Yakitori Story

Yakitori story

By Brion Boyles

When I first returned to Sasebo, Japan on reenlistment leave in the early 1980’s and proposed to my girl Hitomi, she and Okasan (her mother and mamasan of the “BLUE MOON BAR AND GRILL”) spared no expense in catering to my desire to learn all things Japanese. This effort, naturally, centered on food—the shortest way to a man’s heart and all that. Mamasan was constantly throwing another bowl of this or that my way, and my cavernous appetite never disappointed her. Hitomi took a little more mischievous approach…she was always looking for something to throw me off….some strange food that a Gaijin (“foreigner”) would shrink from.

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One day she took me to a Yakitori grill in the entertainment section of town. A very traditional sort of place…a fancy, “faux ancient” affair; dark timbered, shoji doors, with kimono’d waitresses, live koto and shakuhachi music, pictures of the Emperor…obviously targeting the Samurai-loving sect. As this was to be as much an educational as gastronomic experience, I let Hitomi do all the ordering so I wouldn’t spend the evening in my traditional chicken/onion rut. She explained to the grill master that ol’ Gaijin here was meaning to expand his horizons, and quickly listed a cornucopia (or the Japanese equivalent thereof) of ancient and traditional yakitori treats.

I fancy myself a man of worldly tastes, with a sailor’s penchant for adventure; a combination that has rarely let me down. This time was no exception—a veritable feast of grilled tasties that would have brought a groan from the lips of Emperor Meiji himself. After an hour or so, Hitomi said there was one more for me to try. She got the grill master’s attention and said, “O-Suzume onegaishimasu!” (“Please make Suzume!”). The grill master’s eyebrows raised a little higher in quizzical disbelief…”HONTO?!?!” (“REALLY?!?”), to which she nodded firmly in the affirmative. A few minutes passed by, during which I mused at what the exquisite thing might be that she had saved for last…until the master placed before us another small plate with what looked like two small sparrows that had suffered the misfortune of having wooden spears shoved up their asses before being smashed flat with a croquet mallet, dipped in tar and scorched with a blowtorch. Little talons splayed wide, little yellow beaks smushed asunder in a gruesome Death-grin, little blackened clumps of feathers poking out like iron filings on a rusty magnet…

I made a pleasantly surprised face, trying to keep my cool…noticing the grillmaster eyeballing me from the corners of his eyes while he continued at his grill, Hitomi’s broad grin….I picked up one of the sticks of avian char-broiled corpse and brought it to my mouth. Just as I had made up my mind to bite off the head and moved to do so, Hitomi let out her girlish, Japanese laugh and said, “No….it’s OK. You no hafta eat. I buy for dog at home.”

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With a skillfully concealed sigh of relief, I returned the Suzume to the plate and she had it bagged for the trip back to the BLUE MOON and “Kojiro”, her Yorkie pup.

Our engagement lasted over two years, during which time I was mostly absent on a supply ship (USS WHITE PLAINS), scurrying across the Indian Ocean to refortify this aircraft carrier battle group or that…and a well-off Lieutenant from a destroyer wooed my Hitomi away with an engagement ring the size of an ashtray. A member of a wealthy Texas oil-family, he found his Japanese “Suzy Wong” and carted her off to Dallas, but I heard thru the grapevine that she was miserable… her Japanese roots buried deep in cowboy hats, Frederick Remington prints and bad leather furniture, and longed to come home to Sasebo.

To this day I wish I’d taken a bite.

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The Galloping Ghost

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I’M THE GALLOPING GHOST OF THE JAPANESE COAST

By Constantine Guiness, MOMM 1/C, USN

I’m the galloping ghost of the Japanese coast.
You don’t hear of me and my crew
But just ask any man off the coast of Japan.
If he knows of the Trigger Maru.

I look sleek and slender alongside my tender.
With others like me at my side,
But we’ll tell you a story of battle and glory,
As enemy waters we ride.

I’ve been stuck on a rock, felt the depth charge’s shock,
Been north to a place called Attu,
and I’ve sunk me two freighters atop the equator
Hot work, but the sea was cold blue.

I’ve cruised close inshore and carried the war
to the Empire Island Honshu,
While they wire Yokahama I could see Fujiyama,
So I stayed, to admire the view.

When we rigged to run silently, deeply I dived,
And…

View original post 154 more words

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Fleet Activities Yokosuka Honors USS Fitzgerald

Fleet Activities Yokosuka Honors USS Fitzgerald

By FLEACT, Yokosuka Public Affairs | June 27, 2017

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YOKOSUKA, Japan – The Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka community showed their respect to the family and crew of USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) during a memorial ceremony June 27 for the seven Sailors who died tragically June 17 when their ship collided with a merchant vessel southwest of Yokosuka.

More than 2,000 members of the Yokosuka community lined the streets waving flags and rendering salutes for the crew and their family members as they traveled the one-mile route in a “Line of Honor” between FLEACT Yokosuka’s Chapel of Hope and the Fleet Theater where the private memorial service was held.

“I wanted to show my support to military families in this time of need,” said Karen Sobba, joined the Line of Honor. Sobba, whose husband is on USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), said coming out was a way to show her encouragement to the families. “This hits close to home, it could happen to any one of us,” added Sobba.

Showing respect to the crew and families was a common theme along the line.

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“I wanted to show my support to the families who lost loved ones,” said Robert James, a civilian employee at Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Far East. James’ children accompanied him on the line as he said he wanted them to see the importance of honoring the Sailors and their sacrifice.

The seven USS Fitzgerald Sailors perished when the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer collided with the ACX Crystal in the early morning hours of June 17, causing extensive damage to the ship, flooding compartments where the Sailors slept.

The 650-seat Fleet Theater was filled to capacity for the somber ceremony honoring the seven Sailors:

Gunner’s Mate Seaman Dakota Kyle Rigsby, 19, from Palmyra, Virginia

Yeoman 3rd Class Shingo Alexander Douglass, 25, from San Diego, California

Sonar Technician 3rd Class Ngoc T Truong Huynh, 25, from Oakville, Connecticut

Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Noe Hernandez, 26, from Weslaco, Texas

Fire Controlman 2nd Class Carlos Victor Ganzon Sibayan, 23, from Chula Vista, California

Personnel Specialist 1st Class Xavier Alec Martin, 24, from Halethorpe, Maryland

Fire Controlman 1st Class Gary Leo Rehm Jr., 37, from Elyria, Ohio

Adm. Scott Swift, Commander U.S. Pacific Fleet was aboard USS Fitzgerald surveying the damage and commented on the ship’s crew and their actions to save their ship.

“It’s stunning, absolutely stunning, while we mourn the loss of the seven Sailors, that more were not lost, and it was the heroism of the entire crew that ensured that was the case,” said Swift.

“There was no understanding of what had happened at the moment of impact,” said Swift, reflecting on the actions of the crew following the collision. “But there was complete understanding of what needed to be done. We fight the ship to save ourselves. Every time we go to sea, the ship is our sanctuary and all Sailors have to come together as a crew and fight their ship, and that is exactly what Fitzgerald did.”

MC1 Peter Burghart and Dan Taylor both contributed to this story.

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“All the Girls”

“All the Girls”

By: Garland Davis

“To all the girls who cared for me,

Who filled my nights with ecstasy;

They live within my heart;

I’ll always be a part

Of all the girls I’ve loved before.” — Willie Nelson

 

It was a bitch, nearly fucking impossible to maintain a relationship with that girl back home. You know the one you went to high school with. She had never noticed you until you showed up on boot leave sporting dress blues, a Dixie cup hat, and a faraway look in your eyes. Suddenly she was all moon-eyed and in love. You were only home on a seventy-two, but you would write each other every day. It was true love.

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Why, you ask, was it impossible? Any Dick back home with the most menial of jobs was John D. Rockefeller compared to a seventy-two buck a month Seaman Second halfway across the Pacific Ocean. And ole Dick was THERE and you weren’t! By the time a guy made Third Class and had a few more bucks, that girl had already moved on to college and was keeping company with some Dick who could afford a car. The last thing that young college girl wanted was for some North American Bluejacket to show up at her dormitory with a bag of dirty laundry and plans to shuck her out of her panties.

While you were floating around In the South China Sea dreaming of hot romantic interludes during your next leave, ole Dick with Papa’s money, his hot car, and his apartment became her Prince Charming. He had all the time in the world to charm and conquer her. You at best had a seventy-two before you deployed and the back seat of your Mom’s old De Soto.

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At about this point, the ship made a port call in Subic Bay, a shipmate introduced you to the fascinating world of commercial romance. This was a whole new aspect of female companionship leaving you time to do other things. It was not the world of romance novels… Didn’t involve any ballet, poetry, hoity-toity music, or getting all dressed up. And you could visit as many times as you could afford during a seventy-two. It was a Far East wedding night with the meter running.

You couldn’t expect mail from these girls. Although I have gotten a request from Olongapo asking if I would send money to help with Mother’s surgery. It seems Mama needs a brain transplant. (I am sure another sailor helped write that one.) No mail but if you left your skivvies, they might be waiting for you, freshly laundered.

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As time passed, you dreamed less of the girls back home and more about the girls in the next port. Pull into port, and head for your old girlfriend’s bar only to have her tell you that you should have written. She has a steady boyfriend off the Cruiser that is in port. She is so sorry and loves you, and she has a cute cousin whom she would love to introduce to you.

After a thirty-year Navy life, twenty-four years afloat in eight WestPac ships and hundreds of port visits, you find it hard to remember names and faces, they just become “All the Girls, I’ve Loved Before.”

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Old Navy

Old Navy

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Come gather round me lads and I’ll tell you a thing or two,

About the way we ran the Navy in nineteen sixty-two.

When wooden ships and iron men were barely out of sight;

I am going to give you some facts just to set the record right.

 

We wore the ol’ bell bottoms, with a Dixie cup or flat hat on our head;

And we always hit the sack at night but we never “went to bed.”

Our uniforms were worn ashore, and we were mighty proud;

Never thought of wearing civvies, in fact, they were not allowed.

 

Now, when a ship puts out to sea, I’ll tell you son, it hurts;

When suddenly you notice that half the crew’s wearing skirts.

And it’s hard for me to imagine, a female Boatswain’s Mate;

Stopping on the Quarterdeck to make sure her stockings are straight.

 

What happened to the KiYi brush, and the old salt-water bath:

Holystoning decks at night, ’cause you stirred old Bosn’s wrath!

We always had our gedunk stand and lots of pogey bait;

And it always took a hitch or two, just to make a rate.

 

In your seabag, all your skivvies were neatly stopped and rolled;

The blankets on your sack had better have a three-inch fold.

Your little ditty bag, it is hard to believe, just how much it held;

You wouldn’t go ashore with pants that hadn’t been spiked and belled.

 

We had scullery maids and succotash and good old S.O.S.;

And when you felt like topping off, you headed for the mess.

Oh, we had our belly robbers, but there weren’t too many gripes;

For the deck apes were never hungry and there were no starving snipes.

 

Now, you never hear of Davey Jones, Shellbacks or Polliwogs;

And you never splice the mainbrace to receive your daily grog.

Now you never have to dog a watch or stand the main event;

You even tie your lines today; back in my time they were bent.

 

We were all two-fisted drinkers and no one thought you sinned;

If you staggered back aboard your ship, three sheets to the wind.

And with just a couple hours of sleep you regained your usual luster;

Bright eyed and bushy tailed, you still made morning muster.

 

Rocks and shoals have long since gone, and now it’s U.C.M.J.;

Back then, the old man handled everything if you should go astray.

Now they steer the ships with dials, and I wouldn’t be surprised;

If some day they sailed the damned things from the beach computerized.

 

So, when my earthly hitch is over, and the good Lord picks the best,

I’ll walk right up to Him and say, “Sir, I have but one request.”

Let me sail the seas of Heaven in a coat of Navy blue.

Like I did so long ago on earth, way back in sixty two.”

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The Way It Was

The Way It Was

By: Garland Davis

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This is one from the heart. Not that you probably give a shit or have any reason to, but this is the opinion of an ex-Asia Sailor who paid his dues out on the Pacific Rim riding the old worn out haze gray steel of the Seventh Fleet during a couple of wars.

One was a “cold” war keeping the commie Russians at bay and the other was a “hot” war to keep the commie Vietnamese in the north. It is the ‘two cents worth’ of an old stewburner who was once afforded membership in, what he considers, the finest organization ever assembled…The United States Navy.

I learned respect for a heritage and a tradition established by generations before me all the way back to the British Royal Navy. I came to realize that I am a part of that which is the history of the U.S. Navy.

When I enlisted in the Navy every incoming sailor was given two books. This is Your Navy, by Theodore Roscoe and a Blue Jackets Manual

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The former was published by the U.S. Naval Institute to provide each incoming prospective bluejacket a single volume history of the Navy. It was written in the style of a yarn, a salty language adventure. The latter was a rudimentary “how to” course in becoming a sailor.

These two books and mail from home were the only permitted reading while in boot camp. Being a prolific reader, I consumed and then re-read both books a number of times during the eleven weeks I was at RTC San Diego. Somewhere along the way, both were lost. I have a couple of Blue Jackets Manuals, but not the one I was issued. I don’t even know if This is Your Navy is still in print.

The history of the Navy is a legacy that we inherited and is ours to pass, unsullied to future sailors. That is an obligation, a sacred duty to ourselves, our Navy, and our country.

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The uniform, the one referred to as a “Crackerjack suit” by the uninformed and uninitiated is our badge. That uniform in earlier forms is easily recognized by sailors today as the one worn by Civil War sailors…And every succeeding generation of North American Bluejacket since.

The U.S. Navy uniform is unique. First, no other service has maintained the continuity of their dress uniform. The thirteen-button low-neck jumper blues predate anything worn by our sister services. The Navy uniform is a symbol, recognized and respected by every sailor in the world.

The Navy Dress Blue Uniform lends itself to individual expression. Many sailors took eccentric liberties in the way they decorated and wore their beloved “Dress Canvas.” Many in authority turned a blind eye to the liberties taken in the wearing of the uniform.

The white hat was an integral part of the uniform. I was early enough into the Navy to have been issued a flat and had the opportunity to wear it once during a port call at Vancouver in Canada. The white hat presented the sailor with a number of ways to display his individuality. It could be rolled. It could be worn with “wings.” You chose the way you preferred and just did it, because sailors had always done it.

The neckerchief was another way to show your individuality. Some sailors meticulously took a dime and painstakingly rolled their neckerchiefs until they looked like a yard’s worth of garden hose. Lazy fuckers, like myself, would take their neckerchief to some shop on the Honch or out in Wanchai and have it rolled into a “greasy snake.” Pressed flat, it looked great and was light enough to blow all over hell in a light wind. Some tied the knot in their neckerchief regulation style at the bottom of the ‘V’ of their jumper collar. I always liked a high knot a couple of inches above the ‘V’.

The thirteen button blue melton bell bottom trousers had a small pocket for a pocket watch. By the time I enlisted in 1961 it had become a Zippo pocket. You tucked your cigarettes in your sock and folded your wallet over the waistband of the trousers under your jumper. Every bar girl, hooker, and pick pocket knew the exact location. A real set of thirteen-button blues had no belt loops. Instead there were a series of eyelets right above the terminal point of your ass crack called ‘gussets’ and you had a shipmate lace them up and square knot them to your size. It was ‘Navy’… Old Navy… Back then, being ‘Old Navy’ was damned important.

The only thing that went into your jumper pocket was your liberty card and I.D. card. Anything else and it looked like shit. If you wore whites, reaching in your pocket for stuff would get it dirty. Hong Kong tailored blue jumpers were usually made with inside pockets for securing liberty funds. Hong Kong was the place to have the cuffs of your blues decorated. Called liberty cuffs, the inside if the cuffs were embroidered with colorful pictures so that when you rolled the cuffs back they were visible. I had dragons on my cuffs.

So you decked yourself out in dress canvas. You rolled across your quarterdeck… Requested permission to leave the ship… Popped a snappy salute to the colors aft and you were off to terrorize the female population. You were a member of the greatest Navy in history and you looked like an American bluejacket. Because that is what you were.

You were what every saltwater sailing son of a bitch longed to be. In the early 1960’s we all knew in our hearts that it would always be this way. It was the greatest uniform of all the services of all the countries. No one would ever be so fucking stupid as to let that uniform go. We knew that our sons and grandsons would someday wear that symbol or our Navy.

At the time it was called Indo-China, nobody knew where it was. No one gave a fuck, but it was to change our lives and our Navy. Nobody had ever heard of Elmo Zumwalt. In 1970, President Nixon nominated him, over much more senior Admirals, to become Chief of Naval Operations. He was the forward thinker who invented saltwater mediocrity and the political correctness bullshit. He issued Z-grams that relaxed grooming standards; permitted civilian clothing aboard ship and became the harbinger of myriad uniform changes to come.

Somewhere along the way, somebody decided thirteen button blues were outdated and for decades since have changed the uniforms to the point that a sailor now resembles a Marine. Seldom are dress uniforms seen. Now it is Aquaflage instead of dungarees and civilian clothes ashore instead of sharp sailors with pride in their Navy, their ship, and themselves.

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I don’t know what reading material is issued in boot camp these days, probably some bullshit about how to be politically correct, and not to make sexual advances to your male or female shipmates.

They trashed the dear and meaningful for a bunch of superficial, meaningless horseshit and called it progress… Shame on the bastards.

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The Ship is Life

The Ship is Life

By Dan Powers

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I am seeing a lot of posts about USS Fitzgerald. There is a whole story here that is being missed concerning the entire crew. So I am posting this so you folks who have never sailed the seas on an American warship get an idea of what it is like. We laugh and joke about the antics of sailors in seaports across the globe. It’s not fun and games when a ship is underway. One of the tightest bonds in the military is that of a ships crew. When you’re on a ship in the vast never ending ocean it’s just you, the rest of the crew and the ship. The ship is life.

Day to day everyone aboard that ship has a job. Be it preparing food to feed the crew, maintaining weapons systems or keeping the propulsion system running in good order. Its a 24/7 function.

As everyone goes through the days and nights performing the various jobs, they run drills. There is constant drilling for every scenario imaginable at sea. You drill for combat, be it offensive or the ships defense. You drill for fires. A fire on board a ship in the middle of the ocean is the worse possible scenario due to the extremely dangerous materials that ship is carrying. The ship is life. You drill for collisions at sea where the ship takes on water and you have to isolate the compartments or stop the water from flooding in. The ship is life.

During these drills, everyone has an assigned place or they are assigned to a damage control team. Every sailor on board a Navy warship is trained to save the ship, because the ship is life.

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In the case of the Fitzgerald, the majority of the crew was asleep when the collision occurred. Imagine being abruptly awoken from the impact. From drilling so much, you already know that the General Quarters alarm is coming so you are already getting your shit together and you are on your way to your station (I am talking a time frame of seconds). The damage control teams are gathering equipment. The situation is being assessed as the ship closes down all passageways and hatches to isolate damage or fires so it doesn’t spread because the ship is life. The hull has been breached and water is flooding in. A DC team is there trying to shore up the hole as they have been trained to do. The water won’t stop coming in. Those compartments have to be sealed before the water spreads to the rest of the ship because the ship is life.

Imagine finding out or knowing that some of your crewmates were sealed in those compartments and living with that knowledge the rest of your life. There is no fault on the part of the crew that performed as expected from constant drilling at sea. The ship is life. By saving the ship they saved the rest of the crew.

I hope this helps some of you understand how dangerous the sea is and how decisions have to be made in an instant.

My prayers are with the families of the lost crew and with the crew that saved the ship.

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Summer of Our Youth

Summer of Our Youth

By Garland Davis

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We fought against the North with

sweat dripping in Tonkin as we

rearmed five inch and stacked it just so

upon metal decks and magazine racks.

 

Those days and years have vanished like a dream

When stack gases blew over a sea

as flat and calm as the face of a mirror with a

heavy cruiser silhouetted against the sunrise.

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War Diary of Eugene Roland Denomme

War Diary of Eugene Roland Denomme

Seaman First Class, USNR

USS LST 1014

As transcribed by his son Peter J. Denomme

This is the war diary of Eugene Denomme, he served in the south pacific as a young man. After the war was over he returned to Rhode Island, to meet and marry Ms. Rita Lillian Plante. Together they raised eight children, Roland, Michael, Ann-Marie, Arlene, Peter, Alice, Annette and Paul. Our Dad passed away on December 25, 2000 at the age of 75. He is buried in St Joseph Cemetery, Exeter, RI. His legacy is not only the 8 children but also his 37 grandchildren and at this point of time his 23 great-grandchildren as well as the future generation of children that will be born for no other reason as he lived. When I read his diary the first time I had the sense that I was right there with him. I hope you have the same sensation as you read of his adventures and the adventures of the USS Lst-1014. As you read this, all the words in italics were either my own thoughts or additional information about the event. They are not his words.

Peter Denomme

War Diary of Eugene Roland Denomme

Seaman First Class, USNR

USS LST 1014

May 1944

May 5, 1944 – Commission in Quincy Mass.

May 8, 1944 – Left for Norfolk Va.

May 9, 1944 – Took our shakedown there and it lasted nine days

May 28, 1944 – We left for New York.

June 1944

June 9, 1944 – Left for Cuba

June 20, 1944 – Arrived in Cuba

June 22, 1944 – Left Cuba

June 26, 1944 – Arrived in Panama and went through the locks that day. That night we had Liberty there. It was in Panama City.

June 27, 1944 – We left Balboa and bound for San Pedro

July 1944

July 5, 1944 – We arrived in (San) Pedro and had liberty at 10:00pm.

June 10, 1944 – We left (San) Pedro and on our way to San Francisco.

June 12, 1944 – We arrived in (San Francisco) Frisco, we took on provision that night and had Liberty that night.

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June 13, 1944 – We are bound of overseas, our first stop is Pearl Harbor.

June 23, 1044 – Arrived in Honolulu and we took our troops off the ship and we moved from Pearl Harbor the following day.

July 24, 1944 – Moved from Aisle 3, to berth 1312, unloaded LCT’s 1030, 1055

August 1944

August 3, 1944 – Left Pearl Harbor, docket Kawai the following morning.

August 6, 1944 – Left Kawai for Pearl Harbor

August 7, Docked at Pearl Harbor.

August 8, left Pearl Harbor for the Solomon’s. (Island) (With all its provision and a new load aboard, LST 1044 left Hawaiian waters and sailed westward in convoy for Guadalcanal in the Solomon Island. They will encounter WW2 and its enemy’s head on.)

August 16, 1944 – Crossed the International Date Line (180th Meridian).

August 23, 1944 – Crossed the equator, King Neptune aboard. (The crew for the USS LST 1044 was welcomed into the realm of the Royal Shellback.)

Anchored off Florida Island. (My research shows what he called as Florida Island back then is Florida Island is in fact the one and same as Nogela Island, Hutchinson Creek in the Solomon Island. It was here that the Convoy of Ship let its crew and company prepare for their first invasion.)

September 1944

September 3, 1944 – Left Florida Island (Nogela) for our first Invasion.

September 15, 1944 – Arrived off Palau Island, I went onto the beach to look around, and got chased back to the beach. After the beach was secured. This morning I heard over the radio about it hours landing. (I am not sure what he was trying to say at the end of that sentence.) Saw the fleet and planes bombard the island. Boy that was something to see. Didn’t see any japs planes around. The name of the island was Palilive. (I don’t know why she spelled it that way but the Island they first invaded was Anguar Island in the Palau Group. (The convoy was met with little to No resistance in the first invasion. This gave the crew some false impressions of what they were about to face over the next few months.)

September 17, 1944 – Still within sight of Angura (Island) have not gone onto the beach yet.

September 21, 1944 – Landed on Angura, unloaded Marines of the seventy A.A. Rough Coral beach, Stranded unto 2200, Got off but will go in again tomorrow to finish unloading. (It must have been low tide as they had to wait for the tide to turn to back away from the beach.)

September 23, 1944 – finished unloading all Marines and anchored. Laying off shore all night, they tried to get our ship from shore, they shot eight shots at us. They all say that is was mortars but nobody knows.

September 26, 1944 – Left Palau got for Hollandia Bay, New Guinea. First invasion completed. No shots, shots fired from our ship yet.

September 30, 1944 – Dropped anchor off Hollendia.

October 1944

October 11, 1944 – Left Hollandia. Don’t know where to this time.

October 12, 1944 – Anchored and later Beached on Wakde Island. Preparing to load for the next invasion.

October 14, 1944 – Left Wakde headed for Hollandia again.

October 15, 1944 – Anchored off Hollandia

October 16, 1944 – Up anchored, joined convoy heading for the invasion of the Philippines.

October 22, 1944 – Arrived at Leyte Philippines. Beached on airstrip near Tacloban. Unloaded and backed off the beach. This is a D2. We saw no planes, Few Ack Ack as we left the bay tonight.

October 28, 1944 – Anchored in Humboldt Bay, Hollandia. (New Guinea)

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November 1944

November 9, 1944 – Up anchor for Finschhafen, (New Guinea) to load for next trip.

November 12, 1944 – Beached at Cape Cretis bay, Hollandia

November 14, 1944 – Left Cape Cretis, loaded for next trip.

November 17, 1944 – Anchored at Hollandia this morning. Left this evening for Leyte. (Golf)

November 24, 1944 – Arrived at Leyte. Beached unloaded, backed off and anchored. Saw several enemy planes. None in range of our guns.

December 1944

December 9, 1944 – Loaded part of our cargo for our next operation.

December 16, 1944 – Beached at Captain Hull to complete loading and retraced to anchor out in San Pedro Bay. (Leyte Gulf) (As the ship sat at anchor in the San Pedro Bay, Jap bombers flew over the gulf to bomb Tacloban airstrip. The LST 1014 joined in with the other ships in the tremendous barrage of fire thrown up onto the white cross of searchlight beams. The nights were tiring but the thrill of seeing a Jap bomber burst into a red ball of flame and fall comet like into the water more than compensated for their loss of sleep.

December 19, 1944 – Moved out to rendezvous. Left this morning for Mindoro. (In the Philippines). A night run they say but we will see.

December 21, 1944 – General Quarters. At noon a reconnaissance plane came through the convoy. All guns opened up, but that baby was moving at 1730 or 5:30pm. We got our first attack. Attack lasted six minutes, which was plenty long. Suicide planes missed us by inches. We shot at and hit 4 four planes in 43, that is the forty millimeter gun. Ships guns knocked down seven planes and we save the 556 (He must be talking about the LST 556.) from a crash dive.

We stayed behind convoy to pick up survivors from the LST 460 and the 560. (Note- the 560 did not sink that day it was the LST 460 and 749 that both sank on December 21, 1944. (11°10’N 121°11’E). One other ship the LST 472 sank that same day off Mindoro PI. Their destination.) It was one of the most sickening sights I have ever seen. Survivors with arms and legs badly burnt, some with them missing screaming for help and the water was full of them. We picked up 184 of them and gave them our racks. It didn’t make much difference because we stood at General Quarters all night Living on borrowed time. (Over the years I heard my Dad use the expression over and over again, never knowing what it meant until the day I read this diary.)

December 22, 1944 – Beached and unloaded in Mindoro. Left this afternoon for Leyte. Left our guns for the first time in 39 hours. Boy was I glad that was over with.

December 23, 1944 – Several General Quarters today, no attacks.

December 25, 1944 – Beached early today to load for another trip to Mindoro. Crew is really tired and also a little scared of the next trip. First Mail today since November 17 and it cheered us up.

December 26, 1944 – Loaded, pulled off the beach. The night’s sleep appreciated by all hands.

December 27, 1944 – Rendezvoused at sundown and left for Mindoro. I sure hope God is with us.

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December 28, 1945 – Ten hours out of Leyte we were attacked again. Saw the John Burke blew up sky high. Loaded with ammo. No survivors. (World War II: The Liberty ship SS John Burke was sunk in the Philippine Sea off Mindoro by a Japanese Kamikaze attack. The ship exploded and sank killing all 28 gunners and 40 crewmen)

December 30, 1944 – Beached at Mindoro this morning. Attacked began at dawn the 28th and we were under constant attack all the way up. I counted 23 planes shot down over the convoy. We were attacked by three planes in the beach this morning. No damage. Left for Leyte at sundown. Total number of attacked 112 WOW.

December 31, 1944 – No attack but plenty of scares. Crew is really tired. New Year’s Day Jan 1 arrived at Leyte late tonight. Maybe a few days’ rest. Nerves are about all shot.

January 1945

January 2, 1045 – No rest after all this is war. Beached to load for another trip. This better be an easy one.

January 3, 1945 – Loaded, Laying off Leyte.

January 4, 1945 – Underway from Leyte. Think we are decoys. No idea where we are going this is a big one though.

January 5, 1945 – Joined convoy on way to Luzon, (Subic Bay). We are going to Mindoro. No Attacks yet.

January 7, 1945 – Beached and unloaded at Mindoro. One nip crosses the stern this morning. No one fired, not even the nip. We’ll probably be here several days.

January 11, 1945 – Left Mindoro to join convoy for Leyte, can’t find the convoy. Hay!

January 12, 1945 – Convoy arrived late this evening. Sure looked good, on our way back to Leyte.

January 15, 1945 – Arrived in Leyte, a rest is in order. Goodness knows we need it.

January 23, 1945 – Beached to load but the orders are snafu. Back to anchorage. We don’t go this time.

February 1945

February 20, 1945 – “Lee/See/We” (not sure of this word) was transferred and a good deal for all.

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March 1945

March 2, 1945 – Beach and started loading for next trip, No Idea where.

(Ship is about to participate in the invasion of Okinawa on Easter Sunday)

March 5, 1945 – All loaded, waiting for high tide to get off the beach. No troops yet.

March 6, 1945 – Pulled off the beach, anchored in Bay.

March 12, 1945 – Beach and picked up troops. Anchored as before.

March 15, 1945 – Left anchorage for maneuvers. Anchored off Samar tonight.

March 19, 1945 – Maneuvers are over. Anchored off Catmans Hill, Leyte tonight.

March 25, 1945 – Left San Pedro Bay for our next trip.

March 27, 1945 – Rough seas. No action.

April 1945

April 1, 1945 – Laying off Okinawa, Juma L day #hour was at 0830. No attacks yet. This is some show. Unloaded the ducks this morning. A plane came for us at 1750 and we shot him off our ship and he went into the 1033. (Again he must have meant the LST 1033)

April 3, 1945 – Beached at Orange Beach to complete unloading.

April 4, 1945 – Finish unloading tonight. Backed off beach one or two raids today none close.

April 5, 1945 – Receive word today to prepare for mass air attacks. It came all day in one or two hour intervals.

April 6, 1945 – Still anchored off shore. Mortar fire got close this afternoon, so we shifted anchorage.

April 11, 1945 – Left Okinawa for Saipan.

April 17, 1945 – Dropped anchor inside nets at Saipan at 1615 today. Hope we can go see a movie tonight.

May 1945

May 3, 1945 – Moved into beach at pier C to load Saw first white woman A.R.C.

May 5, 1945 – Celebrated our first anniversary, one year old today. Lots of coke here.

May 7 1945 – Finished loading ammo. Left at 1700 for Okinawa.

May 8, 1945 – News this morning the war was over in Europe.

May 14, 1945 – Dropped anchor off Okinawa. Suppose to beach this PM. Couldn’t get in beach. Boy I am scared still. Too many air attacks.

May 15, 1945 – Couldn’t get on beach this morning. Lots of raids at night.

May 18, 1945 – Beached at noon today and started unloaded.

May 21. 1945 – Finished unloading last night. Got orders to stay on beach and loaded troops.

May 22, 1945 – Shoved off at 0500 for Zamama Shinia. Beached at Zamama about noon, unloaded and laying off at anchor for tonight.

May 23, 1945 – Beached again at Zamama at 1700, loaded and lay on beach all night. I see (saw) a jap suicide boat today.

May 24, 1945 – Left Zamama Shinia and return to Okinawa. Beached at Orange I Flash Red all night. Morse, Hoffman and Bowman injured by flak from 200. (I believe the 200 number he is referring to is the number of Kamikaze attacks they faced at this point in time. This one blew up right off the side of the ship and came close to hitting them) I was near them but I didn’t get hit but I was scared still. Boy that was a narrow escape. Smoke pots had everyone sick.

May 25, 1945 – Finish unloading and anchored in bay.

June 1945

June 2, 1945 – Loaded marines and LUTAS to return to Saipan, anchored as before.

June 4, 1945 – Typhon due to hit tonight. Cargo unloaded everything lashed down for the blow.

June 5, 1945 – Moved last night to Point Bolo, Blow didn’t hit here. Moved back to old anchorage today and unloaded the marines and cargo. Change of orders, anchor as before.

June 10, 1945 – Up anchor this morning and left for Leyte and glad to get out of Okinawa.

June 15, 1945 – Anchored off Leyte and boy was I glad to get a decent sleep.

June 23, 1945 – Left Leyte for Subic today.

June 26, 1945 – beached at Subic and started loading air corps that we took to Mandoro

June 27, 1945 – Finish loading this noon. Anchored in Subic Bay. Good Liberty here. First Liberty in one year.

July 4, 1945 – Left Subic Bay for Okinawa, had firing practice this afternoon.

July 8, 1945 – Anchored off Okinawa for the night

July 9, 1945 – Beached this afternoon and unloaded.

July 10, 1945 – Pulled off the beach and anchored in bay for the night.

July 11, 1945 – loaded troops and amtracks (??) today.

July 13, 1945 – Friday one year ago today since we saw the states. Left Okinawa for Leyte this morning.

July 17, 1945 – Anchored off water hole at Samar Tonight

July 20, 1945 – Left Leyte for Subic

July 23, 1945 – Arrived in Subic Bay Mail call 23 bags.

July 24, 1945 – Underway at 1700 this afternoon for Lingayen Gulf to unload troops.

July 25, 1945 – Arrive at Lingayen at noon and unloaded off San Fabian, Anchored in Bay for tonight.

July 27, 1945 – Beached and began loading troops and equip.

July 30, 1945 – Left Lingayen last night. Arrived Subic Bay at noon today. Up anchor and underway for Okinawa.

August 1945

August 6, 1945 – Arrived at Okinawa (On this day a uranium gun-type atomic bomb (Little Boy) was dropped on Hiroshima)

August 7, 1945 – News today told of new atomic bomb being dropped on the enemy.

August 8, 1945 – Russia declared war on Japan today. It can’t be much longer.

August 9, 1945 – At 930pm we heard the news that the Japs have surrendered but is not official (A plutonium implosion-type bomb (Fat Man) was dropped on the city of Nagasaki.)

August 12, 1945 – Left Okinawa for IE Shima. Arrived in IE Shima and waiting for the news that the war is over officially.

August 14, 1945 – beached and unloaded troops and equip. Heard news that Japs lay down their arms but it was unconfirmed.

August 15, 1945 – President Truman announces that Japan has accepted our terms. End of War. Pulled off beach at IE Shima and dropped anchor at Okinawa.

August 17, 1945 – Up anchor at 0930 underway for Subic Bay.

August 19, 1945 – Secured everything to deck. Expect a typhoon

August 20, 1945 – Typhoon we expected turned out to be a roaring storm. I got seasick.

August 22, 1945 – Arrived at Subic Bay dropped anchor at noon. Received mail and boy was I glad to get it.

August 24, 1945 – Arrived at Leyte Anchor at San Pedro Bay at 1400pm.

August 27, 1945 – Proceed to Guinean, 40 miles up the coast to Samar to pick up supply’s.

August 29, 1945 – Return to Leyte, transferred supplies to the flag ship LST 739. Anchored off Catsman Hill. We are still awaiting orders to beach.

August 31, 1945 – Up anchor from Catsman Hill and beached at White beach to load.

September 1945

September 1, 1945 – All Loaded, retracted from Catman Hill for night. Carrying occupation troops. I think we’ll go to Japan.

September 2, 1945 – Heard of V- Sarmony in radio, Mc Arthur and Nimitz will speak later. President Truman announces VJ day, War is officially over. Thank God.

That night all ships in harbor was firing fireworks, colors where of red, white, green and it looked like X mas in the South Pacific. It was a moment I’ll never forget as long as I live.

September 3, 1945 – Up Anchor at 0730, underway expect to go to Ballangas to pick up convoy.

September 5, 1945 – Anchored at Ballangus Bay.

September 6, 1945 – Up Anchor and are underway. Destination Tokyo. Largest convoy I ever traveled 67 ships.

September 10, 1045 – Dangerous, violent typhoon headed our way. All topside gear lashed down. Sea is very rough. LST 936 badly damaged by explosion. Believe to be either a mine or torpedo. My own personal opinion is that it is a mine. Sea is too rough for accurate launching of torpedo. The 936 has left the convoy and is headed for Okinawa because she is to badly damage to make Tokyo. Boy was I seasick on this trip.

September 15, 1945 – Arrived in Tokyo Bay and we are right in there brother. Yokohama about 10 miles. Tokyo a bit further ahead. Passed Fugiama on our way in.

September 16, 1945 – Beached at Yokohama (Japan) unloaded troops and equipment. We had Liberty and was very surprised how we were treated by the Japs. The nips are in big demand for cigarettes and chocolates at 1700 we anchored in Bay.

September 20, 1945 – Up anchor from Yokohama, proceed to Okinawa, orders changed we go to Manila.

September 27, 1945 – Passed Bataan Island. Expect to be in Manila by Tomorrow. (I wonder if my father and crew of the LST 1014 knew at this time of the atrocities that happened on this island which started on April 9, 1942 with the Bataan Death March.)

September 28, 1945 – Anchored in Manila Bay at 1246. Boy it sure looks like good liberty here. We’ll probably get liberty tomorrow, I sure hope so. No Mail yet.

September 29. 1445 – Up Anchor at 1945 and anchor at Subic Bay at 0800.

October 1945

October 2, 1945 – Up Anchor at 1800 orders to proceed to Manila Bay and load up.

October 3, 1945 – Anchored at Manila Bay 0100. We will probably get liberty here, tomorrow I sure hope so because liberty looks good.

October 5, 1945 – Beached to load up for supply run. Had liberty in Manila. Wow what a time.

October 8, 1945 – Retracted from beach and proceeded to Yokohama Bay Japan.

October 9, 1945 – Dangerous Typhoon headed our way. Orders are to anchor in Subic Bay until Typhoon is passed.

October 10, 1945 – Up anchor at 0600 this morning. Typhoon has passed and we proceed to Yokohama Bay.

October 11, 1945 – Rough Seas. Soldiers are really seasick.

October 18, 1945 – Four mines spotted today by convoy. Destroyers exploded them with gunfire.

October 19, 1945 – Anchored in Yokohama Bay at 1600.

October 20, 1945 – Up anchor at 0800 and beached at 0930 to unload.

October 23, 1945 – Ships unloaded pulled off the beach at 0930 and anchored in Yokohama.

October 24, 1945 – Had Liberty in Yokohama. Those “Gisha Girls” sure are hot stuff. “WOW”

October 25, 1945 – Crew sure is unhappy today because we expected to head for the states but got orders to proceed to Leyte and load up. Underway at 1030 for Leyte. Gee I sure hope this is our last trip.

November 1945

November 2, 1945 – Anchored in San Pedro Bay

November 5, 1945 – Sure feel moody today because a few of my buddies were transferred to the states and I couldn’t go with them. Points are to low but maybe they will be lowered shortly.

November 19, 1945 – Today is the happiest day of my life or should I say one of them. We got word today that we are to proceed to the states for decommission, refuel and fresh provisions. We are Guam and Pearl Harbor bound and then the good old USA.

November 20, 1945 – Gee I sure had a time getting to sleep last night because I kept thinking of what I’m going to do when I get home. At 0930 we heaved in our anchor and were on our way home. First stop would be Guam, for refuel. You should have seen our new Captain (Captain Mahoney) and how happy he was as we sailed out of Leyte Bay with our homeward bound pennant flying in the breeze. This was a big day for the crew of the LST 1014 and I’ll never forget it.

November 23, 1945 – Hit some rough weather today and most of our passengers are seasick.

November 26, 1945 – Arrived at Guam this morning at 0700 and beached at about 0900. Went ashore to try and find Johnny Derose but no luck. I only wish I could find him. It’s only 1700 and we’re off again. The skipper sure isn’t wasting any time.

December 1945

December 5, 1945 – We crossed the halfway mark between Guam and Pearl Harbor today. We expect to cross the International Date Line some time tonight 180th meridian.

December 10, 1945 – We pulled into Pearl Harbor this morning about 1030. It was sure a swell feeling to see Americans again and see civilization too. I rated first Liberty so I went to Honolulu and drank and drank about three quarts of milk. Wonderful Stuff. (Only my Dad would do that)

December 12, 1945 – Liberty again today. Did the town and came back to ship.

December 24, 1945 – Christmas Eve and a whole lot better than the last one. We are about 1500 miles from the states and still going strong. We’re headed home and that’s something to be thankful for.

December 25, 1945 – Not much doing today. Holiday routine for all hands. The skipper broke out some beer and mixed a batch of drinks besides. Boy most of the crew was feeling good.

December 31, 1945 – We’re here at last, the good old USA. We pulled into San Diego about 9am and moored to buoy 382. Pulled a liberty that night.

January 1946

January 12, 1946 – Left San Diego this morning about 830. The weather is clear and cool. Next stop is Balboa Panama Canal.

January 24, 1946 – Pulled in Panama Canal. Will go through the locks tomorrow.

January 25, 1946 – We went through the locks today and I had liberty tonight.

January 27, 1946 – I went to church this morning. We are supposed to leave this afternoon. We are on our way to Charleston VA.

February 1946

February 3, 1946 – We came in this morning. I want to call mother up today.

****This was the last entry in his diary; the next 12 pages were all addresses to his family and friends he left behind in West Warwick RI. It was during the early months of 1945 his father, my grandfather passed away. I don’t know if he was informed at the time or was told when he arrived home. There is no entry about it. I once asked him about the death of his father and if the Navy allowed him to come home for the funeral, at the time he answer, yes but it was two years later. He never did speak all that much about his father, I got the impression over the years he was not all that close to him.

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