Bataan Speaking Introduction Aug '43-Mar '44 April '44 May '44 June '44 July '44 Aug'44-Sept '44 Bridge Reminiscence Oct '44-Mar '45 Apr '45 May '45 June '45 July '45 Aug '45 Arthur Bode & Bernard MacDonald Sept '45 Oct '45 Recall & Reminisce

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May '44

 

MONDAY, 1 MAY '44

THE BATTLEWAGONS HAD THE SHOW TODAY. DURING THE NIGHT, WE HAD STEAMED EASTWARD TOWARD PONAPE SO AT "HOW" HOUR THE BATTLESHIPS DIVISIONS WOULD BE IN A POSITION TO SLING THEIR 16-INCH SHELLS AT THE JAP ISLAND. OUR PART IN THE OPERATION WAS TO FLY AN 8 PLANE CAP AND 3 PLANE ASP FOR THE BATTLE LINE STARTING WITH AN 0900 PATROL. THE NORTH CAROLINA CONTROLLED THE PLANES. AIR OPERATIONS WERE UNEXCITING AND EVERYONE LOOKED FORWARD TO THE 1530 "HOW" HOUR, THE BEGINNING OF THE BOMBARDMENT. IT WAS A NEW SIGHT FOR MOST HANDS. WE WERE WITHIN 28 MILES OF THE ISLAND AND IT WAS POSSIBLE TO SEE THE GUN FLASHES -- AND THE SMOKE FROM THE EXPLOSIONS ON THE TARGET. PONAPE TOWN WAS OBVIOUSLY NOT WORTH LIVING IN AS EVIDENCED BY THE SMOKE COMING UP FROM THE VICINITY.

OUR FIRST BARRIER CRASH IN MANY LANDINGS OCCURRED AS THE LAST CAP FLIGHT LANDED. ENS. FORREST SMITH, IN F6F-20, HAD HIS TAIL HOOK PULL OUT AND CRASHED THE BARRIER. REPAIR WAS QUICKLY MADE AND THE REMAINING PLANES CAME ABOARD. NO NIGHT GQ, AND A MOVIE WAS SHOWN IN THE WARDROOM AND IN THE CREW'S MESS. JUST LIKE OLD TIMES. WE'RE IN ROUTE TO OUR CENTRAL PACIFIC HOME -- MAJURO, WHERE MAIL AND SLEEP ARE WAITING FOR ALL.

TUESDAY, 2 MAY '44

SQUALLY WEATHER PREVAILED MOST OF THE DAY, MAKING THE PATROLS DIFFICULT. WE WERE STILL HEADED FOR MAJURO. AT 1500 WE WERE SCHEDULED TO LAUNCH 8 FIGHTERS FOR CAP AND 4 TORPEDO PLANES FOR ASP. FOUR FIGHTERS AND THREE TBMS GOT OFF JUST BEFORE A HEAVY SQUALL HIT; CONSEQUENTLY, LAUNCHING OF THE REST OF THE FLIGHT WAS DELAYED FOR ABOUT THIRTY MINUTES. RECOVERY WAS MADE EARLY DUE TO HEAVY SQUALLS AHEAD OF US.

WEDNESDAY, 3 MAY '44

A RATHER DULL DAY WITH THE ONLY OPERATION FOR US BEING A 4 PLANE CAP AND A 4 PLANE ASP. EVERYONE WAS GETTING SET FOR THE MAIL THAT WAS WAITING AT MAJURO, WHEN A MESSAGE CAME FROM THE COMMANDER TASK FORCE TO COMMANDER TASK GROUP 58.1 -- WE WERE DETACHED TO THE KWAJALEIN. WE WERE TO LOAD BOMBS, AMMUNITION, AND FUEL AT ONCE, AND REPORT WHEN READY. PART OF OUR DESTROYER SCREEN WAS TO STAY WITH US AND PART WAS TO MOVE ON TO MAJURO. SOUNDS LIKE A BIG DEAL.

THE ACTION REPORT OF COMMANDER TASK GROUP 58.1 (REAR ADMIRAL J. J. CLARK) COVERING THE HOLLANDIA AND TRUK OPERATIONS, CONTAINED THE FOLLOWING GENERAL COMMENT CONCERNING THIS VESSEL: "THIS OPERATION PROVIDED THE FIRST OPPORTUNITY FOR THE BATAAN TO DEMONSTRATE HER STATE OF READINESS FOR COMBAT. SHE PERFORMED ALL HER ASSIGNED TASKS IN A HIGHLY SATISFACTORY MANNER."

FRIDAY, 5 MAY '44

CLEANING, PROVISIONS, PAINTING, AND RESTING WERE THE ORDER OF THE DAY. ALL HANDS LOOKED BEACH WARD AT THE ISLANDS AND WHAT REMAINED ON THE COCONUT TREES. ONLY AIR GROUP 50 OFFICERS MADE IT, BUT A GOOD TIME WAS HAD BY ALL, AS EVIDENCED BY CONDITION OF THE RETURNING PARTICIPANTS.

SATURDAY, 6 MAY '44

POTATOES, MEAT, AND 500 POUND BOMBS WERE AMONG THE MANY THINGS COMING ABOARD FROM SUPPLY SHIPS VIA THE TWO LANDING BOATS ASSIGNED TO US. ONE HUNDRED HAND WORKING PARTIES AND 60 HAND WORKING PARTIES LABORED TO STOW THESE ARTICLES BELOW.

MOST OF THE SHIP WAS TAKING A GOOD REST -- AT LEAST THOSE WHO WEREN'T ON WORKING PARTIES. THE INEVITABLE SHUTTLE OF VISITORS FROM SHIP TO SHIP IN ORDER TO FIND HOME TOWN BUDDIES, BROTHERS, AND TRAINING SCHOOL PALS KEPT UP, GIVING THE OFFICER-OF-THE-DECK A BIG HEADACHE. TWO SMALL OFFICER RECREATION PARTIES LEFT THE SHIP. ON RETURN, THEY REPORTED A MINIMUM OF LUCK IN HUNTING JAP RELICS. EVENING MOVIES WERE TEMPORARILY DELAYED ON THE HANGER DECK UNTIL A WORKING PARTY COULD BE REINFORCED BY MORE MEN.

SUNDAY, 7 MAY '44

THIS WAS T HE FIRST SUNDAY IN PORT SINCE PHILADELPHIA AND "CHURCH-LIKE" SERVICES WERE ABLE TO BE HELD. AN ALTAR WAS SET UP ON THE FORWARD PART OF THE HANGER DECK FOR BOTH PROTESTANT AND CATHOLIC SERVICES. A PROTESTANT CHAPLAIN CAME OVER FROM THE HORNET TO CONDUCT COMMUNION SERVICES.

PROVISIONING AND LOADING OF BOMBS AND AMMUNITION CONTINUED THROUGHOUT THE DAY. SMALL RECREATION PARTIES FOR OFFICERS AND 1ST AND 2ND CLASS PETTY OFFICERS LEFT THE SHIP IN THE AFTERNOON.

MONDAY, 8 MAY '44

THE WORKING PART OF OUR STAY AT KWAJALEIN WAS COMPLETED MONDAY, WITH THE LAST OF THE 1,000 LB. BOMBS BEING BROUGHT ABOARD WITH FUSES. THE AVIATION ORDNANCE MEN NOW SETTLED DOWN TO THE TEDIOUS AND ENDLESS JOB OF BELTING FIFTY CALIBER AMMUNITION FOR THE PLANES' WING GUNS.

ONE HUNDRED FIRST CLASS AND SECOND CLASS PETTY OFFICERS LEFT THE SHIP ON A SWIMMING PARTY. THIS WAS THE FIRST TIME THE CREW HAD SET FOOT ON LAND SINCE THE LAST LIBERTY IN PEARL HARBOR.

AT DINNER TIME, NO. 2 WHALEBOAT BROUGHT LT. HOWELL McGAUGHEY BACK TO THE SHIP AFTER HAVING RECOVERED FROM AN APPENDECTOMY AT BASE EIGHT HOSPITAL, PEARL HARBOR. THE LT. HITCH-HIKED A PLANE RIDE WITH THE UTILITY SQUADRON.

F6F NO. 20, THE FIGHTER THAT HAD CRASHED THE BARRIER AND HAD BEEN STRIPPED, WAS LEFT LIGHTER IN ALL ITS NAKEDNESS. EVERYTHING OF SPARE PART VALUE HAD BEEN CAREFULLY TAKEN OFF BY THE CREW -- RADIOS, INSTRUMENTS, WINGS, AND TAIL SURFACES -- ALL THAT WAS LEFT WAS THE FUSELAGE. IT MUST BE VERY EMBARRASSING FOR A PLANE WHICH SAW ACTION OVER WAKDE, SAWAR, SARMI, AND TRUK TO BE RELEGATED TO THE JUNK HEAP. THE LIFE SPAN OF A FIGHTER -- BORN IN BETHPAGE, LONG ISLAND, LIVED AND FOUGHT GLORIOUSLY OVER ENEMY BASES, TO DIE AN ACCIDENTAL DEATH ON THE FLIGHT DECK OF THE BATAAN, AND BURIED ON A JUNK HEAP ON KWAJALEIN ISLAND.

TUESDAY, 9 MAY '44

 THE BIGGEST ITEM ON THE DAY'S PROGRAM WAS A "BATAAN BOTTLE BUSTER" INCLUDING HALF THE SHIP'S OFFICERS. "CHIEF BUSTER" (COMMANDER H. H.) HEMMING DREW UP A FANCY OPERATIONAL PLAN INCLUDING A FUELING PLAN, BOAT SCHEDULE, TBS VOICE CALLS, RECREATIONAL SCHEDULE, AND MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL, A PROVISIONING PLAN. "HOW HOUR FOR D DAY" WAS 0845 WHEN THE FIRST BOAT ASSEMBLED ON THE QUARTERDECK. WITH THE "STAR SHOOTER" (NAVIGATOR LT. COMDR. SHARP) IN CHARGE. NO. 2 WHALEBOAT WAS SHOVED OFF WITH DUE CEREMONY FOR LOI ISLAND WITH OFFICERS AND PROVISIONS (LIQUID). ADDITIONAL TRIPS WERE MADE THROUGHOUT THE DAY WITH MORE OFFICERS, PROVISIONS (SOLID), AND AT 1300 A WARRANT OFFICERS' SPECIAL SHOVED OFF.

ADMIRAL CLARK, COMMANDER TASK GROUP 58.1, CAME ABOARD FOR A FIFTEEN MINUTE VISIT EARLY IN THE AFTERNOON.

THE "RETIREMENT" OF THE "BOTTLE BUSTERS" WAS MADE WITHOUT INCIDENT. ALTHOUGH THE CHIEF BUSTER HAD THE AVIATION CRANE STANDING BY WITH A CARGO NET; ALL HANDS BADE IT ACROSS THE QUARTERDECK IN GOOD SHAPE. THE SHIP'S FIRST "HAPPY HOUR" WAS HELD IN PLACE OF THE MOVIE WITH THE RAISED ELEVATOR PROVIDING THE STAGE. CHIEF YEOMAN THOMPSON "EMCEED" A LIVELY SHOW LED BY THE SHIP'S BAND. AND TO TOP IT OFF, ICE CREAM WAS SERVED TO ALL HANDS -- AT LEAST TO THOSE WHO LIVED THROUGH THE MAD RUSH TO THE MESS DECK.

WEDNESDAY, 10 MAY '44

THE "DE DAY PLUS ONE" EDITION OF THE "BATAAN BOTTLE BUSTERS" WAS CARRIED OUT TODAY AS WELL AS A SWIMMING PARTY FOR THE CREW. BENNETT WAS THE SITE FOR THE CREW'S EXPEDITION AND WAS UNIQUE IN THAT PART OF IT HAD NOT BEEN CLEARED OF LAND MINES AND DUDS. ONLY A MIRACLE PREVENTED SEVERAL BATAAN SAILORS FROM BEING BLOWN TO BITS AS THEY UNKNOWINGLY HAD PICKED UP "LIVE" MINES. LT. RUSS CHERRY CONDUCTED A SURVEY BEFORE THE PARTY CAME BACK ABOARD, AND ALL THE LIVE MINES ENDED UP ON THE BOTTOM OF THE LAGOON. ALTHOUGH PART OF THE SHIP HAD LIBERTY, THE OTHER HALF STOOD BY FOR A ZONE INSPECTION.

LT. AL STONER, FIGHTER PILOT, RETURNED TO THE SHIP AFTER HAVING UNDERGONE MEDICAL TREATMENT AT PEARL HARBOR. HE HAD STARTED OUT WITH LT. McGAUGHEY, BUT SOMEWHERE ALONG THE LINE HADN'T BEEN SO LUCKY WITH TRANSPORTATION.

THURSDAY, 11 MAY '44

"QUARTERS FOR MUSTER" WAS PASSED FOR THE FIRST TIME IN SOME DAYS -- WITH FUL EQUIPMENT. THE LUGGING OF HELMET, GAS MASK, FLASH-PROOF CLOTHING, AND LIFE BELT TO THE FLIGHT DECK PROVED TO BE THE HARDEST WORK OF THE DAY. MEN ON CLEANING STATIONS GOT TO WORK TO CORRECT THE DISCREPANCIES OF THE PREVIOUS DAY'S INSPECTION WHICH CAME OUT IN PRINTED FORM FROM THE FIRST LIEUTENANT'S OFFICE.

CHIEF PETTY OFFICERS HAD THEIR TURN AT VISITING THE BEACH, SHOVING OFF AT 1030.

THAT WELCOMED "MAIL CALL" CAME OVER THE ANNOUNCING CIRCUIT AND ALL HANDS GLORIED IN SOME RECENT MAIL FROM HOME. AIR MAIL LETTERS BORE SUCH LATE POSTMARKS AS "MAY 3RD" AND IT SEEMED AS IF YOU WERE PRETTY CLOSE TO HOME AFTER ALL.

FRIDAY, 12 MAY '44

ANOTHER 0815 "ASSEMBLY" AND "ALL HANDS TO QUARTERS" STARTED THE DAY. THE TENTACLES OF CIVILIZED LIFE WERE REACHING OUT TO THE "FORWARD AREA". WE WERE ORDERED TO SUPPLY A SHORE PATROL AND LIFE GUARD DETAIL FOR THE BEACH.

THE WORD THAT WE WERE GETTING UNDERWAY TOMORROW GOT AROUND QUICKLY. THERE WAS A LAST MINUTE RUSH FOR THE MAIL BOX AND THE CENSORS DID A BIG BUSINESS DURING THE MORNING TO GET ALL THE MAIL COMPLETED BEFORE THE AFTERNOON GUARD MAIL TRIP.

THE SECOND LIBERTY PARTY FOR THE CREW LEFT FOR BENNETT ISLAND. AN ITEM IN THE PLAN OF THE DAY DISCOURAGED SOUVENIR HUNTERS -- "NO AMMUNITION WILL BE BROUGHT ABOARD SHIP." OTHER SHIPS HAD BEEN HAVING BAD LUCK. ONE MAN HAD BEEN KILLED AND ANOTHER HAD HIS HAND BLOWN OFF FROM "DUD" AMMUNITION.

EVERYONE ELSE WAS TAKING IT PRETTY EASY, BUT THE AVIATION ORDNANCE MEN KEPT "BELTING AWAY" AT THE 50 CALIBER AMMUNITION FOR THE F6F'SAND TBM'S.

DURING THE AFTERNOON WARM UP, TWO F6F'S DECIDED TO DO THEIR OWN VERSION OF EUGENE FIELD'S "GINGHAM DOG AND CALICO CAT", WHO WERE REPUTED BY THE "CHINESE CLOCK" TO HAVE EATEN EACH OTHER UP. ONE HELLCAT WAS REVVING UP AT HIGH SPEED, JUMPED ITS CHOCKS, AND CHEWED INTO THE REVOLVING PROPELLER OF THE NEIGHBOR HELLCAT ON ITS RIGHT SIDE. RESULT -- TWO NON-OPERATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEFT THE SHIP BY LIGHTER IN THE LATE AFTERNOON AND TWO NEW FIGHTERS WILL FLY ON FROM THE BEACH TO REPLACE THEM TOMORROW.

SATURDAY, 13 MAY '44

BATAAN AND TG 58.1 LEFT THE WORLD'S LARGEST ATOLL WITHOUT INCIDENT. WE BADE FAREWELL TO OUR LANDING BARGES FOX 5 AND TARE 17, SENDING THEM TO THE BEACH WITH MOVIES AND PILOTS TO FLY OUR FOUR REPLACEMENT PLANES.

SHORTLY AFTER NOON WE LANDED A TRAILING FLIGHT OF16 FIGHTERS AND 5 TORPEDO PLANES TO RENDEZVOUS WITH THE FLIGHTS FROM THE THREE OTHER CARRIERS TO MAKE A SIMULATED ATTACK ON THE SHIP. THE FIRST WAVE OF THE ATTACK CONSISTED OF PLANES BOMBING A SLED TARGET TOWED BY THE HORNET. SUCCESSIVE WAVES OF FIGHTERS AND BOMBERS MADE STRAFING AND BOMBING RUNS. DURING THE TRAINING LAUNCH, LT. ED LAAKE AND ENS. BILL McCORMICK REPORTED OVERHEAD IN NEW F6F'S TO REPLACE THE PREVIOUS CASUALTIES. THE OTHER TWO REPLACEMENT PLANES HAD BEEN UNABLE TO GET OFF THE BEACH. LT. AL STONER CAME OUT IN ANOTHER FIGHTER A HALF HOUR LATER. THEN AT 1500, LT. (JG) FOX, IN A BATTERED TBM, CAME ABOARD WITH OUR PART OF THE TRAINING FLIGHT. TO THE DISGUST OF THE MAINTENANCE OFFICER BOB JOHNSON, THE TORPEDO PLANE HAD15 BOMBS PAINTED ON THE SIDE OF THE COCKPIT. A SLIGHTLY "USED" AIRCRAFT.

WE WERE EXCUSED FROM ANY PATROL DUE TO OUR AILING FORWARD ELEVATOR. A "SETTLING" OF THE SHIP HAD THROWN IT OFF BALANCE AND IT WAS NOT WORKING PROPERLY.

SUNDAY, MAY 14 '44

THIS WAS THE DAY OF THE "ADVENTURE THAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN". WE CAME TO ANCHOR AT 0808 AT MAJURO AND THE CAPTAIN LEFT ABOUT TWO HOURS LATER TO VISIT VARIOUS OTHER SHIPS. HE WAS ACCOMPANIED BY COMDR. HEMMING AND ONE BIG ITEM OF DISCUSSION WAS EVIDENTLY GOING TO BE OUR DEFUNCT FORWARD ELEVATOR. THE CAPTAIN RETURNED AT NOON AND INDICATED THAT THE COMMANDER TASK FORCE 58 WAS EXTREMELY INTERESTED IN GETTING OUR ELEVATOR BACK IN SHAPE.

DURING THE MORNING WE WERE VISITED BY THE CHIEF OF STAFF, CRUISER DIVISION ELEVEN, WHO WENT OVER AN OPERATION PLAN WITH THE AIR OFFICER, SQUADRON COMMANDERS, AND THE A.C.I. OFFICER. THE "HOT DOPE" WAS THAT WE WERE ASSIGNED TO A NEW TASK GROUP -- 58.6 - THE ESSEX, WASP, AND SAN JACINTO, AND THE BATAAN WERE TO GO ON A 12 DAY MISSION TO RAID MARCUS ISLAND. THE BATAAN WOULD LEAVE THE MAIN GROUP TO RUN SEARCHES TO THE NORTH TOWARD TOKYO IN COMPANY WITH A CRUISER AND DD SCREEN, LOOKING FOR SUBS AND SURFACE FORCES -- STRICTLY "BOGEY-BAIT".

WOULD WE GO? ALL AFTERNOON THE SCUTTLEBUTT GOT HOTTER AND HOTTER, WITH THE ELEVATOR BEING THE ONLY "CATCH". THE DISTANCE WE WERE TO BE FROM TOKYO VARIED FROM 300 TO 700 MILES. THE HIGHER FIGURE BEING MORE CORRECT.

AT THE END OF THE DAY, IT SEEMED APPARENT THAT THE BIG ADVENTURE WAS OFF. WE WOULD "SAIL AWAY FOR TOKYO, JAPAN" AT A LATER DATE.

MONDAY, 15 MAY '44

TASK GROUP 58.6 LEFT IN THE MORNING -- MINUS THE BATAAN.

WE WENT TO FLIGHT QUARTERS FOR LAUNCHING EIGHT FIGHTERS AND FOUR TORPEDO PLANES; THEY WERE TO BE SHORE BASED AT THE MAJURO AIR STRIP IN ORDER TO PROVIDE SOME WORK FOR OUR PILOTS. THEY HADN'T DONE MUCH FLYING SINCE THE OPERATION AGAINST TRUK, SO WE NEEDED SOME FLYING TIME INSTEAD OF EXCLUSIVELY "SACK TIME".

PRIOR TO FLIGHT OPERATIONS, WE GOT UNDERWAY TO CHANGE OUR BERTH. ON COMING TO ANCHOR, OUR POSITION WAS MUCH CLOSER TO THE BEACH AND ALSO TO THE REPAIR SHIP THAT WAS GOING TO HAVE A HAND IN FIXING THE FORWARD ELEVATOR.

ALL PLANES WERE CATAPULTED AS WE SWUNG AT ANCHOR, A NEW EXPERIENCE FOR US. ALL WENT WELL, EXCEPT FOR A NEW F6F, NO. 13; EVIDENTLY THE FLAT TENSION HAD NOT BEEN ADJUSTED PROPERLY, SO UNDER THE IMPACT OF THE "SHOOT" THE FLAPS "CAME UP". THIS LEFT PILOT MIKE HINN DROPPING OFF THE BOW DANGEROUSLY CLOSE TO THE WATERS OF MAJURO LAGOON.

THE PILOTS HAD A GREAT DAY ON THE BEACH AFTER LANDING. A FORMER JAP RESIDENCE SERVED AS AN OFFICERS CLUB AND THERE WAS SWIMMING INSIDE THE LAGOON ON THE "MOST BEAUTIFUL BEACH IN THE WORLD".

ON THE SHIP, BOLD SPLOTCHES OF YELLOW ZINC CHROMATE APPEARED AROUND THE DECKS; THE NEVER ENDING FIGHT AGAINST RUST CONTINUED.

SERVICE SQUADRON AND TENDER REPRESENTATIVES STARTED THEIR INVESTIGATION OF OUR FORWARD ELEVATOR. THE CHIEF ENGINEER AND LT. LOBATO, THE "A" DIVISION OFFICER, WERE RELIEVED TO HAVE SOMEONE ELSE WORRYING ABOUT IT FOR A CHANGE.

THE ELEVATOR TROUBLE HAD FIRST BEEN NOTICED ON 27 APRIL; AT THAT TIME THERE HAD BEEN SCORING ON THE PLUNGER, THE LARGE STEEL CYLINDER WHICH PUSHES THE PLATFORM FROM THE HANGER DECK TO THE FLIGHT DECK IN NINE SECONDS. SO, AFTER THE TRUK STRIKE WHEN WE CAME INTO KWAJELEIN, THE ENGINEERS HAD GONE TO WORK AND POLISHED AND STONED THE PLUNGER. ON MAY 6, IT WAS FOUND THAT THE ELEVATOR WAS TWISTED IN A COUNTER CLOCKWISE CONDITION AS VIEWED FROM ABOVE AND THAT THE FORWARD GUIDES WERE ONE-HALF INCH CLOSER AT THE TOP THAN THEY WERE AT THE BOTTOM. COMPLICATIONS AND TROUBLES, TO SAY THE LEAST.

NOTHING SEEMED TO WORK. HOWEVER, WHEN THE ELEVATOR WAS OPERATED FOR ABOUT 20 TRIPS ON 11 MAY, SCORING WAS AGAIN NOTICED. SO, IT WAS PUT BACK "OUT OF COMMISSION" AND FURTHER ATTEMPTS WERE MADE TO "SHIM" THE ELEVATOR SO AS TO RELIEVE THE BINDING ON THE STARBOARD SIDE. THE PLUNGER WAS POLISHED AGAIN AND THE PACKING REMOVED, CLEANED AND WASHED. ANOTHER TRIAL RUN, AND THE ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT DECIDED THEY "DIDN'T KNOW", AND WERE GLAD TO HAVE THE "EXPERTS" FROM THE SERVICE SQUADRON TAKE OVER AND INVESTIGATE.

TUESDAY, 16 MAY '44

THE FORWARD ELEVATOR WAS STILL THE FOCAL POINT OF INTEREST. ON IT HUNG OUR MOVEMENTS FOR THE COMING WEEKS. OF COURSE, SCUTTLEBUTT HAD US GOING BACK TO PEARL HARBOR, MARE ISLAND, AND EVEN PHILADELPHIA TO GET IT REPAIRED. BUT THE EXPERTS HADN'T MADE UP THEIR MIND, SO WE REMAINED PEACEFULLY AT ANCHOR.

EARLY IN THE MORNING, A GROUP OF PILOTS AND CREWMEN LEFT THE SHIP FOR THE BEACH; GUNNERY AND BOMBING EXERCISES WERE RUN IN THE MORNING AND AFTERNOON, FOLLOWED WITH SWIMMING IN THE LAGOON. ALTHOUGH OUR PILOTS DIDN'T MIND THE REFRESHMENTS AT THE OFFICERS CLUB AND ALSO THE SWIMMING, THEY CAME BACK TO THE SHIP APPRECIATING THE FACT THEY WERE CARRIER BASED. THEIR BUDDIES ON THE BEACH DIDN'T HAVE THE CONVENIENCES OF A SHIP. THEY DID THEIR OWN LAUNDRY, WASHED IN A TIN HELMET, HAD NO ICE WATER SCUTTLEBUTTS AND THE MINIMUM OF TOILET FACILITIES. WHEN IT RAINED, THE SHORE BASED BOYS RAN OUTSIDE FOR A "FREE SHOWER". A CREW'S RECREATION PARTY LEFT THE SHIP FOR SWIMMING; OFFICERS MADE A TRIP TO THE "O-CLUB" ON THE BEACH.

AT NOON THE BATAAN ASSUMED THE CARRIER RADAR GUARD FROM THE LEXINGTON, STANDING A FULL UNDERWAY CONDITION THREE WATCH IN RADAR PLOT.

WEDNESDAY, 17 MAY '44

THIS WAS A DAY OF "WATCHFUL WAITING" AND RAIN. PILOTS FOR ALL PLANES ON THE BEACH WERE SENT TO THE AIR STRIP BY MOTOR LAUNCH WITH INSTRUCTIONS TO STAND BY THE PLANES. IT WAS EXPECTED THAT WE WOULD GET UNDERWAY FOR PEARL HARBOR AND THE PLANES WOULD COME ABOARD SOMETIME IN THE AFTERNOON.

AFTER BREAKFAST, ALL WAS QUIET ON THE QUARTER DECK WHEN A LANDING BARGE FROM ANOTHER SHIP CAME ALONGSIDE THE PORT GANGWAY. A SINGLE OFFICER CAME ABOARD; THE JUNIOR OFFICER OF THE DECK TOOK A LOOK AND WONDERED WHY AN OFFICER WOULD COME ABOARD ON THE PORT SIDE WHEN THE STARBOARD WAS USUALLY USED BY OFFICERS. HE STOPPED HIS LOOKING AND RAN AFTER THE OFFICER, WHEN HE SAW THE GOLD ON THE CAP VISOR AND ONLY THEN DID HE REALIZE THAT HE WAS RECEIVING AN ADMIRAL.

IT WAS REAR ADMIRAL J. J. CLARK, COMMANDER TASK GROUP, TO SEE THE CAPTAIN. ON THE WAY TO THE CAPTAIN'S CABIN WITH THE OFFICER OF THE DECK, HE NATURALLY WANTED TO KNOW HOW THE WORK ON THE ELEVATOR WAS COMING, AND, IF WE WOULD HAVE TO GO BACK TO PEARL. AFTER A SHORT CONFERENCE WITH THE CAPTAIN, THE ADMIRAL LEFT THE SHIP. THIS TIME, THE OFFICER OF THE DECK GETTING THE WORD OF HIS DEPARTURE.

FORTY-EIGHT HOURS OF INVESTIGATION BY THE SERVICE SQUADRON AND THE TENDER REPRESENTATIVES AND THEY TURNED OUT A VERDICT THAT IT WAS NECESSARY FOR THE BATAAN TO RETURN TO PEARL HARBOR WHERE DRY DOCK FACILITIES WERE AVAILABLE. THIS WOULD PERMIT THE USE OF MACHINIST'S LEVELS, PLUM LINES, GUNNER'S QUADRANTS, AND OTHER INSTRUMENTS WHICH COULD NOT BE UTILIZED WHILE THE SHIP WAS AFLOAT. IT WOULD ALSO MAKE IT POSSIBLE FOR THE ENTIRE ELEVATOR TO BE ALIGNED IN RESPECT TO COMMON BASE LINE AND VERTICAL PLANE.

IN THE LATE MORNING IT WAS THOUGHT THAT WE WOULD GET UNDERWAY; THE RAIN-SOAKED PILOTS ON THE BEACH WERE ALERTED AND TOLD TO BE READY TO COME ABOARD DURING THE AFTERNOON. RAIN CONTINUED TO POUR DOWN, AND NOBODY SEEMED TO BE VERY PLEASED ABOUT IT.

IT WAS FINALLY DECIDED THAT WE WOULD GET UNDERWAY EARLY TOMORROW MORNING. THE PILOTS CAME BACK TO THE SHIP LOOKING MORE LIKE DROWNED RATS THAN AVIATORS; THEY HAD BEEN USING A SHACK AS A READY ROOM WITH A ROOF THAT DIDN'T DESERVE THE TITLE. THEY WERE REALLY GLAD TO GET HOT SHOWERS AND ENJOY THE NICETIES OF BEING SHIP-BASED.

SOME 60 RUGGED MARINES CAME ABOARD FOR PASSAGE TO PEARL. VETERANS OF PACIFIC ACTION WITH AS MUCH AS TWO YEARS OF SERVICE AWAY FROM THE STATES, THEY ALL LOOKED FORWARD TO THAT "30 DAYS" IN THE STATES AND SHORE DUTY. THEY DESERVED IT. UNDER THE CARE OF OUR MEDICAL OFFICER, WERE 20 NAVAL MEDICAL PATIENTS. THEIR LIST OF AILMENTS INCLUDED "EVERYTHING IN THE BOOKS"; THAT WAS THE "UGLY" SIDE OF THE WAR WE FIGHT.

THURSDAY, 18 MAY '44

UNDERWAY EARLY IN THE MORNING FOR PEARL HARBOR. BEFORE HOISTING THE ANCHOR, A LAUNCH WAS SHOVED OFF WITH PILOTS TO BRING THE PLANES BACK ABOARD. OUR ESCORTS WERE THE IRISH -- THE HALLIGAN, DD588, AND THE HARADEN, DD585. ALL AIRCRAFT WERE ABOARD BY 0830 AND FLIGHT OPERATIONS WERE SECURED.

STRICTLY "HEAVY WEATHER", AN UNUSUAL EVENT FOR THE PLACID PACIFIC, DOMINATED THE PROGRAM OF THE DAY. THE PICKET FENCE FOR THE FLIGHT DECK, THE "PALISADES", WAS ERECTED FORWARD TO BREAK THE EFFECT OF THE WIND OVER THE DECK. OUR SPEED PLUS AN 18 KNOT WIND DIRECTLY OVER THE BOW MADE EVERYONE WATCH THEIR STEPS. THE FOC'SLE WAS OFTEN AWASH AND SPRAY CURLED HIGH OVER THE FLIGHT DECK WETTING UNSUSPECTING MARINES TOPSIDE TO WATCH CARRIER LIFE.

THE ROLLING AND PITCHING DIDN'T MAKE THE FOOD ANY MORE APPETIZING, THOUGH; A FEW OF THE PASSENGERS AND SHIP'S COMPANY "GAVE THEIR ALL" AT THE RAIL.

ON THE BRIDGE, THE OFFICER OF THE DECK TOOK IT EASY. FOR THE FIRST TIME UNDERWAY, HE DIDN'T HAVE A TASK GROUP AROUND HIM AND A GUIDE ON WHICH TO KEEP STATION. THE DESTROYERS HAD TO KEEP STATION ON US -- WHAT A CINCH. JUST LIKE THE OLD SHAKEDOWN DAYS.

FRIDAY, 19 MAY '44

"STEAMING AS BEFORE" WAS THE SUBSTANCE OF THE OOD'S LOG WITH NO ACTIVITY ABOARD, ONLY THE ACTIVITY OF THE SHIP ROLLING IN HEAVY WATER.

VARIOUS DEPARTMENTS WERE ASSEMBLING WORK ORDERS FOR JOBS TO BE DONE AT PEARL HARBOR NAVY YARD. CHANGES AUTHORIZED BY BUREAU OF SHIPS LETTERS WOULD BE ROUTED VIA THE FIRST LIEUTENANT, THEN THE CAPTAIN, AND FINALLY THE WORK WOULD BE ACCOMPLISHED AFTER IT HAD BEEN ARRANGED BY THE YARD PLANNING SECTION. ANOTHER ITEM WAS OUR SC-2 RADAR ANTENNA. AFTER MUCH WORK ON IT BY THE ELECTRICAL GANG, IT WAS STILL REFUSING TO WORK. SO, WE HOPED TO GET A NEW ONE THAT WOULD LAST THROUGH THE NEXT OPERATION.

SATURDAY, 20 MAY '44

THE WEATHER WAS LOTS BETTER TODAY AND AT 0923, THE FIRST PLANE LEFT THE DECK ON A TRAINING FLIGHT. TWO ANTI-SUB AND ANTI-SNOOPER TEAMS FLEW FORTY-FIVE DEGREE SECTORS ON EITHER SIDE OF THE BOW AND THE FIGHTER AND TORPEDO PLANE FLIGHTS PRACTICED GUNNERY AND BOMBING. PRACTICE ATTACKS WERE MADE ON THE BATAAN AND OUR TWO ESCORTS. THE FLIGHT LANDED ABOARD ABOUT NOON, THE LAST PLANE GETTING ABOARD AT 1220. THE AFTERNOON LAUNCH AT 1430 WAS A REPEAT OF THE MORNING FLIGHT, GUNNERY AND BOMBING WITH NOTHING UNUSUAL HAPPENING DURING THE 1700 RECOVERY.

JUST BEFORE MIDNIGHT WE PICKED UP JOHNSTON ISLAND ON THE RADAR 35 MILES AWAY. NOW, NO MORE LAND UNTIL PEARL HARBOR.

SUNDAY, 21 MAY '44

LAST NIGHT THE CAPTAIN TALKED ON THE TBS TO THE SKIPPER OF ONE OF THE DD'S WHICH WAS APPROACHING THE SAFETY MARGIN ON FUEL NECESSARY TO MAKE PEARL HARBOR. THE PLAN WAS TO "SERVE REFRESHMENTS FROM OUR LUNCH COUNTER". THE CAPTAIN OF THE DESTROYER REPLIED IN THE TBS CODE SYSTEM IN POPULAR USAGE THAT HE HAD NEVER "TAKEN REFRESHMENTS" FROM OUR SIZE "LUNCH COUNTER -- WE'VE ALWAYS WORKED WITH THE BIG ONES."

IN SPITE OF THE PREPARATION, A SLIGHT SWELL WAS STILL RUNNING AT 0800 THIS MORNING, SO, INASMUCH AS THE DESTROYER THOUGHT SHE COULD MAKE IT, NO FUELING OPERATION TOOK PLACE.

UNDERWAY STYLE CHURCH SERVICES WERE HELD IN THE STARBOARD MESS HALL WITH BOTH CATHOLIC MASS AND A GENERAL PROTESTANT SERVICE. LATE IN THE DAY, PREPARATIONS WERE MADE TO LAUNCH THE AIR GROUP EARLY THE NEXT MORNING; THEY WILL BE BASED AT THE BEAUTIFUL KANEOHE N. A. S. MONDAY, 22 MAY '44 IT WAS EARLY REVEILLE FOR THE AIR GROUP PERSONNEL; ALL FIGHTER AND TORPEDO PLANES LEFT THE SHIP AT 0630 FOR KANEHOE NAVAL AIR STATION TO ASSUME A TEMPORARY SHORE BASED STATUS. THE EARLY LAUNCH WAS NECESSITATED BY ANTI-AIRCRAFT FIRING WHICH BEGAN AT 0700. FIRING CONTINUED UNTIL LATE IN THE MORNING; GUNNERS ON THE 40MM MOUNTS BURNED UP 4605 ROUNDS AND THE 20'S HAD SHOT UP 2975 ROUNDS. THE GUNNERS HADN'T SHOT AT ANYTHING SINCE OUR DEPARTURE FROM PEARL THE LAST TIME, BUT DID VERY WELL IN SPITE OF THE LAY OFF. TWO JM-1'S PROVIDED MULTIPLE TARGETS.

AS WE CAME INTO PEARL HARBOR PROPER, ONE THING WAS OBVIOUS; IT WAS FULL. WHAT WE'D SEEN ON OUR PREVIOUS VISIT WAS MIDWEEK BUSINESS. TODAY IT WAS AS CROWDED AS A LABOR DAY WEEKEND. CARRIERS, BATTLESHIPS, DESTROYERS, AND LANDING CRAFT WERE ALL AROUND US. NO DRY DOCK WAS AVAILABLE. WE THOUGHT OUR ELEVATOR REPAIR JOB HAD A HIGH PRIORITY, BUT EVIDENTLY THERE WAS OTHER WORK TO BE DONE. SO, WE MOORED AT 1231 IN BERTH C-6 AND PROCEEDED TO WAIT.

THE AFTERNOON WAS SPENT IN GETTING OUR MARINE AND NAVAL PASSENGERS OFF TO THEIR DESTINATION AND TRYING TO FIND SOME TRANSPORTATION FOR THE AIR GROUP PERSONNEL THAT DID NOT FLY OFF WITH THE PLANES. PILOTS AND MECHANICS STEWED AS NONE CAME.

A GREAT VICTORY WAS ACCOMPLISHED, HOWEVER, IN THE PROCURING OF TWO BOATS -- AN OFFICERS MOTORBOAT AND A LARGE MOTOR LAUNCH FOR THE CREW -- FROM THE FLEET BOAT POOL. THERE WILL BE LIBERTY TOMORROW AND THERE ARE BOATS!

TUESDAY, 23 MAY '44

SIXTY-FIVE OFFICERS AND MEN OF THE AIR GROUP LEFT THE SHIP AT 0800 TO JOIN THE PILOTS AND PLANES AT KANEOHE NAVAL AIR STATION.

THE SELDOM SOUNDED "LIBERTY CALL" WAS HEARD AT 0850, AND AT 09900 LIBERTY STARTED FOR THE PORT WATCH. THE LARGE MOTOR LAUNCH MADE THREE TRIPS WITH THE CREW AND THE OFFICERS' MOTORBOAT MADE SCHEDULED TRIPS TO THE FORD ISLAND LANDING.

FIELD DAY CONTINUED ON THE SHIP. A DETAIL FROM THE C & R DEPARTMENT WAS SENT TO THE BEACH TO OBTAIN MUCH NEEDED PAINT. LOOKOUT BINOCULARS AND OTHER DELICATE INSTRUMENTS WERE TAKEN TO THE NAVY YARD FOR OVERHAUL. THE SUPPLY DEPARTMENT BEGAN THE JOB OF PROCURING THE SHIP'S STORES AND OF COURSE THE MAIL CLERK WENT LOOKING FOR SOME MAIL.

WEDNESDAY, 24 MAY '44

THE SHIP GOT UNDERWAY TO MOVE FROM BERTH "CHARLIE SIX" OUT IN "THE STREAM" TO FOX TWO PIER ON FORD ISLAND. THE MANEUVER WAS ACCOMPLISHED SOON ENOUGH, BUT ALL TOO SLOWLY FOR THE STARBOARD SECTION WHICH WAS TO GO ON LIBERTY. HOWEVER, BEFORE NOON, A BROW WAS PUT OVER FROM THE DOCK TO THE FOC'SLE AND THE MEN STARTED TO STORM OFF TO HIT THE HIGH SPOTS OF HONOLULU.

IT WAS A FULL WORKING DAY FOR THE DUTY AND STANDBY SECTIONS; ALL HANDS TURNED TO ON THE SHIP'S PAINTWORK ON THE INSIDE AND OUTSIDE. PLENTY OF PAINT WAS NOW ON BOARD AND IT WAS BEING PUT TO GOOD USE.

MORE OF THAT PRECIOUS MAIL CAME ABOARD AFTER A QUICK TRIP FROM THE STATES. POSTMARKS WERE AS LATE AS "21 MAY" -- WE FELT AS IF WE WERE PRACTICALLY HOME.

THURSDAY, 25 MAY '44

ANOTHER DAY OF CLEANING AND PAINTING FOR THE DUTY SECTIONS AND HONOLULU AND VICINITY FOR THE LIBERTY SECTIONS. NO DRY DOCK WAS YET AVAILABLE, BUT IT WAS RUMORED THAT WE WOULD LEAVE TOMORROW FOR THE NAVY YARD AND WORK WOULD BEGIN ON OUR ELEVATOR.

FRIDAY, 26 MAY '44

WE SET A FEW RECORDS TODAY, TO START WITH, WE GOT UNDERWAY, MOORED, GOT UNDERWAY, AND DRY DOCKED ALL IN THE PROCESS OF AN HOUR AND TWO MINUTES. AT 0948 WE STARTED FROM OUR FORD ISLAND BERTH TO DRY DOCK NO. 4. HOWEVER, AS WE REACHED THE MIDDLE OF THE STREAM, A MESSAGE CAME FROM THE CAPTAIN OF THE YARD THAT NO DRY DOCK WAS AVAILABLE AND TO RETURN TO OUR FORMER BERTH. SO, AT 1007 WE MOORED AGAIN, HOWEVER, WE GOT AN OKAY ON THE DRY DOCK IN A FEW MINUTES AND AT 1023 WE WERE UNDERWAY AGAIN FOR DRY DOCK.

THIS TIME IT WAS THE REAL THING AND WE CROSSED THE SILL OF DRY DOCK NO. 4 AT 1050. THE NEXT FEW HOURS WERE SPENT GETTING THE SHIP ON THE KEEL BLOCKS, ARRANGING FOR THE VARIOUS DOCK SERVICES -- POWER, FRESH WATER, AND TELEPHONE.

ANOTHER RECORD WAS MADE BY ASSEMBLING A 400 HAND CLEANING DETAIL TO PREPARE THE SHIP'S BOTTOM FOR PAINTING. ALL DIVISIONS CONTRIBUTED MEN, AND, ARMED WITH BIG WIRE BRUSHES AND LIFE LINES, THE WORKING PARTY THEN WENT OVER THE SIDE AND DOWN INTO THE IMENSE DRY DOCK.

STAGES HAD BEEN RIGGED BY THE YARD AND THE WORK PROGRESSED RAPIDLY WITH NO CASUALTIES. THE BOTTOM HAD TO BE READY BY 0800 FOR THE PAINTERS; SO, THE WORK CONTINUED LATE INTO THE EVENING -- BY WHICH TIME ALL HANDS WERE READY TO TURN IN THEIR SACKS.

MEANWHILE, PROVISIONS WERE ON THE DOCKS TO RESTOCK OUR STOREROOMS AND REFRIGERATORS. SO A HUNDRED HAND WORKING PARTY WAS CALLED AWAY TO STOW THE PROVISIONS BELOW.

BOTH WORKING PARTIES CONTINUED INTO THE NIGHT. THE 400 HANDS BEING SECURED BEFORE MIDNIGHT, BUT THE PROVISIONS PARTY CONTINUING UNTIL EARLY MORNING HOURS.

ON THE REPAIR END OF THE PROGRAM, YARD ENGINEERS AND OFFICERS BEGAN WORKING ON THE FORWARD ELEVATOR IMMEDIATELY. THEIR FIRST JOB WAS TO ESTABLISH A TRUE CENTER LINE; SO TRANSIT READINGS WERE MADE ON THE PLUNGER AND ALL GUIDES. THEY WERE FOUND TO BE LEANING FORWARD -- THE LONGITUDINAL AND TRANSVERSE GUIDES WERE OUT OF ALIGNMENT BY SEVEN-EIGHTS OF AN INCH. WHILE THE YARD MEN TRIED TO DEVISE A METHOD OF COUNTERACTING THE MISALIGNMENT, RAMS WERE REMOVED AND POLISHED. THE CYLINDER, THE RECEPTACLE FOR THE PLUNGER, WERE CAREFULLY CHECKED AND FOUND TO BE ALL RIGHT.

A TRAGEDY OF A SMALL SCALE OCCURRED IN THE AMUSEMENT FIELD ABOARD SHIP; LT ROSS CHERRY, ENTERTAINMENT COMMITTEE MOVIE MAN, HAD, BY A STROKE OF LUCK, PROCURED "LADY IN THE DARK" FROM THE MOVIE EXCHANGE. EVERYONE WAS ANXIOUS TO SEE A LATE FILM WITH COLOR AND GINGER ROGERS. BUT, NO LUCK; WORK CAME FIRST AND THE WORKING PARTIES AND SHIP'S BUSINESS KEPT GINGER FROM GRACING THE MOVIE SCREEN OF THE BATAAN. SO, WE WILL ENJOY IT JUST THAT MUCH MORE WHEN WE DO GET TO SEE IT.

SATURDAY, 27 MAY '44

NAVY YARD PAINTERS STARTED TO WORK ON BOTH THE SHIP'S BOTTOM AND SIDES. OUR PAINT JOB WE'D RECEIVED IN PHILADELPHIA WAS COPIED; THE LINES BETWEEN THE TWO COLORS WERE NOT SHARPLY DIFFERENTIATED, BUT BLURRED, THEREBY MAKING THE DECEPTIVE ASPECT OF IT MORE EFFECTIVE.

ELEVATOR REPAIR PERSONNEL PUT THE PARTS BACK TOGETHER AFTER HAVING POLISHED THE PLUNGER AND BRONZE LINER AND PACKING HOUSING. ACCORDING TO THE WORD FROM THE ENGINEERING FORCE, WE WERE GOING TO HAVE THINGS REPAIRED IN TIME TO GET BACK TO MAJURO FOR THE NEXT BIG SHOW.

A "ROUND THE ISLAND" TOUR ARRANGED BY THE CHAPLAIN FOR THE CREW LEFT THE SHIP IN THREE "HORSE CART" TRAILERS. FOOD AND REFRESHMENTS SERVED ON A BEACH HALF WAY AROUND THE ISLAND MADE THE TRIP VERY ENJOYABLE. SPOTS OF INTEREST WERE SUGAR AND PINEAPPLE PLANTATIONS, A SUGAR MILL, THE MORMON TEMPLE, AND THE FAMOUS "BLOW HOLE".

SUNDAY, 28 MAY '44

PAINTING AND ELEVATOR WORK CONTINUED AND OUR LOCATION WAS STILL DRY DOCK NO. 4. ALL GUIDES FOR THE ELEVATOR WERE SHIMMED IN ORDER TO CORRECT THE ALIGNMENT. ALL INDICATIONS WERE THAT IT WOULD BE READY FOR GETTING UNDERWAY TOMORROW.

LIBERTY WAS GRANTED FOR THE STARBOARD WATCH AND ANOTHER "ROUND THE ISLAND" TOUR RAN IN THREE MORE "HORSE CARTS".

 THE RUSH OF LETTER WRITING BEGAN AGAIN; TUESDAY MORNING WOULD BE THE LAST U.S. MAIL TO LEAVE THE SHIP UNTIL WE ARRIVED AT MAJURO.

MONDAY, 29 MAY '44

WITHOUT USING THE KLAXON WARNING HORN, THE FORWARD ELEVATOR WAS TESTED AT THE EARLY HOUR OF 0300, AND IT WORKED. WE WERE GOING TO HAVE A FORWARD ELEVATOR ON OUR NEXT STRIKE.

IN THE MORNING, PREPARATIONS ERE MADE TO CLEAR AWAY FOR FLOODING THE DRY DOCK AND AT 1300, THE ACTUAL FLOODING COMMENCED. AN HOUR LATER WE WERE WATER BOURNE AND THE SHIP WAS MOVED AFT IN THE DOCK.

LT. S. L. "SPIDER" REINHARDT AND LT. GEORGE BLISS, TWO "ORIGINAL" OFFICERS WHO HAD BEEN WITH THE SHIP EVER SINCE THE PRE-COMMISSIONING DETAIL, LEFT FOR THE STATES TODAY. BLISS WENT TO DALLAS FOR FLIGHT TRAINING, AND SPIDER TO THE N.A.S., GLENVIEW, ILLINOIS.

LATER IN THE AFTERNOON, A GASOLINE LIGHTER CAME ALONGSIDE TO FILL OUR TANKS IN PREPARATION FOR GETTING UNDERWAY TOMORROW.

THURSDAY, 30 MAY '44

OUR LAST MAIL -- A WHOLE TRUCKLOAD -- LEFT THE SHIP EARLY IN THE MORNING FOR THE FLEET POST OFFICE. OUR TWO MOTOR WHALEBOATS RETURNED FROM THE BOAT REPAIR SHOP IN A-1 CONDITION; THE PREVIOUSLY OPEN NUMBER 2 HAD A CANOPY PUT OVER THE FORWARD COCKPIT. THE USUAL EXCITEMENT AND LAST MINUTE PREPARATIONS FOR GETTING UNDERWAY OCCUPIED THE MORNING. THE FIRST LT., COMMANDER A.A GOODHUE, WAS DETACHED FROM THE SHIP WITH ORDERS BACK TO THE STATES. A NEW OFFICER HAD BEEN ASSIGNED TO TAKE HIS PLACE AND HAD NOT ARRIVED AT PEARL; SO LT. COMDR. JOHN METCALF HAS BEEN DESIGNATED ACTING FIRST LIEUTENANT. FOUR HUNDRED SACKS OF MAIL CAME ABOARD -- NOT FOR US -- FOR THE OTHER SHIPS AT MAJURO. ALSO, SPARE PARTS AND FLIGHT DECK TRACTORS FOR OTHER CARRIERS OF TASK FORCE 58.

AT 1102 WE GOT UNDERWAY, AND HALF AN HOUR LATER WE HAD CLEARED THE CHANNEL AND RENDEZVOUSED WITH THE USS LANDSDOWNE DD486, AND THE USS LARDNER, DD487.

WHOEVER ASSIGNS US DESTROYERS MUST LIKE TO KEEP THE DESTROYERS OF THE SAME FIRST LETTER TOGETHER; LAST TIME IT WAS HARADEN AND HALLIGAN, AND NOW THEY GIVE US TWO CANS BOTH BEGINNING WITH "L".

AFTER LUNCH WE STARTED AA FIRING WITH SHIPS STEAMING IN COLUMN. THE RUNS WERE SIMILAR TO THE ONES CONDUCTED ON OUR ENTRANCE TO PEARL WITH TWO YELLOW JM-1 TOW PLANES. CREWS WERE SHIFTED AROUND A GREAT DEAL SO THAT EVERYONE HAD A CHANCE TO FIRE. THE FIRST RUNS WERE FOR THE 20'S AND THEN THE TOW PLANES SHIFTED TO TORPEDO RUNS FOR ALL GUNS. SEVERAL SLEEVES WERE SHOT DOWN AND THE RESULTS WERE CONSIDERED VERY GOOD. THE LAST RUNS WERE AT HIGH ALTITUDE FOR THE DESTROYERS; THE 40'S TOOK A CRACK AT THE SLEEVE, BUT BECAUSE OF THE CLOUDS AND LACK OF RADAR CONTROL, THE RESULTS WEREN'T SO GOOD. IN ALL, 2241 ROUNDS OF 40MM AMMUNITION WERE USED AND 2178 ROUNDS OF 20MM.

AFTER THE HOUR OF CIRCLING OVERHEAD, THE AIR GROUP CAME ABOARD AT 1500 FROM KANEOHE NAVAL AIR STATION. THE PILOTS REPORTED A GOOD TIME WAS HAD BY ALL ON THE BEACH, EXCEPT, ENS. W. Y. "YOKE" IRWIN. FLYING A NEW F6F IN A DIVE, THE PLANE HAD REFUSED TO PULL OUT EVEN THOUGH IRWIN PUT ALL THE PRESSURE HE COULD ON THE STICK. JUST WHEN HE THOUGHT HE WAS A DEAD DUCK, IRWIN REMEMBERED AN ARTICLE HE READ ONE TIME ABOUT A PILOT IN A SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCE WHO USED THE TRIM TABS TO LEVEL OFF THE PLANE. SO HE STARTED TO WORK THE TABS. SURE ENOUGH, THE PLANE LEVELED OFF, AFTER TEARING OFF PART OF THE ELEVATOR SURFACES. A LANDING WAS MADE IN GOOD SHAPE AND NEEDLESS TO SAY, THE F6F WAS TRADED IN FOR A NEW ONE.

WEDNESDAY, 31 MAY '44

MEMO TO ALL HANDS -- WE ARE OFF ON ANOTHER BIG JOB; PROCEEDING FIRST TO MAJURO WHERE WE REJOIN THE FAMOUS TASK FORCE 58. UPON LEAVING PEARL HARBOR WE RECEIVED THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE FROM THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF THE PACIFIC FLEET:

"MY CONFIDENCE AND BEST WISHES TO YOU AND ALL UNDER YOUR COMMAND. GOOD HUNTING." SIGNED NIMITZ AND ADDRESSED TO THE BATAAN, OUR TWO DD ESCORTS, THE LANDSDOWN AND THE LARDNER, AND TWO OTHER TASK GROUPS DEPARTING PEARL YESTERDAY.

V. H. SCHAEFFER, CAPTAIN

THE CAPTAIN'S PLAN OF THE DAY MESSAGE WAS WHAT WE'D ALL BEEN LOOKING FORWARD TO FOR SOME TIME. LIBERTY IN HONOLULU IS ALL RIGHT, BUT THE PRIZE PACKAGE IS IN THE STATES. AND THE BEST WAY TO GET BACK IS TO WIN THE WAR. SO LET'S GET STARTED.

"ANOTHER BIG JOB" SOUNDED QUITE IMPRESSIVE. THE AMOUNT OF AMPHIBIOUS CRAFT, THE CONVOYS MOVING WESTWARD, THE CONVERSATIONS IN OFFICERS' CLUBS, THE SCUTTLEBUTT PASSED BY THE NAVY YARD WORKMEN -- YOU COULD TAKE IT FROM ANY ON OF THOSE SOURCES AND MAKE OUT JUST ONE THING -- THE BIGGEST LANDING OPERATION EVER ATTEMPTED BY THE COMBINED UNITED STATES FORCES IN THE PACIFIC.

"FLIGHT QUARTERS" SOUNDED AT 0820 FOR THE 0900 LAUNCH OF SIX FIGHTERS AND FOUR TBM'S FOR FIGHTER DIRECTION EXERCISES. THE FIGHTERS WERE SPLIT INTO THREE TWO PLANE SECTIONS AND THE TBM'S INTO TWO SECTIONS. THE FIGHTERS WERE PUT OVERHEAD AS A COMBAT AIR PATROL AND THE TORPEDO PLANES WENT OUT TO 50 MILES AND RETURNED ON AN ATTACK.

THE GUNNERY DEPARTMENT MANNED ALL 20 AND 40MM BATTERIES FOR THE FIRST TORPEDO PLANE ATTACK. INTERCEPTION WAS MADE BY THE FIGHTERS AT A 20 MILE RANGE FROM THE SHIP AND THE ATTACKING GROUP CONTINUED ON IN TO GIVE THE GUNNERS SOME PRACTICE.

THE PROCESS WAS REPEATED THE SECOND TIME WITHOUT THE GUNNERY DEPARTMENT CONTRIBUTING.

DURING THE MORNING, A FORTY SHIP CONVOY, WHICH INCLUDED THE CVE'S MIDWAY AND FANSHAW BAY, WERE OPERATING ABOUT FIFTY MILES TO THE SOUTHEAST OF US. THEY WERE APPROXIMATELY ON THE SAME COURSE AS WE WERE, BUT MAKING LESS SPEED.

FOLLOWING FLIGHT QUARTERS AND THE OPERATION OF THE FORWARD ELEVATOR, THE ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT BROKE THE SAD NEWS -- THE ELEVATOR STILL WASN'T OPERATING PROPERLY. AT FULL SPEED, THE PLUNGER WAS BEING SCORED BADLY. HOWEVER, AT ONE-THIRD SPEED, THE SCORING WAS NOT NOTICEABLE -- SO, WE NOW HAD A SLOW FORWARD ELEVATOR.

 

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