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Memo - Changes

1. The Division of Naval History (Op-29) currently is collecting and verifying data on the World War II service of various U.S. Naval vessels, incident to the preparation of "A Dictionary of American Fighting Ships".

2. The Navy and Marine Corps Awards Manual (NAVPERS 15,790 - revised 1953) is being used extensively as a reference source. However, because of several discrepancies noted in the subject manual, the battle stars awarded for the Battle of Leyte Gulf and the Invasion of Lingayen Gulf have been checked against action reports submitted by Commander, Task Force 38, Commander, Task Force 77, and Commander, SEVENTH Fleet. On the basis of these reports, 414 apparent errors or omissions have been found in the awards for these actions.

3. In view of the large number of errors found, it is recommended that the subject manual be thoroughly checked against action reports. This manual should be an accurate historical record, but at the present time it is unreliable for checking the awards earned by many ships during the World War II period. In order to assist in improving the accuracy of the manual, the Naval History Division will continue to note and report such errors as may be discovered during the examination of war diaries and action reports. Appropriate recommendations will be made where discrepancies are found, or where actions worthy of commendation have been overlooked.

4. The following specific recommendations are submitted at this time for the Battle of Leyte Gulf. A brief account of the battle is forwarded as enclosure (1) in order to orient the various recommendations.

--1--

(a) An additional star under the Leyte operations should be authorized for the Battle of San Bernardino Strait, to cover the carrier air actions there on 24 and 26 October 1944. Ships participating in this action are now listed under the award for the Battle of Surigao Strait. Inasmuch as Surigao Strait is several hundred miles to the south, and was a surface action, it is recommended that it should not include those ships participating in the Battle of San Bernardino Strait. Those recommended for this new award are forwarded as enclosure (2). This list includes several ships of Task Force 38 and Task Group 77.4 who were overlooked in the initial awards.

(b) It is further recommended that the list for the Battle of Surigao Strait should be revised to include all ships actually present, and also those carriers of Task Force 38 and Task Group 77.4 who launched strike groups against the Japanese forces during their approach and retirement from Surigao Strait. This list excludes those ships of Task Force 38 now holding the award who were not present during the battle, or who did not launch strike groups against the Japanese from other areas. This list is forwarded as enclosure (3).

(c) Although an engagement star is presently authorized for the Battle off Samar, it has never been credited to any ship actually participating in the battle. It is recommended that the participating ships of Task Groups 77.4 and 38.1, listed in enclosure (4) be authorized for this star.

(d) It is recommended that all those ships participating in the Battle of Cape Engano be credited with the star already established for that purpose. The USS Mobile (CL 63) is the only ship participating who has been awarded this star. This list is forwarded as enclosure (5).

(e) Several ships attached to the invasion forces have not been credited with the established star for the Leyte landings. It is recommended that the ships listed in enclosure (6) receive this credit.

(f) The USS St. Lo (CVE 63) is credited with participating in the Okinawa strikes in support of the Leyte landings, when in reality, she was in Manus at the time. It is recommended that credit for this strike for the USS St. Lo be withdrawn.

(g) The battle stars which should be credited to the USS Belleau Wood (CVL 24) and the USS San Jacinto (CVL 30) for operations during 1945 have erroneously been credited only to their air groups. The war diaries for the two ships have been checked, and reveal that both ships were present throughout the raids on Japan and the Iwo Jima and Okinawa campaigns, and are therefore entitled to these stars.

--2--

THE BATTLES OF LEYTE GULF

The Japanese had for some time been expected to counter any American landing in the Philippines with the full strength of the Imperial Japanese Navy. Thus, when American troops went ashore on Leyte on 20 October 1944, submarines and aircraft were stationed so as to give advance warning of any Japanese thrust.

Knowing that the capture of Leyte would lay open their supply lines from the East Indies to Japan to constant air attack, the Japanese set into action their "SHO" operation. As carried out, this plan called for an attack on our invasion forces at Leyte Gulf by three powerful forces.

One group, under the command of Vice Admiral Kurita, was to break through San Bernardino Strait, north of Samar, and penetrate Leyte Gulf from the East. A second group, coming through Surigao Strait, would block off escape to the South. A third group, composed of most of the remaining carriers, was to draw to the North the covering force for the Leyte invasion, Task Force 38.

Vice Admiral Kurita's force was heavily attacked on 24 October 1944 by planes from Task Groups 38.2, 38.3, and 38.4. The giant battleship Musashi was sunk, and the cruiser Myoko was so badly damaged that she had to be sent back to port. Kurita reversed course, and appeared to be breaking off the action, but soon afterwards turned again and headed for San Bernardino Strait. Believed that he had been too badly damaged to bemuch of a threat, Commander, Task Force 38, decided to leave Kurita to the SEVENTH Fleet and to attack the Japanese carrier force, which had been sighted coming down from Japan, as the greater threat.

During the attacks on Admiral Kurita's force, the Japanese had countered by launching a vicious air attack against Task Group 38.3. Before th is attack, the Americans had shot down 40 planes. About 110 planes were shot down around Task Group 38.3 during the assault, but the light carrier Princeton took a bomb hit, and later sank. In attempts to save here, however, the cruiser Birmingham and the destroyers Morrison and Irwin were severely damaged and had to be sent to Ulilthi in company with the Gatling.

That evening Task Groups 38.2, 38.3 and 38.4 raced north to engage the enemy carriers in the Battle of Cape Engano. In this battle the Japanese lost one heavy carrier, three light carriers, and two destroyers.

  --1-- Enclosure (1)

The Southern force, composed of a leading element under Vice Admiral Nishimura and what was supposed to be a supporting element under Vice Admiral Shima, ran squarely into the SEVENTH Fleet at Surigao Strait. Vice Admiral Nishimura lost two battleships and three destroyers in a surface action during the early morning darkness of 25 October. Vice Admiral Shima, following him in, had one light cruiser damaged by a torpedo from a PT boat, and a heavy cruiser damaged by collision with the remaining heavy cruiser from Vice Admiral Nishimura's forces. Later that morning, Army planes and planes from the escort carriers of Task Group 77.4 sank both ships.

But in the meantime, Kurita's still-powerful force had transited San Bernardino Strait and taken the escort carriers stationed off Samar by surprise. A desperate engagement followed, during which the U.S. forces lost an escort carrier, two destroyers and one destroyer escort. The Japanese losses were three cruisers sunk and another heavily damaged.

When information on this attack reached Task Group 38.1, which had been fueling, strikes were launched against Kurita's force. These heavy attacks, together with the feeling that he was running into a trap, led Admiral Kurita to break off the action and head back through San Bernardino Strait.

A surface force had been detached from Task Force 38 during the Battle of Cape Engano to also go to the aid of the escort carriers, and arrived in time to sink another destroyer trying to escape through San Bernardino. In follow-up strikes on the 26th, Task Groups 38.1 and 38.2 sank one light cruiser. On the 27tgh the caught one of the destroyers from Vice Admiral Shima's force and sank it. Planes from Task Group 77.4 caught a convoy off Ormoc on the 26th, sinking a light cruiser, a destroyer and two transports.

The battle spelled the end of the Japanese Fleet, and assured continued Allied success in the Philippines.

  --2-- Enclosure (1)

Ships participating in the battle for San Bernardino Strait on 24 October 1944:

Task Group 38.2

USS Biloxi (CL 80)
USS Cabot (CVL 28)
USS Colahan (DD 658)
USS Cushing (dd 797)
USS Halsey Powell (DD 686)
USS Hickox (DD 673)
USS Hunt (DD 674)
USS Independence (CVL 22)
USS Intrepid (CV 11)
USS Iowa (BB 61)
USS Lewis Hancock (DD 675)
USS Marshall (DD 676)
USS Miami (CL 89)
USS Miller (DD 535)
USS New Jersey (BB 62)
USS Owen (DD 536)
USS Stockham (DD 683)
USS The Sullivans (DD 537)
USS Tingey (DD 539)
USS Uhlmann (DD 687)
USS Vincennes (CL 64)
USS Wedderburn (DD 684)
USS Yarnall (DD 541)
USS Twining (DD 540)

Task Group 38.3

USS Callaghan (DD 792)
USS Caperton (DD 650)
USS Cassin Young (DD 793)
USS Clarence K. Bronson (DD 668)
USS Cogswell (DD 651)
USS Cotton (DD 669)
USS Dortch (DD 670)
USS Essex (CV 9)
USS Healy (DD 672)
USS Ingersoll (DD 652)
USS Knapp (DD 653)
USS Langley (CVL 27)
USS Laws (DD 558)
USS Lexington (CV 16)
USS Longshaw (DD 559)
USS Massachusetts (BB 59)
USS Mobile (CL 63)
USS Porterfield (DD 682)
USS Reno (CL 96)
USS Santa Fe (CL 60)
USS South Dakota (BB 57)

Task Group 38.4

USS Alabama (BB 60)
USS Bagley (DD 386)
USS Belleau Wood (CVL 24)
USS Enterprise (CV 6)
USS Franklin (CV 13)
USS Gridley (DD 380)
USS Helm (DD 388)
USS Maury (DD 401)
USS McCall (DD 400)
USS Mugford (DD 389)
USS New Orleans (CA 32)
USS Nicholson (DD 442)
USS Patterson (DD 392)
USS Ralph Talbot (DD 390)
USS San Jacinto (CVL 30)
USS Swanson (DD 443)
USS Washington (BB 56)
USS Wichita (CA 45)
USS Wilkes (DD 441)

  --1-- Enclosure (2)

Ships participating in the battle for San Bernardino Strait on 26 October 1944:

Task Group 38.1

USS Cowpens (CVL 25)
USS Hancock (CV 19)
USS Hornet (CV 12)
USS Wasp (CV 18)

Task Group 38.2

USS Cabot (CVL 28)
USS Independence (CVL 22)
USS Intrepid (CV 11)

Task Group 34.5
(Sank the Japanese destroyer Nowaki)

USS Biloxi (CL 80)
USS Miami (CL 89)
USS Miller (DD 535)
USS Owen (DD 536)
USS Vincennes (CL 64)

  --2-- Enclosure (2)

Ships participating in the Battle of Surigao Strait on 25 October 1944 who did not receive the battle star:

    USS Albert W. Grant (DD 649)
    USS Aulick (DD 569)
    USS Bache (DD 470)
    USS Beale (DD 471)
    USS Bennion (DD 662)
    USS Boise (CL 47)
    USS Bryant (DD 665)
    USS Claxton (DD 571)
    USS Columbia (CL 56)
    USS Cony (DD 508)
    USS Daly (DD 519)
    USS Heywood L. Edwards (DD 663)
    USS Hutchins (DD 476)
    USS Killen (DD 593)
    USS Leutze (DD 481)
    USS Louisville (CA 28)
    USS Manila Bay (CVE 61)
    USS Maryland (BB 46)
    USS McGowan (DD 678)
    USS Melvin (DD 680)
    USS Minneapolis (CA 36)
    USS Mississippi (BB 41)
    USS Monssen (DD 798)
    USS Newcomb (DD 586)
    USS Ommaney Bay (CVE 79)
    USS Pennsylvania (BB 38)
    USS Phoenix (CL 46)
    USS Remey (DD 688)
    USS Richard P. Leary (DD 664)
    USS Robinson (DD 562)
    USS Sangamon (CVE 26)
    USS Sigourney (DD 643)
    USS Suwanee (CVE 27)
    USS Tennessee (BB 43)
    USS Thorn (DD 647)
    USS Welles (DD 628)
    USS West Virginia (BB 48)

Ships not present and erroneously credited with a battle star for the Battle of Surigao Strait:

    USS Alabama (BB 60)
    USS Bagley (DD 386)
    USS Bell (DD 587)
    USS Belleau Wood (CVL 24)
    USS Biloxi (CL 80)
    USS Boston (CA 69)
    USS Boyd (DD 544)

  --1-- Enclosure (3)

    USS Brown (DD 546)
    USS Burns (DD 588)
    USS Cabot (CVL 28)
    USS Callaghan (DD 792)
    USS Caperton (DD 650)
    USS Cassin Young (DD 793)
    USS Charette (DD 581)
    USS Clarence K. Bronson (DD 668)
    USS Cogswell (DD 651)
    USS Colahan (DD 658)
    USS Conner (DD 582)
    USS Cotton (DD 669)
    USS Cowpens (CVL 25)
    USS Cushing (DD 797)
    USS Dortch (DD 670)
    USS Essex (CV 9)
    USS Gridley (DD 380)
    USS Halsey Powell (DD 686)
    USS Healy (DD 672)
    USS Helm (DD 388)
    USS Hickox (DD 673)
    USS Hornet (CV 12)
    USS Hunt (DD 674)
    USS Independence (CVL 22)
    USS Ingersoll (DD 652)
    USS Intrepid (CV 11)
    USS Iowa (BB 61)
    USS Izard (DD 589)
    USS Knapp (DD 653)
    USS Langley (CVL 27)
    USS Laws (DD 558)
    USS Lewis Hancock (DD 675)
    USS Lexington (CV 16)
    USS Longshaw (DD 559)
    USS Marshall (DD 676)
    USS Massachusetts (BB 59)
    USS Maury (DD 401)
    USS McCall (DD 400)
    USS Miami (CL 89)
    USS Miller (DD 535)
    USS Mobile (CL 63)
    USS Monterey (CVL 26)
    USS Mugford (DD 389)
    USS New Jersey (BB 62)
    USS New Orleans (CA 32)
    USS Nicholson (DD 442)
    USS Oakland (CL 95)
    USS Owen (DD 536)
    USS Patterson (DE 392)
    USS Porterfield (DD 682)
    USS Preston (DD 795)
    USS Princeton (CVL 23)
    USS Ralph Talbot (DD 390)
    USS Reno (CL 96)
    USS San Diego (CL 53)
    USS San Jacinto (CVL 30)
    USS Santa Fe (CL 60)
    USS South Dakota (BB 57)
    USS Stockham (DD 683)
    USS Swanson (DD 443)
    USS The Sullivans (DD 537)
    USS Tingey (DD 539)
    USS Twining (DD 540)
    USS Uhlman (DD 687)
    USS Vincennes (CL 64)
    USS Washington (BB 56)
    USS Wasp (CV 18)
    USS Wedderburn (DD 684)
    USS Wichita (CA 45)
    USS Wilkes (DD 441)
    USS Yarnall (DD 541)

  --2-- Enclosure (3)

Ships participating in the Battle of Samar on 25 October 1944 who did not receive the battle star.

Task Unit 77.4.1

USS Coolbaugh (DE 217)
USS Eversole (DE 404)
USS Hazelwood (DD 531)
USS McCord (DD 534)
USS Petrof Bay (CVE 80)
USS Richard S. Bull (DE 402)
USS Richard M. Rowell (DE 403)
USS Sangamon (CVE 26)
USS Santee (CVE 29)
USS Suwannee (CVE 27)
USS Trathen (DD 530)

Task Unit 77.4.2

USS Abercrombie (DE 343)
USS Franks (DD 554)
USS Haggard (DD 555)
USS Hailey (DD 556)
USS Kadashan Bay (CVE 76)
USS Leray Wilson (DD 414)
USS Manila Bay (CVE 61)
USS Marcus Island (CVE 77)
USS Natoma Bay (CVE 62)
USS Ommaney Bay (CVE 79)
USS Richard W. Suesens (DE 342)
USS Savo Island (CVE 78)
USS Walter C. Mann (DE 412)

Task Unit 77.4.3

USS Dennis (DE 405)
USS Fanshaw Bay (CVE 70)
USS Gambier Bay (CVE 73)
USS Heermann (DD 532)
USS Hoel (DD 533)
USS John C. Butler (DE 339)
USS Johnston (DD 821)
USS Kalinin Bay (CVE 68)
USS Kitkun Bay (CVE 71)
USS Raymond (DE 341)
USS St. Lo (CVE 63)
USS Samuel B. Roberts (DE 413)
USS White Plains (CVE 66)

Task Group 38.1

USS Hancock (CV 19)
USS Horrnet (CV 12)
USS Wasp (CV 18)

  --1-- Enclosure (4)

Ships present during the Battle of Cape Engano on 25 October 1944 who did not receive the battle star:

Task Group 38.2

USS Biloxi (CL 80)
USS Cabot (CVL 28)
USS Colahan (DD 658)
USS Cushing (DD 797)
USS Halsey Powell (DD 686)
USS Hickox (DD 673)
USS Hunt (DD 674)
USS Independence (CVL 22)
USS Intrepid (CV 11)
USS Iowa (BB 61)
USS Lewis Hancock (DD 675)
USS Miami (CL 81)
USS Miller (DD 535)
USS Marshall (DD 676)
USS New Jersey (BB 62)
USS Owen (DD 536)
USS Stockham (DD 683)
USS The Sullivans (DD 537)
USS Tingey (DD 539)
USS Uhlman (DD 687)
USS Vincennes (CL 64)
USS Wedderburn (DD 684)
USS Yarnall (DD 541)

Task Group 38.3

USS Callaghan (DD 792)
USS Caperton (DD 650)
USS Cassin Young (DD 793)
USS Clarence K. Bronson (DD 668)
USS Cogswell (DD 651)
USS Cotton (DD 669)
USS Dortch (DD 670)
USS Essex (CV 9)
USS Healy (DD 672)
USS Knapp (DD 653)
USS Langley (CVL 27)
USS Laws (DD 558)
USS Ingersoll (DD 652)
USS Lexington (CV 16)
USS Longshaw (DD 559)
USS Massachusetts (BB 59)
USS Porterfield (DD 682)
USS Preston (DD 795)
USS Reno (CL 96)
USS Santa Fe (CL 60)
USS South Dakota (BB 57)

Task Group 38.4

USS Alabama (BB 60)
USS Bagley (DD 386)
USS Belleau Wood (CVL 24)
USS Caperton (DD 650)
USS Cogswell (DD 651)
USS Enterprise (CV 6)
USS Franklin (CV 13)
USS Gridley (DD 380)
USS Helm (DD 388)
USS Maury (DD 401)
USS McCall (DD 400)
USS Mugford (DD 389)
USS New Orleans (CA 32)
USS Nicholson (DD 442)
USS Patterson (DE 392)
USS Ralph Talbot (DD 390)
USS San Jacinto (CVL 30)
USS Swanson (DD 443)
USS Washington (BB 56)
USS Wichita (CA 45)
USS Wilkes (DD 441)

  --1-- Enclosure (5)

Additional ships present in direct support of the Leyte landings who did not receive the battle star:

USS Beale (DD 471)
USS Case (DD 370)
USS Cassin (DD 372)
USS Chester (CA 27)
USS Cowell (DD 547)
USS Cummings (DD 365)
USS Downes (DD 375)
USS Dunlap (DD 384)
USS Edwards (DD 619)
USS Fanning (DD 385)
USS Hancock (CV 19)
USS Hoel (DD 533)
USS Kadashan Bay (CVE 76)
USS Ommaney Bay (CVE 79)
USS Pensacola (CA 24)
USS Petrof Bay (CVE 80)
USS Saint Lo (CVE 63)
USS Salt Lake City (CA 25)
  --1-- Enclosure (6)

Ships and UDT units reported by Commander, SEVENTH Fleet, as having participated in the invasion of Lingayen Gulf, 4-18 January 1945, who did not receive battle stars:

USS Adair (APA 91)
USS Algol (AKA 54)
USS Appling (APA 58)
USS Audrain (APA 59)
USS Banner (APA 60)
USS Belle Grove (LSD 2)
USS Cape Johnson (AP 172)
USS Cofer (APD 62)
USS Comet (AP 166)
USS Crosby (APD 17)
USS Dashiell (DD 651)
USS Diphda (AKA 59)
USS Dupage (APA 41)
USS Egeria (ARL 8)
USS Electra (AK 44)
USS Epping Forest (LSD 4)
USS Feland (APA 11)
USS Fuller (APA 7)
USS Gansevoort (DD 608)
USS Gilligan (DE 508)
USS Golden City (AP 169)
USS Goldsborough (DD 188)
USS Grapple (ARS 7)
USS Gunston Hall (LSD 5)
USS Haskell (APA 117)
USS Herbert (APD 22)
USS Hercules (AK 41)
USS Heywood (APD 6)
USS Hidatsa (ATF 102)
USS John Land (AP 167)
USS Jupiter (AVS 8)
USS Kephart (APD 61)
USS Kilty (DD 137)
USS Lamar (APA 47)
USS Lang (DD 399)
USS Laporte (APA 151)
USS Leon (APA 48)
USS Leedstown (AP 73)
USS Lloyd (APD 63)
USS Manley (DD 74)
USS McDermut (DD 677)
USS McGowan (DD 678)
USS McNair (DD 679)
USS Melvin (DD 680)
USS Mercury (AKS 20)
USS Mertz (DD 691)
USS Monssen (DD 798)
USS Newman (APD 59)
USS Norman Scott (DD 690)
USS Oconto (APA 187)
USS Olmstead (APA 188)
USS Oxford (APA 189)
USS Panda (IX 125)
USS Pierce (APA 50)
USS President Adams (APA 19)
USS President Jackson (APA 18)
USS President Monroe (AP 104)
USS Rixey (APH 3)
USS Robin (ATO 140)
USS Schley (DD 103)
USS Shadwell (LSD 15)
USS Stanly (DD 478)
USS Stevens (DD 479)
USS Storm King (AP 171)
USS Sumter (APA 52)
USS Talbot (DD 114)
USS Thuban (AKA 19)
UDT 5, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15
USS Uvalde (AKA 88)
USS Warren (APA 53)
USS Wasatch (AGC 9)
USS White Marsh (LSD 8)
USS Winged Arrow (AP 170)
USS Zeilin (APA 3)

LCI's 357, 358, 360, 433, 443, 518, 519, 612, 613, 618, 688, 790, 982, 985, 986, 987, 1022

LCI(G) 70
LCI(L) 333
LCI(M) 755
LCI(R) 340

LSM's 41, 63, 64, 66, 67, 68, 127, 137, 219, 223, 268, 269

LST's 118, 122, 126, 213, 220, 242, 269, 270, 277, 475, 478, 483, 552, 555, 558, 564, 565, 573, 581, 582, 609, 612, 615

  --1-- Enclosure (7)
LST's 619, 628, 660, 663, 669, 670, 672, 679, 693, 704, 709, 733, 736, 745, 777, 918, 990, 999, 1006, 1024, 1025, 1026

PC 462, 464, 563, 623, 1119, 1122, 1129, 598

SC 521, 667, 995, 1052, 1273, 1319, 1320, 1327

YMS 46, 48

  --2-- Enclosure (7)

Mindoro Service Group #1:
(Credited with stars)

USS Pecos (AO 65)
USS Salamonjie (AO 26)
USS Schuylkill (AO 76)
USS Suamico (AO 49)
USS Winooski (AO 38)

Mindoro Service Group #2:
(Not given battle stars)

USS Chepachet (AO 78)
USS Cowanesque (AO 79)
USS Eichenberger (DE 202)
USS Indus (AKN 1)
USS James E. Craig (DE 201)
USS Kishwaukee (AOG 9)
USS Lovelace (DE 198)
USS Manning (DE 199)
USS Neuendorf (DE 200)
USS Tallulah (AO 50)
USS Thomason (DE 203)

  --1-- Enclosure (8)

[END]

Published: Thu Sep 03 13:57:36 EDT 2015