Monday, May 31, 2010

May 31, 1945

31- _____ We pulled into Pedro Bay which is were Lel & Samar almost meet.
______________

Lel = Leyte Island

On the map it looks like Leyte and Samar touch. There's actually a narrow strip of water between.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

May 30, 1945

30- _____ We lost [our] only plane today when it was trying to land. It turned over _ the p[ilot] was saved _ a DD sank the plane
90 days out of states
_______________

The Mobile could accommodate up to 2 Kingfisher seaplanes. They could take off from a short rail jutting off the ship, then would land on the ocean and be recovered by a crane on the ship's stern (see photo).

Either the plane was damaged beyond repair or couldn't be recovered because it turned over. A destroyer sunk it to keep it from being salvaged by the enemy.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

May 29, 1945

29- _____ Gut is [unjacki?] today, dont feel very good. We held field day.

____________________

Field Day = On a US Navy ship, a field day is when all hands must turn out to clean the deck so that it is shipshape for the Captain's weekly inspection. Photo show a field day aboard the USS Texas.

Friday, May 28, 2010

May 28, 1945

28 _____ Left Point Bowlow at 1100 & headed out past _____ anchorage. We were later told by Captain Miller that were on our way to Letey Golf. Were getting there May 31st at 10.00 AM. at 1600 flashproof covers were taken off & we could sleep with out our clothes on once again.
___________________

1100: Looks like "1200" was written first, then a "1" was written over the "2".

The anchorage was Kerama.

Letey Golf = Leyte Gulf in the Phillipines.

Flashproof covers were required on bunks during battle. This made smouldering fire and smoke in the living areas less likely.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

May 27, 1945

27- ______ Rained most of the day _ we stayed at Point Bowlow.
____________________

Shuri Castle was a 14th century or earlier palace on a plateau on Okinawa. The Japanese considered it the symbol of the island. Photos show Shuri Castle before bombardment and how it looked on May 27. When the Americans took the plateau, no one had an American flag so the Marines raised a Confederate Battle flag over the site. Shuri Castle was reconstructed in 1992.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

May 26, 1945

26- _____ We bombarded all night & this morning _ we went into Point Bowlow. Where we stayed all day.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

May 25, 1945

25- _____ Today we did a little more firing _ tirrit II fired 60 rounds on the 8 to 12 _ we fired 107 rounds.
__________

Photo is of the bombardment and landings on Okinawa.

Friday, May 21, 2010

May 22, 1945

22- _____ Didn't do much today except a little bombarding as us[ual].

__________________

After his detailed entries of the last month, Joe became suddenly and unusually terse at this point.

May 21, 1945

21 _____ We got underway this morning for Point Bowlow. we got there at (800 AM) drope anchor at (1000 AM)
_____ By morning news we have lost 3000 tenth Army troops killed & missing 12,000 wounded. Navy lost 3,900 killed & missing with 3,750 wounded so it goes to show the Navy is losing more than the Army in this operation.
_____ We also [read] that the USS Franklin had lost 1000 killed & wounded in a raid on Japen, when she was hit by Japs planes 60 miles off Japen _ she got back to states by herself.

________________

USS Franklin: On March 19, the aircraft carrier Franklin was hit by 2 bombs which started huge fires that set off more explosions. Photo shows the attack. 724 were killed, 265 wounded. The Franklin was the most heavily damaged carrier in the war but somehow, with a skeleton crew and only one stop at Pearl Harbor, she managed to sail back the 12,000 miles back to her home port of New York. Joe read about it after she arrived home.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

May 20, 1945

20 _____ This morning we got underway for _____ Bay on. We had early chow & we drop anchor near Wichata & Salt Lake City. Cond. II was set for bombarding as soon as we got in _ tirrit II fired its first shot at 10.00 since it blow up on April 28th. We fired 11 rounds
_____ We heard the first few rounds were fired into our troops because the fire control party on shore had made a mistake.
_____ tirrit IV also fired a few rounds _ This afternoon I & III fired 25 rounds each. After tirrits also fired during night GQ. 5" fired a few rounds during GQ. Beside night GQ we had no other GQ or AA defense. Troops seem to be advancing pretty good. 80 days out of states
__________________________

Back to Nakagusuku Bay.

Wichata = USS Wichita, shown firing in photo.

Accident was actually April 18th.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

May 19, 1945

19 _____ We drope anchor untill 1400 today. At 1400 we took in anchor because reminds of a sunken Mine sweeper was drifting close to ship. Tugs later came along & took mine sweeper away. We shifted births at 1600 but still didn't do any firing al[l] night or during day.
______________________

reminds = remnants or remains

Minesweepers were small naval vessels based on the design of the fishing trawler, for identifying and detonating mines before they could sink the larger ships. The photo shows the minesweeper USS Pivot.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

May 18, 1945

18- _____ We went in[t]o ______ anchorage & went straight up to Amm ship & took on 1500 rounds of 6" Amm. They didn't have 5" Amm. _ while we were along side Amm ship the Heavy Cru[i]sers USS New Orleans & Frisco came along Amm ship starboard side. We left Amm ship & drope anchor _ a few minutes later LST 813 came along side & we took off 1800 rounds of 5" Amm. & also some forty MM. We also took on Stores from LCM. We left ______ anchorage at 1500 & came across to Point Bowlow were we went between the other ships & drop anchor.
_____ On our port side anchored is (LSD) #8 & also anchored there are

BB- N. Mex.
" __ Miss.
___ Texas
Colorado & N.Y. are farther up from Point Bowlow more to the south.

_____ Also the New CL USS Vixbrids & USS Vincans are bombarding. New Mexico is doing a little firing _ We did no firing al[l] night. We also had night alert. We were told that a DD was sunk in same place were in now _ it was sunk this after noon by shore batteries.
______________________

Still at Kerama anchorage.

LSD = Dock Landing Ship. The #8 was the USS White Marsh, shown in photo.


USS Vixbrids = USS Vicksburg (CL86)
USS Vincans = USS Vincennes (CL64)

Monday, May 17, 2010

May 17, 1945

17 _____ We had GQ at 430 to 515 _ Still bombarding but not to[o] much _ were low on Amm. they took 60 rounds of HC out of tirrit II after GQ later they took all but 65 rounds out of tirrit II. (II _ We had loading drill this afternoon _ expect to fire soon.
_____ Two fellow came on board ship from fire control party on beach _ they said Mobile is better know[n] than any ship out here for its good firing. They also said Japs have more artillery here on Okinawa then what both the Army & Navy have. Before the war this was a proving ground for Jap artillery. That's why were having it so hard here on Okinawa. Were getting down to the end of the island.
_____ Dope going around is that were leaving here in a few days. We had GQ this morning after chow.
_____ This afternoon we left & went over to Point Bowlow & drop anchor _ tomorrow morning we go in to _____ anchorage for Amm.
_________________

The photo shows part of Okinawa after the bombardments.

The blank space is Kerama anchorage.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

May 16, 1945

16th _____ Got up after all night in had GQ at 515 to 545 AM. drope anchor at 830 _ we (turrit II) had loading drill _ we shifted 200 rounds of HC. to turrits III & IV _ Still in Cond. II & still bombarding off & on. Turrit I fired 200 rounds of H.C. We had our regular night _ AA defense until GQ twenty minutes later till 2030. AA went again at 2100 till 2130 (930PM) _ GQ went again 2300 to 2400 (12PM) _ We took on some mail today.
_____ Dope going around is that were going to Let___ for new guns
___________________________

Let = Leyte Gulf, Philippines

Photo shows cleaning of big guns.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

May 15, 1945

15th _____ We had a full night in but bombarded most of the day. Heard turrit two will fire tomorrow. We took on a little mail this afternoon. We didn't drope anchor all day at least not till 1800 & that was for rest of the night. We kept up bombarding all night.
___________________

The middle gun of turret two had blown up, but apparently repairs were made to the rest of the turret.

Friday, May 14, 2010

May 14, 1945

14 _____ AA went again at 200 till 400. Rev. at 600AM & Cond II for bombarding right after. Chow at 730 & we drop anchor at about 800. We bombarded most of the day & night. We had a few AA defenses t[h]rough out the day. We had a full night in. We took on a little mail today.
_____ At 1630 (430PM) a DD 547 came along side & took off 200 rounds of star shells & powder.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

May 13, 1945

13- _____ At 2415 this morning while on watch we could see LCTs firing on an object _ turn out to be an Q boat _ we could see it going t[h]rough the water once it turned & came to[wa]rds us _ we turned on our search lights & open fire _ AA defense was sounded & later GQ. We kept firing _ when fire stop the Q boat was gone so were pretty sure she was sunk. We got out of GQ at 145 a few minutes later another Q boat was sighted _ It was sunk close to beach.
_____ At 200 one plane was pick up 48 miles coming in on our port bowe AA defense was sound & GQ right after. A sm[oke] boat lade a sm[oke] screan _ we could hear the Jap planes right over us they were really low but they couldn't see us. Heavy AA firing could be seen over island. Jap plane was shot down by eather shore battery or ships.
at 420 we got underway & Cond. II was set for bombarding at 600 we begin firing at 700 five inch fired most of the time. Also heard New Mex. had heavy cas. last night. We shifted births twice this morning.
_____ At 1200 we launched one plane _ 6" fired most of the afternoon. At 1800 (6PM) I went on watch & a few minutes later saw a (Piper Cub grass hopper) plane go down in flames over the island. It was shot down by Japs. We had AA defense & GQ for night alert _ it lasted till 2100 _ AA went again at 2200 (10PM)
__________________

Q boats were decoy crafts disguised to look like civilian ships used by America against Germany mostly in WWI. Here the term describes a Japanese suicide boat disguised as a civilian vessel. Photo shows the incident as the Mobile trained their lights on the target.

cas. = casualties. The Battleship New Mexico had just returned to Point Bolo from Kerama when she was attacked by 2 kamikazes. One crashed on the gun deck, killing 54 and wounding 119.

Piper Cub = This was actually an American L-4 Grasshopper, a small plane made by the Piper company. The civilian version was called the Cub.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

May 12, 1945

12th _____ We fired Star shells all night till 600 then we got underway for K_____ anchorage. We got there at 730 & went up to Amm ship Mayfield Victory #232. left Amm ship at 1230 PM. & went along side tanker 115, while along side LST 1096 came along side with 5" Amm. She left at 1430 & LSM 83 came along side for emptys. She left at 1615 (415PM) & we left Amm. ship at 1645 445PM & we left K_____ anchorage t[h]rough the same way we came in. (South side) We went across to Point Bowlow & drope anchor. (1900) USS Wichata & a DD came across with us.
_____ At 1800 AA went & GQ right after. While GQ was being sounded the AA battery open fire which made most of the crew get excited & they didn't know where to go but after we get to our battle stations we were told what happen.
_____ Two Zekes came into the harbor with out being seen one came at us & the other at the N. Mex. which had just passed us heading in to drop anchor. We shot ours down but the other hit the N.Mex. & a fire broke out but didn't last long. Mobile sure did a lot of firing for the few minutes we fired.
_____ We get out of GQ 20.15 (815 PM.) We did not bombarding tonight. I hit my sack at 21.00 & 23.20 got up to go on watch.
______________

LST 1096 = Tank Landing Ship named the USS St. Clair County.

Zekes = Japanese Zero planes

May 11, 1945

11th ____ AA & GQ at 230 till 500 AM. went back to same area as yesterday where we bombarded. turrit one fired 50 rounds. five inch fired most of night. In this mornings dope sheet was the following report.
_____ Following is a summary of the distruction (Mobile) did while firing for us. The firing was all in generally high ground. The first part of your firing silenced many machine guns & rifle fire. You destroyed two guns of unknown caliber. Mobile completely neutralized an area where there was definite mortar fire coming from. Mobile also silenced that (47MM) gun _ there were also enemy troops there & the neutralization effect of your fire was excellent. This should be of particular interest to you because your fire was placed just [?]00 to 600 yards ahead of our front lines. This mission was referred to the higher echelon of command before we were able to get clearance on this mission. Due to the excellent reputation you have & due to the inability to bring our own artillery to bear on that targets the higher echelon of command had you fire on these targets with best of results. You helped the boys up in the front lines immensely & we all appreciate it a great deal.
_____ We had AA from 1900 7 PM to 8 PM 20.00.

Monday, May 10, 2010

May 10, 1945

10th_____ We got up after a very bade night _ had AA & GQ three times without counting the na[v]al bombarded. (Naha large city on Okinawa _ al[l] night We could see factories & other large buildings burning. We must of fired (500 rounds of 6") & the same number of (5").
___ AA defense went the following times.
1. 1145 AM AA & GQ till 1230 PM
2. 430 PM didn't last long
3. 1800 AA & GQ till 20.30 (830PM)
4. 2045 AA & GQ till 21.30 (9.30 PM)

during night GQ sm[oke] screen was laid & we did no firing. We could see heavy AA fire over island.
_____ (Heard Admiral N_____ came to Okinawa yesterday)
70 days out of states
________________

N = Admiral Nimitz

Photo is of night bombardment.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

May 9, 1945

9th- _____ No trouble all night so set Cond II. for bombardment at 630AM. turrit one fired 108 rounds into (Naha) large Jap city on South west side). Japs gave us a little trouble _ had AA & GQ at least twice. We keeping bringing the anchor up & down al[l] day. We went back closer to Point Bowlow & bombardment all night.

(We got payed _ draw No money)
___________________________
Naha is the capital of Okinawa. Photo shows a Marine surveying the damage from the bombardment.

"We got payed..." was written in the margin.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

May 8, 1945

8th _____ It rained all night _ 510 AM we got underway for K_____ anchorage _ We got there at (645 AM) _ LST [828] came along Port side with 5" Amm. at ([9]15AM) _ LSM #187 came along starboard side for emptys.
_____ At 1245PM we went along Amm ship (Mayfield Victory) till 1700 (5PM) _ then we left the anchorage & we went to Point Bowlow there we drope anchor.
_____ (We took on 1200 rounds of 6" Amm). (We had no trouble rest of day).
____________

Photos show LSM 187, and the Mayfield Victory, which was a cargo ship.

Friday, May 7, 2010

May 7, 1945

7th _____ GQ from 245 till 500 (Japs seem to come every day at the same time _ Cond. II from bombardment was set right after chow. Other turrits are running low on Amm so their taking it out of turrit II.
_____ At 1400 (2PM) Cond III was set _ the ship got underway for (Point Bowlow.) We get their [sic] at 1730 (530PM) & drope anchor.
___ Helping us in todays bombardment are
(BBs) _______ also three
USS Miss #____ DDs
USS Texas #35
USS NY. #34
USS Ark. #33

_____ (Today we distro[y]ed (5) E boats that were spotted on the beach)
_____ We learned Germany has given up now _ its two down and one to go.
__________________

E boat = fast torpedo craft. Photo shows a German E boat, but apparently the Japanese had something similar.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

May 6, 1945

6th _____ GQ went from 215AM to 445AM _ Chow at 700 & Cond. II for bombardment went right after chow. AA went twice this morning with GQ once _ nothing showed up. We did a little firing turrit I fired (120 HCs.) We shifted at best 4 times during the day. AA went after we shifted for the last time but didn't last long.
_____ (We could still see large fires on the beach.)
_____ Turrit four was damage when turrit III fired straight off. So she'll be out for a little while.

___ Helping us in todays bombardment were
USS Miss. --BB ____ DD 804 & two
USS Texas --| _____ other DDs
USS NY. _ --|

(Still at N_____ Bay)
_____________

Turret 4 damage? The only incident Mobile's Official War Record mentions is "In May, 1945, during the same operation a premature explosion occurred in the barrel of a 20MM gun, slightly wounding one man." No mention of large guns being damaged.

DD 804 was the Destroyer USS Rooks

N = Nahagasuku Bay

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

May 5, 1945

5- _____ We started the day off with AA at (225) & GQ at (230 AM)
_____ At 200 AM one group of Jap planes were picked up at 65 miles _ a few minutes later two more groups were sighted. Then GQ went at 230 AM. Sm[oke] screan was laid by LCI. We could hear Jap planes over head but they couldn't see us due to the smoke screan, _ We could see AA firing over Okinawa _ We heard Japs main actack at (Point Bowlow) _ we get out of GQ at 450 only to go back in at 1045 _ no planes showed up.
_____ This afternoon we just kept up the bombardment of (Nakagusuka Bay)
_____ (We were told that our heavy bombardment yesterday had killed 150 Japs & we dist[roy]ed 3 trucks & some gun implasements It was one of the best bombardments so far.)
_____ Navy los[ses] up to now in Okinawa operation are 1200 killed & over 1600 missing & some 2500 are wounded
_____ We also heard that the hospital ship damage by the Jap plane was carrying the wounded from our ship. & one jump over the side.
_ killed were ___ Jump over side
M[?]sak S1/c ___ Rand Cox

_____ We [shifted] birth twice today. in the Bombardment groups are (BB) USS New York & C.A. Wichata & two (DDs.) AA went about 1900 (7PM) to 2015 (815PM)
_______________________

The Story of A Ship lists Bert True Rand, Cox [coxswain], USN. Among the Mobile's Killed-In-Action, no name begins with "M" or resembles "M[??]sak" in any way. Possibly it was a nickname. The men died on April 30.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

May 4, 1945

4 _____ Started the day off with GQ from (210AM till 5.00 AM) because of E boats & planes around. One DD & one L.S.T. were damage by E boats. Ship got underway during GQ when we got out of GQ we found ourselfs in (Nakagusuka Bay). We then started to Bombard AA defense went at 10.00 AM till 11.30 AM. AA firing could be seen over island. During this afternoon 12 to 410 [until] turrit one laid down a heavy bombardment (fired 287) rounds).
_____ AA went at 1830 till 2015 815PM. LCI laid a heavy sm[oke] screan. We fired most of the night from watch (bombardment.)
_____________________

Photo shows flak from air battle.

Monday, May 3, 2010

May 3, 1945

3rd- _____ We got underway for (K____ anchor)age at (4PM &) reach there at (5 AM.) _ drope anchor at (6 AM) _ at 730 AM (LST 813) came along port side with 6" Amm. at 815 AM LST 828 came along starboard side with 5" Amm. AA & GQ went twice _ once at 920 & again at 10.00 AM. Both LSTs left ship only one returned (LST 813). At 1300 50 hands sent to LST 828 for rest of Amm. While we were there. Tanker (#3) came along side Mobile.
_____ While I was on (LST 828) (DD 547 came along side LST.
_____ We got back at 1630 (430 PM) _ Tanker left at 1700 (5PM) _ We left K_____ anchorage at 1700 (5PM)
_____ During the day we had AA defense & GQ three times. We went over to Point Bowlow & drop anchor. & AA went again. one Jap plane could be seen falling off our port bowe.
_____ (We heard Hitler was killed.)

_________________

LST 813 was a Tank Landing Ship named the USS Kane County.

LST 828 - as far as I could tell, the 828 had no other name.

DD 547 was the destroyer USS Cowell.

Hitler died on April 30. Photo shows the front page of Stars & Stripes.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

May 2, 1945

2nd _____ We got underway at 645 AM & moved closer to island. We bombarded till 1600 then we got underway for (Point Bowlow). We hit bade weather on the way. We got thru at 1900 (7PM) & drop anchor. (I have a full night in _ At least I hope I do.)