N, 131-55E at ½ mile interval for 5.0 hours.

5

PV-534

COLBENSON

Gambler 7

071312K

071945K

Ships at 11-11N, 132-12E, made two sweeps on 290° from ships to 20 miles; one sweep on 300° for 20 miles; and one sweep on 180° for 20 miles which took 3.2 hours.

 

[end 29]

8 August 1945

Flight

Plane

Pilot & Call

Takeoff

Landing

Remarks

1

OA-10A

3914

 

ALCORN

Playmate 2

080427K

081622K

Made parallel sweeps at 1.5 mile interval covering area bounded by 11-25N, 135-52E; 11-17N, 136-13E; 12-32N, 136-18E; 12-26N, 135-38E for 6.5 hours. Debris found.

2

PV-536

HUNTER

Gambler 1

080437K

081307K

Searched sector from ship of 070° for 25 miles to 180° for 20 miles and return to ship. Began search at 11-50N, 135-40E and finished at 12-05N, 136-00E for 4.5 hours.

3

PV-538

LUNDBERG

Gambler 9

080848K

081746K

Continued above search until 1210 K. Made parallel sweeps across bow for 20 miles on either side of ship for 4.6 hours. Mine sighted at 12-07N, 135-36E.

4

PBY-5A

46462

TURNER

Playmate 3

081011K

081858K

On station at 11-25N, 135-52E; found ships at 12-00N, 136-38E. Made parallel sweeps at 2.5 mile interval covering area bound by 12-05N, 136-30E; 11-50N, 137-10E; 11-30N, 137-00E; 11-38N, 136-20E, for 3.3. hours.

5

PV-553

ZAMMAN

Gambler 12

081309K

081927K

Made parallel search across bow at 4 mile interval for 20 miles on either side starting at 12-04N, 135-20E and departing at 11-40N, 135-16E for 2.2. hours. Only debris found.

6

PBY-5A

46537

ACHBERGER

Playmate 1

081127K

08525K

Searched area around 08-20N, 134-10E for 0.5 hours. Found only oil slick and debris.

 

Note:  After arrival of surface ships in the area all flights worked directly with the surface ships.  The ships expressed excellent cooperation of the aircraft on the search.

On the first day, 1, 10 man boat, 32 MK. VII rafts, 6 MK. IV rafts and 21 life jackets were dropped with a total raft capacity of 258 men.  During the search 63 flights were dispatched with a total of 260.1 hours spent in the actual search area.

[end 30 and Document 11: Air Rescue]

[Begin Document 12: Identification of Bodies]

COPY

Return Address:

File No. Pl/L11-1              

Serial No. 00699               

30/och

 

COMMANDER WESTERN CAROLINES SUB AREA

Navy #3254

%Flt Post Office

San Fran., Calif.

 

SECRET

11 August 1945

 

From: Commander Western Carolines Sub Area.

To: Island Commander, Peleliu.

 

Subject:               Identification and Disposal of Bodies and Personal Effects found on Bodies by U.S. Naval Vessels Engaging in Search for Survivors from U.S.S. INDIANAPOLIS (CA 35).

Reference: (a) ComWesCarSubArea Secret Dispatch 040720/August 1945.

(b) ComWesCarSubArea Sec. Ltr. Ser. 00697 of 3 Aug. 1945.

(c) CO, USS Madison (DD 425) Conf. Ser. 034 of 6 Aug. 1945.

(d) CO, USS HELM (DD 388) Conf. Ser. 0195 of 6 Aug. 1945.

(e) CO, USS RALPH TALBOT (DD 390) Conf. Ser. 078 of 6 Aug. 1945.

(f) CO, USS ALVIN C. COCKRELL (DE 366) Sec. Ser. 0012-45 of 8 August 1945.

(g) CO, USS CECIL J. DOYLE (DE 368) Sec. Ser. 0062 of 9 Aug. 45.

(h) CO, USS FRENCH (DE 367) Sec. Ser. 005 of 9 Aug. 1945.

Enclosure: (A) Report of identification of three (3) bodies recovered – addressed to the CO, USS INDIANAPOLIS (CA 35) by CO, USS MADISON (DD 425) Conf. Ser. 036 of 7 August 1945. Copy thereof included as enclosure (D) to reference (c).

(B) Copy of reference (d) with twenty-eight (28) envelopes containing identification data submitted by USS HELM (DD 388). Enclosures (A) and (B) to reference (d) not included.

(C) Copy of reference (e) without enclosures.

(D) Enclosure (B) of reference (f) – seven envelopes containing all identification of bodies disposed of by USS ALVIN C. COCKRELL (DE 366) on 4 August 1945.

(E) Enclosure (B) of reference (g) and twenty-one (21) envelopes containing identification data.

(F) Enclosure (B) of reference (h) – List of bodies found by USS FRENCH (DE 367) and twenty-nine (29) envelopes containing identification data.

1. In reference (a) Commander Western Carolines Sub Area directed the following vessels, which participated in the search for survivors from U.S.S. INDIANAPOLIS (CA 35), to recover and bury at sea all dead bodies in the area searched, and to make every effort to identify them, obtaining fingerprints where possible.

U.S.S. MADISON (DD 425)           

U.S.S. FRENCH (DE 367)

U.S.S. RALPH TALBOT (DD 390)

U.S.S. CECIL J. DOYLE (DE 368)

U.S.S. HELM (DD 388)    

U.S.S. DUFILHO (DE 423)

U.S.S. AYLWIN (DD 355)

U.S.S. RINGNESS (APD 100)

U.S.S. COCKRELL (DE 366)            

U.S.S. REGISTER(APD 92)

U.S.S. BASSETT (APD 73)

 

COPY

ENCLOSURE (R)

[end 1]

2. In reference (b) Island Commander, Peleliu, was directed by Commander Western Carolines Sub Area to provide for the immediate hospitalization of U.S.S. INDIANAPOLIS survivors and to comply with existing directives regarding the submission of casualty and interrogation reports for personnel from that vessel.

3. In accordance with reference (b), enclosures (A) to (F) inclusive are forwarded herewith for information and for disposition in accordance with existing directives. This data applies only to bodies recovered and includes all identification information submitted by vessels participating in search, except U.S.S. AYLWIN (DD 355), U.S.S. DUFILHO (DE 423), U.S.S. RINGNESS (APD 100), and U.S.S. REGISTER (APD 92), AND U.S.S.  BASSETT (APD 73) from which vessels no reports have been received to date.

4. No identification data or medical forms were received by this office from U.S.S. MADISON, which recovered three (3) bodies – see enclosure (A). As will be noted from enclosure (B), identification data is submitted for 28 bodies recovered by U.S.S. HELM (DD 388). It will be noted from enclosure (C) that U.S.S. RALPH TALBOT (DD 390), recovered no bodies. U.S.S. ALVIN C. COCKRELL (DE 366) submitted identification data on seven (7) bodies, as per enclosure (D). U.S.S. CECIL J. DOYLE (DE 368), and  U.S.S. FRENCH (DE 367) recovered and submitted identification data on 21 and 29 bodies, respectively, as indicated in enclosures (E) and (F). A total of 88 bodies were recovered by vessels which have been reported to date to Commander Western Carolines Sub Area.

5. Such personal effects as were found on bodies and which are of use for identification or other purposes, are forwarded with above enclosures.

 

M.A. ANDERSON,

By direction.

 

Copy (without enclosures) to:

BuPers

CO, USS INDIANAPOLIS (CA 35)

CinCPac Adv Hq

ComMarianas

ComPhilSeaFron

Personal Effects Distribution Center, Farragut, Idaho.

 

COPY

[end 2]

COPY

File No. P1/L11-1
Serial No. P-00700
30/cch                                                                                                                                                  

Return Address:              

Navy #3254

% Flt Post Office              

San Fran., Calif.

                                                                                                                 

COMMANDER WESTERN CAROLINES SUB AREA

SECRET

13 AUGUST 1945

 

From: Commander Western Carolines Sub Area.
To: Island Commander, Peleliu.

Subject:  Identification and Disposal of Bodies and Personal Effects found on Bodies by U. S. Naval Vessels Engaging in Search for Survivors from U.S.S. Indianapolis (CA-35).

Reference:  (a) ComWesCarSubArea Sec. Ser. 00699 of 11 Aug. 1945.; (b) Co, USS Aylwin (DD-355) Conf. Ser. 039 of 6 Aug. 1945

Enclosure:  (A) Copy of Ref. (b) and Encl. (A), (B), and (C) submitted therewith.

1. Enclosure (A) containing identification data for three (3) bodies recovered by the U.S.S. Aylwin (DD-335) on 4 August 1945 is forwarded herewith for disposition in accordance with existing directives.

2. Attention is directed to reference (a) which, with enclosures, furnished information on eighty-eight (88) other bodies recovered by searching vessels.

 

/s/ M. A. ANDERSON,
M. A. ANDERSON,
By direction.

Copy (without enclosures) to:
BuPers
CO, USS Indianapolis (CA-35)
CinCPac Adv Hq
ComMarianas
ComPhilSeaFron
Personal Effects Distribution Center, Farragut, Idaho.

COPY

[end 3]

COPY

U. S. S. AYLWIN (DD-355)

6 August 1945

DD355/P1/P6
Serial 039

CONFIDENTIAL

FROM: The Commanding Officer.
TO: The Commander Western Carolines Sub Area.

Subject: Bodies investigated by U.S.S. Aylwin – Identification of.

Reference: (a) Commander Western Carolines Sub Area secret dispatch of 4 August, 1945.

Enclosure: (A) Death certificate, burial certificate, and identification data on RUSSELL, William Bruce; (B) Death certificate, burial certificate, and identification data on SCHEIB, Eddie; (C) Death certificate, burial certificate, and identification data on person unknown.

  1. In accordance with reference (a), enclosures (A) to (C) are forwarded herewith covering bodies investigated and buried by this vessel on 4 August, 1945.

 

K. F. NEUPERT.

Copy to:
BuPers
Senior Surviving Officer

 U.S.S. Indianapolis.
C.T.U. 94.6.2.

COPY

Enclosure (A) 

[end 4]

6 August 1945

Questions asked by Correspondents of Lieut. (jg) W.G.Gwinn, USNR., Lieut. R.A.Marks, USNR, and Lt. Commander G.C. Atteberry.

Questioning and narrative of Lt.(jg) Gwinn:

Q: Was you the first person to sight the survivors?
A: Yes I was.

Q: Will you describe how it happened?
A: I took off at 0910 on my regular sector search, carrying a crew of five men.  While flying at 3000 feet I noticed an oil slick on the water, and went down to 900’, following the oil slick to a group of survivors in the water.  We estimated the first group seen as totaling about 30.

Q: How long did it take you to reach the first group of survivors, by following the oil slick?
A: The oil slick covered a radius of about 30 miles.

Q: What time did you spot the oil slick?
A: We spotted the survivors at 11:18 and got dispatch off at 11:25.

Q: Could you see the survivors waving?
A: Yes, very easily. At 900’ we could see them waving.
    From that time on until about 12:45, we investigated the whole area, finding up to 150 personnel in the water.  We dropped emergency rations and equipment.

Q: Did you drop the equipment to the first group or another group?
A: We dropped them to the men who seem to be swimming free of any rafts.

Q: Were the first 30 you spotted on a raft?
A: They were hanging on the side of a raft.

Q: What was your first impression when you saw these first survivors?
A: I don’t know – it was a funny feeling.  The oil slick was large, seems to indicate a large vessel having been sunk, but I didn’t know of any large craft being lost or going down, and didn’t know just what kind of vessel it was.

Q: Was there any doubt in your mind as their being our people?
A: No.

ENCLOSURE (T)

[end 5]

Q: What information was in the message that you sent back?
A: 30 survivors sighted – position – send assistance.

Q: What was the position?
A:  About 280 miles north.

Q: After 12:45 what happened?
A: After that we circled surfaced survivors until first assistance came, which was at 14:15.  First plane to the scene was a Ventura piloted by Lt. Commander George C. Atteberry.

Q: Were there any PBY’s there at the same time at Commander Atteberry?
A: Lt. Marks arrived shortly afterwards in a PBY.

Q: Your job was to stay around the survivors until rescue came?
A: Yes, the idea was to have someone there at all times.

Q: Did they wave when you went over?
A: Yes, they hit the water with their hands, so that they could easily be seen clearly.  They were pretty well covered with oil and difficult to see otherwise.

Q: Did you go back to the scene at any other time?
A: I was scheduled to go back, but didn’t have the aircraft available. I went back on the 4th, but didn’t pick up any more survivors.

Q: The first word they had from you was at 12:05 is that right?
A: Transmission went on the air at 11:25 and another one at 12:45.  Both messages were “Rogered”.

                Commander Atteberry explained that it takes considerable time to decode and process these messages through the regular communications center, and therefore they had decoded the message themselves and had taken action immediately as they deemed necessary.

Q: What time did you get to the area?
A: At 12:15 and Gwinn left immediately.

[end 6]

Question and narrative of Lt. Marks:

Q: Were you in the stand-by place at the field?
A: The stand-by plane was already out on another strike – I happened to be around at the time is all.

Q: Were you on duty?
A: Yes, I was on duty.  As soon as Commander Atteberry got the message, he saved several minutes by by-passing the official word and saving time in getting out.  First word that we had was a PV circling a life raft.  I presumed that a plane had been ditched and I took off at 12:42.  Commander Atteberry took off about a minute after I did, but his plane was capable of greater speed and he arrived at the scene ahead of myself.  I was to go up and relieve the PV on station and keep the survivors in sight, and drop emergency equipment.

Q: What kind of plane did you have?
A: PBY – amphibious aircraft.

Q: You got there at what time?
A: After take off at 14:10, I received second message from the PV about the report of 150 survivors – I at first thought the message was garbled up, but thought it was a good idea to get to the scene as quickly as possible.  At 15:03 I began picking up signals from the PV: at 15:50 I made visual contact with Commander Atteberry and established voice communication with him via voice radio.  I sighted the survivors at once and the Commander advised me that there were a great number of survivors scattered around, and asked me not to drop any equipment until I was shown the whole area.  Otherwise, I might have dropped the lot to the first group, not realizing there were anymore.  So I followed him on a tour of the area and looked over the situation.

Q: How long did it take you to patrol this area?
A: About a half an hour.  Scattered small groups were everywhere, without any help except life jackets, and I thought that they needed assistance more than the ones on the rafts.  I knew that no ship would be on the scene until midnight, so after looking the area over, at 16:05 I commenced dropping survival equipment with the end in view of getting assistance to the small groups who had nothing but life jackets.

Q: Did you have any extra survival equipment?
A: Yes, I dropped all extra equipment and also dropped all of my planes equipment, except one life raft, necessary for emergency.

Q: Did you make up your mind to go down at that time?
A: I figured that the only way we could save the single groups would be to land near them if possible.

[end 7]

At 16:25 I send a message to the base advising of the number of survivors, asking for survival equipment, etc., about 16:30 I decided a landing would be necessary to gather in the single ones.  This decision was based partly on the number of single survivors and the fact that they were bothered by sharks.  We did observe bodies being eaten by sharks.

Q: At this time you did not know how long they had been in the water?
A: No. So accordingly, at 16:30 I notified Commander Atteberry that I was going to attempt and open sea landing.  I made all the necessary preparations for landing.

Q: Was this your open sea landing?
A: Yes – an area for landing was selected with the purpose of picking up the most survivors and Commander Atteberry was to fly above me to assist in this.  At 17:05 a power stall was made into the wind.  The wind was due North, swells about 12 feet high.  The plane landed in three bounces, the first bounce being about 15 feet high.

Commander Atteberry explained here how dangerous it is to make and open sea landing in this kind of plane.

Immediately after landing a survey of damage done to the plane exposed rivets pulled loose and some seams ripped open.  My plane captain and navigator effected emergency repairs, plugging rivet holes with pencils and stuffing seams with cotton.  The radio compartment took on water slowly and would have to be bailed out during the night – 10 to 12 buckets of water per hour.  The hull of the ship survived very well.  While the Navigator was inspecting the damage, my Co-Pilot went aft to organize the rescue party.  We proceeded to locate survivors, the single ones, being aided by Commander Atteberry advising me via voice radio just where to go.  It was very difficult to see good because of the high swells and without a doubt we would have missed many if it hadn’t been for Commander Atteberry directing our actions.  We tried to bring the survivors close to the port side and throw a life raft to them.  Considerable difficulty was had because of the speed of the plane taxiing and the survivors were dragged through the water.  We had to cut the planes motors quite a few times and considerable time was lost in starting and stopping.  We got better at picking the people up as time went by.  We had the ladder out and I had a man on the ladder to grab any men who drifted by.  The survivors could not help themselves very much, as most of them were weakened terribly and could not grab the ladder and climb up by themselves.  Further difficulties were caused by the fact that some of the men were burned and every time we grabbed them it causes extreme pain.  Some of them had broken arms, legts, etc., and extreme care had to be used in handling them.  Every effort was made to pick up the single ones, and it was necessary to avoid passing near the ones on life rafts because they would jump on the plane.  Between the time of our landing and darkness, we picked up over 30 single survivors, most of them were in critical condition and would probably not have survived the night.  Men brought aboard were issued water and given limited first aid treatment by our first aid group.  Just before total darkness we headed for group of men on life rafts which had been dropped to them.  We were told later by the Doctor from the

[end 8]

Indianapolis that it was very fortunate that we had headed for this particular group of survivors, as they were the ones were in the worst shape, and had been put on life rafts by the Doctor because of their serious condition.  We brought the plane alongside of the rafts and took the men aboard.  They were put on the wing and issued water and covered by parachutes.  There were about 25 men on the wing.  During the process of bringing the men up on the wind, the fabric was broken in many places.  After dark, several shouts for help were heard nearby and my radioman and another crew man volunteered to go out in a rubber boat to pick them up.  I wished them good luck and they cast off.  It wasn’t long until they were back with two additional men.  It was very difficult for them to locate the plane after they had shoved off because of the fact that the auxiliary unit had gone out and we had no lights on the plane.  We did have some carbide lights that worked to a good advantage.  About 23:15 we sighted the search light of the Destroyer Escort Doyle.  There was a plane circling us at the same time dropping parachute flares near us so that Doyle could locate us.  We tossed the carbide lights out to help location.  The ship came up to use immediately upon arriving on the scene, which was about 0015.  They dispatched a motor whale boat with a Doctor and first aid party and commenced transferring survivors.  From 0045 to 0330 this transfer in progress.  Due to the heavy swells, the process was difficult.  A number of cases were stretched cases and most of them were only able to stand with assistance.  The men from the Doyle displayed high skill and seamanship in the entire job.  We counted 56 survivors in all who were transferred to the Doyle.  In order to execute the transfer of the survivors, it was necessary for the Doyle’s boat to lay next to the plane, and the boat did considerable damage to the place.  I inspected the plane and decided that a take off was extremely hazardous and was not justified.  I requested that all salvageable gear to be removed and ordered that the aircraft be destroyed.  At 0600 the crew and myself were picked up at 0800 the plane was destroyed by 40mm gun fire from the Doyle.

Q: Who was it that first identified and advised the base that the survivors were from the Indianapolis.
A: I think the Doyle sent the first message.  I was too busy to code a message of this nature.

Q: This word did not get back here until Friday morning then?
A: That is right.

Q: Did you get much time to talk to the men?
A: Yes, we talked to a large number of them.

Q: What was their first reaction?
A: Their first one was to ask for water.  Every man in the water would be yelling for water as we went past them.  The details of the ship’s sinking were varied, because the men were off their head and gave various stories

[end 9]

such as: An LCI had picked up 30 men on the day after the sinking and had left the rest of them: A PBY had landed and picked up several men, and then took off without offering any assistance at all to the rest of the survivors.  Such stories as these were listened to all night long.

Q: Were there any deaths on your plane?
A: No, all of the survivors on my plane survived.  I think two of them died since, but at the time we put into port with the DE they were all living. 

Q: Were you pretty crowded on the DE coming back?
A: The crew had to give up their quarter, but they were pretty well organized.  It was very fortunate that the Doyle carried a Doctor – most DE’s do not, but he surely saved a lot of lives by being aboard.

Q: The Doyle had other survivors besides yours didn’t she?
A: Yes, she picked up 30 more – I don’t know the exact number.

Q: Did you see many dead in the water as you patrolled around?
A: We saw some dead in life jackets – most of them that died had slipped their life jackets and sunk.  We were only looking for live ones of course.

Q: Was this when you saw the sharks?
A: Yes, we saw them when we first arrived.

[end 10]

 

 

UNITED STATES PACIFIC FLEET
COMMANDER MARIANAS

Serial: 002659                                                                                                                    

31 AUG 1945

SECRET

FIRST ENDORSEMENT on:
ComWesCarSubArea file
F1/L11-1 Secret Serial
P-00701 dated
15 August 1945

From: Commander Marianas
To: Commander in Chief, United States Fleet
Via: Commander in Chief, U. S. Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean Areas, Advanced Headquarters

Subject: Rescue and Search for Survivors of USS Indianapolis (CA-35) and Recovery, Identification                            and Burial of Bodies.

                1. Forwarded.

 

A. N. McGegch
By direction

Copy to:

 ComWesCarSubArea

 

[end 11]

 

A4-3/VV

Serial: 006601                                                                                                                                                    

8 SEP 1945

SECRET                                                                

Second Endorsement to:                                                                             

ComWesCarSubArea file                                                                             

F1/L11-1 Secret File                                                                        

P-00701 dated                                                                  

15 August 1045 

From: Commander in Chief, U. S. Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean Areas.
To: Commander in Chief, United States Fleet.

Subject: Rescue and Search for Survivors of U.S.S. Indianapolis (CA-35) and Recovery, Identification and Burial of Bodies.

1. Forwarded.

C. H. McMorris
Chief of Staff

Copy to:
ComMarianas
ComWesCarSubArea     

[end 12 and Document 12: Identification of Bodies]

[end Rescue Operations]                            

 

Published:Thu Apr 20 08:32:52 EDT 2017