Friday, April 30, 2010

May 1, 1945

1-st _____ This morning Mobile moved closer to island & we started to Bombard. ____ (Mobile was told that we had no certion amount to fire _ when our Amm ran out we could always get more.) This afternoon we could see flame t[h]rowers on beach burning out the Japs. We could also see a large number of buildings burning, caused by ship bombarding & our planes bombing. 1700 (5PM) we moved births & five inch fired most of the night.

April 30, 1945

30- ____ We had AA at 2415 (1215 AM) & again at 200 with GQ till 300. We kept bombarding all day. We got 7 bags of mail tonight _ we shift birth at 18.30 (630 PM) _ Helping us to bombard are
__ BBs ____________ CA
USS Ark. #32____ USS Frisco #
USS Texas #33 _____ CL
USS Colorado # _ USS Ber #62

___ Heard N_______ Bay was going to be used for fifth fleet.
60 days

Frisco = San Francisco
Ber = Birmingham

N = Not sure if he meant Nahagasuku Bay or Nago Bay. Photo is of Nahagasuku Bay.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

April 29, 1945

29 - _____ Got out of GQ at (2.30 AM) & we had GQ again at 400 to 430 AM. at 645 Cond II was set for bombarding. AA defense set at 900 & again at 1130 but didn't last long. At 1600 we moved ship.
_____ We heard Hospital ship was damaged last night by Japs. Japs are using island near here for their E boats. Large number of LCIs came in today. At 20.00 (8 PM) we had AA then GQ. LSM came into 6 miles then went out. We had orders not to fire. AA went again at 23.30 _ 11.30 PM.

The hospital ship had the wounded from the Mobile's gun turret accident on board at the time. Photo shows what a hospital ship looked like.

E boat was actually the term for a German torpedo boat. The Japanese must have had a similar fast torpedo craft that this refers to.

LCI = Infantry landing craft
LSM = Medium landing ship

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

April 28, 1945

28 - _____ We had GQ at 200 & again at 400. at 500 (5AM) we left Point Bowlow & we went to N________ bay _ we got there at 700 (7AM) & drop anchor. Cond. II was set for bombarding _ 5" fired most of the day. We had GQ at 2200 (10PM) _ no planes showed up but at 2300 (11PM) we could see heavy AA firing over island also large sh[irce] lights. a few planes flew over us but we had heavy sm[oke] screen around us & they couldn't see us.

shirce = search

Smoke screens were unreliable earlier in the war. Most of the time ships would retire away from the battle area for the night. By Okinawa, though, smoke screens were so much improved that admirals began ordering 24-hour bombardments, with ships retiring only for fuel, ammo and supplies. Throughout the operation, the crews would have been severely sleep-deprived.

The photo is an amazing image of a smoke screen at either Okinawa or Iwo Jima.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

April 27, 1945

27 _____ We fired star shells al[l] night & did a little bombarding. We had GQ at 500 & we got underway for K______ anchorage _ Reach K_______ anchorage at 7 AM. & tied up to Amm ship (EX 129) _ we took on over 400 rounds of 6". at 1500 3 PM we left Amm ship & tied up to liberty ship tanker & fueled. We took some stores on during fueling. 1600 (4 PM) we left tanker & we also left anchorage for Point Bowlow. We reach there at 1800 (6 PM) & drop anchor at 1900 (7 PM) We had AA & GQ right after no Jap planes showed up.
____ At the anchorage were
_4 BB ________________ 3 - CA.
USS Tenn. _________ USS Wichita #45
USS Texas or N.Y. _ USS Salt lake city #25
________________ USS Frisco #
________________ CL St Louis = #49

We had GQ again at 2345 (1145 PM)

EX -- Should be IX, or liberty ship. The IX 129 was an Armadillo-class tanker named the USS Whippet.

Photo shows a smoke screen spread over the Kerama anchorage.

Monday, April 26, 2010

April 26, 1945

26 _____ Started with AA at 3 AM. Rev. at 4.45 AM _ GQ at 5 AM & chow at 630 AM. Cond II for bombardment was set at 7 AM but didn't do much firing. USS Salt Lake City left R_______ Bay at 1300 (1 PM)(USS Ber_________) came into Bay at 1330 (1.30 PM [?]. We left R______ Bay at 1600 (4 PM) with one DD. Still Bombarding were USS Colorado BB & USS Texas BB _ also four DDs. We reach Point Bowlow at 1830 & drop anchor at 1900 _ we fired Star shells rest of night. Mer fired on a few objects in the water, which they thought Japs were hiding behind _ We took on 35 bags of mail. It was a beautiful night _ we had a full moon.

Rev = reveille

R = ? Should have still been in Nakagusuku Bay.

Ber = Probably USS Birmingham

Point Bowlow = Bolo Point, just north of beaches where Marines first landed.

Star shells = used for illuminating battle area for ground troops. Photo shows star shells exploded over Iwo Jima.

Mer = Marines

Saturday, April 24, 2010

April 25, 1945

25- _____ 5" fired up to GQ this morning after chow _ Cond II was set for bombardment. Japs drove Amer. back yesterday. We open bombardment with the heaviest yet on town which Japan took yesterday _ we fired a few hundred 6" & also a few hundred 5" into town.
_____ Planes located big Amm. dump on island & ships [k]nocked it out. we help. Our planes hit this end of island at (11.00 AM) & at (1 PM.)
____ (#35 BB New York came in to N_______ bay to help us out _ also still here are
__ -1 BB _______ (2-CA)
USS Colorado __ USS Salt Lake City
_____________ USS Frisco
& DDs- 695 & 792 & one other DD.
(DDs sunk in this operation so far are Halligan, Bush, Colhoun

DD (destroyer) 695 was the USS Cooper.

DD 792 was USS Callaghan.

The Halligan hit a mine on March 26 and the entire forward part of the ship was blown off. (Photo shows the Halligan after the blast).

On April 6, the Bush was hit by a kamikaze whose bomb exploded in the forward engine room. 4 more planes finished off the ship. The Colhoun, in coming to the Bush's rescue, was attacked 5 times by 15 planes, 3 of which hit her.

April 24, 1945

24 ______ Had GQ early this morning & we went into N________ Bay _ Cond. II for bombardment was set till 1200. (LCI came along side for chow.) We could see heavy firing on island. doing most of firing were-
__ BB- ___________ & CA
USS Colorado ___ US.S. Frisco

also helping a little were
_ 3 DDs __ & ___ USS Salt Lake City (CA)

____ Tenth army landed on two more small islands near Okinawa but we didn't see it or take part in it.
____ At 1830 we got underway & moved in closer to shore between (BB. Colorado) & (CA. Salt Lake City) _ Condiction II was set for bombardment. It rained all night. Four DDs helped us tonight. Only 5" fired tonight.

pay day draw $75.00 sent $60.00 home.

N = Nahagasuku Bay on the east side of Okinawa

LCI = infantry landing craft
BB = battleship
CA = heavy cruiser
DD = destroyer

condiction = condition

Payday note: Joe wrote this in the margin

Friday, April 23, 2010

April 23, 1945

23 _____ 5.00 AM. GQ & we got underway, we went over to (K_____ anchorage) & drop anchor. (LST-918) & LST-214 cam[e] along side with Amm. (LST-214) left at 11.00 AM & (LST 918 left at 13.00 (1 P.M.) We took on a few stores from L.C.Ms. but didn't fuel. We left anchorage at 1630. We didn't drop anchor again tonight, instead we went out to open sea & cruised around all night. (We heard Ie Shima was now in our hands)
___ (We were told there would be no GQ unless Jap planes are spotted.)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

April 22, 1945

22- _____ AA once during night (1.30AM). GQ went out at 500 to 600 then chow & after chow they set Cond. II for bombardment. In todays Bombardment
(2 - CA-) (1CL) & (3 DDs)
help us. Captain Miller made a special an___ at 11.15 AM about what we have been doing. Here is what he told us
_____ Mobile has [k]nock out a lot of guns & has also help to cl[ear] a lot of caves which the Japs are using to hide in during the day & coming out at night. We will stay here & help our troops as much as possable. We now have 40 miles of the 65 miles which make up the [bulk] of Okinawa. We have the Northern end of the island. The operation is way ahead of time. Tomorrow we were told we are going back to K_____ anchorage. We stop bombarding at "1800" (6 PM)
____ AA defense went at 1830 _ GQ at 1915 _ also Jap was spotted swimming 6000 yards from Mobile when ships open fire on him _ he blow up. We went out at 2015.
____ We have lost 5 DDs since this battle for Okinawa has started.

Cond. = condition

CA = heavy cruisers
CL = light cruiser
DD = destroyers

Captain Christopher C. Miller, USN, Class of 1918

an = announcement. Likely morale was pretty low after the turret accident and Captain Miller was trying to rally his crew.

K = Kerama

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

April 21, 1945

21- _____ ship got underway at (900) _ had AA once during night & GQ early this morning _ We bombarded all night & most of day _ we stop at 1800 (6.PM) _ had AA twice tonight once at 1945 & again 2015. ___ (x)
_____ (Dope going around is we might go back to get turrit II repaired.) Sure hope its the states.

(x) = no clue. Could be he was trying to convert the time and was too tired.

Photo shows a perfect smoke ring blown by one of the big guns during bombardment.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

April 20, 1945

20- _____ Moved into (K_____) anchorage early this morning. Two more fellows died during the night. They were

1-Meyers S 1/c
2-Colbert BM 2/c

____ We tied up to Amm ships (E-6) & LST came and tied up to us. 10.00 we took off the wounded fellows. & at 11.00 we had a special service on our main deck aft for the six who had died. They were take off into a landing (L.C.M.) barge & take to one of the small islands & b[uried]. Crew felt pretty bade. left Amm ships at 1130 and went up to a conv[er]ted tanker and fueled. got done at 1600 & LSI came along side with Amm working party. The LST came along for empty S. We left 1 K____ anchorage & went over to (Point Bowlow) & drop anchor.
(50 day out of states)

K = Kerama

Meyers and Colbert: Charles Leroy Colbeth, BM2c, USN and Robert Herman Meyer, S1c, V-6, USNR

LCM = Medium Littoral Craft
LST = Tank Landing Ship

S = shells

Monday, April 19, 2010

April 19, 1945

19- _____ We got up this morning _ everybody feels pretty bade of what happen last night. We keep up bombardment most of the day those helping us were

_ 2 - BB - __________ 2 CA.
U.S.S. Texas _____ USS Salt Lake City (?)
U.S.S. Colorado __ (Mobile) (2 CL) (?)

_____ We moved out of (N_____ bay at (1500)(30[0 PM]) and went around to south west side. We had GQ at 1845 (645).

N = Nahagasuku Bay
Photo is of USS Texas on west side of Okinawa, near Ie Shima.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

April 18, 1945

18- _____ bombarded all night _ we left south west side & went to N_____ bay and also bombarded there _ we got there early & bombarded through out the day.
____ While on watch from 2000 to 2400 turrit II had an accident.
____ We were firing rapid fire & on the 4th round, the powder can of the center gun blow up & killed 4 men & wounded 13. Those that were killed were

1 Lt Steveans _____ 3 Craddock BM 2/3
2 Cecil S 2/c ______ 4 OcConnal GM 2/c

We bombarded the rest of the night.
48 days out of states

N = Nahagasuku Bay on the east side of Okinawa.
turrit = turret

The accident happened between 10 pm and midnight. Mobile's official war record states, "In the Okinawa Operation in April, 1945, a six-inch powder case exploded in Turret II during the
ramming of the center gun, killing one officer and five men, and wounding sixteen men, thirteen of them seriously."

The Story of A Ship—USS Mobile And The Men Who Fought Her lists the victims as William Wyman Stephens, Ensign, USNR; Donald Keith Cecil, S1c, V-6, USNR; Leo Lawrence O'Connell, GM2c(T), V-6 USNR; and Howard Edwin Craddock, BM2c, USN.

USNR = US Naval Reserve
S1c = Seaman, 1st Class
GM2c = Gunnery Mate, 2nd Class
BM is, I think, Bosun's Mate

The photo shows the 2 crews responsible for Gun Turret II (Joe in center on steps). Each crew would have had about 20 men. Joe doesn't mention being wounded. He was likely one of only 4 men on the crew to come through unscathed. More of the seriously wounded died later. This survivor's guilt, along with the PTSD symptoms Joe was already experiencing, no doubt escalated his condition to the chronic case he brought home.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

April 17, 1945

17 _____ 700 went into K_____ anchorage & tied up to Amm ship (#6) _ LST999 came alongside with Amm. We finish at 1200 _ left Amm ship & went beside tanker. GQ went out this morning _ AA went out at 900 & again at 1230 _ we left K____ anchorage at 1600 & went to Point Bowlow & bombarded South outside Okinawa in cond. II. We had GQ till 2200 (10:00 PM) _ Got mail today from Dell & home.

They went back to the Kerama anchorage to pick up ammo and fuel. The mail was there waiting for them.

Photo is of the kind of tank landing ship that Joe mentions.

Friday, April 16, 2010

April 16, 1945

16 _____ 400 GQ for bombarding (Ie Shima) 12 miles from Okinawa. All 800 our troops invaded the island. 930 planes showed up seven were shot down _ we got two. We set a new record in firing _ we fired 1183 since last night _ thats five inch. we got out of GQ at 1111 _ Cond III set later cond II for bombarding Bombarding... . We did no more

3 BB ___ 2 CA
______ 2-CL
_____ Mobile
_____ Ber.

firing set Cond III at 1700 went to (Point Bowlow.)
46 days out of states

Record set was 1183 rounds of 5 inch ammunition, apparently overnight. Photo is of the actual Ie Shima bombardment.

Joe lists ships involved:
3 battleships, but he only identifies the New York.
2 heavy crusiers (CA)
2 light cruisers (CL), the Mobile and Ber., which is probably the Birmingham.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

April 15, 1945

15 _____ fired few rounds in cond. II during night mostly 5". GQ at 530 till 630, chow at 700. fired from Cond. III. AA at 845 GQ right after _ Smo[ke] from Jap plane could be seen in water. Cond. II set at 930. bombarded same area as last night. 1400 Cond. III was set _ AA then GQ at 1815 (6:15) _ a few planes came _ we done a lot of firing _ we had GQ till 2230 (1030 PM)

Cond. = Condition. Not sure what each condition meant. Anyone out there know?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

April 14, 1945

14 _____ AA 200 _ GQ at 500 chow at 600 _ we entered K_____ anchorage at 700 & drop anchor. Converted tanker from liberty ship came along side (IX-129) (LST999) came alongside with Amm. (LSM 41[9?]) came alongside (LST999) _ we had AA at 920 with GQ after. AA went at 945 _ we finish taking on Amm at 1100 _ LST left us. GQ went again at 1115. Tanker left us at 1230 & we carried on a few stores. We [l]eft anchorage at 1615. We went over [to] (Point Bowlow (Okinawa) _ BB. (Colorado &)(New Y.[)] & a few DD were with us. GQ went 1900 till 2100 (9:10) GQ went at 2130 for bombardment. Other ships fired first we fired some five & 6" till 2400. Cond. II was set at 2245.
44 days out of states

K = Kerama

Liberty ships were cargo ships built in the US during World War II. Some were civilian ships converted for military use, hence the "IX" which stood for "miscellaneous unclassified." The IX-129 was the tanker USS Whippet. Photo is of a typical liberty ship.

Amm. = ammunition
LSM = Medium landing ship
LST = Tank landing ship

AA = Air attack
DD = destroyer
BB = battleship
GQ = general quarters

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

April 13, 1945

13 _____ AA 200 _ 330 GQ till 610. We were off (Ie Shima) at 630 which is 8 miles from Okinawa (USS Bir____) & a few DDs were with us (the island had a little mountain on the right hand side of it, it was a very [be]autiful island _ BB Ark and one DD joined [us] at 915. The island look something like [I]wo Jima. We fired 75 round of 6" & 40 5".
_____ In morning we fired on barricks & gun implasents _ we had not place spotter. Small boats straft the Beach (L.C.S.)s _ We fired from Condiction II.
_____ In afternoon we hit one gun implasment a house & some trenches & killed one horse when he got in the way of firing. A lot of horses run lo[o]se on island. 1500 we stop firing. 1815 AA defense till 1830. AA & GQ at 1900 till 2015.
_____ Capt[ai]n made speech & told us Rosevelt had died.

Top photo is of Ie Shima.

Bir = USS Birmingham
Ark = USS Arkansas
LCS = literally "Littoral Combat Ships" -- landing crafts that could take troops over the littoral zone (coastal shelf) and land them on a beach.

Monday, April 12, 2010

April 12, 1945

12 _____ 330 GQ went & again at 515. AA went again at 830. GQ at 900...planes showed up. We were told...[over] speaker _ Were detached from our force to go to our bombardment cover area. orders were changes & we stayed with fleet _ [we] joined during night _ it consist of the following

__ 9 BB- _________ 4- CA
U.S.S. Texas ___ Salt Lake City
U.S.S. N. York __ Frisco
U.S.S. Ark. ____ Wichata
U.S.S. W.V. ______ ?
U.S.S. Colorado ____ 3-C.Ls
U.S.S. New Mexico_ (Mobile)
U.S.S. Tenn ______ Bir
______________ St. Louis
& a large number of (DDs)

1500 Planes came & (USS Tenn) took on Su____. _ . _ one DD got
Bow [k]nock off. Japs lost 30 planes. We had AA defense & GQ
around 20.00 till 23.45

BB = battleships
CA = heavy cruisers
CL = light cruisers
DD = destroyers

Ark. = Arkansas
W.V. = West Virginia
"Frisco" = USS San Francisco
Bir = USS Birmingham (one of Mobile's sister ships)

Su = "suicide plane" - not sure what other spaces were left for.

Photo is of the Battleship Tennessee.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

April 11, 1945

11th _____ 700 We entered (K_____ ) anchorage just 18 miles from Okinawa _ we took on Amm 800 (LST 735) came along side with Amm. AA at 900 & again at 1000 with GQ right after. 1100 (LST 737) came along side with Amm. We finished at 1300 _ AA defense went we left anchorage at 1500.
______ One end of anchorage was (8 DDs) all damaged by Jap raids. Some were in dry docks. We heard (USS B____ ) was damaged by su plane yesterday. AA went again at 2300.

K = Kerama Kaikyo in the Kerama Retto island group west of Okinawa. Americans took the islands on March 27 and turned it into a base in few short days. It was constantly harassed by Japanese air raids.

LST = Tank Landing Ship. Also used to deliver ammunition and supplies. Most didn't have names but the 735 was the USS Dukes County.

B = Possibly Mobile's "sister ship" (meaning she was one of the 4 ships in Cruiser Division 13): USS Biloxi. She was slightly damaged by a kamikaze on March 27, but "continued in action."

su = short for "suicide"

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Friday, April 9, 2010

April 9, 1945

9 _____ We got up at 500 _ GQ at 515 till 630. At 700 we came back to N___ bay & we went ... [i]nto the bay at 800 _ at 900 we began [b]ombarding the shore area till 1200 ...nd II [was at] Port had 12 to 4 _ Starboar[d] ... had it till chow then [Port] came back & completed the bombardment. We turrit II fired 45 rounds
___ We had night GQ at 1830 till 1930. We turned and went out to sea again _ we passed a little island & the 40 MM straft the shore line. A lot of Japs could be seen on the small island. On the main island of Okinawa _ they had shore guns that could be seen firing but they didn't hit nothing. Condiction III was set when we cleared the harbor.
N = Probably Nago Bay, north of Point Bolo. By April 9, U.S. land troops had reached the northern end of the bay. The Mobile's bombardments would have been aimed ahead of this front. Photo is of Nago at that time.

II = gun turret #2: Joe's gunnery assignment. The port and starboard gunnery crews took 4 hour shifts on the guns. Joe was on the starboard crew. Altogether, about 40 men were assigned to each turret, 20 on each shift.

40 MM = 40 millimeter gun

Condiction = condition

Thursday, April 8, 2010

April 8, 1945

8 _____ We found ourselfs back at Point Bowlow this morning _ we were told that the planes sank the Jap fleet so we turned back. We had GQ & AA defense the following times _ 530 to 630 _ 930 & [945] & again at 12 & 5 to bombard Bay area _ We fired 250 rounds of 6"

Bolo Point is a small peninsula on Okinawa's west coast just north of the beaches where the Marines landed. This was the first area taken by U.S. troops on April 1. The Americans built an airstrip there to assist operations. Photo shows Point Bolo coast as it looks today.

Joe at first wrote "245 rounds" then wrote "50" over top.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

April 7, 1945

7th _____ We started of[f] with GQ at 3.45 _ one plane came in. We picked up surface ships but proved to be friendly _ we got off of GQ at 630 & went back in at 730 but no planes showed up. We expect Japs to try & land reinforcements. GQ went at 945 _ Japs showed up at 950 _ damaged one DD _ we got out at 10.35. They [st]ill after our DDs. Think three more sub[s] in pretty soon then well reall[y] have a bade time but let im come. [About] 1500 we turned in towards the island ... With the W. Vir. in the head of us. We drop anchor _ all capt[ain]s from all the ships had a big meeting on Tenn. I think theres something big going to happen. At 1600 all ships got underway _ we got in formation & we had 6 BB. 4 CA. 6 CL 21 DDs _ Capt[ai]n made a spec[i]al anno[u]n[ce]ment _ said were going up to meet large Jap fleet heading down to Okinawa. The Japs have one 45,000 ton BB & 4 CL & 10 DD. we alto sink everyone of them. Were surpose to meet them between 2200 & 300 tomorrow morning _ We had another AA & GQ at 1905 _ One BB was damage but can still fight.
Japanese transport ships were expected in from the west. American Admiral Deyo kept his ships (including the Mobile) between the transports and Okinawa.

W. Vir. = Battleship USS West Virginia
Tenn. = Battleship USS Tennessee (in Photo)

BB = battleship
CA = heavy cruiser
CL = light cruiser
DD = destroyer

alto = ought to

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

April 6, 1945

6th _____ AA went at 130 ... got underway no planes came. At 300 AA went then GQ _ f... groups of Jap planes came _ each group had from 1 to 2 p[lanes]. They drop flare over us _ we were lighted like Chris[tmas] tree. came out of GQ at 630 & GQ went again at 830 to bombard a town (Nakma[??] _ six inch fired 24 [r]ounds up to 1230. AA defense went at 1230 _ no planes showed up. town is still smoking _ a Jap cruiser can be seen from where we are now. it was [beached] in one of the raids by our planes. Were on the west side of the island now. GQ went at 1530 _ the Japs came in about 1545. (3.45 PM) They really gave us a bade time. They sank one DD & eight other ships damaged. GQ lasted 5 hours. Mobile got eather one or two planes, Japs lost 76 planes. They seem to be after the smaller ships. Two came right at us but we got them before they reached us. Most planes are ...
36 days out of states
Nakma = Nakama, located on at the south end of Okinawa, not far from the bay on the eastern side.

Monday, April 5, 2010

April 5, 1945

5th _____ We fired star shells al[l] night in order to keep the fighting area all lighted up. We had AA defense a few times t[h]rough out the day & GQ this afternoon some Jap planes got into 18 miles but went out again. The ships started bombarding the island real heavy at 1730 (5:30) P.M.) _ Planes are also strafing & bombing Japan. We are now on this of island. We H.Cs & one CL & also one B.B. Texas is bombarding. Large fires can be seen on beach. The shore batteries on one of the smaller islands taken the first day is also firing. There really blowing hell out of the[m]. Were a few thousand yards from beach now. we [might] fire again tonight (star Shells). We had [sun]rise GQ & sunset GQ. We drope anchor at 1[9]30 _ [could] see trucks & tanks moving up to [first?].

{we did not get payed today}

"this of island" = Mobile moved to east side of the island.

AA = Air alert defense
GQ = general quarters
HC = high caliber
CL = light cruiser
BB Texas = Battleship Texas (photo is of the Texas during the battle)

Mobile's high caliber guns, plus one other light cruiser and the battleship were all bombarding at once.

"{we did not get payed today}" was written in the margin.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

April 4, 1945

4th _____ AA defense sound[ed] a few times during the night _ GQ [went] ... by this morning but no planes showe[d u]p. The island had 21 air alerts ... proved to be friendly. We are now just a few thousand yards from beach, by smoak Mer____ are making pretty good headway. The planes bombed the Japs all day _ this operation is soupose to last 105 days.
(34 days out of states.)(4th day of Okinawa landing)

smoak = smoke
Mer = Marines

By the smoke rising from the island, they could track the progress of the Marines. Photo is of Marines riding a tank on Okinawa.

soupose = supposed

Saturday, April 3, 2010

April 3, 1945

3rd _____ We reach the Okinawa area this morning - we put our flash proof cover on our sack and was told we will ship with all our cloths on. By 11:00 we could see Okinawa & a lot of ships anchored around it. We passed t[h]rough a little about 20 miles wide with Okinawa on our starboard side. Once ... t[h]rough we were in the China sea. Were on the west side of island now & could see trucks on the beach _ we are just waiting for ord[ers] to bombard.

Since they were entering a battle zone, they started sleeping in their clothes so they could be at battle stations at a moment's notice.

Little = littoral, in this case, just south of Okinawa.

On the west side of the island were the Hagushi Beaches, where the Marines landed on April 1.

Friday, April 2, 2010

April 2, 1945

2nd _____ We passed t[h]rough a l______ & I thought the ship was going to turn over. She seems to be top heavy. We had sacks down all day. We reach Okinawa tomorrow.

In the next entry, Joe used the word "little" to describe some sort of passage and this is probably the same. He means a "littoral", a coastal region, where the shelf beneath the ship was fairly shallow and the waves high, hence the instability of the ship.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April 1, 1945

1st ____ Today is...[Eas]ter _ we found out in quarters thi[s] ... [m]orning were head for (Okinawa) which is 320 ... [mi]les from Japan proper & 350 miles from ... [F]or ____) _ Were getting there the 3rd. We ... going a[s] close as 3000 yards & bombard. ... I think well be back in states by Aug. Were going to bombard from [where] we drop anchor, I dont like that _ to[o] easy a target for shore batteries. Okinawa was invaded today by the tenth army & a few Mer Div. Well be three days late in getting there.
(31 days out of states)(Okinawa invaded)

[F]or = Formosa
Mer = Marine

Photo shows Prostestant church services on the aft of the ship.