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.

G379472.jpg

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)

LST.jpg

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.

110769-004-CC850D50.jpg

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.

LST2.jpg

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.

Standard

One thought on “War Diary of Eugene Roland Denomme

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s