Friday, November 24, 1944, 0800: Reported in to Receiving Ship, Philadelphia Navy Yard. Awaiting arrival of my seabag from Hawaii and then further orders.
I was assigned to the Transient Barracks and because of my rank, took muster each morning at 0800, checked 5X8 records to see who was delinquent in shots, gas mask drills, swimming lessons for non-swimmers, etc. I then organized groups to be taken to each facility to update their records. Left for home each evening around 1630 hours.
Speaking of non-swimmers, it didn't take me long to determine that the printing on the stamp indicating that you had passed your swimming test was the same size and style as my typewriter. So - in the typewriter goes my 5X8 card and on goes the notation "Passed Basic Swimming Test" on the proper line on my card. End of that problem!
After more than 10 weeks waiting for my seabag, the Navy finally decided to issue me a complete new one. The day before I was scheduled to go to Supply to pick up my new duds, didn't Old Faithful show up. It had come by sea to San Diego, then by truck to Salt Lake City where it sat in a warehouse for awhile before being forwarded to Philly.
Tuesday, February 6, 1945. Transferred to Receiving Ship, Norfolk Navy Yard, VA for further transfer to the USS TORRANCE, AKA76. The Navy provided an interesting transportation route to relieve congestion on the rail lines: train from Philly to Baltimore; then via overnight bay steamer from Baltimore down the Chesapeake Bay to Norfolk, VA. Had a single stateroom and a fabulous dinner and breakfast in the morning. While in Norfolk the Navy changed it's mind and on:
Tuesday, February 20, 1945. I was transferred by train to Receiving Ship, Pier 92, New York City, NY for further transfer to the USS ENDICOTT, DD495.
While waiting for the ENDICOTT, I pulled Shore Patrol in Manhattan several times, paired with two ex-New York City policemen in the Navy for the duration. We patrolled the same areas, Times Square and Yorktown, as they did before being called to active duty. Needless to say, they knew where to be when it carne time for dinner.
Mary came up to New York for a weekend and we'd walk around looking at all the fancy places the Shore Patrol visited, such as the 21 Club, etc., but that she and I could not afford to go in.
pictures © navsource.org
Saturday, March 3, 1945. Reported aboard the USS ENDICOTT, DD495, tied up in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, CDR John D. Bulkeley, Captain.
NOTE: The Endicott was built by Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation at Seattle, WA. Her keel was laid on May 1, 1941, launched April 5, 1942 and commissioned a destroyer on February 25, 1943.
The ENDICOTT has seen plenty of action. During her first year she escorted two convoys to Africa and one each to Ireland, Panama and Trinidad. Just before D-Day she collided with a merchantman and missed the invasion of Normandy. In July of 1944 she rejoined the fleet under the command of CDR Bulkeley and participated in a diversionary attack on the coast of southern France, sinking a German merchantman and later, rescuing Lt.Cmdr. Douglas Fairbanks Jr.'s PT boat HMS APHIS under attack from two German corvettes, the NIMET ALLAH and the CAPRIOLA, sinking both vessels. After Christmas 1944 the ENDICOTT was one of the escorts for the cruiser USS QUINCY on it's high speed trip from the States to Gibralter, carrying President Roosevelt to the Yalta Conference.
CDR Bulkeley, a Medal of Honor recipient, gained national fame as a LTjg commanding the PT boat that rescued Army General Douglas MacArthur from the Philippines in 1942. He gave Americans something to cheer about in the dark days following Pearl Harbor by wreaking havoc amongst Japanese military elements in the Far East in the early days of the war.
In the first couple of days aboard ship I heard so many stories about the accomplishments of the skipper and the assignments of the ship that I determined early on to keep detailed notes so that I wouldn't miss anything.
Following is a copy of the ENDICOTT notes then the ENDICOTT diary. As with the KEOKUK notes and diary, items enclosed with [-----] are clarifying items, comments and updates inserted when preparing this document.
ENDICOTT LOOSE NOTES
Sunday, 3-4-45. Regular work day. Ship in port.
Monday, 3-5-45 and Tuesday, 3-6-45. 48-hour liberty.
Wednesday, 3-7-45. Regular work day.
Thursday, 3-8-45. Liberty. [About this time I bought a copy of a book entitled: "We Were Expendable" which detailed the exploits of CDR Bulkeley in the early days of the war. I asked to see the Captain one evening and he kindly autographed my book.]
Friday, 3-9-45. Regular work day.
Saturday, 3-10-45. Regular work day.
Sunday, 3-11-45. Liberty.
Monday, 3-12-45, 0800-1200, 2000-2400: [Generator] Watch. 0915: Left Brooklyn for Casco Bay, Portland, Maine. 1400: No.1 engine developed trouble and it was cut out for repairs. Proceded on No.2, speed 18 knots. 2115: Cut No.1 back in service, speed 30 knots.
Tuesday, 3-13-45, 0800-1200: Watch. 1140: Arrived Casco Bay.
Wednesday, 3-14-45. Regular work day in port.
Thursday, 3-15-45, 0800: Put to sea for engine room endurance tests. 1200-1600: Watch. 1500: anchored Casco Bay.
Friday, 3-16-45. Regular work day in port.
Saturday, 3-17-45. Put to sea for target practice on gas powered airplane models. On the way back, met a [surrendered] Italian sub that is working with the Destroyer Squadron at Casco. [The Italians act as a target for U.S. sonar operators. Lucky guys, we hear they are set up in a nice barracks in the Navy yard. The war is sure over for them.]
Sunday, 3-18-45, 0730: Put to sea for target practice on a towed target. 1730: Anchored Casco Bay.
Monday, 3-19-45, 0800: Put to sea for endurance tests. 1600: Tied up at Long Island Docks, Casco Bay.
Tuesday, 3-20-45 and Wednesday, 3-21-45. Notes Missing.
Thursday, 3-22-45, 0400-0800; Watch. Scheduled to get under way at 0800. Bad weather, 25 MPH gale. 1600-2000: Watch. Got under way at 1600 for night firing practice. Cancelled due to rough seas. I got so sick I was ready to jump over the side.
Friday, 3-23-45, 0400-0800: Excused from watch. Gale subsided in morning. 1600-2000: Watch. 1800: Anchored Casco Bay.
Saturday, 3-24-45, 0400-0800: watch. 0830; Left Casco Bay for firing practice at gas models. 1600: Anchored in Casco Bay.
Sunday, 3-25-45, 0400-0800: Watch. 0730: Got underway for firing practice at a towed sleeve. Left range about noon for New York. Speed 18 knots. 1600-2000: Watch.
Monday, 3-26-45, 0400-0800: Watch. 0730: Stepped speed up to 27 knots. Arrived at nets at 0900. Anchored in harbor. 1630: Tied up at Staten Island. Section One has the duty.
Tuesday, 3-27-45. Regular work day. 1700: Took on ammunition. Liberty up at 0100, stayed aboard.
Wednesday, 3-28-45, 0800-1200: Watch. 0840: Got underway for _____________. We and the USS COONER, DE 172, are escorting 18 ships down the coast towards Norfolk where we are to be joined by [other] ships from there.
Friday, 3-30-45, 0800-1200, 1600-1800: Watch. Calm. 12 knots.
Saturday, 3-31-45, 0400-0800, 1600-2000: Watch. We're north of Bermuda at noon.
Sunday, 4-1-45, 0100: Set clocks up one hour. 0400-0800, 1600-2000: Watch. Calm. The ENDICOTT is the lead can, screening forward of the convoy about 5 miles. [NOTE: Each evening, at GQ, the ENDICOTT turns and speeds back through the convoy to surprise any subs that may be following. A flanking can takes our place as the lead can till we get back into position. As we shift from column to column on the trip back, all the troops on the various troopships run from one side to the other to see what is going on. Some of us called this the Army Morale Run.]
Monday, 4-2-45, 0400-0800, 1600-1800: Watch. Ground swells. 1230: Exchanged movies with the USS MOFFETT, a twin-mount DD. 1400: Refueled from SS GULF OF VENEZUELA. 1515: Secured from refueling. Went back to head of convoy.
Tuesday, 4-3-45, 0000-0400, 1200-1600: Watch. Seas moderate. Speed 12 knots. 0945: Firing practice at surface target.
Wednesday, 4-4-45, 0000-0400, 1200-1600: Watch. Very rough. S.O.S., plane down between Bermuda and Canary Islands, to SE of us.
Thursday, 4-5-45, 0000-0400, 1200-1600, 2000-2400: Watch. Long. 46°, Lat. 37°. Set clocks ahead 1 hour. Very rough, 30 foot swells. 1800: started S. to try to find flyers. steaming at 25 knots, should get in their vicinity tomorrow morning.
Friday, 4-6-45. Long. 34°53', Lat. 36°28'. Doing 45 degree lists every other minute. Don't see how the ship can stand this pounding. At 0030 a whale boat broke loose. 0400 we leaned so far to starboard that our door scooped sea into the [electricalj shop. No sleep tonite, wet sacks. 0800: Cut down from 25 to 15 knots. Started circling from their [the pilots] last reported position at about 13 knots. Tremendous seas. I doubt if anyone could last a couple of minutes let alone a couple of days. At night we used the 12" searchlights, couldn't use the 24" or 36" because of subs. [Being the Electrician at the base of the 12" searchlight, I knew the subs could care less about the size of the searchlight, a beam is a beam.] We circled during the night gradually increasing the radius to 20 miles. At this point we were forced to stop the search and attempt to reach the convoy. The ship is taking a terrific pounding and besides the damage to the whaleboat, we lost a floater net and a life raft and the stern guard rail was beaten to the deck.
Saturday, 4-7-45, 0800-1200, 2000-2400: Watch. Reached the convoy about 0600, which had been running in a general easterly direction toward us. At noon the intensity of the storm increased. Several times we did rolls of more than 50 degrees and the size of the swells increased until they reached the unbelieveable height of 50 to 60 feet. A storm at sea is really a terrifying and at the same time beautiful sight. At evening chow the cooks finally wised up and served sandwiches. The Convoy Commodore sent us his congratulations for continuing the search as long as we did. At noon we were about 150 miles off the Azore Islands. Long. 31°22', Lat. 37°33'.
Sunday, 4-8-45, 0800-1200,1800-2000: Watch. Were told to prepare for 80 mile winds and mountainous seas late this evening. G.H.M.O.O.S.! 2130; PF 66 had a sub contact -dropped about 20 [Depth] charges -no luck. No storm yet, we are heading S to miss the [worst of the] storm.
Monday, 4-9-45, 0400-0800, 1600-2000: Watch. Married 2 years today. 0100: Set clocks ahead 1 hour. 0900: Exchanged movies with DE 172, 1000-1500: Refueled from SS GULF OF VENEZUELA. We had enough oil left for 3 or 4 more days.
Tuesday, 4-10-45, 0400-0800, 1600-2000.: watch. weather still rough.
Wednesday, 4-11-45, 0400-0800, 1600-1800: Watch. Good, calm & warm. Roughly we're about 700 m W of the Rock and 200 m N of Madeira Island. 1800: Investigated 2 ships picked up by radar about 20 miles ahead of convoy. Proved to be a Navy tanker & old 4-Piper. [Navy slang for a World War I 4-stack destroyer]
Thursday, 4-12-45, 0000-0400, 1200-1600: Watch. 0100: Set clocks ahead 1 hour. Calm weather. We were told by the Commodore to be on lookout for subs surrendering, either thru lack of fuel or because of their sentiments. 2000: Received a radio message: President Roosevelt died this afternoon.
Friday, 4-13-45, 0000-0400, 1200-1600: watch. About 200 m from the Rock. 0900: Escorted 3 Liberties part way to Casablanca. 1300: Started back to join convoy. 1900: Met another smaller convoy heading for the Straits.
Saturday, 4-14-45, 0000-0400, 1200-1600: Watch. 0400: Passed the Rock. Left the convoy and headed for Oran with the MOFFETT and 2 DEs at 18 kts. As we were going past the Rock we were clearing the way for the convoy. A Portuguese fishing boat was in the way. We spoke several different languages but he didn't understand them. A few well directed shots [from the bridge] from a 45 moved him out of the way. 1800: Arrived Mers-el-Kebir, Oran, [Algeria]. 1400 & 1900: Moved clocks ahead 1 hour. 1915: Refueled from SS YANKEE ARROW. 2030: Tied alongside the MOFFETT.
Sunday, 4-15-45. Regular work day.
Monday, 4-16-45. Started work on reduction gear of port engine. Regular work day. [About this time the crew started to notice that many of our sister ships had combat credits and symbols painted on the port and starboard side of their bridges. These consisted of the enemy's flag followed by a silhouette of the destroyed object: planes shot down submarines and ships sunk; etc. Some of the old-timers clamored for equal billing and told the Skipper that the ENDICOTT should brag a little also. Since I was a Commercial Art major in high school, I volunteered for the paint job. I interviewed several old-timers to obtain descriptions of the three German vessels sunk off the Southern coast of France. [Before my time]. Based on their accounts, I developed the ship silhouettes, close to 1½ feet in length, accompanied, by the appropriate German flag, about 5 x 8 inches in size, as shown on the sketches from my notebook. Depending on who I talked to:
(1) I had to make the corvettes look fierce; and
(2) our symbols had to be bigger than anybody else's.
The Chief Boatswain's Mate rigged up a seat to hang over the side of the bridge and the Paint Shop donated small brushes and cans of red, white and black enamel. It took me about three days to do both sides.The hardest part was going over the side to my seat and climbing back up. Everyone agreed the finished product looked neat. Several weeks later, one of the old-timers confided that the "corvettes" were really Egyptian yachts seized and converted by the Germans when they held North Africa. Their origin didn't bother me since they were large enough to mount torpedo tubes, which they fired at the ENDICOTT who in turn fired torpedos back. No hits hy either side. Since the ENDICOTT's 5-inch guns were out of service due to the constant shelling of the beach, both vessels were sunk by ENDICOTT's 20 and 40 MM gunfire. The NIMET ALLAH's magazine blew up. The CAPRIOLA just sunk. The ENDICOTT rescued 5 officers and 164 enlisted personnel, who were kept on our bow under the watchful eyes of Bernard Goldstein, armed with a BAR.
Tuesday, 4-17-45. Regular work day.
Wednesday, 4-18 45. Regular work day.
Thursday, 4-19-45. 1130: Left for a trial run to test out port engine outside of Oran. 1400: Tied up alongside of USS READING, Mers-el-Kebir, Oran.
Friday, 4-20-45, 0800-1200: Watch. 0800: Entire sqdn: USS MOFFETT, ENDICOTT and READING got underway for firing practice off Oran. Fired at towed target and plane sleeve. 1800: Tied alongside of MOFFETT at New Mole, Mers-el-Kebir. 1700 to 2000: Shore Patrol in Oran.
Saturday, 4-21-45, 0800-1200: Made a [movie] trip to NSD, Oran. 1800-1915: Refueled from SS YANKEE ARROW. 1915: Pulled out into bay and anchored. We are acting as a picket boat for 29 Liberties and tankers. We are going to leave for Norfolk with them in the morning. This is probably the last time I'll ever see Oran. We are due in Charleston Navy Yard May 9 to be converted into a high speed mine sweeper and will head into the Pacific sometime this summer.
Sunday, 4-22-45, 0000-0400, 1200-1600: watch. 0750: Got underway and began to screen as the ships formed up [into a convoy]. 0900: Set clocks back 1 hour. 2330: Spanish fisher in way -same routine [as before with the Portuguese].
Monday, 4-23-45, 0000-0400, 1200-1600: Watch. 0900: Passed the Rock. 1300: Set clocks back 1 hour. 1145-1335: Report of submarine activity off the Spanish coast. All afternoon we have been chasing Spanish freighters and fishing boats out of the way of the convoy, about 5 or 6 altogether. [What are they doing here?] Don't trust them. 1945: Plane reported a sub about 60 miles from our present position. 2215: GQ. The READING had a good contact in the center of the convoy. She and a DE dropped charges off & on for about ½ an hour. We rushed back to get in on the hunt from our forward [screening] position. 2245: Two ships stayed behind to comb the contact area. The rest proceeded with the convoy. Secured from GQ. On the way up to our picket position, [about 8 miles ahead of the convoy], we picked up several surface contacts on the radar and we are now going to investigate same.
Tuesday, 4-24-45, 0000-0400, 1200-1600: Watch. 0045: Ships [Surface contacts] proved to be Allied. Going back to our position ahead of the convoy. [The reason we were so wary when near Spain is that there were earlier reports of fascist interests in Spain, friendly to the Germans, converting merchantmen into oil tankers in order to refuel German submarines in the Atlantic].
Wednesday, 4-25-45, 0800-1200, 2000-2400: Watch. 1500: Went back to the convoy and picked up a soldier from a Liberty ship who had broken his neck. The Medical Officer and Chief Pharm. Mate from the READING already were aboard [the Liberty) and they had him in a cast. Transfer [of all three personnel] was by means of the Captains Gig. 1600: Set clocks ahead 1 hour. 1630: Transferred both [Navy] men back to the READING by breeches buoy. 2230: [Stepped up to] 25 knots for a meeting with the Hospital Ship LARKSPUR which is headed for Gib. from U.S. Should meet it tomorrow. Course 270.
Thursday, 4-26-45, 0800-1200, 2000-2400: Watch. 1030: Increased speed to 28 knots. 1430: Met U.S.Army Hospital Ship LARKSPUR. They sent over a boat and we transferred the soldier to their care. Long. 09°.9', Lat. 32°.2'. Everyone [who wasn't on duty] tried to see the nurses on topside. Headed back E for the convoy which is traveling in our general direction, about 250 miles distant. We covered approximately 460 miles in 16 hours. 2130: Ran into convoy. Resumed our forward picket position.
Friday, 4-27-45, 0800 1200, 1800-2000: Watch. 0730: Started to refuel from the tanker OSCAR STRAUSS, a converted Liberty ship. 1000: Secured refueling.
Saturday, 4-28-45, 0400-0800, 1600-2000: Watch. 1800: Set clocks back 1 hour. 1030: Exchanged movies with the CARROLL, DE 171.
Sunday, 4-29-45, 0400-0800, 1600-2000: Watch.
Monday, 4 30-45, 0400-0800, 1600-2000: watch. 1630: Dropped behind the convoy to herd in a straggler.
Tuesday, 5-1-45, 0000-0400, 1200-1600: Watch. 1800: Set clocks back 1 hour.
Wednesday, 5-2-45, 0000-0400, 1200-1600: Watch. 1400: Lat. 33°.39', Long. 48°.43'.
Thursday, 5-3-45, 0000-0400, 1200-1600, 2000-2400: watch. 0900: Attempted to refuel from SS OSCAR STRAUSS, clogged lines prevented it. 1200: Refueling commenced. 0215: Secured. Lat. 33°,31.4', Long 54°,46.2'.
Friday, 5-4-45, 9800-1200, 2000-2400: watch. 0930: Exchanged movies with a DE. 1700: Set clocks back 1 hour.
Saturday, 5-5-45, 0800-1200, 2000-2400: watch. 1600: Went S and picked up a freighter coming up from Bermuda with a PC escort. 1730: Rejoined convoy.
Sunday, 5-6-45, 0800-1200, 1800-2000: Watch. 1600: Set clocks back 1 hr.
Monday, 5-7-45, 0400-0800, 1600-2000: watch 1430: Dropped behind convoy and headed E to pick up stragglers. Found a Limey about 10 m. behind. He told us of a tanker way back so we set out to get him at 20 knots. 1730: No trace. Changed course and began to search to N at 25 knots. 1815: 28 knots. 2300: Found tanker and proceeded with him towards part of convoy that is heading for NY. [Not all commercial ship captains liked the slow pace of the convoys, especially when they got close to their destinations. Our job was to keep keep them together and relatively safe. Some captains thought the convoy made a bigger target.]
Tuesday, 5-8-45, 0400-0800, 1600-2000: watch. 0900: Reached convoy with the straggler. 1100: The READING & us are taking 4 ships in to Delaware Bay breakwater. 1800: Reached breakwater. Got rid of ships & started for Charleston, SC at 15 knots. War is over in Germany today!
Wednesday, 5-9-45, 0400-0800, 1600-2000: Watch. 0700: started a 4 hour speed run. 0710: 20 knots. 0720: 23 knots. 0730: 26 knots. 0740: 29 knots. 0750: 31 knots. 0800: 33.5 knots. 1200: Secured from speed run. Running at 15 knots.
Thursday, 5 10-45, 0400-0800, 1600-2000: Watch. 0820: Tied up at fuel dock, Charleston, SC. 1700: Tied up at main Navy Yard.
Friday, 5-11 45 to Saturday, 6-2-45. Being converted (to a high speed minesweeper. Removed our Number 4 five-inch gun turret and installed high speed sweep gear in it's place. Among other things, a large electrical generator was installed in the center of our electrical shop, which was located topside. Things were very crowded and all the space the electricians formerly used for bunk space disappeared, moving us down to the forward crew's quarters.
To make our remaining shop space more useful, I measured all our remaining nooks and crannies, signed out a Ford stationwagon, took two new Electricians Mates and a ruler, and drove out to an open storage area I had previously spotted. There we found acres of new stainless steel cabinets of all sizes and shapes that had been manufactured for a new AKA. We liberated about a dozen assorted sizes and took them back to the ship. That night, after a visit to the commissary for two cartons of hard-to-get cigarettes, I enlisted the aid of a civilian welder working on the ship. He supplied all the two-inch angle iron required and made up and welded floor and bulkhead brackets for the new cabinets. A couple of days later, our shop glistened with the new cabinets.
As a further improvement, I had found the ships wiring schematic and discovered many spare cable pairs in the ships main communications cable. The same welder, for more cigarettes, made up two telephone panels, welded one in the shop and the other in the engine room at our generator watch station. After equipping the panels with sound-powered telephones and connecting to spare cable pairs, we had a direct line from shop to watch station.
As a last improvement I obtained a standard ships hatch, about 30-inches in diameter, and had it installed through the the roof of the shop above the work bench. Same welder, more cigarettes. This way, when we experienced rough weather at sea, the electricians could travel along the flying bridge instead of the main deck and enter and leave the shop relatively dry.
Sunday, 6-3-45, 1100; Left by train for Philadelphia.
Monday, 6-4-45, 0800: 15-day leave started.
Tuesday, 6-19-45, 0800: Leave up. Shakedown run to sea.
Wednesday, 6-20-45. In port.
Thursday, 6-21-45. Shakedown run to sea.
Friday, 6-22-45. In port.
Saturday, 6-23-45, 1300: Loaded ammunition.
Sunday, 6-24-45. Calibrated radar in lower bay.
Monday, 6-25-45. CDR Good replaced CDR Bulkeley as Captain of the ENDICOTT. Left Charleston for lower bay.
Tuesday, 6-26-45, 0400-0800, 1600-2000: Watch. Enroute to Norfolk, VA.
Wednesday, 6-27-45, 0400-0800, 1600-2000: Watch 1800: Arrived Hampton Roads [Virginia.]
Thursday, 6-28-45, 0800-1200, 1600-2000: Watch. 0400: Underway from Hampton Roads to practice area about 70 miles from Norfolk, VA. 1930: Left practice area for Linnhaven Anchorage. [Note: Perusal of a current map of Virginia shows a Lynnhaven Roads and an adjacent Lynnhaven Bay in northern Virginia Beach adjacent to the current southern landfall of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.] 2245: Arrived L.A.
Friday, 6-29-45, 0800-1200: Watch. Steaming watch all nite. 0400: Underway for practice area. 1717: Tied up at Pier 23, Convoy Escort Piers, NOB [Naval Operating Base], Norfolk.
Saturday, 6-30-45, 0800-1200, 2000-2400: Watch. 0600: Underway for practice area. 2015: Tied up at Convoy Escort Piers.
Sunday, 7-1-45, 0400-0800, 1600-2000: Watch. 0800: Underway for practice area. 2000: Tied up at Convoy Escort Piers.
Monday, 7-2-45, 0800-1200: Watch. 0400: Underway for Chesapeake Bay. Firing practice. All guns. 0800: Tied up Pier 6, NOB.
Tuesday, 7-3-45, 0800-1200, 2000-2400: Watch. 0600: Underway. Five-inch [gun] firing practice during day. Sweep exercises during nite.
Wednesday, 7-4-45, 0800-1200: watch. Firing practice & drills. 1800: Tied up at Escort Piers.
Thursday, 7-5-45, 0400-0800, 1600-2000: watch. 0600: Underway for practice area. Firing at gas [airplane] models.
Friday, 7-6-45, 0800 1200: Watch. 0400: Underway for practice area. 1700: Tied up at Escort Piers.
Saturday, 7-7-45. In port.
Sunday, 7-8-45. In port. 0900: Captain's Inspection.
Monday, 7-9-45, 1200-1600: Watch. 0600: Underway for practice area. Firing in morning & afternoon at towed sleeves.
Tuesday, 7-10-45, 0000-0400, 1.200-1600: Watch. Gunnery practice. 1900: Anchored Linnhaven Anchorage.
Wednesday, 7-11-45, 1200-1600: Watch. 0600: Underway [for practice area] then to NOB.
END OF ENDICOTT LOOSE NOTES
START OF ENDICOTT DIARY ITEMS
Thursday, July 12. In port.
Friday, July 13, 45. In port.
Saturday, July 14, 45, 1630: Went into drydock, Portsmouth, VA to check our screws.
Sunday, July 15, 45. In drydock.
Monday, July 16, 1945. In drydock.
Tuesday, July 17, 45, 0200: Moved from drydock to pier. 1600: Left for Phila. on an 81 hour liberty. It's up to you, Mary.
Wednesday, July 18, 45, 0630: Arrived home. All quiet.
Thursday, July 19, 1945. Still quiet.
Friday, July 20, 1945, 9559: It's a boy! Edward, 8 lbs, 1 OZ, 21 inches. 1630: Left, very reluctantly, for Norfolk.
Saturday, July 21, 1945, 0600: Arrived aboard ship at N.O.B.
Sunday, July 22, 1945. In port.
Monday, July 23, 1945. In port.
Tuesday, July 24, 1945. In port.
Wednesday, July 25, 1945. In port.
Thursday, July 26, 1945, 1600-2000: Watch. Watch. 2000: Underway to practice area.
Friday, July 27, 45, 0400-0800, 1600-2000: Watch. At sea.
Saturday, July 28, 45, 0400-0800, 1600-2000: Watch. At sea.
Sunday, July 29, 45, 0400-0800, 1600-2000: Watch 1700: Tied up at N.O.B.
Monday, July 30, 1945. In port.
Tuesday, July 31, 1945, 0800-1200, 2000-2400: Watch ,1130: Shoved off for Panama Canal. Watch out Japs here we come!
Wednesday, Aug. 1, 1945, 0800-1209, 2000-2400: watch. 20 knots.
Thursday, Aug. 2, 1945, 0800-1200, 2000-2400: Watch, 20 knots.
Friday, Aug. 3, 1945, 0800-1200, 1800-2000: Watch. Average speed 17 knots.
Saturday, Aug. 4, 1945, 0400-0800: Watch. 0615: Arrived at Culebrai Island, Virgin Islands.* 1000: Started to bombard shore installations. [* Wrong I.D.? Adjacent to Island of Vieques, Puerto Rico.]
Sunday, Aug. 5, 1945. Routine day at sea.
Monday, Aug. 6, 1945, 0400-0800, 1600-2000: Watch. Streamed sweep gear in the morning. General exercises in afternoon.
Tuesday, Aug. 7, 1945, 0400-0800, 1600-2000: Watch. 1400: Arrived at Cristobal [Panama Canal Zone]. 1900: Set clocks back [1 hour]. Started thru Canal.
Wednesday, Aug. 8, 1945, 0500: Went thru Pacific locks. Tied up at Pr.18 Balboa. 1300-2200: Liberty in Panama City.
Thursday, Aug. 9, 1945, 1200-1600: Watch. 0830: Left for San Diego.
Friday, Aug. 10, 1945, 0000-0400, 1200-1600; Watch. Calm weather -15 knots.
Saturday, Aug. 11, 1945, 0000-0400, 1200-1600, 2000-2400: watch. War with Japan should be over any day now. They are making definite peace overtures. The atomic bomb and Russia's entry into the war against Japan should mean a lot. This butcher we have for a doctor said I might have to go to a hospital. My knees are swollen and ache a lot.
Sunday, Aug. 12, 1945, 0800-1200, 2000-2400: Watch. 1900: Set clocks back 1 hour.
Monday, Aug. 13, 1945, 0800-1200, 2000-2400: watch. No war news from the Japs yet.
Tuesday, Aug. 14, 1945, 0800-1200, 1800-2000: Watch. 0600: Heard unofficial report that the Japs had surrendered. We are standing by with our fingers crossed. 1700: President Truman announced that the war is officially over! We immediately broke out 20 cases of ice cold beer (Schlitz). All hands had two bottles apiece. This was the first time any alcoholics were ever partaken of officially [by the enlisted personnel] aboard the ENDICOTT. From now on we'll breathe a l'ittle easier. The main question is: "When will we (the reservists) get out?" Those Jap Kamikaze pilots had me a little worried. I still might go to the hospital in Diego with my knees. [Water on both knees at the same time. Double water on the knees?]
Wednesday, Aug. 15, 1945. Off [GQ] watches for the rest of this trip. Points to get out: age (25 YO) 12½; dependency, 10; 36 mos service, 18; total, 40½.
Thursday, Aug. 16, 1945. Good sailing weather.
Friday, Aug. 17, 1945. Good sailing weather.
Saturday, Aug. 18, 1945, 0900: Arrived San Diego -ran aground - tied up at Des. Base in afternoon.
Sunday, Aug. 19, 1945. In port.
Monday, Aug. 20, 1945. Commodore's Inspection. E.B. had excellent appearance.
Tuesday, Aug. 21, 1945. In port. Liberty in San Diego.
Wednesday, Aug. 22, 1945. In port. Went to a Fire training school conducted by the local fire department for the Navy. Similar to the one I attended in Brooklyn, NY.
Thursday, Aug. 23, 1945. In port. Refraction taken for glasses.
Friday, Aug. 24, 1945. In port. Back to fire school.
Saturday, Aug. 25, 1945. In port.
Sunday, Aug. 26, 1945. In port.
Monday, Aug 27, 1945. Trial run at sea. Liberty in Diego.
Tuesday, Aug. 28, 1945, 0800-1200: Watch. 1100: Underway for Pearl Harbor.
Wednesday, Aug. 29, 1945, 0800-1200: Watch.
Thursday, Aug. 30, 1945, 0800-1200: Watch. Took semi-final exam for first class today.
Friday, Aug. 31, 1945, 0400-0800: Watch. Took final exam today.
Saturday, Sept. 1, 1945, 0400-0800: Watch. First class rate effective today.
Sunday, Sept. 2, 1945, 0400-0800: watch.
Monday, Sept. 3, 1945, 0400-0800: Watch. 1000: Arrived Pearl Harbor -tied up at Des. Pac.
Tuesday, Sept. 4, 1945, 0900-1800: Liberty. Felix Florentine Gardens for chow, then Waikiki.
Wednesday, Sept. 5, 1945. In port. 1300-1600; Rec. party on beach.
Thursday, Sept. 6, 1945. In port -duty day.
Friday, Sept. 7, 1945. Liberty at Waikiki.
Saturday, Sept. 8, 1945, 0700; Underway for firing practice off Oahu.
Sunday, Sept. 9, 1945, 1200-1600: Watch. 1400: Shoved off for Eniwetok. Five hours after we left I found out Navy men are getting ¼ point for every month of wartime sea duty. That gives me [an additional] 6 ½ points and boosts my total to 47, 3 points over the limit.
Monday, Sept. 10, 1945, 0000-0400: Watch
Tuesday, Sept. 11, 1945, 0000-0400, 1200-1600, 2000-2400: Watch.
Wednesday, Sept. 12, 1945, 0000-0400: Watch. Calm weather.
Friday, Sept. 14, 1945, 2000-2400: Watch. 0001: Crossed International Date Line, skipping Thursday.
Saturday, Sept. 15, 1945, 2000-2400: Watch.
Sunday, Sept. 16, 1945, 1500: Arrived at Eniwetok Atoll, Marshall Islands. Entered lagoon and tied up to an oil barge, OL 182, for fuel. Off the main island of Eniwetok.
Monday, Sept. 17, 1945, 1000: Left oil barge and went up to North Anchorage, dropped hook around 1100. Underway again at 1600 for South Anchorage. Dropped hook there at 1700 and transferred the five highest point men. That should put me near the top of the list. 1800: Shoved off for Okinawa.
Tuesday, Sept. 18, 1945, 1600-2000: Watch - calm. [About this time we learned that the reason so many of the ENDICOTT class of destroyers were converted to high speed mine sweepers was to lead the invasion of Japan onto the Tokyo Plain, the only large area with sloping beaches. We were sure that the enemy had already come to the same conclusion and were waiting for us. Thank God for the Atomic Bomb!]
Wednesday, Sept. 19, 1945, 1600-2000: Watch. 1500: Long. 151°, Lat. 18°. 1800: Set clocks back 1 hr.
Thursday, Sept. 20, 1945, 1200-1600: Watch. Choppy seas. 1600: Long. 144°, Lat. 22°. Clocks back ½ hr.
Friday, Sept. 21, 1945, 1200-1600: Watch. Calm. Clocks back ½ hr.
Saturday, Sept. 22, 1945, 1200-1600: Watch. 1800: Set clocks back 1 hr. My points, figured out to Oct. 1, are as follows: age (25) 12½; dependency 10; 37 mos in service 18½; 27 mos sea duty 6 ¾; total 47 ¾.
Sunday, Sept. 23, 1945, 0830: Entered Buckner Bay, Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands, Long. 126° , Lat. 26°. 1030: Tied up to oil tanker (IX 133) for refueling. 1300: Underway to anchorage. 1400: Dropped hook in outer bay. NOTE: Buckner Bay was named for Simon Bolivar Buckner, Jr., commander of the U.S. 10th Army, killed while taking Okinawa. This harbor is very crowded with American men-o-war and merchant ships. There are a great many battleships present, some are as follows: TEXAS; COLORADO; PENNSYLVANIA; NEVADA; WEST VIRGINIA; NEW MEXICO; NEW YORK; SOUTH DAKOTA; IOWA; ALABAMAand WISCONSIN. Also the CVs INTREPID and LEXINGTON and the cruisers AMSTERDAM and VICKSBURG. There are a great many others that I can't identify. The mountains practically come down to the sea except in places where there is an airstrip on a beach or a camp perched along the shore. No swimming here. We observed some curious snakes in the water, about two feet long, brown & green, supposed to be poisonous.
Monday, Sept. 24, 1945. Went ashore on a movie trip. The movie exchange is at Brown beach and "chaos" describes the scene accurately. Mud, trucks, jeeps, Seabeas, sailors, officers doing their own laundry, a tent city, more mud. 1130: Got underway and went alongside LST 804 to pick up a load of mail and some shackles destined to go up north in Japan someplace. 1245: Got underway for Bungo Channel, which lies between the main Japanese islands of Kyushu and Shikoku. Speed 18 knots.
Tuesday, Sept. 25, 1945, 0400-0800: Watch. Speed 18 knots. Long. 133° , Lat. 33°. 1500: Arrived at Okino Island, Bungo Channel. Exchanged mail & left some food, also picked up our Commodore & some passengers for Okinawa from the USS PHANTOM AM 273. 1700: Shoved off for Okinawa. As we left, we shot up and sank a stray buoy. Trip is approximately 500 miles each way.
Wednesday, Sept. 26, 1945, 0400-0800: Watch. Speed about 15 knots.
Thursday, Sept. 27, 1945, 0400-0800: Watch. 0730: Arrived at Buckner Bay, Okinawa. Tied up beside the Net Tender #42 from 0800 to 0940. She lifted a crated winch off our fantail with her boom. At 1030 we tied up to Oil Tanker #81 and refueled. 1300: Went up to north end of bay and dropped hook near [the] TERROR.
Friday, Sept. 28, 1945. Had my choice of being transferred to the beach or staying aboard ship. I chose the ship. Reasons as follows: (1) The camp on the beach is a mudhole, a couple of buckets of water a day for washing, etc. About 2000 men there already; (2) A single transferee has a better chance of being transferred direct to a U.S. bound ship; (3) I still need a replacement, but now he doesn't need to be a l/C. A second or third class will do; (4) I can take my choice on transportation since I'm senior man aboard ship. 1630: All the ships are leaving the harbor. Typhoon. We are putting to sea because then, if it does hit, we won't be dashed up on the beach, but can ride it out in deep water (I hope). Golly, I hope I didn't make a mistake this morning. By me electing to stay, I released EM3/C Hancock, whose wife is having a baby. I know how he feels.
Saturday, sept. 29, 1945. At sea to the east of Okinawa heading south.
Sunday, Sept. 30, 1945. At sea to the west of Okinawa about 128° Long. heading north.
Monday, Oct. 1, 1945. Rounded north tip of Okinawa and headed down the east side. 1230: Entered Buckner Bay & dropped hook in north bay.
Tuesday, Oct. 2, 1945. Alerted for typhoon [again]. Still at anchor.
Wednesday, Oct. 3, 1945, 0800: Underway for south Buckner Bay for refueling. Tied up to Tanker IX 188. By a mistake they pumped water into our tanks instead of oil. We spent the afternoon pumping it into the bay. 1930: Started up for north bay and anchored near the TERROR.
Thursday, Oct. 4, 1945, 0800: Underway to the TERROR, anchored at 0830. 1130: Underway for south bay for more oil. Tied up to Oiler #79 at 1230. Finished refueling and shoved off & anchored. Took on stores. Looks like we're getting ready for a two months assignment. 1700: Went up to North Buckner Bay & dropped the hook near the TERROR.
Friday, Oct. 5, 1945. Routine work day in port.
Saturday, Oct. 6, 1945. Routine day in port.
Sunday, Oct. 7, 1945. Holiday routine. 1700: Got underway for sea. Typhoon coming again. This cancels the first edition of the "ENDI-MARU'S OKINAWA REVUE" which was to go on this evening. Next week I guess.
Monday, Oct. 8, 1945, 0400-0800, 1600-2000: Watch. One sandwich for chow today. Mountainous waves. Heard the Typhoon is about 150 miles away. Speed 9kts. 080.
Tuesday, Oct. 9, 1945, 0400-0800, 1600-2000: Watch. Two sandwiches today. The Typhoon hit Buckner Bay today. We are about 200 miles away. Even here the waves are about 40 feet high and the ship is rolling and pitching continually. [We are in a loose single file. Sometimes we are on the crest of a giant wave, looking down the stacks of the can in front of us. Then as the wave rolls by, we are down in a trough, lookig up at his screws spinning out of the water.] Received a couple of S.O.S.s but didn't receive their position so we couldn't help.
Wednesday, Oct. 10, 1945, 0400-0800, 1600-2000: Watch. started to look for survivors. A C-54 thought she sighted a man in the water and circled the spot while the USS DORAN went to investigate. The DORAN, upon arriving, discovered the object to be a dead shark. Then the C-54 developed engine trouble and crash landed near the DORAN. She pulled 15 survivors out of the water. We then sighted a little LCM (1046 was painted on it, apparently the number of the mother ship). After trying to take it in tow and having failed, we sank it with 40MM gunfire. We next sighted another abandoned LCM (NOBA 85) and after making sure no one was aboard, we prepared to sink it when an LSM 435 came up and offered to tow it in. Wie shoved off and sank a large buoy just before dark.
Thursday, Oct. 11, 1945, 0400-0800: Watch. started the day off by sinking a buoy and a barge, turning another barge over to an AM and investigating several empty life rafts. We patrolled for survivors till about 1500 and then headed for Buckner Bay. What a sight greeted us as we entered the bay! The Typhoon had struck here in it's full fury! Waves 70 feet high (rolled) inside the bay accompanied by a 109 knot wind. On a reef to our left as we entered lay an LST, two LCls, one Liberty ship, the USS WEEHAWKEN (sister ship of the KEOKUK) and several smaller craft. On an island further to the left lay a DE and three LSTs. On an island to our right lay three PCs, an LCI and several stores barges. On a reef on our right lay two net tenders and the USS SOUTHARD, DMS 10, her bottom ripped out, a complete wreck, but still flying her Going Home pennant. Further in towards our anchorage another DMS lay on a reef. In towards the main beach lay an assorted array of ships, all wrecks. Liberties, tankers, PAs, LSTs, etc. All in all [we heard) 122 ships were sunk or damaged. The loss of men hasn't been determined at the time of this writing. Saw a tremendous explosion on the beach today. Ammo dump. (Navy says 6 killed, 23 injured.) I heard 100 killed.
Friday, Oct. 12, 1945. In port. The radio reports in the States are carrying pretty vivid word pictures of this Typhoon. The wind went over 132 MPH before the instrument broke. We heard that this place is going to be abandoned as a base. Unofficial reports place the Navy dead around 300. This seems low. Army casualties 100 (injured), no dead.
Saturday, Oct. 13, 1945. In port. 1600 Navy casualties (scuttlebutt).
Sunday, Oct. 14,1945. In port. Had our smoker tonite (Endi-Maru Okinawa Revue). It was our first and turned out pretty good.
Monday, Oct. 15, 1945. In port. I am due to be transferred today for transportation back to the States. I've waited a long time for this. Maybe I'll be home for Christmas.
Tuesday, Oct. 16, 1945. Didn't get off yesterday. The people on the beach had no room for us. [Thank you Jesus!]. 1300: Underway to pick up fuel. As we attempted to corne alongside the IX 135 the heavy seas bounced our two bows together and sheared off our anchor and put a few holes in the anchor windless room. A number of main frames were bent. Also at this time our fwd. eng. room lost steam and we ran up our breakdown flag. The wind made us broach-to and we drifted between a LCI and the USS ALCOR (repair ship). After we passed between the two vessels we regained steam and headed for North Buckner Bay. 1800: Shoved off for the Yellow Sea to sweep a [Japanese] mine field 120 miles long, stretching between the mouth of the Yangtze River [in China] to Korea. 1200-1600: Watch.
Wednesday, Oct. 17, 1945, 0615: The bridge spotted two mines floating to starboard and we sank same with rifle fire. 1200-1600: Watch.
Thursday, Oct. 18, 1945. In this morning's news the official Navy summary for [the] Typhoon is as follows: ships, 7 sunk, 19 on reefs & abandoned, 38 damaged; men, 35 dead, 41 missing, 423 injured. This [the men] still seems very low and is probably an incomplete report. 1000: Long. 123°.0', Lat. 32°.28'. 1600: Arrived at a Japanese island (Ross Is.), Kakyo To, 3 mi long and 1½ mi wide. Three of our ships were dispatched to sink four floating mines discovered to port and in center of our columns. Kakyo To is just off coast of Korea, Long. 124°.41, Lat. 34°.
Friday, Oct. 19,1945, 1200-1600: Watch. Started to sweep today. No mines. Edge of field.
Sunday, Oct. 21, 1945, 0800-1200: Watch. We are #4 ship in a six ship sweep. [See sketch below.] Ships participating in this operation are as follows: DMS 31 MERVINE; DMS 35 ENDICOTT; DMS 38 THOMPSON; DMS 39 COWIE: DMS 40 KNIGHT and DMS 41 DORAN. Swept 4 mines today, ENDICOTT got two.
Monday, Oct. 22, 1945, 0400-0800, 1600-2000: Watch. Fouled up our sweep gear and couldn't enter sweep operations. Spent all day repairing same. Other sweepers got four mines. [A sobering thing happened at noon chow time. The enlisted personnel were lined up topside along the deck waiting to enter the forward mess hall. A guy near the head of the line looked up and saw the officers on the bridge staring intently down at the water near him. Curious, he stepped to the rail and looked down, and didn't return to the line. The guy behind him wondered what he was looking at and joined him. He too didn't return to the line. Each succeeding guy did the same thing. When it was my turn, to my horror I discovered that everyone was watching a rusty old mine, covered with moss, ugly spikes sticking out, bobbing along on the current about a yard from the ship. Slowly it cleared the fantail at which time an order was given to quickly shovel a load of green dye near it to mark it's location. A radio call went to one of our PCs to come up and sink it when it was safe to do so. We still watched as the PC started to hit it with riflefire about 100 yards behind us. What an explosion when it finally went off. We almost were late for chow that day.]
Tuesday, Oct. 23, 1945, 0400-0800, 1600-2000: Watch. About 0900 swept two mines and a few minutes later detonated a third one with our sweep gear. It went off right in front of the KNIGHT but far enough away from that ship to do no damage. Two mines that were swept ahead of us floated idly by at about 20 yards. [A shovel full of dye marked the spot for the PCs.] This was a good day. Total mines swept: nine. [We learned that the Navy was extremely interested in this particular Japanese mine field. During the war, several of our submarines did not return from their trips to Japan. For this reason, behind the PCs who followed to detonate the cut mines, several sea-going tugs with dragging gear were working the waters to see if the could discover anything of interest.]
Wednesday, Oct. 24, 1945, 0400-0800: Watch. Refueled today from Tanker 0-73 who carne out from Sasebo, Kyushu, Japan. No sweeping today. I was issued a seabag and a hammock and was ready to pack my gear and get transferred to the tanker when it was cancelled. Maybe tomorrow.
Thursday, Oct. 25, 1945, 0000-0400, 1600-1800: Watch. Twenty-three mines today. We got two.
Friday, Oct. 26, 1945, 0000-0400: Watch. 29 Mines today. TODAY'S THE DAY!!! We are supposed to get transferred tonite to the USS SMITH, DD378, for transportation towards the States. 2000: Transferred to the SMITH by whaleboat. Dark and choppy. What a ride!
END OF DIARY WHILE ON THE ENDICOTT