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July '45

 

1 JULY '45

0753, THE BATAAN IS UNDERWAY AS PART OF ADMIRAL HALSEY'S TASK FORCE 38. WE ARE ASSIGNED TO TASK GROUP 38.3, REAR ADMIRAL BOGAN, COMMANDING.

2 JULY '45

TASK GROUP 38.3 CONDUCTS STRAFING, ROCKETING, AND BOMBING EXERCISES ON SLED TOWED BY BATAAN. SCHEDULED AA GUNNERY EXERCISES WERE HELD. TWO VT PLANES ARE LAUNCHED FOR STRAFING, ROCKETING AND BOMBING EXERCISES. ONE TOW PANE RETURNED WITH INJURED AIR CREWMAN L. SCHULTZ, AMN3C, USNR, HAVING SUSTAINED COMPOUND FRACTURE OF THE RIGHT RADIUS AND ULNA; HE WAS STRUCK BY A PIECE OF FLYING METAL FROM THE IMPELLER OF THE BROKEN TOWING MECHANISM.

3 - 8 JULY '45

CONTINUATION OF GROUP EXERCISES AS TASK GROUP 38.3 HEADS FOR THE JAPANESE MAINLAND. 8 JULY '45 -- LT. (JG) RICHARD STEPHANSKY, USNR, RESCUED AT SEA AFTER HE HAD BEEN COMPELLED TO MAKE A WATER LANDING WHEN HIS ENGINE FAILED. HE WAS PICKED UP SHORTLY THEREAFTER BY THE USS SOUTERLAND AND RETURNED IN GOOD CONDITION TO THE BATAAN THE SAME DAY.

9 JULY '45

ON A HIGH SPEED RUN IN A NORTHWESTERLY COURSE FOR STRIKES ON TOKYO BAY AREA. NO AIR OPERATIONS.

10 JULY '45

ON THIS DAY 41 SORTIES ARE FLOWN OVER JAPAN. ALL STRIKES BEING IN CONJUNCTION WITH STRIKES FROM THE USS RANDOLPH. TARGETS ATTACKED INCLUDED MOBARA, NIYAKAWA, NARUTO, YACHIMATA, AND YOKOSUKA. SUBCAP #4 ESCORTED LIFEGUARD SUBMARINE TO LOCATION OF 3 SURVIVORS FROM THE USS MONTEREY; SURVIVORS PICKED UP BY THE SUBMARINE. BATAAN PLANES DESTROYED OR DAMAGED AT LEAST 26 PARKED PLANES. NOT A SINGLE JAPANESE AIRBORNE PLANE IS SEEN. LT. ROBERT TALBOT, USNR, HAD PROPELLER GOVERNOR TROUBLE AND HAD TO MAKE A WATER LANDING. LT. TALBOT WAS PICKED UP ALMOST IMMEDIATELY BY THE USS CABILAN SS252.

11 - 13 JULY '45

STEAMING NORTH FOR ATTACKS ON HOKKAIDO AND NORTHERN HONSHU.

14 JULY '45

WE HIT NORTHERN JAPAN IN THE FIRST CARRIER ATTACK OF THE WAR AGAINST THIS AREA. AIRCRAFT ON GROUND OR WATER AND SHIPPING ARE THE PRIMARY TARGETS. ENSIGN ROBERT GRAHAM SINKS ONE OF THE HOKKAIDO - HONSHU RAILROAD FERRIES UNASSISTED; THESE FERRIES WERE TARGETS OF THE HIGHEST PRIORITY. IN ADDITION, SHIPS SANK OR DAMAGED INCLUDED 10 MERCHANT VESSELS, A TUG, A SEA GOING DREDGE, LUGGERS, LAUNCHES, SAMPANS, PLUS A FLOAT PLANE IN THE WATER. IN ADDITION, FERRY CLIPS AND OTHER INSTALLATIONS IN NORTHERN HONSHU WERE SUCCESSFULLY ATTACKED. JAP AA GUNS AT HOKODATE GIVEN A WARM "HELLO". LT. BENJAMIN DOUGLAS, USNR. AND CREWMAN W. L. BREWER MADE A WATER LANDING ON ACCOUNT OF DAMAGE TO THEIR TBM FROM ENEMY AA FIRE. THE LANDING WAS MADE SUCCESSFULLY WITHOUT FLAPS, RUDDER, OR AILERON CONTROL. THE TWO WERE ABLE TO GET INTO THEIR LIFE RAFT FROM WHICH THEY WERE PICKED UP, UNINJURED, BY THE USS McNAIR. THE PLANE SANK IN 50 SECONDS. TWO HELLCATS ARE ALSO HIT IN THE MORNING. FIVE OF THE SEVEN TORPEDO PLANES IN THE AFTERNOON STRIKE COME BACK WITH FLAK DAMAGE.

THIS WAS A SAD DAY FOR THE AIR GROUP AND THE SHIP. A WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHT OF ONE TORPEDO PLANE AND ONE FIGHTER WAS LOST. LT. JOHN WRIGHT, JR., USNR., LT (JG) CLIFFORD FLUITT, USNR, WM. R. BROWNING, CAERM, USN, AND ROBERT THOMAS, AOM2C, USNR, MISSING. THE FLIGHT WAS SENT OUT WITH ORDERS TO FLY OUT 200 MILES ON A TRUE BEARING OF 115 DEGREES. OBSERVATIONS WERE TO BE TAKEN AND A REPORT IN FLIGHT MADE TO CTF 38. THE VF WAS LOADED WITH 400 GALLONS OF GASOLINE, THE VT WITH 435. NO RECOVERY TIME WAS SPECIFIED. EFFORTS BY THE BATAAN TO ESTABLISH COMMUNICATIONS WITH THE FLIGHT AND VECTOR IT BACK TO BASE BEGAN AT 1015. AT 1135, COMMUNICATION WAS ESTABLISHED WITH LT. (JG) FLUITT VIA AN ESSEX CAP PLANE RELAY. FLUITT WAS DIRECTED TO FLASH HIS EMERGENCY IFF AND TO FLY ON A SE COURSE. NO PLANES SHOWING EMERGENCY IFF ON THE BATAAN RADAR SCREEN WERE OBSERVED TO FLY SUCH A COURSE. AT 1230, THE ESSEX RELAY PLANE WAS RELIEVED BY A BATAAN PANE. AT 1240, FLUITT WAS DIRECTED VIA THE RELAY PLANE TO FLY A HEADING OF 330 DEGREES. HE ACKNOWLEDGED BY KEYING HIS TRANSMITTER BUTTON, AS FURTHER DIRECTED. AT 1255 FLUITT REPORTED HE HAD 80 GALLONS OF GASOLINE. FROM THERE ON, NO FURTHER TRANSMISSION FROM THE FLIGHT WAS HEARD. ALTHOUGH FLUITT OCCASIONALLY ACKNOWLEDGED RECEIPT OF MESSAGES BY KEYING HIS TRANSMITTER BUTTON. FROM 1315 ON, NO FURTHER SIGNALS WERE RECEIVED FROM THE FLIGHT.

15 JULY '45

MORE STRIKES AGAINST NORTHERN HONSHU AND HOKKAIDO TARGETS. MERCHANT VESSELS ARE BURNED, RADAR INSTALLATION, A RADIO STATION, A LIGHTHOUSE, OIL TANKS AND AN OIL REFINERY ARE BURNED, ROCKETED, AND STRAFED. AIRFIELDS ARE RECONNOITERED AND A FOUR MOTORED EMILY FLYING BOAT IS SET ABLAZE. VF-47 DEVELOPS A NEW AND LUCRATIVE PASTIME -- STRAFING LOCOMOTIVES. SIX ARE BLOWN UP BY THIS TREATMENT WITH SATISFACTORY EXPLOSIONS RESULTING. A RESCUE SEARCH OF 4 VF AND 4 VT ARE LAUNCHED TO SEARCH FOR THE WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHT MISSING SINCE 14 JULY '45 -- RESULTS NEGATIVE.

16 JULY '45

LAUNCHES OF THE EARLY MORNING FLIGHTS RECOVERED WITH NEGATIVE RESULTS.

17 JULY '45

ENROUTE TO TOKYO BAY, STRIKE BAKER 2 WAS UNABLE TO REACH THE TARGET BECAUSE OF LOW OVERCAST. STRIKE JETTISONED BOMBS AND RETURNED TO BASE. ALL FURTHER STRIKES CANCELLED BECAUSE OF BAD WEATHER.

18 JULY '45

OUR VT PLANES TAKE PART IN A COORDINATED ATTACK BY THE TASK FORCE ON THE 34,000 TON BATTLESHIP NAGATO IN TOKOSUKA HARBOR. FLAK FROM THE HARBOR AND SHIPS IN THE HARBOR WAS ACCURATE WITH ALL CALIBERS. THIS WAS THE MOST INTENSE VOLUME OF FIRE ENCOUNTERED BY VT-47, BATTLESHIP NAGATO SUSTAINS SERIOUS DAMAGE.

19 -22 JULY '45 -- UNDERWAY FOR REFUELING AND REPLENISHING RENDEZVOUS. FLYABLE DUDS TRANSFERRED AND REPLACEMENTS LANDED.

23 JULY '45

ON A HIGH SPEED RUN FOR STRIKES AGAINST KURE SHIPPING PLUS OTHER TARGETS. VTS LAUNCHED FOR AIR GROUP EXERCISES IN SQUADRON TACTICS. LAUNCHED DAY CAP OF 8 VFS; UPON RECOVERY, ONE VF HAD A DECK CRASH IN LANDING, BROKE IN TWO AND WAS JETTISONED; PILOT UNINJURED.

24 JULY '45

STEAMING ABOUT 120 MILES SOUTH OF THE SOUTHERN TIP OF HONSHU. SUBCAPS LAUNCHED WITH NEGATIVE RESULTS. STRIKE CHARLIE 3 LAUNCHED WITH THE PRIMARY ASSIGNMENT OF THE STRIKE BEING AA PROTECTING KURE SHIPPING. TWO VF AND ONE VT OF THE STRIKE DROPPED ON THE BATTLESHIP HYUGA, SINCE MOST OF THE FLAK WAS COMING FROM IT. TWO OF THE TBM BOMBS, EQUIPPED WITH VT FUZING, BURST ABOVE THE DECK OF THE HYUGA, DECREASING THE AA FROM THE SHIP FOR THE TIME BEING. THREE LUGGERS AND ONE SMALL PATROL CRAFT WERE DAMAGED IN THE INLAND SEA. ONE VF OF THE STRIKE ASSISTED IN SPLASHING A ZEKE NEAR YA SHIMA. PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE HYUGA AND AA POSITIONS ON KURAHASHI SHIMA AND NASAKA SHIMA. THE CV ASO WAS BOMBED AND A SUGAR DOG WAS LEFT BURNING AND IN A SINKING CONDITION; TWO LUGGERS AND THREE SAMPANS WERE LEFT BURNING, AND A TUG AND TWO SMALL CRAFT DAMAGED BY STRAFING.

25 JULY '45

STRIKES CANCELED BECAUSE OF BAD WEATHER. SUBCAP #5 HELPED DIRECT A RANDOLPH VF TO THE LIFEGUARD SUBMARINE. IT WAS BELIEVED THAT THE RANDOLPH PILOT COULD NOT HAVE FOUND THE LIFEGUARD SUBMARINE WITHOUT THE HELP OF OUR SUBCAP. THE RANDOLPH PILOT WAS RESCUED IN GOOD CONDITION.

26 - 27 JULY '45

FUELING AND REPLENISHING. UNDERWAY FOR STRIKES AGAINST KURE.

28 JULY '45

ALL DAYCAPS LAUNCHED WERE RECOVERED WITH NEGATIVE RESULTS. STRIKE CHARLIE 3 LAUNCHED AGAINST SHIPPING IN KURE AREA. TWO VTS RETURNED BECAUSE OF ENGINE TROUBLE. THE 7 VTS LEFT IN THIS STRIKE OBTAINED 8 HITS WITH 500 POUND GP BOMBS ON THE CA TONE AT ANCHOR. THE SHIP IS BADLY DAMAGED AND SUBSEQUENTLY REPORTED AS BEACHED. AA POSITIONS WERE ALSO HIT BY PLANES OF THE BATAAN. THE PHOTO PLANE SECURED PHOTOGRAPHS CONFIRMING THAT THE BB HYUGA WAS BADLY DAMAGED AND RESTING ON THE BOTTOM OF NASAKE SHIMA. FLAK FROM THE TONE AND LAND BASED AA CONSISTED OF INTENSE MEDIUM AND MODERATE HEAVY FIRE. IN THE AFTERNOON, OUR PLANES SPOT A GOOD SIZE MERCHANT SHIP IN THE INLAND SEA. SIX QUARTER TON BOMB HITS SINK IT WITHIN 2 OR 3 MINUTES.

29 JULY '45

REPLENISHING. TWO DAYCAPS LAUNCHED WITH NEGATIVE RESULTS.

30 JULY '45

TWO STRIKES AGAINST TOKOROZAWA AIRFIELD. FLAK WAS MODERATE BUT ACCURATE. TWO VF AND ONE VT WERE DAMAGED BY AA FIRE. BESIDES THE AIR FIELD, 3 FACTORIES AND A POWER HOUSE ARE DAMAGED. TWO VF OF SUBCAP #5 COVERED AN OUTBOARD MOTOR BOAT CONTAINING A LEXINGTON VF PILOT AND CREW WHICH WAS FORCED DOWN. THE BOAT, WHICH HAD BEEN DROPPED TO THE SURVIVORS BY A RESCUE PLANE, WAS HEADING TOWARDS A LIFEGUARD SUBMARINE. THE SURVIVORS WERE RESCUED BY THE SUBMARINE.

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Last modified: 10/14/17