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Beans, Bullets and Black Oil is a story about the logistic; 
services supplied to U, S, naval forces, by means of floating 
facilities, in the operating areas in the Pacific 1 , 1941-45 • 
It- is* a well-written history of naval logistics afloat in the 
Pacific during World War II. •-■■ 


Admiral Raymond Ames Spruance, USN 


Beans, Bullets, and 
Black Oil 



USN (Retired) 

with a Foreword by 

The Secretary of the Navy 

and an Introduction by 


who helped turn back the Japanese at Midway and later took 

from them the Gilberts, Marsh alls, Marianas, 

Iwo Jima, and Okinawa 

| t I ft R 

In© -3 ' C P 



Victory is won or lost in battle, but all military history shows that 
adequate logistic support is essential to the winning of battles. 
In World War II, logistic support of the fleet in the Pacific became a 
problem of such magnitude and diversity, as well as vital necessity, that 
all operations against Japan hinged upon it. The advance against the 
enemy moved our fleet progressively farther and farther away from the 
west coast of the United States, from Pearl Harbor, and from other 
sources of supply. To support our fleet we constructed temporary bases 
for various uses, and we formed floating mobile service squadrons and 
other logistic support groups. These floating organizations remained near 
the fighting fleet, supplying food, ammunition, and other necessities 
while rendering repair services close to the combat areas. This support 
enabled the fleet to keep unrelenting pressure upon the enemy by 
obviating the return of the fleet to home bases. 

Because of the knowledge gained during his South Pacific service and 
particularly from his experience as Commander of Service Squadron Ten, 
the largest of the mobile squadrons, Rear Admiral W. R. Carter was 
chosen to write this history of logistics afloat in the Pacific. The opinions 
expressed and the conclusions reached are those of the author. 

Dan A. Kimball 

Secretary of the Navy 
6 February 1952 



by Admiral Raymond A. Spruance, USN (Retired) 

^A sound logistic plan is the foundation upon which a war operation 
ji\ should be based. If the necessary minimum of logistic support 
cannot be given to the combatant forces involved, the operation may 
fail, or at best be only partially successful. 

In a war, one operation normally follows another in a~~theater anc 
each one is dependent upon what has preceded it and what is anticipated. 
The logistic planning has to fit into and accompany the operational 
planning. The two must be closely coordinated, and the planners for 
each must look as far into the future as they can in order to anticipate 
and prepare for what lies ahead. 

A history of the sum total of American logistics during World War II 
would be forced to cover a tremendous field. The present volume deals 
only with naval logistics in the Pacific. As such, its scope is limited to a 
not-too-great portion of our entire national logistic effort. However, the 
area involved— the Pacific Ocean— is the one where our maximum naval 
effort was expended. Distances in that ocean were very great, and the 
resources available to us from friendly countries in the Western Pacific 
were comparatively minor, in both variety and quantity. Nearly every- 
thing our forces required had to come from or through the United 
States, with the exception of the large amounts of petroleum products 
originating in the Caribbean area and moving west through the Panama 

Canai ^ ____________________________________ 

The study o f our n aval logistic effort in tjie_^dnc^^outlined in the 
present volume, brings out our dependence^ on both ^hgtr^^ and 
mobile floating bases such as are exemplified by Service SquadronTen. 
Each ha d its advantages, and neither alone could have done the job. 

ThTearly days of the war, when the fighting was principally in the 
South and Southwest Pacific, we had around our bases good-sized land 
masses, which permitted the construction of shore facilities. Shipping 
then was scarce and at a premium, and large numbers of ships could 
not be spared for conversion to the special purposes of a mobile floating 
base. Furthermore, our advance against the enemy then was not so rapid 


vni Introduction 

in its movement as it became later. Shore bases continued to be close 
enough to the fight ing front to retain practically their full usefulness. 
""When we startecTplanning^in the summer of 19?3T6r^perati6ns in 
the Central Pacific, it was obvious that the geography of the area which 
we hoped to capture had characteristics very different from those of the 
South Pacific. We did not know how fast we would be able to move 
ahead, but we did know that in the Gilberts, Marshalls, and Carolines, 
many of the islands had splendid protected anchorages in their lagoons. 
However, the land areas surrounding the lagoons were very small. These 
islands were only large enough, as a rule, to enable us to construct the 
always necessary air strips and to take care of the requirements of the 
atoll garrison forces. Truk, which we bypassed, in the Carolines, was an 
exception geologically in that there were some fairly large but rugged 
islands in the middle of its magnificent lagoon. Exceptions also were 
Kusaie and Ponape, which were large rugged islands without any pro- 
tected anchorages big enough to be of interest to us. The Marianas we 
knew had some good-sized islands in the group, but we also knew that 
not one of them had a protected anchorage large enough for fleet use. 

This geography meant that the logistic support for our fleet during 
operations in the Central Pacific would have to be primarily afloat, in 
what developed into the mobile service squadron— first Service Squadron 
Four at Funafuti in the Ellice Islands and then Service Squadron Ten at 
Majuro in the Marshalls. The small beginnings of the idea in Service 
Squadron Four were absorbed into Service Squadron Ten soon after the 
latter came into being in February 1944 at Majuro. 

The growth of Service Squadron Ten, its movement across the Pacific 
to successive bases at Eniwetok, then Ulithi and then Leyte, and its 
continuous and most efficient service to the fleet at these and numerous 
other bases where it stationed ships and representatives as our operations 
demanded, are achievements of which all Americans can be justly proud, 
but about which most of them have little or no knowledge. 

The actual furnishing of logistic support to ships at sea is an essential 
part of this picture. At first it was confined to fuel, but as we pushed 
westward toward Japan and as the tempo of our operations increased, 
our fleet had to remain for longer and longer periods at sea. This reached 
its peak in the Okinawa operation, which lasted for over 3 months and 
during all of which it was necessary to keep strong fleet forces from the 
fast carrier force in a covering position. The fine work of Service 
Squadron Six under Rear Admiral D. B. Beary, USN, enabled this to be 

Introduction IX 

The author of this book, Rear Admiral W. R. Carter, USN (Ret.), is 
well qualified by experience to write about naval logistics in the Pacific 
during World War II. At the outbreak of war and during its early 
months he was Chief of Staff to Commander Battleships Pacific Fleet, 
Rear Admiral Walter S. Anderson, USN. When that command changed, 
Captain Carter (as he was then) was most insistent that he remain at sea 
in the Pacific, and if possible that he be sent wherever there was fight- 
ing. His demands resulted in his being sent to the South Pacific in the 
fall of 1942, where he became Commander Naval Bases. Here he helped 
to build up the shore bases which supported our early operations in the 
Solomons. Later, after a South Pacific organizational change which 
originated in the Navy Department, he returned to Pearl Harbor and 
was then sent to the Aleutians, After returning to Pearl Harbor, he 
worked up on paper the organization of Service Squadron Ten. 

At the time of the Marshalls operation Captain Carter secured a billet 
as a convoy commodore, which was consistent with his idea of getting 
closer to where the fighting was going on. When I found him in this 
capacity at Majuro shortly after we had taken Kwajalein, I told him to 
find a relief for his convoy billet and to start building up Service 
Squadron Ten at Majuro, which he did. 

From February 1944 until July 1945, "Nick" Carter continued to run 
Service Squadron Ten and did a magnificent job, often under great diffi- 
culties. Just before the end of the war, Carter was ordered to Washington 
for a medical survey over the vehement protests of Admiral Nimitz and 
others in the Pacific. After being found physically fit he asked for reas- 
signment to the Pacific, but the war ended before action could be taken 
on his request. 

Commodore Carter was fortunate, as were all the rest of us, in having 
at all times the intelligent, generous, and wholehearted support of Vice 
Admiral W. L. Calhoun, USN, who as Commander Service Force in 
Pearl Harbor was Carter's immediate superior. Bill Calhoun's loyalty up 
to his boss, Admiral Nimitz, "down" to all his own command in the 
Service Force, and "sideways" to all the rest of us who needed his help 
and support, was something that could always be depended upon. Under 
the leadership of Admiral Nimitz, we had a combination that could— 
and did— go anywhere in the Pacific. 

• VWo-kau^^ 


This is NOT A study in logistics. It is more a story 0/ logistics, 
story about the logistic services supplied to U. S. naval forces in the 
operating areas in the Pacific, 1941-45. It is largely an account of services 
rendered by means of floating facilities. It does not go into the magnifi- 
cent production and supply by the industrial plants, shipyards, and naval 
bases of continental United States and Hawaii which made possible the 
floating bases of distribution and maintenance. This is a story of the 
support of the fleet into the far reaches of the Pacific in its campaign 
against the Japanese. It is the story of the distribution to the fleet of the 
sinews of war, at times, at places, and in quantities unsuspected by the 
enemy until it was too late for him to do much to oppose it. This book 
has little or nothing to say about the building, equipping, and fitting out 
of new vessels, or the manufacture and shipping of the thousands of 
tons of thousands of different items by continental sources, without 
which colossal accomplishment there could have been no drive across 
the Pacific. This account does not attempt to furnish complete statistical 
figures; such statistics are matters for the technical bureaus of the Navy. 
This is, rather, an attempt to spin a yarn of the logistics afloat in the 
Pacific Fleet, in order that those interested in naval history may realize 
that naval warfare is not all blazing combat. 

I have been helped by several people, but most of all by Rear Admiral 
E. E. Duvall, USN (Ret.), my former Chief Staff Officer in Service 
Squadron Ten. Mere acknowledgment of the work he has done would be 
an injustice. He is practically the co-author and has furnished me with 
many useful suggestions. Just as he was ever ready to tackle patiently 
any assignments during the war, so has he worked with me on this book. 
Duvall designed and made preliminary sketches for the sea-horse 
emblem, the spine, charts, and end-papers of the book. 

My thanks go to Miss Loretta I. MacCrindle, Head of the World 
War II Classified Records Branch, Division of Naval Records and 
History, and her assistant, Miss Barbara A. Gilmore, for their help in 
digging up material from the acres of filing cabinets and for their 
tolerance of my disorderly use of it. 

I am indebted to Miss Mary Baer, the Film Librarian at the Navy 




Photographic Center, for helping me with the illustrations. 

The student cartographers under the direction of Mr. Leo M. Samuels 
and Mr. Fulton G. Perkins of the Hydrographic Office helped me with 
the charts. 

The early typing was done by Miss Shirley Zimmerman, who proved 
herself almost a cryptanalyst in reading my writing. Norman L. Clark 
and Maurice O'Connor helped. The rewrite typing was done by YN3 
Johnnie J. Freeman. I thank them all. 

Rear Admiral John B. Heffernan, USN (Ret.), the Director of Naval 
Records and History, who got me into this history writing but who is 
not to be held responsible for anything found amiss herein, has been my 
boss and my backer. Without the facilities and encouragement which 
he has furnished me this neophytic effort would have failed. 

This work originated in a request from the President of the Naval 
War College, Newport, R. I., and the project was approved by the Chief 
of Naval Operations on the recommendation of Vice Admiral R. B. 
Carney, then Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Logistics. The 
project has continued to receive the support and encouragement of Vice 
Admiral F. S. Low, now Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Logistics. 

The original manuscript on file with the Division of Naval Records 
and History which is much larger, goes into greater detail, and has a 
larger appendix section, is retained for official use. Commander A. S. 
Riggs, USNR, read the manuscript and did much of the work of cutting 
down to a more popular version and size. For his work I am very 
thankful and appreciative. It was not easy. For the final editing I am 
much indebted to Mr. L. R. Potter. 

The sources of this book are official naval records, such as war diaries, 
logs, operation plans, and action reports, and therefore it is thought 
unnecessary to give individual case authentications to which very few 
readers ever refer and which make for a great deal more printing and 
crowding of pages. A glossary has been included to acquaint the reader 
with the meaning of certain abbreviations and terms. 

W. R. Carter 
Rear Admiral, USN (Ret.) 
Washington, D. C. 

8 October 1931 



I Pre- World War II . . 1 

II The Service Force . 7 

Laboring Giant of the Pacific Fleet 7 

III Early Activities . . . . . ... . . . 11 

Asiatic Fleet in Dutch East Indies ........ 12 

Logistics of Raiding Forces 17 

Coral Sea 21 

Midway 21. 

IV In the South Pacific 23 

Taking the Offensive 23 

Guadalcanal 28 

Logistic Outlook 30 

V Logistic Organization and Sources, South Pacific .... 35 

Damages and Repairs 35 

VI Building Up in the South Pacific . 49 

VII The Southwest Pacific Command 63 

Early Logistics 63 

VIII In the Aleutians 69 

IX "Operation Galvanic" (the Gilbert Islands) 87 

Mobile Service Squadrons Begin Growing .... 90 

Service Squadron Four at Funafuti 91 


xiv Contents 


X Service Squadron Ten Organizing at Pearl 95 

Relationship of the Service Administrative Squadron 

Eight . . 96 

XI Early Composition and Organization of Service Squadron 

Ten : 105 

Ordnance Logistics 107 

Administration of Ordnance Spare Parts and Fleet 

Ammunition • • • 108 

XII The Marshall Islands Campaign 115 

The Truk Strike 121 

XIII Multiple Missions 129 

The Palau and Hollandia Strikes 129 

Marcus and Wake Raids 132 

Submarines Base at Majuro 133 

Growth of Service Squadron Ten at Majuro .... 134 

XIV "Operation Forager," the Marianas Campaign 137 

Floating Logistic Facilities 138 

Servicing the Staging Amphibious Forces 140 

Replenishment of Fast Carriers 143 

XV "Forager" Logistics in General and Ammunition in 

Particular 149 

Service Squadron Ten at Eniwetok 163 

XVI " Stalemate II" : The Western Carolines Operation .... 171 

Preparations at Seeadler Harbor and Eniwetok . . 173 

XVII Logistic Support at Seeadler and at Sea 185 

Service Unit at Seeadler 185 

Oilers With the Fast Carrier Group 190 

Ammunition, Smoke, Water, Provisions, Salvage 197 

Contents xv 


XVIII Further " Stalemate" Support 207 

Medical Plans and Facilities 207 

Mail 210 

Service Unit at Seeadler 210 

With the Fast Carriers 212 

Squadron Ten Prepares to Move 213 

XIX Service Squadron Ten Main Body Moves to Ulithi .... 217 

Reduction to Minimum at Eniwetok 220 

Improvement in Salvaging 225 

XX The Philippines Campaign 233 

Forces and Vessels 233 

Logistic Support of the Seventh Fleet 237 

Battle of Leyte Gulf 243 

XXI Logistic Support of the Third Fleet 249 

Submarine Attacks at Ulithi 259 

XXII Leyte Aftermath 267 

Ormac Bay and Mindoro Landings 267 

Admiral Halsey on the Rampage 271 

"Bull in the China Sea" 272 

Some Dull Routine at Ulithi 276 

Another Midget Attack — Ammunition Ship Manama 

Hit . . : 278 

XXIII Iwo Campaign 281 

Fifth Fleet Relieves Third 281 

Forces and Vessels 281 

Logistics Prescribed 282 

Logistics Support Group — Service Squadron Six . . 283 

Service Squadron Ten Still Busy 291 

XXIV Service Squadron Ten Grows up 293 

The Guam Base 303 

Seventh Fleet Logistic Vessels and Bases 306 

xvi Contents 


XXV "Operation Iceberg": The Okinawa Campaign 311 

The Forces Involved . . . . ' . . . . . . ... . 312 

Staging Logistics 317 

XXVI Activities at Saipan and Ulithi 323 

XXVII Logistics at Kerama Retto for the Okinawa Operation . . 331 

Suicide Plane Attacks . . . ... . . ... . . . 335 

XXVIII Expansion of "At-Sea" Support by Service Squadron Six . 355 

XXIX Support Activities at Leyte-Samar . . 369 

Service Squadron Ten Main Body Moves to San 

Pedro Bay : . . . 370 

Naval Bases on Leyte-Samar . 373 

Reorganization of Service Squadron Ten 379 

Dysentery in Fleet Anchorage 382 

Service Force Pacific Absorbs Service Force Seventh 

Fleet . . 383 

XXX Okinawa After 1 July 1945 385 

Operations Under Service Squadron Twelve . . . .388 
The Move to Buckner Bay and Service Activities 

There the Remaining Days of the War ...... 392 

XXXI The Giant Takes Off His Armor . ... . , 399 

Surrender 399 

. Changes in Logistic Services 399 

Getting Back Toward Peace Routine 400 

Pipe Down 403 

Appendix 405 

The appendix contains a list of commanding officers 
of service vessels under Commander Service Force 
Pacific, photographs of vessels and small craft 
representative of the principal types engaged in 
logistic support activities under Commander Service 
Force Pacific, and a glossary of abbreviations. 

List of Photographs 

Neosho fuels Yorktown in heavy sea ................ 19 

Kitty Hawk supplying planes to the Long Island . 29 

U. S. S. Kitty Hawk at Pallikulo Bay, New Hebrides, unloading 
torpedo plane to self-propelled 50-ton barge l 31 

Minneapolis, bow blown off 44 

Minneapolis, bow repaired with coconut-palm tree trunks 45 

Honolulu at Tulagi with bow damaged by "dud" torpedo 56 

Ortolan raises two-man submarine 59 

PT boat fueling depot Base No. 8, Morobe, New Guinea 65 

Submarine undocking from ARD-6, Dutch Harbor 70 

Sweepers Cove, Adak, Aleutian Islands 71 

Finger Bay, Adak Island 72 

Torpedoes being hoisted aboard Lexington 113 

Small floating drydock 124 

The concrete stores barge Quarts one of the many of this type con- 
struction 127 

Ammunition ship Shasta loading 14-inch powder and shells onto the 
New Mexico ".'.'.; 155 

New Mexico sending 14-inch H. C. shells to the magazines 156 

Ships in Eniwetok, Marshall Islands 164 

An LCT alongside the Yorktown 166 

Ships in Seeadler Harbor, Manus Island, in the Admiralty Islands . . 186 

Argonne damaged by the blowing up of the Mount Hood 187 

The Boston fueling a destroyer 192 

x This barge, one of the war-famous type, was made by assembling 21 steel pontoon sections 
locked together with fittings known as "jewelry." Certain assemblies were used as small 
docks, and non-self-propelled barges. 

214075 O-F-53 2 


xviii List of Photographs 


Fueling from both sides 195 

Gasoline lighter and an LCT alongside the carrier Intrepid 198 

Transferring bombs from LST to the carrier Hancock at sea 199 

Taking sugar on the carrier Lexington at night 202 

The Houston — what holds her up? 227 

The Reno hard hit and barely afloat 229 

The Mississinewa torpedoed by a midget 260 

One of the midgets 262 

Load of powder midway between the Shasta and the cruiser Vicks- 

burg at sea 285 

Randolph damaged by suicide plane - 297 

Franklin hard hit .* 298 

Closeup of the Franklin 299 

Pittsburgh in a drydock, Guam 304 

Bow of Pittsburgh, towed in, cut up, and restored to the ship .... 305 

Destroyer Newcomb damaged by suicide attacks 334 

Damage to the flight deck of Sangamon 336 

Damage to Kiland's flagship, Mount McKinley 338 

Damage to the destroyer Ha%elwood 341 

Pennsylvania low in water after being torpedoed by plane 342 

Maryland taking turret-gun powder 344 

YMS-92, stern blown off . . -. . 352 

The oiler Cahaba fueling the battleship Iowa and the carrier Shangri-La 

on a smooth day 360 

The Ocelot — "Spotted Cat" — Carter's flagship 372 

The Ponaganset loading fresh water at Balusoa Water Point, Samar . 377 

Raising a Jap midget by net layers ....■• 391 

News of the surrender of Japan 395 

Celebrating the good news 396 

List of Charts 


Southwest Pacific, Australia, New Guinea, Borneo . 14 

New Hebrides . 27 

Australia 62 

Aleutian Islands 74 

Gilbert Islands 88 

Marshall Islands 116 

Majuro Atoll 119 

Marianas Islands 150 

Eniwetok Atoll . 153 

Caroline Islands 172 

New Guinea (and small part of Australia) 181 

Ulithi Atoll 223 

Philippines 235 

Leyte Gulf — Surigao Strait — Samar — Leyte 252 

China, Japan, and the Philippines 273 

Kerama Retto 332 

Okinawa Shima . 386 

The Pacific Ocean (fold-in) , Facing page 404 



Pre- World War II 

From 7 December 1941, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, 
until they admitted defeat in August 1945, our fleet continuously 
grew. During those stirring and difficult times, the accounts of ship 
actions, air strikes, and amphibious operations make up the thrilling 
combat history of the Pacific theater. Linked inseparably with combat is 
naval logistic support, the support which makes available to the fleet 
such essentials as ammunition, fuel, food, repair services— in short, all 
the necessities, at the proper time and place and in adequate amounts. 
This support, from advanced bases and from floating mobile service 
squadrons and groups, maintained the fleet and enabled it to take offen- 
sive action farther from home supply points than was ever before 
thought possible, and this is the story which will be told here. But 
before telling this story, let us examine some of the ideas and accom- 
plishments of fleet logistics in the years before World War II. 

The advantages of logistics afloat and near the fleet operating area had 
long been recognized by many naval commanders, and no doubt by 
others who gave the matter analytical thought. There was some selfish 
opposition to its development by local politicians, merchants, and ship- 
yards because of the wish to keep the activities where the disbursements 
would benefit the local shore communities directly. Also, there was 
some opposition in naval bureaus, and there was some skepticism on TT 
the part of some officers within the naval service as to the feasibility of 
accomplishing many of these services afloat. For example, it took a long 
time to satisfy everyone of the practicality of fueling under way at sea. 
Also, there were those who were skeptical of the capabilities of tenders 
and repair ships. Such vessels were looked upon as able to accomplish a i 
certain degree of minor repair and upkeep, but for support of any con- 
sequence a navy yard or shipyard was for years thought necessary. 

During World War I, the astonishing repairs accomplished by our 
two destroyer tenders at Queenstown turned many doubters into en- 
thusiasts. In fact, the whole afloat work of servicing the destroyers at 

2 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

Queenstown, a place with a very small naval shore establishment, was 
a praiseworthy accomplishment along lines of progress which furnished 
new concepts for naval consideration. 

So, with the retrenchment and curtailment of naval appropriations 
and the transfer of the principal part of the U. S. Fleet to the west coast 
_ after World War I, the Base Force was formed as part of the fleet. This 
was, in fact, the beginning of the Service Force and its duty was service 
to the fleet, although it continued to be called the Base Force until the 
United States entered World War II. In concept and principle it was 
sound, and its organization for the work then deemed practical was 
^ good. As a result, valuable and efficient services were rendered to the 
fleet, and some ideas of greater future accomplishments took root. The 
fuel-oil tankers, fresh and frozen-food ships, repair ships, fleet tugs, and 
target repair ships were administered and operated by the Commander 
Base Force. Ammunition ships were administered and usually operated 
by Naval Operations (OpNav). The navy-yard schedule for overhaul 
was arranged but the allotment of funds for the work was controlled by 
the type commanders. 

The destroyer tenders and submarine tenders were not administered 
or operated by the Base Force, and only occasional servicing jobs, either 
of emergency nature or beyond the capacity of the tenders, were per- 
formed directly on destroyers and submarines by the Base Force ships. 
£( The term "directly" is used because the Base Force often supplied the 
tenders with fuel, food, and ammunition, with which they in turn 
serviced the destroyers and submarines. 

The Base Force also made arrangements for water and for garbage 
disposal, and usually ran the shore patrol. The distribution of the en- 
listed personnel was, in varying degrees (depending upon the ideas of 
the Commander in Chief), handled by the Base Force. 

The flagship of the Commander Base Force (Rear Admiral J. V. 
Chase 1 ) was a temporary one, the old fleet flagship Connecticut. She was 
soon scrapped. A Hog Island cargo vessel, the Procyon, which for a short 
time after World War J had been used as a target repair ship, was as- 
signed and designs for her alteration to meet the administrative-staff re- 
quirements were tentatively drawn and sent with the ship from Norfolk 
to Mare Island Navy Yard, where the work was to be done. There was 
little or no knowledge or experience to draw upon for these require- 

1 Admiral J. V. Chase had as his Chief of Staff, Captain W. T. Cluverius, who several 
years later became Commander of the Base Force. Admiral Chase was later the Commander 
in Chief of the U. S. Fleet. 

Pre-World War II 3 

ments. Theory did not suffice, and practically new designs had to be 
drawn up with the assistance of Chase's staff after the arrival of the 
Procyon at Mare Island. When the work was well under way, the Board 
of Inspection and Survey chose that time to make its inspection of the 
ship, and considerable difficulty was encountered in convincing the 
Board that these alterations were necessary and should be completed. 
This further illustrates how little this logistic business of the Navy was ^ 

The fleet air arm was a separate organization, with its own tenders 
and furnishing its own services, although while assigned for photo- 
graphic, target, and some observation work the planes received tem- 
porary servicing from the Base Force. The aircraft tenders, like those of 
the destroyers and submarines, received some services from the Base 
Force which in turn were passed on to the planes. When the Langley, ^f 
Lexington, and Saratoga joined the fleet, the Base Force took on the prin- 
cipal part of the responsibility for their fuel, food, and gun ammunition 
and made arrangements for regularly scheduled overhauls. All special 
equipment and planes, and many alterations due to experimental 
changes and improvements, were handled direct through the bureaus 
without reference to the Base Force. 

Fueling under way at sea was instituted as part of the annual exercises, 
and fuel connections were designed and installed and "at sea" rigs were 
supplied in order to carry out this part of the schedule. Fueling under 
way at sea was then looked upon somewhat as an emergency stunt 
which might have to be resorted to in wartime, and therefore probably ^* 
required occasional practice. Few ever thought it would become so rou- 
tine a matter that it would be accomplished with ease in all kinds of 
weather except gales. 

The era was one of rapid change and progress. In 1925 the operating 
force of the Navy consisted of 234 vessels, including 17 battleships, 15 
cruisers of different types, a second-line carrier and 2 second-line mine 
layers, 6 destroyer-mine layers, 103 destroyers, 80 submarines, 1 fleet sub- 
marine in an experimental stage of development, and 9 patrol gunboats. 
To service these units afloat we had 75 other craft: Oilers, colliers, 
tenders, repair ships, store ships, 1 ammunition ship and 1 hospital ship, 
25 mine sweepers, 2 transports, 8 fleet tugs, and miscellaneous small 
craft, a total of promising size. A good start had been made, the prin- 
cipal objections to formation of this element of the Navy had been over- ^4sf£ 
come, and the Base Force had been established as a definite part of the 
United States forces afloat. 


4 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

Unfortunately, just as we were ready to move to further accomplish- 
ment the depression years arrived, funds were severely restricted, and the 
-If Base Force came to a slowdown without opportunity for improvement 
and advancement in operating technique. This period was imme- 
diately followed by the Roosevelt years of emergency. The sudden 
expansion of all categories of naval personnel left little opportunity for 
anything but the fundamentals. In consequence, no great advance in 
Base Force technique or organizational coordination of fleet logistics 
was made until the war was in its second year. 

The Navy Department knew that expansion of the fleet called for a 
proper balance in its auxiliaries; but, because of the lack of detailed 
knowledge, there was no sound formula for finding that balance. So it 
was estimate and guess, with the authorizations always a little on the 
light side because of the need for combat units whose construction alone 
would tax the capacity of the building plants. As a result, in 1940 the 
operating force consisted of 344 fighting ships, and to service them 
afloat 120 auxiliaries of various types. While in the 15 years from 1925 
to 1940, destroyers, cruisers, and carriers had more than doubled in num- 
"—• bers, the auxiliaries had not. The most notable increase had been in sea- 
plane tenders and oilers, but there were too few of the latter to permit 
their being kept with the operating units long enough to improve their 
at-sea oiling technique. Instead, they had to be kept busy ferrying oil. 

During the first year of President Roosevelt's declared limited national 
emergency — 1940 — there were authorized 10 battleships, 2 carriers, 8 
light cruisers, 41 destroyers, 28 submarines, a mine layer, 3 subchasers, 
and 32 motor torpedo boats— a total of 125 combat fleet units. Because 
of the lack of logistic knowledge and foresight, the auxiliaries ordered 
to service this formidable new fleet numbered only 12: 1 destroyer 
tender, 1 repair ship, 2 submarine tenders, and 2 large and 6 small sea- 
plane tenders. The war plans, it is true, included the procurement and 
conversion of merchant ships for auxiliary and patrol purposes, but 
nothing came of this provision. Because of the shortage of merchant 
shipping, little could'be done without causing injury elsewhere. 

That same year— 1940— the Oakland, Calif, Supply Depot was 
acquired, and the existing port storage depots at several points, notably 
San Diego, Calif., Bayonne, N. J., and Pearl Harbor, T. H., were 
expanded. Still no one seemed to give much consideration to the de- 
livery and distribution of supplies to ships not at those bases to receive 
them. The Base Force war plans for an overseas movement visualized 
two somewhat vague schemes. One was that the fleet would fight at 

Pre-World War II 5 

once upon arrival in distant or advanced waters and gain a quick vic- 
tory (or be completely defeated), and the base would be hardly more 
than a fueling rendezvous before the battle. Afterward (if victorious), 
with the enemy defeated there would be plenty of time to provide 
everything. The other idea was that the advanced location would be 
seized, the few available repair and supply vessels would be based there, 
and the remaining necessary facilities would be constructed ashore. The 
trouble with this thinking lay in the fact that if the enemy refused early 
action there was no assurance that the base could be held with the fleet 
not present. On the other hand, the fleet if present could not be serviced 
without adequate floating facilities while necessary construction was 
being accomplished ashore. So the idea of fleet logistics afloat was be- -fa 
coming more and more firmly rooted; only time was needed to make it 
practical, as our knowledge and experience were still so meager that we 
had little detailed conception of our logistic needs. Even when someone 
with a vivid imagination hatched an idea, he frequently was unable to 
substantiate it to the planning experts and it was likely to be set down 
as wild exaggeration. How little we really knew in 1940 as compared ,u,j. ; 
with 1945 shows in a comparison of the service forces active at both 

In 1940 the Base Force Train included a total of 51 craft of all types, 
among them 1 floating drydock of destroyer capacity. By 1945 the total 
was 315 vessels, every one of them needed. The 14 oilers which were all 
the Navy owned in 1940 had leaped to 62, in addition to merchant tankers W 
which brought huge cargoes of oil, aviation gasoline, and Diesel fuel 
to bases where the Navy tankers took them on board for distribution to 
the fleet. No less than 21 repair ships of various sizes had supplanted the ^ 
2 the Navy had 5 years before. The battleships had 3 floating drydocks, 
the cruisers 2, and the destroyers 9, while small craft had 16. Hospital 
ships had risen from 1 to 6, and in addition there were 3 transport evac- 
uation vessels, while the ammunition ships numbered 14, plus 28 cargo ., 
carriers and 8 LST's (Landing Ship, Tanks). The number of combatant 
ships had increased materially, and it is natural to ask if the auxiliaries 
should not have increased comparably. The answer is, of course, yes. 
But the increase of combatant ships had been visualized, and the build- ( 
ing programs were undertaken before the war began. It flourished with 
increased momentum during the early part of the war, long before the 
minimum auxiliary requirements could be correctly estimated and the 
rush of procurement started. The original planners had done their best, 
but it was not until the urgency for auxiliaries developed as a vital 

6 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

element of the war that we fully realized what was needed, and met the 
demand. Merchant ships were converted whenever possible, and this, 
with concentrated efforts to provide drydocks and other special construc- 
tion, produced every required type in numbers that would have been 
considered preposterous only a short time before. 


The Service Force: 

Laboring Giant of the Pacific Fleet 

At the time of the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor, Rear Admiral 
ii W. L. Calhoun commanded the Base Force there and had his flag 
in the U. S. S. Argonne. Overnight his duties increased enormously. 
Thousands of survivors of the attack had nothing but the clothes they 
wore, which in many cases consisted of underwear only. These naval 
personnel had to be clothed, fed, quartered, re-recorded, and put on new 
payrolls with the utmost expedition in order to make them available for 
assignment anywhere. There were hundreds of requests for repairs, 
ammunition, and supplies of all kinds. 

Calhoun expanded his staff to three times its original size, and despite 
the excitement, confusion, diversity of opinion, uncertainty, and short- 
ages of everything, he brilliantly mustered order from what could easily 
have been chaos. Calhoun, soon promoted to vice admiral, continued as 
Commander of the Service Force until 1945, and the remarkable coop- 
eration, hustle, and assistance rendered by his command are unforget- 
table. This was especially true in the advanced areas. Any duty to which 
the term "service" could be applied was instantly undertaken on de- 
mand; this contributed enormously to the fleet efficiency, and, in conse- 
quence, to the progress of the campaign. No single command contributed ^ 
so much in winning the war with Japan as did the Service Force of the 
Pacific Fleet. It served all commands, none of which could have survived 
alone. Neither could all of them combined have won without the help 
of the Service Force. It is deserving of much higher public praise than it 
ever received, and, most of all, its activities should be a matter of deepest 
concern and study by all who aspire to high fleet commands. 

At the time of the Pearl Harbor attack the Base Force had a few more u 
vessels than in 1940, but otherwise was substantially unchanged. Besides 

8 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

the added vessels, it had a utility wing composed of three flight squad- 
rons. In San Francisco it was represented by the Base Force Subordinate 
Command (Rear Admiral C. W. Crosse), which had been established in 
June of 1941 to give quicker and more direct service on the west coast 
and to aid in more efficient procurement and shipment for the mid-Pacific. 
v The early Service Force was organized around four squadrons: Two, 

Four, Six, and Eight. Squadron Two included hospital ships, fleet 
motion-picture exchange, repair ships, salvage ships, and tugs. Squad- 
ron Four had the transports and the responsibility for training. This was 
the tiny nucleus of what eventually became the great Amphibious Force, 
or Forces. Squadron Six took care of all target-practice firing and of the 
towing of targets, both surface and aerial. Six also controlled the Fleet 
Camera Party, Target Repair Base, Anti-Aircraft School, Fleet Machine 
Gun School, and Small Craft Disbursing. Squadron Eight had the re- 
sponsibility, for the supply and distribution to the fleet of all its fuels, 
food, and ammunition. 

Growth and changes came. In March of 1942 the name was changed 
to Service Force Pacific Fleet. Headquarters had already moved ashore 
from the U. S. S. Argonne to the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard, and later 
moved again to the new administration building of the Commander in 
Chief Pacific, in the Makalapa area outside the navy yard. Two years 
later, in July of 1944, the Service Force moved into its own building, a 
huge three-story, 600-foot structure adjacent to the CinCPac headquar- 
ters. The organizational and administrative changes were dictated by the 
increasing requirements of the war. Squadron Four was decommissioned 
and its transports given to the Amphibious Force, as already noted. By 
the summer of 1942 the rapidly changing conditions of the war caused a 
further reorganization, and Service Force was realigned into four major 
divisions: Service Squadrons Two, Six, and Eight, and Fleet Maintenance 
Office. Except for some additional duties, the functions of the three 
numbered squadrons remained unchanged. The Fleet Maintenance Office 
took over all hull, machinery, alteration, and improvement problems in- 
volving battleships', carriers, cruisers, and Service Force vessels, while the 
Service Force Pacific Subordinate Command at San Francisco continued 
its original functions and expanded as the tempo of the war mounted. 
It became the logistic agency for supplying all South Pacific bases. By 
August of 1942, operations there were of such critical nature, with the 
campaign against the enemy in the Solomons and Guadalcanal about to 
begin, that the Service Squadron South Pacific Force was authorized to 
deal direct with Commander in Chief, Commander Service Force Pacific, 

The Service Force 9 

or Commander Service Force Subordinate Command at San Francisco. 

As the war went on, the number of vessels assigned to the Service 
Force went steadily upward. With each new campaign our needs in- 
creased, and so did the number of ships. By September of 1943 the f 
Service Force had 324 vessels listed, with 136 of them still to report. 
January of 1944 saw 510 ships listed, and in March no less than 990 ves- 
sels had been assigned, 290 of them still under construction or under- 
going organization and training. Much of this increase was in patrol 
craft for Squadron Two and barges for Squadron Eight. 

Barges and lighters of all types were being completed rapidly, but 
moving them from the United States to the areas of use was a problem. 
Having no means of propulsion, they had to be towed out to Pearl Har- 
bor, and thence still farther westward, in the slowest of convoys. The 
departure of merchant ships and tugs hauling ungainly looking lighters 
and barges was not so inspiring a sight as that of a sleek man-of-war 
gliding swifty under the Golden Gate Bridge and standing out to sea. 
Yet these barges, ugly as they were, proved invaluable in support of *&<k 
operations at advanced anchorages. 

A new Squadron Four, entirely different from its predecessor, was 
commissioned in October 1943 and sent to Funafuti in the Ellice Islands 
to furnish logistic support to the fleet. In February of 1944, Squadron 
Ten of a similar nature went to Majuro in the Marshalls, soon absorbed 
Four, and remained the mobile logistics forward area representative of ^ 
the Service Force until the end of the war. Just a year later— February 
1945— Service Force had been assigned 1,432 vessels of all types, with 
404 of them still to report; and by the end of July 1945, a few weeks be-— ¥ 
fore hostilities ended, it had no' less than 2,930 ships, including those of 
Service Force Seventh Fleet, over which administrative control had been 
established in June. 

By squadrons this astonishing total of ships was as follows: Squadron 
Two, 1,081 ships; Six (new), 107; Eight, 727; Ten, 609; Twelve, 39; Serv- % 
ice Force Seventh Fleet, 367. There were 305 planes in the Utility Wing. 
The total of personnel was 30,369 officers and 425,945 enlisted men, or ^ 
approximately one-sixth of the entire naval service at the peak of the 
war. Squadron Twelve, nicknamed "harbor stretcher," had been commis- 
sioned in March 1944 for the primary purpose of increasing depths in 
channels and harbors where major fleet units would anchor, or where 
coral reefs and shallow water created serious navigational hazards. By 
far the largest operation Twelve undertook was at Guam. 

Squadron Six, newly commissioned in January of 1945, bore no 

10 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

relationship to the former Mine Squadron of the same numerical desig- 
nation. Six was the third link in a chain of service squadrons with the 
duty of remaining constantly near the striking forces or close behind 
them as they moved nearer Japan. Eight hauled the supplies from the 
west coast and the Caribbean areas to bases, anchorages, and lagoons in 
the forward area. Ten then took hold, but even its fine services were not 
as close as desired to task forces and major combat units when they 
wished to remain at sea for indefinite periods, and take no time between 
strikes to return to newly established anchorages in what had been en- 
emy territory a short time before. So Squadron Ten in such cases passed 
on its supply ships to Six as ammunition, fuel, and provisions were 
needed, and the transfers were all made at sea. After discharging into the 
combat groups, the empty supply ships were passed back by Six to Ten 
to be refilled, or still farther back to Eight, which resupplied them from 
the west coast, Hawaiian, or other areas. 

By spring of 1945 the organization of Service Force consisted of 12 
principal sections, with the officers in charge of Force Supply, Fleet 
Maintenance, Over- All Pacific Naval Personnel, and Area Petroleum 
having additional duty of a similar nature on the staff of CinCPac also. 
There was a fleet chaplain who had a similar two-hat set-up. 

The operating squadrons, coordinated with each other and organized 
as self-sufficient commands for internal regulations, were separate from 
these sections. Each one had its own commander, chief of staff, and ap- 
propriate administrative, communications, operations, supply, and 
maintenance sections. Directly under the Commander Service Force 
came the Deputy Commander Service Force Pacific and Chief of Staff. 
He in turn was supported by an Assistant Chief, two Special Assistants, 
and an Administrative Assistant. This latter officer controlled the usual 
staff functions and several special ones: Postal Officer, Legal Officer, 
Public Relations (later Public Information), and so on. 

This rearrangement into two types of organization within the Service 
Force had a sound reason behind it. The earlier squadron scheme tended 
to narrow the use of the vessels assigned to activities of that squadron 
only. With the section scheme, in which vessels were all under control 
of the operations office, the broadest possible use of the vessels to meet 
special problems of any section could be more readily made. At any rate, 
the section scheme was gaining favor over the squadron when hostil- 
ities ended, and the functions of the various squadrons were being ab- 
sorbed by the sections. The actual change-over to the final section organ- 
ization was not, however, made complete until the fighting was over. 


Early Activities 

Asiatic Fleet in Dutch East Indies— Logistics of 
Raiding Forces— Coral Sea— Midway 

After the Japanese bombing of the fleet at Pearl Harbor on 7 De- 
l cember 1941, the three battleships capable of steaming were 
ordered to the United States for repairs : The Maryland and Tennessee to 
Bremerton, the Pennsylvania to Hunters Point, San Francisco. The 
Colorado was already undergoing overhaul at Bremerton. When the work 
was finished, this group assembled on 31 March 1942 at San Francisco. 
There they were joined by the New Mexico, Mississippi, and Idaho, which 
had been rushed from the Atlantic. Together with a squadron of de- 
stroyers which had no tender, this seven-ship force based on San Fran- 
cisco until late in May. The ships were serviced almost entirely from 
shore facilities. With the exception of targets, target-towing vessels, and 
planes they were given very little floating service. 

On 14 April the force left port with the possibility of being used to 
assist in stopping the Japanese in their South Pacific drive toward Aus- 
tralia. No train (group of supply vessels) was available, so the ships 
were crammed with all the fuel, food, and ammunition they could hold. 
So heavily overloaded were they at the start that they were three to four 
feet deeper in the water than they were ever meant to be. The third or 
armored decks were all below the water line; none of the ships could 
have withstood much damage either above or below water. The Coral 
Sea action was fought before they could take part in it, the enemy backed 
off, and the force was not called upon. After staying at sea until their 
fuel was nearly gone and the fresh provisions exhausted, the ships 
returned to California at San Pedro. 

No one concerned with it will ever forget the servicing of this force 
there. The San Pedro base had not been used by the fleet for 2 years, and 


12 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

was practically without floating equipment. Upon notification of the 
prospective arrival, and the stores and fuel required, the base authorities 
called upon the citizens and local firms for action. The response was a 
magnificent demonstration of patriotic support by the entire community. 
Rich and poor, celebrities and unknowns, worked side by side on docks 
and vessels of all sorts, including yachts, operated in many instances by 
their owners. The job was completed in good time. 

Of course, there was no problem of resupply of ammunition because 
the force had not been in action. If there had been, no doubt it could 
have been solved by the "incredible Yankee resourcefulness" of the Cali- 
fornians. However, the point to be observed in this maneuver is that the 
Navy was unprepared at this fleet base to do an efficient job of logistics 
for a small force of its ships, mainly because of its lack of floating equip- 
ment. In fact, the Navy was unprepared to do the job at all without the 
wholehearted community assistance. This battleship force continued to 
base on San Francisco until midsummer of 1942, when it moved to Pearl 

Asiatic Fleet in the Dutch East Indies 

Our Asiatic Fleet had meanwhile moved south from the Philippines 
and into the Java area, joining with the British cruisers Exeter, Hobart, 
Perth, and Electra, which were accompanied by several destroyers, and 
the Dutch cruisers of the East Indies Force, De Ruyter,Java, and Tromp, 
also with a few destroyers. Many of these British and Dutch vessels were 
in use for convoying to and from Singapore, and real concentration in 
full strength was not attained until near the end. What joint action oc- 
curred was poorly coordinated, not only in tactics but in basing and serv- 
icing. The basing of our ships until 3 February on Dutch East Indies 
ports, particularly Soerabaja, was not too bad except that there was a 
shortage of ammunition and torpedoes, and special equipment and spare 
parts for all types. Our submarines, however, based first at Darwin, later 
at Fremantle, West Australia. 

The first part of our Asiatic Fleet, made up of the seaplane tender 
Langley, the oilers Pecos (Commander E. P. Abernethy) and Trinity (Com- 
mander William Hibbs), with the destroyers/^ D. Ford and Pope, left 
Manila 8 December and next day joined Admiral Glassford, whose flag 
was in the heavy cruiser Houston. With him were the light cruiser Boise 
and the destroyers Barker, Paul Jones, Parrott, and Stewart. The two forces 

Early Activities 13 

met to the south of Luzon and continued southward through the Sulu 
Sea. On 12 December the two cruisers left the formation and proceeded 
on special duty at greater speed. 

The ships were in hostile waters, had no intelligence of the enemy's 
whereabouts, and everyone was keenly alert, every eye strained for possi- 
ble danger. At 1115, the Langley suddenly opened fire on a suspicious ob- 
ject, range 6,000, first spot up 100. The dimly seen object turned out to 
be the planet Venus, which is sometimes visible during daylight in that 
particular atmosphere. No hits were made! 

On 13 December the light cruiser Marblehead (Captain A. G. Robin- 
son) joined, and the next day the whole detachment anchored in 
Balikpapan, Borneo, where the merchant liner President Madison, three 
Dutch tankers, and two British ships were already moored. Later sub- 
marine tenders Holland and Otus and cruisers Houston and Boise came in, 
together with the converted yacht Isabel, the auxiliary Gold Star, ocean 
tug Whippoorwill, the small seaplane tender Heron, the converted de- 
stroyer seaplane tender William B. Preston, and a few small craft. All the 
ships were fueled here, and the oilers Trinity and Pecos refilled with oil 
and gasoline. 

Admiral Glassford divided his Task Force Five into two groups on the 
basis of speed. The fast group was headed by Captain S. B. Robinson in 
the Boise, the slower commanded by Captain A. G. Robinson in the 
Marblehead, and all, including the flagship Houston, sailed for Makassar 
in the Celebes, N. E. I., where the Houston left them for Soerabaja. 
There Admiral Glassford wished to hold preliminary conferences with 
the Dutch and British. The two groups remained at Makassar, holding 
drills and refueling, until 22 December, when they steamed out for their 
respective areas. The auxiliaries went to Darwin, which was soon found 
to be too far away, and too hazardous as well, to be any proper logistic 

Patrol Wing Ten had had rough going from the start, both from op- 
erational hardships and from the enemy. Two days before Christmas, 
1941, the surviving planes of Squadron 101 of "Pat Wing" Ten were sent 
to Ambon, in N. E. I. in Banda Sea S. W. of Ceram, where there were 
some Australians using Lockheed Hudsons. To the westward at Kendari 
in the Celebes was our Patrol Squadron 22. The Heron, Childs, and Wil- 
liam B. Preston did most of the servicing for these squadrons. The Aus- 
tralian commond was cordial and the two organizations exchanged some 
operational and material support, but neither was strong enough to do 
what was called for in either reconnaissance or offensive strikes. 

214075 O-F-53 3 

Early Activities 15 

On 15 January 1942, 26 Japanese bombers and 10 fighters attacked 
Ambon. We lost 3 patrol planes and had others damaged. The next day, 
Patrol Squadron 101, of which only 4 planes were left, was ordered to 
Soerabaja. Patrol Squadron 22 held on for a few days longer at Kendari. 
On the 24th the Childs barely escaped a Japanese task force there, and 
it was clear that the end was not far off. Given another month of atten- 
tion at the hands of an enemy who held control of the air whenever he 
chose to exercise it, no amount of logistics could save the situation. 
What we needed desperately and did not have was air power— bombers, 
fighters, and patrol— in sufficient strength to fight it out with the 
oncoming Japanese. 

Admiral Glassford sent orders on 23 December 1942 making the oiler 
Trinity (Commander William Hibbs) Task Unit 5.5.3 and ordering her 
to Woworada Bay, Soembawa. The other auxiliaries were designated as 
the Train and sent to Darwin, which by order of the Chief of Naval 
Operations in Washington was made the logistic base. Since it was 
apparent that Darwin was too far away, the Trinity was used in some 
of the bays nearer the scene of operations. Later the oiler Pecos and the 
commercial tanker George D. Henry were taken from Darwin and put to 
more active use. Soerabaja was the main operating base until the final 3 
weeks of the defense campaign in the Netherlands East Indies. 

The Train consisted of the flagship submarine tender Holland (Cap- 
tain J. W. Gregory), with Captain W. E. Doyle as Commander Base 
Force (Train) aboard; the submarine tender Otus (Commander Joel 
Newsom); the GoldStar, a general auxiliary (Commander J. U. Lade- 
man); the seaplane tender Langley (Commander R. P. McConnell); the 
oiler Pecos (Commander E. P. Abernethy) ; the destroyer tender Blackhawk 
(Commander G. L. Harriss); the small seaplane tender Heron (Lieuten- 
ant W. L. Kabler); the converted destroyer seaplane tenders Childs 
(Commander J. L. Pratt) and William B. Preston (Lieutenant Commander 
E. Grant) ; and the converted patrol yacht Isabel (Lieutenant John W. 

During January there was considerable moving about between Dar- 
win, Woworada Bay, Koepang Bay, Timor, and Kebala Bay, Alor Island, 
just north of Timor in the N. E. I. On 18 January the first fueling at sea 
in this campaign took place when the Trinity oiled the destroyer Alden 
at a speed of 10 knots. Again the tanker, on 7 and 8 February, refueled 
six escorting destroyers at 9.5 knots. 

Four days previous — 3 February— the Japanese had bombed us out 
of Soerabaja, and on the 10th practically the entire Asiatic Fleet, with 

16 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

Train, had gathered at Tjilatjap, Java. But there was no security any- 
where. A week later, on 17 February, the Trinity had to go all the way 
to Abadan, Iran, for oil. The Japanese had shut of! or captured every 
East Indian source except a very small supply from the interior of Java, 
so this dangerous voyage of more than 5,000 miles was necessary. The 
oiler Pecos was also scheduled to refill in the Persian Gulf, but was sunk— 
with the Langley survivors on board— by the enemy on 1 March, just 
after getting started for Colombo, Ceylon. The Train, in its short 10 days 
at Tjilatjap, put in some much-needed work on the worn, racked, and 
hard-pressed ships of our striking force, and then most of its own vessels 
had to be sent off to Exmouth Gulf, West Australia, for the jig was 
nearly up in Dutch waters. 

Usually ample fuel oil was available for this force, and some of the 
Dutch tankers were very efficient, but the method of distribution prac- 
ticed by the Dutch bases was slow. Much of the oil was stored in the 
interior. The service from our tankers was faster, but in the circumstances 
these tankers could not be made available to all. Toward the last there was 
a shortage because of the dependency the naval ports had placed upon 
peacetime delivery from Borneo and Sumatra, rather than upon full 
development of interior Javanese oil sources. The Australian cruiser 
Hobart, for example, though undamaged, could not participate in the 
Java Sea battle on 27 February because she could not get fuel. Tjilatjap 
was the operating base for both Dutch and American striking forces 
after we were bombed out of Soerabaja. It was inadequate, but of course 
it was only a matter of days before it too became untenable. 

Each successive raid by or encounter with Japanese planes left us with 
fewer ships. After her severe mauling on 4 February, the cruiser Marble- 
head was patched up, mainly by her own crew, so that she could start for 
home by way of Ceylon and the Cape of Good Hope. "Patched up" is a 
correct term, for we had no real facility for making what we ordinarily 
would have called temporary repairs according to Navy standards. It 
speaks well for the initiative and resourcefulness of the shot-up crew of 
the Marblehead— and the men of some other vessels — that the patch- 
work enabled the ships to function. The destroyer Stewart, however, had 
to be abandoned in a bombed and disabled condition in a bomb-wrecked 
Dutch drydock. The Japanese salvaged her and put her in service, only 
to lose her to our Navy in action. Grounding had damaged the Boise on 
21 January so badly that she was beyond repair by available facilities. 
She was accordingly cannibalized— stripped, for the benefit of her 
sisters— of all ammunition and stores and sent limping off to Ceylon. 

Early Activities 17 

On 27 February the final attempt to slow the Japanese drive on the 
Netherlands East Indies was made by the Dutch Admiral Doorman. He 
had 5 cruisers and 10 destroyers left out of the combined Dutch, British, 
and American forces, not counting submarines and their tenders, and the 
old aircraft tender Langley, sunk a few days later. The after turret of the 
Houston was inoperative as a result of bombing on 4 February, and there 
was no facility for repairing it before going into action. Doorman failed, 
and the order was given to leave the Java Sea. Only 4 American 
destroyers could do so; all the other ships were sunk by the Japanese. 
Orders for the withdrawal to the Australian coast for some of the 
personnel on shore were accomplished only by extreme methods, as we 
did not have enough vessels. Not even the little shore material there for 
servicing could be moved. In this campaign there never was sufficient 
force available to stop or greatly delay the Japanese. No matter how 
adequate the logistics might have been, the outcome would not have 
been very different. This brief outline merely shows the relationship 
logistics bore to the situation. 

Logistics of Raiding Forces 

In January 1942 Vice Admiral Halsey with Task Force Eight and Rear 
Admiral F.J. Fletcher with Task Force Seventeen joined in raiding some 
of the Japanese-held islands of the Marshall and Gilbert groups. Task 
Force Eight consisted of the carrier Enterprise; cruisers Northampton, Salt 
Lake City, and Chester; the fleet oiler Platte; and seven destroyers. Task 
Force Seventeen consisted of the carrier Yorktown; cruisers Louisville and 
St. Louis; the fleet oiler Sabine; and five destroyers. 

Task Force Eight had sailed from Pearl and Task Force Seventeen was 
just out from the United States. They were guarding the landing of 
Marines in Samoa when the raids were ordered. 

While at sea the carriers and large vessels refueled on 17 January 
from the tankers Platte (Captain R. H. Henkle) and Sabine (Commander 
H. L. Maples), in two task groups, and the destroyers filled up from the 
larger ships of their own striking groups in latitude 09°30 / S., longitude 
169°00 / W. This was repeated on 23 and 28 January. On the 28th the 
larger ships of the Enterprise group were topped off by the Platte in 
latitude 04°06 / N., longitude 176°30 / W. The strikes were made 1 and 2 
February on Wotje, Maloelap, Kwajalein, Roi, Jaluit, Makin, Taroa, Lae, 
and Gugegive, and during the night of 2 February the destroyers again 

18 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

refueled. After withdrawal the Yorktown group was fueled on the 4th 
from the Sabine, in latitude 11°00 / N., longitude 163°00 / W. 

These raids seemed to warrant a continuance, so on 14 February 
Halsey with the carrier Enterprise, two cruisers, seven destroyers, and the 
tanker Sabine sailed from Pearl Harbor for a raid on Wake Island. On 
the 22d he fueled his destroyers and took fuel from the tanker in latitude 
25°30 / N., longitude 167°00 / E., approximately 300 miles north of Wake. 
He should have had another tanker in case he lost the Sabine, but un- 
fortunately at that time tankers were almost as scarce as carriers. The 
strike was made on the 24th. Wake was bombed and shelled with 
excellent results and with the loss of only one plane. The Sabine mean- 
time had retired to the northeast, and 2 days later she rejoined, refueling 
the destroyers once more. Again on 1 and 2 March in latitude 29° 30' N., 
longitude 173°00 / E., or thereabouts, the task group was refueled and 
started for a raid on Marcus Island, which was bombed by the Enterprise 
planes, again with the loss of but one plane. 

Meanwhile in the South Pacific Vice Admiral Wilson Brown with the 
carrier Lexington and support cruisers and destroyers started a raid on 
Rabaul. He was discovered, used up much of his fuel in high-speed 
maneuvers while beating off Japanese plane attacks, and canceled the 

Task Force Seventeen, the Yorktown group under Rear Admiral F. J. 
Fletcher, was on its way to the South Pacific. After fueling twice at 
sea from the Guadalupe (Commander H. R. Thurber) it joined the. 
Lexington group under Brown in a raid on 10 March on Salamaua and 
Lae on the New Guinea coast in which considerable damage was done 
to enemy naval and transport vessels. On 12 March the destroyers fueled 
from the heavy cruisers Indianapolis and Pensacola. Two days later the 
force was joined by the tankers Neosho (Captain J. S. Phillips) and 
Kaskaskia (Commander W. L. Taylor), and refueled from them during 
the next 3 days. 

Then came the very dramatic raid on Tokyo, the comparative value of 
which may never be fully decided. It kept carriers, tankers, other ships, 
and planes away from the South Pacific where they might well have 
been used to turn the balance from defensive to offensive weeks earlier. 
However, the heartening effect upon the nation may have been worth 
it. On 2 April, Task Force Eighteen, composed of the carrier Hornet 
(Captain Marc Mitscher), the heayy cruiser Vincennes, Destroyer Divi- 
sion Twenty-two, and the tanker Cimarron (Captain H. J. Redfield), 
sailed from San Francisco. On 8 April, Cimarron fueled destroyers Gwin 

20 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

and Grayson. The next day which was set for fueling was too rough. On 
the 10th the Vincennes was fueled and on the 11th the remaining 
destroyers took some from the Hornet. On 12 April the Hornet supplied 
400,000 gallons of fuel oil in latitude 38°30 / N., longitude 175°00' W. 
On the next day Task Force Eighteen and Task Force Sixteen (Halsey) 
joined. The latter was composed of the Enterprise; cruisers Northampton, 
Nashville, and Salt Lake City; Destroyer Division Six; and the tanker 
Sabine. Three days later, 17 April (14 April was lost crossing the 180° 
Meridian) , the Sabine fueled the Enterprise group, and the Cimarron did 
the same for the Hornet group, with some destroyers getting their fuel 
from the heavy ships. This was at latitude 35°30 / N., longitude 157°00' 
E., approximately. There the destroyers and tankers left the striking force 
and turned back on an easterly course. After dispatching the B-25's 
on their Tokyo mission the next day the whole force retired at high 
speed to the eastward and on 21 April were met and again fueled by 
the Cimarron and Sabine in latitude 35°45' N., longitude 176°00' E., 
approximately. Then all proceeded to Pearl, where it was hurry up all 
logistics and get off to the South Pacific where the Japs looked very 
threatening. The Hornet had to get new squadrons on board and some 
task-force and ship reorganizations made. On 30 April, Task Force 
Sixteen {Hornet, Enterprise, and supporting vessels) sailed for the South 

Meanwhile, Brown of Task Force Eleven had been relieved by Rear 
Admiral A. W. Fitch, who, with his flag in the carrier Lexington, had 
sailed from Pearl 16 April to join Rear Admiral F. J. Fletcher, with flag 
in the Yorktown. Fletcher was now senior task-force commander in the 
South Pacific. The Yorktown had been at sea since 17 February 1942, and 
since the Salamaua raid had fueled from the Tippecanoe (Commander A. 
Macondray) in March, and twice in April from the Platte. On 20 April 
the group reached Tongatabu, where it found fuel, some mail, and 
limited amounts and types of provisions, and enjoyed a few days of 
relaxation after 62 days of tension. 

When Fitch left Pearl for the South Pacific, available information 
indicated early concentration of some enemy force there. Later, at 
Tongatabu, the news definitely suggested a threat in force by the enemy 
against Port Moresby on the south coast of New Guinea, and perhaps 
against New Caledonia or Australia. Fitch's Task Force Eleven— the car- 
rier Lexington; cruisers Minneapolis and San Francisco; the destroyers 
Worden, Dewey, Dale, Aylwin, Farragut, and Monaghan; and the tanker 
Kaskaskia— had refueled once, on 25 April, at latitude 11°30 / S., 

Early Activities 21 

longitude 178° 30' W. Meantime, Fletcher at Tongatabu got everything 
he needed except rest, and sailed 27 April for the Coral Sea. Fitch was 
diverted to join him there. On 1 May Fletcher refueled from the tanker 
Neosho, and during the 2d-3d Fitch did likewise from the Tippecanoe, 
which then departed for Efate in the New Hebrides. On 5 and 6 May 
1942, Task Force Seventeen again refueled in the Coral Sea from the 
Neosho, which immediately thereafter was sent off to the southeast 
escorted by the destroyer Sims. The retiring point was not far beyond the 
range of visibility. 

The battle of the Coral Sea will not be dealt with here except to note 
that the Neosho and her escort, the Sims, were discovered and destroyed 
by the enemy 7 May, and the following day the Lexington was lost and 
the Yorktown damaged. Meantime our planes had sunk the small enemy 
carrier Shoho, and severely mauled and all but sunk one of the two larger 
Japanese carriers. This apparently was more than the Japanese had 
bargained for, so the operation was discontinued and the enemy's com- 
bat units withdrew. The action therefore became a victory for Fletcher 
at what was probably the most critical period of the war thus far. 

Nevertheless, if the withdrawal had not taken place, how much longer 
could Fletcher have held his position without a source of fuel near his 
force? We need not answer the question, but as a lesson for the future 
let us not forget the inadequacy of logistic support during the most 
critical battle in the Pacific up to that time. Fletcher's base at Tongatabu 
was 1,300 miles away, and Efate, where the nearly empty Tippecanoe had 
been sent, was more than 400 miles away. 

Hardly had the smoke cleared away from the Coral Sea when the 
enemy was detected in preparations for another move in great strength. 
This time the objective was diagnosed as Midway, and Task Force Six- 
teen—the Enterprise, Hornet, and other Tokyo raid ships— which had 
been started out belatedly for the South Pacific, was recalled to Pearl. 
Fletcher was also ordered to Pearl with his battered Yorktown. There she 
was hurriedly patched up for the fight to come. 

Along with plans for the expected sea and air battle, preparations 
were being made at CinCPac headquarters for the defense of Midway 
Island itself. That island needed personnel, planes, antiaircraft guns, 
ammunition, and certain stores, and needed them in a hurry. 

The U. S. S. Kitty Hawk (Commander E. C. Rogers) had arrived at 
Pearl on 17 May 1942, and indeed this was fortunate, as few ships at 
that time had the crane capacity for unloading planes and heavy cargo 
at the dock at Midway. After unloading her stateside cargo at Pearl, the 

22 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

Kitty Hawk was reloaded with the following: 28 planes (11 SBD's; 17 
F4F4's) and Marine Air Groups 21 and 45; eight 3-inch AA guns, a 
Marine crew and ammunition to serve them; and more personnel and 
cargo. She got underway on the 23d and made her highest speed (17.1 
knots) for Midway, arriving at 1918 on the 26th. Just 12 minutes after 
mooring alongside the pier, the Marines started unloading the AA bat- 
tery and by the next morning it was in place to protect the airfield on 
Sand Island. In addition to unloading her important deck cargo she gave 
the station fuel oil and got clear on the 29th, only a few days before the 
Battle of Midway commenced. The Kitty Hawk had rendered substan- 
tial logistic support to the defense of Midway. In a congratulatory mes- 
sage to Commander Rogers, CinCPac commented upon the "unusually 
expeditious unloading at Midway." 

The task forces which sailed from Pearl on 28 and 30 May to meet 
the enemy had the tankers Cimarron, Platte, and Guadalupe at sea near 
them, and refueled on 31 May and 1 June. After the battle, on 8 June 
1942, they again refueled a little more than a hundred miles north of 
Midway Island. The beaten enemy retired, after losing all four of his 
participating carriers. Lacking certain information, we did not pursue 
with all the vigor possible, which is unfortunate for we had air superior- 
ity and our fast tankers might well have gone farther west in support of 
our task force had pursuit been carried somewhat farther. 

Here at Midway we lost the Yorktown. We had not yet learned 
thoroughly the use and value of fleet tugs and salvage action. 


In the South Pacific 

Taking the Offensive— Guadalcanal— Logistic 


With the defeat of the Japanese at Midway a more nearly even 
balance of forces was accomplished, and it was time for us to 
attempt to take the initiative, to seize the offensive if possible. This 
was certain to be bitterly contested by the enemy, who might still hope 
to gain the upper hand if his South Pacific drive could be won. It was 
natural that this was where we must next stop and defeat him, so the 
Guadalcanal offensive was planned. 
In April 1942, principal commands in the Pacific were: 

1. Pacific Ocean Area, Admiral C. W. Nimitz, Commander in Chief. 
This was further divided into two subordinate commands, the North 
and South Pacific. 

2. Southwest Pacific Area, General Douglas Mac Arthur, Supreme 
Commander Allied Forces. 

3. Southeast Pacific Area, a region of patrol command principally for 

Vice Admiral Robert L. Ghormley since May 1942 had been Com- 
mander South Pacific. As such, he was charged with the conduct of 
the Guadalcanal operation under the over-all direction of Admiral 
Nimitz. Late in July 1942, not counting attack transports, which are 
considered combatant vessels, we had 15 logistic vessels there. The 
repair ship Rigel was at Auckland, N. Z. At Tongatabu were the de- 
stroyer tender Whitney, hospital ship Solace, stores ship Antares, the fresh 
and frozen food ships Aldebaran and Talamanca, the ammunition ship 
Rainier, and two district patrol craft, Yp-284 and Yp-290, both with pro- 
visions. Two more Yp's, the 230 and 346, were at Efate in New Hebrides. 
The seaplane tender Curtiss and the two small plane tenders McFarland 
and Mackinac, the former a converted destroyer, based at Noumea, New 


24 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

Caledonia, while the limited repair ship Argonne sailed 10 July from 
Pearl for Auckland. 

Besides these, the fleet oilers Cimarron and Platte were to be at 
Tongatabu to supply oil for the amphibious force ships staging there 
late in July, and the fleet oiler Kaskaskia was scheduled to leave Pearl 20 
July. At Noumea there were to be 225,000 barrels of fuel oil brought by 
chartered tankers, and the same amount about 2 August. Over at 
Tongatabu the old, slow Navy tanker Kanawha (Commander K. S. 
Reed), with a capacity of 75,000 barrels, was a station oiler. 

The chartered tanker Mobilube arrived at Tongatabu 19 July, but after 
fuel had been pumped from her into Rear Admiral Noyes' Wasp group 
of Task Force Eighteen, Rear Admiral Kinkaid's Enterprise group of Task 
Force Sixteen, and two of the transports, the President Adams and Presi- 
dent Hayes, she pumped the rest of her cargo into the Kanawha and left 
for San Pedro 27 July. 

The vital importance of an adequate supply of fuel, and its timely and 
properly allocated delivery to the vessels of the South Pacific for the 
campaign about to begin, was clearly recognized by Admiral Ghormley. 
The distances involved, the scarcity of tankers, and the consumption of 
oil by task forces operating at high speeds made the solution of this 
logistic problem difficult enough if the normal operating consumption 
was used for estimates. But what would constitute "normal" when the 
offensive was under way? Even more difficult to resolve was the margin 
of safety to cover unforeseen losses, excesses, or changes in operations. 
Furthermore, though Ghormley foresaw the situation and tried to antici- 
pate it, his logistic planners were too few and had too little experience. 
That he had his fuel requirements constantly in mind is shown by his 
dispatches to Admiral Nimitz. Another thing that worried him was the 
lack of destroyers for adequate escort and protection of his tankers even 
when he had the latter. This shortage of destroyers was felt by the task 
force commanders also, and had considerable influence on all the 

In a dispatch of 9 July 1942 Admiral Nimitz said to Ghormley that 
he, Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet, would supply the logistic sup- 
port for the campaign. Arrangements, he stated, had been made to have 
the oilers Cimarron and Platte accompany Task Force Eleven leaving 
Pearl for the South Pacific, and that the Kaskaskia would leave soon 
after about 20 July. The Kanawha would fuel Task Force Eighteen and 
then go to Noumea. The chartered tankers already mentioned as bring- 
ing 450,000 barrels of fuel to that port would be followed by others with 

In the South Pacific 25 

about 225,000 barrels a month for the carrier task force. Nimitz also 
promised other requirements, such as aviation gasoline, Diesel fuel, and 
stores for the task force, would be supplied as Ghormley requested. 

All this sounded like a comfortable amount of fuel oil, and based 
upon past experience no doubt seemed liberal to the estimators. But 
past experience was not good enough. To begin with, the Cimarron and 
Platte had fueled Task Force Eleven on its run down from Pearl. On 21 
July the Platte was ordered to pump her remaining oil into the Cimar- 
ron, proceed to Noumea, and refill there from the waiting chartered 
tankers. She took aboard 93,000 barrels of that oil and rejoined Task 
Force Eleven. 

On 28 July Admiral Ghormley ordered the ammunition ship Rainier 
(Captain W. W. Meek) and the tanker Kanawha to leave Tonga tabu and 
proceed to the west side of Koro Island in the Fiji group. The ships were 
to arrive, escorted by Turner's amphibious Task Force Sixty-two, at the 
earliest practical time during daylight. The fleet tanker Kaskaskia was 
also ordered there to supply the needs of the Task Force which was to 
rendezvous there before proceeding to Guadalcanal. 

The next day Ghormley ordered the commanding general on 
Tongatabu to load the coal-burning Morinda with one hundred 1,000- 
pound bombs, four hundred 500-pounders, and one hundred 100-pounders 
from the stocks available on shore. The Morinda was then to return to 
Efate, New Hebrides, filing her departure report to include route and 
speed of advance. The reason for this was that she had to go to Suva for 
coal and water to complete her trip to Efate. 

While this was occurring, Task Force Sixteen, the Anzac Squadron, 
and part of the Amphibious Force joined Task Force Eleven and took all 
the Cimarron's remaining fuel. As soon as the Platte rejoined, the for- 
mer tanker was sent to Noumea to refill. She cleaned out the tankers 
there, and on 1 August Admiral Ghormley sent word to Commander 
Southwest Pacific: "Urgently need additional fuel oil New Caledonia 
area as Bishopsdale, now empty, being dispatched to Brisbane to refill. 
Request you dispatch one tanker loaded with 50 to 100 thousand barrels 
as replacement." Before the Bishopsdale could clear the harbor she ran into 
a mine and was out of service. The 225,000 barrels due at Noumea in 
the chartered tankers E.J. Henry and Esso Little Rock had already been 
diverted, one tanker to Efate, one to Suva, so Ghormley could hardly be 
blamed for feeling uncomfortable about the fuel-oil situation. For his 3 
carriers, 1 fast battleship, 11 heavy cruisers, 3 light cruisers, 40 destroyer- 
type ships, 19 large transports, 1 large and 3 small aircraft tenders, 8 

26 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

service-force vessels, and 499 airplanes of carrier- and land-based types, 
the only other fuel he had not already mentioned were some small quan- 
tities of black oil in shore storage for patrol craft, and considerable tank 
and barreled gasoline at Tongatabu and Efate and a smaller amount in 
New Caledonia. To remedy this acute shortage, Admiral Nimitz on 
1 August, after reading of the Bishopsdale's mishap, ordered the 2 large, 
fast tankers then available at San Pedro to proceeed at the earliest possi- 
ble moment to Noumea with black oil for diversion by Ghormley. This 
was in addition to the 200,000 barrels ordered delivered every 15 days. 
The Gulf wax was also ordered to sail from Pearl to replenish the storage 
supply at Samoa. The next day the tanker Sabine left San Pedro for the 
South Pacific, but could not reach the Fijis before 2 weeks had elapsed. 

The task force in the South Pacific was Sixty-one, under Rear Admiral 
Fletcher, which included Task Forces Eleven (Rear Admiral Fletcher), 
consisting of the Saratoga, two cruisers and five destroyers; Sixteen 
(Rear Admiral Kinkaid), of the Enterprise, battleship North Carolina, 
two cruisers, and five destroyers; Eighteen, under Rear Admiral Noyes, 
with the Wasp, two cruisers, and six destroyers; and Sixty-two (Rear Ad- 
miral Turner) ; the Amphibious Force and the supporting force of six 
cruisers and six destroyers; and Sixty-three (Rear Admiral McCain), 
which had the patrol aircraft and shore-based aviation. 

With poor bases at Auckland, N. 2.; Fiji; Tongatabu, Tongo Islands; 
Noumea, New Caledonia; and Efate, New Hebrides, and the beginning 
of another one at Espiritu Santo also in the Hebrides, the Guadalcanal 
operation was begun. Not one of these bases was much more than a 
small airfield and a protected anchorage for ships while they took on 
fuel or supplies from service vessels. Auckland was the best because 
New Zealand could furnish food and some repair facilities, but it was 
too far from the scene of operations. Tongatabu was also too far, and had 
no facilities other than a little storage convenience established by our- 
selves. It was selected at a time when our caution was at its peak be- 
cause it provided a submarine-protected anchorage behind reefs and was 
well beyond the range of Japanese land-based planes. Of them all, 
Noumea seemed the most suitable at this time. Its anchorage was large 
enough for all our ships, and was quite well protected against submarine 
attack by islands and mine fields. Efate Island had two harbors, Vila and 
Havannah. The former was too small for more than one or two com- 
batant ships, and the latter, while large enough at that time, had no 
protection against submarines. Suva in Fiji was, like Vila, too small; the 
larger anchorage at Nandi was then unprotected. 



28 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

So, with a far-from-desirable logistic situation, and with the expecta- 
tion of strong Japanese resistance, perhaps even full naval strength, the 
audacity of the Guadalcanal operation was evidenced in a bold seizing 
of the initiative. The principal credit for this probably should go to Rear 
Admiral R. K. Turner, who was ever in the forefront in planning, direct- 
ing, and carrying out an operation with skill, persistence, drive, and 
great courage. He thoroughly understood the difficulty of the support 
problem and worked unceasingly with all concerned in logistics, as he 
did with troop- and combat-ship commands. He not only could and did 
think in the large, but he could also when necessary attend to small de- 
tails such as procuring kegs of nails or bundles of steel landing mat. 
Reverses or confused action did not discourage him, but made him only 
the more persistent in having the action improved. His farseeing knowl- 
edge of the preparation in logistics in his campaigns throughout the war 
further served to mark him as the greatest of all amphibious com- 

In the Guadalcanal operation the situation was for some time "touch 
and go" mainly because of the logistic factors. Right at the start Fletcher 
stated that he would not give carrier-plane support for more than 2 days. 
He felt that the positions of the carrier groups would become too hazard- 
ous, and we were not in any condition to lose more carriers. To this 
Admiral Ghormley emphasized the importance of fighter cover for the 
transports in the unloading area, and Turner entered a vigorous protest 
against withdrawal before his transports were unloaded. Nevertheless, 
on the night of 8 August (the second day), with much unloading of 
supplies and equipment still to be done, Fletcher felt that he had to 
withdraw because his carriers' fuel was running low, and his plane 
losses of 20 percent had not been replaced. Fletcher had previously re- 
fueled on 3 and 4 August. He withdrew to a point 500 miles south of 
the transport-unloading area where he refueled on 10 August. Why 
Fletcher could not have refueled on 4 and 5 August and held on a day 
longer is not clear. Twenty-percent loss in fighter planes could hardly 
have been considered desperate. A day longer would have meant much 
more supplies and equipment for the Marines and less touch-and-go 
during the following 2 weeks. 

It was unfortunate because it was chiefly the defense by the carrier 
fighters that had kept the transports from withdrawing when attacked 
by Japanese planes. There had been some interruption of unloading 
because of getting underway for fast maneuvers when the enemy planes 
approached. The transports were not withdrawn, however, but returned 

Kitty Hawk supplying planes to the Long Island. 

30 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

to the unloading points as soon as each attack ended. With Fletcher's 
withdrawal Turner felt that by daylight of the 9th he must withdraw 
most of his transports until he could have air support, and he did so. 
Nevertheless, for the next 2 weeks he skillfully landed the absolutely 
necessary supplies by sending in only one or two ships at a time, and 
concentrating on speed in unloading. He also landed many drums of 
gasoline for the airfield. It was desperate work, with aerial bombing by 
day and bombardment by cruisers and destroyers at night. While most 
of the attacks were directed at the airfield and at the Marines' shore 
positions, the logistic ships had to go to defensive positions repeatedly, 
and many interruptions in unloading resulted. 

Since the lack of proper logistic support for Fletcher was the cause of 
Turner's inability to land much desirable equipment and supplies, we 
see logistics depending upon logistics. In spite of this, Turner did man- 
age to get ashore the absolutely essential materials to keep the operation 
from ending in disaster. The increasing demands born of action, the dis- 
tances over which most of our supplies had to come in hourly danger 
of attack, and the necessity of keeping abreast of a highly involved 
situation made realistic thinking and practical application essential. At 
the same time the thinking had to be imaginative and intuitive enough 
to gauge how much of what would be needed in every area in every 
conceivable circumstance. The timing was also important. On 11 August 
Admiral Ghormley asked Admiral Nimitz for ammunition for his 
destroyer-transports and destroyer-minesweepers, adding that none was 
available in the 4-inch class and only 1,000 rounds of 3-inch. 

Commander in Chief Pacific had been thinking ahead also. The fol- 
lowing day he replied that the Cabrillo had left San Francisco independ- 
ently on 3 August with 40 guns and 200,000 rounds of 20-mm. 
ammunition for Auckland, and should arrive there about 23 August. 
He also said he was sending an additional 50,000 rounds of 20-mm. from 
Oahu, 50,000 rounds of .50-caliber incendiary, 50,000 rounds of 
.30-caliber incendiary, 6,000 rounds of 3-inch, and 4,000 rounds of 4-inch 
in the Vestal and Kitty Hawk, which would sail 15 August. 

Ammunition was by no means the only item needed. On the 12th 
Rear Admiral McCain, Commander Air South Pacific, at Espiritu Santo 
in the Curtiss, told Admiral Ghormley that the ships arriving at Espiritu 
Santo needed fuel oil, Diesel oil immediately, and 300,000 gallons of 
bulk aviation gasoline for tenders within 7 days. If the tanker then en 
route to Espiritu Santo could not provide all of this, he suggested that 
the Sabine be diverted to him. There was some Diesel oil in the South 





















































































































32 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

Pacific, but the nearest storage was at Suva and in the tankers busy sup- 
plying the carrier task groups. Espiritu Santo was becoming more and 
more suitable for use by the ships, and the Sabine was accordingly 
diverted there. She arrived from Suva on the 22d, remained 2 days, and 
went to sea to help fuel Fletcher's Task Force Sixty-one. After 2 days 
with it she started back 26 August 1942 to Espiritu, fueled 11 ships 
there, and on the 28th sailed for Noumea. There she filled up with the 
cargoes of the chartered J. W. Van Dyke and Pacific Sun, taking aboard 
32,661 and 52,909 barrels from them on 30 and 31 August. The 
wherewithal was receiving more and more thought and action! 

Meanwhile the Savo Island fight had left us with the crippled heavy 
cruiser Chicago, which had to be sent to Sydney, Australia, for repairs 
because we had no dock available nearer than that. This was a condition 
that we were on the way to remedy before the year was gone. 

Admiral Ghormley's worries over the fuel situation continued. On 14 
August he had notified Admiral King, Admiral Nimitz, and his own 
Service Force commander that Fletcher's carrier groups of Task Force 
Sixty-one after 1 week of normal cruising had completely emptied the 
oilers Platte and Kaskaskia. He also suggested that both ships be refilled 
and sent out to a rendezvous at a time to be named, he in the meantime 
holding the Cimarron to keep the force fueled. In reply next day Admiral 
Nimitz ordered the tanker Guadalupe to sail with Task Force Seventeen, 
the carrier Hornet group, on 16 August to reinforce the Southern Pacific. 

Even that was not enough to allay Ghormley's anxieties. On 18 
August he informed Nimitz that a study based on the actual issues of 
23 days indicated that soon after 14 September there would be a fuel 
shortage. He said his total of on-hand and scheduled arrivals would be 
gone by that time, as his combatant vessels used an average of 25,000 
barrels a day, and his auxiliaries 3,000 barrels, a daily total of 28,000 
barrels. He therefore requested monthly shipments to supply that 
amount, with more to be supplied if additional vessels were sent to the 
area; said that he would soon send a similar analysis with respect to 
aviation gasoline, aviation lubricants, and Diesel fuel; and requested 
advanced notification of tanker departures from the west coast so as to 
be able to plan more wisely. This detailed summary was most fortunate. 
The action which followed prevented any further serious shortage during 
the remainder of the South Pacific campaign. 

Fighting results in something more than the mere necessity for replac- 
ing exhausted supplies. Battle damage, not only to ships but to men, 
was a major concern. On 15 August the hospital ship Solace had 362 

In the South Pacific 33 

wounded on board which she had to take to Auckland, where we had 
established a base hospital. Our medical logistics at this time were far 
from what we desired, and far from what we eventually developed. We 
had base hospitals started in New Zealand, another one at Efate, a field 
unit from Cub One— a Cub is an advanced unit with the necessary per- 
sonnel and material for a medium-sized advanced fuel and supply base— 
at Espiritu Santo, and a base hospital on the way to being established 
at Noumea. Before the fight for the South Pacific was over, each of 
these was filled to capacity, and the three more added at Noumea, 
Espiritu Santo, and Guadalcanal were doing tremendous jobs. The sick 
and wounded were brought to them by ships and planes, kept until on 
the safe side, and then many were shipped home to the continental 
United States for further treatment and convalescence or, as sometimes 
occurred, taken to New Zealand or Australia for convalescence and an 
early return to duty. Many were sent to Pearl Harbor, where two new 
naval hospitals were set up. Still another was added later. 

There was no end to the demands the action made. Now it was "dis- 
covered" that spare propellers for destroyers were needed and a call was 
sent out for them on 14 August. Nine days after the landing, the 
situation at Guadalcanal seemed to hinge mostly upon logistics. 

On 16 August Admiral Ghormley told Admirals King and Nimitz 
that 11,000 Marines held the island to a depth of 5 miles from Koli 
Point to Point Cruz. Six thousand other Marines held Tulagi, Gavutu, 
Tanambogo, Mbangai, Makembo, and spots adjacent to Florida Island 
coast line. They had only 5 units of fire and 3 days' rations because of 
the enforced withdrawal of the transports and cargo ships. Enemy air- 
craft and submarines constantly threatened all shipping in the area. Four 
APD's (high-speed troop transports, the old flush-deck "four-pipers") 
had been sent in the night before with aviation gas, lubricating oil, 
spare parts, and some ground crews. There was no word of success or 
failure as yet. Two cargo carriers were to be sent in with rations and am- 
munition; they could be unloaded in 24 hours. Also, 3 carrier task forces 
were at sea to cover supplies into Guadalcanal and to attack enemy 
ships, which Admiral Nimitz said might appear between 19 and 21 
August. On 16 August Admiral Turner told Admiral McCain, presum- 
ably with the idea that the latter could help materially by flying-in some 
of it, that essential needs at Guadalcanal were food, land-based aviation, 
ammunition, antiaircraft guns, barrage balloons, and radio-construction 
personnel. The Marines had captured, repaired, and were using a Japa- 
nese radio plant. They had also taken considerable rice and canned food, 

34 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

without which their rations would have been even shorter. The four 
APD's unloaded successfully, and on the night of 21 August six more 
of them repeated the success. The two general cargo ships were also 
successful in unloading, but more than 24 hours were necessary because 
of boat shortage and inadequate beach handling of the cargoes. Not all 
the converted destroyers escaped damage. One of them put into Tulagi 
and there, with characteristic American inventiveness, made a jury steer- 
ing rig out of coconut logs which helped her to reach Espiritu Santo. 


Logistic Organization and Sources 

South Pacific 

Damages and Repairs 

Two weeks after Guadalcanal, when the battle of the eastern 
Solomons was fought on 23-24 August 1942, logistics again came 
prominently into the picture. Had the Japanese realized the situation 
and followed through, the operation might have become a major 
setback for us. 

Fletcher had returned to a supporting position when it was learned 
that the Japanese were moving south in greater strength than ever, with 
three carriers; battleships, cruisers, and destroyers. Some four or five 
transports in another group were coming down the "Slot," the famous 
passage running down through the Solomons from the northwest. Fail- 
ing to secure proper information regarding this force, Fletcher had 
meanwhile sent his Wasp carrier group back to the base to refuel. The 
battle of the eastern Solomons had therefore to be fought with only the 
Enterprise and Saratoga groups. 

Luckily, we made the first kill, sinking the carrier Ryujo quickly. Our 
fighter pilots were in high gear that day, and destroyed many enemy 
planes. Our Marine land-based planes likewise did great work, while the 
antiaircraft fire of the North Carolina was far more effective than the 
Japanese had anticipated. So, with such heavy plane losses, they decided 
to retreat. 

They could not have known how weak we were without the absent 
task group, or that some of our land-based planes could stay at the scene 
only a few minutes, or that the refueling of these planes was a time- 
consuming hand-to-hand job. The enemy seemed unaware, moreover, 
that 4 of the cruisers they had fought on the night of 8 August had 


36 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

sunk, and that a fifth was even then limping slowly back to a repair 
yard. They had just damaged the Enterprise so badly that her planes could 
operate only at reduced frequency from her flight deck, and she was 
withdrawing at 24 knots with her steering-engine room flooded, and 
the suspicion of a bent propeller shaft. Would the Japanese have turned 
back had they known all this? It is true that something induced their 
transports to keep going, to attempt to land reinforcements, but at dawn 
the Marine planes, which had refueled during the night, caught them 
with but weak escort and drove them into retreat with heavy losses. 
Could our planes have turned them back if they had been accompanied 
by their 2 carriers; battleships, cruisers, and destroyers of the force which 
had retreated the night before? Could the Marine planes, together with 
"Sara's" air group plus 1 battleship, 8 cruisers, and 12 destroyers, have 
done it? Fortunately the question did not have to be answered that day, 
but if our logistic support had been good, the Wasp group would have 
been refueled within supporting distance. 

After this, no large scale naval activities were undertaken by the 
enemy for about 6 weeks. He ran in small detachments of troop reinforce- 
ments to Guadalcanal by night, but his logistics were faulty so he was 
unable to put in any artillery, tanks, or heavy equipment. Meanwhile we 
were busied with our own supply to the Marines there. 

On 1 August 1942, Admiral Ghormley had moved to Noumea with 
most of his staff and some of the Service Squadron. On the 30th he told 
the Commander Service Squadron South Pacific, who was still in New 
Zealand, that our supply set-up was not right under the prevailing con- 
ditions, since operations and logistics had to go hand in hand. He was 
convinced that we should have a good subordinate supply command at 
Noumea and told ComServRonSoPac to think it over, warning him that 
he would probably send a plane "in the near future to bring you, Nuber, 
and Fellows 1 up for conference." 

These were rough days. On 30 August the Saratoga was torpedoed 
and sustained a tremendous amount of structural damage in her fire- 
rooms, though not seriously hurt otherwise. She had to be sent to the 
Pearl Harbor Navy Yard for repair. Fortunately the Hornet group had 
arrived in Noumea 2 days earlier, so the carrier strength remained for the 
moment unchanged. This, however, was short-lived. On 8 September 
we suffered a serious loss in the sinking of the carrier Wasp by submarine 
torpedo and fire. We still lacked something in ship and damage control, 

1 Captain H. D. Nuber (SC) and Lieutenant Colonel T. H. Fellows, USMC, were supply 

Logistic Organization and Sources, South Pacific 37 

something that had always been routine in the submarine service. Later, 
as the war progressed, it became almost as routine for the surface ships 
as for the submarines, and the amount of damage our ships withstood 
because of its efficiency was a matter for wonderment. The Service Force — 
developed a fire-fighting school at Pearl Harbor, using the best talent 
available from some of our finest municipal fire departments. Methods 
of extinguishing gasoline, oil, and other fires were brought to such a 
high state of effectiveness that only one ship was lost as the result of fire 
after that, although many were set on fire more severely than the Wasp. 
Another fire-fighting school was later established at Noumea. Mean- 
time, with the loss of the Wasp, we had only two carrier task groups in 
the area with which to oppose the next strong Japanese naval move for 
the relief of Guadalcanal. 

On 6 September 1942 Admiral Ghormley reminded Admiral Nimitz ■— 
that all the logistic agencies for the South Pacific were concentrated in 
the Service Squadron South Pacific, fixed at Auckland. Most of the 
logistics of the current operations were handled at Noumea by Com- 
mander Cowdrey, staff engineer, and two supply officers from the sur- 
vivors of the heavy cruiser Quincy. Due to the magnitude of the task, 
plus the necessity that logistics minutely follow operational planning, *~ 
this set-up was faulty, and unless it was rectified promptly operations 
would be jeopardized. Ghormley 's situation required a fixed base at 
Auckland under administrative control of Service Squadron South . 
Pacific to service fixed bases in accordance with a joint logistic plan of 
15 July. It also required a complete semi-mobile logistic agency with ~ 
Ghormley for combat operations. 

Captain M. C. Bowman, who had commanded the Service Force Sub- 
ordinate Command at Auckland since April 1942 and worked with the 
New Zealand Government in establishing logistic bases and aid for the 
South Pacific forces, was brought to Noumea with Fellows and Nuber 
for consultation. He recommended the immediate establishment there 
of an advanced supply depot, with a line captain and suitable staff. As ^ 
no buildings were available, he proposed that they be constructed. He 
also recommended the transfer of himself as ComServRonPac to the 
destroyer tender Whitney, at Noumea or wherever Ghormley might be, 
but suggested that the repair ship Rigel remain at Auckland to furnish 
repair facilities augmenting those of the dockyard. He asked for one line v 
captain, one supply corps captain, one line commander as operations and 
routing officer, and one experienced communications officer with four 
assistants for Auckland to carry on the duties previously performed by 

38 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

his own staff, which he wished to keep with him at Noumea. Ghormley 
recommended this to Nimitz. 

Ghormley's dissatisfaction with his logistics was clear. The magnitude 
of the job was too much for three officers. He wanted a semimobile 
logistic agency with him for combat operations, and it can hardly be 
doubted that he needed the Commander Service Squadron South Pacific 
nearer than Auckland. Why he had to ask Admiral Nimitz to transfer 
Bowman to Noumea is not clear, unless he doubted his own authority 
to do so. On 9 July Nimitz had said that he would supply logistic sup- 
port. This may have left Ghormley unsure as to the extent of his 
responsibility and authority in these matters. The fact that he could see 
the weak points and did not like the arrangement was apparent before 

Bowman had done an excellent job at Auckland, thus paving the way 
for Ghormley when the latter arrived the following month (May 1942) 
with his small staff. However, at that time no Guadalcanal was handed 
them with its increased tempo, its many ships, and its complex logistic 
problems. Until after Midway we were on the defensive, and it was 
perimeter defense which was in mind when the South Pacific Command • 
was established. With the taking of the offensive, however, Bowman 
found himself trying to operate naval bases, a foreign-purchase depart- 
ment, and a Service Force squadron with a handful of officers with little 
or no previous experience. The fact that he well understood that opera- 
tions and logistics go hand in hand was shown by his proposal that he 
and his staff be brought to Noumea to be in close contact with 

^ Ghormley, who had gone there 1 August. The near failu re of our supply 
s ystem j n_xar1y Septenibex. resulted more from conditions_^b^Qrid 
Bow man's control than from any fault of himself or his s taff. ^ 

Those conditions were, briefly: a lack of knowledge and experience 
in the high command and subordinates, when planning operations, as to 
^sdogistic requirements entailed; the service staff was too small; the bases 
were too far apart; port handling facilities and storage were insufficient; 
and the attack on Guadalcanal was necessarily early, with but little time 
to think out and prepare all details. To these was added the enemy 
action which made delivery of supplies by Turner to the Marines on 
Guadalcanal exceedingly difficult. The insufficiency of land-based planes 
put a heavy load on our all-too-few carriers. Their plane losses in turn 
put an overload upon our existing replacement system (logistics), and 
the damage to ships beyond our capacity to repair (again logistics) 
strained our resources beyond all plans and estimates. 

Logistic Organization and Sources, South Pacific 39 

The planning itself omitted few of any items which would be needed, 
but the quantities were in many instances not much more than guesses, *- 
so there were many cases of too little and too much. Most trying was ^M- *c 
the failure to realize fully that the distribution at the combat area end of"" 
the line was one of the big problems. The where, how, and when of 
unloading the supplies from arriving ships and distributing to our naval 
forces had not been given the necessary study. To begin with, the load- 
ing was very bad. Parts of the same unit were scattered in different holds 
and mixed up with similar things, often making identification difficult. 
Invoicing and marking of cases was bad. At times parts of the same unit 
were in different ships. 

It is well to bear in mind that Commander in Chief Pacific had noti- 
fied Ghormley on 9 July that he would provide logistic support for the 
Guadalcanal operations, specifically naming fuel oil, Diesel fuel, aviation 
gas, and stores. What was included under stores? Were the specifically 
mentioned items considered the only form of logistic support Admiral 
Nimitz had in mind when the message was sent, or did support take 
care of everything? We know from ComSoPac's messages that he was 
worrying about fuel and to a lesser degree about ammunition, and that ^/ 
he did not agree with the Commander in Chief about the needs in these 
items. It may be assumed therefore that he did not credit CinCPac's staff 
with any sixth sense or deep understanding of the South Pacific needs, 
and he was right. In the meantime, however, his own available staff and 
that of ComServSoPac were too overworked to attend to the whole 
matter of estimates of quantities then loading at port of departure, and 
the unloading, storage, and distribution in combat areas to the units 
under his command. So it was muddled through, with luck on our side 
when the enemy failed to follow up an opportunity; or perhaps it 
should be said, when he failed to see that we were short or could have 
been cut short. 

When on 29 September Captain Bowman and his five staff officers- 
still far too few— took over from ComSoPac's staff those additional 
duties required by the situation, muddling did not entirely cease, but we 
began to see more clearly what was needed and to set about obtaining it 
in a more efficient way. ', /•• . 

At Espiritu Santo in the Hebrides the large landing field was put into 
operation. More planes were put in and a tanker sent there to provide 
fuel for the ships of the naval task groups. It was small, but it was a 
beginning. About this time it was suggested to Admiral Ghormley that 
Espiritu Santo, instead of Noumea, be made the big naval base, and that 

40 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

an all-out effort be made at once in developing it. But with Guadalcanal 
still in doubt he felt that it was too early a venture, and that if we lost 
the former we should probably lose Espiritu Santo soon afterward, thus 
furnishing the Japanese a better base for further drives toward Australia 
and New Zealand. 

Fitch relieved McCain on 21 September 1942. With his flag in the 
Curtiss at Espiritu Santo, the readiness of the big field for certain types 
of planes, the protection of the harbor entrance by mine fields, the build- 
ing up of Army strength, and the many square miles of ground available 
and suitable for all kinds of activity, Santo was clearly the outstanding 
place for a base. Then Halsey relieved Ghormley on 18 October and 
soon afterward agreed that it was the best place we had. He approved 
bringing in a "Lion,"— a large advanced base unit consisting of all the 
personnel and material necessary to the establishment of a major all- 
purpose naval base able to perform voyage repairs and minor battle 
damage in addition to its supply functions. Meanwhile he based the 
cruisers and some of the destroyers there, and for that purpose sent in 
the repair ship Rigel, which gave them meager service of fuel, dry pro- 
visions, and occasionally some fresh and frozen provisions. The cruisers 
had practically no repair facilities other than ship's force and what the 
overworked Rigel had. Some ammunition for light guns had been 
brought by Cub 13 and this had sufficed, as there had been no heavy gun 
engagements in which the vessels had needed much ammunition 
replacement. There soon might be, however, and the call had gone in, 
so the '"ammo" for turret guns was already being shipped. Storage areas 
had been allocated in Efate, Espiritu, and Noumea, and it was not long 
before more ammunition was being dumped than could be properly 
cared for. 

In the battle of Cape Esperance on 1 1 October the cruisers Salt Lake 
City and Boise and the destroyer Farenholt were seriously damaged. They 
reached Noumea and laid alongside tenders ( Whitney and Argonne) . The 
latter was Ghormley's flagship and could do very limited repair work, 
but all that could be accomplished was to patch over holes to make the 
cruisers seaworthy enough to reach a navy yard. There were no facilities 
for turret work. One turret on the Boise had been penetrated by an 
8-inch shell, whose explosion wrecked it. The two other forward turrets 
were out of commision from minor casualties and flooded magazines and 
the ship had been twice hulled, with serious damage at each point. 

From Noumea the Salt Lake City went to Espiritu Santo, where she 
made temporary repairs before going to Sydney for permanent work. The 

Logistic Organization and Sources, South Pacific 41 

Farenholfs damage was remarkably localized. One shell had penetrated 
her fireroom and exploded in a corner on a main steam-line expansion 
joint. As the effect of the blast was taken by the boiler, the crew of that 
compartment managed to escape. Another shell exploded in the control 
room upon impact with a switchboard which acted as a shield for the 
men behind it. Only 1 man was killed there. A third shell had burst 
against a torpedo tube, forcing it into the smokestack, which it wrecked. 
In all 3 cases the local, material damage was so great the ship had to be 
patched up temporarily and sent to a navy yard. Both cruisers were 
cannibalized. The San Francisco replenished her ammunition from the 
Salt Lake City at Espiritu Santo, and the Helena from the Boise. But there 
was still need for about 2,000 rounds of 5-inch .38-caliber, and 5 tor- 
pedoes for destroyers. These needs had been foreseen and shipment 
made. The other vessels of Rear Admiral Norman Scott's group which 
had fought the night battle of Cape Esperance had returned to Espiritu 
Santo for servicing, such as it was. 

During those trying weeks of September and October we had been 
getting needed supplies and equipment to General Vandegrift. Con- 
siderable improvement had been made to Henderson Airfield, and an 
additional strip for fighters had been put in by the Sixth Seabees. Mean- 
while, however, the Japanese had succeeded in getting in almost an 
entire division of troops by their many night landings from destroyers 
and submarines. They had not been able to land many tanks or much 
artillery from such light vessels. 

We had had some bad luck, too. The new battleship South Dakota 
arrived at Tongatabu 4 September, and 2 days later struck an uncharted 
coral pinnacle in the entrance passage, suffering such damage that she 
had to be sent back to Pearl for repair. Before she left she was canni- 
balized of 1,000 rounds of 5-inch ammunition and some of the fuel she 
had taken from the commercial tanker W. S. Rheem. On 16 October her 
repairs had been completed and she was on her way back with Admiral 
Kinkaid's Task Force Sixteen, the Enterprise group. In the meantime, on 
15 September, the North Carolina got a "tin fish" in her bow from a 
Japanese submarine. She went to Tongatabu, where divers from the 
Vestal cut off the projecting pieces of hull metal, and she too had to go 
back to Pearl for permanent repairs. She arrived there 30 September and 
left 6 weeks later, 17 November, to return to the South Pacific. In the 
interim our forces had only 1 battleship, the Washington. More bad luck 
came when the Chester was hit, towed in, found to be beyond 
ServRonSoPac's capacity for repair, and sent to Australia. 

42 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

The next major effort by the enemy to relieve or retake Guadalcanal 
came on 26 October 1942, in the fight off the Santa Cruz Islands, in 
which we again discouraged the Japanese from following through. We 
lost the carrier Hornet and the destroyer Porter, both of which might 
perhaps have been saved had 2 or more salvage tugs been available, but 
we had none. The Enterprise was damaged, but we could not let her go 
back to a navy yard, so about 70 picked Seabees were put aboard and 
made extensive repairs to the forepart of her flight deck and forward 
officers' quarters. The Seabees went to sea with her on her next opera- 
tion, as some work was unfinished but could be done while under way. 
The Seabees were so justly proud of their accomplishment and their 
seagoing on a combat vessel that it was difficult to get them back into 
their less adventurous duties again. Of course they lorded it over their 
less seagoing companions unmercifully. 

The battleship South Dakota had been in this fight, was bombed, and 
was repaired by the Service Squadron at Noumea. The San Juan, a light 
antiaircraft cruiser, received a bomb hit which went through her stem 
and exploded under her counter, doing considerable damage which 
could not be repaired by the Service Squadron. She went to the navy 
yard at Sydney. 

One result of this battle was a new requirement of logistics. It was to 
quarter and clothe at Noumea about 3,000 nearly naked men and officer 
survivors from the Hornet and the Porter until they could be shipped 
home for reassignment. The Navy was not prepared for this, but by 
cooperation of the Army, tents and cots were obtained, a camp prepared, 
clothing gathered from all available naval vessels, and each man given 
some underwear, socks, shoes, and a suit of dungarees. Fortunately the 
transport West Point came in a few days later, and all were shipped back 
home. This requirement was a lesson that was borne in mind during the 
following years of the war, though not always implemented in a fully 
satisfactory way. Tents and extra clothing were carried (not always in 
proper quantities), and later on, with the formation of Service Squadron 
Ten, enough extra clothing was carried and barracks ships were even- 
tually available. Transports were also frequently made available for 
handling considerable numbers of men when necessary. 

The Japanese naval operation was planned to relieve their Guadal- 
canal situation and was timed to the expected capture of Henderson 
Airfield from the Marines. They failed to capture it, and though the 
naval action was about even, the Japanese again retired until they could 
reinforce their troops. We lost 1 carrier, 74 planes, a destroyer, and 

Logistic Organization and Sources, South Pacific 43 

sustained some damage to other vessels. Japanese losses were 2 carriers 
put out of action and about a hundred planes destroyed. 

During the night of 2 November 1942, the enemy landed a beachhead 
battalion of more than a thousand at Koli Point, but our ships drove 
them into the woods. Our troops closed in on them and eventually 
wiped them out. A few days later, on the 6th, Admiral Turner landed 
6,000 troops with tanks and artillery. Still others were put ashore on the 
11th and 12th. We knew the enemy was also preparing for an attempt 
in strength to land reinforcements. Admiral Turner was therefore given 
a strong escorting group, and Kinkaid in further support was present 
with the Enterprise, the battleships Washington and South Dakota, and 
cruisers and destroyers. Again the Japanese were prevented from landing 
reinforcements and supplies, and this time they were really whipped, 
although we suffered too. The Japanese lost 2 battleships, 1 cruiser, 2 
destroyers, 12 transports, and most of the troops and equipment. Our 
losses were 2 antiaircraft light cruisers and 7 destroyers. It was in the 
first phase of this battle that Admirals Callaghan in the San Francisco and 
Scott in the Atlanta were killed. The Atlanta, which was one of the anti- 
aircraft cruisers lost, could have been saved had there been a salvage tug 

Considerable damage had been done to the mast and superstructure of 
the South Dakota. Much of the damage was to electrical gear, and as it 
could be handled more advantageously by a navy yard, the ship was sent 
back. Repairs to the damaged San Francisco were made by Mare Island 
Navy Yard. The Portland was patched up in Tulagi after the tug Bobolink 
and the open lighter YC-239 assisted her in from off Kukum. Later, 
towed by the fleet tug Navajo from 22 to 30 November, she made 
Sydney for dockyard repairs. 

After this our position in Guadalcanal was never critical. Our logistic 
build-up for both the forces there and our ships in the South Pacific was 
gaining daily, and the enemy realized it. The offensive had really been 
achieved, and, because of ability to give logistic support to our forces, 
was never lost, notwithstanding the damage the enemy inflicted upon 
us in the next 3 years of dogged, bloody fighting. 

Two weeks later the enemy sent down eight destroyers to run in 
support for their Guadalcanal troops. Warned of this, Rear Admiral 
C. H. Wright was sent with the heavy cruisers Minneapolis, New Orleans, 
Pensacola, Honolulu, and Northampton, accompanied by four destroyers, 
to frustrate this attempt. It was intercepted and the reinforcement pre- 
vented, but at the terrific price of losing the Northampton and having the 

V *~4****-S< 


, i Jf 

i 3T 







46 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

bows blown off both the Minneapolis and New Orleans, and the Pensacola 
torpedoed and put out of action. All three of the ships were saved, the 
Minneapolis with a temporary bulkhead of coconut logs, and restored to 
the fleet after a long period out of service. Two additional tugs had been 
instrumental in saving them, and the patching facilities at Espiritu Santo 
had been improved a little by the use of Seabees and a PT boat base, 
with the assistance of the repair ship Rigel. Temporary patchwork there 
enabled them to go to navy yards for real repair. The New Orleans had 
to turn back once for additional patching before she finally made it. 

From the beginning of the South Pacific operations the various 
logistic organizations cooperated in solving supply and support prob- 
/ lems. Some units arrived with shortages, but orders that all units con- 
sider themselves as part of the same team rather than Navy, Army, or 
Marine services in a separate and independent sense resulted in a con- 
siderable interchange of available supplies and facilities. In October 1942, 
Rear Admiral C. W. Crosse, commanding the Base Force Subordinate 
Command at San Francisco, was requested to have all chartered tankers 
which were sent to the South Pacific equipped with sufficient hose and 
facilities to supply two ships simultaneously at maximum rate. This 
would make a quicker fueling for task-force vessels refilling in port, and 
would make it somewhat easier on the naval oilers, which had been 
going at a killing pace. This was done on most commercial tankers, and 
some improvement was noted. Logistic and tactical conditions were 
improving so much all along the line that whenever there was noticeable 
falling off from the expected efficiency some complaints immediately 

About March 1943, complaints of the lack of fresh provisions began 
to come from the fleet. The Commander Service Squadron South Pacific 
made every effort to alleviate this. The condition was primarily due to 
lack of sufficient transportation for the desired quantities to the area. 
Additional refrigerator ships had already been requested, and efforts were 
being made to procure more fresh provisions from New Zealand. In the 
meantime, tinned and dry provisions had to make up the difference. The 
forces afloat were informed that they could not expect to be provisioned 
oftener than every 30 days until more refrigerator ships became avail- 
able. But "growls" were a good sign. The offensive had been successful; 
we were no longer hanging on by our eyebrows; we were giving the 
Japanese tough handling; and, when sailors growl about things, it gen- 
erally means they have time on their hands and the situation is no longer 

Logistic Organization and Sources, South Pacific 47 

Early in November of 1942, Rear Admiral C. H. Cobb was given com- 
mand of the Service Squadron South Pacific, and until after the Bougain- 
ville campaign in November of 1943, as our combatant forces gradually 
gained in strength, the logistics and servicing under Cobb gained 
likewise. The enemy meanwhile had been steadily losing. 

In October 1942, Admiral Halsey had taken the shore base develop- 
ment administration from the Service Squadron and placed it under 
Captain W. R. Carter, with the title of Commander Naval Bases South 
Pacific. This administration included the assignment of construction 
battalions, the locating of floating drydocks, the construction of supply 
storage facilities, base hospitals, ammunition depots, wharves, landing- 
craft bases, nets, mooring buoys, etc. Early in 1943 this command was 
made subordinate to Commander Service Squadron. In May it was com- 
pletely absorbed, and the separate command disappeared, again 
amalgamated with the Service Squadron South Pacific. 


Building up in the South Pacific 

While fighting is at times the deciding factor in warfare, it is 
possible only when the logistic needs of the fighters have been 
anticipated and met. The flower of the German armies perished in the 
bitter Russian winter from lack of supplies, as had Napoleon's Grande 
Armee before them. History is full of such tragedies, and every operations 
planner should realize his utter dependence upon logistics. 
""In our ownTalKrwe'weTe* faced not only with the vastly increased 
demands created by forces of unprecedented magnitude, but by the dis- 
tances over which all supplies and services had to move before they 
could be effective, and by the need to charter, buy, and build enough 
ships to bring them where they were badly needed. Moreover, the tech- 
nical advances made by modern science involved so many items — some 
of them mechanically intricate — of every imaginable sort, that the 
services of supply had to provide over a tremendously large and varied 
field. If a shortage developed, men might die uselessly. There was poten- 
tial tragedy in every move made. So, dry as it may seem at first sight, 
what follows is nevertheless the highly significant record of what was 
done to support our combat units, for their bloody work, and of the 
means by which battered ships and men were repaired. 

By late fall of 1942, ammunition depots had been established at 
Noumea and Espiritu Santo, with a smaller one at Efate. All three 
handled aviation ammunition as well as larger material. There was more 
for the flyers at Guadalcanal. Fuel-oil supply storage had been erected 
on Ducos Peninsula at Noumea, with a capacity of 370,000 barrels of 
black and 30,000 barrels of Diesel fuel, together with a pier at which 
vessels could be unloaded and supplied. Our ships sailed on water but 
they moved on oil, and the demand never ceased. Over on Efate, at Vila, 
we had seven 1,000-barrel steel tanks for aviation gasoline, two 10,000- 
gallon Diesel tanks, and four buried 5,000-gallon aviation-gasoline tanks, 
while at Havannah eight other buried tanks held 5,000 gallons each. In 


50 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

the Tulagi area we had ten 1,000-barrel tanks plus 12,000 barrels of 
aviation gasoline, a 60,000-barrel Diesel-oil storage, and a 280,000-barrel 
fuel-oil farm. Guadalcanal added storage for 1,300,000 gallons of aviation 

The storage, like the demands, mounted steadily. By July of 1943 we 
were erecting fifty 10,000-barrel fuel-oil storage tanks on Aore Island at 
Espiritu, as well as tanks holding 20,000 barrels of Diesel fuel, 17,000 
barrels of motor gasoline, and twenty- three 1,000-barrel aviation-gasoline 
tanks. The fuel unit at Espiritu from November 1943 was one of the 
busiest of the many supply functions. Before that, fueling of the fleet 
had been by means of station tankers and incoming oilers. The tank 
farms and fifty 10,000-barrel storage tanks were connected with a pipe- 
line system and pumps capable of handling 350 gallons a minute. While 
the amount in storage was not large or the pumping rate high, in the 
light of previous close escapes from fuel shortages it was a comforting 
reserve equivalent of about five tanker-loads. The fuel depot also issued 
3,000 to 5,000 drums of lubricants a month at its peak early in 1944. In 
November 1944, the Noumea facilities were no longer necessary and 
dismantling was commenced. 

The consumption of fuels and lubricants was tremendous. At Tulagi 
alone during the early part of 1943 the motor torpedo boats burned up 
3,000 to 7,000 gallons a day and the airplanes about a thousand. By the 
end of that year the PT boats burned about 5,000 gallons a day and the 
planes 5,000 to 10,000 gallons. Petroleum products carried afloat aver- 
aged 219,830 tons, or approximately 1,300,000 barrels, a month for the 
first half of 1943, and were steadily increasing. By October, Commander 
Service Squadron South Pacific sent a dispatch to Commander Subordi- 
nate 'Command San Francisco saying that his estimate of 17 black-oil 
tankers was not considered sufficient to fill the future requirements. It 
must be remembered that in this was included both fleet and shore 
supply, ServRonSoPac being responsible for both. This proved before 
6 months had elapsed, not only that Ghormley's estimate of the previ- 
ous August for the area had not been too large, but on the contrary, too 

Lion One 

The mere technical definition of a Lion as a large advanced base unit 
consisting of all the personnel and material necessary for the establish- 
ment of a major all-purpose naval base conveys little to anyone but 

Building Up in the South Pacific 51 

those who have had experience with such an undertaking. In the South 
Pacific, Lion I under the able command of Captain J. M. Boak, later a 
commodore, by July of 1943 was rapidly making Espiritu Santo our 
principal base in the area. In detail it consisted of facilities as varied as 
our needs. Its torpedo overhaul unit could handle five or six torpedoes 
a day. An aviation engine overhaul had a huge shop of many buildings, 
full of machinery and staffed with expert personnel capable of recondi- 
tioning 200 engines a month— no small activity in itself. The ship repair 
unit was completely housed by this time. Some heavy machinery had 
not yet been installed, but the general equipment and facilities were 
expected to be complete within a month and be capable of executing 
repairs as well as could be done by a regular repair ship. 

The administration unit consisted of seven departments: Operations, 
ordnance, captain of yard, supply, disbursing, receiving station, and 
executive. These covered in separate detail not only the activities ashore, 
but also boat pool and water transport system, the operation of the port 
director's service, inshore and harbor patrols, and so on. The supply 
department had 36 buildings, each 40 by 100 feet, for general stores. The 
actual business done by its clothing and small stores section during May 
1943 amounted to $175,000. On 28 June, needing more help, it received 
244 Negro seamen to supplement the 200 storekeepers and strikers 
already assigned. Under the executive department came the 6 sections 
devoted to clerical, fleet post office, welfare and recreation, Chaplain 
Corps, communications, and intelligence. The Lion, moreover, included 
activities for issuing pay checks, for camp maintenance, 8 dispensaries 
completely equipped and staffed, and a 600-bed hospital. War involves 
not only tremendous effort and expenditure, but the systematic care 
of men. 


The first ammunition supply set up at Espiritu Santo was established 
by Cub I, the smaller brother of Lion I. It was soon apparent that this 
was not. sufficient, and a much larger depot would be required. The first 
wave of munitions landed in December 1942, and from that time the 
stock continued to increase until September 1944, when it reached its 
peak. On the latter date 38,000 tons of ammunition were stored in 175 
regularly designed magazines, and in Quonset huts, Stransteel ware- 
houses, tents, thatched huts in several instances, and much in dumps in 
the open air. 

52 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

The depot overhauled and reconditioned a considerable amount of 
material, including more than 40,000 rounds of 5-inch .38 caliber, with 
the replacement of the projectile fuses. Until the middle of 1944, issues 
were made largely direct to the ships concerned. As the war moved west- 
ward, this grew steadily less and ammunition ships were loaded at the 
depot to go forward with the supply. At peak activity in March 1944 the 
depot serviced 120 vessels, large and small. These included 8 carriers, 7 
heavy and light cruisers, 37 destroyers and destroyer-escort types, besides 
landing craft and the "splinter" fleet, of the submarine-chaser and patrol- 
boat types. Not all of these were completely reammunitioned, as this 
would have required more than four times as much as the total in stor- 
age. It was a great record nevertheless, and it shows the importance of 
the part played by the naval base at Espiritu Santo in fleet ammunition 

In the torpedo overhaul shop at Espiritu between May 1943 and May 
1945, both fleet and aircraft torpedoes gave the 2 officers and 11 men 
more than they could do. Of the 2,660 torpedoes received, 2,500 were 
overhauled and 2,100 reissued. As far as quantity goes this was a very 
satisfactory performance. Unfortunately the quality of the work was not 
so high. This was due partly to the hurried and slap-dash training given 
the personnel, partly to the conditions under which they worked and 
lived, and partly to the overload under -which they started. A mine depot 
at Espiritu Santo assembled and supplied the mines for any project. An 
earlier mine assembly had been set up at Noumea, and by the time the 
Espiritu depot was in full working order much of the mine laying and 
supplying for the South Pacific was completed. There was also at 
Noumea an ammunition depot with about 100 small magazines, 40 or 
50 warehouses for ordnance materials, all of them steel, and a large area 
of open storage, including mines and torpedoes. 

Provisions and Stores 

By the end of 1943 the Naval Supply Depot at Espiritu was operating 
on a 24-hour basis. Earlier, in August, it had serviced its first large task 
force as a unit, though there had been individual vessels taken care of 
from time to time before that. Following the initial landings on 
Bougainville three large cruisers were rushed down from there to 
Espiritu, a distance of more than 900 miles, for badly needed supplies. In 
short order they were loaded with 150 tons of provisions and general 

Building Up in the South Pacific 53 

stores by means of barges securing alongside theni in the stream. 

At this time, late in 1943, the supply storage unit, besides its sixty 
40-by- 100-foot warehouses, had extensive outdoor storage space approxi- 
mating 400,000 square feet filled with supplies of all kinds. The fleet 
provision unit, with 24 large "reefers" (refrigerator boxes or rooms), 
and 5 warehouses had been receiving and issuing quantities of both fresh 
and dry provisions. Storage capacity was 2,500 tons of dry and 1,500 tons 
of fresh and frozen provisions. The incoming stores section had the job 
of cargo segregation, and both this section and the outgoing stores unit 
were kept exceedingly busy. The supply depot had been constructed 
partly by plan, partly by trial and error. It had handled and issued large 
quantities of war materials, worked its men overtime many a weary day, 
been cursed roundly any number of times, but had come through. At 
the depot, pier 4 extended some 200 yards into Segond Channel, and 
was capable of loading 2 large ships at once. Often it was impossible for 
the numerous vessels requiring supplies to secure alongside No. 4. In 
such cases, ships' working parties were brought ashore, trucks were 
loaded with the necessary material and driven to another pier, unloaded 
into boats, and the supplies delivered by boats and barges alongside the 
waiting ships. 

Another supply depot had been established earlier at Noumea. It was 
eventually a very good one, though short-lived, after getting off to a 
slow start. There were some 80 steel warehouses for covered storage and 
cargo areas for open field storage. Also there were steel warehouses and 
a few old buildings for an aviation supply depot which soon found itself 
too far from the operations front. 

Welfare and Fleet Recreation 

Of importance among the many advantages officers and men alike of 
our forces enjoyed to a far greater degree than was possible for those of 
either the enemy or our allies, was our provision for relaxation and 
recreation, afloat as well as ashore. As far as was possible in the circum- 
stances, our men were given under war conditions the same types of 
recreational facilities they had enjoyed before the war at home. The effect 
upon general morale was admirable, the uplift healthful in every activity. 
The damning that was heard— and there was plenty of it, for sailors are 
notorious growlers— was mostly conversation, and did not result from 
the work or the overtime and mental strain. 

to * 

54 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

Aore Island, for example, had a fleet recreation area which consisted, 
in addition to the swimming beach, soda fountain, and beer "parlor," of 
nine softball diamonds, one hardball diamond, three tennis courts, four 
volleyball courts, three basketball courts, one football and soccer field, 
three boxing rings, horseshoe courts, eight handball courts, and a theater 
district. Barbecue pits and picnic facilities rounded out this with 
something for nearly everyone. 

Mafia Island also had a fairly large area for the Pallikulo Bay crowd, 
and many other recreation facilities were scattered about the Espiritu 
Santo base. Many of these were for individual shore-based units and were 
not available to the men of the fleet except by special invitation. Moving 
pictures also played an important part in the relaxation program. The 
endeavor was made to circulate films through the ships and show them 
in rotation whenever possible. The motion-picture exchange and its 
distributing features contributed to morale importantly. More will be 
seen of this later as the war developed. 

At Havannah Harbor, Efate, there was a recreation area of less preten- 
tion, and it was while R. C. "Ike" Giffen's force was at anchor that some 
8,000 cases of area beer were "lost" in shipment. It was suggested that 
it had been mistaken for landing-boat fuel as some of "Ike's" liberty 
boats handled poorly for a time. The laughter was as good a tonic as the 
missing beverage. 

Maintenance and Repair 

Naval battles mean hurt ships. The damage may be light relatively, or 
it may be serious. Whatever it is, the nearer the repair facilities the 
better. Only in the most serious cases of major injuries beyond the 
ability of local facilities to repair, should a combatant vessel be sent back 
\ 4 to a navy yard or shipyard. Such action takes the ship out of the active 
fleet for a considerable period, weakens our forces proportionately, may 
delay pending moves, and further exposes the cripple to attack en route 
while not in proper condition to fight off her enemy. 

During early operations our repair ships and advanced bases did every- 
thing they could, and the ship's forces themselves often accomplished 
wonders in patchwork and repair. These, however, were not sufficient, 
and floating drydocks of various types and sizes were urgently needed. 
Ships had their bows blown off, their sterns blasted away, huge holes 
torn in their hulls by torpedoes whose explosions created a chaos that 

V? t' 


Building Up in the South Pacific 55 

had to be seen at the time to be fully realized. Japanese shelling, bomb- 
ing, and bombing planes wrecked enginerooms, put turrets out of action, 
and touched off tremendous fires and magazine explosions that made the 
survival of the battered vessel almost a miracle. By getting the victim 
into a dock where she could be given full attention while still in the 
supporting area, priceless time and effort were saved repeatedly and the 
enemy could not know just how hard he had hit us at times. 

By late fall of 1942 we had installed a ship-repair unit and a floating 
dry dock, ARD-2, at Noumea. The floating docks of this type were 485 
feet long and had a lifting capacity of 3,500 tons, which made them able 
to accommodate destroyers, submarines, and "landing ships, tank" 
(LST's). But such facilities were small compared to the huge ABSD 
types. Much has been said and written about the great ABSD-1 which 
was assembled and put into operation near Aessi Island in Pallikulo Bay. 
It was a remarkable design, and getting it into operation was a fine job 
of towing and assembling. There was some delay in the assembling 
because 1 of its 10 sections was lost in the bay. However, in December 
1943 the remaining 9 sections were fastened together and the first dock- 
ing was accomplished 31 December. "ABSD" means Advanced Base 
Sectional Dock. This one, originally designed in 10 sections, would have 
been 927 feet long with a lifting capacity of 90,000 tons. Put together 
as a 9-section dock it was 844 feet long and could lift 81,000 tons. In ^<i 
addition to this one at Aessi we later had others at Manus and Guam. 
The Aessi dock was a great potential asset as there were a number of 
large, heavy ships operating in the South Pacific which could if damaged 
be accommodated only by this dock. We should have had it in the fall ^ 3 
of 1942 when our damage was greatest. It turned out, however, that the 
ABSD-1 actually docked only 3 ships which could not have been 
accommodated by the smaller floating docks. The remainder of its 71 
dockings were for medium and smaller vessels. In April of 1945 it was 
disassembled and towed to Samar. 

The ship-repair unit was in operation by the summer of 1943 at 
Espiritu Santo, but it was never commensurate in size or capacity with 
some of the other activities there. Most of its effort was spent on neces- 
sary routine and emergency repairs to patrol craft, auxiliaries, landing 
craft, merchantmen, and vessels of the United Kingdom. It did, how- 
ever, do some battle-damage repair work for our ships of all types, 
including fleet destroyers. Much of this was minor, thanks to later good 
fortune of war, and it was done well and willingly. In addition to the 
large dock in Pallikulo Bay we also had a cruiser-capacity floating dock, 




Building Up in the South Pacific 57 

YFD-21, and were soon to have two smaller ones, ARD-14 and 
AFD-14, with respective lifting capacities of 3,500 tons and 1,000 tons. 
The two latter types were single-piece steel craft. 

In the Solomons at Florida Island— where as a starter we had only 
a motor torpedo boat base at Sasapi, Tulagi, with the tender James toum 
concealed across the harbor against the mangrove jungle— in the spring 
of 1944 we had at Purvis Bay the AFP— 13, destroyer tender Whitney, the 
repair ships Medusa (en route to southwest Pacific) and Prometheus, the 
battle-damage repair ship Aristaeus, and the repair barge YR-46. Valu- 
able services were rendered. In addition to these floating services there 
were landing-craft repair units at Carter City on Florida Island near 
Purvis Bay and in the Russell Islands. Large boat-repair stations were at 
Turner City and at Gavutu Harbor on Florida. 

The high point of service in the Florida area was during March 1944, 
when 261 vessels were repaired, including 1 battleship, 3 light cruisers, 
16 destroyers, 18 destroyer escorts, 72 attack transports, 51 LST's, and 31 
submarine chasers. During this same period the floating drydocks 
ARD-14 (now in Purvis Bay) and AFD-13, with 2 pontoon drydocks, 
made repairs to 110 vessels, including 5 destroyers and 41 landing craft, 
infantry (LCI's). 

During the early part of the war practically all the work on small 
ships was done in New Zealand to take advantage of the docking facili- 
ties there. In January and March of 1943 the Portland and New Orleans 
went to Sydney, Australia, because major cases of battle damage could 
be handled only there. It became a fairly common practice also to send 
cruisers, destroyers, and similar ships there for drydocking and rehabili- 

At Auckland, N. Z., repair facilities were such that 4 vessels of the 
attack-transport type could receive overhaul concurrently with smaller 
craft. The major part of the work was assigned to His Majesty's New 
Zealand Dockyard at Bevenport. When the jobs where greater than its 
capacity, they were farmed out to 112 independent firms, coordinated by 
the liaison officer in Auckland. In Wellington a cargo ship could be 
completely overhauled while routine repairs and material work were 
being carried forward on 3 other similar vessels. Dunedin could give a 
cargo ship a complete overhaul but could not do simultaneous repair 

All this repair work in New Zealand was under the direction of the 
Material Department of the Force Maintenance Office, and included 
repairs to material under the cognizance of armed guard officers on all 

58 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

War Shipping Administration vessels. Besides Auckland, several other 
bases in New Zealand supplied minor repair facilities. Auckland was the 
most important, however, and in 1943 in 11 months (February excluded) 
it repaired 282 vessels of all types. The monthly cost of repairs and 
alterations in this one port ran to about $100,000. 

Havannah Harbor in Efate was a deep-water torpedo-protected port 
nearer our activities than Noumea, and here for some months a number 
of combatant ships were based and serviced. On 15 January 1943 the 
repair ship Rigel, which had been doing great work at Espiritu Santo 
since 20 November 1942, arrived and rendered splendid tender and 
repair service under the able command of Captain Roy Dudley. She 
remained until relieved by the Medusa 24 April 1943. Four days later the 
Rigel sailed to join the Seventh Fleet. At Pearl the Medusa had been busy 
with repair and salvage jobs and here at Efate she tackled with a will 
many kinds of maintenance and repair work, not only on board in her 
own shops but by sending working parties to many different ships. Her 
log, for example, shows that on 30 April 1943 she had 60 men in 9 
working parties doing everything from star-gaging 6-inch guns to mend- 
ing equipment in the recreation center. During that week she completed 
258 separate jobs. She was commanded at this time by Commander 
J. F. P. Miller, who had grown gray in the naval service getting done 
things many men would not undertake. The service was indeed fortunate 
in having him where production counted for so much. 

The Medusa stayed in Havannah except for the period 24 July- 
4 August 1943, when she was at Espiritu to ease a heavy workload there. 
Vessels of the British Fleet were there besides many of our own. On 27 
March 1944, she finally sailed to join the Seventh Fleet, with which she 
remained until the end. If the campaign had gone less successfully, more 
use might well have been made of Efate, and it was no doubt the part 
of widsom to have had it available. Excepting for a very good base hos- 
pital, which was kept at full activity and capacity most of the time, the 
return on the amount of effort put into Efate was small, but this should 
be charged against the waste of war rather than against inefficient 

General Activities 

The duty of the service forces was not merely to keep abreast of the 
combatant fleet activities, but as far as possible to go ahead of them by 

Ortolan raises two-man submarine. 

60 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

being prepared in all respects before assistance was demanded. The diffi- 
culties of such an ambitious yet vital task were so great and depended 
upon so many elements beyond our control, that no account of the 
work can be wholly objective. The combat forces acted with greater con- 
fidence and dash as they became more aware that behind them awaited 
more of the things they might need in either defeat or victory. The 
wounded were cared for immediately in the well-staffed and well- 
equipped hospital ships and base hospitals. The latter were established 
at Espiritu Santo, where a 600-bed hospital proper was reinforced by no 
less than 8 dispensaries; there were 2 at Noumea— Fleet Hospitals Nos. 
5 and 7, the former with about 1,000 beds, the second with about 2,000— 
backed up by a huge convalescent camp; one in Guadalcanal of 2,000 
beds, one of 1,300 beds at Banika Island in the Russells completed in 
March 1944; still another at Efate. 

The important supply of fresh and frozen foods was furnished by the 
fleet provision unit with 24 large reefers and 5 warehouses at Espiritu 
Santo already mentioned, and 10 ships working out of Auckland to carry 
their vital freight wherever it was needed. Even this was not enough as 
our effort grew. In September 1943 the Commanding Officer of Service 
Squadron South Pacific estimated that he had exactly half enough ships 
to carry the provisions contracted for in New Zealand for 1944. 

The activities there began in April 1942 under the direction of Com- 
mander H. D. Nuber of the Supply Corps, whose office was in Auckland. 
For some months that port was the main supply base and was able to fill 
the requisitions made on it. But by the time we landed on Guadalcanal 
it was apparent that New Zealand was too far in the rear to be an oper- 
ating base for directly supplying the forces afloat. From that time onward 
the principal supply to the fleet was made by United States provisions 
ships and the supply depots on advanced bases at Noumea and Espiritu. 
Beef, mutton, and other foods were, however, supplied to these sources 
from Auckland for some time thereafter. New Zealand also continued 
to supply large quantities of food to the shore forces. 

More of everything was being called for day by day. In May 1943 it 
was reported that 17 more tugs, in addition to the 8 on hand, were 
needed. Two more fuel-oil barges were demanded to supplement the 4 
on hand, and 5 gasoline barges were required. A month later the call for 
more again went out— 9 Diesel-engine repair ships, 3 aviation stores 
(bulk) ships, 2 destroyer tenders, 6 LST's as aviation stores issue ships, 
4 landing-craft repair ships, 1 landing-craft tender, 10 tugs, 60 LCVP's 
(landing craft, vehicles, personnel; 36-foot single-screw Diesel, built of 

Building Up in the South Pacific 61 

plywood and very useful in handling stores up to about 5 tons or limited 
personnel) per month for 6 months, 3 big salvage tugs (ARS's), and 2 
motor- torpedo-boat tenders (AGP's). This was a time when the advan- 
tages of floating services were manifesting themselves strongly. 

Many other facilities of smaller and less spectacular sorts were located 
at Noumea and Espiritu. Among them were the fleet post offices, with 
their eagerly perused letters from home, an antiaircraft gunnery school, 
fire-fighting school with advisory instructors already mentioned, the 
motion-picture exchanges, gas plants, sections for the purchase of war 
bonds, and so on.tAll these went to make great bases which after a very 
short period of activity found themselves so far in the rear as to raise the 
question of whether the amount of shipping required to build them 
might not have supplied the necessary fleet support afloat, and been 
mobile and ready to go forward at short notice^ 

214075 O-F-53 6 




The Southwest Pacific Command 

Early Logistics 

The logistics of the Southwest Pacific Force, later the Seventh Fleet, 
will be treated rather briefly in this book because they follow some- 
what the same pattern as service activities elsewhere. When from time 
to time the subject is taken up, it is because of its tie-in with other forces 
or to show the general logistic activity in progress. 

In the Southwest Pacific, 1942-43, a service force was developed under 
the over-all command of Vice Admiral A. S. Carpender, under the im- 
mediate command of several successive officers. At first, for a short time, 
Captain H. E. Paddock headed it; then Rear Admiral D. E. Barbey, 
whose principal job was to organize an amphibious force but who was 
temporarily assigned the service force as well. 

Next came Commodore R. G. Coman, under whom the initial de- 
velopment assumed important proportions. While there were not many 
floating auxiliaries at first, the destroyer tender Dobbin was at Sydney, 
where she did some great work of battle-damage repair as well as routine 
service which was by no means confined to destroyers. She took on sub- 
marines for repair and routine tender services, besides working on the 
cruisers New Orleans, San Juan, Chester, Portland, Phoenix, and others. In 
addition there were a U. S. repair barge YR, a sort of floating machine 
shop, the naval dockyard, and the large graving dock at Wooloomooloo. 
The Australian facilities were being expanded, and the United States 
shore activities, together with storage depots, were being developed. 

A submarine base at Brisbane, which consisted always of one tender 
(often complemented by another), and a number of shop and shore 
activities, was constantly expanding and improving. Three small ferry- 
boats fitted up as machine shops made repairs to patrol and mine craft. 
There were also a degaussing range, a very important radio repair unit, 


64 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

and a marine railway which was constantly busy. The motor-torpedo- 
boat repair unit at Brisbane at first contributed to the upkeep and main- 
tenance of other vessels as well as its own craft. A receiving barracks was 
established to handle the distribution and staging of personnel. The ad- 
ministrative headquarters of the Commander Southwest Pacific Naval 
Force was located here in the spring of 1943. 

Farther up the east coast at Townsville, and still farther north at 
Cairns, landing-craft bases and amphibious training centers were being 
located. A base construction depot, ammunition depot, and staging 
center were also being established. 

In the southwest corner of western Australia the submarine base at 
Fremantle had been somewhat improved, and another established farther 
north in Exmouth Gulf. There was always one tender available at 
Fremantle, occasionally two of them, with the Australian local facilities 
cooperating to capacity. There were a marine railway and fair food sup- 
ply there, but oil, ammunition, and torpedoes of course had to be 
brought in by sea to keep the submarines and other vessels supplied. By 
June of 1945 the oil storage developed at Fremantle, between naval and 
commercial facilities, amounted to more than 700,000 barrels, a consid- 
erable portion of which came from the Persian oil fields. In addition to 
this bunker fuel there was storage in the area for about 206,000 barrels 
of Diesel fuel. 

In the beginning there was no drydock large enough to take our sub- 
marines; only a marine railway able to lift 850 tons. On occasion it was 
necessary to do repair work with only a part of the submarine hauled 
out of the water. Later, in 1943, the floating dock ARD-10 was sent 
there and remedied the deficiency. A ship-repair unit, Navy 137, with 
special qualities for work on submarines, was also installed. Ammunition 
storage grew to a capacity of about 4,000 tons. 

By 30 July 1943 there were half a dozen district patrol vessels in the 
food supply duty for General MacArthur's bases and forces at advanced 
points. More often than not they were used to supply these advanced 
points, but nevertheless helped in supplying fresh and frozen foods to 
some of the vessels of the fleet. By this time Milne Bay was well started 
as a base, both" air and naval. Thus the Southwest Pacific facilities started 
and grew along lines somewhat similar to those already mentioned for 
the South Pacific, with floating drydocks of various sizes at several small 
bases, and continually advancing. Milne Bay and Finschhafen, both in 
Papua, New Guinea, began respectively in May 1943 and November 
1943. Later on came the great Manus base, Morotai, and other smaller 



5 s 




66 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

ones for PT boats, small craft, and seaplanes, and finally the Philippine 
bases. Tenders and repair ships increased. Ammunition and store ships 
also increased in numbers, and though South and Southwest Pacific 
services to the fleet were partly from ships and floating sources, it was 
the gain in the latter that permitted the increasing tempo of the offen- 
sive. The floating facilities could be moved forward on short notice; the 
shore establishments could not be moved quickly, and sometimes could 
not be moved at all. 

About 300 miles north of Lae, New Guinea, and about 2 degrees 
south of the Equator are the Admiralty Islands, among which are Manus 
and Los Negros. Saipan, Guam, and Tinian are about 1,000 miles almost 
due north; Truk lies to the northeast and Palau and Yap northwest. On 
a chart, lines joining these islands form the shape of a kite, with Manus 
at the southern tip or tail of the kite. To the east of Manus, and almost 
joining it, is the smaller island of Los Negros, which sweeps in a curve 
to the north and northwest, forming with some smaller islets as a 
northern enclosure one of the best anchorages in the Southwest Pacific: 
Seeadler Harbor. 

A surprise amphibious attack had been executed here on 29 February 
by Task Group 76.1 of nine destroyers and a transport unit of three 
destroyers, all under Rear Admiral W. M. Fechteler. Task Force 74, of 
the cruisers Phoenix and Nashville, with four destroyers, acted as a cover- 
ing force and bombarded positions on Los Negros and Manus before the 
landings. The landings on Los Negros were the first step to obtain con- 
trol of the entire Admiralty group, not only for the establishment of 
strategically located airfields but also for the development of Seeadler 
Harbor as a major fleet anchorage with shore base. Our forces here and 
at Emirau Island, captured later, not only had an advanced base from 
which to strike but which effectively cut off Kavieng and Rabaul from 
their supply lines. Emirau, in the St. Mathias group, is 75 miles north- 
west of Kavieng. Since no enemy activity had been detected there, Rear 
Admiral T. S. Wilkinson, commanding Task Force 31, was able to land 
two battalions of the Fourth Marines easily, though cruisers and de- 
stroyers were in position for gunfire support if necessary and planes from 
the Enterprise -and Belleau Wood were on hand for air support. No special 
fleet logistics were involved. 

On Manus Island, Commodore J. E. Boak, after having done a splendid 
job completing a Lion base at Espiritu Santo, established another, a 
modified Lion, and in April 1944 assumed command of it by order of 
the Commander Seventh Fleet. At this time the Army estimated 

The Southwest Pacific Command 61 

that four or five hundred enemy effectives might still be at large on the 
island, though all organized resistance had ceased. This was just after 
Admiral Spruance had delivered an air attack on Truk, and after a pre- 
liminary carrier-task-force attack had been made in the Marianas. Later 
in September of that year Seeadler Harbor became the locus operandi of a 
number of units of Service Squadron Ten, helping that base by support- 
ing the Third Fleet and some units of the Seventh from mobile equip- 
ment. The developments of a major naval base, such as the building of 
airfields, seaplane bases, hospital, tank farm, and supply depot, took 
place. One activity upon which Service Squadron Ten was later to 
depend was the water-supply system, capable of producing 4,000,000 
gallons daily. Compared to Guam and Leyte-Samar, the base at Manus 
was the third largest, judged by the amount of money finally spent on it. 


In the Aleutians 

Early in 1942, fortifying the strategically important Aleutian Islands 
seemed a vital necessity, but with the main Japanese force soon to 
be dealt with in the Coral Sea and at Midway only a scanty force could 
be diverted to the whole Aleutian- Alaskan theater. Rear Admiral Robert 
A. Theobald had been designated to command all Army, Navy, and 
Canadian forces in the area. From the outset he was faced with the 
problem of an inadequate number of ships and personnel, plus the ever- 
present natural enemy— the weather. 

Our first encounter with the Japanese in the North Pacific occurred 
3 June 1942, when their bombers, escorted by Zeros, made a surprise 
attack on Dutch Harbor. Several days later we discovered that they had 
followed this with landings on the islands of Kiska and Attu, at the 
farther end of the Aleutian chain. After that the best that Theobald's 
task force could do was to prevent the landing of enemy reinforcements 
and to attempt to check further advances until our forces could take the 
offensive. Yet in October 1942 his already meager force was diminished 
by the withdrawal of a number of troops needed to aid in the Solomons 

Meanwhile on 30 August our troops occupied Adak Island, and on 2 
January 1943, Amchitka Island, to establish airfields on both, each time 
drawing closer to Japanese-held Attu and Kiska. Adak later developed 
into more than a mere airfield when Kuluk Bay on the east coast proved 
to be a good anchorage for our naval forces. In November of 1942 Rear 
Admiral T. C. Kinkaid was relieved in the South Pacific by Rear Ad- 
miral F. C. Sherman and assigned as Commander Task Force Eight, 
North Pacific, relieving Theobald. He assumed his new duties 4 January 
1943. His achievements in them and his subsequent assignments form a 
brilliant record reflecting glory on his country, the Navy, and himself. 

The bases and services available at this time were being expanded in 
order to take the offensive, recapture Kiska and Attu, and, if successful 
there, perhaps to strike down along the Kuriles as one prong of our 


Submarine undocking from ARD-6, Dutch Harbor. 

. ?'■ 

Sweepers Cove, Adak Island. 



Finger Bay, Adak, Aleutian Islands. 

In the Aleutians 73 

offensive against the enemy homeland. Rear Admiral J. W. Reeves, Jr., 
was charged with the naval-base development for the whole North 
Pacific area, and his command had been making great headway despite 
adverse weather and the distances involved. 

Kodiak was rapidly being turned into a first-class air base. Dutch 
Harbor was already a submarine operating base, and improvement was 
being attempted on the airstrip alongside Ballyhoo Mountain, while 
facilities for additional oil storage and an anchorage for heavy ships 
were being developed in Iliuliuk Bay. The floating drydock YFD-22 
was in operation at Dutch Harbor, and in June 1943 drydock ARD-6 
was added. At Adak, a combined military and naval base was being 
pushed ahead under the efforts of both Army and Navy, and one large 
airfield was already operating. A seaplane base in Andrew Lagoon was in 
use and a steel-plated (Mars ton mat) airfield in this latter area was 

The main fleet anchorage at Adak in Kuluk Bay was well protected 
by the natural physical formations, supplemented by a net and sonar 
buoys. The inside harbor, Sweeper Cove, had three unloading wharves 
and was entirely closed against submarine attack. All the facilities on 
Adak had been built by our forces. Before the war there was nothing on 
the island but a single fox farm. At Finger Bay, Adak, a base for PT 
boats was well under way, and a floating ARD drydock was operating. 

During April and May 1943 the destroyer tenders Markab and Black 
Hawk moved forward from Dutch Harbor and did fine around-the-clock 
maintenance and repair work for destroyers, besides special jobs for other 
vessels. At Sand Bay, Great Sitkin Island, across from Adak, a fueling 
dock and fuel-oil storage tanks were being built, and in the valley right 
under the crater of a smoking volcano a naval ammunition storage was 
being constructed. Facilities for warehousing provisions and other stores 
were built during the spring of 1943 and were virtually complete by the 
middle of May when the Attu operation was undertaken. 

Few people realize -the distances involved in this cold and barren part 
of the world. Not only is it a long way from west coast ports, but the 
distances between harbors within the area itself are considerable. For 
example, Anchorage, lying to the northwest 1,242 nautical miles by air 
from Seattle, is 220 miles from Kodiak; 855 miles separate Cold Bay 
from Attu. It and Adak are 378 miles apart, and from Adak to Para- 
mushiro in the northern Kuriles it is 1,019 miles. 

On 26 March 1943, between Attu arid the Komandorski Islands, Rear 
Admiral C. H. McMorris in the Salt Lake City, accompanied by the 



• S 




1 * 


31 >> 


I 1 

li go 

X 7 


3 « 

'.-< % 


In the Aleutians 75 

Richmond and the destroyers Bailey, Coghlan, Dale, and Monaghan, en- 
countered a heavily protected convoy headed to reinforce the Japanese 
garrisons on Attu and Kiska. Our ships had a running gun fight with 
the heavier Japanese force, with resulting damage to the Salt Lake City, 
Bailey, Coghlan, and Monaghan. This necessitated sending the first two, 
after temporary repairs by the Black Hawk and Markab at Dutch Harbor, 
more than 2,000 miles to the Mare Island Navy Yard. Thus it was 
evident that if a naval or an amphibious campaign were to be carried on 
in this area some logistic resources would be required in certain localities 
within the region. If adequate shore facilities were not possible, floating 
equipment must be obtained, which demanded that proper harbor re- 
quirements be met. At this time in the Atlantic, German submarines still 
had the edge on us. In the South and Southwest Pacific we had just 
gained superiority enough to hold the offensive, and could spare few 
floating units from those areas. So in the beginning only a meager com- 
bination of floating equipment and new shore-based facilities would be 
available in Aleutian waters. 

As a result of agreement between the Commander in Chief Pacific — 
Fleet, and Lieutenant General J. L. De Witt, Commander of the Western ^ 
Defense Command, Rear Admiral F. W. Rockwell, commanding the 
Amphibious Force of the Pacific Fleet, was directed in December 1942 
to devise plans to retake Kiska. Requirements in ships and services were 
large. The venture appeared especially formidable since we were not 
quite sure early in 1943 of the outcome in the South Pacific, and there- 
fore could not expect much help from that area. A joint staff of officers 
from the Alaskan Defense Command and the Amphibious Force was 
organized in San Diego to formulate the plans. 

After Kinkaid relieved Theobald in January 1943, Theobald reported 
to Nimitz in Pearl Harbor for a few days. One of his recommendations 
was that consideration be given to capturing Attu prior to Kiska. This 
was because the weather came from Attu toward Kiska. With Attu in 
our hands we would be in a better position to take Kiska, the tougher 
of the two objectives. 

When Kinkaid had had time to estimate the Alaskan situation, he too 
recommended that Attu, not Kiska, be the first objective. He was evi- 
dently influenced by the inability to get adequate shipping (in particular, 
attack transports and attack cargo carriers), and by intelligence reports 
which showed that Attu could be taken more easily with a smaller force. 
Work on Kiska planning was abandoned for the time being, and the 
joint staff was directed to begin a study of Attu. 

76 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

Besides those forces already assigned to the Alaskan theater, Nimitz 
made available Battleship Division Two {Idaho, Nevada, and Pennsyl- 
vania), Cruiser Division One (less the Raleigh and Salt Lake City), 
Destroyer Squadrons One and Fourteen, of 16 destroyers and 4 attack 
transports. The only attack cargo carriers available would have to be 
withdrawn from the South Pacific, and this was disapproved. Later, to 
alleviate the small-boat situation, a number of landing craft were deliv- 
ered to the Army in San Francisco. The Perida, the only Army ship to 
accompany the assault force, carried 1 LCM and 10 LCV's. 

The secrecy surrounding the early planning of the Attu operation 
(Landcrab) proved detrimental in loading the transports on the west 
coast. Commanding officers were called to conferences on loading plans 
without being acquainted with the mission. Only a few knew that 
Alaska was the destination. Winter clothing was secreted aboard ships; 
as a diversion, medical officers were directed to give lectures on diseases 
and sanitation in the tropics. 

In loading the attack transports too much emphasis was placed on 
supplies for occupation forces and not enough on combat supplies. Ad- 
miral Rockwell remarked in his action report on the Attu landings: 
"The time has come for combat troop organizations to realize that land- 
ing on territory occupied by the enemy means a campaign and not an 
occupation, and that the first days following such a landing will see 
them involved in action in which the fighting tools of war have first 

A large amount of cargo in addition to that originally agreed upon 
was sent to the docks at San Diego and San Francisco and every effort 
made to cram it aboard without regard to consequences. This naturally 
resulted in confusion and delay in unloading at the objective. In some 
cases high explosives were loaded in the same portion of the ship as 
gasoline. This could have been disastrous had any of the ships been hit. 

The task organization as finally constituted was made up of Task Forces 
Sixteen and Fifty-one, of more than 60 vessels of all types, including 2 
Canadian destroyer escorts. The aircraft also included 28 RCAF fighter 
planes. Some changes were made after the Attu landings, notably the 
addition of the battleships New Mexico, Mississippi, and Tennessee; the 
heavy cruisers Indianapolis, Salt Lake City, and Portland; several destroy- 
ers; and the tankers Neosho, Pecos, and later the Schuylkill. With the 
exception of the assault contingent (Task Force Fifty-one), all vessels 
had been either operating in the Alaskan area or had been diverted to it 
prior to 1 May. Task Force Fifty-one left the west coast late in April and 

In the Aleutians 11 

reached Cold Bay, Alaska, on the 30th. Here final arrangements for the 
operation and logistics were completed, and the force sailed to the point 
of attack 4 May. 

Because of bad weather, D-day for Attu, scheduled for 7 May, was 
postponed until the 11th. A dense fog on the 10th caused considerable 
difficulty in lining up ships for the approach. The destroyer Macdonough 
and the light minelayer Sicard collided. Their loss to the operation was 
a severe handicap, as the Sicard was to have been used as a boat-control 
ship and the Macdonough personnel had been trained for fire support. 
Sicard took Macdonough in tow and proceeded to Adak. Tatnuck, an old 
ocean tug, was dispatched from Adak to meet the two vessels and take 
Macdonough in tow. On arrival at Adak both ships went alongside the 
Black Hawk for repairs to enable them to make the journey to a west 
coast navy yard. The oiler Tippecanoe towed Macdonough back to the 
United States, while Sicard was able to proceed under her own power. 

Foul weather conditions prevented the fleet tug Ute— the only tug to 
accompany the assault force— from assisting during the early phases of 
the landings on D-day, as she was unable to take station for the final 
approach because of lack of suitable radar equipment. The following day 
she went to the assistance of the Army transport Perida, which hit a 
pinnacle in shifting anchorage. The Perida was beached, and salvage and 
unloading operations proceeded simultaneously. 

A shortage of landing craft was soon evident. In the Massacre Bay 
area it was necessary to shift to one transport landing craft assigned to 
another, to augment the boats available for landing a complete combat 
team. The dense fog made it extremely difficult for the boats to locate 
the designated transports, and many of them became lost for long 
periods before they finally reached their destinations. The landing craft 
proved too fragile to withstand the rugged conditions, and the equipment 
was not substantial enough, despite the fact that a few LST's and 
LCT (5)'s had been sent to Alaska previously to test their ability in that 
theater. In addition to the immense amount of labor required to keep 
their hulls in proper condition, there was a shortage of spare parts, par- 
ticularly engineheads, cylinder liners, pistons, and starters. On 23 May 
General Landrum, the landing-force commander, urgently requested 
Admiral Kinkaid to send tugs and barges to Attu to replace the small 
boats, which were "deteriorating rapidly." 

At the outset both the fuel situation and the bombardment ammuni- 
tion supply gave Admiral Kinkaid some concern. However, no critically 
serious shortage developed in either case. 

214075 O-F-53 7 

78 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

Because of the weather, air spot could not be depended upon. In 
consequence an enormous amount of ammunition from our bombard- 
ment ships failed to knock out the Japanese artillery and antiaircraft 
emplacements. On the morning of 14 May Admiral Rockwell informed 
Colonel Culin, commanding the northern troops, that there was naval 
ammunition for one more attack and that time was vital. By afternoon 
the battleships Idaho and Nevada had expended all their high-capacity 
14-inch ammunition, and in view of the threat from enemy submarines 
they were ordered to proceed northward, refuel certain destroyers, and 
await orders. By evening of 15 May the Pennsylvania reported her H. C. 
ammunition exhausted, and she too moved seaward. The destroyer 
Phelps then took over in the Holtz Bay area and the Abner Read in the 
Massacre Bay area. Provision was made to replenish the Phelps' ammuni- 
tion from other destroyers, from which she was able to obtain 1,120 
rounds of 5-inch .38-caliber. The destroyers Meade, Farragut, Edwards, 
and Hull were prepared to give additional fire support if necessary. On 
the 17th the Pennsylvania gave the Abner Read 875 rounds of 5-inch .38- 
caliber before withdrawing. The destroyers Ammen and Alywin were also 
instructed to deliver gunfire if ordered. Meanwhile, the ammunition ship 
Shasta had arrived at Adak 8 May with replacement. 

Ashore on 18 May the landing-force commander asked that replace- 
ment ammunition be sent from Adak, as the 105 millimeter was running 
low. At the same time he reported that considerable Japanese had been 
captured. Kinkaid answered this by stating that half the reserve ammu- 
nition at Adak was being forwarded, and that 5,000 additional rounds of 
105 millimeter were available in the transport Fillmore. 

As for fuel, Admiral Kinkaid notified Commander Northwest Sea 
Frontier and Commander Alaskan Sector on 13 May of the necessity of 
a quick turn-around of all available tankers. He further inquired whether 
a fuel shortage in the Seattle area required that tankers proceed to San 
Francisco or San Pedro. Once again that old bugaboo of the uncertainty 
of the fuel-oil situation raised its ugly head. The reply on 14 May con- 
firmed the shortage and stated that the Tippecanoe, returning for reload- 
ing, was being diverted to San Francisco instead of putting in to 
Puget Sound. On the 19th Kinkaid requested that the oiler Guadalupe 
at San Pedro make a quick turn-around as "the logistic situation in this 
area does not make any delay feasible." 

Fueling of Task Force Fifty-one, which had left San Pedro and San 
Francisco on 23 and 25 April, respectively, was done at Cold Bay by the 
Neches, which had accompanied the group. On 3 May she was damaged 

In the Aleutians 79 

by grounding on leaving Cold Bay and, after pumping out her remain- 
ing fuel at Kodiak, had to be withdrawn to Puget Sound for repairs. 

The fueling of the supporting task groups— Task Group 16.6 (Ad- 
miral McMorris), with four cruisers and five destroyers; Task Group 16.7 
(Admiral Giffen), three cruisers and four destroyers; and Task Group 
51.1 (Admiral Kingman), three battleships, one escort carrier, and seven 
destroyers— was done at sea on 2, 3, and 9 May and subsequently on the 
15th, 16th, and 17th by the Neosho. The Pecos (she and the Neosho were 
new vessels named in memory of the Neosho sunk in the Coral Sea and 
the Pecos sunk south of Java) fueled Task Group 16.6 at sea on the 21st, 
and the following day effected rendezvous with Task Group 16.7 for 
fueling. She was relieved by the Neosho, and after servicing the destroyers 
Phelps and Meade and the transport St. Mihiel at Adak, pumped her 
remaining fuel into the Platte, which had arrived from San Pedro on the 
20th. She sailed on the 26th for San Pedro to reload. 

Neither the Neosho nor Pecos is listed in the Operation Plan Landcrab, 
but this is probably because they were not assigned to the task force 
until 22 April, before which date the plan was probably printed and 
ready for distribution. It is perhaps because of this omission that the 
task-force commander likewise overlooked them, and when the Neches 
had to be withdrawn for repairs felt the fuel situation to be more serious 
than it proved to be. From 5 May until September, Neosho and Pecos 
serviced the task forces at sea and at anchor, often in thick weather. 

During that period the Pecos made 4 trips and the Neosho 3 trips to San 
Pedro (Adak to San Pedro, 2,704 miles), bringing on each trip 95,000 
barrels of fuel, 80 drums of lubricating oils, 150 cylinders of bottled 
gases, about 95 tons of provisions, and about 300,000 gallons of aviation 
gasoline, besides any additional deck cargo they could handle, such as 
airplanes or boats. About 8 SBD-5 Douglas scout bombers could be 
carried by the big tankers. These two ships alone in a total of 7 trips 
from May to September carried nearly 700,000 barrels of fuel to the 
Aleutians, nearly 700 tons of provisions, about 2,100,000 gallons of 
aviation gasoline, more than 500 barrels of lubricants, and numerous 
smaller items. That is a brief summary for 2 tankers, but a number of 
others were making regular trips during the period. The Tippecanoe, 
Platte, Guadalupe, Neches, Cuyama, Ramapo, Brazos, Schuylkill, Neshanic, 
Saranac, and the commercial tanker Fort Moultrie jointly made about 27 
trips, adding a total of about 2,545,000 barrels of fuel to the 665,000 
delivered by Pecos and Neosho, making in round figures well over 3 
million barrels for the May to September supply. While this was 

80 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

inconsequential in comparison to what the carrier striking forces in the 
Pacific were using, and a mere drop in the bucket to what was later used 
in the Central Pacific, it was at that time, considering the long haul and 
the shortage of tankers, a matter of some logistic magnitude. 

The storage in shore tanks was small, and most of it not yet in opera- 
tion. At Kodiak there were two 10,000-barrel tanks; at Dutch Harbor, 
more; but not all of this was available during May-September 1943. 
Four storage tanks there had been knocked out during the Japanese raids 
in June 1942. There was also a small storage at Akutan, an old whaling 
station converted for fueling use, with a capacity of about 32,000 barrels. 
At Adak it was planned to have tanks at both Andrew Lagoon and at 
Sand Bay on Great Sitkin Island, 20 miles to the east, but at this time 
neither was completed. The oilers not only brought fuel to the task 
forces but furnished many provisions, all bottled gases, most of the 
Diesel oil, gave the small ships their depth charges at sea, delivered 
nearly half the mail, gave canteen stores and ice cream to the small 
ships, and took off many of the sick and emergency cases. 

The record of the Neosho illustrates such activities. She reached Kuluk 
Bay, Adak, 8 May 1943, and unloaded a considerable quantity of stores, 
drum oils, and aviation gasoline to the air station. A number of small 
craft were fueled and provisioned in the anchorage. On the 13th she 
sailed to make rendezvous at sea with Admiral Giffen'sTask Group 16.7. 
On the 15th she supplied the heavy cruisers Wichita, San Francisco, and 
Louisville, and the destroyers Balch, Mustin, Hughes, and Morris with 
22,166 barrels of fuel, 19,423 pounds of provisions, 7,488 candy bars, and 
7,500 packs of cigarettes. The next day she fueled Task Group 16.6 (Ad- 
miral McMorris), giving the light cruisers Santa Fe, Detroit, Richmond, 
and Raleigh, and the destroyers Bancroft, Frazier, Caldwell, and Gansevoort 
lA^lO'b barrels of fuel, 63,485 pounds of provisions, acetylene and oxygen 
cylinders (not counted), 9,360 candy bars, and 11,500 packs of cigarettes. 

Meeting Admiral Kingman's Task Group 51.1 the next day, she gave 
the Nevada, Idaho, and Hull 35,061 barrels of fuel, 52,511 pounds of pro- 
visions, 12,000 candy bars, 16,000 packages of cigarettes, and miscella- 
neous items, including lubricating oils. Returning to Adak next day, 18 
May, she went alongside the commercial tanker Fort Moultrie for cargo; 
remained at Kuluk Bay 4 days fueling vessels; topped off cargo from the 
Cuyama; and sailed 26 May to meet Task Group 16.6, which she gave 
21,949 barrels of fuel, 32,650 pounds of provisions, acetylene, oxygen, 
lubricating oil, cigarettes, and candy. The next day, 28 May, she met 
Admiral R. M. Griffin's Task Group 16.12 and gave the Mississippi 

In the Aleutians 81 

12,993 barrels of fuel and 500 gallons of aviation gasoline. To the New 
Mexico she brought 9,033 barrels of fuel and 1,000 gallons of aviation 
gasoline. The destroyers Dale, Monaghan, and Farragut received, respec- 
tively, 810 barrels of oil and 4,750 pounds of food; 886 barrels of fuel, 
100 pounds of food, and 1 cylinder of Freon gas, and 1,226 pounds of 
food and 1 cylinder of oxygen. 

On returning to Adak on the 29th she put into the oiler Platte 34,452 
barrels of fuel oil, 67 drums of lubricants, 30 cylinders of C0 2 gas, 9 
cylinders of Freon gas, 45 cylinders of oxygen, miscellaneous depth 
charges, pistols, boosters, and detonators. On the 30th she sailed for 
San Pedro, reloaded, and returned to Kuluk Bay 20 June to begin serv- 
icing all over again. This was only a little more than a month's activity 
for one oiler, and by no means represents an unusual case. These ships 
made service their mission, and they gave unsparingly and efficiently. 
The services they rendered at sea clearly showed that much more than 
oil could be transferred from ship to ship. They showed the way in the 
technique of supplying at sea which led to the formation of Service 
Squadron Six in the winter of 1945. Its establishment was merely a 
question of awaiting the availability of suitable ships to carry sufficient 
"other than oil" types of supplies. 

The bulk of the provisions for the Alaskan-Aleutian sector was sup- 
plied by three provisions ships, Bridge, Antigua, and the merchant ship 
Platano formerly operated by the United Fruit Company. Some food- 
stuffs were supplied to the ships of the task forces by direct contact 
while in port, others by storage barges which had been stocked from 
the provisions ships. So far as having enough to eat was concerned, 
provisions were never any considerable problem; but to obtain the 
amount of fresh and frozen foods the ships wanted was entirely out of 
the question. Throughout the war there were never enough to keep 
them stocked to their liking. The days of dry stores, bully beef, and 
canned foods were not relished by our crews. So at a great deal of effort 
and expense, ships with refrigeration plants were sent with fresh and 
frozen foods at every opportunity. Since there were insufficient "reefers" 
to meet the demands, the tankers supplemented them as much as 
possible by carrying what they could in excess of their own needs. 

At first, Commander North Pacific had had a few task groups made 
up of battleships, cruisers, destroyers, and some submarines, for bom- 
bardment and patrol activities from the summer of 1942 on, and these 
received such maintenance services as Kodiak, Dutch Harbor, and Adak 
could afford. For any major repair or overhaul, or for underwater work, 

82 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

it was necessary to send ships back to Seattle, San Francisco, or San 
Pedro. In the spring of 1943, when plans were under way to retake Attu 
and Kiska, the destroyer tenders Black Hawk and Markab were sent to 
Dutch Harbor. They soon moved forward to Adak, Black Hawk in mid- 
April, Markab at the end of May. Vessels of all types were serviced by 
these two, with temporary repairs also for those which had to go back 
home for major repairs or drydocking. 

In July 1943 the repair barge YR-38 was towed from Dutch Harbor 
to Adak, and in early August went on to Attu as plans shaped up for 
the Kiska operation. During July, Commandant Thirteenth Naval Dis- 
trict recommended to the Vice Chief of Naval Operations that the 
dry dock YFD-22 be transferred from Kodiak to Adak, and that ARD-6, 
which had reached Dutch Harbor 15 June, remain there for the time 
being. YFD-22 could provide much needed docking for LST's at Adak, 
besides taking some of the burden from the Black Hawk and Markab. 
YFD-22, towed by the tugs Oriole and Tatnuck, reached Adak 25 July. 

Probably the busiest service vessels in the Aleutians were the tugs Ute, 
Tatnuck, Oriole, and Cree. The latter did not arrive until after the Attu 
landings, but the other three were constantly on the move and when not 
hauling equipment or landing craft from one base to another were assist- 
ing some stranded vessel. Such a scarcity of tugs existed at this time that 
Admiral Kinkaid ordered that none leave the area. The transport Arthur 
Middleton, badly damaged by grounding in the January 1943 landings 
on Amchitka, was directed to wait at Dutch Harbor until the Cree and 
James Griffith, bringing the ARD-6 from the United States, arrived on 
15 June, when she would be taken in tow by these two on their return 
trip. After delivering the Arthur Middleton the tugs reported back to 
Dutch Harbor for Aleutian operation by mid-July. 

The main part of Task Force Fifty-one returned to the west coast as 
soon as the troops were ashore at Attu with their supplies and equip- 
ment. Admiral Rockwell and staff returned to San Diego in the transport 
Zeilin, and immediately began to initiate plans for operations against 
Kiska. Many lessons were to be learned from Attu, and plans proceeded 
with that in mind. The Pennsylvania, flagship of Admiral Rockwell at 
Attu, was undergoing conversion at Puget Sound to fit her as headquar- 
ters ship for the coming operation. Consequently, after making pre- 
liminary plans, Admiral Rockwell boarded the transport U. S. Grant 
22 July for passage to Adak. The Pennsylvania was directed to proceed 
to Adak early in August on completion of her overhaul. Here final plans 
for Kiska were coordinated. 

In the Aleutians 83 

Meanwhile, from the seizure of Attu until the middle of August the 
ships of ComNorPac guarded and supplied Attu while continuing the 
softening up of Kiska. An airfield was immediately begun in the 
Massacre Bay area on Attu, and another, previously started by the Japa- 
nese on Alexei Point, was rapidly put into operation. Nearby, on the 
small flat island of Shemya, a medium-bomber field was completed 18 
July. This was needed because of the many losses due to fog when the 
mountain-obstructed fields on other islands were used. 

Kiska was known to be more strongly defended, and therefore was 
bombed by air and bombarded by ships to much greater extent than was 
Attu. Ammunition dumps of fairly large size had been established at 
Adak, but there was still a limited quantity of high-capacity projectiles. 
The Shasta, as before, remained at Adak to replenish ammunition for 
the Kiska forces. A considerable number of aerial bombs were stored at 
Amchitka. The battleships Tennessee, New Mexico, and Idaho, with cruisers 
and destroyers based at Adak, conducted preliminary sweeps and bom- 
barded the Japanese positions on Kiska during July and August. These 
vessels were serviced by oiling from tankers, at sea or in port, and with 
ammunition at Adak. 

One such bombardment of Kiska occurred 2 August, when Task 
Groups 16.6 {Richmond, Raleigh, Detroit, Salt Lake City, Indianapolis, 
Gansevoort, Frazier, Edwards, and Meade) and 16.7 {Tennessee, Idaho, 
Phelps, Dale, and Anderson) shelled the island in two places. The esti- 
mated ammunition expended in less than an hour's firing was 120 
rounds of 14-inch, 200 of 8-inch, 600 of 6-inch, and 1,400 of 5-inch. Ten 
such dual bombardments were executed between 2 and 15 August. The 
task groups, again under the supreme command of Kinkaid, now a vice 
admiral, were much the same as for Attu. Captain Buchanan's transport 
group was considerably enlarged, and a large landing-craft group under 
command of Captain Robert Bolton was added. 

The rearrangements required very little change in the servicing group, 
now designated as Task Group 16.13. Most of the oilers which had sup- 
plied the Attu forces continued through the summer to deliver their 
cargo in anticipation of the final drive on Kiska. Ships which made one 
or more trips during this period were the Platte, Ramapo, Fort Moultrie 
(merchant ship), Cuyama, Brazos, Neosho, Neches, Pecos, Saranac, Guada- 
lupe, Tippecanoe, Schuylkill, and Neshanic. Some discharged their cargoes 
immediately and returned to San Pedro. Others, coming from the west 
coast, operated in the Alaskan area, fueling ships at sea and discharging 
oil to port storage tanks before returning for reloading. 

84 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

D-day for the seizure of Kiska was set as 15 August. Landings pro- 
ceeded on schedule, with accompanying naval gunfire and air coverage. 
As at Attu, low visibility proved a handicap to operations ashore and 
afloat. Though our forces failed to establish contact with the Japanese 
on D-day, it was generally thought that they had well-entrenched posi- 
tions in the hills, and considering their failure to defend the beaches at 
Attu, which resulted in severe fighting on high ground, plans for 
landings on D-plus-1 went ahead as scheduled. However, ammunition 
for fire-support ships was reduced about 50 percent. 

In all sectors evidence soon showed that the Japanese had made a 
hasty evacuation about 10 days to 2 weeks previous. Considerable 
quantities of ammunition, food, clothing, and equipment were found, 
and almost all guns had been disabled before withdrawal. By 22 August 
Admiral Kinkaid announced the completion of the amphibious phase 
of the operation. 

Though more than 34,000 troops participated, the seizure of Kiska 
could not be considered a combat operation, but the planning, training, 
and landing phases were conducted with full expectation of strong 
enemy resistance. The operation medical plan had been worked out on 
the basis of an estimated 9,000 casualties, which was later believed 
justifiable had the island been defended. 

Despite the absence of the Japanese, some few casualties to our forces 
did occur. In the early morning hours of 18 August the Abner Read hit 
a mine while on antisubmarine patrol. Her stern was blown off from 
frame 170 aft. She was towed by the Ute to Adak and placed alongside 
the destroyer tender Markab for temporary repairs prior to heading for 
the west coast. Her casualties were 1 dead, 70 missing, and 34 wounded 
and hospitalized. 

This Kiska operation (Cottage) was of some value in the practice it 
gave. Some lessons of what to do and what not to do were learned. 
Admiral Kinkaid commented: "The fact that the Japanese chose to 
evacuate rather than stay and fight, must in itself stand as the reward 
for the. officers and men of the United States and Canadian forces 
involved." Admiral Nimitz commented similarly: "The disappointment 
of our forces at the enemy's escape without engagement is fully appreci- 
ated. It should be realized, however, that the effort of preparation for 
this operation and the diversion of forces to it were by no means wasted, 
since our experience and proficiency were improved thereby; and the 
evacuation without resistance which was forced upon the enemy not 
only saved us inevitable heavy losses, but released ships, men, and 

In the Aleutians 85 

equipment for other theaters much earlier than would otherwise have 
been the case." 

With the reoccupation of Kiska the Aleutian campaign ended. 
Thenceforward to the end of the war, operations there were principally 
a matter of routine building up of shore facilities, with a raid now and 
then on the Kuriles. The scene henceforce shifted to the Central Pacific. 

Soon afterward Vice Admiral F. J. Fletcher relieved Vice Admiral 
Kinkaid, who was ordered to the Southwest Pacific to assume command 
of General JVIacArthur's naval force, the Seventh Fleet. 


Operation Galvanic (the Gilbert 


Mobile Service Squadrons Begin Growing— Service 
Squadron Four at Funafuti 

By fall of 1943, carriers were sufficiently numerous in the Pacific to 
1 begin attacks all along the enemy's eastern defense perimeter. 
(Until then our submarines had been carrying most of the war to the 
enemy in the Central Pacific.) For a start, plans were made to seize 
bases in the Gilbert Islands. The operation was known as "Galvanic." 
The assumption was that we needed airfields to contribute to future 
operations against the enemy. Vice Admiral Spruance's Central Pacific 
Force was therefore assigned the following mission: This force will 
seize, occupy, and develop Makin, Tarawa, and Abemama, and will 
vigorously deny Nauru to the enemy, in order to gain control of the 
Gilbert Islands and to prepare for operations against the Marshalls. 

Admiral Spruance's force was divided into three major groups. The 
total number of ships involved was 179, not including support vessels 
such as oilers and other naval auxiliaries operating at Funafuti, Espiritu, 
Nandi, and at sea, and commercial tankers, etc., all of which contributed 
to the success of this operation. The main divisions were the Assault 
Force of Rear Admiral R. K. Turner; Carrier Force, Rear Admiral C A. 
Pownall; Defense Force and Shore Based Air, Rear Admiral J. H. 
Hoover. The Assault Force itself was divided into Northern Attack, 
under Turner, and Southern, under Rear Admiral H. W. Hill. Each con- 
sisted of a transport group, a fire-support group, air-support or carrier 
group, mine-sweeper group, landing force, and LST and garrison groups. 
Admiral Pownall's main Carrier Force was in four groups: Interceptor, 
Northern Carrier, Southern Carrier, and Relief Carrier, commanded 


>S5> .1 


Operation Galvanic {the Gilbert Islands) 89 

respectively by Rear Admirals Pownall, A. W. Radford, A. E. Mont- 
gomery, and F. C. Sherman. The assaults began on 20 November 1943, 
and Makin, Tarawa, and Abemama atolls were occupied. This move 
involved the largest force of ships yet assembled in the Pacific and 
required somewhat more logistic consideration than previous operations. 

Admiral Nimitz, in his "Operations in the Pacific Ocean Area for 
November 1943," stated that the Galvanic operation involved 116 
combatant vessels and 75 auxiliaries, a total of 191. During September 
the Gilberts operation was largely in a stage of planning, organization, 
and assembling of men and supplies. Early in October specific training 
began. The vessels of the Assault Force were widely dispersed, but were 
brought together in two main groups, the Northern in the Hawaiian 
Area, the Southern in the New Hebrides. The former left Pearl Harbor 
9 November, the Southern sailing from Efate 12 November. Each 
received its initial supplies and services at the point of departure. 

These initial loads consisted, for both combat and auxiliary ships, of 
120 days' supply of dry provisions for ship's company and 45 days' 
supply for embarked troops; fresh provisions to capacity; clothing for ^( 
90 days; ship's store, 90 days; general stores, 120 days; fuel and ammuni- 
tion to authorized capacity. Generally speaking, each group refueled at 
sea while en route to the bombardment and landing rendezvous in each 
one's area, and each was accompanied by its own tankers. The Northern 
Attack Force was oiled by the Suamico, Commander R. E. Butterfield, 
and the Schuylkill, Commander F. E. Hardesty; the Southern by the 
Neches, Lieutenant Commander H. N. Hansen, and the Tallulah, Com- 
mander J. B. Goode. With the carrier groups, the Lackawanna, Com- 
mander A. L. Toney, and the Neosho, Commander D. G. McMillan, 
fueled the Northern force; the Neshanic, Commander A. C. Allen, oiled 
the Southern, and Admiral Sherman's Relief Carrier Group was cared for 
by the Tallulah. 

Battleships and destroyers of the Carrier Interceptor and Northern 
Carrier Groups had been at Nandi, Tomba Ko, and Viti Levu, all in the 
Fijis, prior to 7 November. The oiler Guadalupe came to Nandi 4 
November, replenished her cargo from the commerial tanker Fort 
Dearborn, and then fueled the Washington and Fletcher. The Neches fueled 
the Maryland, Portland, Mobile, and 4 others, went to Nandi, and filled 
up from the commercial oiler Pennsylvania Sun. The fueling anchorage 
was Lautoka, on the west coast of Viti Levu. The Platte, Commander 
C. H. Sigel, fueled the Indiana and 2 destroyers. Not all the oiler opera- 
tions are mentioned, but enough to show something of this phase of 


90 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

logistic support. During the Galvanic operation the 15 fleet oilers 
operated under a Task Group 16 designation (ComServPac) in task units 
of 3 each at designated areas for fueling at sea. 

In preparation for Galvanic, the Boreas, Commander E. E. Burgess, 
made issues of her fresh and frozen provisions at Havannah Harbor in 
the New Hebrides from 27 October to 10 November, and from 11 to 18 
November in Segond Channel at Espiritu Santo. She then returned to 
Oakland, California, to replenish her cargo of fresh, frozen, and dry 

During the preparatory period for Galvanic, the idea of giving logistic 
support from floating mobile bases had been approved, but it was not 
until November 1943 that the first unit, Squadron Four, under Captain 
Scull, came into active operation. It reached Funafuti in the Ellice 
Islands 21 November for services subsequent to D-day. Makin LST 
Groups One and Two and Tarawa LST Groups One and Two proceeded 
to Funafuti for servicing. The operation plan required that battle- 
damage-repair facilities be available there. 

Ammunition replacement was directed to be made from ships in the 
Samoa-Ellice area, but no names were given and no places designated in 
the logistic annex of the operation order. 

The Mobile Service Squadrons 

Early in the fall of 1943 Admiral Nimitz ordered Commander Service 
Force to organize two mobile service squadrons. The idea was that as it 
advanced across the Pacific the fleet would base on one, capture its next 
objective, and thereupon bring up the second. It would base on the 
second until still another forward area had been gained, whereupon the 
first service squadron would leapfrog over the second, and so on 
alternately. As will be seen later, this scheme was not used; but two 
service squadrons were nevertheless organized. 

As the plans were developing for the Gilbert Islands campaign it was 
thought that Funafuti atoll, 8 degrees south of the Equator, would offer 
a submarine-protected anchorage nearer the area of attack than either 
Pearl Harbor or Espiritu Santo, and would be desirable or perhaps even 
badly needed. It was to be a fueling anchorage and a place for holding 
in readiness such naval forces as might be required if the Japanese sent 
out any great naval strength in defense. It was also to be a place of 
retirement for damaged or crippled ships until temporary repairs enabled 

Operation Galvanic (the Gilbert Islands) 91 

them either to return to service or to proceed to a navy yard or base for 
complete restoration. 

Vice Admiral Calhoun designated his chief of staff, Captain H. M. 
Scull, as commander of the first service squadron to be formed, Squadron 
Four, to be based at Funafuti. It was commissioned 1 November 1943 
and consisted of the destroyer tender Cascade, Captain Samuel Ogden, 
flagship, and 23 other vessels ranging from the repair ships Phaon and 
Vestal down through tugs and patrol craft to fuel-oil barges and 500-ton 
lighters. Captain Ogden was chief staff officer in addition to his duties 
in commanding his ship. Rear Admiral Hoover had been ordered as 
Commander Aircraft Central Pacific to take station at Funafuti in the 
large seaplane tender Curtiss, which serviced the planes of Patrol 
Squadrons Fifty-three and Seventy-two. He was also senior officer 
present afloat, which actually made Scull's squadron a part of his 

The organizational scheme accorded with Admiral Spruance's opera- 
tion campaign order. This required that Commander Service Squadron 
Four establish and maintain a mobile supply base at Funafuti to supply 
the forces engaged; also that Four's assigned ships and others placed 
under its operational control should conform to the directives, plans, 
and needs of Commander Central Pacific Force (Spfuance). Operational 
control of harbor facilities in Funafuti was delegated to Scull by Admiral 
Hoover. The same command relationships were in force for the 
Marshalls campaign and the seizure of Kwajalein and Majuro; but in 
addition to Service Squadron Four, mention was made in Spruance's 
operation order that Squadron Ten was being assembled, and that both 
Four and Ten were under the operational control of Commander Defense 
Force and Land Based Air, Admiral Hoover, who later became Com- 
mander Forward Area, Central Pacific. 

Funafuti, Ellice Islands 

On 12 November 1943 the Curtiss, and on the 21st the Cascade, reached 
Funafuti. The former remained until 31 December, when she went on 
to Tarawa, the Cascade staying until February 1944. During the 
November-February period the Cascade, assisted by a rather limited 
assortment of yard craft, serviced 10 destroyers, 8 destroyer escorts, 6 
landing ships (tank), 6 landing craft (tank), and various smaller types. 
The repair ship Ajax, Captain J. L. Brown, was present under temporary 

92 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

control of Service Squadron Four, and made repairs to LST, LCT, and 
PC types. The Diesel-driven repair ship Luzon, Commander E. R. 
Runquist, repaired landing craft, and the Rainier, Commander R. B. 
Miller, issued ammunition to the heavy cruisers Chester and Pensacola. 
On 22 November the Vestal, Commander W. T. Singer, after a year's 
service at Espiritu Santo where she did great work on war-damage 
repairs, came to Funafuti. Three days later she was alongside the small 
carrier Independence to make emergency repairs— the first war-damage 
repair undertaken by Squadron Four. 

The Independence, torpedoed 20 November (D-day), her after engine 
room flooded, had a ruptured fire main, which left the after part of the 
ship without water pressure. Her No. 1 shaft vibrated and broke and had 
to be secured. Submersible pumps kept the after fireroom under control, 
though flooded. A magazine was also flooded. After the transfer of air- 
craft and spare parts, and the removal of ammunition and gasoline from 
the cripple, the Vestal removed damaged protruding plating, dewatered 
and made tight the third deck, installed pipe jumpers to provide fire- 
main pressure in the after part of the ship, and removed some blister 
plating. Her divers removed No. 1 propeller, and secured Nos. 2 and 3 
propellers together by a cable to prevent them from turning when the 
ship was under way. On 7 December the Independence sailed for Pearl, 
and thence to the United States for permanent repairs. 

The Vestal remained at Funafuti doing various repair jobs, large and 
small, of every description, including boiler repairs on the Massachusetts, 
gunsights on the South Dakota, radar work for the Washington, watertight 
doors for the Alabama, and putting back into operation a coding ma- 
chine on the North Carolina. The propellers of the carrier Bunker Hill 
were inspected by divers. The Vestal repaired the air pumps of the heavy 
cruiser Chester. These and dozens of trifling jobs, none significant in 
themselves but all going toward making the difference between efficient 
operation and high morale and inefficient operation and lowered morale, 
kept the Vestal busy until she sailed for Majuro on 30 January 1944 to 
tackle the damage resulting from a collision of the battleships Washington 
and Indiana and to become a valuable unit of Service Squadron Ten 
until the end of the war. These activities, of course, were only a part 
of the varied services rendered by Squadron Four at Funafuti. Mainte- 
nance and repair operations there did not involve many large jobs, nor 
were they so extensive as had been anticipated, and as later proved to be 
the case in other parts of the Pacific. 

Funafuti was not a good place because of the very rough water, which 

Operation Galvanic (the Gilbert Islands) 93 

made boating and servicing difficult for ships and seaplanes. Further- 
more, it lacked sufficient land area to make it much more than a very 
indifferent airplane base. There were no fleet recreation facilities, and 
while this may not seem important as a logistic item, it was. 

As soon as Tarawa was captured, most of the services except those for 
deep draft battleships and carriers were moved up to the Gilberts. It was 
soon clear that the enemy was not going to bring his navy out to con- 
tend for the Gilberts, and thereafter our heavy ships did not use Funafuti 
much but backed away to the better bases at Efate, Espiritu, Nandi, and 

214075 O-F-53 8 


Service Squadron Ten Organizing 

at Pearl 

Relationship of the Service Force Administrative 

Squadron Eight 

While the events just related were going on, Captain W. R. 
Carter was organizing the second of the mobile service squad- 
rons—Service Squadron Ten— at Pearl Harbor. It was realized from the 
beginning that the demands of such a group would exceed anything ever 
before experienced. The requirements would become steadily greater as 
the drive toward Japan drew farther away from Pearl while enemy 
resistance stiffened, and as the number of our vessels increased. 

The proposed duties of Ten as seen at the time of its organization 

Service Squadron Ten, a mobile base, will furnish logistic support, including 
general stores, provisions, fuel, ammunition, maintenance, repair, salvage, and such 
other services as necessity may dictate in the support of an advanced major fleet 
anchorage in the Central Pacific Area. It will furnish similar logistic support to Navy 
and Marine shore-based units not otherwise provided for in the area, as well as Army 
units which may be prescribed from time to time by the Commander in Chief, 
Pacific Ocean Areas. When Service Squadron Ten or units of it are at an advanced 
base, it will furnish such services and supplies as any of our armed forces thereat may 
require and the existing circumstances and capabilities permit. 

The Commander Service Squadron Ten is responsible to Commander Service 
Force, Pacific Fleet, for the accomplishment of the tasks which may be assigned 
Service Force in advanced areas where the operations of Central Pacific Forces are 
being conducted. The operations of the squadron will conform to the directives, 
plans, and needs of Commander Central Pacific Force, with administrative and 
general direction by Commander Service Force. Vessels will be assigned to Squadron 
Ten in accordance with need, availability, policy, and directives of higher command. 
It is anticipated that Commander Central Pacific will designate this unit or certain 
vessels of it as a task group or groups to function as, when, and where it may be 


96 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

The composition of vessels, surface craft, and auxiliary equipment making up or 
under the operational administration of the Service Squadron will include provisions 
stores ships or barges, barracks ships, oil tankers, hospital ships, destroyer tenders, 
hydrographic survey ships, net cargo ships, net tenders, repair ships, pontoon 
assembly ships, submarine chasers, motor torpedo boats, picket boats, rearming 
boats, buoy boats, harbor tugs, salvage tugs, self-propelled lighters, ammunition 
barges, salvage barges, garbage barges, repair barges, floating drydocks, degaussing 
vessels, floating cranes, salvage vessels, net gate barges, and any other types 
considered necessary and ordered to the Squadron. 

Fleet combatant vessels which Squadron Ten will service will include battleships, 
cruisers, light, heavy, and antiaircraft, carriers of the fleet, cruiser and escort types, 
destroyers, destroyer escorts, mine sweepers, -LST's, LCI's, and miscellaneous smaller 
craft. Attack transports, attack cargo, and similar vessels of the assault forces are 
considered to fall in this classification. 

To estimate the vessels, equipment, and personnel closely to meet 
such requirements there seemed to be no formula; certainly there was 
not sufficient experience for guidance. It seemed best therefore to make 
the estimates, and considered guesses, generous. The vessels, the admin- 
istrative staff of officers, and the enlisted personnel needed were 
estimated and submitted to various offices for discussion, opinion, 
advice, and approval. It was fully recognized that this was a new sort of 
organization which must be flexible and therefore subject to consider- 
able change. However, no one estimated by what could be called even a 
close guess the amounts the changes would eventually be to handle fleet 
logistics. For example, in discussing the matter with Commander 
Destroyers Pacific, his staff estimated that 4 destroyer tenders were 
needed, but CinCPac staff could only see a maximum of 3, with 2 as a 
starter. The squadron was not in service a month before it had 3, a 
month later a fourth, and in May 1945, 9. Three repair ships were esti- 
mated as needed, but only 2 were at first assigned, though the third, a 
new one, was promised if, when commissioned, there seemed to be no 
more important assignment. That was not much of an estimate when 
we find that the squadron in May 1945 had 17 of all types, not counting 
repair barges and salvage and rescue vessels. 

Service Squadron Eight 

Service Squadron Eight, already mentioned as one of the administrative 
subdivisions of the Service Force, with its headquarters at Pearl, was of 
vital importance. Notwithstanding all that has been or still may be said 

Service Squadron Ten Organizing at Pearl 97 

of the work of Service Squadron Ten, that squadron was to a consider- 
able degree an outpost of Eight. Without the efficient backing of Eight, 
Ten could never have served the fleet as it did. In the reorganization of 
August 1942 the duties of Eight were set forth by CinCPac. 

(a) The general functions of Service Squadron Eight are the supply, transporta- 
tion, and distribution of fuel oil, Diesel oil, lubricating oils, gasolines, provisions, 
general stores, and ammunition to the fleet and bases. 

(b) All Service Force oilers, provision ships, stores issue ships, and ammunition 
ships are assigned to Service Squadron Eight. Chartered tankers and chartered provi- 
sion ships are also assigned to this squadron, and, at Pearl Harbor, self-propelled 
barges and small craft are included for the delivery to ships of fuels, provisions, and 

(c) Commander Service Squadron Eight is directly responsible for the administra- 
tion and operation of the Squadron to best meet the logistic requirements of the fleet 
and bases and to comply with directives of the Commander Service Force. 

(d) Requests by ships at Pearl Harbor for fuels, provisions, stores, and water will 
be made direct to Commander Service Squadron Eight, except where otherwise 
directed by current instructions. 

At the end of March 1943, when Captain (later Commodore) A. H. 
Gray became Commander Service Squadron Eight, the unit had 44 
vessels, with the promise that 18 fuel-oil and gasoline tankers were to 
report within the near future. Of the 44 commissioned and in service, 4 
were ammunition ships, 6 carried provisions, 3 were small general-cargo 
vessels, 1 was a general stores issue, 3 were hospital transports of the 
evacuation type, and the remaining 27 fleet tankers. A year later, shortly 
after Ten had started operations at Majuro, Squadron Eight had a total 
of no less than 430 vessels assigned to it, though of that number 121 
were operated by SoPac and other commands. These ships included 
everything from ammunition carriers and oilers to small craft, water 
and garbage barges, and lighters. 

Squadron Eight was organized and functioned on the basis of the old- 
time squadron. At the top was Commander Service Squadron Eight, 
supported by a chief staff officer who had various sections to carry out 
all normal squadron functions: Operations, communications, material 
(maintenance), and supply. This latter was divided further into four 
divisions to handle fuel, provisions, general stores, and freight. The flag 
secretary also acted as personnel officer who had mail and files under 
him. The operations and communications sections were not wholly self- 
sufficient as they relied on Service Force operations and communications 
for such basic functions as writing operation orders and handling 
incoming and outgoing radio traffic. Routine and surprise inspections of 

98 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

Eight's vessels were carried out under the operations officer, whenever 
the locations and missions of the ships made this practical. 

The first time in the Central Pacific that large numbers of fleet units 
remained away from permanent bases for long periods was during the 
Gilberts campaign. Up to this time oilers had fueled units at sea to in- 
crease their steaming radius on strikes by task forces or groups. But now, 
with this operation, the time at sea was to be until the assignment or 
mission was completed, which of course was for an indeterminable 

Fuel was still the major item transferred at sea. To assist in this, the 
Chief of Staff of ComServRon 8, Captain E. E. Pare, went forward as a 
task-unit commander. Ships were spotted in groups of 3 at prescribed 
points, and 28 fleet oilers shuttled back and forth between these points 
and Pearl Harbor. In addition to petroleum products they carried a lim- 
ited amount of provisions and other stores which were transferred to the 
ships being oiled, both being in motion. Such transfers met with 
enthusiastic support, especially from the smaller ships, and this success 
again showed the potentialities of transfers at sea on a much larger scale. 
Discussion arose as to the advisability of making tankers general-issue 
ships to a greater extent; but it was concluded that while they should 
continue to make issues of provisions and general and other stores to as 
great an extent as possible, their primary mission of fueling should not 
be sacrificed or delayed in any way. 

During the Gilberts operation, fueling at sea was done at predeter- 
mined fueling rendezvous which changed daily to avoid confusion and 
unnecessary radio traffic and to minimize the possibility of submarine 
attack. For the Marshalls operation, however, the areas around Kwajalein 
were too small to make this procedure seem practical because of other 
atolls and enemy-held bases. On the other hand, areas to the eastward of 
the Marshalls (which could have been used as we used those to the east- 
ward, and later to the westward, of the Gilberts) were too far away from 
Kwajalein. At the insistent recommendation of Admiral Spruance the 
atoll of Majuro was taken at the commencement of the operation. This 
was due first to the necessity of getting a base secure from submarine 
attack for fueling, repairs, etc., and second to the desirability of build- 
ing additional airfields to protect shipping moving to and from Kwaja- 
lein, since the Joint Chiefs of Staff had directed Admiral Nimitz to send 
the fleet south after the capture of Kwajalein to support Admiral 
Halsey's operations. As originally planned this would have left Kwaja- 
lein ringed with Japanese bases which had their air pipeline back to 

Service Squadron Ten Organizing at Pearl 99 

Japan intact, and that without the necessity of their fleet support. The 
change in plans to take Eniwetok cut the pipeline and eliminated a 
possible build-up of Japanese air strength in the Marshalls. In addi- 
tion, the orders for our fleet to go south were canceled after a few small 
units had left for their destination. 

The result was that after fueling en route at certain rendezvous as had 
been done throughout the Gilberts operation those vessels did their 
subsequent fueling at Majuro, and to a limited extent within the atoll of 
Kwajalein. . 

Prior to 1944 much of the fuel had been transported from the west J 
coast to Pearl Harbor, other bases, and to the fleet, in Navy oilers. Even | ^ 
though tankers of large capacity were reporting every month, the \ 
demands on them increased so rapidly that from the Marshall campaign 
onward the fleet oilers were confined to acting primarily as distribution ** 
vessels direct to the fleet ships. The long haul from southern California, j, y 
and the longer one from the Caribbean through the Panama Canal, was 
made almost entirely by an endless chain of large commercial tankers, 
which discharged to the fleet oilers in such anchorages as Majuro, 
Eniwetok, and Ulithi. 

While ammunition ships were assigned to Squadron Eight for admin- 
istrative control and maintenance, as a practical matter their operation 
and schedules were under CinCPac gunnery officer who arranged for 
their loading at west coast depots and coordinated their movements to 
meet the combatant ships between strikes or at strategic points in the 
Western Pacific. The need for ammunition of all types became so great 
that AE-class (cargo capacity 6,000 to 7,000 tons) ships were not avail- 
able in sufficient numbers, so ten 17-knot Victory ships were com- ~"7 *" 
missioned in the Navy and assigned as additional ammunition carriers. ( 
As the war drew toward a close, several AK-class cargo ships, with-* 
capacity of 4,000 to 5,000 tons in general, were being especially fitted 
for transferring ammunition at sea. They were intended to serve chiefly 
with Squadron Six close to the Third or the Fifth Fleet, though they 
were assigned to the administrative and maintenance control of Squadron 

Special Type Ships Useful 

Some of the vessels controlled by Squadron Ten for operations but as- 
signed to Eight for administrative control were types entirely new in 
design and purpose. Outstanding for the work they performed were 13 

100 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

large concrete barges, not self-propelled but having substantial Diesel- 
, electric power aboard for refrigeration (some had 3 holds so equipped), 
cooking, lighting, and minor power requirements; 366 feet long, they 
had crews of about 55 men and 3 officers. These barges permitted the 
stowage and issue of large quantities of dry provisions, general stores, 
clothing, small stores, ship's service items, and a substantial amount of 
medical requisites. On several of the barges there were large bakeries and 
butcher shops as well as refrigerated storage designed especially to 
permit small craft and patrol vessels to receive as good a diet and as 
many so-called luxuries as were furnished on the larger self-contained 
combat ships. More than 7,000 items were carried. Many of the barges 
served an average of 600 ships in a typical month. One barge was lost in 
a typhoon off Saipan, but the remaining 12 served ably until the end of 
the war, giving Squadron Ten much needed storage space afloat, and 
releasing a number of self-propelled cargo ships that would either have 
had to be assigned as station ships or have been materially delayed on 
each trip by making issues to the fleet. 

Not only did the concrete issue barges receive many cargoes packed 
and sent direct to them, but they were able to take remnants from ships 
leaving the forward area. The remnants might otherwise have been 
returned to the west coast for lack of space or facilities to put them on 
the beach at some new or remote base. The disadvantage of the barges 
was their need of powerful towing vessels when a major move was 
undertaken; but in a critical period of the war they furnished facilities 
and services which otherwise could not have been provided. In addition 
to the 13 for provisions and supplies, there were others of similar hull 
design for the bulk storage of fuel oil and gasoline, each holding up to 
66,000 barrels. 

Another especially designed type was the distilling ship. Water 
became a major problem in the middle of the largest of all oceans. There 
was little or no fresh water on many atolls while the demands for it on 
islands with some supply were too great for the local sources. Another 
major factor in water requirement was the fact that hundreds of small 
vessels were not equipped with their own distilling apparatus or found 
their tank capacity insufficient when at sea for extended periods. To 
supply water, several new tankers of the oiler and gasoline tanker types 
were employed for more than a year solely in transporting pure water 
from supply points at Oa'hu, Guam, and Manus to anchorages where 
the fleet was temporarily based, such as Eniwetok or Ulithi. In the com- 
paratively short I wo Jima operation 22,000,000 gallons of water were 

Service Squadron Ten Organizing at Pearl 101 

supplied to the participating vessels. Toward the end of hostilities spe- 
cial distilling ships were operating. The first two were converted Liberty 
ships, with distilling capacity of 120,000 gallons a day and storage for 
5,040,000 gallons. Larger ships were completed just as the war ended. 

A third type of more or less special equipment was a barge which 
sometimes was unmanned, sometimes carried six to 12 men. These 
barges varied from 125 -ton and 250-ton open lighters to 2,000-ton steel 
craft, of which there were approximately 70, with large superstructure 
and a deep hold. This barge fleet developed from a small number of 
lighters, scows, and barges used by the Navy in 1941 and employed for 
garbage, scrap, local supplies, and minor repairs at various navy yards 
.and stateside bases. With the outbreak of war the building program was 
stepped up drastically, and many old barges were purchased from com- 
mercial companies. The first ones were towed to the South Pacific by 
tankers and merchant ships for the most part, as seagoing tugs were 
needed for more urgent work. The tows stopped en route at Bora Bora 
in the Society Islands, at Tongatabu in the Tonga group, Tutuila and 
Upolu in Samoa. Some were lost in storms or as a result of broken tow- 
lines. Later in the war many pontoon barges were assembled from stand- 
ardized units or cells held together by prefitted steel beams, angles, rods, 
etc., nicknamed "jewelry." Some were linked together to form piers. 
Some barges had "seamule" power units attached and became self- 
propelled for harbor work. Useful lighters and barges for shipside dis- 
charge were made by linking up units of 10 cells long by 4 wide, or 
larger. Where deep water and good harbors existed, larger and more 
substantial barges were needed, and the pontoon units were mostly an 
expedient makeshift. The largest groups were of 500-ton capacity steel 
barges, 110 feet long; 40 wooden barges, commercially designed and 
built, 194 feet long, of ship hull model, with a capacity of 1,300 tons in 
6 deep holds; and the previously mentioned 2,000-ton steel units. These 
were excellent for storage, but came to the Pacific with no cranes, 
booms, or handling gear. Traveling caterpillar cranes on the reinforced 
top deck, or swing booms, were improvised and installed, but valuable 
time was lost in making such installations and the best of them were 
never quite satisfactory. Barges in the forward area without efficient 
handling gear were of only limited value. 

Supplies moved across the broad reaches of the Pacific largely in 
Squadron Eight ships and barges, or in ships under its control. Then 
they passed to operational control of Squadron Ten in the forward area 
anchorages recently set up or taken from the enemy. In spite of the 

102 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

broad functions originally assigned to Squadron Eight and the manner 
in which the squadron had expanded in number of ships, logistic plan- 
ning and the complexity of the war increased even faster. The first 
change in Squadron Eight's internal organization came in July 1944 
when, at the request of the Army-Navy Petroleum Board in Washing- 
ton, a separate Area Petroleum Office was established within Eight, its 
supply officer. Captain C. F. House, also becoming area petroleum officer 
for the Pacific Ocean Areas as well as remaining fleet fuel officer. By 
December the magnitude of this office was such as to warrant its separa- 
tion from Squadron Eight because much of its work concerned high- 
octane gasoline used primarily by the Army, and it was desirable to have 
the Army Air Force represented in the Area Petroleum Office. Ulti- 
mately, Army staffed about one third of it. This change in oil logistics 
removed from Squadron Eight the responsibility for several hundred 
merchant tankers and much of the future planning, but all fleet oilers 
remained within Eight, as did local fuel distribution at Pearl Harbor and 
throughout the Hawaiian and so-called "Line Islands." 

Next to fuel, and probably parallel with it in importance, was the 
.responsibility for provisioning the fleet. For the first 2 years of the war 
all ships carrying fresh, frozen, and dry provisions were ships within 
Eight. Early in 1944, when the logistic requirements grew faster than 
the squadron, War Shipping Administration vessels were allocated to 
carry provisions, being placed under the operational control of Eight. 
This was essential for coordination of their schedules with those of the 
squadron refrigerator and issue ships. Before the war and until the cam- 
paign in the Central Pacific was stepped up late in 1943 and early in 
1944, provision ships had carried mixed cargoes of refrigerated and dry 
provisions for a balanced issue to ships needing foodstuffs. As the fleet 
demands increased there was a scarcity of refrigerated ships, so it was 
necessary for each to carry the absolute maximum of frozen and chilled 
items. This cut down their space for dry provisions. The only solution 
was to employ additional cargo ships, with little or no refrigerated space, 
to carry dry provisions, planning their schedules so that they would be 
at the same anchorage or bases as the refrigerated ships in order to make 
balanced issues to large numbers of combat vessels. Each dry-provision 
Liberty ship carried approximately 5,300 tons or 420,000 cubic feet of 
bulk provisions, clothing, ship's service supplies, and medical items. 

With the establishment of the Force Supply Office, the head of which 
was also fleet supply officer, more and more of the earlier duties of 
Squadron Eight were being absorbed by it. The magnitude of the war 

Service Squadron Ten Organizing at Pearl 103 

carried the supply problem beyond the scope of any one squadron. Co- 
ordination of supplies among many activities, not only within the Navy 
but with the Army and Marine Corps, was essential. The fleet supply 
officer serving on the staff of CinCPac as well as ComServPac was the 
logical person in whom such authority for coordination should rest. He 
was concerned only with supply. The scheduling, planning, and operat- 
ing of many ships, and their administration, remained in Squadron Eight. 
There was some duplication and overlapping, but on the whole, through 
close contact and mutual understanding of the over-all objective, efficient 
joint schedules were worked out. 

As the fleet remained indefinitely away from port (meaning Pearl, 
principally) following the Marshalls campaign, a great need for special 
freight deliveries grew up. Ships needed spare parts and specialized 
equipment not available in the general stores but required by individual 
ships and specifically ordered by them. At the outset this freight was 
handled by sending materials to forward bases for future delivery to con- 
signee vessels, via Squadron Eight ships, but meetings and schedules did 
not always work out as planned. Frequently consignee and carrying 
vessels neither met nor found a third agency available to make delivery. 

The magnitude of the freight handling and the failure of combat ships 
to return to ports where freight awaited them developed a most unsatis- 
factory situation. This led to the institution of a special freight service 
and the eventual assignment in January 1945 of eight medium-size cargo 
vessels to Squadron Eight to move fleet freight from points of origin to 
the forward area, and also to move it within the forward area to destina- 
tions where final delivery could be made. When congestion at such 
major bases as Guam and Samar made it unwise or impossible to set 
freight on the beach, a system of floating storage barges under Squadron 
Ten was established. This had the advantage of keeping fleet freight 
mobile and avoiding the danger of setting it on the beach to be for- 
gotten or mixed with base freight, besides lessening requirements for 
construction of facilities ashore to be later abandoned. In the closing 
months of the war the transportation section of the Fleet Supply Office 
took over the responsibility of controlling fleet freight at Pearl Harbor 
and from the west coast, retaining this and the broader aspects of the 
supply problem as part of its logistic function. 

When the war suddenly ended, Squadron Eight was of a size never 
contemplated when it was created and commissioned 4 years before. In 
July 1945 the commissioned ships under its administrative command, 
and often partially or wholly under its operational control, numbered 

104 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

365, ranging through every type from big troop-carrying cargo ships 
down to barges. Besides the 365, 36 of which were still to report, there 
were 388 barges (92 still to report), noncommissioned but all of them 
"in service" craft. The growth of the squadron also is indicated by its 
personnel: 5,000 men in March 1943; more than 65,000 in August 1945. 
To all these ships and men must be added the merchant vessels, allo- 
cated by the War Shipping Administration for transportation of dry 
provisions, whose schedules had to be coordinated carefully with those 
of Navy ships in Eight in loading at such ports as San Francisco, Oak- 
land, San Pedro, and Seattle, and in arriving at half a dozen major bases 
and anchorages in the Western Pacific. On many of these vessels there 
were Squadron Eight storekeepers and an issuing supply officer. 

It is stating only the obvious to say that naval ships cannot fight 
properly without adequate ammunition, and that speed cannot be made 
without fuel. For these necessities ships are entirely dependent upon the 
supply lines. The function of Squadron Eight in the Service Force was 
to schedule, load, and transport logistic support vital to the forward 
areas, where it could be distributed to the fleet by the mobile Service 
Squadron or by the shore bases concerned. In performing this function 
Squadron Eight was perhaps the most important factor in the whole 
supply line. It carried out its duties unfailingly, under many difficulties 
and shortages of all sorts, including shortages of vessels and men. There 
never was a raid, attack, or full-scale operation which was delayed or 
handicapped by any failure of Service Squadron Eight, probably the only 
supply train in the history of warfare with such a record. Thus it can be 
seen why Service Squadron Ten was so dependent upon Service Squad- 
ron Eight, why it was in a sense a distributing outpost of Eight. 


Early Composition and Organization 
of Service Squadron Ten 

Ordnance Logistics— Administration of Ordnance 
Spare Parts and Fleet Ammunition 

HOW many VESSELS of different types would be required in Squadron 
Ten to perform outpost duties was a difficult question. It was 
known, let us say, how much fuel a ship held. It could be figured how 
much she would burn under given conditions— but no one could tell 
what those conditions would be. So a high estimate— or what was then 
considered very high— was made of all conditions governing fuel, am- 
munition, stores, and maintenance. This included estimated possible 
losses due to enemy action, an appropriate added factor of safety since 
the basic estimates were little better than intelligent guesswork. The 
first assumed requirements of Service Squadron Ten were 20,000 tons of 
dry storage, 3,500 tons of ammunition storage in 7 covered barges, 
495,000 barrels of black fuel oil, 55,000 gallons of aviation gasoline, and 
10,000 barrels of Diesel oil. Estimated floating equipment was: 

1 barracks vessel (to quarter 60 officers 

and 1,000 men) 

2 AR large repair ships 
4 YR repair barges 

1 AFD small floating drydock (1,000-ton 

1 ARD medium floating drydock (3,000- 
ton lift) 

1 ABSD large floating drydock 80,000- 
ton lift) 

3 AD large destroyer tenders 
1 AGS survey ship 

1 AH hospital ship 

4 AT ocean-going tugs 
4 YT harbor tugs 
4 ATR rescue tugs 

2 ARS salvage ships 

1 salvage barge (to be stocked with 
beaching gear, pumps, diving gear, 
underwater cutting gear, etc.) 

1 AK pontoon assembling ship, with 
unit set up on board to turn out 
pontoon lighters (one per day) 

1 AKN net cargo ship 


106 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

2 YN net tenders 1 twenty-ton lifting capacity crane 

2 AN net layers 2 YW water barges 

1 ten-ton crane on pontoon barge 6 SC patrol ships 

1 YNG pontoon barge gate vessel 12 PT 

10 one-hundred-ton self-propelled pon- 10 picket boats 

toon barges (all pontoon craft to be 50 LCP and LCM boats 

made by AK above) 1 YSD degaussing barge 

4 YG pontoon garbage barges 6 YMS mine sweepers 

Distillation of fresh water was already seen as a problem, a problem 
which lasted until the end of the war, 19 months later. It was desired 
to have enough oil and ammunition stowage space in old, slow tankers 
and barges so that the fast oilers and ammunition carriers would not be 
delayed in their turn-around runs for new supplies. Underwater repairs 
could not be attempted until floating drydocks arrived, but the repair 
ships and destroyer tenders would meantime attempt all possible repairs 
above the water line and divers would do what they could below. 

The requirements of personnel and daily creature comforts were not 
overlooked. From the first it was intended to operate a disbursing office 
for small craft, boats, and barges; to carry and issue clothing and small 
stores, with all types of general stores; to develop and supervise recrea- 
tional and swimming areas on beaches as near as possible to fleet anchor- 
ages; to have one or more hospital ships in the area as circumstances 
required; and to give attention to the sick and wounded at all times. 
Knowing that local harbor conditions would vary considerably from 
place to place, the squadron assumed responsibility for laying out and 
marking definite anchorages and moorings; setting out nets, even to the 
point of individual ship protection if warranted; for patrolling harbors 
and entrances, and sweeping for mines if necessary. To provide the fleet 
with local intership transportation and lighter service was a job in itself 
when all facilities were afloat. No ships other than transports any longer 
carried boats, and there were no wharves or piers for supplies, 
repairs, and other desiderata. It meant water transportation for official 
business, freight, stores, ammunition, recreation— everything. 

When the number of boats listed as needed was noted, there were 
anguish, doubt, denial, and incredulity. Even when it was shown that 
in peacetime, boats carried by the carriers, battleships, heavy cruisers, 
and destroyers of the Fifth Fleet totaled 592, and the total of all types 
asked for by Squadron Ten was less than 100, there was still reluctance 
to concede them. Even after the figures were admitted to be correct it 
was never possible to get all the boats there should have been. 

Service Squadron Ten was commissioned at Pearl Harbor 15 January 

Early Composition and Organizing of Service Squadron Ten 107 

1944, at which time there were formally assigned to it one destroyer 
tender, one large repair ship, one survey ship, two ocean tugs, one har- 
bor tug, and seven YF freight or ammunition barges of 500 tons each. 
It was not much, but it could be expanded by ordering vessels to it for 
operational control, which was done. The organization was a simple, 
straight-line one which easily permitted expansion and flexibility. 

Ordnance Logistics 

JFor the first 2 V2 years of the war the Fleet Gunnery Officer of CinCPac 
staff was the controlling agent for ammunition and ordnance material. 
With the increasing tempo of 1944 these duties left him insufficient 
time for the practical matters of gunnery officer and combat readiness, 
so in June 1944 an ordnance section was formed in the logistic division 
of CinCPoa. Thenceforward most of Squadron Ten's ammunition and 
ordnance materials were obtained through this section, whose activity, 
cooperation, and efficiency made for great improvement and more ease 
of distribution by Ten. Captain T. B. Hill, chief of section; Captain E. M. 
Eller, executive assistant; and Commanders M. A. Peterson and S. M. 
Archer were vigilant and active, did not confine themselves to the office, 
and were all over the Pacific helping, coordinating, listening to troubles, 
and furnishing great assistance in personnel, vessels, and materials and 
with improvement in loading and stowage at continental points of ship- 
ment. The principal function of this ordnance section was to supply (1) 
naval ordnance spare parts, (2) ammunition for naval ships and aircraft, 
(3) aircraft ammunition for the B-29's, and (4) ground ammunition. 
Fleet logistics are directly concerned only with the first and second of 

Theoretically the ordnance section was a policy organization for all 
ordnance logistics in the Pacific. Sometimes, however, it did more than 
develop policy— it implemented it. Where an adequate subordinate 
organization existed, such as the ordnance section of Commander Service 
Force Staff, much of the work was delegated. Usually its policy organiza- 
tion did not provide detailed plans. For naval ammunition, however, it 
did. Its responsibility was to have sufficient ammunition at the right 
place at the right time. The development of outlying dumps, the 
increase of the auxiliary fleet, the floating storage in advanced anchor- 
ages, and the under-way resupply were all factors contributing to the 
operations of the fleet, away from naval bases for indefinite periods. 

108 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

The preceding page is a general discussion of ordnance logistics. Let us 
examine in some detail (1) Ordnance Spare Parts, and (2) Fleet Ammu- 

Ordnance Spare Parts 

During the early stages of the war, distribution of ordnance spare parts 
was accomplished by established fleet bases and through distribution to 
forces afloat by requisition from continental depots. Stocking spare parts 
in advanced areas and in the fleet afloat had not been general practice. 
As war in the Pacific progressed farther and farther from established 
bases it became apparent that a better, speedier method of distribution 
was essential. 

The first step was to increase the spare parts on repair ships and 
tenders of all classes. Commander Service Force Pacific shouldered most 
of the responsibility for making this a workable scheme. As the South 
Pacific campaign increased in intensity, and the ships assigned to that 
area— with insufficient tenders— extended their time away from Pearl 
Harbor, the need for more land-based stocks of critical ordnance spares 
at advanced bases became apparent. The base at Espiritu Santo was 
stocked by its naval supply depot. The inventory was in accordance with 
allowance lists compiled by the Bureau of Ordnance. At the same time, 
its naval supply depot tried to anticipate critical and fast-used items. 

Difficulties were encountered. Development had been so rapid that 
the continental agencies had no definite experience of the quantities of 
items constituting a balanced inventory. Consequently many sets of 
parts arrived with excesses, or infrequently used parts and shortages of 
commonly used ones. Peacetime experience was of little help in deter- 
mining what parts would be in demand under war conditions. There 
was also, during the early part of the war, an actual shortage. The manu- 
facture of spares was generally in competition with the procurement of 
complete assemblies for new vessels being rushed toward completion. 
Gradually improvement came, and while not the perfect answer, the 
ordnance-spare-parts facilities at Espiritu were a great help. 

Prior to the Central Pacific campaign the functional components of 
advanced bases as established by the Chief of Naval Operations proved 
very good. Each component afforded a previously estimated number of 
men and amount of equipment for a given quantity of ordnance material. 
It was not perfect, but its wastes and shortcomings were more than 
offset by the faster planning it permitted, the uniform understanding 
of its size, quantities, and requirements for shipping space and land 

Early Composition and Organizing of Service Squadron Ten 109 

facilities at destinations. With the beginning of the Central Pacific cam- 
paign, however, the limited land areas of the atolls did not permit 
establishment of large shore facilities. Moreover, our planners began to 
realize that any activity which could function afloat had the advantage 
of quick advance by reason of its mobility, something no shore-fixed 
facility could give. 

Accordingly, the CinCPoa ordnance section decided that the major 
source of ordnance spare parts should be the stocking of ships under 
Commander Service Squadron Ten, with responsibility for its success 
upon that officer under Commander Service Force Pacific. Fleet units 
were to be replenished and repaired while in advanced anchorages. By 
spring of 1944 it became evident that a larger supply of heavy ordnance 
spares was needed in the forward area. Recommendations for the stock- 
ing of the unclassified concrete vessel Corundum were made and approval 
obtained. The craft was towed forward to Service Squadron Ten at 
Eniwetok in the summer of 1944. She carried complete mount assem- 
blies as well as sets of spare parts similar to those stocked by repair ships 
and the various tenders. She could supply ships up to and including 
light cruisers. The scheme was new, but it worked time and again, 
avoiding the sending of a ship thousands of miles to a navy yard, or 
doing without the replacement. 

In January 1945 an ordnance parts depot was established as an annex 
to the Naval Supply Depot at Guam. Its responsibility was to stock all 
parts for guns that could be installed from tenders or by the Guam 
facilities. This Guam depot profited by all the earlier mistakes of its 
prototype at Espiritu and by the experience gained in the interval 
between the two. It was consequently better as well as bigger. 

All key points in the Pacific from which the fleet operated were 
covered by facilities for ordnance-spare-parts distribution before the war 
ended. Fleet anchorages such as Ulithi and Leyte had the floating storage 
of Service Squadron Ten with the small critical items which could be 
installed by tenders. The base at Guam was well stocked with all items, 
not only to supply its land-based facilities but the needs of the tenders 
and other floating units, whenever time did not permit the latter to 
await delivery from the United States. "A large amount of credit was 
due to Service Force and its subordinate Service Squadron Ten for pro- 
viding complete and efficient organization for distribution of all ord- 
nance spare parts whether they came from afloat or ashore. The work 
of Service Squadron Ten in installing these spares was of the highest 
quality." (From a historical report of CinCPoa ordnance section.) 

214075 O-F-53 9 

110 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

Fleet Ammunition 

The need for fleet ammunition in large quantities during the early 
stages of the war did not develop and never became a matter of large- 
scale expenditure, with a corresponding quick replenishment on a 
gigantic scale, until after we started the Central Pacific drive. The am- 
munition depots at Noumea and Espiritu have already been indicated. 
These, with the large Naval Ammunition Depot at Oahu, supplied most 
of the fleet needs until this drive began. These depots were supplied by 
shipments from the west coast, mostly made in naval ammunition ships 
which at first did very little direct supplying to the ships of the fleet. 

With the Central Pacific drive came unusually heavy shore bombard- 
ments by ships' guns and unusually heavy bombing by carrier planes. 
It was soon apparent that shore-based ammunition storage was inade- 
quate. A supply flexible enough to meet the changing requirements of 
the fleet had to be developed. Therefore, to keep pace with the opera- 
tions, most of it had to come from ammunition ships at the fleet 
anchorages. To Commander Service Squadron Ten was given responsi- 
bility for the forward area operation of the vessels and the distribution 
of the ammunition. 

All fleet ammunition was shipped by specific request. Ordering was 
usually by dispatch from the ordnance section of logistic division of 
CinCPoa through CinCPac to Bureau of Ordnance and Commander 
Western Sea Frontier for action, with information copies to Commander 
Service Squadron Ten and type commanders. The Bureau of Ordnance 
provided the ammunition to be embarked, the sailing date, and destina- 
tion. Commander Western Sea Frontier provided loading lists showing 
actual departure loading. The ships went to Commander Service Squad- 
ron Ten, who made issues and reloaded vessels as required. Weekly 
inventories were submitted to CinCPac by him for each ship under his 
operational control, showing the changes which had taken place in the 
original departure loading, thus giving a current inventory for all 
ammunition ships. 

As the war progressed the need for floating supply increased. Ten 
Victory ships were converted, refitted for ammunition handling, and 
given a capacity of 7,000 tons each. These 10 and the Navy AE's were 
all Navy-manned and they formed the backbone of the ammunition 
fleet. Many War Shipping Administration (WSA) vessels were later 
employed for ammunition shipping; so, too, were LST's, the latter par- 
ticularly for assault supplies. At the end of the war more than 50 percent 

Early Composition and Organizing of Service Squadron Ten 111 

of the ammunition was being carried by WSA ships. Some type loading 
was developed, and whenever conditions of time, availability, etc., per- 
mitted it was found to have advantages. Two of these were the bom- 
bardment loading and the fast-carrier-group loading. The former 
provided a supply chiefly for the old battleships, cruisers, destroyers, 
and vessels engaged principally in bombardment of enemy shore posi- 
tions. The fast-carrier-type loading provided ammunition for fast 
carriers, new battleships, cruisers, and destroyers making up the fast 
carrier task force, and consisted of bombs and antiaircraft and aircraft 
ammunition. A carrier-escort-support-ship-type load was also tried, but 
not to any extent. 

The principal source of distribution for combatant ships was Service 
Squadron Ten, a movable and flexible supply. As our forces progressed 
across the Pacific, Ten moved, and with it moved the ammunition car- 
riers. Many of them constantly underwent stowage rearrangement to 
meet current expenditures more readily. Stock levels were determined on 
the basis of rounds per gun. All action reports were received by CinCPac 
and analyzed by his ordnance section. Expenditures were tabulated and 
formed the basis for determining requirements for future operations. 
Allowances were made for changes in ships to be employed. 

The fleet could always be supplied at sizable anchorages. Long experi- 
ments with transfer of ammunition under way at sea were conducted, 
and with certain structural and rigging changes encouraging results were 
obtained. This led to the assignment in Service Squadron Six of certain 
fleet ammunition ships especially rigged for such transfers. 

With the successful completion of the Marianas campaign, the Naval 
Ammunition Depot on Guam and the Naval Magazine at Saipan were 
developed. They were to be of 30,000 tons and 10,000 tons capacity, 
respectively. Their secondary function was to make fleet issues. While 
shipping was available, Squadron Ten was the chief source of fleet 
supply, the shore storage to provide a reserve for the possibility that 
Squadron Ten might be unable to meet the demand. It was also a reserve 
upon which Ten could draw to fill temporary shortages caused by 
unusual consumption, losses, or spoiling. The stock to be maintained 
at each naval shore establishment was determined by the ordnance 
section of CinCPac, so there was a complete tie-in with the stock afloat. 

Some over-all understanding of the scope of the ammunition supply 
may be grasped if one understands that the average shipload contained 
about 75 items, weighed about 6,500 tons, and cost about 6 million 
dollars to produce. A replenishment for the fleet at the May 1945 size 

112 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

would have meant 180,000 tons. When the Japanese surrendered there 
were 50 ammunition ships under Service Squadron Ten control. The 
total ammunition on hand in Ten was 230,000 tons. Ashore in Guam 
and Saipan there were 50,000 tons more, and in the Naval Ammunition 
Depot at Oahu another 80,000 tons. War is expensive. 


The Marshall Islands Campaign 

The Truk Strike 

FOR the "flintlock," or Marshall Islands campaign the ships in- 
volved were those of the amphibious force with the attack, support, 
and garrison groups; those of the fast carrier striking groups, and a few 
assigned to the defense forces, a total of some 359 vessels of all types for 
combat work, except submarines. The principal part of the forces in- 
volved based at Pearl. About half the amphibious-force vessels came 
from San Diego and were replenished in the Hawaiian Islands en route 
to the Marshalls. The large transports were at Lahaina Roads, Maui, and 
the tractor groups (landing ships (tank) and landing craft (infantry), 
etc.) at Nawiliwili, Kauai. For the smaller craft (submarine chasers, 
mine sweepers, landing craft, tank, and mine layers) a 12-hour period 
was allowed for taking fuel from landing ships (tank) at sea while en 
route. At Lahaina Roads, fuel was supplied by the fleet oilers Tallulah, 
Millicoma, Caliente, Chikaskia, Kaskaskia, and Neosho, some of which had 
sailed from San Diego with the Northern Attack Force. At Nawiliwili, 
fueling of small craft was done from the landing ships (tank), which 
had such an enormous fuel supply, that it involved them in no 
shortage. Again while en route the transports and others needing it were 
fueled between the Hawaiian Islands and the Marshalls, the transports 
and larger ships taking fuel from the accompanying fleet oilers and the 
smaller Diesel-engine craft from the landing ships (tank). Food, 
ammunition, and stores, with such repairs as were necessary, were 
attended to at the last point of departure. 

The battleships, the large carrier Bunker Hill, and the smaller carrier 
Monterey, Cruiser Division Five, and a few smaller vessels were at 
Funafuti. The rest of the carrier force based at Pearl, whence it sortied 
with service completed in all departments. 

Pearl was 2,500 miles from Kwajalein Atoll, the main point of attack. 


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The Marshall Islands Campaign 111 

The resistance expected might delay capture for a longer period than 
was anticipated, and there was also no telling but that the Japanese main 
fleet might give battle. Therefore, "fill with everything," was the order; 
and, on top of that, replenishing of fuel en route, adequate supply of 
fuel, ammunition, and provisions in the area for further replenishment 
subsequent to D-day. These services were stated in Spruance's logistic 
annex. Seventeen fleet oilers were used, before and after D-day. Of that 
number, three task groups of three each— Caliente, Pecos, and Tallulah; 
Ashtabula, Lackawanna, and Saugatuck; Cimarron, Kaskaskia, and Platte— 
were at sea in designated areas to care for the oiling after D-day, with 
eight extra tankers shuttling back and forth between Funafuti and these 
areas. The eight were the Millicoma, Neosho, Suamico, Neshanic, Chikaskia, 
Neches, Tappahannock, and Sabine. In addition there was a Liberty tanker 
at each of the two objectives, each with 50,000 barrels of fuel; and at 
Tarawa one slow tanker and a supply of Diesel oil in gasoline barges. 
At Funafuti 300,000 barrels in commercial tankers was available for 
reloading fleet oilers on 26 January, 200,000 in commercial tankers at the 
same place on 2 February, and 300,000 on 5 February. Each of the fleet 
oilers carried approximately 15,000 barrels of Diesel oil and 200,000 
gallons of aviation gasoline. On the basis of estimated consumption it 
was planned to have from two to three loaded commercial tankers 
available until the operation was concluded. 

What the operation might produce in fuel requirement was unknown, 
and the amounts scheduled were at best only estimates. The fuel para- 
graph of the operations plan begins with the words "Conserve fuel. 
The success of Flintlock requires large fuel supplies. The availability of 
fleet oilers is limited. In establishing the speed to maintain the required 
advance, and in prescribing the engineering condition to be employed, 
the conservation of fuel as well as the military situation will be con- 
sidered." Only with fuel was there real concern at this stage of the war. 
It was finally clear that our fuel consumption was and would continue 
to be in excess of all earlier ideas, and that we were not yet quite fully 
geared to handle it under too continuous full-power steaming. Therefore 
the word of caution. 

The other logistics concerned food. This would be distributed from 
one provision supply ship, fleet-issue loaded, available at Funafuti on 
10 February, and a commercial solid load of refrigerated and frozen items 
in the United Fruit Company's Antigua on 25 February. These two were 
ordered to Majuro when it was decided early in February to use that 
atoll for the fleet anchorage. 

118 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

Ammunition was available in barges at Tarawa and Funafuti for 5 -inch 
and smaller guns. The ammunition ships Rainier, Mauna Loa, and 
Lassen had the supply for all other types of guns, large and small, and 
generally in sufficient quantities. The Sangay carried aircraft ammunition 
and bombs. All these ships were scheduled to be in Tarawa 1 February, 
and were diverted or ordered to Majuro. 

The replacement of pilots and planes for the combat carriers would 
be from CVE's. There were also about 45 fighter planes available in the 
Ellice Islands. 

Emergency repair facilities in Funafuti consisted of some of Captain 
Scull's squadron: Two destroyer tenders, two repair ships, one battle- 
damage-repair ship, one internal-combustion-engine repair ship, one 
floating dry dock of 3,000 tons capacity, and one repair barge. These were 
1,200 miles from Kwajalein, near which the damage was most likely to 
be inflicted. Pearl was 2,500 miles away, so the repair picture was not 
very bright. The answer was quickly found by the task-force commander 
himself: Use Majuro for the main fleet, with Service Squadron Ten to 
furnish services there, and Kwajalein with Service Squadron Four at that 
point to service cargo vessels, escorts, and small groups operating in that 
area. When the time came, the orders were issued accordingly. 

Service Squadron Ten at Majuro 

With the securing of Kwajalein and Majuro, Admiral Spruance took the 
Fast Carrier Force into the latter place on 4 February 1944, after giving 
Kwajalein a trial of a few days. Service Squadron Ten was ordered there 
with instructions to service the fleet immediately. Fortunately the squad- 
ron commander was in Majuro with the garrison group of transports he 
had temporarily commanded during the illness of the assigned com- 
mander, so he was able to get into immediate personal touch with 
Admiral Spruance and get preliminary and makeshift operations under 
way pending arrival of the squadron staff and the supporting vessels. 

The battleship Washington, damaged in a night collision with the 
Indiana, was used as a temporary administrative center for the squadron 
while the protruding metal of her bow was being removed and bulk- 
heads shored preparatory to her return to a navy yard. A number of 
officers were temporarily assigned to help with communications and 
operations, and the servicing of the fleet started. It was pretty ragged 
and hectic. There were not boats enough, nor tugs enough. When boats 






ix : ;i 


120 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

or tugs were available, there was often delay because of lack of knowl- 
edge of the anchorage and berths. Even when the position of a ship was 
given, as in such and such a berth, there was often no chart available by 
which the servicing craft could locate it. At night it was even worse. 

All the boats of the transports present were commandeered, and these 
formed the beginning of Squadron Ten's fleet boat pool. This at its 
beginning included 50 boats— always a few were broken down — with an 
organization of 3 officers and 150 men. Commander Service Force at 
Pearl was urged to send boats by every possible vessel. This was done 
throughout the war by using tankers, cargo vessels, and any other craft 
which could carry them. Boats were available in the rear areas, but the 
problem was to find transportation means to get them to the squadron 
in sufficient numbers to make up for losses, and for the growing require- 
ments of the constantly increasing fleet. 

In this first servicing the ammunition was replenished by the ammuni- 
tion carriers previously mentioned as diverted from Tarawa. There was 
shortage in a few items, some of which was made up by cannibalizing 
ships returning to Pearl for repair. The senior captain of the ammunition 
ships present was made temporary head of the "ammo" department, and 
the job was done, though not without confusion. Moving such ships 
about a crowded anchorage, especially in wartime, can be hazardous. 
Nevertheless, it was done. About the time the captain in charge got the 
hang of things and had some definite ideas of the berthing, his ship 
would sail, and the next senior captain would take over and have to start 
from scratch learning what had to be done, what was needed, and which 
came next. 

The repairs made, except those by ship's company, were very meager 
as only the repair ship Vestal and the battle-damage-repair ship Phaon 
were available. They were fully occupied getting the Washington and 
Indiana ready to leave. 

Food and fueling went better. While there was not enough fresh and 
frozen food available to meet the demand, and the cargo of the provision 
supply ship Bridge was quickly exhausted, no one went hungry. More 
fresh and frozen foods were due on 10 and 25 February. There was suffi- 
cient fuel in a sufficient number of oilers so it could be handled in the 
time available, though oiler crews got very little of their badly needed 

Meanwhile the Washington sailed, and the administration of Squadron 
Ten had to move to a temporary set-up on a tanker, with a landing ship 
(tank) alongside to furnish the quarters. This was for 4 days only. 

The Marshall Islands Campaign 121 

Harbor communication facilities on these were poor, and this was a set- 
back for a few days. However, most of the heaviest servicing had been 
accomplished, and with the arrival of Ten's flagship, the destroyer tender 
Prairie, on 13 February with the members of the staff from Pearl, a real 
start was made. Spruance was off for the first Truk strike, and Com- 
mander Service Squadron Ten had promised him that when he returned 
he would get logistic services with more system, order, and greater 
dispatch. The promise was fulfilled. 

On 12 February Spruance sortied for Truk, which was a part of 
"Operation Catchpole," the capture of Eniwetok, taking with him 
Admiral Mitscher's entire carrier force, consisting of 6 battleships, 5 
large and 4 small carriers, 5 heavy cruisers, 4 cruisers, and 28 destroyers. 
To fuel this force a task unit of 5 fleet oilers, the Cimarron, Kaskaskia, 
Guadalupe, Platte, and Sabine, escorted by 2 cruisers, 1 destroyer and 2 
destroyer escorts, was sent from Majuro on 11 February. The first fuel- 
ing, for the run-in, took place 14 February approximately 640 miles 
northeast of Truk. After this the oilers put into Kwajalein and refilled 
from commercial tankers there. After the raid the next fueling rendez- 
vous was about 500 miles northeast of Truk on 19 February. Then the 
whole oiler group left for Majuro. 

After the fueling on 19 February Admiral Mitscher with reorganized 
task groups made the raid and photographic reconnaissance of 21-22 
February on the Marianas, topping off his destroyers from heavy ships 
before the run-in, at a point about 430 miles north of the previous fuel- 
ing from the fleet oilers on the 19th. After the raid, retiring eastward he 
again fueled his destroyers from heavy ships on 24 February and 
proceeded to Majuro. 

The only battle damage received in these raids was to the carrier 
Intrepid at Truk, caused by an aerial torpedo. She was able to proceed 
under her own power, steering by propellers only, to Kwajalein, and 
thence to a navy yard. Truk, as naval men knew, was the pivotal base for 
the Japanese mandated islands, and the enemy's principal Central Pacific 
base for operations as well as a key supply point and staging base for 
units bound to the South and Central Pacific. It was generally thought 
to be a Gibraltar, though Admiral F. C. Sherman, in his book "Combat 
Command," considered it overrated. When the news was broadcast that 
our task force was striking it, sinking ships and shooting down planes, 
not only the Navy Department and others at home were thrilled, but 
also Service Squadron Ten, waiting at Majuro. Thrilled and relieved was 
the squadron commander who alone knew where the strike was to be 

122 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

and had thought of many disagreeable things which could happen 
during the attack. 

Meanwhile the Service Squadron Ten flagship Prairie, Captain O. A. 
Kneeland, had reached Majuro with the staff. It consisted of only 16 
officers at that time, and of those the supply officer was in San Diego 
fitting out and loading the first six of the 3, 000- ton capacity concrete 
barges which later proved so useful. The starting organization of Ten 
immediately had the duties of port director thrust upon its operations 
department. The survey ship Bowditch, Captain J. H. Seyfried, made a 
complete survey of the anchorage, producing charts with numbered 
berths and establishing better navigational aids. A splendid job was 
done very rapidly and charts were turned out by the hundred so that all 
ships, tugs, barges, and boats could have them. 

As fast as he could, Vice Admiral Calhoun, Commander Service 
Force, sent forward the service craft to Squadron Ten. The floating dry- 
dock ARD-13, Lieutenant Commander W. L. Travis, the high-speed 
transport APD-16, the repair ship Ajax, Captain J. L. Brown, 2 tugs, 2 
yard oilers, a YP refrigerator, and six 500-ton ammunition barges were 
the early arrivals. Then came the destroyer tender Markab, Captain L. B. 
Farrell, repair ship Hector, Captain J. W. Long, and the Argonne, Captain 
H. A. Houser, with others following later. 

The staff was called together, the work pointed out, the methods just 
used to replenish the fleet, with their good and bad features, and the 
tasks to come discussed in detail. Finally came the adoption of a motto 
by the squadron: "If we've got it, you can have it." This was meant to 
be literally true. It did not mean "if we have it to spare." More than once 
the squadron gave of its own in living up to its motto. Several guns 
were dismounted from Squadron Ten ships to be remounted as replace- 
ments of battle-damaged pieces on the combatant vessels of the striking 
groups. During the Marianas campaign every pair of socks in the store- 
rooms of Ten's ships was sent to the fighting units. For some 3 weeks or 
more the messes of Ten, including the squadron commander's own, ate 
some sort of "colored putty" for butter. All the real butter had gone to 
the fast carrier groups. The staff was instructed that if something un- 
heard of was requested, the answer was to be "We'll get it for you as 
soon as possible." With the full realization that its work was just 
beginning, and would grow in degree and broaden in scope to points 
beyond anything visualized at the moment, the staff began preparing for 
Spruance's return from Truk. 

The cargo ship Vega arrived with a load of pontoons and fittings so 

The Marshall Islands Campaign 123 

stowed that, as they were unloaded, pontoon barges could be con- 
structed by the ship, with her special detail of Seabees trained for this 
purpose. Twenty barges were completed and put into service by Squad- 
ron Ten in 21 consecutive days— before the shore-based barge-construc- 
tion unit had completed a single one. Most of the barges were propelled 
by large outboard engines. These twelve 100-ton cargo, six 50-ton cargo, 
and two 10- ton crane barges were all put to very hard service. Not only 
did they carry ammunition and stores of all kinds, but they were used 
as drydocks for boats, as camels (buffers) between ships, to ferry planes 
and liberty parties, and one even as a light-ship. The crews of these barges 
built cabins of dunnage lumber and pieces of tarpaulin or scraps of 
canvas on the sterns and practically lived in them, scrounging their 
meals wherever they could during those early days when everyone was 
overworked, underfed, and underslept, and often miles away from the 
regular berthing place when there was any time for a shore relaxation. 

While the fleet was on the Truk strike, the staff of Squadron Ten 
prepared an information bulletin giving a schedule of fueling, provision- 
ing, and ammunitioning. It gave destroyer assignments alongside 
tenders, anchorage berths, and special berths for ships firing antiaircraft 
target practice at sleeves or drones. It told where and how to make 
contact with any of the departments of Ten when it was necessary to 
deal with something not mentioned in the bulletin; and it named the 
recreation beaches and the forbidden islands. Thereafter on entering the 
anchorage, ships were met by patrol vessels and supplied with bulletins 
and anchorage charts, the latter continuously revised and kept up to 

A floating fleet post office was established on LST-119 until one could 
be established by the Island Commander, Captain Vernon Grant. Two 
coastal transports were used for distribution of mail and for ferrying of 
personnel among the ships. 

Arrivals of ARD-13, the first floating drydock to be sent into the 
Central Pacific drive, and the smaller AFD-16 were events of consider- 
able importance at Majuro. The ARD had an 85-percent green crew 
which had never operated the dock and had never been to sea, so a period 
of intensified training in phraseology, station duties, and some seaman- 
ship was carried out. Eight days after her arrival the first vessel, a 
destroyer, was efficiently docked. AFD-16, which had lost its command- 
ing officer by illness, was put under the same command as ARD-13 
(Lieutenant Commander Travis) for operation and was located beside 
ARD-13. This proved fortunate, for by operating them as a team the 



The Marshall Islands Campaign 125 

efficiency of both docks increased. The record of ARD-13 from this time 
to the end of the war was splendid and illustrated one of the many 
phases of winning. 

High-speed mine sweepers, for towing, and sea-sled targets were pro- 
cured from Pearl, and target practice arrangements were made for the 
ships of the fleet. Planes for towing sleeves were obtained and three 
firing positions established for that practice. 

A fleet motion-picture exchange was established on board the Prairie. 
While this does not sound very important compared to the serious mat- 
ters of sinking ships, killing, destroying enemy installations, and the 
vexing problems of fuel, food, ammunition, etc., that had to be solved, 
it was nevertheless a vital factor in keeping up morale. The men were 
spending long periods aboard ship, with very infrequent mail and very 
limited opportunities for diversion and recreation. Though the situation 
did not always permit of showing movies, even an infrequent display 
contributed materially. 

With the return of the fleet from the Truk-Marianas strikes, Squadron 
Ten went to work servicing it. It was far from perfection, but there was 
some system and a general knowledge, on the part of those both giving 
and receiving the services, of the when and how of it. Admiral Spruance 
was pleased, and while he saw the work was imperfect he realized it 
would improve as more experience, study, and equipment were applied. 
He was so well satisfied that he said he saw no reason for the Fast Car- 
rier Force going to Pearl any more. It never again returned there during 
the war. Individual vessels were sent back for repairs from time to time, 
but the force as such remained in the advanced areas and received its 
servicing from Squadron Ten as it repeatedly struck and advanced, to the 
consternation and confounding of the enemy. 

The first 3 weeks of March were spent in consolidating gains. This 
gave the fleet opportunity for considerable overhaul and target practice, 
and time to harass Squadron Ten for things wanted but not yet available. 
In many ways this was advantageous because it revealed shortcomings 
at a period when there was time to start something remedial. Several 
vessels were added to the squadron about this time, including old 
merchant-marine tankers. The Gargoyle was commissioned by the 
squadron commander as the Arethusa, the Osmond as the Quiros, the 
Standard Arrow as the Signal, and the Polonaise as the Manileno. Several 
others came later. 

Late in February the food situation did not seem quite so good as it 
should have been. The squadron commander indicated this in a letter 

214075 O-F-53 10 

126 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

to Commander Service Force dated 28 February 1944, giving his estimate 
of minimum space requirements for 10 days' provisions for 150,000 
men as: 

Type of -provisions Ratio of issue Pounds Long tons Cubic feet 

Dry 62% 5,360,850 2,393 155,555 

Chilled 24%% 2,118,400 946 84,140 

Frozen 13%% 1,167,300 521 44,285 

At the time, the Prairie was the only storage at Majuro. Her capacity 
was 67,934 cubic feet, or only about one-fourth of the total. However, 
some refrigerator barges, steel and concrete, had been promised. These 
would make up the total required, and it was mainly to hasten their 
arrival that the letter was sent. The figure of 150,000 men used as a basis 
for the estimate was exceeded in a very short time by the rapid growth 
of the fleet in the advanced areas. More space was, of course, necessary, 
and was forthcoming. 

Late spring of 1944 saw the first of the "crockery" ships come into 
Majuro. They were the Trefoil and the Quartz, large concrete barges with 
power plants for refrigeration, lighting, and windlass, but not for motive 
power. They had a capacity of 3,000 tons of general naval stores, includ- 
ing food, clothing, canteen, tools, materials (not including heavy metal), 
and boatswain's stores. Later barges included ordnance items, electronics 
parts, and Diesel-engine spares. These barges were extremely useful, 
since they came at a time when there was a shortage of hulls, but they 
were so fragile that a bump by a good-sized boat would crack a side. 
One was lost on a reef in a storm. A steel hull would have been 

Service Squadron Four, Funafuti to Kwajalein 

On 23-24 February 1944, after the capture of Kwajalein and Majuro 
Atolls, tows were dispatched from Funafuti to Kwajalein using the 
Diesel-engine repair ship Luzon, two fleet tugs, a rescue tug, three ocean 
tugs of old type, two commercial tugs, and the Navy oiler Sepulga. 
These vessels hauled an assortment of 500-ton barges, yard oil craft, 
pontoon cranes, pontoon barges, and small harbor-type tugs. In the 
excitement and fascination of strikes and other actual combat opera- 
tions the importance of such an uninspiring movement as this might 
easily be overlooked. These were not merely barges as such. These were 






128 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

some of the storehouses, yard cranes, workshops, and facilities which 
rendered the services that enabled the combat ships to make the strikes. 
The distance to Kwajalein was more than 1,200 miles and the speed of 
advance was slow— about 4 knots — but this vital equipment had to get 
through to be used against the enemy. It did. 

After the tows reached Kwajalein, Squadron Four was short-lived. On 
17 March 1944 it was absorbed into the new Squadron Ten. Captain 
Scull became Chief of Staff to Rear Admiral Hoover, Commander For- 
ward Area, Central Pacific, and Captain S. B. Ogden in the Cascade 
became representative "A" of Commander Service Squadron Ten in com- 
mand of the Kwajalein and Roi detachment. Squadron Four had been 
very much worth while. Commander Service Force Pacific stated: "Com- 
pared to the size and accomplishments of Squadron Ten and its various 
detachments as the war progressed to the Western Pacific, the scope of 
Squadron Four's operations was, small, and its assigned equipment 
seemed limited indeed, but many capable officers received practical 
experience while serving therein and went on to responsible duties in 
Squadron Ten and other commands." 

Though only a few large vessels and not many destroyers, smaller 
ships, and aircraft were serviced at Funafuti, that location was the scene 
of logistic support of naval forces from floating equipment only. No 
shoreside facilities such as cranes, workshops, and storehouses, generally 
associated with navy yards or bases, were present there. Scull relied solely 
upon his mobile units, and later this type of servicing was rendered to 
all classes of naval vessels, with more appropriate supporting equipment 
and in locations as yet not visualized. 


Multiple Missions 

The Patau and Hollandia Strikes— Marcus and 

Wake Raids —Submarines Base at Majuro— Growth 

of Service Squadron Ten at Majuro 

"desecrate one": Carrier Task Force Attacks on the Western 
Carolines, 30 March-1 April 1944 

A fter OUR TRUK strike the enemy withdrew ships from that base, 
Jl\ and units of his fleet began to use Palau as a base of operations. It 
was therefore decided to neutralize the enemy positions because they 
threatened our Hollandia and New Guinea operations, planned for 
April, and menaced our newly acquired bases in the Admiralties and at 
Emirau Island. The attack on Palau and the smaller raids on nearby Yap, 
Ulithi, and Woleai, were intended primarily to destroy naval and mer- 
chant shipping and air forces concentrated at those points, and to mine 
entrance channels to prevent their further use. 

In this operation Admiral Spruance employed Carrier Task Force 58 
and a Support Group (50.15). The carrier force included 6 battleships, 
5 large and 6 small carriers, 10 heavy and 5 light cruisers, and 48 
destroyers. In support were 3 heavy cruisers, 4 escort carriers, 12 destroy- 
ers, and 4 oilers, the Platte, Sabine, Kaskaskia, and Guadalupe. Before the 
sortie the major portion of the striking force based at Majuro, where 
logistic support was furnished by Squadron Ten. On departure, 22 
March, Task Group 58.9 was added. It consisted of units which were to 
join other task groups of the force upon rendezvous. (These latter 
groups had sailed from Majuro earlier in the month to the South Pacific, 
and had been operating as part of Task Force 36 in support of the occu- 
pation of Emirau Island.) Rendezvous was effected 26 March with those 


130 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

vessels and 2 accompanying oiler groups which had left Espiritu 22 
March. The oilers were the Tappahannock, Neches, Suamico, Ashtabula, 
Kankakee, Escambia, and Atascosa. The Cacapon and Chikaskia joined at 
the rendezvous. The 4-oiler support group did not fuel any of the battle- 
ships or carriers at this time. Instead oil was taken from the 9-oiler 
group. After fueling, the large group of oilers sailed to Espiritu. At this 
time, 4 escort carriers, which had been sent from Pearl, joined the 
support group. 

Two days later, 28 March, after fueling from the support group, the 
task force, divided into three task groups, proceeded toward the points 
for launching the initial air attacks against Palau. Admiral Spruance 
directed the fuel be conserved to the extent permitted by military neces- 
sity. Cruisers and destroyers whose fuel ran low because of unforeseen 
events were to proceed to Seeadler Harbor, Manus; damaged ships were 
to go there also. However, as fuel was adequate and damage to our ships 
was negligible, no diversion was necessary. 

Six additional fleet oilers composing Task Unit 50.17.1 left Majuro 
29 March to make rendezvous with Task Force 58. These were the 
Saranac, Neosho, Lackawanna, Neshanic, Caliente, and Tallulah. They 
returned to port 5 April without supplying any oil because the four 
oilers of the Support Group and the topping off of cruisers and 
destroyers by the larger vessels of the Task Force provided enough. 

By 6:30 a. m. 30 March, Task Force 58 had reached a point 90 miles 
south of the Palau Islands and was ready to launch the first strike. Oper- 
ations against Palau continued on the 30th and 31st. On the 31st, Task 
Group 58.1 conducted air strikes on Yap and Ulithi. On the next day 
the entire force assembled and attacked Woleai by air. These strikes 
completed, the three groups fueled from the support group on the 2d, 
returned to Majuro 6 April, and prepared for the Hollandia operation, 
called "Desecrate Two," which was scheduled for the 22d. Meanwhile 
four escort carriers and destroyer screen were detached 4 April from the 
support group to proceed to Espiritu Santo. The others of the group 
returned to Majuro. 

"desecrate two": Capture and Occupation of Hollandia 

21-24 April 1944 

The seizure of the coast of New Guinea, near Aitape and Hollandia, was 
undertaken by Task Force 77 of the Southwest Pacific forces under Rear 

Multiple Missions 131 

Admiral D. E. Barbey, with 215 ships of all types except submarines, 
covered by more than 104 vessels of Rear Admiral Mitscher's Fast Car- 
rier Task Force 58. Logistics for Task Force 77 consisted chiefly in making 
supplies available for the ground occupation force. Service Force, 
Seventh Fleet, provided the necessary supplies for vessels and landing 
craft in the forward areas. All ships were supplied to capacity with fresh, 
frozen, and dry provisions. Service force supply ships stationed at 3 
different points furnished replenishment, and in addition the tenders 
Rigel and Amycus at Buna, and the Dobbin at Oro Bay, carried dry foods. 

All ships carried an authorized allowance of ammunition. Resupply 
was to be had from ammunition ships at Cape Cretin, Sudest, at Oro 
Bay, and at the Naval Supply Depot, Milne Bay. Fuel was available at 
designated-spots, including Seeadler Harbor, Admiralty Islands, and 
from Seventh Fleet Service Force tankers at Goodenough Island. Fresh 
water was furnished at five points, but ships were warned that they must 
be prepared to issue potable water to troops and small landing craft. 
Ship repairs were available through repair vessels at Seeadler and Dreger 
Harbors, Oro Bay, and Buna. 

Three separate landings were made at Tanahmerah and Humboldt 
Bays and Aitape. Salvage tugs accompanied each echelon to the three 
beaches, and remained until D-plus-2 day. One stayed at Humboldt Bay 
afterwards; the other two returned to Cape Cretin. Every precaution was 
taken for complete medical services, with surgical teams and equipment 
on designated ships of the attacking force. In addition, naval casualties 
could be evacuated to a hospital ship at Cape Cretin or to shore facilities 
there. Medical supplies were available at Milne Bay. 

After receiving logistic services from Squadron Ten, Task Force 58, 
divided into 3 groups for tactical purposes and accompanied by a support 
group of 12 oilers and 5 destroyers, sailed from Majuro 3 April to cover 
the landing operations in the Hollandia area. The support group sailed 
the day previous and fueled the force on the 19th and 20th in latitude 
1°00' N., longitude 146°00 / E., afterwards going to Seeadler Harbor, 
where it was joined by 3 fleet oilers, the Saranac, Tallulah, and Saugatuck, 
which had gone there direct from Majuro. On the 21st the task force 
arrived at the launching point, some 100 miles north of Hollandia. 

On 22 April three empty oilers, the Guadalupe, Platte, and Sabine, with 
three destroyer escorts, sailed for Pearl Harbor. The oilers Caliente, 
Cahaba, Neosho, Monongahela, Neshanic, and Lackawanna left the support 
group, with five escorts, completed their refilling and adjusting of car- 
goes at Seeadler on the 22d, and rejoined the task force on the 23d in 

132 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

latitude 00°25' S., longitude 146°00 / E. In the interim, during the 
absence of the support group at Seeadler, carriers and battleships of the 
carrier task groups topped off their own destroyers. Only 1 hour was 
allowed for each destroyer. Further refueling was accomplished after the 
return of the support group: heavy and light cruisers and destroyers to 
95 -percent capacity, carriers and battleships to 80-percent. Ammunition 
was available in the ammunition ship Lassen, at Seeadler, and several 
tugs were available for towing damaged ships. Replacement planes and 
pilots were ready on the escort carriers Barnes and PetroffBay at Seeadler 
on 25 April, east longitude date. 

The carrier strikes were made, and met surprisingly little opposition. 
Not one of our ships suffered damage. There was very little beachhead 
resistance, and Barbey's amphibious vessels suffered practically no enemy 
damage. Operations were virtually complete on the 27th, with landings 
at three points and with several important air strips in Allied hands. On 
this date, vessels of the support group returned to Seeadler and thence 
dispersed to Majuro and Pearl. Task Force 58 continued to Truk, where 
an air attack on shore installations was carried out on 29-30 April. 

Carrier Air Attack on Marcus and Wake Islands 19-23 May 1944 

This operation, carried out by only Task Group 58.6 under Rear Admiral 
A. E. Montgomery, had the dual purpose of destroying aircraft, shore 
installations, and surface craft at Marcus and Wake, and the training of 
new air groups on the carriers. The group fueling unit sortied from 
Majuro 14 May with 2 oilers and 3 destroyer escorts. The task group 
left on the 15 th, composed of 2 large carriers, 1 small carrier, 3 heavy 
and 2 light cruisers, and 12 destroyers. The group and the oilers met 17 
May in latitude 18°35' N., longitude 158° E., about 420 miles SSE of 
Marcus Island, for fueling. Next afternoon the fueling unit left the task 
group to await the next fueling operation. Originally the plan had called 
for the retirement of the oilers to Eniwetok, but the task-unit com- 
mander, Commander F. A. Hardesty, decided that this was impracticable, 
since it would mean entry at daylight on 20 May and departure about 
noon of the same day to be certain of effecting the second fueling as 
scheduled. Therefore the unit headed for a point somewhat east of Eni- 
wetok. After the first fueling, a task unit (58.6.4) consisting of a small 
carrier, a light cruiser, and 4 destroyers proceeded to the north and west 
of Marcus in search of enemy picket boats. 

Multiple Missions 133 

Strikes on Marcus were begun 19 May, and the operations report 
states that because of unfavorable weather and excessive use of fuel, 
some of the strikes set for 20 May had to be canceled. (The reference 
to fuel shortage is not clear, for the tankers had more than two-thirds 
of their cargoes left after fueling the group. The large carriers and heavy 
cruisers had sufficient; if the destroyers were short, they could have been 
supplied by the large ships.) Sixty-nine of our planes were damaged by 
antiaircraft fire. On the 21st, Task Unit 58.6.4 rejoined the group and 
reported sinking one sampan and exploding a mine. 

At daylight on 22 May the fueling unit met the task group to refuel 
the destroyers. Commander Hardesty in the oiler Schuylkill reported in 
his war diary of that date that "jitters" resulted when two destroyers 
refused to take the towline. He did not explain who had the jitters. 
Though in this instance he recommended using a towline, generally in 
fueling it was usual to employ only a distance line, the ship or ships 
keeping position on the guide. The fueling completed, the unit returned 
to Majuro while the task group proceeded with its attack on Wake on 
the 23d. Both reached Majuro 5 May. 

Submarines Base at Majuro 

On 15 March 1944, the submarine tender Sperry, flagship of Submarine 
Squadron Ten, arrived at Majuro to begin operations from that base. 
Myrna (code name for one islet), was assigned to a recreation area and 
development work started at once. The Sperry remained until September, 
when she was relieved by the tender Howard W. Gilmore, and after a brief 
overhaul at Pearl proceeded to Guam, which became the next advance 
control Pacific base for submarines. On 3 May 1944, the tender Bushnell, 
flagship of Submarine Squadron 14, arrived and took berth off Myrna 
Island. This doubled the submarine activity basing at Majuro. During 
the summer, after the main body of Service Squadron Ten had gone for- 
ward, these two tenders rendered assistance and services to the small 
craft doing patrol and escort duty out of Majuro. These two, and a float- 
ing drydock, left when Ten moved to Eniwetok in June 1944 and 
remained at Majuro until late in January 1945, when the Myrna Island 
establishment was closed and turned over to the atoll commander. The 
tenders went to Pearl, and the Bushnell, soon after, to Midway. 

While at Majuro the submarine squadrons were supplied with fuel, 
provisions, and other smaller services through Squadron Ten, which also 

134 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

supplied some torpedo stowage. The atoll commander furnished Seabees 
to set up the camp on Myrna Island, though a great deal of work was 
done by working parties from the tenders. Later a permanent camp unit 
for maintenance and operation was sent out from Pearl. 

Supplying of the fuel— mostly Diesel oil— was not difficult, as all 
tankers had Diesel tanks, and during this period their supply exceeded 
the demand. Food, however, was somewhat more of a problem, particu- 
larly fresh and frozen. The latter was not in sufficient quantity to meet 
the desires of the surface units, yet the submarines claimed the right to 
a higher percentage than did any of the other services, basing the claim 
on the arduousness of their duty. It posed a difficult problem for Com- 
mander Service Squadron Ten. As a former submariner himself, he was 
inclined to favor the claim. Yet to do so would bring a storm of protest, 
especially from the carriers, who were prone to claim theirs was the 
most arduous service. The general result was that for a time the carriers 
and submarines got the lion's share of available fresh and frozen foods 
while other units went short, making it up with canned and dry 

On the basis of 2,760 men the minimum food requirement for every 
10 days was about 2,760 x 5.75 x 10, or 158,700 pounds. However, the 
logistic requirements for a single squadron of 12 submarines and 1 
tender, as given by Commander Submarine Force Pacific Fleet, at that 
time were: (a) Diesel fuel oil, 16,000 barrels; (b) gasoline, 4,500 gallons; 
(c) lubricating oils, 300 barrels each of Nos. 9250 and 9370; (d) spare 
parts, miscellaneous, 2 l A tons by air, 2 l A tons by surface; (e) torpedoes, 
complete, 150; (f) ammunition, 130 rounds total of 3-inch, 4-inch, and 
5-inch, with small amounts of 20- and 40-mm. and .50-caliber; (g) food, 
137 tons for tender, 59 tons special for submarines, of boned meats, 
frozen vegetables, etc.; (h) sulphuric acid, 8 carboys. 

It is not clear how the figures for item (g) were reached. The 59 tons 
for submarines, each with an average of 80 men and their officers, works 
out at about 4.57 pounds per man; the tender is figured at about 7.5 
pounds per man. One or the other figure must be wrong. There seem to 
be no data available now to show what the actual issues were; suffice 
to say that all were fed, and not badly, either. 

Growth of Service Squadron Ten at Majuro ' 

During its 4 months at Majuro, Service Squadron Ten, or ServRon Ten, 
as it was called in shortened form, was the principal— and fast becoming 

Multiple Missions 135 

the only— source of supply to the ships in the Central Pacific. Their 
number increased daily, as did that of ServRon Ten. Floating craft of 
every nature depended on Ten for maintenance, repair, ammunition, 
food, fuel, stores, mail, recreation facilities, pilots, harbor control, port 
director, target practice, personnel, medical supplies, and the disposition 
of disciplinary cases too troublesome for the combatant ships to handle. 

To make the administration of both ServRon Ten and its representa- 
tive at Kwajalein truly effective, more yeomen, signalmen, and messen- 
gers were badly needed. Men were flowing in by the hundreds for 
assignment, and the clerical personnel necessary for their proper 
distribution was inadequate. Moreover, it was realized that the activities 
of the squadron would constantly increase as the forward area, Central 
Pacific, expanded; so in compiling the requested complement, effort was 
made to anticipate increased demands for at least a few weeks in advance. 

More gunner's mates were needed, not only to supervise the handling, 
loading, and unloading of ammunition, but also to maintain a security 
watch over ammunition stowed on covered lighters (YF's). It was 
therefore believed that 2 gunner's mates and 1 gunner's mate striker 
should be assigned to each ammunition lighter, plus one chief gunner's 
mate for every 3 lighters. Under operational control of ServRon Ten 
were 13 ammunition lighters, which had come without any personnel 
whatever. Besides these men, more coxswains, seamen, motor machin- 
ist's mates, and firemen were asked for to provide crews, plus relief 
crews, for 25 self-propelled pontoon barges operated by ServRon Ten at 
Majuro and Kwajalein anchorages, and 20 LCV's and LCM's at 
Kwajalein. Relief crews were necessary because during fleet provisioning 
operations, barges and boats worked right around the clock. 

The storekeepers requested allowed for the provisioning of a large 
number of fleet units simultaneously in a short period, as had been 
required in the past; the handling of large amounts of small cargo for 
fleet units in forward areas where neither stowage nor handling facilities 
existed; a pay office expected to handle more than 5,000 accounts; and 
the compliance with current directives requiring that all ships returning 
to Pearl or the United States from combat areas should transfer all stores 
prior to departure except those required for the return trip. 

It was the additional men wanted for the boat pool, however, that 
staggered some at headquarters, though when analyzed there was noth- 
ing astonishing about the figures. The minimum at the time to man the 
boats would have been 269 men. That did not include anyone for pool 
administration, repair work, or relief crews, of which latter there should 

136 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

have been a complete shift to meet military requirements of working 
the whole 24 hours, which was often the case. Besides, there was the 
expected doubling of the boats in the pool which would have to have 
crews. Actually, the boats more than tripled in number during the next 

At this time— June 1944— only 4 months since the first puny detach- 
ment made its start, ServRon Ten had 4 destroyer tenders; 6 repair ships; 
3 repair-shop barges; 6 drydocks; 13 ammunition barges; 15 storage 
barges for freight, spare parts, ground tackle, radio, medical, torpedo, 
marine stores, etc.; 23 oil and gasoline storage barges; 15 old, or Liberty 
ship tankers for storage and local services; 6 large concrete supply 
barges; 11 water barges; 5 YP cold storage vessels; and 15 tugs (7 sea- 
going, 8 local use), besides a number of special craft such as degaussing, 
net-laying, sludge removal, fuse removal, sea mules, target-practice 
equipment, and crane barges. More of every type were being sent as they 
became available. 

Everything a navy yard or naval base usually did was requested at one 
time or another, and relatively unimportant things were demanded often 
at times of extreme activity when the squadron's facilities were hard put 
to supply the necessary and the important. Nevertheless the squadron 
accepted the duty of meeting all demands if possible without passing 
judgment. In fact, one officer of the supply department said he thought 
everything had been asked for but silk hats and evening dress. The squad- 
ron commander replied that if more than one request for silk hats should 
be received, it would be his duty to get something started along that 
line. So it was, with such a condition of material, such an attitude of 
mind, that ServRon Ten undertook the Eniwetok phase of fleet logistics. 


"Operation Forager/' the Marianas 


Floating Logistic Facilities— Servicing the Staging 

Amphibious Forces— Replenishment of 

Fast Carriers 

ON 12 may 1944, Admiral R. A. Spruance, commanding the Fifth 
Fleet, as Commander Central Pacific Task Forces, issued his opera- 
tion plan for the capture, occupation, and defense of Saipan, Tinian, and 
Guam; the development of airfields on these islands; and the gaining 
of control of the remaining Marianas in order to operate long-range air- 
craft against Japan, secure control of the Central Pacific, and isolate and 
neutralize the central Carolines. This operation was named "Forager." 
D-day, 15 June, was when initial landings were made on Saipan; W-day 
was the date for the Guam landings, and J-day for Tinian. 

With 14 battleships, old and new, 25 carriers and carrier escorts, 26 
cruisers, and 144 destroyers, the major task forces and groups were com- 
manded by Vice Admirals Turner and Mitscher, Rear Admirals Hill, 
Conolly, Blandy, Clark, Montgomery, Reeves, Harrill, and Hoover, the 
expeditionary troops by Lieutenant General H. M. Smith, USMC, and 
the shore-based air force for the forward area by Major General Hale of 
the Army. Every type ship except submarine was represented in the 
huge fleet, which numbered 634 vessels, but did not include those ves- 
sels assigned to Commodore W. R. Carter, Commander Service Squad- 
ron Ten; to Captain Leon Fiske, Commander Service Squadron Twelve; 
and the ships allocated to Rear Admiral Hoover as Commander Forward 
Area. In general it may be said that more than 600 vessels, 2,000 aircraft, 
and an estimated 300,000 Navy, Marine, and Army personnel partici- 


138 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

The Logistic Support 

Fleet anchorages with facilities provided by repair ships, tenders, and 
other auxiliaries existed at Eniwetok, Kwajalein, and Majuro atolls, and 
at Seeadler Harbor in the Admiralties. Admiral Spruance based his 
Marianas operations on the general operation plan of Admiral Nimitz 
as Commander in Chief Pacific, and ordered that logistic services for all 
forces in the Marshalls be rendered under the direction of Commander 
Forward Area, employing the facilities of ServRon Ten, and that the 
commander of that squadron, or his representative, would administer 
the services provided at Eniwetok, Roi anchorage, Kwajalein, and 

Some of the basic requirements of Admiral Nimitz's plan were that 
logistic support of fleet units be provided by himself through Com- 
mander Service Force Pacific, Commander Aircraft Pacific, and Com- 
mander South Pacific. Fleet tankers as a rule were to load to half capacity 
cargoes of Diesel oil and aviation gasoline, fuel oil to maximum draft, 
and with standard stock of drummed lubricants and compressed gases. 

Before the operation, all combatant and auxiliary ships were to 
procure stores of ammunition, fuel, and lubricants to authorized capacity; 
dry provisions for 120 days for ship's company and for 60 days for em- 
barked troops; maximum capacity of fresh provisions, general stores, 
clothing, and ship's stores stock and medical stores, each for 120 days. 
Fresh and dry provisions were available in provisions stores ships, cargo 
vessels, and barges at Majuro, Eniwetok, Roi, and Kwajalein for forces 
basing on and staging through those ports. Provisions stores ships were 
scheduled to supply forces staging through the Marshalls area during 
the 10-day period just prior to D-day, 15 June. After D-day the stores 
ships would be found at Eniwetok, with limited supplies available also 
at Majuro and Kwajalein. 

South Pacific Area Support. Forces and units of Fifth Fleet assembling 
in South Pacific areas for from 35 to 10 days before D-day in the 
Marianas were to be supplied provisions by Commander South Pacific 
in the quantities prescribed above. Ships withdrawing from the Marianas 
to the South Pacific were to be resupplied by Commander South Pacific 
30 to 60 days after D-day. Approximately 147 vessels of different types 
were thus supplied. Large ships were ordered to give provisions to 
smaller ones as opportunity permitted. The fleet commander cautioned 
that rationing of provisions, particularly fresh and frozen, would prob- 
ably be necessary and small vessels would be given preference in the 

ft Operation Forager," the Marianas Campaign 139 

issues. Ships returning to supply points such as Pearl and Espiritu, were 
to transfer provisions, in excess of their needs for the return voyage, to 
other ships and shore activities, as might be practicable. 

Ammunition. The ammunition carriers Mauna Loa, Lassen, Rainier, 
Sangay, Shasta, and Mazama supplied ammunition at Eniwetok after 
15 June. Loaded barges were also available there, and 8-inch and 
smaller sizes and depth charges in assault shipping at the objectives as 
ordered by Vice Admiral Turner, Commander Joint Expeditionary Force. 

Fuel (General). Vice Admiral Calhoun, Commander Service Force 
Pacific, was required to divert allocated commercial tankers as might be 
necessary to deliver approximately 1,400,000 barrels of fuel oil during 
each 2-week period commencing 1 June 1944. Delivery was to be dis- 
tributed among such advanced bases in Central or South Pacific as the 
commander of the Fifth Fleet prescribed. Commodore A. H. Gray, 
Commander Service Squadron Eight, handled the details of the Pearl 
and west-coast end of this fuel business, and did a fine job with barely 
sufficient ships. 

Fueling at Sea. For fueling at sea, fleet oiler task units composed of 
fleet oilers and escorts, and aircraft replacement task units composed of 
an escort carrier and an escort, were organized by Commander Service 
Force, who also assigned an officer with staff to direct and coordinate the 
operations of oiler and replacement task units while at sea. He was 
designated Commander Task Group 50.17, and embarked in a destroyer 
from which he directed operations to meet the fueling requirements of 
Mitscher's Fast Carrier Task Force 58 at sea. The oiler task group com- 
mander, Captain E. E. Pare, in addition to exercising tactical command 
from his flagship, the destroyer John D. Henley, took care of the con- 
solidation of the cargoes of fleet oilers, sending back to Eniwetok for 
reloading such oilers as had been emptied or had been reduced to less 
than 20,000 barrels of black cargo oil. He also sent the group escort 
carrier units to Eniwetok for replacement aircraft, which had been placed 
there for that purpose. 

Fueling Areas. Fueling areas were large rectangles 75 miles long and 
25 miles wide. Eleven were prescribed for the Marianas operation, each 
designated the abbreviated name of some well-known oil company. 
Areas and dates were assigned to Vice Admiral Mitscher's Task Force 58 
through D-plus-6 day, after which Mitscher informed Commander Fifth 
Fleet and Commander Task Group 50.17 of his further requirements. To 
Turner's Northern Attack Force, Task Force 52, and Conolly's Southern 
Attack Force, Task Force 53, areas and dates were assigned. In addition, 

140 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

the large ships of Task Forces 52 and 53 fueled small ships as necessary 
en route to assembly points in the Marshalls, and again en route to their 
objectives. Facilities for port fueling in the Marshalls were furnished by 
Commander ServRon Ten. 

Eight task units, 16.7.1 to 16.7.8, inclusive (the number 16 was a 
service-force designation), each composed of three oilers, with at least 
2 DE's as escorts, and sometimes one destroyer and two destroyer escorts, 
were organized to fuel the fleet in the areas assigned. 

Fuel at Bases. With minor exceptions, the forces of Vice Admiral 
Turner, Commander Task Force 52, and Rear Admiral Blandy, Com- 
mander Task Group 51.1, Joint Expeditionary Force Reserve, conducted 
their rehearsal exercises in the Hawaiian area, leaving there the last of 
May. The Southern Attack Force under Rear Admiral Conolly, also with 
minor exceptions, conducted its rehearsals in the South Pacific 22-31 
May and sailed for the Marshalls. All ships had been required to fuel 
to capacity before departure, but more fuel was needed at staging points 
Eniwetok, Kwajalein, and Roi, where all three forces assembled and 
refueled before departing 9-12 June for their objectives. The Fast Carrier 
Groups 58.1-2-3 and -4 had been at Majuro early in June and left fully 
serviced for their strikes. The general plan of operations for these groups 
after D-day was to maintain three task groups in the Marianas area while 
one was withdrawn to Eniwetok for replenishment of fuel, provisions, 
aircraft, ammunition, and bombs. 

Commander Service Squadron Ten (Carter) or his representative pro- 
vided fueling facilities for forces staging through the Marshalls. Until 
15 June commercial tankers were routed to Majuro, whence they were 
further diverted. After that date such tankers arriving in the Marshalls 
were routed to Eniwetok. Two Liberty tankers were available there, and 
three or more slow station tankers were to be there by 20 June. Admiral 
Spruance had stressed in his operation plan the importance of fuel, since 
our forces were destined to penetrate far into enemy territory, at greater 
distance from our bases than ever before. 

General Stores. These were available from ServRon Ten in cargo ships, 
and in the concrete barge Trefoil at Majuro. After 20 June, cargo ships 
had them at Eniwetok. 

Aircraft Replacement. Replacement aircraft were available in escort car- 
riers, and in the vicinity of the objectives already described in fueling at 
sea. The unclassified ship Fortune carried aeronautical spare parts and 
was scheduled to be at Majuro until about 15 June, and aviation spares 
in limited quantities were in the South Pacific for emergency issue. 

"Operation Forager," the Marianas Campaign 141 

Salvage. Six fleet ocean tugs with fire-fighting personnel and equip- 
ment were on hand for towing and fire fighting, and two salvage vessels 
accompanied the Joint Expeditionary Force to the objectives, while two 
more were assigned to Service Squadron Twelve for salvage and for 
clearing wrecks from harbors. 

Emergency Repairs. One repair ship for landing craft, the Egeria, accom- 
panied Defense Group One; another, the Agenor, accompanied Tractor 
Group Three, which was so-called because it landed troops in amphibi- 
ous boats equipped with tractor treads enabling them to trundle over 
reefs, as well as water, to dry ground. Repair ships and destroyer tenders 
were also in the Marshalls for emergency and battle-damage repairs by 
ServRon Ten. 

Medical. Four hospital ships, the Relief, Solace, Bountiful, and Samaritan, 
were on hand for the campaign. One transport for the wounded, the 
Rixey, was attached to TransDiv 24 (temporary) and another, the Try on, 
reported to Commander Task Force 51 of the Joint Expeditionary Force 
about D-plus-30 day. Medical supplies were carried in general stores 
issue ships, and a limited number of seaplanes of Rescue Squadron One 
were on call for evacuation of casualties to the Marshalls. 

Service Squadron Ten Facilities 

To support the fleet at the inception of the Marianas campaign, Com- 
modore W. R. Carter, Commander Service Squadron Ten, had a varied 
and considerable amount of equipment, with more promised. He had in 
his main body 3 destroyer tenders (one his flagship), 3 repair ships, 1 
internal-combustion-engine repair ship, 5 movable floating drydocks 
(3 of 1,000 tons capacity, 2 of 3,000 tons), 4 ocean tugs, 3 rescue tugs, 
1 limited-repair-facilities ship, 1 survey vessel, 1 barracks personnel ship, 

I high-speed mine sweeper, and 1 degaussing vessel. Other floating 
resources included 15 oil-storage tankers, 21 fuel-oil and gasoline barges, 

II water barges, 1 salvage vessel, 3 repair, 3 freight, and 13 ammunition 
barges. The hotel barge Sea Hag; 2 dry provisions and Army stores issue 
ships; 6 concrete storage barges; 6 general barges for boat pool, mooring 
gear, and miscellaneous freight; 8 harbor tugs, big and little; 1 sludge- 
removal barge; and 6 sea-sled targets made up the contingent of 120 
units afloat. This logistic force reveals the development of the war, the 
magnitude of the current operation, and the meticulous detailed 
planning essential for its success. 

214075 O-F-53 11 

142 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

At Kwajalein, ServRon Ten's representative was Captain S. B. Ogden, 
who had been designated as such 17 March. He and his staff had had 
some experience at Funafuti, and some with small units at Kwajalein 
since March, but nothing comparable to the size of the job in prospect. 
The time allowed for services was short, so some concern was felt. There 
need not have been. Captain Ogden fulfilled every obligation completely, 
as he also did on every subsequent job. 

Commodore Carter, commanding ServRon Ten, was at Majuro for 
administration of logistics until 3 June, when he and most of his staff 
left for Eniwetok in the Prairie. Before this, as fast as they could be 
spared from the logistic work for the fast carrier force, convoys of 
service units had been sent to Eniwetok, Roi, and Kwajalein to 
serve the Joint Expeditionary Force staging through to the Marianas. 
The safety of these convoys, except for the fast group comprising the 
Prairie and some of the faster tenders, was a matter of deep concern. 
If losses were suffered they would have to be borne, as no types in 
excess were available in the Central Pacific to furnish replacements. 
Even if these had been available at Pearl there would not have been 
time enough to bring them forward. However, each group got through 
safely without the loss of a single unit. 

Thereafter, logistic services continued through August for such of 
the forces as departed from Eniwetok for the objectives. At Majuro, 
Kwajalein, and Eniwetok, with facilities still quite limited, ServRon 
Ten serviced the vessels of all the Central Pacific Forces in this campaign, 
both before and after D-day. This support included emergency battle- 
damage repairs as well as routine minor repairing,' maintenance, and 
replacements for all types of vessels; handling of all types of ammuni- 
tion and ordnance requirements; furnishing provisions, material, and 
other necessary supplies; storage and distribution of fuel and fresh water; 
and rendering services in connection with personnel. Commander Service 
Squadron Ten acted in the capacity of Senior Officer Present Afloat 
(Administrative) while based at Majuro, and continued as such on 
arrival at Eniwetok. Until the establishment of a port director ashore, at 
Majuro on 29 May 1944, ServRon Ten rendered all the services of that 
office, which included organizing and routing convoys, arranging escorts, 
pilotage, and assignment of anchorages. 

Besides services for naval forces, Commander Service Squadron Ten 
was also required to maintain at specified levels supplies for land-based 
forces, of types B + C rations; maintenance supplies for Army, Navy, 
and Marine personnel; fuel and lubricants in 10-day supply for all 

ff Operation Forager," the Marianas Campaign 143 

vehicles, power plants, distillers, and army kitchen ranges; medical sup- 
plies and motor and small-boat maintenance; ammunition, bombs, and 
pyrotechnics for aircraft; ammunition for antiaircraft weapons and am- 
munition for all other. While the foregoing is not fleet logistics, it has 
a bearing since it constituted an extra burden on the squadron already 
overburdened with work for the fleet. 

Some Service Units and the Part They Played 
With the Fleet in the Marianas 

Choosing the oiler Guadalupe, Captain H. A. Anderson, as an example, 
the support she gave Admiral Spruance's forces between 17 May and 13 
July was noteworthy. Arriving at Majuro 17 May, she reported to 
ServRon Ten for duty in Task Group 50.17, under Captain E. E. Pare in 
the John D. Henley. The fuel section of Ten, under Lieutenant Com- 
mander C. T Munson, coordinated the fueling operations of tankers 
while in the harbor. On 20 May the Guadalupe fueled the four cruisers 
Santa Fe (2,910 bbls.), Mobile (3,700 bbls.), San Juan (2,460 bbls.), 
and Oakland (2,390 bbls.). On the 27th- she gave the Alabama 6,450 
barrels of fuel and 4,091 gallons of aviation gasoline. Later that day 
she gave the New Jersey 7,772 barrels of fuel oil and 2,454 gallons of 
aviation gasoline. On the 31st she pumped 8,292 barrels of fuel oil and 
819 gallons of gasoline into the North Carolina, and 7,918 barrels of 
fuel into the Washington. 

In preparation for fueling-at-sea operations it now became necessary 
for the Guadalupe to go alongside the commercial tanker Berote to refill. 
The record 1 June shows that she took aboard 51,691 barrels from the 
Berote, and gave another fleet tanker, the Marias, 5,832 barrels of Diesel 
oil. On 4 June the Guadalupe took 7,812 barrels of Diesel oil from the 
merchant tanker Saconnet. The former ship, with the Platte and Caliente, 
formed Task Unit 16.7.4 for at-sea operations in support of the Fifth 
Fleet. The group was ready for sea 6 June, with the Guadalupe carrying 
90,139 barrels of fuel oil, 7,840 barrels of Diesel fuel, and 391,202 gallons 
of aviation gasoline. 

Three days later in a fueling area she issued oil to the light carriers 
Monterey and Cabot and the destroyers Hickok, Hunt, Owen, Patterson, and 
Bagley. The first of these ships came alongside at 6:25 a. m. By 12:45 
p. m. all had cleared, a total of 12,883 barrels of fuel and 14,729 gallons 
of gasoline having been issued. The next day she fueled three ships of 

144 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

the screen, and on the 11th the heavy cruisers Boston, Baltimore, and 
Canberra, the antiaircraft cruisers San Juan and Oakland, and the 
destroyer Conner with a total of 36,168 barrels of black oil. All ships 
were clear that afternoon by 3:25. 

On D-plus-1 day, 16 June, the Guadalupe fueled the battleships 
Washington and New Jersey and the destroyers Stephen Potter and Miller 
with a total of 39,444 barrels of fuel, 743 barrels of Diesel oil, and 818 
gallons of aviation gasoline. The tanker now had to replenish her cargo, 
and in company with other empties, the Cimarron and Neshanic, with- 
drew from the fueling area, reaching Eniwetok 19 June. Between the 
20th and 21st the Elk and Gemsbok, station tankers under operational 
control of ServRon Ten at Eniwetok, gave her a total of 102,453 barrels, 
and 22 June the Signal delivered 3,937 barrels, part of which the Guada- 
lupe needed for her own bunkers. She was again ready for sea with 92,879 
barrels of fuel, 5,230 barrels of Diesel oil, and 375,657 gallons of aviation 
gas for issue. 

On 25 June the Guadalupe arrived in a fueling area west of Saipan in 
the Marianas where, 3 days later, she helped fuel Cruiser Division Six 
and Destroyer Squadron Forty-five. From 29 June to 10 July she oper- 
ated in assigned fueling areas with her task unit, 16.7.4, one of the oiler 
units of Task Group 50.17 under Captain Pare. Leaving the areas on 
the 10th, she reached Eniwetok 13 July. 

That is the record of one oiler backing up the fleet before and after the 
assault on Saipan. The Guadalupe was one of the 24 oilers in the 8 fuel- 
ing-at-sea groups in this operation and shares with the other oilers 
involved the approbation of the writer and others who know of the 
splendid service rendered in delivering oil and gasoline— the life blood 
of any operation— besides carrying personnel, mail, movies, aviation 
spare parts, some ammunition, some food, and other items. This service 
was in areas close to the target but far enough back to miss the glamor 
and excitement of the actual combat phases. Some, but not this writer, 
might overlook or take for granted the substantial contribution made 
by these ships to the success of the different campaigns. 

The Escort Carrier: Aircraft Replacement 

The escort carrier played an important role in the preliminary stages of 
many operations by delivering aircraft, engines, and aviation gear to the 
fleet at anchorages and to atoll commands. Also, during the progress of 

t( Operation Forager," the Marianas Campaign 145 

the operations themselves, the CVE, cruising with fueling units in as- 
signed areas, catapulted replacement planes to the "flat tops" of the fast 
carrier forces. An example of the aircraft replacement phase of logistic 
support is shown in the work of the Copahee, Captain D. Harris. 

On 17 April, 2 months before D-day for the Marianas, the Copahee left 
Pearl with 86 aircraft, 390 passengers, and 196 cases of equipment. On 
the 23d she unloaded her planes at the Majuro air station for further 
transfer to the fleet, or for use as combat air patrols. Reloading, she 
took aboard 23 damaged planes, 2 aircraft engines, and 312 passengers, 
leaving on the 26th for Pearl. Back at Majuro again 12 May, she un- 
loaded 58 planes, 20 of which she catapulted, and 7 cases of airplane 
parts. The next day she was underway once more for Pearl, where she 
loaded 61 planes: 25 fighters, 15 torpedo, 20 bombers (SB2C), and 1 
SBD bomber. 

On 3 June she left Pearl to operate as Task Unit 16.7.10, as part of 
Task Group 50.17, the oiler group previously mentioned. On the eve of 
D-day, 14 June, she launched planes to carriers as follows: 4 fighters and 
1 torpedo to the Cowpens; 1 fighter, 1 torpedo, 3 SB2C bombers to the 
Hornet; 4 fighters to the light carrier Bataan\ 5 fighters, 5 torpedo, and 
7 SB2C bombers to the Yorktown; 4 fighters, 2 torpedo, and 2 Avenger 
pilots to the light carrier Belleau Wood. From units of the fast carrier 
groups the Copahee received "flyable duds," aircraft not usable in com- 
bat operations. On 16 June she reported to Commander Task Group 
58.2, Rear Admiral Montgomery, and launched planes; for the Wasp, 3 
torpedo bombers and 1 SB2C; for the Lexington, 1 torpedo bomber; for 
the Bunker Hill, 4 dive bombers and 2 Avenger pilots; for the Enterprise, 
1 torpedo bomber and 1 TBM pilot. 

On 17 June the busy Copahee was en route from the Marianas to 
Eniwetok, where she replenished her supply of aircraft by loading 63 
planes, leaving 22 June for operations near the Marianas again. On 26 
June she reported to Task Group 58.4 and launched aircraft for the 
Langley, Cowpens, and Essex. On 6 July she dispatched 3 torpedo planes 
to Isley Field on Saipan, and the same day launched 26 fighters, 7 
torpedo, and 10 SB2C bombers, distributed among the Wasp, Cabot, 
Bataan, Monterey, Yorktown, and Hornet. Anchoring in Garapan Harbor, 
Saipan, on 7 July, she loaded Japanese aircraft, engines, and aviation gear 
before leaving for the United States by way of Eniwetok and Pearl. 

These details illustrate a new type of logistic support: Replenishment 
of carrier aircraft at sea. While fueling at sea was practiced by our Navy 
before the war, and during the war skillfully improved until it became 

146 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

almost routine, the carrier replacement by the CVE idea was entirely 
new and peculiar to operations in the Pacific. Combat or operational 
losses of pilots and aircraft did not necessarily require the fighting car- 
rier to retire from the combat zone. The carrier captain need only call 
upon the replenishment carrier to supply his needs on the spot. This 
procedure, among others, accounted in part for our ability to keep the 
Japanese off balance. 

The Stores Ship: Dry Provisions and Canteen Stores 

During the preparatory period for the Marianas campaign, the Navy 
cargo ship Azimech, Lieutenant Commander E. P. Gaither, arrived at 
Majuro Atoll 18 May and during the last 5 days of that month dis- 
charged 192 tons of canteen stores to 51 ships. After discharging 35 
more tons, this time to 21 ships, she left for Eniwetok, arrived there 6 
June, and operating urider orders from Commander Service Squadron Ten 
remained there until 9 July. During June she issued 2,223 tons of dry 
provisions to 142 ships and 174 tons of canteen stores to 171 ships and 
units. The Azimech had four 50-foot mechanized landing boats and two 
36- footers of her own, and these handled 70 percent of the above tonnage 
to the various large ships served. Submarine chasers, motor mine 
sweepers, and other small craft came alongside. The Azimech set stores 
on their own decks. At her first anchorage at Eniwetok Atoll she 
experienced considerable difficulty with boats alongside because of rough 

None of the Pacific atolls had sufficient land mass to break the full 
force of the wind, though they afforded some protection from the long 
ocean swells. As anchorages they were large enough to accommodate 
hundreds of ships, but were often very rough for small-boat work and 
for mooring one ship to another. Because of this condition the Azimech 
had to move to another berth in the northern part of the lagoon where 
more favorable unloading conditions prevailed. During the period 1 to 
9 July she issued 3,055 tons of dry provisions to 117 ships, and 311 tons 
of canteen stores to 54. 

On the eve of her departure for Pearl for another cargo of provisions, 
she was ordered to transfer her 4 LCM's and 2 LCVP's, complete with 
boat crews, for duty in Squadron Ten's boat pool. Four LCVP's, beyond 
economical repair, were placed on her for return to Pearl Harbor. These 
boat transfers were typical of cannibalizing, born of necessity. Boats were 

fr Operation Forager/' the Marianas Campaign 147 

among the scarcest items in the Central Pacific. The LCM and LCVP 
types especially were never quite plentiful enough for the best sup- 
port of Operation Forager. As the growing fleet, with consequent 
logistic support, moved westward, the need of more and more boats 
mounted. The combat ships had none— too hazardous to carry, and the 
space was needed for antiaircraft guns, directors, radar, etc. Therefore, 
boats had to be provided by the service-squadron pools. The demand 
was great, persistent, and seldom fully met. In short, the boat situation 
was one of the most trying problems that plagued the service squadron 
commander; it continued to do so all the way across the Pacific. The 
solution, "just get more boats," when spoken sounded easy but the 
problem was never fully solved. 

Fresh-and-Frozen-Provisions Ship 

The Bridge, Commander R. E. Stevens, brought refrigerated provisions 
to Majuro 27 April 1944. At noon of 4 May she began provisioning Task 
Force 58, Mitscher's Fast Carrier Force, and kept at it until 10:10 a. m., 
7 May. The same day she left for Pearl for replenishment, and after about 
3 days there loading was back at Majuro 31 May. 

Commander Service Squadron Ten ordered her to Eniwetok, where 
she was busy 7-9 June — 1 week before D-day — giving her cargo of fresh 
and frozen provisions to units of Admiral Turner's force. She then left 
Eniwetok for Pearl. There Lieutenant Commander T. M. Saul relieved 
Commander Stevens, and on 14-15 July the ship was again busy 
discharging at Eniwetok. 

Besides the Bridge and vessels of her type, the tenders Prairie, Markab, 
and Cascade, the concrete barge Quartz, the refrigerator barge YF-412, 
the YP 239, and YP's 282-287 provided fresh and frozen provisions to 
some extent during the Marianas campaign, though they had to load 
their stocks from provisions stores ships before they could supply other 

The Repair Ship: Repairs During Marianas Operation 

For an idea of the extent of repairs necessary for units of the fleet just 
before and after the initial assault on the Marianas, the activities of the 
repair ship Ajax, Commander J. L. Brown, may be taken as typical. On 

148 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

5 March 1944, she reported to the logistic support group of Squadron 
Ten at Majuro. During the rest of the month she repaired 74 different 
fleet units ranging from big carriers and fast battleships down through 
LST's and YMS's including some work on merchant ships and jobs for 
two shore activities on Majuro Island. 

Nearing the time for the assault, with more ships assembling, the 
work load increased. In April the Ajax serviced 96 ships and in May 103, 
of various types. In June she cared for 157 ships, among them 7 fast 
battleships and 3 old ones, 1 large and 1 small carrier, 3 heavy cruisers, 
10 light cruisers, 45 destroyers, 19 destroyer escorts, 2 ammunition ships, 
4 oilers, 2 stores ships, 2 merchant vessels, minecraft, fleet tugs, YMS's, 
SC's, and station and yard craft. She also did some work for the Naval 
Air Base, Majuro. 

Part of the ship repair work in June was done at Eniwetok, where the 
Ajax arrived on the 19th with the ammunition ship Shasta. During July 
the Eniwetok load increased to 173 fleet units. As that month marked 
the completion of the Saipan conquest, and the landings on Guam and 
Tinian, repairs by the Ajax during August fell off to 120 units, and 
further in September. During the latter month the ship was quaran- 
tined and moved to Kwajalein because of an epidemic of dysentery on 

Three other repair ships and three repair barges were likewise busy 
with fleet work during the same period. 


"Forager" Logistics in General and 
Ammunition in Particular 

Service Squadron Ten at Eniwetok 

One of the ammunition ships supporting the fleet in the Marianas 
was the Rainier, Commander F. S. Conner. She loaded her ammu- 
nition at the Naval Ammunition Depot, Port Chicago, California, early 
in May 1944, and on the 17th sailed for Majuro. She carried 6,242 tons, 
in holds, for issue, but no deck cargo. Reaching Majuro 31 May she 
reported to Squadron Ten for instructions and prepared all holds to issue 
cargo. From 1 to 5 June, 10 days before the Saipan assault, she made 
issues to seven fast battleships, five large carriers and four small carriers, 
two heavy cruisers, one light cruiser, antiaircraft cruisers and certain 
destroyers, all of Admiral Mitscher's fast carrier striking force, Task 
Force 58. They took approximately 1,600 tons, about one- fourth of her 
cargo. She received 6 tons of rejected ammunition from the same force. 
On 6 June these fast carriers put to sea to make strikes on Saipan, 
Tinian, Guam, Rota, and Pagan, to maintain sea and air control in the 
Marianas area on D-day, and to make such other strikes as opportunity 
presented. After they left, the Rainier received more rejected ammuni- 
tion, some ammunition for further transfer, 12 tons of empty containers, 
made issues to Service Squadron Ten, and secured for sea. On the 11th, 
in company with two other ammunition carriers, the Mazama and the 
Mauna Loa, she left Majuro for Eniwetok, arriving there 2 days later. 
There she made issues to various ships, and 13 July she got under way 
for Saipan. From the 16th until the end of the month she transferred 
ammunition at Garapan anchorage there to battleships and cruisers of 
Task Force 52, the Northern Attack Force of Vice Admiral Turner, and 
to some carriers of Task Force 58, the Wasp, Franklin, Yorktown, and 
Hornet. By 2 August she was under way for Pearl, stopping at Eniwetok 


8 oP 








(See lnml)M, 






Nautical Miles 


i _ =3 

Marianas Islands. 

ft Forager" Logistics in General and Ammunition in Particular 151 

to transfer some ammunition to the Lassen. In the 2 months of June and 
July the Rainier had handled a total of 9,410 tons of ammunition and 
empty containers: 3,564 tons in June, 5,846 in July. 

The Lassen reached Majuro 6 April 1944, and that date Lieutenant 
Commander F. B. McCall, head of the ammunition department of 
Service Squadron Ten, went on board and established the administrative 
office of Commander Service Squadron Ten for ammunition affairs. 
Lieutenant Commander McCall coordinated the activities of ammunition 
ships with a staff of only two lieutenants (junior grade). The ammuni- 
tion department of Squadron Ten later grew to be a much larger section 
handled by a captain, but in the early days at Majuro and Eniwetok the 
burden fell upon McCall's shoulders. After the sortie of task groups or 
some large force he would return to the squadron flagship almost, but 
not quite, exhausted by his duties of send, hurry, load, unload details, 
and almost never-ending questions of where, how, and when. He was 
practically indestructible, and the success of the rearming operations was 
due principally to his energy and devotion to duty. 

Ammunition Expenditure and Resupply 

The original plan called for a limited replenishment at the objective 
from assault shipping; i. e., transports, cargo vessels, landing ships 
(tank), and landing ships (dock). It consisted of one bombardment 
allowance of 5 -inch antiaircraft common for all fire-support destroyers, 
a similar bombardment allowance of 8-inch and 6-inch high-capacity for 
all cruisers, and a limited resupply of depth charges, rockets, and 40-mm. 
The rest of the ammunition replenishment was planned for Eniwetok, 
and reserves were assembled there in ammunition ships, barges, and 
cargo ships. Admiral Turner stated that it was his intention to return 
fire-support ships to Eniwetok in relays as ammunition became necessary. 

Shortly after D-day it became apparent that certain types, particularly 
6-inch HC, 5-inch AAC, and star shells would soon be exhausted. 
Neither time nor the number of ships available permitted of keeping up 
with the expenditure by sending fighting craft to Eniwetok. Since the 
Mazama, Commander P. V. R. Harris, was heavily loaded with the types 
most needed, she was ordered to Saipan, thereby easing a very critical 
situation. Thereafter ammunition ships were ordered to forward areas 
as needed. 

The ship's war diary for 21-22 June, while she was in support of fleet 

152 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

units still heavily attacking Saipan, supplied the following information: 

"The island (Saipan) could be seen silhouetted against the light of flares.— The 
weather was clear and as daylight approached various phases of the fighting on the 

island were clearly apparent ( our ) planes were seen to be bombing and, at 

certain points, were subjected to enemy antiaircraft fire. The MAZAMA entered the 
transport area, reported for duty to Commander Task Force 51 (VADM Turner) and 
was assigned a berth ( #40) in Garapan Anchorage. This berth had a depth of from 
50-65 fathoms with a rock bottom. The contour of the bottom was a narrow ledge 
shelving steeply on each side. Immediately upon arrival, the USS LOUISVILLE 
(CA-28) came alongside and as soon as practicable ammunition issues commenced. 
Heavy swells from eastward caused dangerous rolling and unstable conditions for 
cargo operations. The destroyer MELVIN (DD-680) came alongside. She rolled 10 
or 15 degrees, bent the splinter shield on the midships 40-mm. mount and shoved off 
without taking ammunition. Various LCT's came alongside, and with better luck 
took ammunition. By 2125 the LOUISVILLE cleared the MAZAMA. All booms 
and holds were secured for the night. In spite of difficulties, 107 tons of ammunition 
were issued (21 June) by the MAZAMA. A little after midnight upon receipt of 
flash "red" warning the MAZAMA prepared to get under way and hove short. An 
hour later flash "white." At sunrise cargo operation was resumed with LCT's along- 
side. The MAZAMA had dragged her anchor and had to shift berth. Intermittent 
bombardment of Saipan by naval ships and aircraft continued. Issue to heavy ships 
was not feasible due to heavy swells; transfer of ammunition now was confined to 
LCT's and LCVP's. Just before midnight another flash "red" and preparations again 
made for getting under way. All vessels were ordered by CTF 5 1 to make smoke. 
For the 22d of June, 185 tons of ammunition were issued." 

From 21 June to 7 July, when she sailed for Eniwetok, the Mazama's 
diary shows almost daily red alarms, preparations for and actually get- 
ting under way in darkness, and damage sustained from vessels alongside. 
(There were a few good days.) Alarms were generally accompanied by 
orders for all ships to make smoke. On the night of 27 June between 8 
and 10:15 o'clock the ship got under way twice and reanchored each 
time. These are the conditions under which she worked, the hindrances, 
the interruptions to loading during the day and the alerts at night, all 
during periods of naval bombardment and the threats of enemy air 
attacks. During the 15 days the Mazama was engaged in unloading, she 
discharged 3,448 tons of ammunition, approximately 230 tons a day, the 
largest issue being 400 tons. 

At Eniwetok the ship replenished her cargo from the Rutland Victory 
and returned 27 July to Saipan, where for the rest of the month she 
issued through landing craft (mechanized), lighters, and barges to large 
carriers anchored nearby, using working parties from the receiving ves- 
sels to do so. Carrier bomb replenishment was the vital work at this 
time, and deliveries to the carriers Lexington, Bunker Hill, and San 


d P 

154 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

Jacinto were completed 1 August when the work had to stop as the 
weather had become progressively worse. On 2 August both the Hornet 
and the Mazama shifted anchorages twice to find a better location for 
loading. Finally the Hornet got under way to make a lee for the LCM's, 
and the Mazama steamed across the wind to unload bombs to the land- 
ing craft while in motion. Some success resulted, and two LCM loads of 
50 bombs each were given the Hornet. In spite of set-backs by weather 
and sea, the ship received Admiral Spruance's compliments in the visual 
message: "CTF 58 appreciates the excellent rebombing work by Mazama, 
your boats and crews. Thanks." Great credit is due the officers and men 
of all ammunition ships in handling their dangerous cargoes under 
difficulties in support of fleet operations. Those were the boys who 
"passed the ammunition." 

Rebombing of the carriers presented an unusual problem. On one 
occasion every ship in the roadstead was stripped of bombs for the 
carriers of Task Force 58. Emergency shipments ordered from Eniwetok 
(those ships which returned to Eniwetok were resupplied there) enabled 
the carriers to remain effective, though the bombs supplied were not 
always those desired. Replenishment at the objective reached unexpected 
magnitude. The total ammunition transferred at the objective from 
ammunition or cargo ships was: 

(a) 16-, 14-, 8-, 6-inch, and various calibers of 5-inch, besides rockets, 
14,629 tons; 

(b) Bombs of various sizes from 2,000 pounds to 100 pounds, plus 
.50-caliber ammunition, 2,523 tons. 

(A grand total of 17,152 tons, of which 10,960 were fired against Saipan.) 

Several practical problems incidental to the replenishment program 
were solved with the ways and means at hand. Empty shell casings and 
containers were loaded into discharged vessels, partially unloaded 
ammunition craft, and temporarily even into harbor craft. Working 
parties, such as Commodore Carter's Seabees, specialist stevedores at 
Eniwetok, and others obtained from headquarters ships and transports, 
helped greatly. Supervision of inexperienced merchant-ship ammunition 
carriers was solved by temporary assignment of staff officers to duty 
aboard. Shortage of equipment such as fenders, camels, and lines was 
partly met by borrowing, though the scarcity of manila rope -made sub- 
stitutions necessary, while in the case of fenders, damaged aircraft and 
vehicle tires were frequently used, and other types of wooden fenders 







5? ■ 


"Forager" Logistics in General and Ammunition in Particular 157 

Those officers and men who labored at the task of supervising or 
actually handling ammunition cargoes may take pride in their contribu- 
tion to the combined effort. No better proof could be asked than an 
extract from a captured Japanese message sent from enemy headquarters 
on Saipan: "The practical experience of the defense forces on Saipan in 
this battle lasting over half a month lay in the power of the enemy naval 
bombardment. If there were just no naval gunfire, we feel we could fight 
it out with the enemy in a decisive battle." 

Admiral Conolly, commanding Task Force 53, reported the effect of 
naval gunfire in the capture of Guam in these words: "The assault troops 
of both the Third Division and the First Brigade landed with very little 
interference or opposition from enemy troops, and with sporadic mortar 
fire as the only enemy gunfire to hinder them. This fact was due in large 
part to the intense naval gunfire placed upon the landing beaches and 
adjacent areas just before the Marines first set foot on the beach. Coastal 
defense guns, heavy and light AA guns, dual-purpose guns, and all types 
of defensive installations were rendered impotent prior to the landing of 
the troops. Most of the houses and other structures on the west coast of 
the island were completely razed by deliberate destructive fire, which 
prevented their use by enemy troops. It is believed that not one fixed 
gun was left in commission on the west coast that was of greater size 
than a machine gun." Those who had "passed the ammunition" had not 
labored in vain. 

Fog oil and smoke pots are associated logistic items in connection 
with ammunition. Admiral Turner stated that smoke operations in the 
transport areas were the major factor in effective defense against air 
attack which, though repeated and often, was obviously blind bombing. 
Unsuccessful attempts were also made to drop torpedoes. The screen 
(fog) produced was not always perfect, but was sufficient to prevent the 
enemy from selecting specific targets, even in very bright moonlight, 
and pressing home the attack. The only damage suffered in the transport 
area during smoke coverage was incurred when the cargo vessel Mercury, 
Lieutenant Commander N. D. Salmon, was hit by a torpedo before it 
struck the water. The torpedo did some damage as a missile, but did not 
explode. The enemy pilot was so confused by the smoke screen that, 
after releasing the torpedo, he crashed his plane into one of the Mercury's 
cargo booms and was destroyed. It is doubtful that he saw the ship. 

About 24 June, 9 days after D-day, it became apparent that additional 
smoke mixture would be required at Saipan if air attacks continued. 
Shipments, including some by air, were requested from Squadron Ten 

214075 O-F-53 12 

158 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

at Eniwetok, and recommendations made that a supply of 30,000 gallons 
of fog oil, 3,000 pots, and 3,000 floats be established there. Later these 
amounts were doubled. Fortunately shipments arrived during critical 
moments. Eniwetok sent altogether 65,000 gallons of fog oil and 4,100 
pots and floats. 

From 5 to 15 minutes was required, depending upon the wind speed, 
to develop a good screen over the anchorage. From 15 June, D-day, to 
7 July smoke was used on 12 occasions, in periods ranging from 29 
minutes to 234, and a total length of 18 hours and 27 minutes. Based 
on an average of 30 ships using smoke generators (Besler type) and 
30 others using pots or floats in small boats, the estimated average 
expenditure each hour of smoking was 3,000 gallons of fog oil and 600 
pots or floats. On the foregoing basis the estimated total expenditure at 
Saipan was 57,000 gallons of fog oil and 11,400 pots or floats. 

Hospital Ships in the Marianas Assault 

On 15 June, D-day, the Solace, Commander E. B. Peterson, left Eniwetok 
and arrived in Charan Kanoa anchorage, Saipan, 18 June, while the 
shore and adjacent hill were under heavy bombardment by dive bombers, 
naval shellfire, and field artillery fire from a captured beachhead. Twenty- 
five minutes after she anchored, the Solace began embarking patients 
from ships and shore units, and casualties from front-line operations, a 
total for the day, all battle casualties, of 442. Next day, the bombard- 
ment continuing, she received 259 more. On 20 June, the following day, 
the senior medical officer reported to the captain that all beds were 
filled, that patients were overflowing into the crew's quarters, and that 
with 584 cases on board full capacity for caring for the wounded had 
been reached. Men who died of their wounds had been transferred to 
the medical officer of the shore party for interment. The Solace put to sea 
and on the 26th moored alongside Point Cruz dock, Guadalcanal Island. 
Here she transferred her patients to U. S. Army ambulances, 505 naval 
casualties for Fleet Hospital 108, 73 Army cases to the Evacuation 
Officer, Surgeon's Office, Service Command, for further treatment and 

On the way from Saipan to Guadalcanal the Solace crossed the equator 
on 24 June, and Captain Peterson thoughtfully held a Neptune party for 
the patients. The "royal" party visited each ward and issued a "Crossing 
the Line" certificate to each patient, a merry touch indicative of a happy 
ship that lightened the suffering of the wounded men. Three days later, 

"Forager" Logistics in General and Ammunition in Particular 159 

the 27th, she turned about, and on arrival at Garapan anchorage 
commenced taking aboard wounded from the front lines. Although on 
3 July heavy swells and bad weather made handling of patients difficult, 
she nevertheless took 264 aboard and by afternoon of the 5th had 
received 562. Again she sailed for the Solomons, anchoring this time in 
Sunlight Channel, Russell Islands, on the 11th. There 376 patients went 
to Fleet Hospital 110, 182 to the Army 222d Station Hospital. Sailing 
for Eniwetok, she fueled and went to Guam, arriving 24 July. Lying to 
in Agana Bay, she began taking casualties aboard while the shore was 
under bombardment by surface forces supported by air bombing and 
strafing. One day several small-caliber shells, believed to be from enemy 
mortars on shore, fell close aboard, so she moved about 500 yards 
farther to seaward. During her 3-day stay she did not anchor but lay to 
the entire time. By the 26th she had reached her capacity with 585 cases 
aboard. She sailed immediately, and 30 July began discharging her 
patients at Kwajalein. 

Other hospital ships also were doing splendid work, among them the 
Samaritan, Commander J. C. Sever, and the Bountiful, Commander G. L. 
Burns. The latter arrived D-plus-3 day and evacuated 515 casualties. On 
D-plus-8 day the Relief and the Samaritan evacuated 1,355 men and 
returned to the objective for more. 

On her second call at Saipan the Relief on 15 July evacuated 685 
casualties, of which 284 were wounded Japanese. The ship's working 
plan required that Marines and soldiers wounded in battle be embarked 
first. When such loading was completed, remaining available space was 
filled with Japanese prisoners, all of whom received the same profes- 
sional treatment as men of our own forces. A prisoner who died was 
buried at sea, with an appropriate religious service. 

In the Prairie's sick bay there were two Japanese patients, 7-year-old 
children, who had lived on Saipan. They had learned to trust and had 
become fond of one particular hospital corpsman. When the children 
had to be sent back to Saipan, the separation of these "friendly" enemies 
was a touching scene. On the destroyer tender Prairie, as well as on the 
hospital ships, the humanities prevailed. 

Medical Report of Admiral Turner, Commander Task Force Fifty-one 

On D-day, 15 June, 19 attack transports, 5 transports, 6 cargo vessels 
(attack), and 3 landing ships (tank) were available at Saipan for evacua- 

160 • Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

tion of casualties. The three LST's, specially equipped, handled 1,549 
casualties and 27 surgical operations were performed aboard. On D-day 
between 10:40 a. m. and 3 p. m. 711 casualties had been received aboard 
the transports. Two LST's, commencing at the same time, received 200 
casualties in less than 2 hours, and the third LST was filled soon after, 
necessitating transfer of further casualties to the transports. The Solace 
and Bountiful, arriving on D-plus-3 day, evacuating 1,099 wounded, 
helped to relieve the overload on the medical facilities of the attack 
transports. Saipan had a total of 16,525 killed, wounded, and missing; 
Tinian 1,829; and Guam 7,266; the wounded being respectively 13,099, 
1,515, and 5,722. 

Air evacuation from Isely Air Field was established on D-plus-9 day, 
and 860 casualties were sent to the Marshalls by this means during the 
remainder of the operation. Experience showed, Admiral Turner stated, 
that a flight surgeon, with adequate medical attendants at the objective 
to supervise air evacuation, was necessary. 

As a whole, medical supplies were adequate. The greatest shortage 
was that of litters, though there was a short interval early in the opera- 
tion when penicillin was not available. The 100 ampules obtained by 
the flagship Rocky Mount from hospitals at the start of operations were 
used up prior to resupply by air. Then a fairly new drug, penicillin had 
not been made available to ships through routine channels before their 
departure for the objective. A shortage of tetanus antitoxin, due to faulty 
distribution, was felt by the landing forces early in the operation. 

Report of Logistics by Vice Admiral Turner, 
Commander Task Force Fifty-one 

Admiral Turner, in his report on the capture of the Marianas, brings out 
clearly the vital nature of the problem of supply. He wrote, in part: "At 
the outset of the operation it was apparent that one of the most serious 
problems to be solved was that of logistics. The operation called for a 
long trip to the objective, followed by an extended stay at points a 
thousand miles from the nearest resupply allocation. Furthermore, am- 
phibious landing operations now require the employment of hundreds 
of small craft . . . almost all of which have limited endurance in matters 
of fuel, water, and provisions. Likewise, the arrival of non-self-sustaining 
merchant ships containing garrison units, increases the amount of 
supplies required." 

t( Forager" Logistics in General and Ammunition in Particular 161 

Logistics at the Staging Areas. "In order to enable the many small craft 
in the task force to complete the long trip from the Hawaiian area to the 
objective and to insure that all ships were supplied to capacity with 
necessary logistic items for the stay at the objective, all ships were 
fueled, watered, and provisioned at one of the three staging points, 
Eniwetok, Roi, and Kwajalein, in accordance with a schedule set up in 
the operation plan. The dates of arrival of various task units at the stag- 
ing areas were staggered slightly to relieve the congestion and expedite 

"It was expected that all craft smaller than LST's would require fuel 
and that they, plus the LST's, would require water and provisions at the 
staging areas. In addition, it was considered advisable to top off the 
larger ships with whatever supplies and water remained at the staging 
points after the small craft were cared for, in an effort to lengthen the 
endurance of all vessels at the objective. 

"The logistic schedule included in the operation plan divided the 
ships present at each staging point into logistic groups, whose require- 
ments were to be handled by the senior officer of each," who "was to 
submit to Service Squadron Ten by air mail, prior to his departure from 
the Hawaiian area, the order of fueling and watering for the vessels of 
his group. This arrangement was not entirely satisfactory, however, for 
two reasons. First, due to the mixture of ships in each logistic group, 
there was considerable doubt as to which officer was the senior . . . Also, 
very few groups submitted their logistic schedules in advance to Service 
Squadron Ten. As a result it became necessary for the Senior Officer 
Present Afloat, together with the representatives of Service Squadron 
Ten, to set up an almost entirely new fueling and watering schedule . . . 
Despite this difficulty, and the large number of ships requiring services, 
all ships were refueled, watered, and provisioned expeditiously, due to 
the able assistance of Service Squadron Ten." 

Logistics at the Objective: Provisions. It was evident from the beginning 
of the operation that because of the shortage of provision ships in the 
Central Pacific there would be no fresh and few frozen and dry provi- 
sions for resupply at the objective. Therefore the transports and merchant 
ships were called upon to give to the limit of their capacity. All ships 
leaving the area were stripped of all provisions in excess of the amount 
required to reach ultimate destinations, plus a small reserve. On 
D-plus-28 day the Giansar, Commander G. J. King, a dry-provisions 
ship, arrived and refilled all ships present with dry provisions. About 
D-plus-50 day a provisions stores lighter was brought forward with 400 

162 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

tons of frozen stores, and each craft given a limited amount. Adequate 
dry stores were thus available, though fresh and frozen provisions and 
ship's service supplies were sorely missed. 

Water Supply at the Objective. As it was realized that no outside sources 
of water would be available at the objective for many days after the 
initial landing, arrangements were made to service the smaller, non-self- 
sustaining craft from transports, LST's, and large combatant ships. 
Excess water in them was stored in LST's for future use. Despite these 
efforts, demand began to exceed supply after the larger ships left. Non- 
self-sustaining merchant ships arriving with troops also lacked water 
during a period of heavy weather which prevented daily collections of 
water from the remaining large ships. Admiral Turner stated: "Water 
ships must be moved to the assault area closely following' the assault 
forces, prepared to supply large amounts of water until water barges can 
be brought into the area." 

Report of Logistics by Rear Admiral Conolly, Commander Task 
Force Fifty-three (Southern Attack Force) 

Logistics in the Staging Area. "Task Force 53 staged for the Marianas 
operation at Kwajalein and Roi in the Marshall Islands. Replenishment 
of fuel and provisions by all ships and fresh water for LST's, LCI's, and 
other small craft was accomplished at the staging points. Logistic serv- 
ices in the staging areas were completely satisfactory and were furnished 
by ComServRon Ten and his representatives at the ports concerned." 

Logistics in the Restaging Area. "Due to the postponement of W-day 
(Guam) it was necessary that Task Force 53 restage at Eniwetok . . . 
Restaging involved topping off with fuel, water, provisions, and ammu- 
nition, and was accomplished during a period in which existing facilities 
for servicing the fleet were sorely overtaxed by demands of other task 
forces of the Fifth Fleet. In spite of these adverse conditions all ships of 
Task Force 53 departed from Eniwetok logistically prepared to carry out 
their tasks in the operation. The fullest cooperation during the restaging 
period was received from ComNavBases, Forward Area, Central Pacific, 
and ComServRon Ten." 

Logistics at the Objective. "With assistance from departing ships, that 
part of the task force which remained at the objective was logistically 
self-sufficient except for fuel. Fuel was furnished from tankers which 
arrived on W-plus-5 day. These tankers located at the objective were 

"Forager" Logistics in General and Ammunition in Particular 163 

extremely helpful to the accomplishment of successful fire support and 
screening operations, in that destroyers and other ships could be fueled 
in the immediate vicinity of their operating areas and without the task 
force commander losing their services for 10 to 15 hours while they 
steamed to and from fueling rendezvous 100 or more miles from the 

July in Central Pacific. The principal operations in the Central Pacific 
were completion of the Saipan conquest, near-completion of the occupa- 
tion of Tinian and Guam, operations of ships and aircraft supporting 
these actions, and the furnishing of logistic and air support through 
Marshall Islands bases. During July, Kwajalein, Majuro, and Eniwetok 
Atolls served for staging support, and for land-based air operations 
against enemy bases within range. Fleet units were serviced and repro- 
visioned at all three anchorages. All shipping for the Marianas was 
staged through Kwajalein and Eniwetok, particularly the latter. In view 
of this, it is pertinent to examine some of the activities of Squadron Ten 
at Eniwetok during July 1944 in meeting the needs of the fleet. 

Principal Activities of Service Squadron Ten 
at Eniwetok During July 1944 

Commander Service Squadron Ten (Commodore Carter), using the 
Prairie as his flagship and with part of his staff in her, had been at Eni- 
wetok since 5 June. Lack of space in the flagship necessitated placing 
the disbursing section of the supply department in the repair ship Ajax 
and the fuel section in the oiler Sepulga. The following tenders and 
repair ships were also present: Repair ship Hector; destroyer tenders Pied- 
mont, Cascade, and Markab; repair ship landing craft Egeria; floating 
drydocks ARD-13, ARD-15, mobile floating drydock APD-15, and 
floating workship YR-30. 

During the first half of July there was a daily average of 488 ships at 
Eniwetok; during the second half, 283. The greatest number came 
between 7 and 12 July, when more than 520 ships were present. These 
assemblages were not as great as those which came later at Eniwetok, 
Ulithi, and in Leyte Gulf. However, the squadron was still fairly young, 
its organization feeling its way, its facilities still insufficient. The de- 
mands of the many ships present extended the squadron's capabilities 
to the limit. But by dint of long hours, improvisation, and teamwork 
the challenge was met and necessary services rendered at a critical time. 




• ^ 


"Forager" Logistics in General and Ammunition in Particular 165 

This strenous period exacted its tolls, however, in the health of two 
staff officers, Commander R. P. Hazelhurst and Captain F. A. Packer, 
maintenance officer. In mid-May 1944 Commander Hazelhurst relieved 
Lieutenant Commander G. A. Kelly. Lieutenant Commander R. A. Har- 
rison, Squadron Ten's original supply officer, was away when Commander 
Hazelhurst arrived, in San Francisco supervising the outfitting of con- 
crete barges. Serving as supply officer at Majuro, Hazelhurst continued 
at Eniwetok until August, when he was relieved by Captain W. J. 
Nowinski. His health had become undermined by the arduous duties 
confronting him in connection with supply work for the fleet. 

Captain Packer was the squadron's first maintenance officer, and 
through all those tough early days at Majuro and Eniwetok until Sep- 
tember carried out his duties without a let-up. The variety and scope of 
the repair and service problems he faced, incident to large fleet concen- 
trations at both anchorages, seemed unlimited. He did splendid work, 
laboring long hours without thought of the drain upon his health and 
strength. In September Captain P. D. Gold replaced him as repair officer 
of Squadron Ten. 

The variety and scope of Ten's multifarious duties at Eniwetok during 
July may be shown by some of the highlights of activities and condi- 
tions. Four towing planes were based there for antiaircraft services to the 
fleet, administered by the squadron gunnery officer. Oilers and water 
barges went to the northern part of the atoll to oil Tractor Group 53.16. 
Temporary repairs were made on the after strut of No. 4 main propeller 
shaft of the Pennsylvania. Smoke equipment was loaded on LST's and 
transports, and 105-mm. ammunition was loaded from Japtan Island and 
from the Kit Carson on LST-272. The sonar on the Porterfield was repaired 
and her port propeller changed in one of the floating drydocks, which 
performed much valuable service throughout the war. Five-inch, .38- 
caliber ammunition was unloaded from the steamer Robert C. Carey to 
lighters, and 8-inch, .38-caliber ammunition, high capacity, unloaded 
from the Narcissa Whitman to lighters. Two 5 -inch, .38-caliber gun 
barrels were replaced in the battleship California. Commander Fifth Fleet 
called for one dry-provision cargo vessel, one refrigerator barge, and one 
dry-provision barge to be sent to Saipan. In response to this the Giansar, 
with YC-1030 and YF-412 towed by the fleet tug Lipan, went there; 
also two gasoline barges and a tank barge. Ammunition was delivered 
to Task Group 58.3 (Rear Admiral Reeves) and Task Group 58.4 (Rear 
Admiral Harrill). Eight-inch ammunition was unloaded from Narcissa 
Whitman and 14-inch from Rutland Victory for transfer to Shasta. 

An LCT alongside the Yorktown. 

"Forager" Logistics in General and Ammunition in Particular 167 

Here we had the merchant ship bringing out ammunition to forward 
areas, where naval ammunition carriers replenished their cargoes. Steve- 
dores though insufficient for handling such cargoes, were berthed at 
Eniwetok on the "Sea Hag," a large personnel barge, the forerunner of 
the APL hotel barge or barracks ship. Squadron Ten also effected tem- 
porary underwater repairs to inboard port stern tube bearing on the 
North Carolina, loaded LST's with 5-inch, .38-caliber ammunition for 
Saipan, and during the first half of July provisioned Carrier Task Groups 
58.3 and 58.4; ships of the Southern Attack Force (Task Force 53) and 
other amphibious vessels. During this period the Aldebaran arrived to 
relieve the shortage of fresh and frozen foods. In all, more than 500 
vessels were serviced. To accomplish this the cargo transports Cheleb and 
Azimech distributed 700 tonsof dry provisions. The Bridge was able to 
supply only 925 tons of fresh foods, which were distributed as evenly as 
possible among the amphibious forces and the larger vessels in Task 
Groups 58.3 and 58.4. The tenders did yeoman service in providing for 
the needs of the destroyers in these groups. All this is only a part of the 
service rendered from 1 to 15 July 1944. 

Sea Flyer Salvage. On 21 July at 2:30 a. m. the Sea Flyer grounded on 
the south side of the east channel entrance to Eniwetok. Salvage opera- 
tion began at daybreak under Commodore Carter. Tugs took heavy strain 
on cables, but the ship did not move. Preparations for removing troops 
and cargo were initiated, and rigging of beaching gear started. Lieutenant 
R. K. Thurman, commanding the fleet tug Tawasa, was designated 
salvage officer, and continued as such until the ship was refloated 28 
July, though Commander Lebbeus Curtis arrived to act as supervisor on 
the 24th. By this prompt salvage a valuable ship was saved with her 
cargo, 1,900 tons of which was unloaded before she could be hauled off. 
A very important lesson was learned by all who witnessed this work; i. e., 
when grounding on a lee shore, beaching-gear anchors must be put out 
and strain taken on all before lightening the vessel. The more beaching 
anchors available, the better. Tugs should take a strain on the towing 
lines only after their own anchors are down to a generous scope of chain. 

Carrier Attack on the Western Carolines: 26-28 July 1944. With plans on 
foot for large-scale attacks on the Western Carolines in the early fall, 
Vice Admiral Mitscher executed Operation Snapshot on them, to obtain 
photographic coverage of the group and make an antishipping sweep. 
With this was the necessity of destroying enemy aircraft there, to pre- 
vent attacks on our forces currently engaged in the large Marianas 
Operation Forager. Three fast carrier groups were released after covering 

168 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

the Guam landing on 21 July for this mission: 58.1-2-3. The first and 
second were low on ammunition, and had to put into Saipan the morn- 
ing of the 22d. Bombs were loaded that day, and on the 23d the force 
fueled from oilers of Task Group 50.17 south of Guam in one of the 
fueling areas of the Marianas operation plan. Task Group 58.1 was 
directed to attack and photograph Yap, Ulithi, Fais, Ngulu, and Sorol, 
while the two other groups gave their attention to Palau. Both missions 
were successful, rendezvous was made on the 29th, refueling accom- 
plished, and the entire force returned to the Marianas area. 

Carrier Air Attack on Iwojima and the Bonins: 4-5 August 1944. This 
operation, known as Scavenger, an adjunct of the large scale Marianas 
campaign, was designed to attack aircraft, shipping, and shore installa- 
tions in the Iwojima, Haha Jima, and Chichi Jima areas. Task Groups 
58.1 and 58.3 participated under Rear Admirals J. J. Clark and A. E. 
Montgomery, with 4 large and 2 light carriers, 8 light cruisers, and 24 

On 1 August the two groups anchored at Saipan, on returning from 
their Western Carolines raid. Bomb loading, scheduled for that night, 
was prevented by heavy swells. The following day, after proceeding to a 
point somewhat out of Saipan anchorage, the weather still prevented the 
loading of a single bomb. The two groups left Saipan that afternoon 2 
August, fueled from Task Group 50.17, of 4 oilers and screen, to the west 
of Tinian and proceeded on a northerly course to the Bonin Islands. The 
next day three destroyers rejoined, with mail and personnel from Saipan. 
Several destroyers were topped off from the carriers, but weather condi- 
tions were still not favorable. 

On the 4th, after receiving reports that a Japanese convoy was head- 
ing north from Chichi Jima, Task Unit 58.1.6 was formed, with four 
cruisers and seven destroyers, and ordered to attack the enemy and 
bombard Chichi Jima. The same day planes of Task Group 58.1 attacked 
Chichi Jima, while those of Task Group 58.3 launched their strike 
against Iwo Jima. Planes from both attacked Chichi and Haha on the 
5th. Because of the difficulty at Saipan in loading bombs there was a 
shortage of the most desirable types for the targets available, as well as 
shortage of fuzes. The two groups retired the night of the 5th, reached 
Eniwetok the 9th, and were resupplied and serviced there by Squadron 

The month of August 1944 saw the completion of the Marianas 
assault operations with the cessation of organized resistance on Tinian 
and Guam. Commodore Carter, with the main body of Service Squadron 

"Forager" Logistics in General and Ammunition in Particular 169 

Ten, was still giving principal support to the fleet at Eniwetok. This was 
due for a change when Halsey relieved Spruance at the beginning of 
the Western Carolines Operation (Stalemate). It was planned to base 
the fast carrier force of the fleet, called the Third Fleet while under 
Halsey, at Seeadler Harbor, Manus Island, Carter sent his Kwajalein 
commander, Captain S. B. Ogden, to Manus on 21 August. Captain 
H. A. Houser took over command of the remainder of the detachment 
left there. 

At the end of the month, Carter and the squadron supply officer, 
Captain W. J. Nowinski, flew to Saipan to arrange establishing a service 
unit there. At this time the commanding officer of the submarine tender 
Holland, Commander C. Q. Wright, Jr., had been acting as squadron 
representative at Tanapag Harbor^ Saipan. Organizational matters and 
supply were discussed. Carter at once detached his chief staff officer and 
operations officer, Captain A. F. Rhoades, ordering him to take charge 
of Squadron Ten's activities at Saipan, which he did 3 September. 
Captain E. E. Duvall reported for duty and became the new chief staff 

The same day Commodore Carter and Captain Nowinski flew back to 
Eniwetok, and the former left next day by plane for Pearl Harbor to 
attend a conference with Vice Admiral Calhoun, Commander Service 
Force Pacific, concerning the mobile logistic set-up at Seeadler Harbor, 
and the moving of Service Squadron Ten's facilities from Eniwetok to 
Ulithi in the Carolines. He returned to find that a stiff blow from the 
southwest, which lasted intermittently for several days, had done the 
squadron considerable damage at Eniwetok. The prevailing winds are 
from the northeast, and the service vessels were anchored in the lee of 
Runit Island in the northeast area of the lagoon, which is about 15 miles 
wide. With the shift of the wind to southwest there was no lee, and a 
fairly good sea was kicked up. Three ammunition barges broke adrift. 
Available tugs were sent after them, but meantime more craft — three 
gasoline barges and two high-speed target sleds — broke loose. 

Two days later, after recovering the barges, high winds in stiff gusts 
accompanied by choppy seas from the southwest played more havoc 
with moorings, of which at this time there was a severe shortage, both 
in anchoring gear and cordage. This time the damage was heavy: 6 YF's, 
2 YO's, 3 small unmanned tugs, and 61 boats (LCVP, LCM, etc.) were 
blown ashore on Runit Island. Some of the small boats might have been 
prevented from beaching but for the fact that some of the crewmen were 
quarantined on the repair ship Ajax, which had an epidemic of bacillary 

170 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

dysentery aboard. All the equipment stranded on the beach was urgently 
needed for servicing fleet units. A YF loaded with smoke bombs was in 
special demand, since bombs were wanted at Saipan. Though the wind 
continued from the wrong direction, salvage efforts finally resulted in 
recovery of the barge with the smoke bombs. The last barge was not 
hauled off the beach until 9 September, 3 days after the wind had shifted 
back to normal northeast. Small boats remained on the beach some time 
after that. The damage to the LCVP's was particularly severe because of 
their plywood construction. The efforts of the boat-pool personnel, and 
of crews of tugs and other small craft, to salvage barges and boats were 
most praiseworthy. Nevertheless, the damage was considerable to 
equipment of high value to the squadron. 

Certain lessons came from the blow. Among those outstanding were: 
(1) The importance of maximum shelter for small boats; (2) use of 
better methods and materials for securing barges and boats in open 
water, especially in view of the shortage of mooring gear in forward 
areas, without full equipment of which no barges should be sent 
forward; (3) regular inspection day and night; (4) indoctrination of 
crews and boat-pool personnel regarding security; (5) need of mother 
ships such as LST's (landing ships (tank)) and LSD's (landing ships 
(dock)) ; (6) adequate repair units. The first four of these can be summed 
up in one word, "seamanship," of which there was a shortage through- 
out the war. 


Stalemate II : The Western Carolines 


Preparations at Seeadler Harbor and Eniwetok 

Immediately following the capture of the Marianas, the Western 
Carolines operation was planned to gain control of the last link 
dividing our Central from our Southwest Pacific Force, which had been 
operating independently since 1942. Control of the Western Carolines 
group would give the Allied forces a direct line of advance westward to 
the eastern approaches of the Philippines and the Formosa-China coasts. 
Every major command in the Pacific area participated in the operation, 
with an estimated force of 800 vessels, 1,600 aircraft, and 250,000 Navy, 
Marine, and Army personnel. 

As early as 29 May 1944, Commander Third Fleet was directed to 
initiate planning and preparations for seizing the islands in the Palau 
group. Observers were sent to the Marianas to profit by any lessons that 
campaign might teach. Admiral Halsey, commanding the Third Fleet, 
was designated Commander Western Pacific Task Forces and given addi- 
tional responsibility for emergency support of the Southwest Pacific 
Forces under Vice Admiral T. C Kinkaid, employed in the capture of 
Morotai. Vice Admiral T. S. Wilkinson, commanding the Third Am- 
phibious Force, was named Joint Expeditionary Force Commander (Task 
Force 31) to conduct landing operations. Major General J. C Smith, 
USMC, Commander Third Amphibious Corps, was named Command- 
ing General, Expeditionary Troops (Task Force 36). Vice Admiral Mark 
A. Mitscher provided air support with his Fast Carrier Task Force 38. 
Because the seizure of Saipan had proved more difficult and time con- 
suming than had been estimated, and the consequent deployment of 
forces had been delayed, the original Stalemate order of May 1944 was 



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fi 'Stalemate II": The Western Carolines Operation YTb 

canceled and a new plan known as Stalemate II was issued on 7 July. By 
this plan, 15 September 1944 was designated as D-day, when initial 
landings would be made simultaneously on Peleliu Island in the Palau 
group by the Central Pacific Forces, and on Morotai Island, 480 miles 
to the southwest, by the Southwest Pacific Forces. 

Seeadler Harbor, Manus. On 30 July 1944, representatives of Central 
Pacific Forces, headed by Commodore A. G. Quynn, met at Naval Base 
Manus, Admiralty Islands, with representatives of Commander Seventh 
Fleet, Commander Southwest Pacific Forces, and Naval Base Manus to 
discuss logistic support of Third Fleet units using Manus as a base in 
the Western Carolines operation. As a result, Captain S. B. Ogden was 
ordered to Manus as Commander Service Squadron Ten representative, 
bringing with him units necessary to service Third Fleet vessels. He left 
Kwajalein in the Marshalls on the Argonne, Commander T H. Escott, 
on 21 August and reached Seeadler Harbor on the 27th to set up his 
mobile base, using the Argonne as his flagship. 

Commander Third Fleet's logistic plan for Operation Stalemate II, 
covering the capture of Peleliu, Ngesebus, Anguar, and Ulithi required 
that there should be available in Seeadler Harbor one 90,000-ton floating 
dry dock, one 1 ,000-ton floating drydock, one destroyer tender, one repair 
ship, two 3, 000- ton floating drydocks, and four floating workshops— two 
for hulls, two for machinery repairs. Besides these, there were added 
from time to time two destroyer tenders, one repair ship for internal 
combustion engines, four station tankers, one repair ship, two covered 
lighters, one water and one fuel oil barge, and two pontoon cranes. 

Captain Ogden's responsibility, as Representative "A" of Commander 
Service Squadron Ten in charge of this Seeadler detachment, was to 
administer its activities in rendering logistic support. An example was 
the requirement that 24 oilers be present there for the striking forces, 
and the further requirement that the Area Petroleum Office of 
ComServPac effect delivery of 4,150,000 barrels of fuel oil at Manus in 
equal amounts throughout September. On 20 August 12 oilers left Eni- 
wetok for Seeadler, carrying approximately 1,200,000 barrels of naval 
special, 84,000 barrels of Diesel oil, and 4,500.000 gallons of aviation 
gasoline. Commander ServRon Ten at Eniwetok immediately began 
! preparations to send the second contingent of oilers, which left on the 
27th and reached Seeadler the 31st. Captain Ogden handled the assign- 
ment of the tankers and apportioned delivery of fuel and petroleum 
products. He similarly administered the supply of fresh and frozen 
foods, dry provisions, dry stores, ammunition, fresh water, medical 

214075 O-F-53 13 

174 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

items, fleet freight, aviation supplies, and last but not least, repair 

Following the Argonne to Seeadler on 27 August were the unclassified 
vessels Silver Cloud, Caribou, Arethusa, and Armadillo, the water barge 
YW-90, and the ocean tug Tern towing the concrete barge YO-186. The 
Caribou brought 65,000 barrels of fuel oil, the Silver Cloud 85 ,000 and 
the Arethusa 65,000; the Armadillo 24,000 barrels of Diesel oil and 
1,770,000 gallons of aviation gasoline. YW-90 held 280,000 gallons of 
water, and the concrete Y0-186 55,000 barrels. The fleet tug Tawasa 
towed in the floating drydock ARD-19, while the auxiliary ocean tug 
ATA-122 arrived towing the barges YF-681, filled with boatswain's 
stores of manila and wire line, blocks, tackle, mooring gear, etc., and 
YF-787 with general stores. Bringing in the drydock also meant bring- 
ing her in full, for while being towed from port to port her docking 
space furnished a wealth of cargo room for all sorts of equipment. On 
her trip from Eniwetok the ARD-19 carried the little harbor tug 
YTL-208, 2 pontoon crane barges, 20 LCM's, and 20 LCVP's. Except 
for the crane barges all these were self-propelled, but none could have 
made its way across the ocean under its own power>Most of Ogden's 
detachment was sent down from Kwajalein and Eniwetok. Crane barges, 
small tugs, and landing craft were vital necessities for supply services 
within a harbor, and had to go forward. We shall see later how the 
ARD's continued their usefulness as "moving vans" in the shifting 
of a service squadron westward. 

The Forces. Some idea of the magnitude of Stalemate II may be had by 
considering the tremendous forces involved, so far the greatest naval- 
military effort. Besides 14 battleships, new and old, 16 carriers, and 20 
escort carriers, 22 cruisers, 136 destroyers, and 31 destroyer escorts, the 
attacking fleets included every manner and type of amphibious and sup- 
porting craft, large and small, to the grand total of 712 vessels. This 
without counting the various service ships as assigned, or the more than 
400 units engaged in Operation Interlude for the capture of Morotai 
simultaneously with the landings on Peleliu on 15 September. 

The land-based forces, designated as Task Force 36, were composed of 
two parts — the Western Landing Force, or Third Amphibious Corps, 
and the Eastern Landing Force. The Western included the First Marine 
and the 81st Infantry Divisions, the Eastern the 7th and 96th Infantry 
Divisions. The Floating Reserve was the 7th Infantry Division, and the 
General Reserve was the Fifth Marine Division. 

The First Marine Division was loaded in the Guadalcanal-Russells 

t( Stalemate II": The Western Carolines Operation 175 

area, and was joined for final rehearsals late in August by the 81st Infan- 
try Division. The latter had been mounted in Hawaii and moved to 
Guadalcanal in two convoys, the LST's and slower escorts leaving first, 
the transports following. The entire assault force sailed to the objective 
in two convoys on 4 and 8 September. The Eastern Landing Force of 
XXI Vth Corps left Hawaii 15 September for Eniwetok to participate in 
Phase II, but when that portion of the plan was canceled except for the 
seizure of Ulithi it was sent on to Manus to prepare for Operation King 
Two, the Philippines. One regimental combat team of the 81st Infantry 
Division proved sufficient to secure Ulithi. 

In his Operation Plan 14-44, Admiral Halsey prescribed that "all 
combatant and auxiliary ships will avail themselves of every opportunity 
to procure stores in advance of this operation to insure departure for 
operating areas" with ammunition, fuel, and fresh provisions to maxi- 
mum authorized capacity, dry provisions not to exceed 120 days for 
ship's company and 60 days for embarked troops, and general stores, 
clothing, ship's stores stock, and medical stores for 120 days each. 

Operational control of support shipping for the operation passed to 
Commander Third Fleet on the arrival of the vessels at Manus and Eni- 
wetok, and such ships were given Third Fleet Task Group designations. 
Provision stores ships, general stores issue ships, and cargo ships carry- 
ing dry provisions used in support of fleet units, were fleet issue loaded. 
All fleet tanker were directed to load with half capacity cargoes of Diesel 
oil and aviation gasoline but with fuel oil to the maximum draft. Large 
ships were expected to furnish provisions to small ones when necessary. 
Since it seemed probable that rationing of fresh and frozen provisions 
would be unavoidable, cruisers, battleships, and carriers were provisioned 
on the basis of serving at least one complete dry ration every sixth day. 
The units designated for logistic support of the Third Fleet were the 
Fleet Oiler and Transport Group (Task Group 30.8) under Captain J. T. 
Acuff, and the Service Group (Task Group 30.9) under Commodore 
W. R. Carter of Service Squadron Ten, based principally at Manus and 

August was a busy month at Eniwetok. The provisions stores ship 
Arctic had arrived 30 July and during the first part of August discharged 
her cargo of 1,600 tons of fresh and frozen provisions. She was the first 
ship to arrive whose cargo was made up in 5 -ton issue units. She returned 
to Pearl for reloading and reached Manus 20 September, just in time to 
replenish vessels which had taken part in the initial phase of Stalemate. 

On 10 August the provision ship Aldebaran reached Eniwetok, dis- 

176 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

charged 1,670 tons of fresh and frozen provisions and 1,083 tons of dry 
provisions before sailing back to Pearl and the west coast on the 16th. 
By 25 September she was back at Manus. Also arriving at Eniwetok 10 
August was the cargo ship Azimech with a load of 4,591 tons, of which 
4,000 were dry provisions. Between 11 and 23 August she issued 3,978 
tons of dry provisions to 65 ships; 262 tons of canteen stores to 44 ships; 
55 tons of clothing and small stores to 27 ships; and 26 tons of medical 
supplies to 93 vessels. On 25 August she sailed for San Francisco to 

During this same period the Antigua reported issuing 1,770 tons of 
fresh and frozen foods to 55 ships, averaging 322 tons a day. The Bridge 
arrived at Eniwetok 19 August and by the 24th had issued 890 tons of 
fresh, frozen, and dry provisions, an average of 245 tons a day. She 
returned to Pearl for reloading and entered Eniwetok again, 21 Septem- 
ber. The Boreas brought from Pearl 2,770 tons of fresh and frozen provi- 
sions, 460 tons of dry provisions, and 100 tons of ship's store stock, 
clothing, and small stores. Between her arrival 26 August and her 
departure for Pearl 2 September she unloaded a total of 555 tons of cargo 
every day. She was back again 10 October with fresh supplies. The Navy 
cargo ship Ascella received a general fleet issue of dry stores at the Naval 
Supply Depot Oakland and on 15 August anchored at Eniwetok to 
begin issuing to Task Force 38. She remained until 16 September, then 
went to Pearl for replenishment. 

The administration and distribution of the food by Service Squadron 
Ten, particularly the fresh and frozen food, posed numerous problems, 
and called for the greatest mixture of diplomacy, humility, and tough 
firmness. There never was enough fresh and frozen food to satisfy any- 
one — not even those who got the most. Often there was a shortage of 
some item, bringing forth an immediate complaint which had to be 
dealt with, sometimes by substitution bribery. This was at a time when 
the squadron commander was having to disperse his staff, already small, 
to make up detachments at Saipan, Guam, and Seeadler faster than 
Calhoun could send him replacements. 

Commander Service Squadron Ten at Eniwetok reported on 9 Septem- 
ber that all fresh and frozen food had been exhausted late in August and 
no more was expected for general distribution until early October. On 
that date the commander of a Marine unit requested much-needed fresh 
vegetables and meat for his forces but had to be content with a supply 
of emergency B rations for them as they departed for Palau. 

The concrete IX's Silica and Carmita at Eniwetok were used to issue 

"Stalemate II": The Western Carolines Operation 111 

fresh, frozen, and dry provisions when activity was at its height. A 
resupply, however, did come into Eniwetok before Carter expected 
it. On 25 September when the amphibious forces of the XXI Vth 
Corps, intended for Phase 2 of Stalemate II, came in for replenishment, 
the Bridge, Antigua, and Cheleb were on hand. The Bridge issued 885 tons 
of fresh and frozen provisions and 570 tons of dry provisions to 121 
ships in 2 days, the Antigua 994 tons of fresh and frozen provisions 
to 110 ships during the same period, and the Cheleb 450 tons of dry 
provisions to 96 ships of the Amphibious Task Force 31. 

General Stores. Several general stores issue ships were available at 
Eniwetok during replenishment of the Third Fleet preceding Stalemate. 
The Talita issued stores from 24 July to 15 August, when she left for 
reloading at Noumea and Espiritu Santo, returning to Eniwetok 24 
September. The Luna brought in general stores 21 August, discharged, 
and sailed 6 September to reload at Noumea and Espiritu, whence she 
proceeded to Manus and later in October to Ulithi. The concrete IX's 
Trefoil and Quartz were used to issue general stores at Eniwetok, main- 
taining continuous supplies at the anchorage while one or more of the 
general issue ships retired to their source of supply for refilling. 

The Castor reached Manus 18 September, remaining there until 17 
October supplying general stores to ships returning for replenishment. 
Then she went to Ulithi. The Volans and Antares furnished general stores 
to Third Fleet ships staging through the South Pacific area in August. 
The former went to Manus 5 October and thence to Ulithi 24 October, 
but the Antares remained in the Guadalcanal-Tulagi area to resupply 
ships withdrawing from Palau after D-day. General stores for the South- 
west Pacific operations were available from both shore points and several 
general stores ships. The Pollux was one such ship which, during August 
and September, put in at bases in the Southwest Pacific area. 

Aviation Spare Parts. The Aviation Supply Depot at Manus Shore Base 
was one of the principal sources of aviation spare parts. The other was 
the Fortune, which arrived at Seeadler Harbor from Kwajalein 17 
September and remained until 2 October to supply carriers and other 
vessels returning from combat. Spare parts were also to be had at the 
Aviation Supply Depots at Roi, Espiritu Santo, and Guadalcanal. 

Repair and Maintenance 

Our pace against the enemy was rapidly increasing. Ships which had 
participated in the Marianas had to be speedily overhauled and replen- 

178 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

ished. A great number went to Eniwetok, where Service Squadron Ten 
was in readiness. Others proceeded to bases in the South Pacific— Tulagi, 
Guadalcanal, or Espiritu Santo— while additional ones were serviced at 
Manus, Saipan, Guam, Kwajalein, and Pearl. Still others, especially 
landing craft, needing some work, came from new construction at home. 

The Stalemate operation plan provided that all major bases in the 
South and Central Pacific areas would be used during and subsequent to 
the operation. At Espiritu Santo was the ABSD-1, the 90,000-ton float- 
ing dry dock for repairing battleships and large carriers. After the collision 
between the Tennessee and California en route to Espiritu on 23 August, 
the latter entered the dock for repairs. The Tennessee, less seriously dam- 
aged, moored in Segond Channel with the repair ship Aristaeus alongside 
for assistance. As facilities were already taxed by a heavy repair schedule, 
workmen were brought in from other South Pacific bases, so that the 
Tennessee was made ready in a week, the California within 2 weeks. The 
18,000-ton floating drydock YFD-21 was also at Espiritu for servicing 
cruisers and escort carriers. Other facilities included the 1,000-ton dry- 
dock AFD-14, the 3, 5 00- ton ARD-3, and three floating workshops— 
YR-47. YRDfHJ-1 for hulls, and YRDfMJ-1 for machinery. 

The Mindanao, a repair ship for internal combustion engines, was at 
Espiritu during August and until 13 September, when she proceeded to 
Manus for duty with ComServRon Ten. On 28 August the Briareus 
reached Espiritu Santo to assist the disabled California, after whose 
departure she went to Manus, arriving there 26 September. Besides all 
this, shore facilities were available in the form of a Ship Repair Unit and 
one for boat repairs. The latter reported intense activity during August, 
with 24 hours a day being worked on two 12-hour shifts. 

In the Tulagi-Purvis Bay region as many as 255 ships were present at 
once, with ship movements averaging 122 daily during the last week of 
August. Here were the 3,500-ton floating drydock ARD-14, the 1,000- 
ton dock AFD-13, and the floating workshop YR-46, augmented later 
by the destroyer tender Dixie and the battle-damage repair ship Oceanus, 
both of which were at Purvis Bay until 10 September. The latter went 
to Manus 14 September and thence to Kossol, the Dixie eventually 
reaching Ulithi 30 September. The heavy-hull repair ship Jason stayed 
at Tulagi until 11 September and then reported to Squadron Ten at 
Manus. The repair ship Prometheus was anchored at Iron Bottom Bay, 
Florida Island, during August and early September giving steam, elec- 
tricity, and fresh water to vessels in port. She also furnished medical, 
surgical, and dental services to naval and merchant vessels, leaving for 

f( Stalemate II": The Western Carolines Operation 179 

Manus 12 September, remaining there from the 16th to the 25th, when 
she proceeded to Kossol Passage. 

The internal-combustion-engine repair ship Tutuila reached Purvis 
Bay from Eniwetok 8 August and remained there until after the Palau 
engagement. The Cebu was at Guadalcanal in late August, servicing 
vessels staging in that area, and 10 September arrived at Manus, where 
she based for several months. The destroyer tender Whitney, after being 
at Espiritu Santo from 10 to 23 August, reached Guadalcanal on the 
29th, repaired several vessels of Task Force 32, and left 10 September for 
Manus. She also furnished dental work for 346 men during August, 
September, and October. 

Shore repair facilities in the Solomons area included a large boat 
maintenance unit (Turner City), and Landing Craft Repair Units 1 
(Carter City) and 2, respectively, at Tulagi-Purvis Bay and Renard Sound. 
The Tulagi unit reported that in September it repaired 383 ships, includ- 
ing 4 battleships, 1 large carrier, 2 heavy cruisers, 9 destroyers, and 16 
destroyer escorts. Turner City repaired literally hundreds of landing craft. 

In the Central Pacific area, by far the greatest activity centered about 
Service Squadron Ten at Eniwetok. On 1 August the ships included four 
destroyer tenders, four repair ships of different types, one battle-damage 
repair ship, two 3,500-ton floating drydocks, two others of 1,000 tons 
each, and one floating workshop. Activity here reached its peak in the 
middle of the month. On 16 August 401 ships were in the port. This 
number gradually diminished as large fleet units, especially Task Force 
38, were replenished and sent forward. On 1 September 249 ships were 
in port. During this period all the floating equipment was still at Eni- 
wetok except for the Tutuila, which reported 8 August to the Service 
Force South Pacific at Purvis Bay. Meanwhile the floating dock ARD-23 
had arrived at Eniwetok 7 August. During that month the Ajax 
reported services or repairs to 9 battleships; 1 large carrier, 1 light carrier, 
and 1 escort carrier; 15 light cruisers and 5 heavy cruisers; 3 destroyers; 
26 destroyer escorts; 7 motor mine sweepers; 5 large mine sweepers; 
and 47 miscellaneous smaller craft. In the midst of this servicing of 
ships for Stalemate an epidemic of dysentery broke out on board, grew 
steadily worse, and it was feared the whole anchorage might be infected. 
Consequently the Ajax was sent to Kwajalein to stay until her quaran- 
tine could be lifted. One hundred ninety-five of a crew of approximately 
1,100 were affected and 2 deaths reported. The ship returned to Eniwetok 
21 October and went back into full service at Ulithi in November. 

The Prairie performed tender service for destroyers at Eniwetok, and 

180 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

in addition overhauled the main engine and auxiliaries of the barracks 
ship Orvetta while moored alongside during the entire month of Septem- 
ber. The work, and alterations for office space, was completed 3 October, 
preparatory to moving to Ulithi. 

Until 5 September the destroyer tender Piedmont was busy at Eniwe- 
tok, then sailed for Seeadler Harbor to become part of Task Group 30.9. 

Limited repair facilities for Stalemate forces were available at Kwaja- 
lein from Squadron Ten. Several 1,000- ton floating drydocks were used 
chiefly for repairs to small craft. 

At Kwajalein, Captain H. A. Houser assumed Ogden's duties, using 
the Luzon, a gasoline- and Diesel-engine repair ship, as flagship. She 
stayed at Kwajalein until 2 September effecting repairs, assisting in the 
maintenance work done by the 1,000-ton floating drydock AFD-17, and 
delivering fuel, water, and stores. On the 4th she arrived at Eniwetok 
and thence proceeded to Guam, where Captain, Houser became 
ComServRon Ten representative. Lieutenant J. B. Koeller, in the Gazelle, 
assumed Hovfser's duties at Kwajalein. Other repair services in the 
Central Pacific were available at Guam, Saipan, Tarawa, and Majuro, but 
were somewhat more limited than those described. 

Southwest Pacific forces participating in the Morotai landings had 
access to the fleet anchorage at Seeadler Harbor, Manus, where a large 
ship-repair shore base capable of hull and engine work on all classes had 
recently been put into operation at the naval station. A mobile 
amphibious repair base for maintenance and repair of hulls and engines 
of landing ships and landing craft was set up in September 1944 as 
Floating Repair Unit 3. Drydocks, also shared by Third Fleet ships, 
included one of 90,000 tons, two of 3,500 tons each, one of 1,000 tons, 
one hull floating workshop, and one machinery floating workshop. On 
4 September two more floating drydock-workshops were added to the 
Manus facilities. In addition, there were the repair services of the 
destroyer tender Whitney and the repair ship Medusa. 

The port of Sydney,* Australia, had facilities for major and minor 
repairs on all types of naval vessels, Brisbane commercial facilities for 
general ship repair and docking of medium-size craft, and Cairns equip- 
ment for handling ships of destroyer size and smaller, though destroyers 
could not be drydocked. The repair base at Milne Bay could also handle 
vessels up to and including destroyers, while Finschhafen had a mobile 
amphibious repair unit, a PT base, and a 1,000-ton-capacity drydock 
under Army operational control. 

Floating Repair Unit 1 based at Madang-Alexishafen, and was com- 


182 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

posed of a 3,500-ton drydock, several AFD's of 1,000 tons, and hull and 
machinery workshops. Repair ships included the Rigel, Midas, Culebra 
Island, Achilles, and Remus. At Hollandia there were a destroyer-repair 
base and Floating Repair Unit 2, with a 3,500-ton drydock, 1,000-ton 
drydock, and several tenders and repair ships. Woendi had an advanced 
PT base, with floating equipment of several tenders and tugs. Boat-repair 
units were at Green Island, New Georgia, Torokina, and Treasury Island. 

Before D-day the campaign opened with a diversionary strike against 
the Volcano and Bonin Islands from 31 August to 2 September by Task 
Group 38.4 under Rear Admiral R. E. Davison, afterward striking Yap 
on 6-8 September. Simultaneously Task Groups 38.1-2-3 conducted 
preliminary bombardment and air attacks against the principal Palau 
Islands, then turned their attention to Mindanao in the Philippines on 
9 and 10 September. Air bases in this area were the closest which could 
be considered threats to the coming campaign. From Yap, Task Group 
38.4 took over further neutralization of Palau targets 10 September, after 
the three task groups had launched the Mindanao raids. These three 
groups struck the Visayas — Leyte, Samar, and smaller islands — 12 to 14 

The Visayas strikes disclosed such Japanese weakness in this area that 
last-minute changes were made in the 7 July operation plans. Yap was 
to be bypassed, and Ulithi seized as soon as possible to provide a fleet 
anchorage. Seizure of the Leyte-Samar area, originally scheduled for 20 
December, was moved up to 20 October. 

On 13 September Task Group 38.1 was detached to cover the Morotai 
assault, with D-day only 2 days away. Landings were effected with little 
or no enemy resistance, so by the afternoon of the 16th the group retired 
to join the other two. All three rendezvoused on the 18th, proceeded to 
Luzon, and conducted diversionary strikes on the 21st and 22d. Return- 
ing, they struck the Visayas again on the 24th and retired to replenish- 
ment bases. Meantime Task Group 38.4 had been covering the Palau 

Notwithstanding the last-minute changes in operation plans, all land- 
based forces for Palau got under way on schedule. The leader of the 
assault forces, the First Marine Division, landed on Peleliu Island 15 
September. Despite stiff opposition, the airfield was captured by the 
second day. On the 17th, operations were initiated against Anguar Island. 
After it was in hand, landings were made at Ulithi 23 September. 
Though our naval and gunfire support groups were alerted, only one 
regimental combat team of the 81st Infantry Division was needed 

"Stalemate II": The Western Carolines Operation 183 

because the Japanese had previously evacuated the atoll. 

Logistic Support in Stalemate II. Stalemate II was the largest operation 
attempted thus far in the Pacific war. As already indicated, every effort 
had been made to avoid errors noted in the Marianas operation. Much 
preliminary planning had to be done, with last-minute changes inevi- 
table, for logistic support of the fleet was becoming increasingly com- 
plex, since emphasis was being placed on the mobility of the striking 
and covering forces whose primary task was to exploit enemy weaknesses 
and to seek opportunities to engage a major portion of his fleet. 

The general concept of the operation provided that combat forces of 
the Third Fleet should cover the movements of the Joint Expeditionary, 
or assault, Force. The logistics for these two had to be undertaken 
independently, though both used Manus and Eniwetok for resupply. 

The three major commands which provided logistic support to Stale- 
mate II were Commander Service Force Pacific, Commander Air Force 
Pacific, and Commander South Pacific Force. General MacArthur, as 
Commander in Chief of Southwest Pacific, was to furnish limited sup- 
port if necessary. Actually he had his own "show" to run with the 
Morotai landings, to which naval support was given by Admiral 
Kinkaid's Seventh Fleet. 

No attempt will be made to describe in detail the amount and variety 
of supplies issued and services performed within busy Seeadler Harbor 
in support of the fleet, but examples of several units can be given, the 
parts they played related to give type pictures. 


Logistic Support at Seeadler 
and at Sea 

Service Unit at Seeadler— Oilers with the Fast Carrier 
Group— Ammunition, Smoke, Water, Provisions, 


ON 10 September 1944 the destroyer tender Piedmont, Commander 
M. D. MacGregor, from Eniwetok, and on the 14th the tender 
Sierra, Captain P. B. Koonce, from Espiritu, reported to Captain Ogden, 
commanding Task Unit 30.9-1, at Seeadler, issued supplies, and serviced 
ships alongside and at anchor. On the 15 th the repair ship Prometheus, 
Captain C C Laws, arrived and did routine repairs for a week before 
moving on to Kossol Passage. She also furnished medical, surgical, and 
dental services to both naval and merchant vessels, as did other ships, 
for where large numbers of ships crowded with human beings are gath- 
ered, the occurrence of sickness and injuries was inescapable, and many 
vessels had no medical department other than a hospital corpsman and 
a medical kit. On 18 September the Castor, a stores issue ship, Captain 
F. C. Huntoon, arrived and for more than a month issued stores to 143 
fleet units. 

U. S. S.Jason. In the middle of September the Jason, Commander E. F. 
Beck, came from Purvis Bay, assumed her heavy-hull repair duties at 
Seeadler, and performed her first major job on the Millicoma, which had 
been in collision but somehow managed to creep into the harbor under 
her own power. This oiler had taken the blow on her starboard quarter 
at her steering-engine room and been opened for 40 feet. Her 5 -inch and 
3-inch gun platforms had been demolished. Torn and twisted metal had 
to be cut away and bulkheads and decks sealed. By working around the 
clock the energetic officers and crew of the Jason finished the job in 9 





188 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

days, and with her steering-engine room in full commission again the 
Millicoma sailed for Terminal Island, California. 

While still at Manus in October, the Jason had another collision repair 
job. This time it was the tanker Esso Balboa, of Panamanian registry. The 
bow of another vessel had penetrated the starboard bow of the tanker to 
a maximum depth of 30 feet and the shell plating was ripped to about 
8 feet below the load water line, while a 40-mm. gun had been torn from 
its base and the degaussing, light, and power cables cut. Working on 
a 24-hour basis again, the Jason finished the job in 14 days. Fifteen 
thousand man-hours and 55,000 pounds of steel were put into this job. 
Such was the "on the spot" efficiency of emergency repairs from floating 

U. S. S. Mindanao. The internal-combustion-engine repair ship, 
Mindanao, Captain G. B. Evans, arrived in Seeadler from Espiritu Santo 
18 September, reported to Captain Ogden for duty, and made repairs on 
destroyers and destroyer escorts, ammunition ships, cargo vessels, mine 
sweepers, carrier escorts, operations headquarters ship, landing ships 
(tank), patrol craft, and landing craft (infantry) steadily until 10 No- 
vember. That day the Mount Hood, an ammunition ship, anchored 1,100 
yards from Captain Ogden's flagship, the Argonne, blew up. The 
Mindanao, only 350 yards away, was badly damaged, besides having 23 
killed and 174 wounded. The Medusa donated 17 units of blood plasma, 
came alongside the riddled ship and made structural, electrical, and 
miscellaneous engineering, radar, and radio repairs. The Mindanao, 
having cared for so many vessels, now had to have treatment herself. It 
was like having the family doctor confined to the hospital. However, 
after about a month's "hospitalization" the Mindanao was back on duty 
and resumed her repair services to the fleet. During the last 10 days of 
December she serviced 20 ships of various types at Manus. Captain 
Ogden's flagship, the Argonne, also suffered from the disintegrating 
explosion, with personnel casualties, a 12-inch searchlight destroyed, 5 
transmitting antennas broken away, and steam, fresh-water, and salt-water 
lines ruptured. 

U. S. S. Lassen. The ammunition carrier Lassen, Commander J. E. 
Wade, reached Seeadler 10 September to make issues to ships needing 
them; 5-inch .38-caliber flashless and nonflashless, 20- and 40-mm. am- 
munition, 100-, 200-, 1,000-, and 2,000-pound aircraft bombs, tail vanes, 
safety clips, arming wires, and tail and nose fuzes were delivered. 
The Lassen's skillful crew, reinforced by 30 men Captain Ogden had 
sent while she was at Manus, worked expeditiously. At 9:40 a. m. 21 

Logistic Support at Seeadler and at Sea 189 

September the light cruiser Biloxi came alongside to starboard; at 
10:50 a. m. the heavy cruiser New Orleans to port. By 2:35 p. m. the 
Biloxi had taken 717 6-inch 47-caliber projectiles, 350 detonating fuzes, 
and 10 catapult charges. At 4:35 p. m. the New Orleans cleared after 
receiving 1,202 5-inch 25-caliber charges, 100 8-inch 5 5 -caliber projectiles, 
and 82 catapult charges. It need scarcely be said that the handling of pro- 
jectiles, powder, and fuzes and detonators requires the utmost care at all 
times, and especially when the transfer is made between two vessels at 
anchor. Some of the unsung heroism of the war is to be found in the 
officers and men of ammunition ships. When working their deadly 
cargoes to service the fleet, sometimes close to enemy action, they went 
about their perilous duties without fanfare or boast, and more than once 
checked imminent disaster by quick and extremely courageous action. 

U. S. S. Pamanset. As provided for in Admiral Halsey's operation plan 
the Pamanset, Commander D. J. Houle, was one of those assigned to 
Task Group 30.8, fleet oiler and transport carrier group under the com- 
mand of Captain Acuff. She left Manus 1 September, fueled the light 
cruiser Reno, the small carrier Langley, and three destroyers at sea. Next 
day she serviced the light cruiser Birmingham and two destroyers, dis- 
pensing 23,559 barrels of fuel oil and 15,000 gallons of gasoline. Return- 
ing to Seeadler Harbor, where the commercial tanker Fort Bridges was 
anchored, she took aboard 26,561 barrels of black oil and on the 12th 
was at sea again for her fueling rendezvous. On the 15 th and 16th she 
fueled the cruiser Santa Fe and five destroyers at sea, delivering 23,386 
barrels of oil and 380 barrels of Diesel fuel. Still at sea, she replenished 
her supply by taking 21,996 barrels of oil and 11,416 gallons of gasoline 
from the oiler Kaskaskia. Making rendezvous with Task Group 38.1 she 
fueled the carriers Wasp and Hornet, the cruiser Boston, and seven destroy- 
ers with 14,435 barrels of fuel and 34,860 gallons of gasoline. Before 
returning to Seeadler she replenished the fleet oiler Enoree with fuel oil, 
Diesel oil, and aviation gasoline. 

Again at Seeadler 24 September she filled up from the commercial 
tanker Bull Run with 44,788 barrels of fuel. Captain Ogden's station 
oiler, the Armadillo, gave her 1,517 barrels of Diesel oil and 257,292 
gallons of gasoline. On the 28th she went alongside the light carrier 
Monterey in the harbor and gave her 8,054 barrels of oil and 28,980 
gallons of gasoline. On the 28th she pumped 6,789 barrels of fuel and 
22,974 gallons of gasoline into the light carrier Cowpens. This gives in 
some detail the oil picture for one ship for one month, with commercial 
tanker bringing cargo out from the United States and station tanker at 

214075 O-F-53 14 

190 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

the fleet anchorage operating under a service squadron unit, each ship 
carrying out separate functions to support current operations. 

U. S. S. Arctic. At Manus from 20 to 30 September the Arctic, Lieu- 
tenant Commander C. R. Frasier, issued dry and small quantities of 
fresh and frozen foods to ships present, and in October provided officers, 
winchmen, hatch tenders, and supply personnel to make fleet issues of 
fresh and frozen provisions from the S. S. Bluejacket. The introduction 
of this large merchant reefer ship was of great significance for future 
logistic support of fleet operations, as she was the first of her type to be 
used for fleet issues. In 6 days she gave out 3,800 tons of fresh and frozen 

Fueling Activities of Task Group 30.8 

All fleet oilers under CinCPac, except those assigned to Northern Pacific 
forces or undergoing overhaul, were used in support of Stalemate II. 
They were to operate with the Third Fleet, beginning 20 August, to fuel 
all ships during the operation. Intensive preparations had been going on 
at Eniwetok during August to get them ready, and on the 19th Com- 
mander Service Squadron Ten reported that the first contingent of 12 
ships was being given last-minute services preparatory to sailing for 
Seeadler Harbor, which was to serve during Stalemate as a principal 
resupply base Squadron Ten's oilers had before that been designated as 
Fifth Fleet Task Group 50.17, but on departure for Seeadler assumed a 
new designation: Task Group 30.8. Its composition changed repeatedly 
during the operation through the necessity of returning empty oilers to 
advanced bases for refilling and return. 

On 20 August the first oiler group of 4 units of 3 oilers each left Eni- 
wetok with 1 escort carrier and 10 escort vessels. Captain Acuff was in 
command on the destroyer John D. Henley. On reaching Seeadler Harbor 
26 August he reported the task group carried 1,149,000 barrels of fuel 
oil, 79,000 barrels of Diesel fuel, and 4,749,000 gallons of aviation 

The arrival of the Caliente at Eniwetok from Pearl on 24 August com- 
pleted the second oiler group. Besides her standard load she brought 
hose for the fleet tankers. This second group formed Task Unit 30.8.14, 
further divided into smaller units numbered 30.8.5-6-7-8. Captain W. T 
Rassieur had over-all command in the escort carrier Sargent Bay. After 
completing their loading, the 12 oilers left Eniwetok 26 August with 2 

Logistic Support at Seeadler and at Sea 191 

escort carriers, 2 destroyers, and 7 destroyer escorts as screen, reached 
Seeadler 31 August, and reported to Captain AcufTfor further disposition. 

On 1 September, Task Units 30.8.1, 30.8.2, and 30.8.4 left Seeadler for 
the first fueling operations of the current campaign upon rendezvous 
with Task Force 38. They delivered mail to various units, fueled them on 
the 2d and 3d, and on the 5th returned to Seeadler for reloading and 
orders, having delivered 85,000 barrels of Navy special fuel, 1,000 
barrels of Diesel oil, and 132,000 gallons of aviation gasoline. Task Force 
38 (less Task Unit 38.4) meanwhile proceeded to the vicinity of Palau, 
where preliminary strikes were conducted 6 to 8 September. Task Units 
30.8.5 and 30.8.6, having left Seeadler 4 September, fueled Task Force 38 
near Palau on the 8th, prior to the latter's departure for the Mindanao 

On the 6th, Task Units 30.8.3 and 30.8.12 (composed of two carrier 
escorts and two destroyer escorts) sortied from Seeadler for rendezvous 
with Task Group 38.4, returning from Yap. On 9 September the oilers 
issued 88,000 barrels of Navy special fuel and 258,000 gallons of aviation 
gasoline to the task group east of Yap, after which the latter took over 
further neutralization of Palau. 

Task Unit 30.8.8, the Schuylkill, Millicoma, and Pecos, remained at 
Seeadler until the 8th, then left to fuel Admiral Wilkinson's Task Force 
32. While under way to the forward area the Millicoma collided with the 
Schuylkill, but both ships conducted fueling operations as scheduled. The 
latter's war diary reported: "Part of Schuylkill fueling was done with only 
two fueling pumps and one boiler— auxiliary generator had broken 
valve stem and unable to supply power. Used steam on one fueling 
pump, and cut out one boiler to cut down load. No one apparently 
noticed any difference." Several days later the two ships received orders 
to return to Seeadler for repairs. They were completed on the Schuylkill 
by 30 September by ComServRon Ten, but the Millicoma was later 
returned to the west coast. 

Between the 12th and 16th the four groups of Task Force 38 were 
fueled at sea with 247,000 barrels of Navy special fuel, 1,000 barrels of 
Diesel oil, and 712,000 gallons of aviation gasoline. Throughout the 
operations, oilers with remnant cargoes consolidated them with other 
oilers before returning for reloading. The operation plan provided that 
"empty oilers or those with less than 15,000 barrels of black oil" should 
be returned to Seeadler or Eniwetok for reloading. Consequently there 
was constant shifting in and out of the fueling areas. At Seeadler, Service 
Squadron Ten's representative, Captain S. B. Ogden, reloaded the 


Logistic Support at Seeadler and at Sea 193 

empties from commercial tankers or shore storage. To insure emergency 
reserves of fuel there and to expedite the turn-around of tankers to 
forward areas, he also had several unclassified storage tankers and barges 
sent from Eniwetok, among them the Arethusa, Silver Cloud, Caribou, and 
Armadillo. Upon reloading, Captain Ogden regrouped the oiler task units 
and directed them to scheduled fueling areas or to rendezvous with 
Commander Task Group 30.8, who remained in the destroyer John D. 
Henley at sea in the forward area. 

Task Unit 30.8.7 was retained at Seeadler by Commander Task Group 
30.8 in a stand-by status, and consisted now of Caliente, Tomahawk, and 
Kennebago. The two latter were sent out 1 1 September to take the places 
of Schuylkill and Millicoma. Caliente remained at Seeadler until the 18th, 
when she left for Kossol Passage, Palau Islands, fueling units of Task 
Force 32 on the way. 

Task Unit 30.8.9 was designated as a stand-by of three oilers in the 
South Pacific to be available when needed by Captain AcufT. Two others, 
Task Units 30.8.10 and 30.8.11, composed of two and three oilers, re- 
spectively, were stand-bys in the Marshalls area, while 30.8.12 and 
30.8.13, of two carrier escorts and two destroyer escorts each, operated 
with the oilers and furnished aircraft replacement for Task Force 38. 

Vice Admiral McCain's action report on Stalemate, in which his Task 
Group 38.1 participated in operations against Palau, Mindanao, the 
Visayas, Luzon, Celebes, and Morotai, gave an account of Task Group 
30.8's activities in his support. From 29 August to 24 September, when 
the group returned to Manus for reprovisioning, his ships were fueled 
at sea 6 times: 2, 8, 11, 17. 19, and 23 September. In addition there was 
frequent topping off of 53 destroyers by the large ships between general 
tanker fuelings. He stated that all tanker fuelings went smoothly and 
efficiently. The maximum time taken for any was 7 hours 41 minutes, 
the minimum 6 hours 11 minutes, with general fuelings at speeds of 10 
to 12 knots, while destroyers were topped off at speeds up to 17 knots. 
Because of her high fuel consumption, the Wichita, as compared with 
the Boston class of cruiser, presented a problem during the necessary high 
speed of operation. In 1 day the Wichita burned 15 percent of her total 
fuel capacity, the Boston 11.3 percent, and the Canberra only 9.1 percent. 
This high rate made the Wichita's use in topping off destroyers 

Admiral Wilkinson's fueling plan for his Assault Task Force 31 pro- 
vided that ships were to be initially fueled before departure for the 
forward area, with larger vessels fueling the smaller ones en route. Port 

194 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

facilities for fueling him were also available in limited quantities by 
ServRon Ten at Eniwetok, Kwajalein, Majuro and Manus; at Tarawa; by 
ServRon Twelve at Guam; and by ServRonSoPac at Tulagi and Espiritu 

To replenish fleet oilers, the Area Petroleum Office of ComServPac 
arranged for the delivery at Manus of approximately 1,000,000 barrels of 
fuel, and in September sent 1,250,000 barrels to Marshalls bases, 
4,150,000 to Manus, 500,000 to South Pacific bases, and 1,000,000 to 

Fueling the ships of the Seventh Fleet for the Morotai landings did 
not involve the at-sea operations undertaken for the Third Fleet. Tankers 
were stationed at a number of bases in the area to which ships could 
return for replenishment— Manus, Hollandia, Woendi, Finschhafen, and 
Milne Bay. 

The South Pacific was mainly a staging area, hence most of the fuel- 
ing by Service Force South Pacific occurred before D-day and consisted 
of making the various units ready to join the Third Fleet. During 
August the area received 906,000 barrels of fuel, 304,000 barrels of Diesel 
oil, 11,420,000 gallons of aviation gasoline, and 5,426,000 gallons of 
motor gasoline. In September the area dispensed 777,000 barrels of fuel 
oil, 242,000 barrels of Diesel oil, 4,899,000 gallons of aviation gasoline, 
and 7,987,000 gallons of motor gasoline. 

Comments and Recommendations Concerning Oiler Groups 

Captain Acuff 's action report as Commander Task Group 30.8 for this 
operation recommended that because of the vulnerability of the slow- 
moving oilers one escort vessel be provided for each one, and also for 
each escort carrier loaded with aircraft replacements. He also stressed the 
need for additional carrier escorts because of the insufficiency of aircraft 

Commander Third Fleet, in over- all charge of Stalemate, listed the 
following lessons learned regarding oiler groups: "(a) There has been 
too great a tendency to discount the need for adequate escorts for oiler 
and CVE groups. We have been extremely lucky; our oiler groups for 
Stalemate were pure submarine bait. A minimum of one escort per oiler 
and two per CVE should be provided. This will become important as we 
move closer to Empire waters. Also, for extensive long-range operations, 
one fleet tug and one salvage ship should be assigned with each group of 
three oilers which are kept at sea in advanced positions. 


196 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

"(b) Operational control of replenishment and service elements 
through the establishment of such agencies as 30.8 and 30.9 have worked 
out well in practice and is recommended for consideration. 

"(c) Proficiency in fueling at sea by all units should continue to be 
emphasized as a vital military necessity. The doctrine that all ships make 
approach on oilers is sound and should be standardized. In estimating 
oiler requirements for an operation as much emphasis should be placed 
on number of oiler sides available for simultaneous fueling as on total 
quantity of oil required. A little extravagance in number of oilers will 
pay big dividends when time is an essential factor. Two large ships may 
be fueled simultaneously from one oiler under favorable conditions with 
some sacrifice of pumping rate. In order to complete the fueling of a 
large force expeditiously, destroyers must be fueled by heavy ships wait- 
ing their turn to fuel from tankers ... It is feasible with favorable wind 
and sea conditions to fuel two battleships simultaneously from one 
tanker. Due to the possibility of crushing the tanker, this practice should 
not be resorted to excepting in emergency when the possible loss of the 
tanker is a secondary consideration. Under unfavorable wind and sea 
conditions it is sometimes desirable for the heavy ship to maintain sta- 
tion on the tanker rather than vice versa, as prescribed in Fueling at Sea 

"(d) While it is fully recognized that logistic responsibility for the 
Task Fleet devolves upon the Commander Service Force, nevertheless 
the Commander Service Force will be better enabled to give service if 
the Task Fleet Commander can clearly state his needs. Third Fleet ex- 
perience indicates that the staff of a Task Fleet Commander must include 
a line officer widely versed in oiler matters and concerned with oiler 
operations, and also an officer of the supply corps familiar with the 
operations, capabilities, and limitations of the facilities of the Service 

Captain H. J. Martin, Commander Destroyer Squadron 51, whose 
ships were assigned to Fleet Oiler Task Unit 30.8.1, recommended in his 
action report on the seizure of Peleliu and Ulithi that in the future fleet 
oiler task units operate as part of the carrier task force so that they would 
have the maximum of air and submarine protection. Captain Acuff, com- 
mander of the oiler units, believed such a plan impractical because of the 
tactical inexperience of oiler officers, lack of speed, and. the frequent 
change of task-force objectives. This is borne out in Commander Third 
Fleet's endorsement, in which he states that fast carrier task forces "are 
highly trained teams whose maneuverability and mobility should not be 

Logistic Support at Seeadler and at Sea 197 

encumbered by units not contributing directly to the combat mission. 
Keeping in mind a reasonable risk of war, adequate protection for the 
service units operating in support of combatant groups can be provided 
by suitable air and surface escorts and by dispositions designed to keep 
the combatant groups between the service units and the most probable 
enemy threat. Operations may arise where it will be necessary to include 
service units in the combatant groups. These should be regarded as 
special cases only, and such inclusion should terminate as soon as the 
tactical situation will permit." 

Ammunition Supply 

Operation Plan 14-44 for Stalemate provided that all vessels would be 
armed to capacity before departure from mounting points. During the 
operation, ships would receive resupply from six ammunition ships 
and two or more cargo ships at Seeadler Harbor, or routed from there 
by Service Squadron Ten representative. Following completion of the 
operation, (a) replacement ammunition would be available at Pearl; (b) 
vessels remaining in Central Pacific areas would replenish from an AE 
withdrawn from Manus, and from shore supply points; (c) vessels retir- 
ing to South Pacific areas would replenish 6-inch ammunition and below 
from shore stocks in the South Pacific, and if larger sizes were required 
and not available, special shipments would be sent; (d) should vessels 
of the Third Fleet retire to Southwest Pacific bases, Third Fleet's AE's 
would provide ammunition. 

For resupply in the combat area, the ammunition ships Mauna Loa 
and Shasta left Seeadler 15 September for Kossol Passage, Palau Islands, 
and upon arrival on the 18th immediately began rearming battleships 
and cruisers of the Naval Gunfire Support Group. On the 2 2d the Lassen 
also left Seeadler for Kossol, where she issued replacement ammunition 
to the support group and to Task Force 38.3. Most fire-support ships for 
Stalemate were supplied in the Solomons, with the exception of the 
battleships Mississippi, which had been overhauled and loaded on the 
west coast, and the Maryland, loaded at Pearl after completion of battle- 
damage repairs. Naval Base Tulagi reported for August 1944 that the 
magazine issued 2,600 tons of ammunition to destroyers, cruisers, and 
battleships, and 500 tons to landing craft. The Tennessee, which collided 
on 23 August with the California, was able to join the fire-support group 
after repair, but the California did not leave Espiritu until 18 September. 




200 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

Rehearsal for Phase I of Stalemate for fire-support ships was held in 
the Cape Esperance area, Guadalcanal, 27 to 29 August. The Sangay, 
with 2,936 tons of ammunition, arrived there from the west coast on 6 
September, accompanied the group to the objective, and during the 
early hours of D-day, 1 5 September, lay off Peleliu Island ready to make 
issues. She remained in the vicinity until afternoon of the 21st, when 
she went to Kossol Passage, joining the Mauna Loa and Shasta. Next 
day the three were joined by the Lassen, and all four issued replacement 
ammunition to retiring vessels. By the 27th, 66 ships of various types 
were in Kossol Passage. Because of the total lack of anchorages in the 
vicinity of Anguar and Peleliu, Kossol proved a roadstead where ships 
could await call to unload at Peleliu, and also where replenishment of 
fuel, stores, and ammunition was accomplished. It was used extensively 
through October and November 1944 as a staging area en route from 
New Morotai (Operation Interlude); ammunition was supplied at a 
number of bases in the area, and from 5 ammunition ships which visited 
Hollandia and Woendi during August and September. 

In August, Task Force 38 replenished its fuel, provisions, and ammuni- 
tion at Eniwetok. On 22 August, Service Squadron Ten reported issuing 
to 3 battleships, 6 large and 6 light carriers, 6 cruisers, and 38 destroyers. 
On the 26th, 4 battleships, 5 large and 3 light carriers, 2 destroyers, and 
2 destroyer escorts got their issues. The Victory ships Plymouth Victory, 
Rutland Victory, Aberdeen Victory, Wilbur Wright, and Cape Trinity were 
among the commercial vessels bringing ammunition to Eniwetok at this 
time because of the lack of sufficient Navy AE's. 

Commander Third Fleet's report on Stalemate recommended that am- 
munition ships be loaded in two categories: Those intended to serve the 
fast carrier task forces, and those serving the fire-support ships. The first 
type should include in their cargoes stocks of miscellaneous items such 
as starter cartridges, etc., supplied by ComAirPac. Medium-caliber am- 
munition and bombs should be furnished at sea to combatant vessels by 
fleet oilers. Some small experiments had been made during Stalemate in 
transferring ammunition at sea. Results were satisfactory and warranted 
development, but it was not until the Okinawa campaign in April 1945 
that large amounts were passed from ship to ship at sea. 

The report made one further comment on ammunition supply: "The 
practice of making routine reports of ammunition, adequate for planning 
operations, has fallen into disuse in Pacific Ocean areas. During Stale- 
mate the information received would have been adequate for defensive 
or limited offensive operations committed to a set pattern, but was not 

Logistic Support at Seeadler and at Sea 201 

adequate to meet rapid and radical changes of plans or extensions of 
offensive operations taking advantage of enemy weakness." 

Smoke Equipment. After the Saipan-Tinian-Guam operations, Vice 
Admiral R. K. Turner, Commander Fifth Amphibious Force, recom- 
mended that smoke be made available in large quantities, so all ships 
could be supplied. However, the expected smoke pots and floats were 
drastically curtailed because of the Port Chicago ammunition depot fire, 
which destroyed the greater part of the smoke-making material intended 
for the Pearl Harbor area. It was therefore impossible to supply the 
Guadalcanal section of Phase I of Stalemate prior to its departure from 
Pearl. At Guadalcanal substitutions were made, so eventually all ships 
had the prescribed allowance or its equivalent before going to the 
forward area. 

Water. The problem of getting fresh water to the smaller ships which 
did not have distilling apparatus became increasingly acute as the fleet 
moved westward. Large combatant ships and auxiliaries were ordered to 
issue water to small craft needing it, but demands could not be met 
solely in this way. The newly commissioned fleet oilers Ocklawaha and 
Ponaganset were used to carry potable water to ships and bases in the 
forward area. 

Water was available at a number of points in the South Pacific for the 
Third Fleet, and in the Southwest Pacific for the Morotai Interlude 
forces. It was likewise available on certain harbor craft in the Marshalls. 
At Manus, where 2,000,000 gallons a day, filtered and chlorinated, were 
available, it could be obtained after 1 September for both Third Fleet 
and Southwest Pacific forces. Besides the shore facilities at Manus, 
Y0-186, with 55,000 barrels, and YW-90, with 280,000 gallons, were 
sent to Captain Ogden from Eniwetok late in August. They had been 
filled from the Ponaganset and from surplus in ships returning to Pearl. 

In the South Pacific area where most of the amphibious forces were 
serviced, the naval base at Tulagi estimated that between 15 August and 
1 September 20,917,000 gallons of water was supplied to LST's, LCI's, 
and small craft. No figures are available for Guadalcanal, but that base 
supplied water in tremendous quantities to the ships and troops which 
staged in that area. 

The Ponaganset, with 90,000 barrels of water, reached Eniwetok 2 
August, discharged cargo, and returned to Pearl to reload. With a fresh 
90,000 barrels aboard, she was ordered to Guadalcanal to take part in the 
logistic preparations of the amphibious forces. From 27 August to 4 
September she discharged fresh water to various harbor and patrol craft, 

' '^0mm 

Taking sugar on the carrier Lexington at night. 

Logistic Support at Seeadler and at Sea 203 

LCI's, and to units of LST Flotilla 13. She replenished in part from 
YW-62 and 4 September left for Manus in company with Task Group 
32.19- Here on the 10th she became part of Ogden's Task Unit 30.9-1, 
and after receiving an additional 30,798 barrels of water sortied with the 
fleet oiler units 30.8.1 and 30.8.3 on the 13th for the Palau area. From 
19 September to 4 October she lay off the southern tip of Peleliu giving 
water to various landing craft. Then she went to anchor in Kossol Pas- 
sage to continue operations, not returning to Manus for a fresh cargo 
until the 17th. 

The Ocklawaha arrived in Eniwetok 27 August, discharged her 
100,000 barrels of water cargo, and sailed for Pearl the 29th. She re- 
turned 22 September with the Severn in time to service the amphibious 
forces which put in for replenishment on the 25 th. The Severn carried 
4,033,218 gallons of fresh water on her first trip since commissioning, 
and after servicing ships at anchor and discharging into the Ocklawaha 
left Eniwetok the 28th with Task Group 33.1 for the next operation. 

For land-based forces, enough water was carried ashore to allow 2 
gallons per man per day for 5 days, plus distilling apparatus to pro- 
vide 5 gallons per man per day for the garrison troops. Distillation 
continued until the local water could be purified to allow 5 gallons a 
day for each man. This was adequate but not excessive. Some 5 -gallon 
containers could not be used for drinking purposes because they had 
not been sufficiently cleaned and gave an oily taste and smell to the 

Fresh and Dry Provisions. Provisions stores ships were routed to the 
Marshalls area, particularly Eniwetok, during August of 1944, and 
to Manus during September. Those reaching Manus late in September 
were generally sent to Kossol Passage or to Ulithi to provision Third 
Fleet ships remaining in the area after the Stalemate operation. Task 
forces of the Third Fleet assembling in the South Pacific were provi- 
sioned by Commander Service Squadrons South Pacific Force, and in- 
cluded battleships, cruisers, destroyers, escort vessels, mine sweepers, 
troop transports, attack cargo and transport ships, and escort carriers, 
127 in all. 

Figures for the naval base at Espiritu Santo for a 3-day period, 8-10 
September, show 184 tons of fresh and dry provisions issued to 25 ships. 
This contrasts with Squadron Ten's issue of 1,715 tons of fresh and 
frozen only at Eniwetok, 25-28 August, to the ships of Task Force 38. 

Since fresh and frozen supplies were never available in the quantities 
desired, larger ships (light cruisers and above) were initially provisioned, 

204 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

as already mentioned, on the basis of serving at least one complete dry 
ration every sixth day. Smaller ships were given preference in provision 
issues, and were also to be given foodstuffs from larger vessels as needed. 
Supplies of dry provisions for all vessels were not to exceed 120 days for 
ship's company and 60 days for embarked troops. All types of provisions 
for ships in the Morotai Operation (Interlude) were available, either from 
provision ships in harbor or ashore at supply depots in Milne Bay, 
Finschhafen, Madang, Manus, Hollandia, and Woendi. 

The provisions stores ship Calamares, one of several reefers assigned 
to Service Force Seventh Fleet in support of Operation Interlude, left 
the west coast 22 August with a fresh and frozen cargo, reached Manus 
13 September, and discharged into the supply depot. Leaving there 15 
September she touched at Hollandia, Mios, Woendi, Madang, Alexis- 
hafen, Langemak Bay, Milne Bay, and finally at Brisbane and Townsville, 

Salvage. Salvage ships for fleet use were maintained in the Tulagi- 
Purvis Bay area. Three of them, the fleet tugs Pawnee, Menominee, and 
Munsee, participated in early staging operations with the amphibious 
forces, later accompanying them to Peleliu for D-day. They mainly as- 
sisted beached or disabled landing craft and remained in the Palau area 
until early October. Fleet tugs Yuma and Apache, rescue tug ATR-33, 
and auxiliary ocean tug ATA-123 assisted in salvage of the Army craft 
FP-147, which ran aground 6 September. Yuma was sent to aid the 
hospital ship Samaritan, which struck a reef 23 September while carry- 
ing more than 600 battle casualties from Peleliu, while Apache took 
charge of salvage and rescue work on the Elihu Thomson, which struck a 
mine field on the 26th, and towed her to Noumea. 

The salvage vessel Grapple fueled and provisioned at Purvis Bay and 
sailed 4 September with Task Group 32.19 to the vicinity of Peleliu. On 
the 15th, as the initial landings were being made, her duty was to lay 
mooring buoys close in to the assault beaches. On the 17th she went 
to assist the destroyer Wadleigh, which struck a mine the previous day 
while sweeping the eastern entrance to Kossol Passage. After complet- 
ing salvage work on the destroyer, the Grapple on 2 October continued 
her work in the vicinity of Peleliu and Anguar Islands. 

The fleet tug Zuni, previously in the Marshalls-Marianas area, reached 
Kossol 20 September towing the 3,500-ton floating drydock ARD-17 , 
and joined the Menominee, Pawnee, and Munsee in salvage work. Later the 
landing-craft repair ship Endymion also came to Kossol. 

Salvage being a vital phase of logistics, numerous fleet tugs operated 

Logistic Support at Seeadler and at Sea 205 

in the Marshalls and Marianas, at Eniwetok, Kwajalein, Saipan, and 
Guam, available for the Stalemate operation through ComServRon 
Ten. Among them were the Arapaho, Chowanoc, Sioux, Chickasaw, Pota- 
watomi, Pakana, and Lipan. In the Morotai (Interlude) engagement the 
fleet tugs Quapaw, Sonoma, and Hidatsa accompanied the assault forces 
to the objective and, shortly after the first wave of troops got ashore, 
assisted in hauling stranded landing craft from the beaches. 

The Stalemate operation plan provided that landing forces would 
salvage for overhaul all possible landing craft damaged in the assault, 
including amphibious tractors and trucks, before withdrawal from the 
beaches. After the assault forces left, the island commander was responsi- 
ble for further salvage. Hulls which could not be repaired were stripped 
of all useful parts, and craft unrepairable locally were returned to Oahu 
for overhaul. 

In addition to the fleet tugs and salvage vessels with the landing 
forces, several LCI's in each attack force were equipped with towlines 
and salvage and fire-fighting equipment for assisting damaged landing 
craft. All ships were directed to be ready to tow or be towed; damaged 
ships in danger of sinking were to be beached in territory under our 
control. Despite our preparations, however, the beaches were congested 
with damaged amphibious craft which to some extent impeded unload- 
ing. This emphasized the need of an organized salvage section to go 
ashore with the initial landing parties to undertake on-the-spot repairs. 
It further demonstrated that the two LST's assigned to repair more 
than 400 LVT's and DUKWs were inadequate. A recommendation 
was made by Commander Task Force 36 (land-based troops) that one 
LST for every hundred such craft be provided in similar operations. 

214075 O-F-53 15 


Further "Stalemate" Support 

Medical Plans and Facilities— Mail—Service Unit 
at Seeadler— With the Fast Carriers- 
Squadron Ten Prepares to Move 

Every great military operation means casualties, and Stalemate 
was no exception, so surgical and medical equipment had to be 
adequate to such a tremendous effort. Four hospital ships— Bountiful, 
Relief, Samaritan, and Solace— went to the forward area to assist in evac- 
uation of the wounded. In addition, the transports Pinkney and Tryon, 
after carrying troops to the objective, served as casualty evacuation ships 
to Manus. The Rixey, similarly adaptable, was to have been used for 
Phase II, but when that plan was canceled she was diverted to the 
Philippines campaign. Army and Navy hospitals in the South Pacific 
were at Noumea, Espiritu Santo, Tulagi, Guadalcanal, and the Russell 
Islands. Other casualties were sent to Oahu. Newly erected facilities at 
Manus provided 1,000 beds for staging casualties ultimately destined for 
South Pacific hospitals, and another 1,000 at Kwajalein took casualties 
going to Oahu. Wounded sent to either of these rear areas moved by air 
or surface vessel, depending upon the urgency and condition of the 
cases. For those evacuated by air, arrangements were made in the staging 
areas to move approximately 250 patients a week. 

The remains of those who died ashore in the Palaus were left for iden- 

I tification and burial by the Graves Registration Service of the landing 

, force. When death occurred aboard ship, burial was conducted at sea or 

in deep-water areas off shore. After combat operations had ceased, the 

dead were generally sent ashore to Graves Registration, or in cases 

I where a number of deaths occurred on hospital ships bound for rear 

areas these too were buried at sea. 

For evacuation purposes, patients were classified under a color scheme: 


208 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

Red, all serious cases and those requiring more than 2 months' hospital- 
ization; Blue, men requiring more than 2 weeks' but less than 2 months' 
hospitalization; White, cases that could be returned to duty within 2 
weeks and which, so far as practicable, were returned to their units 
before hospital ships left the combat area. One such ship reported that 
if greater care had been taken in classifying types of casualties on the 
beach, many would not have been sent aboard hospital ships, diverting 
attention from the more seriously wounded. 

A detailed procedure for transfer of the wounded from the beach to 
evacuating hospital ships was worked out, but of course varied with 
combat conditions. In general, however, all vessels except those desig- 
nated to receive prisoners of war were fitted to accommodate casualties 
as follows: APA (attack transports), 150 stretcher cases and 325 ambu- 
latory; AKA (attack cargo ships), 15 stretcher, 50 ambulatory; AP 
(transports), 75 stretcher, 200 ambulatory; LSV (landing ship (vehicle)), 
50 stretcher and 200 ambulatory cases. Evacuation from the beaches was 
directed by the beachmaster of the landing force. He was authorized to 
place wounded in any of these ships' boats leaving the beach, for trans- 
portation to hospital ships, or if necessary to send out DUKWs, the 
famous amphibious trucks, to meet these ships at the line of transfer. 

The ^//^experienced some difficulty in embarking casualties during 
heavy seas on 27, 28, and 29 September at Peleliu and Auguar. On the 
29th, swells were so high at Anguar that evacuation had to be suspended 
temporarily. The Relief felt that LCT's or LCI's could have been used to 
advantage during this period, but none were available. 

The transport Harris was one of many such ships which carried Army 
and Marine forces to the operation. As an APA she was also equipped to 
handle casualties during combat, and 23 September she participated in 
the occupation of Ulithi. Her utility did not end there, either. In addi- 
tion to her medical facilities, which included an eye surgeon for serious 
cases, she furnished water and provisions to various smaller craft from 
23 to 25 September, gave 21,000 gallons of fuel oil to the high-speed 
minelayer Montgomery, and transferred 8 LCVP's and 1 LCM to the 
Navy boat pool to remain at Ulithi. 

The Bountiful and Samaritan sortied from Manus several days prior to 
D-day. Arriving off Peleliu 18 September, the latter immediately began 
embarking casualties, and left on the 19th for the Russells with 607 
patients. On the 24th she went aground on Tauu Reef, with considerable 
damage to the ship but no personnel injuries. She was assisted to 
Renard Sound, Russell Islands, for disembarking patients and making 

Further "Stalemate" Support 209 

temporary repairs, and on 2 October docked in ABSD-1 at Espiritu for 
hull and engine work. 

Solace and Relief Vent to Peleliu from Eniwetok. During August both 
had been at Pearl with casualties from the Marianas. On reaching 
Eniwetok the Relief helped to check the dysentery epidemic in the Ajax. 
The Solace embarked 542 wounded at Peleliu from 22 to 25 September 
and sailed for Noumea to discharge her casualties to Army and Navy 
hospitals. The Relief reached Peleliu 24 September, but did not begin 
loading until the Solace had reached capacity. On the 26th she received 
her first group from Peleliu and Anguar. Loading was dangerous on sub- 
sequent days because of weather conditions, but by the 30th she was 
under way with 690 cases which she discharged to hospitals in Noumea. 

The transports Tryon and Pinkney, the former with 1,323 troops and 
the latter with men of the First Marine Regiment, left from Guadalcanal 
8 September, unloading troops and cargo on D-day, 15 September, re- 
maining a few thousand yards off shore. That morning the Pinkney 
received her first casualties. On the 16th she moved from 6,000 yards off 
shore to 5,000 to relieve the Tryon, and discharged badly needed blood 
plasma on the beach while continuing to embark wounded. Both ships 
got under way on the 20th, the Tryon with 797 casualties, the Pinkney 
with 690. After discharging them at Manus, the 2 vessels loaded with 
dry stores and mine-sweeping gear and sailed for the combat area. Hos- 
pital ships meanwhile had taken on board most of the remaining 
wounded, so, after reloading assault troops, Tryon proceeded to the 
Russells 4 October with 1,309 passengers and 87 patients, the Pinkney 
with 1,339 troops and 81 casualties. The two reached Renard Sound, 
Russell Islands, on the 10th for disembarking. 

Medical supplies for land-based forces for Stalemate were stocked for 
60 days. Resupply after return from combat was available at Guadal- 
canal, Espiritu Santo, Noumea, Majuro, Eniwetok, Kwajalein, Manus, 
and Pearl. All ships receiving casualties were to exchange with medical 
groups ashore as many stretchers, bunk straps, blankets, and metal or 
plywood splints as they received from the beach. Each APA was to land 
40 litters, one-third of its supply of splints, and 40 life jackets with the 
beach party. Each stretcher patient, so far as was possible, was to have 
a life jacket for the shore-to-snip movement. 

Evacuation from the beaches moved smoothly during daylight, but at 
night some difficulty was encountered in locating medical boats at the 
reef. It was felt that in the future such boats should carry night lights 
and be prepared to give more accurate bearings of hospital ships. Facil- 

210 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

ities for Operation Interlude (Morotai) included the Comfort and three 
other hospital ships, besides naval and military hospitals at Manus, 
Mios, Woendi, Hollandia, Finschhafen, Milne Bay, and in Australia. All 
ships stocked medical supplies to capacity, with resupply available at 
Manus, Finschhafen, and Brisbane. 

Mail Facilities. Until post offices could be established ashore, a landing 
ship (tank) was assigned to each anchorage to serve as a fleet post office. 
Postal personnel and equipment were transported in the first garrison 
echelon and transferred to the various LST's at different objectives. Fol- 
lowing the capture of Peleliu and Ulithi, post offices were established 
there to serve all forces. 

Mail from the staging areas in the Central and South Pacific for 
Peleliu-Ulithi was shipped as fast as transportation was available. To 
avoid betraying a ship's destination by her mail cargo, numbers were 
used by Navy and Marine Corps, such as Navy 3253, Peleliu Island; 
Navy 3011, Ulithi Atoll; Navy 3257, Anguar Island. 

Recognizing that good service was essential to high morale in any 
military operation, Admiral Halsey recommended in his report on Stale- 
mate that (a) "The mail base must be the same as the fuel base; (b) 
CinCPac. postal officer must cooperate and move the mail base only on 
request of the Fleet; (c) officer messenger mail, registered, air, and first 
class matter can be expeditiously passed at sea by AO's (oilers); (d) 
second and third class mail should be held at the mail base and trans- 
ported to anchorages when groups are definitely en route to the anchor- 
age; (e) shore facilities must cooperate in separating mail by task 
groups, and not loading over 75 pounds per pouch, and if possible, 
using a distinctive color tag for each group." 

The Service Unit at Seeadler 

Rear Admiral T S. Wilkinson, commanding Task Force Thirty-one, 
ordered the Western Garrison Group, under Commander MacGowan 
for the capture and defense of Peleliu, Anguar, and Ulithi, to assemble 
at Seeadler. The 12 vessels, mostly merchantmen, including the Cape 
Georgia, Cape Stevens, Sea Runner, and Sea Sturgeon, with the cargo ships 
Matar and Lesuth, arrived on the 7th and 14th, and on the 15th of Sep- 
tember departed for the Palau operation. A few days later 2 fast carrier 
groups came in for quick replenishment. The required levels of supply 
as prescribed by the fleet logistic plan for Stalemate had been furnished 
Fast Carrier Task Groups 38.1-2-3-4 in August by Service Squadron Ten 

Further "Stalemate" Support 111 

at Eniwetok. From the end of that month they had made strikes in the 
Bonins, Carolines, and Philippines and were low in everything but fuel, 
which was supplied to them at sea. 

First to arrive was Rear Admiral Davidson's 38.4— the carriers Frank- 
lin, Enterprise, Belleau Wood, and San Jacinto, cruisers New Orleans and 
Biloxi, and 2 destroyer groups, Squadron Six and Division Twenty-four, 
totaling 12 destroyers. On the 24th the force left Manus. Next to come 
was Task Group 38.1, Vice Admiral McCain, with the Wasp, Hornet, 
Cowpens, Monterey, Destroyer Squadron Forty-six and Destroyer Division 
Twenty- three— 12 destroyers in all. These left 2 October, each group 
visit lasting only 4 working days, which was typical of previous visits at 
Eniwetok and subsequent stops at Ulithi, thus maintaining the tempo 
of the strikes and keeping unrelenting pressure on the Japanese. To con- 
form to this tight schedule Captain Ogden's forces had to accelerate 
their already very busy support activities. This meant around-the-clock 
handling of ammunition, food, stores, aviation supplies, fueling, and 
watering, with the ever-present demand for boats to carry out the servic- 
ing and furnish such transportation of shore parties as could be fitted 
into the lay-over time. Multiplicity of details always confronted the 
service unit at times like this. 

Attack, escort-carrier, and fire-support forces steamed back to replen- 
ish ammunition and stores, beginning late in September. On 2 October, 
42 ships of TransDiv 32 entered Seeadler. The greatest number return- 
ing from Palau entered next, when 87 ships anchored. Captain Ogden 
was caring for the 348 ships already in port on 1 October, and this addi- 
tion considerably increased the responsibilities and duties of service 
personnel. The transport flagship Harris, Captain M. E. Murphy, for 
example, which came in on the 2d, took 12,913 barrels of fuel, provi- 
sioned ship, and loaded cargo, on 7 October embarking 95 officers and 
1,543 men of the Twelfth Regiment, First Cavalry Brigade, and left on 
the 12th to attack and seize Leyte as part of Admiral Fechteler's Task 
Group 78.2. Most of the others were similarly serviced, but the burden 
of extra boat work was eased somewhat for the transports, which used 
their own boats instead of relying upon the pool. Despite the strain of 
all the extra work, Captain Ogden and his assistants proved equal to the 
occasion and acquitted themselves in a manner bespeaking his fine 
leadership, shown not only here at Manus but later at Kossol Passage 
and Leyte Gulf. 

All the Stalemate forces— land, sea, and air— accomplished their re- 
spective missions on schedule', though at the cost of heavy casualties in 

212 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

the assault troops. With the exception of mopping up on Peleliu, Stale- 
mate was virtually completed after the seizure of Ulithi September 23. 
As was to be expected, the preparation and coordination of the plans 
proved the most important element in success, with ships, planes, and 
men brought from all Pacific areas, including the west coast, to be avail- 
able at the crucial moment. The magnitude and complexity of the 
logistic problem was unparalleled, and made all the more intricate be- 
cause of the delayed end of the Marianas engagement. With scarcely a 
breather after Stalemate, King II, the Philippines operation at Leyte, 
followed, with the fleet in furious activity. 

With the Fast Carrier Groups 

Vice Admiral Mitscher's Task Force 38, between 29 August and 27 Sep- 
tember, conducted operations supporting the occupation of Peleliu and 
Anguar in the Palaus, Ulithi in the Carolines, and Morotai in the 
Moluccas. From Palau its Task Group 38.4 proceeded to Manus for 
bombs, fuel, and food. The rest of Task Force 38 steamed to the waters 
east of Luzon, then conducted the first carrier attack of the war on the 
island, including Manila. Afterward, "all the task groups retired to re- 
plenishment bases— Task Group 38.1 to Manus on 29 September, 38.2 
to Saipan 28 September, and 38.3 to Kossol 27 September. Before 38.1 
reached Manus, 38.4 sortied, operating in waters east of Palau until 5 
October. At Saipan, logistics were handled by Squadron Ten Repre- 
sentative, Captain Forrest A. Rhoads. 

Captain C. C. Laws, commanding the repair ship Prometheus, on 
3 October became the Kossol Passage Representative of Service Squad- 
ron Ten. On 1 and 2 October, Task Groups 38.2 and 38.3 reached Ulithi, 
just after that atoll had been captured and before the arrival of logistic 
forces under Commodore W. R. Carter, Commander Service Squadron 
Ten. Besides the shortage of facilities, the difficulties of servicing the 
task groups at this time were aggravated by a typhoon. On the 5th, Task 
Force 38 began that phase of its operations preliminary to seizing Leyte, 
ending on the 20th. On the 7th the four task groups rendezvoused and 
next day took 290,000 barrels of fuel from Captain Acuff s oilers, and 
367,000 gallons of aviation gasoline. Commander F. S. Gibson, com- 
manding the oiler Platte, reported that fueling conditions were very 
hazardous, with moderate to heavy long and confused swells from the 
west and southwest. Three sections of hose were broken because it was 

Further (t Stalemate" Support 213 

impossible to keep close positions in the heavy seas. Nevertheless the 
Platte persevered and despite adverse conditions and damage delivered 
48,000 barrels of oil that day and met all requirements of ships coming 

On 9 October, from a point about 600 miles southeast of their objec- 
tive, all task groups commenced their high-speed run in toward 
Okinawa, and on the 10th launched aerial strikes against that strong- 
hold. On the 11th, the fast carrier force (Task Force 38) made a dawn 
rendezvous with the fueling group (Task Group 30.8) and while steam- 
ing on a westerly course, took on 331,000 barrels of oil and 542,000 
gallons of aviation gasoline. Planes lost in combat or operationally, were 
replaced from the escort carrier Nehenta Bay, attached to the oiler group. 

After this fueling, all groups on the 12th and 13th launched strikes 
against Formosa, Japan's strongest and best-developed permanent base 
south of her islands proper. Formosa had never been hit before by carrier 
aircraft. Its antiaircraft batteries and defensive planes exceeded those of 
any area struck thus far. With Japan only 700 miles away, stiff resistance 
was to be expected. On the 13th the heavy cruiser Canberra was tor- 
pedoed and taken in tow, and next day the Houston also was torpedoed. 
Commander Task Force 38 changed his operation plan to cover the 
retreat of the crippled cruisers, using them as a decoy to entice the 
enemy main fleet to come out. 

Another refueling came on the 15th. This time Captain Acuff trans- 
ferred by boatswain's chair and trolley from his flagship John D. Henley 
to the battleship New Jersey for conference with Admiral W. F. Halsey, 
commanding the Third Fleet, and returned 40 minutes later. In her war 
diary the Intrepid reported the day devoted chiefly to fueling and aircraft 
replacement. Alongside the Schuylkill for 3 hours 36 minutes, the Intrepid 
took aboard 9,543 barrels of fuel and 76,000 gallons of aviation gasoline, 
while from replacement carriers she took 5 fighter and 10 bombing 
planes. She also reported that "We are preparing to meet Japanese sur- 
face and carrier units who believe we are a fleeing crippled and disorgan- 
ized fleet." During 15-16 October, Acuff s group issued 292,000 barrels 
of fuel and 726,000 gallons of aviation gasoline. 

Squadron Ten Prepares to Move 

With the landings of the Central Pacific forces in the southern Palau 
group and of the Southwest Pacific forces on Morotai, the final barriers 

214 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

to our assault on the Philippines had been pierced. Acquisition of the 
Palau Islands and of Morotai brought the Philippines within range of 
our land-based aircraft and pushed the Japanese back to their inner de- 
fenses. From them they had to hold the Philippines or be completely cut 
off from their captured territories in the East Indies and Southeastern 

Expansion of air and naval facilities proceeded energetically at our 
recently acquired bases in the Marianas, but though this area provided 
small harbors, nothing could be used as a major fleet anchorage. For the 
berthing and servicing of the huge concentration of ships required for 
deeper thrusts into the Pacific, a large harbor farther west than Eniwetok 
was a necessity. The atoll of Ulithi in the Western Carolines, with its 
extensive anchorage area, was the choice as our next advanced base for 
mobile support of the fleet. 

Before describing Ulithi and outlining the difficulties of moving the 
squadron's equipment forward we must consider briefly the logistic 
situation in the Marshalls at the time. Eniwetok was the farthest west of 
the atolls of that group, and the most useful because of its closeness to 
recent operations. Kwajalein, more than 300 miles to the eastward and 
somewhat south of Eniwetok, was a flight stop for transport planes to 
and from Pearl. It had been important as a replenishing point in 
previous campaigns but was now fast becoming a rear area. 

In preparation for moving to Ulithi, Commander Service Squadron 
Ten wished to draw all but a few service units from Kwajalein. There 
was some slight objection, but a definite expression of policy soon came 
in a dispatch from Commander in Chief Pacific Ocean Areas. This ruled 
that Squadron Ten, with its responsibilities for supplying the needs of 
the fleet, could not afford to tie up much equipment to service local 
small craft, and the sub-area commander must support such ''splinter 
fleet" locally. Though the incident in itself was not grave, it indicated 
to doubters that with the advance westward of fleet operations, mobile 
support units must advance also, rear bases being reduced to a minimum 
consistent with actual needs or allowed to dry up altogether. The mobile 
support idea was opposed to the fixed support idea of constructing and 
developing large shore naval bases at great expense in time and money. 
These could not be readily moved forward with the fleet, and once left 
behind, became only costly monuments to those who had failed to grasp 
the correct over-all strategy. For best results, fleet action and its support 
had to go forward together, and promptly. 

Preparations for the Move. Shifting a floating logistic center from 

Further f ( Stalemate" Support 215 

Eniwetok in the Marshalls to Ulithi in the Western Carolines imposed a 
variety of problems. First of all, the service squadron was composed of 
many different types of support craft. It was not homogeneous like a 
destroyer squadron, for instance, and the ordinary plan to proceed at 
high speed to the destination did not fit the circumstances. A number of 
the support craft were not self-propelled but had to be towed, not at 10, 
15, 20 or more knots, which with zigzagging offered fair immunity from 
torpedoing, but at 6 knots or less. At that crawling speed zigzagging 
offered no protection and merely slowed down the group. Second, the 
trip to the new anchorage was across more than 1,300 miles of ocean and 
the tows would pass within 180 miles of the Japanese island of Truk. 
Previous raids on that stronghold had forced the withdrawal of the Jap- 
anese fleet closer to its home waters, and so there was not too much fear 
of enemy surface action, though there remained some possibility of an 
air attack. Third, as this was the typhoon season, the forces of nature 
might impose an even greater threat than that of the enemy. But, all in 
all, the movement was a fairly good calculated risk. 

Some of the preparations involved hoisting LCVP's and LCM's. The 
former were of plywood construction and their light weight of 8 tons 
presented no hoisting problem. But for hoisting an LCM weighing 
about 22 tons the ordinary 10-ton cargo boom available on most ships, 
would not do. Ships with heavier booms were kept busy lifting LCM's. 
Every type of ship possible was used to transport boats forward. Con- 
crete barges with their large deck space were fairly good carriers, but 
skids and shoring had to be provided upon which to rest the LCM's. As 
the crockery fleet had no booms of sufficient lifting capacity to hoist an 
LCM aboard, it was necessary to shift the concrete barges alongside a 
Liberty ship or put a ship alongside the barge. This involved consider- 
able shifting of anchorages and men, and the use of tugs. Concrete 
barges, because of their fragile construction, could easily be damaged by 
the impact of heavier ships against their fenders when coming alongside. 
Another difficulty with them was that until the very last they were busy 
issuing provisions and stores. Also, all last-minute services required the 
use of boats; they had to stop work sometime in order to be hoisted. 

Hooking up the tows presented its own problems. The fleet, rescue, 
and salvage tugs, and some others, were equipped for towing with their 
own wire and towing engines, but the cargo and other ships, particularly 
the Liberty and older ones, did not always have towing equipment and 
perhaps had never towed before. In some instances there was a reluc- 
tance to tow because of the reduction in speed and consequent greater 

216 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

danger of submarine attack. However, Boastwain C. F. Scully of the op- 
erations department did excellent missionary work, visiting the prospec- 
tive towing vessels and convincing each commanding officer that his 
type of ship had towed previously and that his ship could be safely used. 
The general reaction was that "if another can do it, we can," and the 
operation was arranged. 

Not counting boats, 110 craft had to be moved to Ulithi, ranging 
from the self-propelled types down through drydocks, lighters, barges, 
landing craft, and seaplane wrecking derricks. On 4, 5, and 12 October, 
1944, the first convoys set out at the snaillike pace of 5 or 6 knots. 
Astern of the self-propelled units were towed the open and covered 
barges, concrete barges, floating docks, and other non-self-propelled 
craft. Where possible all types carried boats and little harbor tugs. The 
larger harbor tugs made the voyage on their own power, and, acting as 
retrievers, could assist tug convoys. Wire rope and manila hawsers were 
very scarce in the forward areas, and much hard work and ingenuity 
went into the "hooking up" of a tow. Destroyers, minesweepers, and 
submarine chasers as available were used as escort vessels. Steam was up 
for the toughest voyage. 


Service Squadron Ten Main Body 
Moves to Ulithi 

Reduction to Minimum at Eniwetok— Improvement 

in Salvaging 

The first convoy to leave Eniwetok on 4 October was made up of 
repair ships, ungainly but valuable concrete stores ships, station 
tankers, oil and gas barges, and ammunition barges. The Vestal, repair 
ship, towed the concrete Chromite and an ammunition barge. Captain J. 
B. Goode, commanding the Vestal, was task-unit commander. In his war 
diary he reported that the tugs had some difficulty in collecting and 
making up tows for delivery to the towing ships. Bad weather delayed 
the start, and though most vessels cleared the harbor, two station tank- 
ers, the tug Turkey, and two oil barges because of rain squalls and zero 
visibility remained in port overnight, joining next morning. 

Captain Goode's worries about his assorted charges had only com- 
menced, for next day a working party had to be sent to the covered 
lighter YF-254 to shift ammunition and put her on an even keel. Water, 
2 feet deep, was found in her, so when the Turkey joined she was di- 
rected to pump out the bilges and repair some leaks in the barge. By 
5 p. m. all the ships had taken their assigned positions in the convoy 
organization and things seemed pretty well under control, at least for 
the time being. Next day the towing bridle of the Liberty tanker Gazelle 
carried away. Captain Goode reduced convoy speed to 4 knots, while the 
retriever tugs YTB-372 and 384 helped the Gazelle reassamble her tow. 
The following day the fuel-oil barge YO-76 developed engine trouble. 
The old tanker Malvern, Lieutenant H. C Pollock, had a steering cas- 
ualty, dropped out of position astern, and did not regain her place until 
next day. The Vestal sent a repair party to the Malvern by tug. Another 
retriever brought patients over from the Chromite for medical attention. 


218 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

Again the Malvern developed steering trouble, but this time regained 
position by steering by hand. On the 11th the flagship gave a subchaser 
water and provisions. After having ministered to the ailments of others, 
the Vestal herself encountered towing-engine difficulties, hoisted the 
breakdown signal, dropped out of formation, overcame her troubles, and 
later rejoined to assume the guide once more. Two days later, the 13th, 
the tug YTB-372 picked up a medical officer and chief pharmacist's 
mate from the Vestal to give medical aid to a patient on a fuel-oil barge. 
Later he was brought to the flagship. The breakdown of this same busy 
tug on the 13th was the last of the disquieting incidents to beset this 
heterogeneous group of 25 units. Captain Goode must have breathed a 
sigh of relief finally to sight Ulithi and anchor on the 15th inside the 
lagoon. In spite of all set-backs the voyage was made without loss, at a 
speed of about 5 knots. 

The Second Convoy. Another towing group of miscellaneous types, all 
valuable to Squadron Ten, left Eniwetok 5 October, and included 2 float- 
ing drydocks. Commander W. L. Travis in the ARD-13 was convoy 
commander. On the 6th, pursuant to orders from high authority, the 
docks were ordered to return to Eniwetok. As they had been loaded with 
boats and hooked up with the usual difficulties, the order caused some 
disappointment. Nevertheless, back they went, the convoy proceeding 
with Commander J. E. Dow, commanding the cargo ship Megrez, as 
officer in tactical command of 23 units: 3 concrete ships, the Corundum 
with spare parts, Trefoil with general stores, Silica with fresh, frozen, and 
dry provisions, and medical items; an ammunition barge; maintenance 
barge; boat-pool tender; sludge-removal barge; radio and radar equip- 
ment barge; floating workshop; 2 station tankers, the Giraffe and Quiros; 
water and gasoline barges; and the barracks ship Orvetta, Lieutenant 
Commander G. L. Armstrong. The Orvetta had been recompartmented 
to provide office space for activities the flagship could not accommodate. 
She was towed by the War Shipping Administration tug Watch Hill. 
Another fine tug of this type, the Mobile Point, towed the concrete 
Corundum and barge YC-1006. The two tugs had brought tows out to 
Eniwetok, and permission to use them was given by Rear Admiral 
Hoover, Commander Task Force 57. Another WSA tug, Cubits Gap, had 
brought out the floating dock ARD-25, Lieutenant Commander Otto 
Knudsen, and was routed forward to Guam for the use of Service 
Squadron Twelve, Commodore Fiske. The dock carried in her basin the 
suction dredge Point Loma and dredge Benson. The barracks barge Sea 
Hag, made fast to this tow, was for use at Guam. 

Service Squadron Ten Main Body Moves to Ulithi 219 

Two medium size and two large harbor tugs were retrievers for this 
convoy. Two of them went into action when the barge YF-688 on the 
9th broke loose from the Silica in the middle of the night. The war diary 
of the Megrez, flagship, recorded it: "At 2348 (11:48 p. m.) stopped 
engine; rest of convoy well clear and proceeding on course . . . Ship's 
force was aided by two retrievers in remaking tow. It was found the tow 
parted because a shackle carried away. The shackle used was too light 
for the load placed on it, but the principal trouble was that the tow was 
hooked up improperly. The bridle was on the loaded (drag) end of the 
lighter, causing a constant yawing which certainly did not help the 
shackle. It is felt that if the tug which made up this part of the tow 
had used better judgement the incident would not have occurred." 

Admirable restraint was displayed by the war diarist of the Megrez 
in writing such a fine understatement. Here was the flagship of the 
convoy delayed by this happening, and her men required to work more 
than 3 Vi hours at night in the middle of the ocean — sitting ducks for 
torpedo practice by an enemy submarine. The tow was not remade until 
3:35 a. m. on the 10th, and the flagship could not overtake the convoy 
and resume guide position until 10 o'clock that morning. The present 
writer is sympathetic toward the author of the war diary and toward the 
men who made the repairs and by reading between the lines feels that at 
the time the tow was reshackled the salty seagoing language and paint- 
peeling invective probably used, somewhat compensated for the restraint 
necessary to compose the "official" language required by the diary. 

The convoy reached Ulithi 14 October without further mishap, 
making a speed of advance of about 6 knots. 

The Third Convoy. In the towing convoy of 12 October, affectionately 
known to Squadron Ten Staff as the "Third Fleet," Commander F. W. 
Parsons was convoy commander, and his flagship was his command, the 
battle-damage repair ship Nestor. The salvage vessel Extractor, Lieutenant 
(j. g.) L. C. Oaks, had retriever duty, and 3 destroyers were assigned as 
escorts. The little armada was made up of 14 tows which, with their 
towing ships, numbered 35 units; 3 floating drydocks; 2 ammunition 
barges; 1 energizing barge equipped to revitalize fuzes of antiaircraft 
ammunition; 1 lighter with boat pool gear; 1 gasoline barge; 4 lighters 
with various types of freight; 1 hotel barracks barge; 5 LCI's each tow- 
ing 1 high-speed target sled; 2 degaussing vessels, also each towing a 
sled. The precious floating docks, because of their size, importance, and 
poor maneuvering qualities, were entrusted only to fleet tugs. The 
ARD-13, Lieutenant Commander W. L. Travis, with 12 LCM's, 12 

220 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

LCVP's, and 3 lighters in her capacious basin, was towed by the tug 
Hitchiti, Lieutenant H. A. Guthrie, and had the 1,500-ton covered lighter 
YF-788 towing astern. The ARD-15, Lieutenant Commander W. E. 
Kellar, towing the YF-786, was towed by the tug Arapaho, Lieutenant 
A. H. Gunn. The dock carried 1 seaplane wrecking derrick, 2 pontoon 
barges, 1 50-foot motor launch, and 6 LCM's. The convoy arrived with- 
out serious mishap at Ulithi 21 October, having made an approximate 
speed of 6 knots. 

Equipment for the new mobile base not brought by these three con- 
voys came forward in smaller groups as tows could be arranged. The 
unforgettable feature of transferring Service Squadron Ten's activities 
was that no losses of personnel or equipment resulted. Admiral Nimitz 
was gratified by this accomplishment. Certain precautions had been 
taken to diversify the types of equipment in each convoy, to prevent 
endangering all of any one kind at the same time. In spite of all safe- 
guards used, the amount of damage from typhoon and enemy could 
have been heavy. Exactly why the enemy allowed all that equipment 
to proceed nearly 1,400 miles at an average of less than 6 knots may 
never be known. Some of our naval aviators who viewed these ambling 
armadas from the air advanced the theory that any Japanese who ob- 
served one would suspect a trap, believing that the drydocks and other 
questionable looking pieces of equipment were in reality different forms 
of mystery ships or other secret offensive machines. Whatever the truth, 
all got through to safety. 

Reducing at Eniwetok. On 8 October Commodore W. R. Carter, and his 
staff in the destroyer- tender flagship Prairie, Captain O. A. Kneeland, with 
the Cascade, Captain H. K. Gates, and the merchant ammunition ship 
Plymouth Victory sailed for Ulithi. The chief staff officer, Captain E. E. 
Duvall, with six officers remained at Eniwetok in the destroyer tender 
Markab to dispatch convoys and administer Squadron Ten affairs for a 
short period, then rejoin the main body at Ulithi. Officers of this staff 
represented the departments of small craft, maintenance, fuel, operations, 
and personnel, with one assistant for small craft, a boatswain. Many 
requests, problems, and duties beset this skeleton staff. The Markab's 
communications division was well nigh swamped with radio and visual 
traffic incident to servicing fleet units present; almost as much as that 
borne by the Prairie, recently gone forward. Near the end of the stay at 
Eniwetok a review was made of messages received from both naval and 
merchant ships. The following extracts show something of the daily 
routine of a service squadron representative: 

Service Squadron Ten Main Body Moves to Ulithi 221 

Moments in the Life of a Service Squadron Ten Representative 





















214075 O-F-53 16 

222 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 
















On 18 October Captain Duvall and his staff left Eniwetok in the 
Markab, leaving Lieutenant Commander N. H. Geisenhoff, command- 
ing the drydock ARD-23 and some officers to assist, in charge of service 
matters. The logistic equipment directed by Geisenhoff, and later by his 
relief, Commander C. Lovelace, commanding officer of the internal-com- 
bustion-engine repair ship Oahu, included the battle-damage repair ship 
Zeus; three floating drydocks; four covered ammunition lighters; one 
refrigerated stores lighter; three fuel-oil barges; one water, one large 
gasoline, and one sludge-removal barge; four small harbor tugs; and 
one seaplane wrecking derrick. On the 2 2d the Markab arrived at Ulithi, 


i— i 




224 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

and Captain Duvall and his temporary staff resumed their respective 
duties with Commodore Carter in the flagship Prairie. 

Ulithi. Ulithi, largest atoll in the Western Carolines, lies slightly south 
of a line joining Guam and the Palau group, and approximately midway 
(360 miles) between them. The atoll consists of some 30 islands dotting 
a reef which surrounds a lagoon 19 miles long from north to south, 
5 to 10 miles wide from east to west, capable of use as a fleet anchorage. 
The northern and southern ends offered the smoothest water, but neither 
was a storm shelter. The islands are low and offer slight protection from 
high winds. 

Captured charts, substantially correct, indicated that the lagoon was 
heavily mined in certain areas. Mine sweeping began 21 September. Next 
day a reconnaissance platoon landed unopposed on three of the principal 
islands of the group. Friendly natives reported that the Japanese had left 
at least a month before. Unfortunately the fire support for the landing 
wounded four natives, who were given medical treatment but later died. 
Among them was "Princess" Marie, daughter of the chief, or "king," of 
Ulithi, who died on board the transport Harris-, She was buried with her 
ancestors on Mogmog Island. 

During the next 2 days mine sweeping continued, and the discharge 
of 5,600 tons of cargo from the transports and LST's was completed, the 
former withdrawing on the 25th. Occupation was now completed, 
giving the fleet possession of a new harbor which in the months to come 
proved its value as a logistic base for operations farther west. 

The provisions stores ship Aldebaran, Captain E. E. Burgess, preceded 
Squadron Ten at this base, issuing fresh, frozen, and dry provisions, 
clothing, and ships stores to vessels of carrier groups until early morning 
of 3 October, when she ceased because of an impending typhoon. At 
7:30 a. m. the Third Fleet stood out to sea to ride out the storm. South- 
west and west winds blew from 35 to 55 knots, and large waves built up. 
At 8:35 p. m. the Aldebaran received an SOS distress signal, "We are 
sinking," from the LCT -1052, about 1,500 yards distant. With her 
engines drowned out, the LCT began to drift and the Aldebaran, which 
in the meanwhile had hoisted out a motor launch, maneuvered to go 
closer. The motor launch was first to reach the stricken craft but only 
just as the LCT went down. Fourteen of the crew were rescued, but her 
commanding officer, Ensign A. E. Smith, was lost. 

Between 1 and 6 October because of the storm, the carrier Bunker Hill, 
unable to repro vision at Ulithi, was ordered to remain, and when the 
work was completed rejoin the task force at the next fueling rendezvous. 

Service Squadron Ten Main Body Moves to U lit hi 225 

The uselessness of the port as a storm shelter was fully demonstrated by 
the typhoon which caused the loss of the LCT and many small craft 
from the boat pool, besides halting all service operations. The strategic 
position justified its acceptance with its shortcomings. Commander 
Service Squadron Ten had a complete program of typhoon procedures 
promulgated which required only a two-word signal to put into effect. 
This was done on two subsequent occasions. 

Improvement in Salvaging. Anticipated enemy action manifested itself 
when on the evening of 13 October the cruiser Canberra was torpedoed 
while 85 miles off Formosa. She was taken in tow first by the Wichita, 
which was relieved by the fleet tug Munsee, commanded by Lieutenant 
Commander J. F. Pingley. The Munsee used 225 fathoms of 2 V^ -inch 
wire rope made fast to 60 fathoms of the cruiser's anchor chain. On the 
14th the Houston was also torpedoed. She was under tow by the cruiser 
Boston on the 15th when the Munsee-Canberra tow joined up. Next day 
the group was attacked by Japanese torpedo planes which secured a 
second hit on the Houston. On the Canberra the salvage officer, Ensign 
P. S. Criblet, who had been placed on board by the Munsee, was drowned 
while diving in the forward engineroom to inspect repairs in preparation 
for pumping it out. Later, notwithstanding the anxious moments spent 
by the officers and crews of the damaged cruisers, apprehensive not only 
for the safety of ships at the moment but of possible future enemy 
attacks, time was taken out for the burial-at-sea services for Ensign 
Criblet. In devotion to his duty he had given his life. 

On the 20th, the War Shipping Administration commercial leased 
tug Watch Hill, Captain De Puey, took a tow wire from the Munsee 
and the two tugs in tandem brought their charge safely to Ulithi on the 
27th. The Houston also made it safely the same day. At once the repair 
ship Ajax moored alongside the Canberra to make repairs and insure her 
watertight integrity before she moved forward. Since her torpedoing, 
the cruiser had had only the barest minimum of water for cooking and 
drinking, part of which she received from the Boston while under way. 
By 10 November the repairs were completed and the Watch Hill towed 
her to Manus, where she entered the floating drydock ABSD-2. 

As usual when a vessel left the theater of operations for home, the big 
cruiser was cannibalized — that is, equipment and articles scarce in the 
combat zone, and which she could spare, were removed. Sometimes gun 
mounts, more often food, ammunition, and spare parts, and always 
boats,, if any, were taken. In this case, the main battery ammunition was 
left behind. Before the work of making a damaged ship ready for sea, 

226 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

considerable time and effort had to be expended in clearing away wreck- 
age, washing out oil, and in some cases removing bodies. Much cutting 
and welding was required. To assist the drydock's personnel, the repair 
ship Medusa supplied welders for temporary duty on the Canberra. She 
undocked on 6 January 1945, and on the 13 th was under way from 
Manus to Pearl Harbor. 

Towing the Houston 

In the Houston's war diary for 14 October, Captain W. W. Behrens 
reported that to cover the withdrawal of the damaged Canberra, the 
scheduled movements of Task Force 38 were changed. Task Group 38.2 
launched a dawn fighter sweep against Formosan airfields, and during 
the afternoon the Houston was sent to reinforce Task Group 38.1, which 
was giving close cover to the Canberra and the ships assisting her. That 
task group about 4:30 p. m. launched aircraft to intercept a large group 
of bogies (unidentified planes) coming in from the northwest, about 90 
miles distant. When our fighter planes returned and landed on their car- 
riers just before sunset they believed they had broken up the raid. Later, 
at 6:36 p. m. (sunset was at 6:22 p. m.), several low-flying aircraft were 
detected by radar, coming in from far ahead. Meantime several other 
planes were seen on both sides of the Houston. At 8:41 p. m. she was 
struck by a torpedo on the starboard side near frame 74. All propulsive 
and steering power was lost, and the ship listed 16 degrees to starboard, 
her after engineroom flooded beyond control and abandoned. 

At 8 o'clock the destroyer Cowell, Commander T H. Copeman, in re- 
sponse to a request for a ship to remove excess personnel, with superb 
seamanship, came along the port side, but rough seas made the proce- 
dure too dangerous and she was ordered away. Excess personnel were 
put over the side in rafts and picked up by the Cowell, Boyd, and Grayson. 
At 8:30 p. m. the serious buckling in the waist of the ship threatened to 
break her in two, so the commanding officer gave the order to abandon 
ship, which was begun in cool and orderly fashion. Half an hour later 
further information indicated she might be saved, and all remaining per- 
sonnel were ordered to stay aboard. In the meantime 743 men and 33 
officers were picked up by 6 destroyers, 48 officers and 152 men remain- 
ing aboard. At 9:20 p. m. the cruiser Boston approached, made ready to 
tow, and by 11:50 p. m. was under way at 3 knots. On the morning of 
the 15th the Houston's draft was 34 feet forward and 30 feet 4 inches aft 




228 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

instead of her normal maximum mean draft of 25 feet. At 8 p. m. of the 
15th both the Houston and Canberra tows were only 220 miles from 

During the morning watch next day the Houston had an electrical fire 
in the after steering station, which cut off power from her anchor 
engine. This delayed passing the tow to the tug Pawnee, Lieutenant H. 
C. Kramer, which had come up shortly after 6 a. m. However, by 10:36 
a. m. the latter's wire was secured to the cruiser's port anchor chain, and 
by 11 a. m. the tug began slowly building up to towing speed. At 1:40 
p. m. the task group commander warned of approaching enemy aircraft. 
The Houston brought all available men topside and manned as many 
20-mm. and 40-mm. guns as possible, officers manning some of the 
guns. An enemy aircraft was sighted coming in from nearly dead astern, 
low to the water. The 3 supporting cruisers and 5 destroyers circled the 
tow at high speed and when they could bear, joined the Houston in 
opening fire on the oncoming Japanese plane. Though hit repeatedly by 
the cruiser's automatic weapons, the enemy succeeded in dropping his 
torpedo, which struck the already crippled cruiser near the stern on the 
starboard side, wrecking the whole after part of the hangar, which was 
opened to the sea, breaking the aviation gasoline tanks and starting a 
raging fire which took half an hour to extinguish. A second plane at- 
tacked the Santa Fe, and a third was shot down. It was learned later that 
our air support had destroyed all but these 3 of a very large raid, reported 
to have been made up of 60 to 90 planes of all types, which, had it 
broken through, would have finished off the 2 cruisers. 

In the midst of these disturbing events, while Captain Behrens was 
struggling desperately with one-fourth a crew to keep his ship from 
sinking, the towing vessel Pawnee sent the Houston the encouraging 
message, "We'll hold on," and continued to make the usual 5 knots, in 
the right direction. This simple message might properly take its place 
among other immortal words uttered or signaled during the heat of a 
sea fight— "I have not yet begun to fight!" "Don't give up the ship!"— 
for here was a relatively small service unit, the fleet tug, giving heart to 
a crippled cruiser, the little Pawnee applauding the courage of the hard- 
hit big fellow with "We'll hold on!" as much as to say: "You'll make it. 
We're betting on you!" 

Hold on the tug did, until 21 October, when she was detached to 
other duty. After this the tow consisted of the fleet tug Zuni, Lieutenant 
R. E. Chance, and the salvage vessel Current, Lieutenant J. B. Duffy, 
towing in tandem. On the 18th the oiler Pecos gave the Pawnee SI 1 ) barrels 





230 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

of Diesel fuel, and the Munsee was fueled at the same time by the Kenne- 
bago, believed to be the first time fleet tugs had been fueled at sea while 
towing. On the 27th additional tugs nosed the Houston through Mugai 
Channel into relative safety of Ulithi lagoon, where Commander Service 
Squadron Ten assigned the repair ship Hector, Commander J. W. Long, 
to make the cruiser seaworthy for her voyage to Manus and then home. 
Thus ended a 1,250-mile trip on the end of a towline. The gallant 
Houston had been brought to safety from under the shadow of Formosa. 

Admiral Halsey sent an enthusiastic "Well done!" to all concerned in 
the salvage. In another Halsey report are the words: "Just after the 
strikes on Formosa and Luzon, the torpedoing of the Canberra oh the 
13th and the Houston on the 14th, there was a tremendous Japanese cam- 
paign of falsehood, claiming the destruction of virtually all the Third 
Fleet. This propaganda program may have been inspired by a feeling of 
necessity to reassure the Japanese people concerning the 'impregnability' 
of the Empire, or it may have had a seeming basis of truth in the minds 
of the authorities; erroneous conclusions probably stemmed from exag- 
gerated claims of returning pilots." Whatever the basis of this propa- 
ganda, it was evident that our ability to recover quickly from most types 
of damage, or at least to avoid total destruction, misled the Japanese in 
their estimates, and was particularly exemplified in the saving of the 
Canberra and Houston, as well as in that of the Reno on 4 November. 

On 3 November the Reno, Captain R. C. Alexander, operating with 
Rear Admiral F. C. Sherman's Task Group 38.3 east of the Philippines, 
received a torpedo hit shortly before midnight on the port side, aft. 
Next day the fleet tug Zuni began towing her toward Ulithi. By only 
the most courageous determination on the part of the captains, officers, 
and crews of both the cruisers and towing vessels alike did the three 
tows somehow reach port notwithstanding sinking condition and at- 
tendant adversities. Two weeks after the arrival of the Canberra and 
Houston, the Zuni brought Reno in to Ulithi on 11 November. Squad- 
ron Ten's forces pumped all of them out, shored up bulkheads, restored 
some interior communications, water systems, etc., and made structural 
repairs enough to enable the three to be towed safely to Seeadler. 

Temporary repairs were most extensive in the case of the Houston, 
which remained at Ulithi 48 days. The Canberra stayed 14 and the Reno 
39 days. By 19 December all three had left Ulithi by separate tows, with 
extra tugs or large mine sweepers accompanying, and with PBM Mari- 
ners furnishing air cover. By mid-February all were under way for rear 
areas and eventually home ports, at a speed of 17 knots. 

Service Squadron Ten Main Body Moves to U lit hi 231 

The work of making these cruisers seaworthy and operative, so they 
might proceed under their own power, testifies to the wisdom of having 
a large floating drydock available, and to the skill of the repair forces of 
the detachment at Seeadler. Captain Ogden coordinated all such activ- 
ities until 11 December 1944, when he moved forward to Kossol Roads 
in Palau, being relieved as Commander Task Unit 30.9.1 by Captain 
Paul B. Koonce, commanding the destroyer tender Sierra, who remained 
at Manus until 15 February 1945. 

The saving of these cruisers, not discounting the military protection 
afforded by their escorts, may be attributed to the effectiveness of the 
logistic support from floating bases. The advance of such bases as the 
action moved westward, and the presence, at the time, of units of Service 
Squadron Ten at Ulithi, relatively nearby, made it possible to operate 
fleet tugs and rescue vessels near the combat areas, in readiness to tow 
damaged ships away from further danger or complete loss, to that base 
for total repairs or for temporary work to enable onward routing to 
home yards. The Japanese were slow to recognize the effectiveness of 


The Philippines Campaign 

Forces and Vessels— Logistic Support of the Seventh 
Fleet— Battle ofLeyte Gulf 

BY the end of September 1944 we had moved steadily across the 
Pacific to such effect that the former Japanese bases east of the 
Philippines which were not in our hands were so completely cut off 
from enemy main forces that they were no threat to our operations. By 
the middle of October the Third Fleet was based for logistic support on 
Ulithi, where the main body of Service Squadron Ten was anchored; and 
by 20 October naval and military forces under General MacArthur, 
covered by Admiral Halsey's Third Fleet, made the Leyte landings. 

Vice Admiral Kinkaid's Seventh Fleet, constituting MacArthur's 
naval forces, was organized in 2 task forces and 3 task groups, number- 
ing more than 180 combat vessels and more than 700 altogether. Rear 
Admiral D. E. Barbey commanded Task Force 78, Vice Admiral T S. 
Wilkinson Task Force 79, Rear Admiral R. S. Berkey Task Group 77.3, 
Rear Admiral J. B. Oldendorf Task Group 77.2, and Rear Admiral T L. 
Sprague Task Group 77.4. The combat vessels included 6 old battleships, 
5 heavy and 6 light cruisers, 18 escort carriers, 84 destroyers, 22 destroyer 
escorts, 34 submarine chasers, and 12 frigates. Among the amphibious 
types there were 5 combined operations-communications headquarters 
ships, 10 attack transports, 88 landing craft (infantry), 21 landing craft 
(tank), 10 landing ships (dock), and 151 landing ships (tank)— a total 
of 343. Mine sweepers and patrol and service types made up the 
remainder of the Seventh's forces. Submarines of Task Force 17 and of 
the Seventh Fleet supported the operation by furnishing early informa- 
tion of enemy movements, performing lifeguard service, and attacking 
enemy shipping. 

Admiral Halsey's Third Fleet of fast battleships and carriers was or- 


234 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

ganized in 4 task groups— 1, 2, 3, 4— all under Vice Admiral M. A. 
Mitscher as commander of Task Force 38. D-day was set for 20 October. 
Eleven days previous the groups were made up as follows, though sub- 
ject to some changes from time to time: Task Group 38.1, Vice Admiral 
McCain, included 2 large carriers and 3 small ones, 3 heavy cruisers, and 
11 destroyers. Rear Admiral Bogan's Task Group 38.2 had 3 carriers, 2 
fast battleships, 2 small carriers, 3 light cruisers, 2 light antiaircraft 
cruisers, and 17 destroyers. Task Group 38.3, Rear Admiral Sherman, 
numbered 4 fast battleships, 2 large and 2 small carriers, 3 light cruisers 
and 1 light antiaircraft cruiser, and 17 destroyers. Rear Admiral R. E. 
Davidson, in Task Group 38.4, commanded 2 large and 2 small carriers, 
1 heavy and 1 light cruiser, and 12 destroyers. 

Carrier Task Force Missions Before Landings. With the nearest allied air- 
fields nearly 500 miles from the landing beaches, the initial purpose of 
the Fast Carrier Task Force of the Third Fleet was to secure control of 
the air before D-day, 20 October. To establish such supremacy over 
Leyte and surrounding areas, large numbers of enemy aircraft in the 
Philippines had to be destroyed, and attacks made on bases through 
which aircraft from Japan had to pass. Destroying aircraft in the Philip- 
pines was second in importance only to destruction of the enemy fleet 
itself, and helpful toward that as well. 

To attain these objectives the plan was to strike the strongly defended 
Japanese aircraft staging bases in the Nansei Islands, and Formosa, fol- 
lowing with attacks in the Philippines in preparation for the assault 
there by Seventh Fleet forces. Okinawa was the first objective in the 
Nansei group. On 10-11 October its effectiveness as an aircraft staging 
base was interrupted and substantial damage inflicted on surface ship- 
ping. From the 11th to the 16th Formosa was subjected to air strikes 
from Task Force 38, and again enemy supporting facilities were sub- 
stantially reduced by the destruction of 807 aircraft and 26 ships. From 
the 17th to the 23d the Fast Carrier Task Force gave more direct sup- 
port to the Leyte landings by attacks on the Legaspi and Clark Field 
areas, and other Luzon airfields. 

Staging for the Leyte Assault. In September the plan for the second 
phase of Stalemate II, the capture of Yap and Ulithi, was canceled, and 
Leyte was ordered attacked on 20 October, months earlier than had 
been contemplated. Ulithi, which was to have been seized after Yap, 
would be taken as soon as practicable. All shipping (except certain 
LST's and small craft left at the objective) employed in the assault on 
Peleliu and Anguar was sent, after unloading troops and stores, to South- 

Bashi Channel 

Balingtang Channel 


C Engana 

B( 0- R N E 


236 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

west Pacific ports of Hollandia and Manus to be utilized for transporta- jl 
tion of troops to the Leyte area. 

Task Force 33, the Yap Attack Force, was assigned in its entirety of 
both assault shipping and troops to MacArthur for use in the Leyte 
operation. Task Force 33, or 79 as it soon became, reached Eniwetok 26 
September and replenished its supplies there from Service Squadron Ten. 
Then, to permit consultation between commands, concentration of 
forces, and to avoid the possibility of typhoons in the belt between 
Eniwetok and Leyte, the LST and transport convoys left Eniwetok for 
Manus on 28 and 29 September. 

Vice Admiral Kinkaid, commanding the Seventh Fleet, had two. main 
amphibious attack forces: The Northern, Task Force 78, under Rear 
Admiral Barbey, commanding the Seventh Amphibious Force, and the 
Southern, Task Force 79, under the Commander Third Amphibious 
Force, Vice Admiral Wilkinson. 

Northern Attack Force, Task Force 78. Troops of the four attack groups 
which comprised part of the Northern Attack Force were embarked at 
Finschhafen, Hollandia, and Manus. The force, without the San Ricardo 
attack group transports under Rear Admiral Fechteler, Commander Task 
Group 78.2, left Hollandia on A-minus-7 day, Friday, 13 October, an 
unlucky day for the Japanese. The San Ricardo transports left Manus 
and effected rendezvous with the force 2 days later. 

Southern Attack Force, Task Force 79. Assault shipping and escorts 
hitherto designated Task Force 33, now Task Force 79, was originally as- 
signed to capture Yap and Ulithi. The troops in it (XXIV Corps) 
reported to the general commanding the Sixth Army, but remained in 
the assault ships. The organization remained substantially the same as 
had been planned for the Yap operation, consisting of Attack Group 
Able, Task Group 79.1, Rear Admiral Conolly, carrying the 7th Infantry 
Division, and Attack Group Baker, Task Group 79.2, Rear Admiral 
Royal, carrying the 96th Infantry Division. Task Force 79 remained at 
Manus for its arrival, 3-4 October, until its departure for Leyte in two 
detachments, the LST convoy on the 11th, the transports the 14th. 

Landings at Leyte. Initial landing sites were around Leyte Gulf in the 
east central Philippines. Both Northern and Southern Attack Forces 
converged on Leyte in almost straight-line approaches. On 17 October 
troops landed on Dinagat and Suluan Islands, commanding the ap- 
proaches to Leyte Gulf, and next day made amphibious landings on 
Homonhon Island. Thereafter mine sweepers and underwater demoli- 
tion teams removed mines and investigated landing beaches. On the 18th 

The Philippines Campaign 237 

bombardment ships entered the gulf and began firing on shore installa- 
tions. Simultaneously planes from the carriers of the Third and the car- 
rier escorts of the Seventh Fleets attacked enemy positions and neu- 
tralized his nearby airfields. Admiral Barbey's Task Force 78 and Admiral 
Wilkinson's Task Force 79 entered the gulf during the night of the 
19th-20th, and that day successful landings were made on schedule on 
the western side of the gulf. With the stepping ashore of our troops, the 
actual return to the Philippines had begun. 

Logistic Support of Seventh Fleet. Admiral Kinkaid, in the logistic annex 
of his operation plan for the seizure of the Ley te area, specified the naval 
bases at Manus and Hollandia as the principal sources of initial supply, 
and further that Seventh Fleet supply agencies in New Guinea and the 
Admiralties, plus CinCPOA supplements at Manus, meaning Ogden's 
group of Service Squadron Ten, be utilized to accomplish the usual 
levels. These were ammunition, fuel, and lubricants to capacity; fresh 
and dry provisions to maximum capacity, but not to exceed 120 days 
for ship's company and 30 days for embarked troops; general stores, 
clothing, small stores, ship's stores stock, medical items— each to last 
120 days. 

Tasks of Commander Service Force, Seventh Fleet. The order required that 
Rear Admiral R. O. Glover, commanding Service Force, Seventh Fleet, 
provide fuel, provisions, and water at Manus, and the same, with am- 
munition, at Hollandia; replacement fuel from floating storage at Leyte 
on A-plus-4 day; resupply of provisions there by A-plus-30 day; tender 
and drydock facilities for all types of vessels at Manus, and tender for 
amphibious craft and destroyers at Hollandia; one repair ship (landing 
craft), the Achilles, Lieutenant C. O. Smith, to accompany the Northern 
Attack Force and be under Admiral Barbey's operational control. 
Admiral Glover was also ordered to appoint a service force representative 
for naval forces afloat in the Leyte area, to accompany Admiral Barbey 
to the objective. 

Fueling schedules required that Task Unit 77.7.1, Captain J. D. Beard, 
of the service group, consisting of three fleet oilers, with escort, be on 
station A-minus-5 day to fuel Task Groups 77.5 and 78.4, respectively, 
the mine-sweeping-hydrographic and Dinagat attack groups. After that 
the APD's, the high-speed old destroyer transports of Task Group 77.6, 
the beach demolition group, were fueled, and then the destroyers, and 
heavy and light cruisers of Task Group 77.2, Admiral Oldendorf 's 
bombardment and fire-support group. 

That done, the oilers retired along the route of advance, joining the 

214075 O-F-53 17 

238 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

LST's of the Southern Attack Force, Admiral Wilkinson's Task Force 
79, and while proceeding in convoy refueled the LST's and escorts as 
Admiral Wilkinson specified. Returning, to be on station 2 days before 
the assault, the tankers fueled the transports and escorts of the Southern 
Attack Force as specified by the task-group commander. After this the 
oilers returned to Kossol Roads to refill, then went to fueling areas 
about a hundred miles east of the objective. 

Bombardment Group Logistics. Admiral Oldendorf reported on the 
bombardment and capture of Leyte: "Prior to leaving Manus all ships of 
Task Group 77.2 had loaded to bombardment ammunition levels, had 
been fueled, and in the last few hours had received provisions. Pro- 
visioning was late because of the delayed arrival of the U. S. S. Bluejacket, 
and it appeared for some time that, in spite of the excellent provisioning 
organization set up by the Manus representative of ComServRon Ten, 
ships would have to sail without sufficient food to carry them through 
the operation. Apparently provision-ship operating schedules were not 
changed adequately to conform with the requirements of the newly 
planned operation. Some ships of the bombardment and fire-support 
group were reported as having only 6 days' supply of provisions on hand, 
and would hardly have been able to proceed on the operation had they 
not received provisions at the last minute." 

Admiral Oldendorf 's last statement is noteworthy, indicating the 
strong possibility of important, perhaps vital, ships being delayed for 
lack of food. In a very large and complicated plan such as that involved 
in capturing Leyte, the wisdom of having well-coordinated logistic 
support in ample quantity cannot be overemphasized. 

The report continued: ". . . it was wisely decided to bring the oilers 
and ammunition ships into Leyte Gulf, which saved much time and did 
not reduce the combatant force ... It is appreciated that chances 
were taken in making this move as 'Flash Reds' (enemy aircraft in near 
vicinity) were frequent. Fueling of units was usually accomplished 
expeditiously, although the large number of ships to be fueled and the 
small number of oilers made the operation seem an endless one. 

"The taking of ammunition was, as usual, slow, difficult, and unsatis- 
factory. Two ammunition ships, the U. S. S. Mazama, Commander 
P. V. R. Harris, and the S. S. Durham Victory, were provided. The 
Mazama was well equipped, had its own winchmen, and helped in 
every "way to expedite loading . . . The Durham Victory had a very 
small civilian crew, no winchmen, and no previous experience with 
ammunition handling. A representative from the Mazama was placed 

The Philippines Campaign 239 

aboard the Durham Victory and was of great help. However, through- 
out the loading period it was necessary to have the combatant ships 
supply winch men to the Durham Victory. Trained winchmen are not 
usually available even on the larger ships, and require much experi- 
ence before they are able to work holds with rapidity and safety. Since 
an ammunition ship is not a desirable neighbor in a harbor infested 
with enemy aircraft, and as it is of great importance that combatant 
ships be reloaded with ammunition as quickly as possible, it is strongly 
recommended that only naval ammunition ships be sent into assault 
areas, or if it be necessary to send civilian-manned ships, that the crews 
be augmented by trained winchmen, preferably by Special C. B. (Con- 
struction Battalion) personnel: otherwise by civilian longshoremen." 
Both Admirals Wilkinson and Kinkaid concurred that sending merchant 
marine ammunition ships into assault areas was undesirable. 

The Fueling Group. Story of the Ashtabula. The war diary of the Navy 
oiler Ashtabula, Lieutenant Commander W. Barnett, reveals its part in 
the plan mentioned. On 11 October Captain J. D. Beard, Commander 
Task Unit 77.7.1, and his staff came aboard at Humboldt Bay, Dutch 
New Guinea, for temporary duty. Next day the ship sailed in accord- 
ance with Admiral Kinkaid's operation plan for a fueling rendezvous 
with the Navy oilers Salamonie, Captain L. J. Johns; Saranac, Com- 
mander R. H. Parker; Chepachet, Lieutenant Commander H. K. Wallace; 
the merchant tanker Pueblo; and escorts. On the 15th, the Ashtabula 
fueled some vessels of the mine-sweeping and beach demolition groups, 
delivering 6,350 barrels of fuel and 1,072 barrels of Diesel oil. The fol- 
lowing day she gave the cruisers of the fire-support group, Minneapolis, 
Louisville, and Honolulu, 23,728 barrels of fuel oil and 1,800 gallons of 
gasoline. After delivering 14,150 barrels of fuel on the 17th, she ceased 
fueling, went back to Kossol, and replenished her cargo from the Pueblo, 
taking 29,000 barrels. 

On 20 October, in company with other oilers, she left Kossol, anchor- 
ing in Leyte Gulf on the 23d, A-plus-3 day, 7 miles east of the beach- 
head. She gave four destroyer types 7,000 barrels of fuel before going 
to a night anchorage in the lee of Homonhon Island. The next day 
enemy planes passed overhead, and she fired at them. Later she anchored 
7 miles east of the beachhead and issued 3,000 barrels of fuel, 860 barrels 
of Diesel oil. While she was under way with a task unit seeking night 
anchorage, four enemy planes singled her out as a target. At 6:48 p. m. 
a torpedo struck her on the port side between frames 66 and 69, opening 
a hole 34 x 24 feet and flooding a pumproom. Fortunately no fire or 

240 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

casualties resulted, and no damage to engineroom or fireroom. Dis- 
regarding their ship's injury, the Ashtabula's gunner opened fire as enemy 
planes circled within range. Radar and radio on the bridge had been 
knocked out and the ship listed 12 degrees to port. The first lieutenant 
immediately took damage-control measures by pumping cargo from No. 
8 port wing tank to fill starboard wing tank, using fire hose to right the 
ship. By direction of the commanding officer of the Salamonie, the rest 
of the task unit left, except for the fast attack transport Bowers, which 
stood by. By 7:10 p. m., about half an hour after being hit, the oiler was 
making 10 knots going away from shore. Before an hour had elapsed 
she was on an even keel and her radar had been repaired. Steering in a 
generally southerly direction, she rejoined the task unit and spent the 
rest of the night on evasive courses. 

Next morning at 5:45 three enemy planes were driven off by gunfire, 
the task unit making emergency turns to port and starboard and laying 
down a smoke screen. At 6:05 a Japanese plane approached but the 
Ashtabula shot it down. More planes came in but did not attack. By 
10:15 a. m. "all clear" was sounded, and the unit proceeded to Maglobo 
Bay to fuel Task Force 77. The wounded oiler did not participate, but 
was ordered to steer evasive courses in the gulf for the night. Next day, 
the 26th, the heavy cruiser Minneapolis came close along the injured port 
side of the Ashtabula and took 1,530 barrels of fuel and 1,800 gallons of 
aviation gasoline, while to starboard the Salamonie was taking 128,598 
gallons of aviation gasoline. When the Minneapolis drew clear, the 
destroyer Hadley took her place and gulped 2,500 barrels of fuel. Late in 
the afternoon, after receiving orders to steam evasive courses about the 
gulf during the night, an enemy plane was taken under fire and the task 
unit began making smoke and emergency turns. Two more Japanese 
planes came and were driven off. On the 27th, after giving 202,700 
gallons of aviation gasoline to the Suamico, the Ashtabula went to the 
fueling area where on the 28th she transferred Commander Task Unit 
77.7.1 and his staff to the Saranac, and later, with the Chepachet, was 
detached and ordered to Kossol Roads, where salvage of the fuel 
remaining on board was begun. 

Ammunition Units of the Fueling Group. The U. S. S. Mazama and the 
merchantman Durham Victory were ammunition carriers of Task Unit 
77.7.1, and accompanied that group from Kossol to Leyte.' From their 
arrival, 23 October, D-plus-3 day, their operations were greatly hindered 
by threats of enemy action and by actual air attacks, one of which 
resulted in a hit by aerial torpedo on the ship ahead of the Mazama, the 

The Philippines Campaign 241 

oiler Ashtabula, as already related. During darkness the ammunition 
ships maneuvered in retirement, returning to anchorages off the Samar 
coast, to continue issues as early in the morning as enemy action per- 
mitted. With the warning "red" all holds had to be closed; the crew 
not busy with that manned battle stations. Often smoke was used as 
cover, and if under way, evasive courses were steered. The average time 
ammunition ships had to make issues during that first week was little 
more than 4 hours each day. Nevertheless, between 23 and 30 October 
the Mazama delivered 2,220 tons and the Durham Victory about half as 
much. Commander Harris of the former reported that though the work- 
ing time per day was very limited, analysis of the unloading showed a 
very high rate of ammunition delivered per hour. On 1 November the 
ship left for Kossol Roads. 

General Comment on Ammunition and Loading. Vice Admiral Wilkinson, 
commanding Task Force 79, commented in his- report on Leyte that 
"Upon conclusion of the Peleliu-Anguar attack, the Fire Support Group 
was refilled as necessary to the original allowances and proceeded to 
Leyte with this load . . . Because of the greater effectiveness of high 
capacity projectiles against all targets other than very heavy reinforced 
masonry or concrete, a large proportion of these projectiles for major 
caliber and 8-inch guns, 80% for the former and 66% for the latter, was 
loaded, with the remainder armor piercing for possible use against 
heavy structures. Normal loads were retained for 6-inch and smaller . . . 
In view of the onset of the Japanese fleet the reduced supply of armor- 
piercing projectiles offered a serious embarrassment, and in that light it 
would have been well when the plans were changed to have recon- 
sidered ammunition allowances, even at the expense of the efficacy of 
the preparatory bombardment ... It is understood that in the night 
engagement in Surigao Strait the small quantity of armor piercing avail- 
able was not entirely consumed, but it is obvious that had a day action 
with the Japanese fleet off Samar followed, the armor-piercing situation 
would have been critical." 

Ammunition Allowances. Rear Admiral Oldendorf 's preliminary action 
report for Task Group 77.2 on the battle of Surigao Strait, though it is 
factual, does not explain why supporting battleships were not better 
supplied to meet the enemy heavies. He wrote: "The combatant forces 
in Leyte Gulf were assigned sufficient AP (armor piercing) to handle 
what had been heretofore considered normal needs for a bombardment 
ship. This averaged an ammunition loading of about 25% AP and 75% 
HC (high capacity). The AP was to be used in part for knocking out 

242 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

tough enemy installations against which the HC was ineffective; and, in 
part, as a possible reserve for use against enemy raiders. Prior to this 
operation the loading had been ample for all purposes. However, it was 
clearly inadequate for the Leyte Operation in that danger from enemy 
surface forces was not only high but actually became a reality in the 
battle of Surigao Strait. Here the shortage of AP ammunition was so 
keenly felt as to seriously affect the tactical considerations of the action. 
It became necessary to permit the enemy to come into relatively close 
range before opening fire. This brought our surface forces within range 
of Japanese torpedoes and also well within range of Japanese major 
guns. The fact that neither these guns nor torpedoes were effectively 
used by the enemy in no way diminished the danger to our own forces 
by this range limitation. Ammunition ships were made available on 
A-plus-2 day in this operation, but this was a little too late to be fully 

Ammunition Expended. "The AP allowance of the heavy ships was but 
25 to 30 percent of the normal allowance; the remainder . . . being 
taken up by HC. Of this AP 20-30 percent, a percentage varying for the 
different ships, had been expended for bombardment purposes. Thus the 
amount of AP on board the battleships on the night of the battle of 
Surigao Strait was a disturbing element. In addition to the above 20-30 
percent of AP there remained approximately 12 percent of the HC 
projectiles with their reduced charges, and about 40 percent of the 5-inch 
mark 18 allowance. It is therefore evident that unusual attention to 
the conservation of ammunition was necessary and that had the action 
been prolonged a shift in type of main battery ammunition would have 
been required." It 'may be noted parenthetically that the reserve am- 
munition ships Bluefield Victory, Iran Victory, and Meridian Victory at 
Kossol Passage were not called in. 

Water. Admiral Kinkaid's operation plan required that one clean fleet 
oiler, with a capacity of approximately 100,000 barrels, be available as a 
water ship to back up the amphibious forces. Large ships with evaporat- 
ing plants and tanks of considerable capacity for fresh-water storage were 
self-supporting. Even some of these were taxed to the limit by the needs 
of the large numbers of troops carried, delays or alterations of the plan, 
issues to other ships, or breakdowns of distilling apparatus. Amphibious 
vessels and small craft with no water-making facilities were wholly 
dependent. The fleet oiler Ponaganset, Commander J. R. Sanford, played 
an important part during the Palau-Leyte operations in supplying fresh 
water. Though originally specified to be at Leyte at A-plus-4 day, the 

The Philippines Campaign lA'b 

Ponaganset instead operated in the Palau area with voyages to Manus 
in the Admiralties for replenishment of her cargo of water. Between 
20 and 30 September she lay off the tip of Peleliu Island supplying 
fresh water to landing craft engaged in the Palau operations, discharg- 
ing 71,688 barrels and servicing 77 vessels during September. In October 
she was at Kossol Passage making issues of water and later went to 
Manus to load another cargo, returning again to Kossol and off Peleliu. 
In October she gave out 43,608 barrels, servicing 125 vessels, and in 
November in the same area 52,207 barrels to 206 vessels. 

So many different items comprise the -logistic requirements of all the 
forces concerned that it would give a wrong impression to say that 
without any one particular thing the operation would be seriously 
handicapped. Yet certain supplies are of unquestioned importance, 
among them food, ammunition, fuel, and water. Among these, water, 
because of its abundance at home, is most likely to be taken for granted 
and overlooked. Our planners realized this in time and made sure of an 
adequate supply. Its importance in tropical seas, thousands of miles from 
normal bases of supply, is vital. 

Battle ofLeyte Gulf 

The Great Sea Fight Looms. Besides their claims of having destroyed 
virtually all of Admiral Halsey's fleet, the Japanese press and broadcasts 
had for months been minimizing their own continued reverses by 
prophesying the annihilation of our forces when we were lured farther 
to the west. The enemy could hardly avoid trying to make good that 
boast. The general strategic factor seemed in his favor. Our lines of com- 
munication were stretched to a tremendous distance, his materially 
shortened. He would fight within easy supporting range of his own 
airfields. Other considerations also influenced him, and since our 
possession of the Philippines would be a serious strategic threat, it was 
apparent that the Empire would soon send its full strength against us. 
Decisive action was looked upon as probable. 

Japanese Naval Strength. On 20 October, the time of the Leyte land- 
ings, Japanese combatant ship strength was estimated as, in the Formosa- 
Japanese Empire area, 3 battleships; 6 carriers; 2 XCV battleships, with 
small flight deck aft and retaining 8 of the original 12 fourteen-inch guns 
(maximum speed, 23 knots); 5 light carriers; 3 carrier escorts; 4 heavy 
cruisers; 7 light cruisers; and about 20 destroyers. In the Singapore area 

244 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

were 4 battleships, 1 carrier escort, 11 heavy cruisers, several light cruisers, 
and about 20 destroyers. 

Strength of the United States Forces. Our naval forces in the Philippines 
area were those of the Third Fleet and the Western Pacific Task Forces 
under Admiral Halsey, and the Seventh Fleet and Central Philippines 
Attack Force under Vice Admiral Kinkaid, commanding the Allied 
Naval Forces. Though the numbers changed from time to time, on 22 
October there were roughly, with the Third Fleet, operating to the east- 
ward of the islands, 6 battleships, 6 carriers, 6 light carriers, 2 heavy 
cruisers, 7 light cruisers, and 44 destroyers. In the Seventh Fleet in or 
near Leyte Gulf, were 6 old battleships, 16 escort carriers, 5 heavy and 
6 light cruisers, and 88 destroyers. Thus the United States had a superi- 
ority in battleships, carriers, and destroyers, but a few less heavy cruisers 
than the Japanese. 

Task Group 38.2 (Admiral BoganJ. About 8:22 a. m., 24 October, Ad- 
miral Halsey received a report from an Intrepid plane that a large Japa- 
nese force without transports or carriers was south of Mindoro, moving 
eastward toward San Bernardino Strait. This force, known here as the 
Center Force, could easily reach Leyte Gulf before daylight on the 25th. 
At 8:28 a. m. Halsey sent an urgent dispatch ordering Task Groups 38.3 
and 38.4 to concentrate on Task Group 38.2, which was opposite the 
strait and nearest the probable enemy line of approach. 

Task Group 38.3 (Admiral Sherman). After launching dawn searches, 
this group about 8 a. m. received a report that about 40 enemy planes 
were closing in from the west, with a second and later a third large 
enemy raid appearing on the radar at about 60 miles distance. A brisk air 
battle ensued for several hours, Admiral Sherman maneuvering his 
group skillfully within rain squalls as much as possible, emerging to 
launch or land planes. While most of the attacking Japanese came from 
the direction of Luzon, a preponderance of carrier-type planes among 
them led to the conclusion that an enemy carrier force might be threat- 
ening from the north-northeast, a sector not included in the dawn 

Task Group 38. A (Admiral Davison). About 9:05 a. m. on the 24th a 
search-strike group from the Enterprise reported an enemy force estimated 
to be two battleships, one heavy cruiser, and four destroyers southwest 
of Negros Island, headed northeast. The planes attacked and reported 
three 500-pound bomb hits on a battleship and several rocket hits on a 
Mogami-class heavy cruiser and four destroyers. This enemy, to be 
referred to as the Southern Force, then about 215 miles west of Surigao 

The Philippines Campaign 245 

Strait, could reach Leyte during darkness on the 24th-25th. Task Group 
38.4, because of Admiral Halsey's order to concentrate on Task Group 
38.2, could not make further strikes, so Admiral Kinkaid's Seventh Fleet 
force took the necessary measures which resulted in the enemy's com- 
plete destruction in the historic battle of Surigao Strait. In the afternoon 
Admiral Davison's group in a well-coordinated attack against the Center 
Force reported damaging a Yamato-clzss battleship, a cruiser, and other 
enemy ships. Most of the strikes against this force devolved upon Task 
Group 38.2, which was closest, and a torpedo badly damaged the already 
injured Yamato-clzss battleship Musashi, later reported sunk during 
efforts to save her. 

Admiral Sherman meanwhile, with Task Group 38.3, which had 
undergone two series of enemy attacks and launched two strikes at him, 
initiated search to the northward previously interrupted by enemy 
action. Aircraft from the Lexington at 4:40 p. m. reported an enemy car- 
rier force almost due north, 190 miles from the task group. 

Eve of the Battles for Leyte Gulf Approaching darkness precluded fur- 
ther air strikes. The situation generally was that the Northern Force, 
predominantly a carrier group 'of only moderate gun power, sighted east 
of the northern tip of Luzon, was still intact. The Center Force, power- 
ful in gunnery but without carriers, which had sustained heavy air at- 
tacks, was destined to pass through San Bernardino Strait but could not 
reach the eastern entrance to Leyte Gulf until at least 2 or 3 hours after 
daylight. The Southern, another purely gunnery force, though only 
moderately powerful, and which had been attacked, though not so 
heavily as the Center, could reach Surigao and the southern entrance to 
Leyte Gulf at almost any hour it chose during the night. Decisive action 
to attempt dislodging United States forces from the Philippines was 

The Decisive 25 th of October. The three-way advance of the Japanese in 
their attempt to make their propaganda boast come true turned into a 
nightmare of losses and failure. Three battles ensued — off Cape Engano, 
off Samar, in Surigao Strait, from north to south to show the resulting 
actions of the North, Central, and Southern Japanese forces. 

The Battle Off Cape Engano. Admiral Halsey's forces pounced on the 
carrier force coming from the north, and with no damage sustained by 
the Third Fleet sank one large and three small carriers and two destroy- 
ers, damaging two XCV-type battleships, one heavy and two light 
cruisers, and three destroyers. 

Battle off Samar. Coming through San Bernardino Strait, the Japanese 

246 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

Center Force engaged the escort carriers of Task Unit 77.4.3, under Rear 
Admiral C. A. F. Sprague, for about 2 Vi hours. These light carriers were 
amazing, with their heroic aircraft and gallant destroyer and destroyer 
escort screens, in standing off the attack of overwhelming enemy surface 
forces, among them the mighty Yamato, three other fast battleships, six 
heavy and two light cruisers, and 11 destroyers. It was a naval counter- 
part of David and Goliath. First sighted at 6:58 a. m. by our carrier es- 
corts, the Japanese after a running fight broke off their gunnery action 
at 9:30 a. m. and later retired through San Bernardino Strait. We lost 
the escort carriers Gambler Bay and Saint Lo, and the destroyers Hoel, 
Johnston, and Samuel B. Roberts. By combined air and surface attacks we 
sank two Japanese heavy cruisers and one destroyer, damaging the 
Yamato, one heavy cruiser, and one destroyer. Planes of the Third and 
Seventh Fleets made strikes after the Japanese retirement on both the 
25 th and 26th, and though four battleships, four to five heavy and one 
or two light cruisers, with about eight destroyers, escaped into the China 
Sea, a number had been heavily damaged. 

Battle of Surigao Strait. The Japanese Southern Force of two battle- 
ships, one heavy cruiser, and four destroyers late in the evening of 24 
October headed northward for Leyte Gulf, via Surigao Strait, with the 
intention of disrupting our overwhelmingly successful landing operation 
on Leyte Island. Early on the 25 th this enemy force encountered torpedo 
attacks by our motor torpedo boats and by Destroyer Squadrons 54, 24, 
and 56. Meantime our battle line of six battleships was steaming slowly 
on an east-west line awaiting the proper moment to open fire. This 
force, Task Group 77.2, Rear Admiral Oldendorf commanding, included 
the battleships Mississippi, West Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee, California, 
and Pennsylvania, with Destroyer Division X-ray— the Claxton, Thorn, 
Welles, Aulick, Cony, and Sigourney—zs screen. The left flank forces were 
composed of the heavy cruiser Louisville, with Admiral Oldendor/ in 
tactical command; Portland; Minneapolis; Denver; and Columbia; with 
Destroyer Squadron 56, made up of the Newcomb, Bennion, H. L. 
Edwards, R. P. Leary, Leutze, Robinson, A. W Grant, Bryant, and Halford 
as screen. The right flank was made up of the Phoenix, Boise, Shropshire 
(Royal Australian Navy), and Destroyer Squadron 24, the Hutchins, 
Bache, Beale, Daly, Killen, and Arunta (R. A. N.). Destroyer Squadron 
54 (the Emery, McGowan, Melvin, McDermut, and Monssen) was on 
station to the south, patrolling Surigao Strait. 

At 3:32 a. m. the West Virginia was ordered to open fire when the 
range became 26,000 yards (13 sea miles). At 3:52 a. m. she began, with 

The Philippines Campaign 247 

the first eight-gun salvo of armor-piercing projectiles. This broadside 
fire from our battleships, plus enfilading crossfire from our cruisers and 
destroyers, was aptly described by Admiral Oldendorf in his war diary: 
"A methodical, deliberate, destructive fire of all calibers was poured into 
the enemy forces by the battleships, cruisers, and destroyers. The sky 
was blanketed with red hot steel sailing toward his Imperial Japanese 
Majesty's Navy, which seemed bewildered and confused. One after an- 
other the enemy ships exploded, illuminating the entire area . . . The 
enemy now appeared to have turned to the southward, desiring to break 
off the uneven engagement and save the remainder of his ships." Espe- 
cially for the battleships, this had been the classic example of "crossing 
the T," a situation in which most all turrets could be trained against the 
approaching enemy, while he, advancing bow-on, could only bring for- 
ward turrets or bow guns to bear. The onslaught was terrific. The Japa- 
nese lost two battleships— the Fuso and Yamashiro — and three destroyers. 
The heavy cruiser Mogami escaped for the night,- damaged, to be sunk 
next day by our aircraft. 

It is particularly interesting that "crossing the T" at Surigao, with the 
Japanese on the receiving end, was history repeating itself in reverse. 
Back in 1905 they crossed the Russian "T" in the battle of Tsushima. 
That action was equally decisive, and the Japanese pursued the cripples 
after the battle just as we did after Surigao. 

Admiral Nimitz reported "the Japanese paid a heavy price for their 
all-out attempt to interfere with our landings in the Philippines, and in 
addition failed completely in the accomplishment of their mission. The 
destruction and damage inflicted on a major portion of their fleet has 
radically reduced their offensive and defensive capabilities and cannot 
fail to influence the course of future operations." 

The writer recognizes that this brief account of the battles is of a 
purely combat nature rather than of logistic interest, but the importance 
of the actions and their profound effect in clearing the way for advanc- 
ing our service support westward appear to justify including it. And 
even in the midst of tragedy, comedy smiles. Destroyer Division X-ray 
was ordered at 4:32 a. m. on the 26th to press home a torpedo attack on 
the retiring enemy, but later was told to join the screen on the left flank. 
As daylight came, the Claxton, Commander M. H. Hubbard, sighted nu- 
merous Japanese survivors in the water. On orders of Commander Task 
Group 77.2, she maneuvered to pick them up. Referring to one group of 
three, Commander Hubbard reported in his war diary: "One was willing 
to come aboard without much urging. The boat was lowered and sent to 

248 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

pick up the other two (as prisoners of war). Long will we remember the 
chief machinist's mate in the bow of the boat twirling a lasso in hot pur- 
suit of this Jap aviator attempting to swim away. The chief missed, but 
the survivor was brought aboard by a firm hand on the seat of his 
britches." This happening indicated the state of Japanese affairs after the 
battle. The Greater East Asia Co- Prosperity Sphere was also bottom up! 


Logistic Support of the Third Fleet 

Submarine Attacks at Ulithi 

Vice admiral mitscher's Task Force 38, part of Admiral Halsey's 
Third Fleet, on 14 October numbered 9 heavy and 8 light carriers, 6 
battleships, 3 heavy and 6 light cruisers, 3 antiaircraft light cruisers, and 
58 destroyers, in 4 task groups respectively commanded by Vice Admiral 
J. S. McCain (38.1), Rear Admiral G. F. Bogan (38.2), Rear Admiral F. 
C Sherman (38.3), and Rear Admiral R. E. Davison (38.4). All were at 
sea, Admiral Halsey with them, using the battleship New Jersey as his 

In an area about 400 miles east of northern Luzon Captain AcufT's 
fueling group (30.8) gave 94,000 barrels of fuel and 83,000 gallons of 
aviation gasoline to Sherman's Task Group on the 18th, and 93,000 bar- 
rels of fuel plus 190,000 gallons of aviation gasoline to Bogan's group 
on the 19th. In Task Group 38.3 the carrier Essex took her fuel from the 
Lackawanna and her replacement aircraft from the carrier escort Barnes, 
which later was detached with an escort and sent back to Manus to 
reload more aircraft. 

Captain Bolger of the Intrepid reported that the 19th was a day free 
from bogey troubles, and his diary records that 4 fighter and 2 torpedo 
bomber replacement aircraft were received aboard. She also took 8,778 
barrels of fuel and 37,600 gallons of aviation gasoline from the Patuxent, 
besides the heartening delivery of 34 bags of mail. Captain AcufF re- 
ported on the 18th that 31 officers and 794 enlisted men from the tor- 
pedoed Houston, who were distributed aboard several of Sherman's ships, 
were transferred to Task Unit 30.8.2, the oilers Mississinewa, Tappahan- 
nock, and Pamanset, for transportation to Ulithi. Such transfers between 
ships at sea were common and so much a part of routine that they might 
be overlooked as almost commonplace, whereas they were a most im- 
portant means of carrying on the business at hand. Such a large transfer 


250 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

as this was unusual, but daily smaller numbers of persons and quantities 
of material were exchanged between ships. Transfers were accomplished 
by trolleys; breeches buoys serving for personnel, large cargo nets and 
canvas bags for materials. If too much slack got into the trolley line, the 
person in the boatswain's chair got a ducking, but as a rule careful sta- 
tion-keeping of ships kept such accidents to a minimum. Such at-sea 
transfers had developed to a very high degree since Aleutian days, and 
as the war progressed, tankers leaving Service Squadron Ten to service 
the fleet were loaded to capacity, not only with regular cargoes of petro- 
leum products, but with items of other categories as well, such as am- 
munition, stores, provisions, movies, mail, empty brass cartridge cases, 
and gas cylinders. Once the task groups were operating at sea, tankers 
which replenished them were the principal, if not the only means of de- 
livering officers, men, and material. The proficiency with which the 
tankers executed these special duties undoubtedly contributed to the 
concept, organization, and operation of the "at sea" support group, 
Service Squadron Six. 

Between the fueling of Task Group 38.2 on the 19th and the next one 
on the 21st, Captain Acuff's group was kept busy. On the 20th he com- 
menced transfer of fuel remnants from one unit of his group to another, 
fueled a replacement carrier, the Sargent Bay; his own flagship, the John 
D. Henley; and some destroyer escorts. Upon completion of his cargo 
consolidation, he detached one of his task units of three oilers and sent 
it to Ulithi, forming the remaining units into groups for disposition 
on line of bearing in anticipation of the fueling rendezvous with Task 
Groups 38.1 and 38.4 the next day, the 21st. In 3 days, 21-23 October, 
he issued a total of 338,000 barrels of fuel and 692,000 gallons of avia- 
tion gasoline to the four task groups. Meantime the fueling section of 
Squadron Ten at Ulithi, with offices on the oiler Sepulga, was busy with 
administrative details for keeping Captain Acuff's group supplied with 
plenty of oil. On the 21st, for instance, the fleet oilers Nantahala, 
Cahaba, and Atascosa, having replenished their cargoes, left Ulithi and 
on the 23d comprised Task Unit 30.8.11, on the line again for fueling 
the fleet. The same day the Tappahannock, Mississinewa, and Pamanset 
arrived at Ulithi to refill. On the 2 2d the Kern, from the Marianas, and 
the Mission San Antonio came in from Balboa with 103,000 barrels, while 
next day the empty Caliente, Kaskaskia, and Lackawanna came in from 
sea. From Balboa the merchant tankers Flagship Sinco, Wagon Box, Mis- 
sion Santa Barbara, J ulesberg, and Gervais brought 625,000 barrels of fuel. 
The continuous entries and exits of filled and empty tankers made up 

Logistic Support of the Third Fleet 251 

the principal order of the day for the fuel section, requiring no small 
planning and work to keep the fleet and its planes active against the 

By 25 October, after nearly 2 weeks of intensive operations against 
Okinawa, Formosa, and Luzon, all the Third Fleet carrier groups needed 
rearming except for torpedoes, AP, and SAP (semi-armor-piercing) 
bombs habitually reserved for use against combatant ships. Personnel, 
especially the pilots, badly needed rest, which, however, could not be 
given them. Task Groups 38.2-3-4 at noon of the 23d were in an area 
roughly 260 miles northeast of Samar, while 38.1 (Admiral McCain) was 
en route for Ulithi the same day. At 8:46 a. m. on the 24th it was 
ordered to change course, rendezvous with oilers, and proceed toward 
the Philippines. Hurriedly McCain's group took on 95,000 barrels of 
fuel and 124,000 gallons of aviation gasoline (regretting the lost oppor- 
tunity for repairs and replenishment, and some rest and relaxation at 
Ulithi) and was on its way back to meet the enemy again. 

On the 26th, the day following the decisive battles of Surigao Strait, 
Samar, and Cape Engano, Task Groups 38.1 and 38.2 were off the east 
coast of Samar, while 38.3 and 38.4 fueled about 500 miles east by north 
from Manila. After their high-speed runs on the 25th to intercept the 
enemy carriers from the north, these two groups drank deeply of 
precious oil from Acuff 's ships, taking 162,000 barrels of fuel oil and 
379,000 gallons of aviation gasoline. 

After fueling Task Groups 38.3 and 38.4 at sea on the 26th, Captain 
Acuff 's group formed cruising disposition and in accordance with in- 
structions, started toward Ulithi. He had three groups of three oilers 
each, plus a replacement carrier and the destroyer screen. Entering Ulithi 
lagoon on the 29th, the group finished a very important phase of logistic 
operations in support of decisive fleet action against the enemy. 

The Quantity of Oil Involved. During the period of these operations 
(September-October) the consumption of fuel oil was between four and 
five million barrels, with aviation gasoline for the Third and Seventh 
Fleets amounting to more than seven million gallons. The bulk of both 
was delivered at sea by Captain Acuff 's Task Group 30.8, of 29 oilers, 
with escorts. It fed the Fast Carrier Force alone 3,567,000 barrels of fuel 
and other petroleum products despite typhoon weather and attacks by 
enemy aircraft on several occasions, suffering only minor casualties and 
losing no oil nor gasoline. As in previous operations, each oiler was 
loaded, with half its special tanks filled with Diesel oil, half with gaso- 
line, the main tanks carrying a maximum capacity of fuel oil. Besides 

H H H 

Leyte Gulf—Surigao Strait — Samar—Leyte. 

Logistic Support of the Third Fleet 253 

the standard stock of drum lubricants and compressed gases, some can- 
teen and small stores, mail, and personnel for transfer were carried. Oc- 
tober saw the first shipments of black oil from the Persian Gulf to the 
Central Pacific: 114,000 barrels. 

After the great sea and air fights of October, all Third Fleet units were 
directed to retire to advanced bases at discretion. Later Commander 
Seventh Fleet requested the Third to maintain a strong combat air patrol 
over the objective area at Leyte and strike enemy air fields when practi- 
cable. Task Group 38.1, after the fleet action, reached Ulithi 28 October. 
Two days later Sherman's group came in for rearming and reprovision- 
ing from Squadron Ten. On the 31st Task Group 38.4 having given 
close air support to the southwest forces at Leyte, operating in a cover- 
ing position east of Samar, also came in for servicing— Task Group 38.2 
meantime holding the fort, so to speak, off the east coast of central 

Besides the usual services furnished by Squadron Ten, the three 
groups at Ulithi needed that sorely urgent item— rest— for the Fast Car- 
rier Task Force had been at sea operating continuously for almost 2 
months. Because of the demands of the military situation, the need of 
rest and recreation, or physical overhaul of the personnel, is often 
slighted or actually overlooked. This may be due to the recuperative 
powers of a man and his natural reluctance to admit to his superiors that 
he is tiring, and therefore not performing at top efficiency. It may be 
stretching things a bit to consider this under the head of logistics, yet it 
has an association with periods of replenishment, general overhaul, and 
ship repair, especially when recreation is provided. The comments of 
Vice Admiral Mitscher, Commander Task Force 38, extracted from his 
action report for the period 29 August-30 October 1944, are pertinent. 

"During the period covered by this report all units and personnel of TF 38 were 
called upon to exert themselves to the limit. No other period of the Pacific war has 
included as much intensive operating . . . Currently our carrier air groups are being 
debilitated by extended periods of combat duty under ship base condition. Serious 
consideration must be given immediately to relieving carrier air groups every four 
months . . . an immediate orderly program of interim navy yard availability in the 
States should not only be laid out but should be enforced . . . the ships of TF 
58/38 have been under constant pressure in the tropics for over ten months. Prob- 
ably ten thousand men have never put a foot ashore during this period. No other 
force in the world has been subjected to such a period of constant operation with- 
out rest or rehabilitation." 

In each of the anchorages, swimming areas were designated. On 
shore, spaces were set aside for recreation purposes; some ball 

214075 O-F-53 18 

254 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

fields laid out, and beer and soft-drink bars set up. At none was the lay- 
out or the means of transportation to it adequate, but it helped. Bars for 
officers met the requirements somewhat better, perhaps because there 
were fewer officers, perhaps because they realized the situation more 
clearly and adapted themselves accordingly. Despite the shortcomings, 
it was some relaxation and recreation to get ashore. The best was set up 
on Mogmog Islet by Commodore Kessing, Atoll Commander at Ulithi. 

For those who could take some ease for the moment this was a good 
time to read again some of the congratulatory messages coming through. 
One of them, from Admiral King, Chief of Naval Operations, addressed 
to the commanders of both Third and Seventh Fleets, read: "The recent 
actions in and near the Philippines have effectually disposed of the en- 
emy navy, a large part forever and the remainder for some time to come. 
All officers and men of your fleets have the heartiest admiration of all 
hands for your valor, persistence, and success. Well done to each and 

November Activities. With the necessity for replenishment, all task 
groups except 38.2 had retired to Ulithi at the end of October, but in 
view of enemy air strength developing at Leyte, Admiral Halsey deter- 
mined that carrier strikes should be made on Luzon as soon as possible. 
Task Groups 38.1-2-3 rendezvoused at sea, 38.4 remaining at Ulithi. On 
2 to 4 November Service Squadron Ten gave it 18 8-inch .55-caliber HC 
projectiles, 1,315 8-inch AP projectiles, 598 5-inch 38 AAC projectiles, 
18,784 40-mm. AA, 83,160 20-mm. AA, 13 2,000-pound GP bombs, 14 
1,000-lb GP bombs, 55 500-lb SAP bombs, 77 500-lb GP bombs, 449 
100-lb incendiary bombs and 7 1,000-lb AP bombs. McCain had relieved 
Mitscher a few days before as Fast Carrier Force Commander. 

Bringing in the Reno. Just before midnight of 3 November the light 
cruiser Reno of Task Group 38.3, as told briefly in chapter XIX, was tor- 
pedoed on the port side aft. She lost steering control and the after engine 
and firerooms became untenable. Continued electrical fires in the for- 
ward engine room, probably from shorted cables, necessitated stopping 
the starboard engine. On 4 November the tug Zuni took her in tow. At 
2:50 a. m. next day the tug went alongside to assist in salvage oper- 
ations, for the cruiser had developed a list to port which ultimately 
reached 16°, and she was down in the water 2 feet forward and 9 feet aft. 
At 3 p. m. the Zuni began towing again. Captain R. C. Alexander, the 
executive officer, heads of departments, and a part of the crew (19 other 
officers and 248 enlisted men), remained on board to see her through. 
Between 6 and 8 November high winds and heavy seas from a nearby 

Logistic Support of the Third Fleet 255 

typhoon added to the difficulties and danger, but through the skillful 
seamanship and energetic efforts of the Reno, with the assistance of the 
gallant Zuni and others, the two reached Ulithi safely on the 11th. There 
the Vestal, Commander N. W. Gambling, moored beside the Reno and 
began battle-damage repairs. The Zuni also assisted with salvage from 11 
to 24 November. The Vestal disassembled No. 4 turret of the Reno, in- 
spected and pumped out flooded compartments, burned away debris, 
removed topside weights, and accomplished many other tasks to make 
the ship structurally safe for onward routing. The damage was too ex- 
tensive to undertake locally without a large floating drydock, and on 19 
December the cruiser, under tow of the tug Menominee, proceeded to 

The Reno was the third cruiser severely damaged and in a sinking con- 
dition to be brought into Ulithi lagoon; she from a point 700 miles dis- 
tant, the Canberra and Houston from still closer to the enemy's claws. All 
were saved. The lesson to be learned from these three splendid salvage 
jobs centers around close logistic support and readiness of well-handled 
fleet tugs standing by to bring cripples to nearby floating bases. 

Hitting Enemy Targets in the Philippines. The three task groups were 
assigned definite targets: 38.1, Northern Luzon, including Clark Field; 
38.2, Southern Luzon and Mindoro's airfields; 38.3, the area between 14° 
and 15° N., including shipping at and around Manila. Marked success 
attended the strikes. With comparatively minor loss of aircraft (about 
40), and no United States vessels sunk, we destroyed 438 enemy aircraft, 
sank 9 ships, including 1 heavy cruiser, and damaged 33 others. 

First Japanese Suicide Attacks. On 5 November Task Group 38.3 had its 
first experience with organized attacks by the Japanese "suicide squad." 
In the afternoon one such plane crashed the Lexington's superstructure, 
virtually demolishing the secondary control, crippling several radars, and 
inflicting heavy personnel casualties. This Kamikaze (Divine Wind) 
attack was the forerunner of many others. Later the Navy was to feel the 
full effect of this desperate destructive effort, particularly at Okinawa, 
with heavy loss in ships and life besides extensive material damage piled 
upon the heavy repair load already on the shoulders of the maintenance 
crews of Service Squadron Ten. 

Rearming at Ulithi. Rear Admiral Bogan's Task Group 38.2, with the 
carriers Intrepid, Independence, Cabot, and Hancock; the battleships Iowa 
and New Jersey; and numerous cruisers and destroyers, began rearming at 
Ulithi 9 November. Seabees (Construction Battalion Stevedores) pre- 
pared the holds of the merchant ammunition ship Australia Victory so 

256 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

destroyers could come alongside for their projectiles. Immediately upon 
their arrival, 4 carriers, 2 battleships, 3 cruisers, and 18 destroyers went 
alongside fleet and station tankers for oil and, incidentally, for that 
much-hoped-for commodity of a personal nature, mail from home. The 
destroyer tenders began looking after the needs of their charges, doing 
all manner of electrical, ordnance, hull, radio, and sound repairs, and 
issued torpedoes, where needed, and some food. The ungainly but valu- 
able concretes Trefoil, Lieutenant N. King, and Quartz, Lieutenant Com- 
mander P. B. Runyon, issued general stores, and the Silica, Lieutenant 
O. A. Seavey, fresh, frozen, dry, and medical stores. 

More and more, Service Squadron Ten was becoming geared to re- 
plenishing task groups, and the units named were but a few of the 
support ships which made it possible for combat groups to return to 
battle areas with minimum delay. The rearming of Task Group 38.3 
(Rear Admiral Sherman) began on the 17th. This group, including 
the carriers Essex, Langley, and Ticonderoga; battleships North Carolina, 
Washington, and South Dakota; cruisers Santa Fe, Biloxi, and Mobile; 
and 16 destroyers, took ammunition and bombs until the 20th— 72,345 
20-mm. AA; 21,056 40-mm. AA; 3,339 5-inch 38AAC; 1,100 5-inch 
.38 special; 658 6-inch 47 AP; 105 2,000-lb. APGP bombs; 248 1,000-lb. 

257 500-lb., 32 350-lb., 521 250-lb., 448 100-lb. GP bombs; and 96 100-lb. 
incendiary bombs. 

Squadron Ten then had two nights and one day in which to rest and 
reload barges. On the 22d ammunition and bombs were issued to Rear 
Admiral Davison's Task Group 38.4, continuing until the 25th. Over- 
lapping these issues was the rearming of Admiral Montgomery's Task 
Group 38.1 beginning the 24th and ending the 28th. Now Rear 
Admiral Bogan's Task Group 38.2 returned on the 28th and loaded am- 
munition and bombs until the 30th. The tempo was being increased, the 
workload on the service squadron augmented, not only in the ammuni- 
tion categories but for food, clothing, oil, and dry stores issued, repairs 
made, and other services rendered. To keep unrelenting pressure on the 
Japanese the quick turn-around of forces from replenishment and a brief 
rest at Ulithi was the order of things. In later months there were not 
just 2 but often 3 and sometimes 4 task groups present at Ulithi. Vice 
Admiral McCain's task force of 4 task groups on 6 November numbered 
10 carriers, 7 light carriers, 7 battleships, 5 heavy and 5 light cruisers, 1 
light A A cruiser, and 64 destroyers, a total of 159 combatant vessels. 
Time in port was only about 4 days for each group. 

Supporting the Fast Carrier Task Force at Sea in November. Though 

Logistic Support of the Third Fleet 257 

Admiral Halsey on 29 October had withdrawn all task groups for logis- 
tics, and though the need for support of the Leyte-Samar operations 
appeared to have ended, such was not the case. The air situation in 
Leyte was difficult, and the one serviceable airstrip at Tacloban proved 
insufficient to support land operations and to protect our shipping in 
the Gulf. The Japanese made damaging air strikes on Seventh Fleet 
units, and some of their land reinforcements arrived. It was apparent 
that the battle for Leyte was by no means ended, and with the approval 
of Admiral Nimitz, immediate counter operations by carrier forces were 

These new plans required certain of Captain AcufT's oiler groups again 
to take to the sea. Task Units 30.8.2 and 30.8.5 left Ulithi 2 November 
at 6 a. m. for a rendezvous about 420 miles east of Samar. Later the same 
day, in response to orders from Halsey, Task Unit 30.8.3 also left. Next 
day Task Groups 38.1-2-3 were fueled with 148,000 barrels of Navy 
special fuel and 113,000 gallons of aviation gasoline. These three were 
the fast carrier groups that struck the Luzon arrea 5-6 November with 
excellent results. 

On 7 November Admiral Davison's Task Group 38.4 was joined by 
Task Unit 30.8.3 and refueled. Later the same day Captain Acuff formed 
up three oiler units on the line of bearing in anticipation of joining the 
Montgomery, Bogan, and Sherman groups, as he did, fueling them all 
from 9:30 a. m. until 9:30 p. m. 

Bad Weather for Fueling. The oiler Kaskaskia, Lieutenant Commander 
W. F. Patten, was one of the tankers assigned to Task Group 38.1 and 
reported that when fueling commenced on the 27th the wind was blow- 
ing 30 knots from the northeast and the sea was moving from that 
direction in 12- to 15-foot swells. These unfavorable conditions were 
caused by a typhoon approximately 200 miles to the south, moving in 
a westerly direction. In the early afternoon the small carrier Monterey 
and the battleship Massachusetts each reported a man overboard. De- 
stroyers were ordered to the rescue, but one man was not saved. The 
Kaskaskia reported that as the afternoon wore on the wind increased 
and fueling became very difficult. Though the destroyer Izard had been 
keeping good station, a heavy swell swept her alongside the Kaskaskia. 
Luckily, no personnel casualties or great hull damage resulted, but two 
lines and various lengths of fuel hose were lost. 

Commander H. L. De Rivera, in his war diary of the oiler Atascosa, 
stated that around noon time, while taking the destroyer Gotten to star- 
board and the small carrier Langley to port, green water was coming 

258 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

over the forward well deck, and while making and tending gasoline 
connections six of his crew received injuries including broken bones, 
sprains, and lacerations. Hose lines were carried away in several instances, 
and finally the steel manifold on the after port 6-inch connection was 
torn loose. The replacement carrier Cape Esperance, Captain R. W. 
Bockius, was also having difficulties. Though she was successful, com- 
mencing about noon, in catapulting 11 fighter, 7 torpedo, and 2 scout 
bomber planes to Task Groups 38.1 and 38.3, later in the afternoon she 
was unable to take aboard ferry pilots from the destroyers Callaghan and 
Marshall "because of coming darkness and increasingly heavy seas due 
to typhoon weather." 

These were some of the vicissitudes experienced in the at-sea servic- 
ing of the carrier task groups. Among both combat and service personnel 
the will to rise above all difficulties brought completion of the task by 
9:30 that night. Captain Acuff reported that 299,000 barrels of fuel and 
421,000 gallons of aviation gasoline had been issued under most trying 
conditions. Before the war, refueling operations in such weather would 
not have been tolerated by the high command as even worth consider- 
ing. The next day the weather became even more severe. Hoping to 
avoid the worst of the storm, Captain Acuff moved his group to another 
fueling area, but the cargo consolidation he had planned for 8 November 
had to be postponed because of rough seas. 

Admiral Bogan's Task Group 38.2 had gone to Ulithi to rearm, begin- 
ning on the 9th and finishing on the 13th. During this period the 
Rainier, Commander F. S. Conner, opened her hatches and began issues 
to the destroyers Foote, The Sullivans, Hunt, and Owen, alongside. A flash 
red radar warning at 10:38 a. m. interrupted proceedings for only a few 
minutes. At 4 p. m. the Rainier closed her holds, and next day she went 
alongside the Iowa, issuing her 124.61 tons of ammunition. Alongside 
the light cruiser Vincennes she issued 155.76 tons and received 26.14 tons 
of rejected ammunition. Going alongside the Miami she gave out 47.24 
tons— all the while discharging ammunition into boats alongside. An 
LCT picked up empty "ammo" cases from cruisers and battleships. Navy 
Seabees were preparing the holds of the merchant ammunition ship 
Australia Victory, specialists were sent aboard large combat ships to assist 
in reactivating proximity fuzes of AA shells, and on every side food 
stores were issued, repair work carried on. All units of Service Squadron 
Ten were active in meeting the needs of Bogan's ships. 

The oiler task units, having replenished their cargoes within Ulithi 
Atoll, sailed to rendezvous with the carrier task groups at sea. There was 

Logistic Support of the Third Fleet 259 

no end to the need for oil, and for more oil. On the 11th the merchant 
tankers Balls Bluff, Mission San Luis Key, and Mission San Carlos, with 
100,000, 103,000, 100,000 barrels, respectively, of Navy special, and the 
Navy oilers Aucilla and Taluga, with standard cargoes of 90,000 barrels 
of Navy special, 8,000 barrels of Diesel oil, and 400,000 gallons of 
aviation gas, arrived to keep the life fluid pouring into the fleet. 

Admiral Bogan's group, 38.2, sailed after being replenished with every- 
thing except rest and recreation. During the short period allowed them, 
officers and men of this visiting task group went ashore on Mogmog 
Island— one of the Ulithi islets — to stretch their legs on the sand and 
bend elbows over a bottle of beer. The spot offered very little more; even 
the coconut palms were not numerous enough to protect everyone from 
the tropical sun. But the earth was a change from steel decks, the visit 
a respite from long watches, constant vigilance, and that tight feeling 
that is a part of war at sea. 

While Task Group 38.2 was at Ulithi the other groups of Task Force 
38 operated under tactical command of Rear Admiral Frederick C. 
Sherman. On the 11th an enemy convoy of four transports and six 
escorts, approaching Ormoc Bay, on the west side of Leyte, was sighted. 
Task Force 38 struck and all vessels of the enemy were sunk except three 
destroyers, and these were badly mauled. The result was substantial, as 
the transports were loaded with troop reinforcements for Leyte. The 
next day Captain Acuff stationed three groups of four oilers each at 
intervals of 10 miles, with 1,500 yards between oilers. Task Groups 
38.4, 38.3, and 38.1 closed in and began fueling at 6 a. m., finishing 
at 3:15 p. m., after loading 383,000 barrels of fuel oil and 327,000 gallons 
of aviation gasoline. The expenditure of oil and gas was great, but strikes 
against the Japanese in the Philippines were paying dividends; enemy 
air power was being butchered. 

Sherman Sits on a Powder Keg at Ulithi. On 16 November Task Group 
38.2 relieved Admiral Sherman's Task Group 38.3 at sea, and the latter 
came into Ulithi for rearming and replenishment. Captain D. Kiefer, 
commanding the Ticonderoga, reported in his war diary that his ship took 
aviation gas and fuel to capacity, loaded ammunition, stores, and four 
replacement fighter aircraft, three bombers, and two torpedo planes from 
units of Service Squadron Ten. 

On the 20th the Japanese made a concentrated attack by about five 
midget submarines. The tanker Mississinewa was torpedoed and sunk. 
Captain Fahrion of the North Carolina said of this: "The Ship's company 
had been taking advantage of our stay at Ulithi to go ashore for a 




■■^ ^fpliilii 


r J§l§f 



T/?^ Mississenewa torpedoed by a midget. 

Logistic Support of the Third Fleet 261 

look-see, a swim, the three bottles of beer per man, and a painful case of 
sunburn;" and referring specifically to the torpedoing: "All of the above 
is a surprising development after the comparative and apparent safety 
of the lagoon, and a jolt to the complacency of those having a rest 
there." In his book "Combat Command" Admiral Sherman referred 
to the attack with the words: "All that day and the next we felt we 
were sitting on a powder keg which might go off at any time. Far from 
enjoying a rest period, we felt we might be safer in the open sea." 

The Midget Submarine Attack at Ulithi 

The first indication of attack by Japanese suicide submarines on the fleet 
and shipping in the harbor came early in the morning of 20 November 
when the destroyer Case, Lieutenant Commander R. S. Willey, rammed 
a midget submarine near the entrance to Ulithi anchorage. Shortly after- 
ward, at 5:47 a. m., the fleet oiler Mississinewa, Commander P. G. Beck, 
at anchor in the lagoon, was torpedoed. Her magazine exploded, and as 
she had a full load of 85,000 barrels of fuel oil, 9,000 barrels of Diesel 
oil, and 405,000 gallons of aviation gasoline, she blazed up immediately, 
the flames and smoke rising in a tremendous column visible for miles. 

Directed by voice radio from the operations office in the destroyer 
tender Prairie, flagship of Commodore Carter of Service Squadron Ten, 
fleet and rescue tugs and other harbor craft sped to the burning tanker, 
doing splendid fire fighting, some operating up to the edge of the flames 
to reach survivors, others actually going alongside the ship. While all 
units performed commendably, the efforts of the tug Munsee, Lieutenant 
Commander J. F. Pingley, and the rescue tug ATR-51, Lieutenant A. L. 
Larson, were especially praiseworthy. Outstanding in rescue work were 
the ingenuity and daring of pilot Lieutenant (j. g.) B. C. Zamucen of a 
Kingfisher plane from the light cruiser Santa Fe, and his crewman, E. 
Enenrude, ARM3c. Zamucen taxied his plane in and out of the burn- 
ing oil surfaces, trailing a line astern which survivors caught to be hauled 
out of danger. 

Dropping depth charges one at a time rather than in a pattern, to 
avoid damage to anchored ships, destroyers wove through the fleet 
searching for other midget submarines. At about 6:25 a. m. the 
cruiser Mobile reported a torpedo passing under bow. An antisubmarine 
attack by the destroyer escorts Rail, Halloran, and Weaver resulted in a 
kill. Two bodies rose to the surface but sank before they could be re- 



Logistic Support of the Third Fleet 263 

covered. The Mobile recovered a pillow and wooden seat block marked 
with Japanese characters, and a body identified as Japanese was found 
nearby 3 days later. Another enemy submarine was reported sunk by 
planes 15 miles to the eastward of Ulithi, and two explosions on the 
reef indicated the presence of other midgets, which had presumably 
destroyed themselves on the rim of the atoll. One of these was found. 

The harbor was alert, but as logistic work had to be done, this con- 
dition of readiness could not be maintained continuously. Carter, acting 
as Senior Officer Present (Administrative), was charged with the con- 
duct of affairs and safety measures for the anchorage. The safety of fleet 
units and service vessels was uppermost in his mind, and that more 
midget submarines might be lurking under the surface was a worrisome 
possibility. Against it was weighed the relatively short endurance of 
this type of craft, and the decision was reached shortly after noon to 
resume routine logistic operations. This was the end of a concerted 
effort of probably five midgets; the result of Japanese recognition, possi- 
bly for the first time, of the strategic value of Ulithi harbor in support 
of current operations. 

After the war, interrogation of Japanese officials revealed that the 
attacking submarines had been under the control of Vice Admiral Miwa. 
He said "I sent out eight one-man torpedo-submarines to Ulithi to 
attack your fleet; they were transported by two regular submarines." 
Probably three of the eight were lost operationally. What a sight for 
a fish— or a diver, had one been underwater then— when this fantastic 
pair passed, the two giant subs each with 4 midgets attached sucker- 
fashion to the sides, cruising along toward the objective— shades of 
Jules Verne! And what a target for a well-placed depth charge! 

On the 22d Admiral Sherman's Task Group 38.3 departed and Admiral 
Davison's 38.4 entered Ulithi for rearming and supplies. Two days later 
Task Group 38.1 came in, and servicing operations, under way for the 
others, were extended to the newcomers, the carriers Yorktown, Cowpens, 
and Wasp; battleships Alabama and Massachusetts; cruisers Baltimore, San 
Francisco, and San Juan; with 15 destroyers. Service Squadron Ten worked 
around the clock, issuing supplies of all kinds, restowing ammunition in 
barges and ammunition ships, consolidating oil, food, and other cargoes 
in order to release store ships for return to the United States, drydocking 
vessels and making repairs, carrying on a vast amount of boating, ferry- 
ing officers and men, some on business and others for very brief periods 
of recreation. While this was replenishment and momentary relaxation 
for the visiting fast carrier groups, it was "battle stations" for Service 

264 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

Squadron Ten, and "keeping the fleet ready" was its action against the 

Personnel Matters. Along with issues of oil, ammunition, food, supplies, 
accomplishment of repairs by service units, the problem of supply of 
the men who give logistic service and those who man the guns is of 
prime importance in supporting the fleet. Arrival of 2,508 replacements 
from Manus 11 October on the transport General Ernst occupied the 
personnel section of Squadron Ten until the task groups began arriv- 
ing around the 28th. Practically all units were furnished with personnel 
up to at least 3 percent in excess of approved complements by the fol- 
lowing distribution: Carriers, 404; battleships, 271; cruisers, 383; de- 
stroyers, 608; tenders, 65; patrol craft, 38; ComServRon Ten, 134; 
shore unit, 2; and the remainder to miscellaneous other vessels. Ap- 
proximately 400 various additional ratings received in small drafts during 
October and November were easily utilized by the fleet with the 
exception of torpedomen, who were about 70 percent in excess. 

The berthing problem was troublesome. While they were in port 
the big transports were used as receiving ships, but on their departure 
the problems of quartering officers and men assumed vexing propor- 
tions, added to which was the need of extra boats for transferring men 
about the harbor. Assignment to Service Squadron Ten of unclassified 
ships of the Orvetta type, and later the use of hotel barges, helped, 
especially for housing the Seabee specialist stevedores who worked am- 
munition and fleet freight cargoes. The unfavorable boat situation per- 
sisted throughout the whole Pacific campaign, and service organizations 
never had enough boats. Combatant ships were not self-supporting in 
this regard, for with their increased armament, fire control, radar, and 
other special devices there was little if any room topside for boats. The 
need for extra berthing facilities for replacements, officers, men, and 
other transients such as stevedores, at advanced logistic support anchor- 
ages, and the need of boats plus berthing for their crews were felt keenly 
and are matters which must have a part in planning future activities. 

One of the outstanding features of the November operations was the 
renewed proof of the ability of American warships and men to carry on 
for long periods with almost no let-up and still give a splendid account 
of themselves against the enemy. By the end of the month the fast car- 
rier force, with the exception of very brief in-and-out-again replenish- 
ments, had been at sea almost continuously for 84 days. The repeated 
attacks by this force of the Third Fleet had accomplished a great deal in 
aiding the Southwest Pacific Forces to break Japanese air power in the 

Logistic Support of the Third Fleet 265 

Philippines. The new threat imposed by suicide-plane attacks, already 
mentioned as having started against the Lexington, could not be lightly 
regarded. However, the growing repair and salvage forces of the Service 
Squadron Ten were available, and the Guam base was developing 
monthly at a good rate. Though this was no compensation for loss of 
life through Kamikaze attacks, it was nevertheless heartening to know 
that large battle-damage repair facilities were building up close at hand. 


Leyte Aftermath 

Ormoc Bay and Mindoro Landings— Admiral 

Halsey on the Rampage— "Bull in the China Sea"— 

Some Dull Routine at U lit hi— Another Midget 

Attack— Ammunition Ship "Mazama" Hit 

Landings at Ormoc Bay and Mindoro: December 1944 

Early in December, ground forces of the Southwest Pacific held 
eastern Leyte but still had not secured the western portion, sepa- 
rated from the east by a central mountain range. To put a pincers squeeze 
on enemy troops in the Ormoc Bay region, an amphibious landing on 
the west coast, cutting into the center of the Japanese forces, was 
decided upon. 

Rear Admiral A. D. Struble, with Task Group 78.3, commanded the 
Ormoc attack, which was to land two regimental combat teams of the 
77th Division. His group included 13 destroyers, 9 high-speed transports, 
27 landing craft (infantry), 12 landing ships (medium), 4 landing ships 
(tank), 9 large mine sweepers, 2 submarine chasers, 4 landing craft 
(infantry) (rocket), and 1 rescue tug. They assembled for logistic services 
from Service Force Seventh Fleet at San Pedro Bay, Leyte, prior to sortie 
on 6 December. 

Landing proceeded on schedule early in the morning of the 7th with- 
out opposition. By 9 a. m. all vessels were unloaded with the exception 
of 1 LCI and 4 LSM's which had become beached. Fortunately for our 
troops, enemy air attacks did not begin until about 9:40 a. m., when 
suicide planes began to inflict some damage on our ships. The destroyer 
Mahan, acting as a fighter-director ship off Ormoc Bay, was struck about 
9:55 a. m. by three Japanese planes. A fourth strafed the ship but did 


268 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

not crash. Several minutes later the high-speed transport Ward was 
struck by a diving plane. Fires broke out on both ships almost immedi- 
ately. Casualties were not high, but because of intense fires and unrelent- 
ing pressure from the air, it was at that time thought necessary to sink 
both ships by our own gunfire. 

Shortly afterward another high-speed transport, the Liddle, was struck 
by a plane which crashed the bridge, killing 8 officers, including the 
captain, and 26 enlisted men. The Liddle was able to maintain full power 
and stayed in the formation, though the rescue tug ATR-31, with sal- 
vage and firefighting teams aboard, was ordered to stand by. Next victim 
was the destroyer Lamson. A single-engine fighter came in low and fast, 
crashed her superstructure just below the bridge, and killed 2 officers and 
19 men. After her fires were controlled, she was towed to port by the 

By nightfall the attacks had ceased and the formation proceeded 
toward Leyte Gulf, the Liddle assisted by neighboring ships with hooded 
lights to help her control; the Lamson, towed by ATR-31, followed 
astern. The net layer Silver Bell was able to make temporary repairs to 
the Liddle, while the fleet tug Quapaw and the salvage vessel Cable aided 
the Lamson. Both ships eventually went to west-coast ports for comple- 
tion of repairs. 

Servicing of the Ormoc Attack Group was by Seventh Fleet Service 
Forces, among them the cargo ship Rutilicus issuing dry and other stores 
and medical supplies; cargo ships Murzim and Bootes with ammunition; 
Arethusa, Caribou, and Panda, oilers; Midas and Egeria, battle-damage 
repair ships; salvage ship Cable; fleet tug Quapaw; floating drydock 
ARD-19; and others. No fresh or frozen provisions were available. 

Planning for the Mindoro operation, known as "Love Three of 
Musketeer," was initiated in October 1944 by directives of Commander 
in Chief Southwest Pacific Area and Commander Allied Naval Forces 
Southwest Pacific. On 17 November representatives of the Army, Army 
Air Forces, and Navy met at Leyte to discuss support of the action. D-day 
was tentatively set for 5 December. Besides using Seventh Fleet's Task 
Group 78.3, which was to form the assault force, Task Force 38 was to 
be used to blanket the 100 or more enemy airfields on Luzon in a 3-day 
operation from 4 to 6 December, thus seriously curtailing Japanese air 
power while landings were in progress on Mindoro. To do this, Task 
Group 38.4 was dissolved and its vessels were reassigned to the other 
three groups to maintain them at maximum strength for protection 
against suicide air attacks, which daily became more threatening. 

Leyte Aftermath 269 

Shortly after leaving Ulithi, Commander Third Fleet received a 
dispatch from the Commander in Chief Southwest Pacific Area post- 
poning the Mindoro attack from 6 to 15 December. Leaving a small 
force at sea, temporarily designated as Task Group 38.5, the three groups 
returned to Ulithi on the 2d. Admiral Halsey directed that maximum 
advantage be taken of this for repairs, rest, recreation, and rehabilitation, 
as it was the first time since August that the fleet had had an opportunity 
to lie at anchor except for essential quick turn-around periods of replen- 
ishing and rearming. This brief respite was used to still further 
advantage by the Seventh Fleet in carrying out the Ormoc Bay assault 
on the 7 th. 

The service group (Task Group 30.8) for Task Force 38 left Ulithi 10 
December, the force itself the following day. The service group 
consisted of 12 oilers, 2 escort carriers, 4 destroyers, 8 destroyer escorts, 
and 3 fleet tugs. Fueling rendezvous was made on the 13th with Task 
Force 38, after which the latter began a high-speed run in against Luzon 
airfields preliminary to the Mindoro landing by the Seventh Fleet and 
ground forces. At this fueling 237,000 barrels of Navy special and 
377,000 gallons of aviation gasoline were issued by the Nantahala, 
Caliente, Chikaskia, Aucilla, Monongahela, Neosho, Patuxent, Marias, 
Atascosa, Mascoma, Cache, and Manatee. 

Rear Admiral Struble, this time commanding the Mindoro attack 
group, 78.3, and 1 heavy and 3 light cruisers, 20 destroyers, 9 high-speed 
troop transports, 10 large mine sweepers, 7 motor mine sweepers, 31 
LCI (L)'s, 12 LSM's, 30 LST's, 1 rescue tug, 2 submarine chasers, 4 
LCI (G)'s, 5 LCI (R)'s, 1 patrol craft escort (rescue type), 1 LCI (D), 
and 23 motor torpedo boats. This force was serviced completely by 
Service Force Seventh Fleet at Leyte, Hollandia, Manus, and Woendi. 
Since embarkation was at Leyte, facilities there were used immedi- 
ately prior to departure. The battle-damage repair ship Midas and 
landing-craft repair ships Achilles and Egeria remained at San Pedro Bay 
for minor work, while ARD-19 provided drydocking for destroyers or 
smaller vessels. Hollandia had a destroyer repair base with several dry- 
docks, floating repair shops, and tenders. Manus could do hull and 
engine work on all classes, and Biak had a mobile amphibious repair 
base for medium and small craft, but larger ships generally went back 
to Pearl or the west coast for extensive repairing. 

Task Group 78.3 sortied from San Pedro Bay 12 December after filling 
its logistic requirements. It carried the landing force of one regimental 
combat team (reinforced) of the 24th infantry and the 503d Parachute 

214075 O-F-53 19 

270 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

Regiment. While en route, the cruiser Nashville, Admiral Struble's flag 
ship, was hit by a single-engine Japanese suicide plane on the port side 
aft of the Admiral's cabin. A tremendous explosion followed which 
shook the ship from stem to stern and wrecked the flag bridge, killing 
the Admiral's chief of staff, staff communications and medical officers, 
and 129 men, wounding 190 and leaving 4 "missing." Ready ammuni- 
tion for the 5-inch and 40-mm. guns in both port and starboard mounts 
exploded, the combined blasts wrecking the combat information center 
and communications office. Admiral Struble shifted his flag to the 
destroyer Dashiell, while the Nashville returned to San Pedro Bay, trans- 
ferred the dead and wounded to LST's equipped to handle casualties, 
and left for Manus, whence she was eventually sent to Puget Sound 
Navy Yard for battle-damage repairs and overhaul. 

While Task Force 38 was launching its second day of air strikes against 
airfields, air installations, and shipping at Luzon, the Mindoro landings 
of the 15 th were made with little opposition. "The only handicap," the 
war diary of the Phoenix records, "appeared to be friendly natives and 
cattle who established themselves as spectators squarely in the middle 
of a target area." Unloading on the beaches progressed so rapidly that 
all but one LST were able to leave by the early evening of D-day, 24 
hours ahead of schedule. The task group returned to Leyte with a loss of 
2 LST's, both by suicide planes. Of the 16,000 troops landed on Min- 
doro, 553 casualties were evacuated, most of whom were taken to 
hospitals at Biak and Hollandia by the hospital ships Bountiful and 

After its 3-day successful support effort, Task Force 38 retired east- 
ward toward a fueling rendezvous scheduled for 17 December. Through- 
out the day, sea conditions were so bad that fueling was suspended at 
1:30 p. m. and a new rendezvous selected for the following day. Again 
fueling was unsuccessful, though many of the destroyers were danger- 
ously low on oil. The typhoon was a bad one and caused much 
damage. Fires broke out on some ships because of shorted wiring and 
gasoline from a plane that had broken adrift. The main body of the task 
force was barely able to escape the center of the typhoon by steaming 
south, but the destroyers Hull, Spence, and Monaghan capsized and were 
lost. The limited advance information of the storm, the heavy seas, 
excessive roll, and a shortage of fuel were contributing factors in 
preventing these ships from moving from the typhoon's path. 

On the 19th fueling was accomplished, and until the 21st the storm 
area was searched for survivors of the lost ships. Additional carrier strikes 

Leyte Aftermath 271 

on Luzon scheduled for this time were canceled. After fueling 23 Decem- 
ber, Task Force 38 with accompanying oiler group proceeded to Ulithi 
for repairs and resupply, arriving on the 24th. Most of the damaged 
ships had reached port several days earlier and were already under repair 
when the main force arrived. The repair ship Ajax had begun on the 
Altamaha and Jicarilla, the Hector on the San Jacinto, and the Prairie had 
the destroyer Dewey moored alongside for repair of her storm-demolished 
smokestack and attached gear, in addition rendering services to the 
Hickox and Aylwin. The Buchanan was alongside the tender Cascade, 
while the Dixie had begun on the Dyson. On arrival on the 23d the 
destroyer escort Melvin R. Newman moored alongside the Markab for 
24 hours and then docked in the ARD-13. Soon afterward, in company 
with the small carrier Monterey and the destroyer escort Tabberer, the 
Newman was sent to Pearl to complete repairs to her shaft. The hull- 
repair ship Jason took on the Cowpens. Before the Monterey left for Pearl 
(and eventually the west coast) she was cannibalized to provide replace- 
ment parts and material for the Cowpens and San Jacinto. The battleship 
Iowa likewise needed extensive repairs, and she too returned to Pearl. 
Service Squadron Ten performed a tremendous job in expediting repairs 
and replenishment of Task Force 38 at Ulithi. By 29 December all major 
damage had been repaired and the force was ready for the next operation 
in support of the attack on Luzon by Southwest Pacific Forces. 

Late in December the tactical situation and control of the air in the 
Leyte area had improved sufficiently to move forward additional tenders, 
docks, and supply ships of the Seventh Fleet Service Force. Newly 
captured Mindoro was also being developed into a forward supply base. 

"Bull" Again on the Rampage. Target date for landings in the Lingayen 
Gulf area of northern Luzon had been set for 9 January 1945. Careful 
coordination of effort between air strikes of the Third Fleet, Southwest 
Pacific Air Forces, and the 14th and 20th Air Forces was secured. Third 
Fleet operations included air strikes on Formosa and Luzon during the 
first week in January. Operations after the Lingayen landings were nec- 
essarily indefinite, depending upon developments, but destruction of 
enemy surface units, particularly in the South China Sea, was desired as 
soon as opportunity offered. With little or no encouragement from 
existing information, Admiral Halsey was the one to create the oppor- 
tunity for rampaging against any targets he could find in the South 
China Sea and along the coast of the mainland. 

The airmen of Vice Admiral McCain's Task Force 38, which left Ulithi 
30 December, notwithstanding unfavorable weather conditions pushed 

272 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

home attacks on Formosa airfields on 3 and 4 January. Suicide planes, 
apparently from Luzon or Formosa, struck Seventh Fleet bombardment 
and mine sweeping units in Lingayen Gulf, inflicting substantial dam- 
age and bringing a request from Admiral Kinkaid for Third Fleet attacks 
on 7 January on Luzon. Because of this the plan to hit Formosa again 
was canceled and strikes were launched against Luzon airfields. By this 
time the weather had improved; results were excellent, and Seventh 
Fleet operations in Lingayen were practically unhampered. Captain 
AcurT's oiler group, Task Group 30.8, which had left Ulithi ahead of 
McCain for a 2 January fueling rendezvous at sea, was brought relatively 
closer to the combat area for fueling on the 8th, a risk justified by our 
control of the air. Formosa was struck again on the 9th as our troops 
went ashore in Lingayen Gulf against slight resistance. 

"The Bull in the China Sea." On the night of 9-10 January, the time 
seeming opportune, a high-speed run was made into the China Sea 
using Bashi Channel for Task Force 38 and Balingtang Channel for 
the group of fast fleet oilers under Captain AcufT, Commander Task 
Group 30.8. On the 10th the fleet ran down the China Sea to the south- 
west, and a major part of the 11th was spent in fueling from the oilers. 
On the 12th, air strikes were made on the French Indo-China coast, and 
though no major enemy ships were found, other shipping was severely 
mauled, 1 enemy convoy entirely destroyed, 2 others badly cut up. Alto- 
gether 41 ships were sunk and 28 damaged, 112 enemy planes destroyed, 
and the Indo-China coast had felt the striking power of the United 
States Fleet. 

High seas prevented fueling on the 13th, and not until evening next 
day was this vital operation completed. On the 15th and 16th, Formosa, 
Hongkong, Canton, and Hainan were all struck, air opposition again 
being negligible. Admiral Halsey reported: "Enemy air strength in this 
area, as in French Indo-China, proved very weak; the China coast in 
January appeared as wide open and defenseless from an air and naval 
standpoint as Mindanao and the Visayas appeared in October. Feverish 
enemy efforts to remedy this easily recognized condition . . . could be 
anticipated ... It is believed the indirect strategic results of the attack 
on the China coast will be quite as valuable as the tangible destruction 

Bad weather, preventing any celestial observations between the 14th 
and 19th, continued to hinder operations against the Hongkong-Canton 
and Hainan areas on the 16th. Fueling was again delayed by the weather, 
and though the 17th saw indifferent success, not until the 19th could 

274 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

replenishment at sea be completed. China Sea weather regrettably was 
running true to the forecasts. However, on the night of 20-21 January 
the weather proved unexpectedly favorable and expeditious return pas- 
sage was made through Balintang Channel. After striking Formosa and 
southern Nansei Shoto again the next day, the 22d saw the conclusion 
of the current phase of Third Fleet offensive operations, with 3,800 miles 
covered in the China Sea without battle damage. No enemy aircraft had 
been able to approach Task Force 38 closer than 20 miles. Fueling was 
completed on the 23d, and all units except the San Juan— sent off on a 
mission of deception— returned to Ulithi for much-needed repair and 
replenishment. In his action report Admiral Halsey wrote: "Command 
was turned over to Admiral Spruance of those Pacific Fleet units' and 
fighting men who had so magnificently extended the domination of 
United States naval forces over the reaches of the Western Pacific and 
the China Sea." 

Stretching the Supply Lines. This account of the operations of the Third 
Fleet has been given to keep before the reader the picture of the combat 
tasks whose logistics were the responsibility of the service group. These 
tasks were made much more difficult because of their great distance from 
normal bases of supply. Aside from the military significance of breaching 
the hitherto undisputed Japanese zone of influence in the China Sea, the 
foray of the Third Fleet marked the extreme limit thus far reached by 
our logistic support. Operations in the China Sea west of Luzon found 
the fleet at times more than 1,300 air miles from Service Squadron Ten's 
main floating base in the Western Carolines at Ulithi. It was therefore 
necessary that oilers and carrier escorts accompany the Third Fleet to 
supply fuel and aircraft replacements. Tankers full of oil were dispatched 
from Ulithi to report to Commander Task Group 30.8, Captain Acuff. 
From time to time empties were escorted back to Ulithi, a system which 
applied to the plane-supplying escort carriers also. 

Captain Acuff' s Splendid Support 

An annex to Admiral Halsey 's operating plan covered Captain Acuff 's 
mission, requiring in part that, commencing 2 January, 12 oilers, 3 escort 
carriers, 3 fleet tugs, destroyers, and destroyer escorts be maintained at 
sea in support of the fleet. It also outlined the rendezvous and schedule 
of replacements for both oilers and escort carriers. 

Between 7 and 23 January the escort carrier Sargent Bay, Captain W. T. 

Leyte Aftermath 275 

Rassieur, had as its mission air coverage of Acuff 's various units. Other 
escort carriers operating with Acuff 's group included the Shipley Bay, 
Kwajalein, Nehenta Bay, Altamaha, and Rudyard Bay. On 2 January, Task 
Force 38, consisting of Task Groups 38-1-2-3, joined the oiler groups at 
previously assigned stations and fueled, with the Shipley Bay servicing 
as required. Fueling was completed at 3:30 p. m., with 283,000 barrels of 
fuel and 338,000 gallons of aviation gasoline issued. Next day the 
destroyer escort Robert F. Keller, Lieutenant Commander R. J. Toner, 
while passing official mail collided with the Sargent Bay, damaging both 
slightly. The Keller was detached and sent to Ulithi, where the destroyer 
tender Dixie began to get her ready for sea again. 

On other days Captain Acuff fueled his own escort carriers and 
destroyers, consolidated cargoes, and reorganized oiler groups. On the 
8th, replacement aircraft were delivered and 240,000 barrels of fuel and 
820,000 gallons of aviation gasoline issued to Task Force 38. 'Early in 
the morning of 10 January the oiler Nantahala while proceeding in for- 
mation through Balintang Channel had a gyro failure, and in the dark- 
ness crossed the bow of and collided with the oiler Guadalupe. Captain 
Acuff reported: "In spite of rather severe damage both ships continued 
with the group in the face of heavy weather and furnished oil to Task 
Group 38, without which an important phase of its operation could not 
have been completed." He further reported that on the 13th heavy 
weather existed in the area (the groups were then in the South China 
Sea), caused by a tropical low pressure to the south, and that as a result 
many casualties were recorded during the refueling. On the 15th, though 
four destroyers of the screen took fuel, the weather was unfavorable for 
issuing oil to escort carriers. On the 17th the weather still hindered 
operations. The war diary of the oiler Patuxent, Lieutenant F. P. Ferrell, 
gives this account of the day: 

"Heavy seas running, decks swept periodically by full force of seas. Personnel 
greatly endangered at their fueling stations. Hoses to all ships parted despite addi- 
tional lengths of hose used to lengthen standard hose rigs . . . Five men seriously 
bruised at fueling stations. Retrieved one man from water lost over the side from 
U. S. S. Baltimore. Also Captain R. C. Spaulding of the U. S. S. Niobrara reported 
that for this date 'due to these conditions, which caused heavy seas to sweep weather 
deck, one officer and nine men were injured when knocked off their feet.' ' 

Notwithstanding the discouraging outlook for continued bad weather, 
plans were made to resume fueling next day at dawn, but had to be 
canceled. Task Force 38 and service units retired southward, where at 
least a reasonable calm area was found on the 19th and fueling was 

276 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

completed. The total issue 17-19 January was 392,000 barrels of fuel and 
720,000 gallons of aviation gasoline. 

Something of the work of a replacement carrier operating with 
Halsey's forces in the South China Sea is shown by the war diary of the 
escort carrier Cape Esperance, Captain R. W. Bockius, for 17 January: "At 
0546 (5:46 a. m.) in accordance with orders of Commander Task Group 
30.8, Task Group 30.8.11, consisting of the U. S. S. Cape Esperance, 
U. S. S. Altamaha, Captain A. C. Olney, and escorts . . . left Task Group 
30.8 and took station for replenishment operation ... at 1230 U. S. S. 
Hank came alongside to receive 2 pilots and 2 aircrewmen for the 
U. S. S. Hancock. At 1315 (1:15 p. m.) the U. S. S. Charles S. Sperry came 
alongside to receive 4 pilots and 8 aircrewmen for the U. S. S. Lexington. 
At 1615 (4:15 p. m.) began launching planes. At 1651 U. S. S. Callaghan 
came alongside to receive 1 pilot and 2 aircrewmen for the U. S. S. 
San Jacinto and to transfer 24 pilots on board to fly off replacement 
planes. We completed launching planes at 1643, having launched 8 
F6Fs-5s, 1 F6FSP and 2 TBM-3s for the U. S. S. Essex. At 1647 U. S. S. 
Caperton came alongside to transfer pilots but was unable to make trans- 
fers because of heavy seas." Admiral McCain's task force did not always 
receive on-the-spot replacements of aircraft and pilots with "the greatest 
of ease." 

On the 20th Captain Acuff's oilers commenced cargo consolidation 
at dawn, and temporary task units were formed with orders to leave the 
China Sea via Mindoro and Surigao Strait, other units with orders else- 
where. On the 21st, on orders from Admiral Halsey, Captain Acufftook 
his ship back by way of Surigao Strait and Ley te Gulf, reporting to Com- 
modore Carter, Commander Task Group 30.9, at Ulithi, whereupon 
Task Group 30.8 was dissolved. During Acuff's splendid support of the 
Third Fleet while Halsey was rampaging through the China Sea, 
1,559,000 barrels of fuel oil and 3,416,000 gallons of aviation gas had 
been issued. To appreciate the quantity of fuel oil expended, the reader 
is invited to consider that he is on his way to the Army-Navy football 
game, his way blocked at a railroad crossing by a train traveling at a 
speed of 30 miles an hour. Assuming that each tank car carries 8,000 
gallons and has an over-all length of 43 feet, the train would consist of 
8,184 cars, would be 66.6 miles long, and would need 2 hours and 13 
minutes to clear the crossing. The reader would miss the game. 

At Ulithi in January. From 25 to 29 December the average number of 
ships at Ulithi per day was 356. This number decreased as Admiral 
Halsey's forces left for support of the Lingayen operations and the forays 

Leyte Aftermath 277 

in the South China Sea. For the first half of January the daily number of 
ships present for servicing was 235. This average was generally main- 
tained until the 27th, after which, with Halsey's return, it rose to 308. 
The volume of work confronting the service squadron varied more or 
less directly with the number of ships present and with the nature of 
the current operations, but the wide variety of tasks was ever present. 

Motion-Picture Exchange. Motion-picture programs have long been 
recognized as one of the most important mediums for the entertainment 
of officers and men on sea duty, and rank with good food and mail as 
contributing most to building morale. Carriers, with their large hangar 
decks, are ideally constituted for showing movies both at sea and in port 
without violation of "darkened ship" security. In port, as at Ulithi for 
instance, the senior officer present permitted the showing of movies on 
topside unless the threat of an attack made a complete black-out neces- 
sary. With the visits of combat ships for services, rest, and recreation, 
with other ships staging through, and for the service vessels themselves, 
providing adequate movie service was a duty of considerable importance. 

Mobile Fleet Motion Picture Sub-Exchange No. 1 was established on 
8 March 1944 by Commander Service Squadron Ten to service the fleet 
when it was at Majuro. The operation of this exchange was delegated 
to the destroyer tender Prairie, which functioned in this capacity until 
24 September, when the exchange was transferred to the Orvetta. It oper- 
ated first at Majuro, then at Eniwetok, and later at Ulithi. Adequate 
trained personnel were necessary for its operation. Errors in issuing 
programs had to be kept to a minimum and the films maintained in good 
condition to provide the best possible entertainment. In January 1945 
the personnel included 1 officer and 2 enlisted men who had had pre- 
vious experience in operating naval motion-picture exchanges, 1 man 
who had had experience as a civilian in the distribution of films, and 11 
other enlisted men of no previous experience. Only 3 of the men were 
rated: One electrician's mate 3d class, one motor machinist's mate 2d 
class, and one yeoman 3d class. To service ships in the southern anchor- 
age, mostly destroyers, a branch exchange was established aboard the 
tender Cascade. Enlisted personnel of the mobile sub-exchange operated 
it. The picture program was a busy one, with one-hundred 35-millimeter 
films and six-hundred fifty-two 16-millimeter issued daily during 
December 1944. 

Mobile Issuing Office. For the distribution of classified material, Mobile 
Issuing Office No. 7 was located in the Prairie and constituted another 
phase of service rendered the fleet at an advanced floating base. Though 

278 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

it functioned as an integral part of the ship in which located, the office 
operated directly under the Chief of Naval Operations and the Com- 
mander in Chief Pacific Fleet. 

The office had a combined incoming-outgoing monthly traffic of 
60,000 publications, every one of which required the signature of a com- 
missioned officer. From two to four hundred ships had to be supplied 
with the latest publications and changes in publications by the 2 officers 
and 2 specially qualified enlisted men operating this office. With ap- 
proximately 2,000 publications handled daily, keeping perpetual 
inventory was laborious in itself. 

Visual Communications. Handling communications is always compli- 
cated, and at Ulithi the delivery of visual messages from the flagship, 
for instance, in the northern anchorage to a ship in the southern, 
approximately 20 miles away, or to a ship somewhere in between, was 
particularly vexing. The problem was solved by a relay system. Twelve 
intervening anchorages were designated as berths for relay ships. Any 
vessel occupying one of these berths was required to pass along the 
visual traffic. 

Fleet Freight. The activities of the fleet-freight section were tremen- 
dously important in making timely deliveries of consignments of 
previously ordered materials. Under Squadron Ten's supply officer the 
section's "outgoing" gang was continuously on the go in catching up 
with ships to make deliveries. The week of 21 January 1945 through the 
27th is illustrative of its activities: (1) Air freight deliveries, 1,232 pieces 
weighing 107,000 pounds, to 245 ships; (2) fleet freight, 35,340 pieces, 
849 tons, to 161 ships; (3) storage, 187,077 pieces, 6,141 tons, for 653 
ships, and 1,521 pieces weighing 70 tons for transshipment to 132 con- 
signees; (4) transshipment direct from incoming carrier to on-carrying 
vessels, 2,417 pieces, 86 tons, to 2 consignees; (5) small units of cargo 
discharged, 4,087 pieces, 802 tons, from 9 ships to 233 consignees; (6) 
continuance of discharge from two merchant ships, beginning of dis- 
charge and delivery from Navy cargo ship Caelum, Lieutenant Com- 
mander E. Johnson. All these activities required planning, supervision, 
unloading, loading, storage, and delivery. Possibly the most troublesome 
was transportation, for at Ulithi as at other anchorages, both before and 
after the time considered here, the demand for boats and motor-driven 
barges always exceeded the number available. 

Damage to the ft Mazama." Shortly before 7 a. m. on 12 January the 
squadron flagship received word that "an ammunition ship has been 
torpedoed," and those who heard braced themselves, but the shock did 

Leyte Aftermath 279 

not come. The Mazama had in fact been torpedoed, but she did not 
blow up. At 6:53 a. m. a man on watch on her reported sighting a 
periscope off the starboard quarter. General quarters was sounded im- 
mediately. It is believed the enemy submarine must have passed under 
the ship's bow and exploded its torpedo, or itself, just afterward. The 
explosion occurred underwater off the port side abreast No. 1 hold, 
rapidly filling it with water, causing a 2-degree list to port, with the 
ship down by the head. At 7:10 Captain P. V. R. Harris got his ship 
underway, intending to beach her if the flooding got beyond control. 
At 7:33 the Tatarrax, Lieutenant (j. g.) L. A. Hill, was the first of 11 
tugs to reach the Mazama. At 7:44 a. m. the ship anchored and her draft 
was found to be 35 feet forward instead of the normal 23— down by the 
head 12 feet. Additional gasoline and electric pumps from 3 of the tugs 
were placed on board, but the former were not used for fear of fire and 
explosion. At 10:25 a. m. a voice radio message was intercepted reporting 
the sighting of a submarine 2,000 yards from the Mazama. An escort 
destroyer dropped depth charges and the Mazama 's crew went to general 
quarters, but later secured and gave full attention to salvage. A repair 
party from the repair ship Hector conducted diving operations and 
reported the ship's port side indented from frame 124 to 162, from A 
to G strake, with maximum indentation of 3 feet about frame 140, first 
platform deck. Seams had been opened, rivets sheared off, watertight 
bulkhead at frame 137 buckled, the anchor windlass knocked out of line, 
and two forward 3-inch guns, 22-mm. guns, and director rendered inop- 
erative. Commencing at 2:40 p. m. serviceable ammunition was dis- 
charged from No. 1 hold into an LCM and from No. 2 into barge 
YF-693. To add to the anxiety, at 8:45 p. m. another voice radio mes- 
sage was intercepted reporting a midget submarine breaking surface 5 
miles from the Mazama. She went to general quarters, securing once 
more at 9:11 p. m. Her casualties for the day as a result of the explosion 
were 1 missing, 7 injured sufficiently to require hospitalization, and 13 
treated for minor injuries and returned to duty. These personnel casual- 
ties were regrettable but very slight compared to what they might have 
been. It was fortunate that the ship did not blow up when hit, as did the 
Mount Hood at Manus. 

The salvage vessel Current, Lieutenant Commander J. B. Duffy, Jr., 
made fast to the Mazama to furnish power to 6-inch submersible electric 
pumps in No. 1 hold. Outside, temporary repair was made by divers 
until the hold could be pumped out. Then followed inside patching and 
caulking, the Hector getting the ship off the critical list in a few days. 

280 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

Later, in February, a more thorough job was done by placing a cofferdam 
over the ruptured area, enabling welders and caulkers to do what the 
divers had been unable to accomplish, thus stopping the bottom leakage 
which was still giving trouble. 

The entry in Mazama's war diary for 13 January had this notation: 
"At 1213 an underwater explosion occurred bearing 250° true, distance 
2,000 yards from this ship." Considering this notation along with her 
torpedoing and the contact reports received in midmorning and during 
the evening of 12 January, supposedly of enemy submarines, there is a 
strong probability that again an attack in force, possibly of four or five 
midget submarines, had been launched at the anchorage. The explosion 
was the suicide of one of these midget submarines. 
January at Ulithi was not too dull! 


Iwo Campaign 

Fifth Fleet Relieves Third— Forces and Vessels- 
Logistics Prescribed— Logistics Support Group- 
Service Squadron Six— Service Squadron Ten 

Still Busy 

ON 26 January 1945 Admiral Spruance relieved Admiral Halsey, so 
it was again the Fifth Fleet, its first new big job the taking of Iwo 
Jima. The forces involved were large, the vessels numerous. Vice Ad- 
miral Mitscher's Fast Carrier Force numbered 8 battleships, 11 large and 
5 small carriers, 6 heavy and 12 light cruisers, and 79 destroyers. Vice 
Admiral Turner's Expeditionary Force consisted of 7 old battleships, 11 
escort carriers, 8 heavy and 6 light cruisers, 42 destroyers, 20 destroyer 
escorts, 16 destroyer mine vessels, 2 seaplane tenders, 43 attack trans- 
ports, 4 communications flagships, 16 attack cargo transports, 3 landing 
ships (dock), 1 landing ship (vehicle), 2 fleet and 2 rescue tugs, 3 sal- 
vage vessels, 2 net ships, 2 net layers, 63 landing ships (tank), 31 landing 
ships (medium), 76 LCI's of all types, 2 battle-damage and landing-craft 
repair vessels, and 44 patrol craft escorts, submarine chasers, and motor 
mine sweepers. Vice Admiral Hoover rounded out the armada with his 
3 heavy cruisers, 15 destroyers, 12 destroyer escorts, 16 mine sweepers, 
and numerous small craft, a grand total of more than 540 vessels large 
and small, not counting more than 260 large and small service vessels, 
which of course had to service themselves besides supplying the fleet. 
Logistics for this armada were supplied by three agencies: at sea by 
Commander Logistics Support Group (ComServRon Six) whose supplies 
were mostly obtained from the other two before sailing; in port by Com- 
mander Service Squadron Ten and Commander Forward Area Central 
Pacific. Much of the hard-earned experience gained in previous cam- 
paigns, all the factors known and suspected affecting the undertaking, 
were laid out in detail in a logistic annex of the general operation plan. 


282 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

The principal instructions were outlined therein for the employment of 
Logistic Support Group vessels of various types. Such instructions are 
condensed as follows: (a) Fleet oilers— specifying Eniwetok as a reload- 
ing point until otherwise directed by Commander Fifth Fleet and 
directing that after D-plus-4 day a minimum of six fleet oilers be 
maintained in the assigned operating area; (b) ammunition ships- 
requiring that a minimum number of ammunition ships be maintained 
at sea consistent with replacements and that moderate stocks of replace- 
ment ammunition be maintained in certain vessels in company to aug- 
ment number of sides (loading spaces) available to fleet units; (c) 
replacement transport (CVE's)— requiring complete discharge of planes 
from one carrier at a. time to expedite return for reloading, and consoli- 
dation of relief pilots and aircraft personnel from departing transport 
carriers with those remaining in the area; (d) dry and refrigerated provi- 
sions ships— requiring that issues from provision ships be expedited and 
ships return to port for reloading, and transfer maximum amount of 
provisions from oilers to ships to utilize maximum sides of provision 
transfer; (e) general stores and aviation supply ships— normal supply to 
be in port, but limited supply of general stores to be maintained in ships 
of Logistic Support Group, and if available that ships accompany that 
group for limited supply to forces at sea; (f) medical stores— standard 
stock of medical packs be maintained on oilers and other appropriate 
vessels; (g) personnel— requiring distribution of replacement enlisted 
personnel from pool aboard vessels of Logistic Support Group in accord- 
ance with instructions of Commander Service Force Pacific; (h) towing 
and salvage ships— directed that movements be accomplished as 
required by Commander Fifth Fleet. 

In addition, the annex outlined the tasks of Commander Service 
Squadron Ten. Some of these were: Give direct support to units of Cen- 
tral Pacific Task Forces in all ports where Commander Service Squadron 
Ten was represented; maintain prescribed stock levels of all logistic ma- 
terials; provide routine upkeep and battle-damage repair facilities; main- 
tain at forward area ports the sources of replenishment and expedite 
reloading and departure of units of the Logistic Support Group that re- 
turn to these ports; keep all agencies informed, such as Commander 
Central Pacific Task Forces (Spruance), Commander Logistic Support 
Group (Beary), Commander Forward Area Central Pacific (Hoover), 
Commander Service Force Pacific Fleet (Calhoun). 

Commander Forward Area was required in part as follows: Maintain 
established supply levels at bases in the forward area; exercise general 

I wo Campaign 283 

supervision over logistic support agencies within his area, including 
loading and routing of replacement CVE's; inform Commander Fifth 
Fleet, Commander Logistic Support Group, and major task force com- 
manders of the movement of logistic ships into the combat area. 

This annex was vague in some places, so self-evident in others as to be 
redundant, and its prescribed responsibilities at times over-lapped. 
Nevertheless, as many of our people would be entirely new to the area 
and studying the plan as a first experience on such a tremendous scale, 
it had to be all-inclusive, even at the price of vagueness to some and 
redundancy to others. 

The Logistic Support Group, while not new, was to undertake some 
added services, and had a new commanding officer. Some measures had 
to be available in case the operation did not work out as well as was 
hoped. There was also a towing and salvage plan, with tugs and salvage 
vessels available at strategic points in the Marshalls, in the Marianas 
under Service Squadron Ten and under Service Squadron Twelve, which 
had a smaller group, four fleet tugs with the Logistic Support Group 
and, with the Joint Expeditionary Force three salvage vessels, two fleet 
tugs, and two rescue tugs. All were held ready for instant duty and 
replacement of other vessels. 

The replenishment scheme for the Fast Carrier Force was no less com- 
prehensive and detailed. Filled chock-ablock with everything before sail- 
ing by Service Squadron Ten, the replenishment of the force at sea was 
to conform with the program of strikes carried out. There were five 
outlines of these: A basic plan and four alternates, with a replenishment 
scheme adapted to each of the five, complete as to the date and area. 

Replenishment for the Joint Expeditionary Force was available from 
Service Squadron Ten's representative at Eniwetok for units staging 
through that port. Facilities at Saipan and Guam were administered by 
Commander Forward Area Central Pacific, and Service Squadron Ten's 
representatives— Captain Rhoads at Saipan, Captain Houser at Guam. 
Fire-support ships equipped to do so were expected to replenish at sea to 
determine the possibilities of this method of supply. 

Fleet oilers were initially located, on D-minus-20 day, 15 at Eniwetok, 
12 at Ulithi; on D-minus-10 day, 6 at Saipan. Of these, 27 were assigned 
to the Logistic Support Group; the 6 to Admiral Hoover, Commander 
Forward Area, for local operations but available to the support group for 
fleet support if needed. All the oilers were to service groups staging 
through until required to proceed to sea. 

Rear Admiral D. B. Beary's Logistic Support Group was organized in 

284 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

2 task groups, each of 3 sections: Train, screen, and escort. Group A was 
designated 50.8.10, its flagship the Detroit, Captain D. Curry, Jr. The 
train, under Captain F. S. Gibson, included 15 oilers, 4 fleet tugs, and 1 
escort carrier. Commander H. H. Love commanded the screen, 50.8.14, 
of 2 destroyers and 12 destroyer escorts, while Commander H. D. Riley 
was in command of the escort carrier, consisting of 1 escort carrier and 
2 destroyers. Task Group B, 50.8.16, under Captain H. F. MacComsey, 
included Captain V. Bailey's train of 12 oilers, 3 escort carriers, 2 am- 
munition ships, 1 general supply vessel, all with the designation 50.8.17. 
Screen, 50.8.22, under Captain J. R. Pahl, had 5 destroyers, 6 destroyer 
escorts, and 4 destroyer transports. Carrier Escort 50.8.23, Captain F. T. 
Ward, Jr., commanding, numbered 1 escort carrier and 2 destroyers. Be- 
sides these there were the 6 oilers in reserve at Saipan, or as it later 
worked out, at Ulithi. Task Force 58 sailed from Ulithi on 10 February 
to give Tokyo a mauling preliminary to the Iwo landings. This was the 
first air strike against Tokyo Bay by the carriers since the raid Lieutenant 
Colonel James H. Doolittle had flown off the carrier Hornet in April 
1942. Task Group A rendezvoused with the Fast Carrier Force 13 February 
about 10 a. m. and finished the refueling job about noon next day. The 
Bougainville transferred replacement planes and pilots to the force, was 
rushed back to Guam for a new load, and was back on the 19th with 
replacements for the losses in the Tokyo raid. 

One oiler, the Patuxent, had a serious fire and explosion, with consid- 
erable resultant damage, on the 16th. She was sent to Saipan. 

Task Group B joined Task Group A on the 18th in latitude 19° N., 
longitude 140° E. On the 19th the Logistic Support Group 50.8 rendez- 
voused with Fast Carrier Task Groups 58.1, 58.2, and 58.5 in latitude 
23° N., longitude 140° E., and replenished them. The same day the 
Neosho was ordered to Iwo Jima to fuel ships there. Next day rendezvous 
was made with Task Group 58.3 and 58.4 in latitude 23° N., longitude 
140° E., and these two groups were replenished, including planes. Three 
oilers went to Iwo Jima to fuel vessels there, and after discharging re- 
maining cargo to three others, were ordered to Ulithi to refill. The Attu 
was sent to Guam to reload with planes and aviation supplies. 

On the 21st of February the fleet tug Ute was sent with the destroyer 
Thorn to the aid of the escort carrier Bismarck Sea, damaged off Iwo, but 
it was no use. She was on fire, and was destroyed by internal explosion. 
Later, on 4 March, the tugs Sioux and Molala went to assist the destroy- 
ers Yarnall and Ringgold and towed them to Ulithi. Task Group 50.8 
demonstrated the feasibility of transferring ammunition at sea. The 




286 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

Shasta rearmed some of the carriers, giving the Hornet 64,000 pounds of 
bombs in 2 hours, 36,400 pounds to the Bennington in 1 hour, and 28,300 
to the Wasp in 1 hour. These missiles ranged in size from 100 to 2,000 
pounds. It was a valuable advance and pointed the way for future 
improvement in fleet logistics. 

The Fast Carrier Force was replenished 23 and 27 February, and most 
of it again on 3 March, when the Logistic Support Group headed back 
to Ulithi. From 12 February to 3 March this support group furnished 
replenishment, sending tankers back to Ulithi for refilling, oilers to Iwo 
to refuel ships there, ordering escort carriers to and from Guam to bring 
plane replacements, dispatching tugs to assist damaged vessels, and gen- 
erally broadening its ability and utility in at-sea support. 

Meanwhile Service Squadron Ten, as Task Group 50.9, under Com- 
modore W. R. Carter, with main base at Ulithi and detachments at 
Eniwetok, Saipan, Guam, and Leyte Gulf, was composed of some 250 
auxiliary vessels of all kinds which formed a floating supply and repair 
base, including drydocking. It supplied practically every form of service 
such as would be available at a navy yard or supply depot on the con- 
tinent. Moreover, its work was not confined to the current operation, as 
was that of most of the other task groups. Squadron Ten's chore was 
continuous from the day it started in Majuro and was always increasing 
in scope and amount as the war progressed. At times of specific oper- 
ations such as Iwo Jima, the load usually became extra heavy. By the 
time of the Iwo operation it had grown considerably and some organ- 
izational changes had taken place. 

Part of the extra load requirements were services to the amphibious 
groups at the staging points. In the Iwo Jima operation all but a small 
part of the Joint Expeditionary Force started from the Hawaiian Islands, 
thus presenting a logistic problem for the long voyage, and for main- 
taining the force at the objective, thousands of miles from permanent 
major supply bases. Facilities at Saipan and Guam had not been suffi- 
ciently developed to render more than a small part of the required 
services. Staging points and resupply channels therefore had to be estab- 
lished from floating facilities, though all ships were crammed as full as 
possible with 120 days' supplies for themselves, 60 for embarked troops, 
and ammunition, fuel, and fresh stores to maximum capacity. 

Some of the transports were not designed for the endurance required, 
and special measures had to be taken to carry extra quantities in passage- 
ways and wherever else space could be found. This was not good, as it not 
only cluttered up the spaces but made orderly accounting and inventory 

Iwo Campaign 287 

practically impossible, while also permitting some deterioration. 
Eniwetok and Saipan were selected as the main staging points on the 
4,000-mile voyage, with Guam and Ulithi also utilized. Responsibility 
for the logistics was assigned to Commander Service Squadron Ten, who 
sent a representative to Pearl Harbor several weeks in advance of the 
operation for conferences with the Logistic Section of Commander Am- 
phibious Forces, Pacific Fleet. A week was spent in determining fueling, 
watering, and provisioning schedules, and anchorage plans for the stag- 
ing points. Estimates were made of facilities needed to accomplish the 
logistic requirements within the time available. Fueling, watering, and 
provisioning plans specified working parties and boats required, the com- 
mands furnishing them, and the order in which vessels of the task 
groups would receive such services. The supplying ships, by types, were 
spotted in locations facilitating servicing and minimizing back-tracking 
of ships. Anchorages were allotted in blocks, group commanders assign- 
ing individual berths. 

When Task Force 51 left Pearl Harbor, an Amphibious Force Pacific 
representative flew to Eniwetok, taking with him the latest available in- 
formation concerning movements, and there final detailed schedules 
were arranged, assigning ships by types for services from specified ves- 
sels at specific berths. These schedules, issued in sufficient quantity to 
give one to each vessel, were delivered to group commanders immedi- 
ately upon arrival, first at Eniwetok, then at Saipan. 

To assist ships and boats of the boat pool to locate them, each logistic 
ship hung a large sign over the side bearing the name of the ship and its 
berth number. At night fresh-provision ships displayed three green ver- 
tical lights, dry-provision ships three red ones. Ships awaiting service 
were directed to keep their bow numbers illuminated at night until serv- 
iced. Because of the speed with which ships had to be serviced to com- 
plete the task within the time limit permitted, it was realized during the 
initial planning at Pearl that it would be impossible to invoice provi- 
sions in the usual manner, so the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts per- 
mitted red tape to be cut and provisions taken on as gain in inventory. 

At Eniwetok all ships received both fresh and dry provisions, all ex- 
cept the LST's were fueled, and the smaller craft received water. At 
Saipan all small craft again received fuel, water, and fresh provisions, but 
the LST's took no fuel. Large noncombatant ships received no logistic 
services except a few provisions. after the other craft had been serviced. 
Carriers, fire-support vessels, and escorts were topped off with fuel while 
under way. Provisions both dry and fresh were issued by the unit system, 

288 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

except to headquarters ships, attack cargo and attack transport ships, 
and landing ships (dock), which were allowed to requisition whatever 
they needed. The units of fresh and dry provisions were well balanced 
and pleased the ships drawing them. The dry-provision units contained 
considerable fruit juices, which were welcome. 

Because of the large number of ships requiring fuel and water in a 
very short space of time at the staging points, speedy servicing meant a 
large number of distributing facilities as well as a large quantity of fuel 
and water. At Eniwetok five oilers were spotted in berths convenient to 
anchorages of the transport groups. Destroyers and other ships using 
black oil also fueled from these oilers. Six fuel facilities were set up for 
Diesel-burning craft. All tankers were equipped to fuel on both sides 
simultaneously. The LST and smaller types received water, and all ex- 
cept those LST's with "side carry" loads got it by going alongside the 
supplying vessels. Two self-propelled water barges cared for the LST's 
at anchor. 

At Saipan because of the small harbor the servicing was difficult, so 
dispersals were resorted to, with LSM's and Mine Group vessels serviced 
at Tinian, a few miles south. LST's got water and provisions at their 
berths in the outer harbor of Saipan, water from self-propelled barges, 
and provisions from Service Squadron Ten delivered by LCM's from the 
transports. In the outer harbor LCI's went alongside fuel, water, and 
provision ships. The small craft received their services before the Task 
Force arrived, and took anchorages at two points in inner and outer har- 
bors. Vessels other than those named were not scheduled for logistics at 
Saipan, but six oilers were available offshore for fueling at sea such de- 
stroyers, destroyer escorts, and escort carriers as required it. Ammunition 
expended in practice en route from Pearl was replenished by four LCT's, 
largely loaded from the naval magazine at Saipan. Services at staging 
points went very smoothly and were completed in three-fourths of the 
time allotted. 

At Eniwetok some 30 ships of Admiral Turner's force required voyage 
repairs involving 1,500 man-hours of work. Captain C. Lovelace of the 
repair ship Oahu was ComServRonTen's representative, and as a result 
of the work done all ships were able to proceed on schedule except one 
submarine chaser for which no spare shaft and propeller were available. 
Admiral Turner reported "The speed and comparative easewith which 
this extremely large number of ships received logistics at both staging 
points proved the desirability of early conferences between representa- 
tives of the Force requiring services and the Force supplying them. 

Iwo Campaign 289 

Furthermore, it revealed the necessity of arranging and distributing com- 
prehensive anchorage plans and logistic schedules well in advance of the 
operation. Finally, it reflected credit upon Service Squadron Ten, which 
did a thorough and energetic job throughout both staging periods." 

Considerable additional repair work was done at Saipan because 
Squadron Ten had supplementary facilities there. Captain F. A. Rhoads, 
Representative B of Squadron Ten, had the destroyer tender Hamul, one 
Diesel repair ship, one battle-damage repair ship, one 3,500-ton and one 
1, 500-ton floating drydock for repair work, and the submarine tender 
Fulton also lent a hand. Ten ships were drydocked and about thirty 
worked upon for more than 10,000 man-hours. Such a splendid job was 
done on this armada that all but three were able to leave on schedule. 

Logistics at or near Iwo were provided by several sources. Rear Ad- 
miral Beary sent oilers frequently. Besides fuel these carried limited 
quantities of many other things: Provisions, candy, tobacco, clothing, 
and medical units, and some ammunition, mail, and exchange personnel. 

Knowing that Iwo would be strenuously defended, preparations for a 
large expenditure of bombardment ammunition were made, which was 
wise. The ammunition ships Shasta and Wrangell, with the auxiliary am- 
munition ship Lakewood Victory, were sent to the objective 2 days after 
D-day for resupply of our bombardment vessels. In addition to this, 
Turner had loaded his Task Force 5 1 vessels with all they could carry of 
every conceivable use, including 4,800 rounds of 8-inch high capacity in 
8 transports; 2,800 rounds in 14 LST's; 32,000 rounds of 4.2 mortar (20 
percent of which was smoke) in 10 LST's; and 180 depth charges in 2 
transports. Sixteen LCM's carried by the landing ship (dock) Bellegrove 
were loaded with ammunition at Saipan, taken from 8 of the LST's 
there. Besides all this, 18 LCM's carried by the Ashland each carried 500 
rounds of 5-inch .38 caliber antiaircraft, not obtained from the LST's. 

Between D-minus-1 day to the end at about D-plus-35 day, the am- 
munition actually expended totaled 14,650 tons: 2,400 rounds of 16-inch, 
weighing 2,280 tons; 5,700 rounds of 14-inch, 3,640 tons; 1,400 rounds 
of 12-inch, 520 tons; 8-inch high capacity, 11,700 rounds, 2,020 tons; 
8,400 rounds of 6-inch high capacity, 440 tons; 152,000 rounds 5-inch 
high capacity, 4,160 tons; 17,700 rounds 5-inch star, 300 tons; 12,000 
rounds 5-inch, 270 tons; 10,000 rounds 4-inch, 145 tons; and 70,000 
rounds 4.2 mortar, 875 tons. 

This rocky little island of Iwo, less than 5 miles long and little more 
than 2 at its widest point, sustained bombardment by more than 30 per- 
cent greater expenditure of ammunition than Saipan, where 10,960 tons 

290 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

were fired. This is in addition to the bombs and rockets used by the Fast 
Carrier Force on the same targets. As has already been mentioned, a cap- 
tured note of a Japanese general on Saipan said that if it were not for the 
naval bombardment his troops could give the Americans a good fight, 
but with it they could not. That was on an island 30 miles long and 
wider than Iwo is long. Is it any wonder that the Japanese general at 
Iwo thought he had set his defenses beyond any such bombardment? 
Yet he was hit with a total of 30 percent more, concentrated on an area 
about one-fifteenth as large. Aside from the direct damage, the bombard- 
ment was numbing, stupefying. It kept the defenders so suppressed that 
our Marines made many advances to positions where they could blast in 
or burn out the enemy from their caves. The Japanese was far from help- 
less, for he took a heavy toll in Marine lives, but he did not have the 
impregnability he thought he had. General Kuribayashi, commanding 
Iwo, said in a dispatch to Tokyo: "I am not afraid of the fighting power 
of only three American Marine Divisions if there is no bombardment 
from aircraft and warships. This is the only reason why we have such 
miserable situations." 

Smoke or fog oil was used on nine different nights in the transport 
areas. The total expenditure was about 90,000 gallons of fog oil and 
about 9,000 smoke pots and floats. The supply presented no logistic 

Admiral Turner's ingenuity and initiative were again evident at Iwo, 
where he introduced a new type of logistic vessel, the small craft tender, 
later designated APB, a self-propelled barracks ship. The writer regards 
this as a misnomer. These vessels, two at Iwo, were LST's converted to 
meet the needs of the many small craft with insufficient endurance for 
long voyages and long period at objectives. The small craft had suffered 
many hardships and had previously had to beg or go short, or not be 
considered worth taking on the expedition. These new tenders carried 
about 225 tons each of frozen and dry provisions, 120,000 gallons of 
water, about 235,000 gallons of fuel, and had berthing facilities for 40 
transient officers and 300 men, a sick bay for 14 patients, and messing 
arrangements for 750 men on a round-the-clock basis. The ships serviced 
by these tenders at Iwo were destroyers, destroyer escorts, destroyer mine 
sweepers, landing ships, mine layers, patrol and landing craft, mine 
sweepers, submarine chasers, and rescue tugs. From D to D-plus-15 day, 
54 vessels were refueled and rewatered and 76 reprovisioned. 

Perhaps the best thing of all was the way the tenders mothered the 
landing boats and their crews. Many of these were caught at the beach 

I wo Campaign 291 

when their own ships moved out of sight. Many were temporarily dis- 
abled, some lost. These tenders berthed a total of 2,500 officers and men, 
and fed 4,000 on a scale of 1 man, 1 day. It was a great help to a tired and 
hungry boat crew to have a place to eat and sleep. The tenders did not 
carry landing-craft spares or repair facilities. The principal part of the 
maintenance and repair work at Iwo was done by 3 landing ships 
(dock), 3 repair ships, 1 Diesel repair ship, and 1 landing-craft repair 
ship. The job was no small one, totaling work on 30 landing ships 
(tank), 24 landing ships (medium), 42 landing craft (infantry), 18 land- 
ing craft (tank), 3 destroyers, 5 attack transports, 1 net ship, and numer- 
ous landing boats. It has been said that every small boat used in landing 
on beaches had sustained damage of some sort, many of them more than 
once. The LSD's worked 24 hours a day on repairs. The divers of the 
repair ships practically lived in diving suits from sunrise to 10 or 11 
o'clock at night clearing propellers and doing underwater repair and 
salvage work. 

Meanwhile the logistic work of Service Squadron Ten at Ulithi, 
Saipan, Guam, Eniwetok, Kossol Roads, and Leyte was going steadily 
on. The amount of repairs and the hours worked would have caused 
peacetime navy yards to throw up their hands in despair. As a matter of 
fact it was reported that one wartime yard complained that Service 
Squadron Ten was taking away its work. It is not easy to describe the 
repair job without going into detail hardly appropriate here. Suffice it 
that for February it varied from such big jobs as rebuilding 60 feet of 
flight deck on the carrier Randolph in 18 days and new bows on blasted 
ships, to replacing guns and electrical equipment. In that month 52 
vessels were repaired in floating drydocks. 

Fuel and other issues were no less amazing— 4,100,000 barrels of black 
oil, 595,000 barrels of Diesel oil, 33,775,000 gallons of aviation gasoline, 
and 6,703,000 gallons of motor gas; approximately 28,000 tons of all 
types of ammunition; 38 tons of clothing; more than 10,000 tons of fleet 
freight; more than 7,000 tons of ship supplies of rope, canvas, fenders, 
cleaning gear, hardware; approximately 1,000 tons of candy; toilet ar- 
ticles; stationery; ship's service canteen items; and approximately 14,500 
tons of fresh, frozen, and dry provisions. 

The logistic work of Service Squadron Ten at Leyte should perhaps be 
briefly explained. While that was an area under the cognizance of the 
Seventh Fleet, which at that time did not come under the direct com- 
mand of Admiral Nimitz, it was nevertheless a matter of brothers-in- 
arms cooperation to give support wherever possible. Therefore, because 

292 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

of shortage of the necessary service vessels in the Service Force Seventh 
Fleet, a detachment of Service Squadron Ten was sent to Leyte to help 
out. In it was a floating drydock of 3,500 tons and another smaller one, 
as the shore-base development planned for the area was not far enough 
advanced to meet the requirements. Later, when the Third and Fifth 
Fleets based there, Service Squadron Ten moved in with a large detach- 
ment to take care of the logistics without drawing upon the shore base 
for anything except the occasional use of the battleship drydock at 


Service Squadron Ten Grows Up 

The Guam Base—Seventh Fleet Logistic Vessels 

and Bases 

By early spring OF 1945 Service Squadron Ten was well grown. It 
had been through enough campaigns to be considered in the vet- 
eran category, no longer an experiment but a considered and necessary 
part of the fleet. It could do almost anything a continental naval base 
could, and in many cases faster, with hardly any repair job it could not 
tackle and accomplish. The volume to be undertaken at any one time 
was the limiting factor. For example, to attack a major job of battle or 
storm damage on a few ships was all right, but to undertake many at the 
same time meant that some more routine maintenance and upkeep of 
active vessels suffered. A nice balance was generally tried for, and any 
big work seriously handicapping routine upkeep was sent back to con- 
tinental yards. This usually meant that ServRon Ten had one or more 
big jobs on hand which could be accomplished at the same time as 
routine upkeep and minor repairs to all other vessels. Most other big 
jobs, excepting urgent salvage, coming at such times were passed back 
to the yards, even though within the ability of the service squadron to 

The highest priority was given to voyage repair of the ships of the 
Third and Fifth Fleets. When they were at the anchorage it was the 
policy to defer most other work; when away, repairs were made to battle- 
damaged ships, mine craft, service vessels, and others within the area. 
Some vessels, though badly damaged, were repaired and returned to the 
fleet with speed equal to that of a shore repair facility. Such very large 
repairs were, however, limited to vessels urgently needed, for the assign- 
ment of men and material to such work prevented the accomplishment 
of many urgent smaller voyage repairs. The effectiveness of Service 
Squadron Ten was due n-o little to the excellent backing received from 


294 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

the Fleet Maintenance Officer, Rear Admiral C. A. Dunn, on the staff 
of the Commander Service Force Pacific. Technical personnel and mate- 
rials, especially repair parts, were made available with remarkable 

Keeping the fleet mobile was not, however, entirely smooth sailing. 
In spite of excellent assistance and careful planning there were many in- 
stances of shortage; items such as radar antennas, gun mounts, and parts 
for some Diesel engines were invariably in short supply, not only with 
Service Squadron Ten but at Pearl Harbor and at. home. The service 
squadron was replenished as soon as they could be manufactured and 

Repairs to small craft and small boats and the upkeep of the boat pool 
proved a most difficult problem. The protection afforded by the atolls 
was never all that was desired, and when a typhoon passed by, the dam- 
age to small craft was severe. The boat pool and most of the service craft 
available had been designed as landing craft; fortunately they were also 
satisfactory as personnel and cargo carriers, but they were difficult to 
maintain, and repairing the plywood hulls of the LCVP's required a dis- 
proportionate number of maintenance personnel. Despite the many men 
devoted entirely to small boats, and notwithstanding a daily overhaul of 
16 small Diesel engines by the boat-pool repair unit, an average of 20 
percent to 30 percent of the small boats were out of commission at a 
time. Usually only floating workshops, pontoon barges, and floating 
cranes repaired small craft and boats, thus relieving the repair ships and 
tenders of this work. At times it was necessary to use the 1,900-ton float- 
ing dock full time for hull repairs of LCT's, LCI's and LCM's. 

Most of the repair man-hours were devoted to keeping the fleet mo- 
bile, and to making the many voyage repairs needed, but in many cases 
the work of this floating base made it possible to avoid returning a dam- 
aged ship to Pearl Harbor, or made her safe for return. No damaged 
ships were lost, no matter how badly hurt, if they were able to reach an 
anchorage at which a unit of Service Squadron Ten was located. The Bu- 
reau of Ships restricted publication "Structural Repairs in Forward Areas 
During World War II" includes some examples of ships which were 
lost in other areas because of improper or inadequate repairs, and some 
of the examples of adequate repairs made by Service Squadron Ten. 

One of these badly damaged ships was the Houston, already men- 
tioned. She received two torpedoes, one at starboard frame 79, about 
midway between the centerline keel and the bilge keel, the explosion 
flooding both engine and firerooms and extensive areas on the third 

Service Squadron Ten Grows Up 295 

deck; the second, at frame 145 starboard, ripped a hole in her bottom 
and side from frame 138 to the stern. The ship would undoubtedly have 
been lost but for the exceptionally good damage control effected by the 
ship's force. Even so she would have been lost had she met rough 
weather, as her girder strength had been seriously lessened. Though 
there was no adequate drydock at Ulithi, the third deck, forward fire- 
room, and after engineroom were pumped out. A transverse bulkhead 
was erected in the hangar deck at frame 138^ and areas forward of it 
pumped dry. Extensive longitudinal stiffening was installed on the third, 
second, and main decks to compensate for the loss in girder strength, 
damaged plating left by the after hit was cut away, and temporary side 
plating reinforced by longitudinal and transverse stiffeners made the 
ship safe for towing to Manus. There under the direction of the Service 
Squadron Ten maintenance officer she was drydocked, completely 
pumped out, and shell plating and girder strength replaced to 100 per- 
cent of her original strength. 

The Reno, also previously reported, was hit by a submarine torpedo 
at port frame 92. Shell plating and supporting structures were ruptured 
between frames 89 and 97, and from B to F strakes. The resulting flood- 
ing created a condition of negative stability at zero list. Damage-control 
efforts of the ship's force, assisted by the fleet tug Zuni, enabled her to 
be towed 700 miles to Ulithi. Unable to drydock the ship, divers were 
used for underwater repairs. Calculations indicated the necessity to re- 
move 200 tons of topside weight, which was done, and about 75 percent 
of the original strength restored in the damaged area. She was then 
towed to Manus, drydocked, pumped dry, and completely restored. 

When the cruiser Canberra received an aircraft torpedo at starboard 
frame 99 about 10 feet below the waterline, both enginerooms and fire- 
rooms 3 and 4 were flooded. The ship was towed 1,400 miles to Ulithi 
where after 138 diving hours a patch was fitted around No. 1 shaft in 
the forward engineroom, the compartment pumped out, and the ship 
towed to Manus, where she was drydocked, completely pumped out, and 
shell plating and strength restored 100 percent. 

An interesting repair was made on the destroyer Renshaw, damaged 
by a torpedo at frame 115. The explosion damaged the area between 
frames 96 and 130, flooding the forward engineroom and after fireroom. 
The after engineroom was partially flooded. The ship was drydocked, 
pumped out, and found so badly damaged as to preclude repair in a for- 
ward area. Her after engineroom and forward fireroom were made oper- 
able, and temporary piping installed to enable her to steam on one shaft. 

296 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

On 30 December 1944, the destroyer Gansevoort was hit by a Japanese 
suicide plane, the after firerooms and enginerooms were flooded, and the 
forward engineering plant was made inoperable because of misalign- 
ment of the shaft and wiped spring bearings. After temporary repairs 
the ship was towed to Ulithi. The patchwork included stiffening of the 
port stringer, which failed during the tow. At Ulithi extensive repairs 
were made in a floating drydock by tender personnel, and the ship's for- 
ward enginerooms and firerooms placed back in commission. She then 
went to Mare Island Navy Yard under her own power on one shaft. Had 
she been subjected to heavy weather prior to her arrival at Ulithi she 
undoubtedly would have been lost. 

Not one but four successive Kamikaze planes hit the destroyer New- 
comb: One at base of after stack; one exploding in the torpedoroom, 
which damaged both enginerooms; the third at the forward stack; and the 
fourth amidships, swerving off to crash on the fantail of the destroyer 
Leutze, which had come alongside to help fight fires. The keel was 
buckled, there were five holes in the bottom, yet the ship was towed to 
Kerama Retto and drydocked, the hull made watertight and strength 

After surviving a typhoon in which three destroyers were lost, the de- 
stroyer Dewey reached Ulithi with her No. 1 stack flattened and bent 
completely over. The maintenance department assigned the renewal job 
to the tender Prairie, which made a new stack. The work required very 
careful measurement in renewing the uptakes, commencing from a point 
on the main deck. It was a welding job. The repair party also salvaged 
and reinstalled the whistle and siren, built and installed the "Charlie 
Noble" (galley smokestack), and the atmospheric exhaust pipe. 

The oiler Guadalupe, while steaming through Luzon Strait on January 
10, had collided with the oiler Nantahala, badly damaging her bow, 
which looked as if a gigantic bite had been taken out of it. Because of 
the extent of the damage — both anchors and hawsepipes being inoper- 
ative—she was put alongside the Ajax for repairs. Lacking the shears 
needed to cut away the mangled metal, the Ajax repairman burned it 
off, built a temporary scaffolding and constructed girders which served 
as the frame for a false bow built from keel to weatherdeck, and pro- 
vided a jury rig for anchoring. 

A contact mine struck by the net layer Viburnum tore a hole from star- 
board frame 6 to 17, keel to second deck. All spaces forward of frame 30 
were flooded. ServRon Ten at Ulithi drydocked the ship, but since she 
was wood and no such material was available, the shell and supporting 








— ^ 



;- '-7:' 




300 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

structure had to be repaired with steel— hull plating, decks, and hull 
strength, completely restored. While the repairs were intended only to 
permit return to a continental yard, they proved so successful that the 
ship remained on station in the forward area for the duration of the war. 
Collisions, bombing, mines, whatever the cause of damage, Service 
Squadron Ten met the emergency with ingenuity, persistence, and skill 
deserving the highest commendation. 

The largest single job undertaken was repair of the flight deck of the 
carrier Randolph. While the fleet was at Ulithi preparing for another 
strike, on the evening of 11 March the Randolph was hit by a large sui- 
cide plane carrying bombs. The plane penetrated to the after hangar 
space, demolishing about 4,000 square feet of flight deck, all shops in 
the area, the oxygen and carbon dioxide charging stations, made a large 
hole in the main deck, and damaged the CPO quarters below. As soon 
as the fires were extinguished, repair personnel started work around the 
clock. Next morning the heavy-hull repair ship Jason was ordered along- 
side. Admiral Spruance had requested that repairs be made at Ulithi be- 
cause of the likelihood of the urgent need of the carrier. The magnitude 
of the job is indicated by the amount of materials used: 30 tons of steel 
plate, 29 tons of 12-inch I beams, 1,500 pounds of welding electrodes, 
7,500 feet of flight deck lumber. Some of the steel beams were obtained 
from a Japanese sugar mill dismantled on Saipan. Nineteen days after 
the attack the ship was ready for sea. 

Another example of the type of repairs accomplished by Service 
Squadron Ten was the job on the carrier Enterprise. A bomb had hit the 
forward elevator, damaging the flight deck and flight-deck control sta- 
tion, starting a fire demolishing two 40-mm. quads, exploding the am- 
munition in that area, destroying all instruments in the control station 
and ruining 8,000 feet of multiconductor cable. To accomplish complete 
repairs it was necessary to remove two 40-mm. quads from the Santa Fe 
and fire-control instruments from the Franklin, both of which ships were 
returning to Pearl Harbor. Twelve days after repairs started, the Enter- 
prise was ready for sea, 5 April. Again 12 days later, 17 April, she re- 
turned to Ulithi damaged again. One suicide plane had crashed near the 
starboard bow, injuring the forward pumproom, another in the 40-mm. 
sponsons at port frame 150. The bomb or bombs exploded in the water, 
damaging the propulsion machinery, throwing the port shafting out of 
alignment, and crippling the after generators. Turbine chocks and line 
shaft bearing feet were cracked, all reduction gear bearings on No. 3 
shaft wiped, the hull punctured at frame 135, and numerous rivet leaks 

Service Squadron Ten Grows Up 301 

caused. The hull was made tight. To do this it was necessary to list the 
ship 8 degrees. Turbines, reduction gear, and shafting were repaired and 
realigned, and by 3 May the ship was ready for sea. On the 14th she was 
hit again by a suicide plane crashing on the centerline, 15 feet abaft the 
forward elevator. The plane pierced the flight deck, exploded in the for- 
ward elevator well and seriously damaged elevator and machinery. Since 
no material was available to replace the elevator, the main longitudinal 
members were replaced as a temporary repair and the ship returned to a 
west coast navy yard. On departure her commanding officer sent the 
Commander Service Squadron Ten the message: "It would appear that 
the Enterprise has been one of the ComServRon Ten maintenance's 
steadiest customers. In addition thereto, it may be added, the best 

The success of Squadron Ten's maintenance efforts was due primarily 
to the willingness and desire on the part of men and officers on the re- 
pair ships and tenders to give the fleet all support possible. Objection to 
working hours or conditions was never voiced. In spite of typhoons, 
material shortages, and the heat, the morale of the personnel was always 
of the highest. The support of the main body of the Pacific Fleet during 
the last year of the war represents the most effective use of vessels of the 
train by naval commanders in the history of our Navy. 

All the other classes of logistic services were attended to by the squad- 
ron, with continental ports forwarding materials as requested, largely 
through Ten's big brother, Service Squadron Eight, in Pearl. At this time 
the main base of Ten, with flagship and staff, was at Ulithi. Detach- 
ments commanded by officers known as representatives were at Guam, 
Saipan, Eniwetok, Kossol Roads (Palau), and Leyte, varying in size and 
services rendered according to the needs of current operations. By early 
spring of 1945 the Eniwetok detachment had dwindled to little more 
than a floating dock, an internal-combustion-engine repair ship, a tug, 
and water, oil, and gasoline barges. Saipan was very active and had 
equipment similar to Ulithi's, but on a much smaller scale. The Guam 
detachment was dwindling because the shore development as a naval 
base was growing daily. Kossol Roads was diminishing and Leyte 

The specified duties of the squadron had not been changed since it 
started, but had increased in volume beyond anything foreseen. Its origi- 
nal organization, however, was sound and had permitted the growth and 
extension of services without necessitating radical reorganizational 
changes. Personnel changes had been considerable, with many of the 

214075 O-F-53 21 

302 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

"old guard" replaced. These mutations generally followed rather closely 
the already going scheme, but often divided what had been done by one 
man into work for more than one as the volume increased, especially in 
the supply department. In some of the other departments where special- 
ties were undertaken, these usually came under some already functioning 
activity or section and it was merely necessary to allot space and equip- 
ment for the specialists as they arrived. 

For war, with its necessity for quick results, a simple, easily compre- 
hended organization is best, especially when inexperienced young men 
must be used to accomplish the required rapid expansion. No claim is 
made that such an organization would be the most efficient and eco- 
nomical for peace. Doubtless, in several respects, efficiency experts 
would be horrified, especially if this organization were' applied to an 
industrial establishment intended to bring the great possible return in 
dollars. This was for war, however, and in war, timers of such value 
that it must be given priority over many other considerations. In war 
the teams are made up of many young men mostly strange to the busi- 
ness at hand, whether it be a supply mission or combat. Therefore, the 
simpler the team organization, the less time lost in learning it and in 
executing the mission. War is never economical, but always wasteful of 
material and men. To be successful it must not be wasteful of time! 

The Vessels of Service Squadron Ten 

From its puny start of a year before, when the squadron was tackling 
something unusual and almost always biting off more than it could chew 
(in the minds of the skeptics, and a couple of times even in those of its 
supporters) but managing to chew it, and finding encouragement from 
the fleet commanders and from its force commander Vice Admiral 
Calhoun, it had now become a fleet in itself, like no other which had 
ever existed. It was composed of a conglomeration of vessels ranging 
from great 18-knot 20,000- ton auxiliaries down to lowly garbage barges 
built on pontoon lighters and requiring harbor tugs to move them. 
These squadron craft had been assembled to fulfill a mission — service 
to the fleet— in advanced areas where there were no permanent bases and 
could not be until months after the land had been captured. That 
mission was fulfilled. It was not glamorous, spectacular, glory-gaining 
work, but had it failed the war would have lasted much longer at much 
greater cost in blood and dollars. It was a job of routine-type service but 
done in unorthodox fashion, stepped up and multiplied many times by 

Service Squadron Ten Grows Up 303 

the tempo of the drive plus the unusual demands great and small, often 
coming without warning because of changes in the situation, or the 
casualties and fortunes of war. It was a never-ending job, and the men 
and officers of Service Squadron Ten were as much a part of the fleet 
which defeated Japan as were the men and officers of any battleship, 
carrier, cruiser, or destroyer. Admiral Halsey's New Year dispatch to 
the squadron commander proves it — 

A rousing well done to you and all your hard working gang for a magnificent 
job in taking care of all our needs. Beans, bullets, black oil, bulk stores, and even 
bulkheads have been promptly forthcoming on each request. Service Squadron Ten 
is a tried and proven member of our blue team! 

Service Squadron Ten had grown up! By the middle of February 1945,' 
its floating facilities, classified by functions, totaled 280 units: 26 repair 
ships, other repair facilities and tenders; 34 floating ammunition supply 
facilities; 48 floating supply and fleet freight units; 100 floating fuel and 
water supply storage vessels; 24 seagoing and salvage tugs; 42 fleet- 
service small craft and harbor tugs; 6 barracks ships and hotel barges. 

This was quite a growth from the 50-odd units with which the squad- 
ron had started a year before. It was a growth beyond the 80-odd units 
the squadron commander had estimated to be needed at the time of 
organization — to be told he was dreaming or had his head in the clouds, 
and scoffed at about the big outfit he was trying to wangle. It is not 
becoming to say "I told you so!" because he was so far wrong himself 
that the difference between his underestimate and all the others did 
not alter the fact that no one in those earlier days was sufficiently posted 
on fleet logistics to make very good estimates of what the future would 
require. New calculations had to be made as the war went on, and some 
of these reestimated on sudden notice before having been fully met. 

The Guam Base 

At the commencement of the Iwo Jima operation Guam had been in 
our hands more than 6 months. Considerable development had been 
accomplished and many fleet logistic services rendered. One big float- 
ing drydock was taking ships of the largest size, another being assembled 
was soon to be ready, and two smaller ones could handle almost any 
vessel up to 3,000 tons. These were in Apra Harbor, the nearest thing 
to a protected, sheltered harbor that Guam had which could accom- 
modate large ships. Piers were constructed, some for repairs to vessels, 
some for supply, 10 for troop loadings and other services, 1 for sub- 





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306 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

marines. A submarine base to handle 2 squadrons was being rapidly 
completed, and a tank farm built with a capacity of 448,000 barrels of 
fuel oil, 130,000 barrels of Diesel oil, and 328,000 gallons of aviation 
gasoline. This last was in addition to the airfield storage for landplanes. 

The naval supply depot had 464 warehouses 40 x 100 feet each, some 
open storage areas and 68,000 cubic feet of refrigeration storage. The 
naval ammunition depot for fleet replenishment comprised 202 pre- 
fabricated steel magazines, 100 hard stands, and 20 fuze magazines, as 
well as quarters for depot personnel. There were several water systems, 
1 of which furnished 2,000,000 gallons a day to Orote Peninsula and for 
the fleet. The latter received less than a quarter of this amount, which 
meant that a 5,000,000-gallon fleet water tanker required about 10 days 
to fill up. 

Guam had three large naval hospitals, Naval Base No. 18, with 
1,000 beds, Fleet Bases Nos. 103 and 115, with 1,000 and 2,000 beds, 
respectively. There was an amphibious boat pool and boat-repair base of 
large size. Besides all these there were Army and Marine Corps logistic 
facilities, and others necessary for the land-based aviation and garrison 

At Saipan in addition to the floating facilities of Squadron Ten there 
was a tank farm for. 150,000 barrels of black oil, 30,000 of Diesel, and 
900,000 gallons of aviation gasoline, a supply depot of 64 steel ware- 
houses 40 x 100 feet each, plus 11 refrigerator units of 640 cubic feet 
each. The naval ammunition depot had 112 steel magazines, 4 torpedo 
magazines, and considerable open storage. An amphibious-vessel repair 
base comprised 5 shops 40 x 100 feet each in floor space, a 12-ton crane 
on a pontoon barge, a 6 x 18 pontoon dry dock, and additional fuel 
storage of four 10,000-barrel Diesel tanks and two 1,000 barrel tanks for 
aviation gasoline. A small-boat repair unit with 4x15 pontoon drydock 
had a mobile machine shop. There was also a special small-boat pool 
and an LVT repair facility run by the amphibious force, two 75-ton 
cranes on 6 x 18 pontoon lighters, and a pier for handling ammunition 
between ship and shore. The naval medical facility was small; one hospi- 
tal of 400 beds and some small dispensaries of the garrison units. There 
was also a large lay-out for troop logistics of all sorts. 

Seventh Fleet Logistics 

It may be considered by some that the Seventh Fleet, which also had its 
logistic problems, has thus far been dealt with lightly. Perhaps that is a 

Service Squadron Ten Grows Up 307 

valid criticism, but with the Australian and New Guinea land bases 
available to it the logistics followed a more customary pattern and 
therefore in the interests of a shorter, more readily published volume, 
it seemed unnecessary to go into the Seventh Fleet logistics to the same 
extent as is done for the others. Some points of Southwest Pacific logis- 
tics have been touched upon already. However the subject may again 
be dealt with briefly here. 

On 1 April 1945, fuel supplies on hand in the Seventh Fleet areas 
were: Black oil afloat, 571,000 barrels, ashore, 387300, total, 958,300, 
or about half the available storage capacity; Diesel fuel ashore, 107,700 
barrels, afloat, 181,500 barrels, total, 289,200, again about half of avail- 
able capacity; aviation gasoline, 126,400 barrels ashore, 237,000 afloat, 
total, 363,400 barrels; motor gasoline, ashore 46,400 barrels, 119,500 
barrels afloat. The estimated requirements for April were 960,000 barrels 
of black, 450,000 Diesel, 245,000 barrels of aviation gasoline, and 4,000 
barrels of motor gas. 

Water in gallons reached sizable totals. Available ashore and afloat 
were 191,355,000, with a monthly requirement of 75,000,000 and storage 
capacities ashore of 206,428,500 gallons; afloat, 84,000.000. The monthly 
requirement in short tons of provisions for 250,000 men ran to 7,500 
fresh and 15,000 dry, with 11,672 tons of fresh and 50,166 of dry on 
hand. Of ships general stores (hardware, etc.) there were available 52,416 
tons, supposed to be 90 days' supply, but not well balanced. The 
monthly requirement reached 17,472 short tons. 

Ammunition was in great enough quantity, but by spring of 1945 was 
somewhat farther to the rear than desirable and not completely balanced. 
Principal stocks were at Brisbane, whose base facilities were rolled up 
and moved forward; at still active Fremantle; at Hollandia, still active 
but slated to be moved when opportunity permitted; and at Manus, 
then the principal supplying activity. One fleet issue load of 5,000 tons 
was received each month. Certain ordnance spares such as gun barrels, 
mounts, sights, etc., were ordered by Commander Service Force Seventh 
Fleet as seemed necessary or desirable to meet future requirements. 

At the end of February 1945 the vessels of the Seventh Fleet to be 
serviced by its own service squadron numbered 949 of all classes from 
light cruisers to motor torpedo boats, with the largest numbers in 
landing ships and landing craft. Included were 66 submarines, 3 sub- 
marine tenders, and 2 submarine rescue vessels. All these were Ameri- 
cans. In addition the Australian contingent depended to a considerable 
extent upon Seventh Fleet logistics not furnished by its own auxiliaries 

308 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

when port facilities were too far in the rear. Australia contributed to the 
effort 2 heavy cruisers, 1 light cruiser, 3 destroyers, 1 sloop, 4 frigates, 2 
auxiliary antisubmarine ships, 35 mine sweepers, 9 survey vessels, 1 am- 
munition ship, 1 provision ship, 2 oilers, 2 fleet tugs and 3 LSI landing 
ships (infantry), a total of 66 vessels, bringing the Seventh Fleet's total 
to more than a thousand craft of all classifications useful for the purpose. 

Contrary to the belief held by some that Seventh Fleet had but little 
floating facility for logistic support, it had quite a force, large by prewar 
standards. Whether or not it was sufficient may be a somewhat contro- 
versial matter. It is only fair to say that the Seventh was a resourceful 
fleet and devised ways and means to carry out its operations in a manner 
deserving high praise. It was less given to "squawking" about shortages 
and hardships than others which generally had nothing serious to com- 
plain about, while the Seventh on several occasions did. 

For services to Seventh Fleet in addition to those furnished by shore 
bases, there were available in its service force 353 vessels of all types, 
including patrol, escort, mine sweeping, harbor netting, and guarding 
craft, with a floating dock of battleship capacity, 2 degaussing ships, 
hospitals, barracks, ammunition, water, freight, cargo, landing type, 
tank, repair, stores, and other ships capable of supplying any need. 

Combatant and amphibious vessels assigned to the Seventh Fleet 
varied at times with the different operations. To meet the logistics re- 
quirements, special temporary allocation of auxiliary vessels was fre- 
quently made. The responsibility for the logistic needs of CinCPac 
ships operating in the Southwest Pacific remained with Commander 
Service Force Pacific Fleet, while the Seventh Fleet was to a considerable 
extent serviced from shore bases, as already indicated, largely because 
land was available along the route of campaign on which to establish 
bases, and there were not sufficient floating auxiliaries during the early 
war years. In the Central Pacific there was not enough available land 
along the route, except in the Marianas, where a harbor had to be con- 
structed. Therefore the American Pacific Fleet support had to be given 
by floating facilities in those areas. 

Admiral Kichisaburo Nomura, I.J. N., who was ambassador to the 
United States and conducting the negotiations in Washington at the 
very moment the Japanese planes were attacking Pearl Harbor, was 
closely interrogated after the war. His reply to a question by Rear 
Admiral Ofstie about recovery and capabilities showed he knew, at 
least vaguely, about our shore bases. He said: "I didn't know exactly, 
but imagined it would take you quite a time (after Midway) to recover 

Service Squadron Ten Grows Up 309 

your fleet strength; but you recovered more quickly then we expected. 
We were told by the Navy spokesman that you had repair facilities 
beyond our imaginations, that you had big floating docks for use in 
repairing ships which you brought from the United States. Your repair 
facilities were better than we calculated." And again: "Your repair facili- 
ties counted very much. I understand that in the Admiralty Islands there 
is a big repair base; also in the Marshalls there are repair facilities. Our 
Navy must have figured that when your ships were damaged they would 
have to go to Honolulu and not the islands where floating docks and 
other repair facilities were available. I have been told that in some docks 
you could repair even heavy ships." 

In the spring of 1945 the Service Force Seventh Fleet listed 18 bases 
in the Southwest Pacific where some services were available. Most of 
them, except for Leyte, Manus, Hollandia, and Perth-Fremantle were 
either being stripped or were too far away to be of much use. Leyte and 
some other Philippine bases were building up, Brisbane being reduced, 
as was Milne Bay. Hollandia and Manus had large facilities but even 
these were farther back than desirable, and many of the facilities were 
already slated for "roll up." 

At this time Hollandia had the equivalent of a repair ship in shops 
and ship maintenance facilities. Manus had two or three times that, 
plus a fleet of floating drydocks, big and little. A spare-parts distribution 
center at Manus made distribution and resupply by two barges, a small 
freighter and 4 LCI's. Radio-radar material and spares were carried at 
Hollandia, but the distribution center and the radio-radar were to be 
carried forward to Leyte-Samar as soon as practicable. All aviation mate- 
rials, and spares were at Manus except such as the seaplane tenders car- 
ried. There was no aviation-spare-parts supply vessel such as the Central 
Pacific fleets had. 

Refrigerated storage at Manus was about 300,000 cubic feet, about 
100,000 at Hollandia, with smaller capacities at many of the little and 
far-back bases. Leyte had only 46,000 cubic feet at this time, but expected 
soon to have 20 times that. Neither Manus nor Hollandia was ever 
filled; most of the time each was nearer to being empty. Refrigerator 
ships unloaded directly to the tenders and other vessels about as 
expeditiously as to shore-based storage from which cargo had to be 
handled again to get it to combatant units. 

Commander Service Force Pacific Fleet was responsible for delivery 
into the southwest area, after which issues were controlled by Com- 
mander Service Force Seventh Fleet. He had a large number of boats 

310 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

and pontoon barges which could have been more profitably used 
elsewhere had means to transport them been available. At Cairns early in 
February there were 9 pontoon barges and 25 boats (23 landing craft); 
at Biak, 25 pontoon barges, 51 boats (38 landing craft); at New Georgia, 
35 pontoon barges. 40 boats (30 landing craft); at Treasury Island, 1 
March, 10 pontoon barges, 30 boats (23 landing craft); at Green Island, 
4 pontoon barges, 46 boats (38 landing craft); at Milne Bay, 26 pontoon 
barges, 154 boats (145 landing craft); at Bougainville, 1 pontoon barge, 
65 boats (61 landing craft); at Hollandia, 1 pontoon barge, 167 boats 
(164 landing craft); at Manus, 102 pontoon barges, 420 boats (301 land- 
ing craft). This total of 213 pontoon barges and 825 landing craft were 
far behind the Philippines, where operations were taking place and 
where future operations would do much of the mounting and basing. 
Doubtless some of them were needed in the rear, but by no means so 
many as were there. There was still a shortage of boats in the Philippines 
in June. 

As it progressed in its drive, the Seventh Fleet established bases and 
section bases, setting up various shore facilities. It distributed its floating 
auxiliaries so as best to support its combatant units, which ranged from 
PT boats to large fighting ships. 


Operation Iceberg: The Okinawa 


The Forces Involved— Staging Logistics 

Climaxing an extended period of unrelenting pressure on the 
enemy, the capture of Okinawa marked the nearing of final defeat 
for Japanese land and air forces, just as the battle for Leyte Gulf in 
October 1944 had proved the death knell of the enemy fleet. Operation 
Iceberg was one of the most successful amphibious operations ever con- 
ducted. Admiral R. A. Spruance, Commander Fifth Fleet, in charge of 
the Okinawa invasion, declared; "For the first time in history a fleet " 
steamed to the threshold of an enemy homeland and, with its own air 
force embarked, stayed there at sea for a period of months until our 
own land and air forces were firmly established on the enemy's doorstep." 

Strategically, Okinawa, largest of the Ryukyu Islands, or Shoto 
Nansei, afforded a number of advantages. It lay but 350 miles from 
Japan's mainland, to which attacks could be launched covering both 
the islands and their sea approaches. Okinawa likewise would give our 
forces bases supporting further operations in the eastern China Sea for 
severing Japanese air and sea communications between the homeland 
and the mainland of Asia, Formosa, Malaya, and the Netherlands East 

Admiral Nimitz published his preliminary order for the capture 
of Okinawa on 9 October 1944, establishing landing date L-day as 
1 April 1945. Admiral Spruance was named commander of the expedi- 
tion. Vice Admiral R. K. Turner commanded Task Force 51, the Joint 
Expeditionary Force. Expeditionary troops were under command of 
Lieutenant General Simon B. Buckner. Vice Admiral M. A. Mitscher 
led the Fast Carrier Force. Planning for Iwo and Okinawa proceeded 



312 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

The complex nature o f the opera tion required extensive coordinatio n 
of components of Army. IN avy, and Marine Corps on both operational. 
arid lo gistTc matt ers. The firstof a series of joint conferences was held 
l~lSJ6vember 194 ?TAt that time the Commander Amphibious Force 
Pacific, Vice Admiral Turner, stressed the desirability of neutralizing 
outlying islands and obtaining an anchorage in the vicinity of Okinawa 
prior to the main landings, where logistic support of the fleet could 
be rendered. Kerama Retto, 20 miles west of Okinawa, was decided 

On 31 December 1944, Admiral Nimitz's Operation Plan 14-44 was 
issued, followed on 3 January 1945 by Spruance's more detailed Opera- 
tion Plan 1-45. Projects were developed for three phases: The capture 
of Kerama Retto and the southern portion of Okinawa; the occupation 
of the remainder of Okinawa and capture of Ie Shima; capture of 
additional islands of the Ryukyus. 

Admiral Spruance, in the Indianapolis, commanded the Iwo Jima 
assault during February. By 5 March, when it was apparent that the 
critical period of that operation was over, he retired to Ulithi to com- 
plete plans for Okinawa. Task Force 58 reached Ulithi from Iwo 4 
March and during the next 10 days completed the necessary upkeep 
and replenishment prior to sortie on the 14th. 

For logistic preparation, mounting, and rehearsals the principal forces 
assembled at widely separated places: The Fast Carrier Force at Ulithi, 
with the Gunfire and covering Force and Mines weeping Groups; the 
Northern Attack Force at Guadalcanal; Southern Attack Force and 
Western Islands Attack Force at Leyte; Demonstration Group at Saipan; 
Task Group 51.3, the Floating Reserve, at Espiritu Santo; and the Area 
Reserve at Noumea. The Northern Attack Force, after assembling at 
Guadalcanal, completed its final logistics at Ulithi from 21 to 27 March. 
The Area Reserve was not called into action. 

Two special groups, Service Squadron Ten, Commodore W. R. Carter, 
and Service Squadron Six, Rear Admiral Beary, serviced our naval forces. 
Commander Service Squadron Ten, as heretofore, was charged with the 
logistic responsibility for the fleet at forward area bases, and the routing 
and sailing of service ships required by the forces operating in the 
combat area. Commander Service Squadron Six, brought in to give 
service at sea in specific operations the first of which was Iwo Jima, 
commanded a force of fleet logistic ships in the combat area, coordi- 
nated fueling schedules for fast carrier task forces, and exercised direct 
command of replenishment activities at sea. 



Operation Iceberg: The Okinawa Campaign 313 

As preliminaries to the operation commenced, Japanese naval power 
had been reduced to such an extent that its only surface threat was 
likely to be in raids on our supply routes or morning-twilight attacks 
upon our transport area. It was felt that Task Force 58, operating to 
the north and east of Okinawa, could intercept any enemy force ap- 
proaching from Japan. It was necessary, however, to be ready to pre- 
vent any "express runs" from islands to the north, either to reinforce 
or to evacuate Okinawa. Accordingly, the fire-support ships of Task 
Force 54 and escort carriers of Task Group 52.1, in addition to other 
duties, could be employed to meet these runs if necessary. Actually the 
enemy made no attempt to interfere with our pre-L-day operations with 
his surface forces, or to evacuate or reinforce his troops. The only sur- ^ 
face actions were with small craft. No shore battery opened on our 
ships prior to landings, even when mine sweepers were clearing mine 
fields within range of enemy guns. The Japanese evidently hoped to 
keep their skillfully camouflaged coast-defense guns intact in order to 
oppose the landing. Most of these positions, however, were located, 
heavily damaged, or destroyed before they could be effectively used. 
At Ie Shima, however, concealment of equipment and dispositions was 
carried to such effective extremes that our air observers, who flew over 
the island day after day at tree top level, picked up almost no signs of 
human activity prior to the assault. 

The enemy's air force appeared to be his most formidable weapon. 
Because of the proximity of Okinawa to empire territory, it was possi- 
ble to use the entire home-based air force against us. It was imperative 
therefore that we neutralize enemy airfields, particularly in Kyushu, 
Formosa, and the Nansei Shoto, to maximum extent so as to control 
the air of the Okinawa area prior to landing. Immediately after sortie 
from Ulithi on 14 March, Task Force 58 undertook this mission. 

Exceeding all estimates, the greatest of our naval losses came from j* 
enemy suicide attacks. Between 14 March and 27 May, on which date 
operational control passed from Fifth to Third Fleet, 200 ships of the h 
Fifth were victims of such attacks, 19 being sunk out of a total of 292 
damaged by all causes. 

On 18-19 March the Fast Carrier Force struck airfields and installa- 
tions on Kyushu, at Kure, and in the Inland Sea area. On the 23d, as 
invasion forces were en route to the objective, the carrier force began 
the first of a series of strikes on Okinawa. On the 26th the campaign 
opened with landings on Kerama Retto by the Western Islands Attack 
Group. Despite narrow beaches and difficult terrain, all were quickly 


314 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

accomplished against light opposition. Salvage and repair facilities were 
immediately set up in ships accompanying the assault forces. The de- 
stroyer Kimberly, hit by a suicide plane early in the morning, was the 
first to undergo repairs at the newly acquired anchorage. 

Meanwhile the Amphibious Support Force under Rear Admiral 
W. H. P. Blandy, had arrived and opened day and night bombardment 
on Okinawa. Two fast carrier groups did the same, while two others 
refueled and rearmed. On Easter Sunday morning, 1 April 1945, the 
Tenth Army— 96th and 7th Infantry Divisions, First and Sixth Marine 
Divisions — made the initial assault over the Hagushi beaches at 
Okinawa, capturing them with little opposition, making it possible to 
secure both Yontan and Kadena airfields by midday., 

As fighting increased in intensity from day to day, it became evident 
that the Japanese had withdrawn to well-defended positions suitable 
for delaying- action tactics. Indicative of the ferocity of the struggle was 
the action at Sugar Loaf Hill, which changed hands 10 times before 
it was finally secured by the Sixth Marine Division. There was long 
bitter fighting everywhere. Our troops were forced to dig in and blast 
each fortified enemy position before organized resistance ended on 21 
June, 82 days after that memorable Easter Sunday. Meantime, troops 
of the 77th Infantry Division, which had previously secured Kerama 
Retto, landed on Ie Shima 16 April. Organized resistance ended on the 
2 2d, and shortly thereafter our planes were using the airstrip. 

The Invasion Forces. As the war in the Pacific continued, despite 
Japanese losses and our consistent forward gains, our most vital concern 
was correct planning and the avoidance of failure to estimate properly 
the forces required for undertakings still to come. Operation Iceberg 
was such a problem. Okinawa itself, entirely a coral formation 70 miles 
long, with one big town — Naha— at its southern end, though known 
as "typhoon crossroads" because of its evil weather, appeared super- 
ficially to present no greater difficulties than many we had already over- 
come. Yet when all its special aspects were clearly thought out, it totaled 
up to no less than 548,000 men of all arms, 318 combat ships, and 1,139 
auxiliary vessels for the campaign, without counting the landing craft 
(boats, tractors, DUKVS, etc.) necessary to put our troops ashore. 

By far the largest number of ships was assigned to Turner's Task Force 
51. It was composed of a Western Island Attack Group, Task Group 51.1, 
under Rear Admiral I. N. Kiland; a Demonstration Group, Task Group 
51.2, commanded by Rear Admiral Jerauld Wright; Rear Admiral 
Blandy 's Amphibious Support Force, Task Force 52; Rear Admiral L. F. 

Operation Iceberg: The Okinawa Campaign 315 

Reifsnider's Northern Attack Force, Task Force 53; the Gunfire and 
Covering Force, Task Force 54, commanded by Rear Admiral M. L. 
Deyo; the Southern Attack Force, Task Force 55 of Rear Admiral J. L. 
Hall; and all expeditionary troops, designated as Task Force 56, com- 
manded by Lieutenant General Simon B. Buckner. In all, Task Force 51 
was composed of 1,213 ships, including assault shipping and vessels of 
the first Garrison Echelon. 

Vice Admiral Mitscher's Task Force 58, the Fast Carrier Force, at first 
consisted of 9 large and 9 small carriers, 8 battleships, 2 large new 
cruisers, 2 heavy cruisers, 11 light cruisers, and 48 destroyers. By 1 May, 
however, its strength had been somewhat reduced by battle damage, 1 
destroyer and 1 heavy cruiser added, so the force stood at 7 large and 8 
light carriers; 6 battleships; 3 heavy, 2 large, and 11 light cruisers; and 
49 destroyers. The carrier Shangri-La had joined during April, but 
Enterprise, Intrepid, and Hancock were forced to withdraw for repairs. The 
Cabot, light carrier, went back to Pearl for overhaul. The battleships 
North Carolina and New Jersey had retired for scheduled overhaul and 
replenishment- J f 

Rear Admiral Beary's Logistic Support Group, Task Group 50.8, con- 
sisted of 1 light cruiser-flagship, 6 carrier escorts, 12 destroyers, 28 
destroyer escorts, 39 oilers, 1 cargo ship, 4 ammunition ships, and 4 fleet 
tugs. Other special groups operating under Task Force 50 were a search 
and reconnaissance group of 6 large and 8 small sea-plane tenders, and 
an antisubmarine warfare group of 2 carrier escorts and 13 destroyer 
escorts. Service Squadron Ten ships at various bases were designated 
as Task Group 50.9- A small British carrier force supported the Okinawa 
operation and was known as Task Force 57. Except for bulk petroleum 
products, the U. S. Navy was not responsible for the logistics of the 
British Force. 

Development of Logistic Facilities 

The Okinawa operation represented the first attempt to provide com- 
plete support for the fleet at sea on a broad scale over an extended 
period. Rearming and food replenishing had been proved practicable^^ 
provided reasonably satisfactory sea and weather conditions prevailed 
but because of the number of service force ships and personnel required 
for complete support, only the fast carrier force received such at-sea 
servicing at this time. 

All groups of that force were unanimous in praising the services 


316 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

rendered at sea by the Logistic Support Group. The problem of supply- 
ing the units of this group which supported the force at sea. however, 
rested on the shoulders of Commander Service Squadron Ten at Ulithi, 
and upon his representatives at various forward bases. 

The west coast, the Hawaiian Islands, the Marianas, Marshalls, 
Carolines, South Pacific area, and Leyte provided bases for logistic 
support of the assault forces prior to participation in Iceberg. Guam, 
Saipan, and Tinian were important as the advanced bases nearest the 
objective, but the major part of Fifth Fleet logistics came from Ulithi, 
which served not only as a staging area but the principal place of resup- 
ply. After logistic requirements had been estimated, but about 90 days 
before the target date, conferences were held with Service Force Pacific 
representatives and supply officers in the various areas, the estimates 
were made, were checked against stock on hand at mounting points, and 
requests were submitted for the deficiencies shown. 

At Leyte, where two large groups assembled, there were no shore 
supply installations when our forces were mounting, all issues being 
made from Squadron Ten supply ships. Forces mounted in the South 
Pacific staged through Ulithi, where vessels were topped off with water, 
fuel, and provisions by arrangement with Commander Service Squad- 
ron Ten. 

During the spring of 1945 Squadron Ten's facilities expanded in 
proportion as our fleet grew more formidable. During 17 March vessels 
added were: 2 landing-craft repair ships; 4 gasoline tankers; 3 provision 
store ships; 5 ocean tugs, auxiliary; 1 unclassified vessel; 1 hospital ship; 
1 ammunition ship; and 1 salvage vessel. April brought more: 2 rescue 
tugs; 2 gasoline tankers; 3 provision store ships; 3 landing-craft repair 
ships; 3 cargo vessels; 1 oiler; 5 auxiliary ocean tugs; 1 ammunition ship. 
The May additions were 2 old ocean tugs; 1 rescue tug; 3 auxiliary ocean 
tugs; 1 landing-craft repair ship; 2 provision store ships; 1 gasoline 
tanker; 1 fleet tug; 1 battle-damage repair ship; 3 attack cargo vessels; 
and 1 cargo ship. All vessels participating in the Okinawa assault were 
instructed to load to capacity with everything needful, and to stretch 
their storage space as much as possible to meet the demand. 


Nearly all ships of the Southern Attack Force and the Western Islands 
Attack Group for the Okinawa operation assembled and loaded at Leyte. 
Initial plans designated Commander Service Force Seventh Fleet as the 

Operation Iceberg: The Okinawa Campaign 317 

responsible service agency, and Commander Amphibious Group Twelve 
as responsible logistically for servicing the ships of the Joint Expedi- 
tionary Force staging at Leyte. When it became apparent that Seventh 
Fleet could not supply the needs of this force, Commander Service 
Squadron Ten's Representative A, Captain Ogden, was ordered from 
Kossol Roads to provide services for Nimitz's ships in the area. 
ComServFor Seventh Fleet provided additional services as requested 
by Captain Ogden. 

Arriving 15 February 1945 in the Argonne, Captain Ogden reported 
to Rear Admiral J. L. Hall, Jr., commanding Amphibious Group Twelve. 
Pending arrival of additional service-force units, conferences were held 
to obtain an over- all grasp of the problems involved. It was determined 
that sufficient quantities of everything required were either available or 
could be made so at Leyte. All ships had to be provisioned before the 
training and rehearsal period, and topped off just before departure to the 
objective. Schedules were interrupted by foul weather and the late arrival 
of some of the ships from Iwo Jima. The distances from troop embarka- 
tion points to the logistic anchorage, 15 to 30 miles, added to the 

Maintenance facilities available to staging forces were the destroyer 
tenders Dixie and Markab; one limited repair ship, the Argonne; two 
repair ships, the Hector and Prometheus; one internal-combustion-engine 
repair ship; and two floating drydocks. Two landing-craft repair ships, 
Egeria and Endymion, which were assigned to the amphibious group, 
were available after 1 March. Because of the limited time in which to 
accomplish essential repairs and the length of time required to load 
ships, it was decided to place one repair ship in each of the two loading 
areas so that a maximum of work could be accomplished prior to depar- 
ture. Work on small craft was undertaken by three of the other repair 

The total number of ships to be serviced at Leyte was 432, some- 
ships newly reporting from the United States— needing little attention, 
others considerable, especially amphibious craft returning from Iwo 
Jima. Of the floating drydocks, both brought forward from Kossol, 
ARD-16 was unavailable for the staging work because it contained a 
battle-damaged destroyer, the Renshaw. Consequently ARD-17 carried 
most of this type of work, with Seventh Fleet facilities used on several 
occasions. To complete what would normally be the necessary drydock 
work every available diver was used. Because of experience gained with 
many small ships in this staging, a definite need was indicated of having 

214075 O-F-53 22 

318 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

small dry clocks of 1,000 tons and pontoon docks to reinforce the 
3,500-ton ARD's. 

Because of a lack of replacement ships, permanent battle-damage 
repairs had to be made on the net-carrying ship Keokuk, and major hull 
repairs on the attack cargo ship Starr and the amphibious flagship Estes. 
The Keokuk was alongside the Markab from 11 to 18 March, with 9,700 
man-hours spent on repairing damage sustained by a suicide plane hit 
21 February. The Starr suffered severe damage to hull plating and fram- 
ings, and to fittings above the main deck, as a result of pounding her 
side while transferring ammunition to cruisers alongside at Iwo. The 
Dixie and Hector made the necessary repairs between 12 and 18 March. 
The Estes had a rupture in her fresh-water tank about 8 feet long by 2 
feet wide; in 72 hours the Dixie patched it up sufficiently to enable her 
to leave with the fleet. 

An acute shortage of spare parts developed at this time. Those on 
hand were rationed out, more flown in from Ulithi and Pearl, and as 
many as possible obtained from Seventh Fleet, with a few from the 
Egeria and Endymion on their arrival from Iwo. Spare-parts barge YF-624 
came in 13 March, partly relieving the situation, but practically her 
entire cargo was needed to complete repairs to inoperative equipment, 
leaving virtually none for replacing "on board" spares. 

Fresh, frozen, and dry provisions came from ships reporting to Captain 
Ogden. Allocation of quantities was made on the basis of the personnel 
to be fed; distribution was effected by anchoring ships to be supplied 
near provision ships in the logistic anchorage. The supply was adequate, 
if not all that was desired. Except for manila rope, general stores were 
available in adequate quantities from store ships. The LSM's had priority 
for lines of 5- and 6-inch size, while other ships received only sufficient 
to meet their minimum requirements. On 16 March a dispatch was sent 
to Commander Service Force Pacific requesting that 200 coils of 6-, 7-, 
and 8-inch line be sent to Okinawa. All available was immediately 
shipped, but the amount received was less than requested and required. 
Water supply was provided by one water tanker for smaller vessels not 
equipped with evaporators and from a water-supply point on South 
Samar at which four LST's could water simultaneously from an extended 
pipe run out to mooring dolphins. 

Steam vessels were fueled to capacity with black oil by tankers in the 
logistic anchorage prior to departure. Diesel-driven craft were also filled 
to capacity; LST's acted as fueling ships for smaller craft until the 
amount left on board was reduced to 100,000 gallons. Fog oil, smoke 

Operation Iceberg: The Okinawa Campaign 319 

pots, and smoke floats were in adequate supply; all ships drew their 
allowance, plus as much more as they could load. During the first week 
in March a number of Squadron Ten ships were sent to Ley te to fuel the 
staging vessels. On 2 March the Abarenda left Ulithi with 58.000 barrels 
of Navy special fuel. Next day the Monongahela, Cimarron, and Manatee 
also left with combined cargoes of 286,000 barrels of Navy special, 
13,000 barrels of Diesel, and 1,109,000 gallons of aviation gasoline. The 
same day the YO-46 left for Leyte with an additional 10,000 barrels of 
fuel. On the 4th the Suamico, Neches, and Cacapon, with the merchant 
tanker Hanging Rock, left Ulithi for Leyte with 296,000 barrels of Navy 
Special, 112,000 barrels of Diesel oil. and 948,000 gallons of aviation 

Ammunition was brought from Ulithi in naval and merchant ammu- 
nition ships, also at Leyte there were several Seventh Fleet ammunition 
carriers. In addition, 17 attack transport cargo ships and 40 LST's which 
loaded at Leyte carried some of the deadly stuff to Okinawa as replen- 
ishment for fire-support vessels. 


The Northern Attack Force, Task Force 53, mounted for Okinawa in 
the Guadalcanal-Russels-Purvis Bay area. This was the last and largest 
staging operation conducted in the South Pacific, an area already engaged 
in roll-up activities. Logistic support was provided by Commander 
Service Squadron South Pacific Force and Commander Naval Bases 
South Solomons, coordinated by Rear Admiral L. F. Reifsnider, Com- 
mander Amphibious Group Four. Two periods, 17-28 February and 8-15 
March were allotted for logistic and maintenance support in the South 
Pacific, while 21-27 March was scheduled for topping off and necessary 
voyage repairs at Ulithi. Admiral Reifsnider in the Panamint interrogated 
the various commanders and a final logistic program was prepared. 
With the exception of 17 ships — 12 attack transports, 3 attack cargo 
ships, and 2 LSD's receiving final logistics in the Russells — all other 
ships of the Northern Attack Force, 207 in all, were serviced at the 
Purvis Bay-Tulagi-Guadalcanal area. To handle this large force, Com- 
mander Service Force South Pacific had previously provided substantial 
increase of all stock levels at supply depots. 

To augment repair facilities in the area, Commander Service Squadron 
Ten ordered Captain Paul B. Koonce, his representative at Manus in the 

320 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

destroyer tender Sierra, to Guadalcanal as representative there for the 
staging period. With him went the internal-combustion-engine repair 
ship Mindanao, repair ship Briareus, and limited repair ship Zaniah, the 
group reporting on 21 February for temporary duty to Commander 
Service Squadron South Pacific Force. Other repair facilities sent to 
Purvis Bay, Florida Island, in the Solomons, during February for tem- 
porary duty were the battle-damage repair ship Aristaeus, landing-craft 
repair ship Coronis, repair ship Vulcan, and drydock ARD-14. 

Repair facilities were adequate, and nearly all ships obtained full 
allowance of spare parts before departure. The LST's were the only group 
presenting serious maintenance or repair problems. Sixty of them 
reported from the Philippines for use with the Northern Attack Force, 
and Captain Koonce had conducted intermediate screening of their 
needs at Manus. 41 being selected to go to the amphibious forces at 
Guadalcanal. The group arrived late, and many were in urgent need of 
repairs. Despite the short time involved, however, all were ready to 
leave on schedule. 

Movement toward the objective via Ulithi started 12 March, the 
remainder of the force leaving Guadalcanal on the 15th. Service Squad- 
ron Ten's repair unit was dissolved that, day on departure of the Sierra 
and Mindanao for Ulithi. Zaniah went to Leyte; Vulcan departed for 
Noumea to join the floating reserve staging there in late March. Briareus 
reported to Espiritu Santo, where the area reserve staged, Coronis accom- 
panied the Northern Defense Group to the objective, and Aristaeus 
returned to Ulithi 2 April. 

A total of 235 ships moved from Guadalcanal to Ulithi, where final 
supplies were received during the 6-day replenishment period. A logistic 
plan like the one used at Guadalcanal was forwarded to Commander 
Service Squadron Ten at Ulithi prior to the departure of the Northern 
Attack Force, and by its use all ships were adequately provisioned, 
fueled, watered, and made ready for sea on time. Because of the work on 
battle-damaged ships at Ulithi, very little tender service was available to 
the force. However, only minor material casualties occurred, and repairs 
could be made by ships' crew, with limited assistance from repair ships. 

Following the departure of the Northern Attack Force from Guadal- 
canal, April saw a drastic roll-up of logistic activities in the South Pacific. 
Fifteen different types of service ships were released to Commander 
Service Squadron Ten during the month. On 13 April the 90,000-ton 
floating drydock ABSD-1 at Espiritu was ordered to cease operations 
and prepare to move forward in sections to Leyte. Her first echelon 

Operation Iceberg: The Okinawa Campaign 321 

sailed 29 June, the remaining sections 7 July. Every such logistic step 
meant advance for us, retreat and bitter discouragement for Japan. There 
was no question of our ultimate victory; that was a matter of persistence 
and time. The end was in sight. 


Activities at Saipan and Ulithi 

Admiral jerauld Wright's Task Group 51.2, the Demonstration 
l Group, loaded at Saipan before feinting landings on the south- 
eastern beaches of Okinawa while the actual assault debarked on the 
Hagushi beaches on the western coast. Between 1 and 26 March his 
ships received service and conducted rehearsals. Though the force repre- 
sented the largest concentration — more than 100 — thus far staged at 
Saipan, the various supply agencies were able to fill their requirements 
except for a few minor items. 

Many of the LST's assigned to this group were late in arriving from 
Iwo Jima. Some had casualties aboard which had to be debarked at 
Guam. Eleven medium landing ships did not arrive for loading until 24 
March, 24 hours before the scheduled departure of the tractor group to 
which they belonged. Fortunately their material condition was good and 
all were ready on time. 

Every effort was made to keep informed of the status of procurement 
by vessels, of all categories of material, so that critical items could be 
obtained or expedited as necessary to meet departure dates. This was 
complicated by the fact that the various activities involved— Service 
Squadron Ten Task Group, Representative C, and supply centers 
ashore— were widely separated. Besides, boating conditions were bad, 
strong winds blowing almost continuously; but in general, supplies 
unobtainable at Saipan were procurable at Guam. 

Cane or other large ship fenders were almost nonexistent in the 
forward area, so, to avoid transporting large quantities of this item by 
air, 800 worn-out truck tires were obtained and 60 of them issued to each 
attack transport and attack cargo vessel for use as fenders. Also, piling 
was furnished each such ship for assembling four 8-foot camels per ship. 
To obtain sufficient cordage for requirements, after delivery of all that 
was available in the Marianas, Representative C of Squadron Ten had to 
ask delivery by air from Pearl of 34 coils of 8-inch line, 30 of 6 and 50 
of 5-inch, all to reach Saipan by the 22d. They came substantially as 


324 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

As was true in other cases, much repairing had to be done quickly. 
Captain Rhoads performed an outstanding job of making the task force 
vessels ready for the operation. As they arrived they were inspected by 
the material officer, Lieutenant Commander Hazeltine, for determination 
of needed repairs. Availability for repair and drydocking was then 
decided. Work was undertaken by the destroyer tender Hamul, repair 
ship Vestal, battle-damage repair ship Phaon, internal-combustion-engine 
repair ship Luzon, submarine tender Fulton, and floating docks ARD-23 
and AFD-17. Special spares not available for machinery repairs were 
immediately requested by Rhoads from ^he nearest sources available and 
arrived to complete ships on schedule. Drydock facilities for small craft 
in Saipan's inner harbor were severely overtaxed, and drydocking opera- 
tions were retarded by rough, heavy swells which at times suspended 

Fuel and water replenishments began 9 March on the staging vessels. 
On the 10th the shore-station fuel officer reported two 10,000-barrel 
tanks ready for use, but that fueling line to the piers would not be com- 
pleted until the 20th. Meanwhile the Whippet discharged fuel alongside 
to ships in the harbor, and the Patuxent, though undergoing repairs due 
to an explosion, carried out fueling assignments as usual. Among the 
oilers present were Niobrara and Enoree, assisted by several gasoline 
tankers and unclassified craft. The tanker supply proved adequate. The 
Tombigbee came from Iwo to assist in watering the amphibious craft, 
leaving with Task Group 51.8 on 25 March for Okinawa. When the 
others departed the 27th, Whippet accompanied them. 

Provisioning was done from the supply depot ashore and from the 
merchant steamers Antigua and Cape Lopez, 102 vessels of the group 
being provisioned by 22 March. For ammunitioning, the Mazama was 
sent from Ulithi to Saipan with a cargo for the "amphibs." 

The Demonstration Group moved from Saipan to Okinawa in two 
sections; the first, the Tractor Group, 26 March, the second 51.2.1, Trans- 
port Unit Charlie, the 27th. Nothing happened to either. The Seaplane 
Base Group, Task Group 51.20, assembled at Saipan 22 March, 
conducted logistic services, and left for Kerama Retto the 23d. 


Most of the preinvasion activities centered about Ulithi, where major 
forces of the Fifth Fleet assembled during March for regrouping and 

Activities at Saipan and U lit hi 325 

replenishment. On the 13th, 647 ships were at anchor; on the peak day, 
because of the arrival of the amphibious forces staging through, 722. 
As a result of this concentration, Squadron Ten's service load was 
extremely heavy. Only 2 large repair ships were available; one, the Jason, 
receiving 2,359 job orders for the month, 223 of them on 10 March. 

The first large group to be replenished was Task Force 58, the Fast 
Carrier Force. Task Groups 58.1-2-3 arrived from Iwo 4 March, follow- 
ing Task Group 58.4, which had arrived on the first. On the 9th the 
cruiser Indianapolis came in with Admiral Spruance, ComFifthFleet. He 
then ordered the Enterprise group, operating as a night carrier force off 
Iwo, to return to Ulithi for replenishment and to be ready for sea 14 
March with the rest of the fleet. 

While en route to Ulithi as part of Task Group 58.1, the destroyers 
Ringgold and Yarnall collided in the early hours of 4 March while con- 
ducting night battle drills. Ringgold's bow was sheared off to frame 22 
and she was badly damaged to frames 26 port and 38 starboard. Yarnall's 
bow was bent to the right about 20° and elevated about 30°, the break 
starting at about frame 30. The fleet tug Molala went to the assistance 
of the cripples, while the destroyers Sigsbee and Schroeder acted as screen. 
Molala took Yarnall in tow stern-first, and with Ringgold and Sioux and 
the two screen destroyers, proceeded toward Ulithi. Next day, 6 March, 
Yarnall's bow broke clear and sank, which made towing easier. On the 
14th, she entered ARD-23 for the construction of a false bow, which 
was built to about 3 feet above water. Then the ship went alongside the 
Prairie for completion of the work. 

The Ringgold went alongside the Cascade, which installed a temporary 
bow extending 16 feet forward of frame 26. Docking schedules made it 
necessary to complete above-water repairs before the underwater section 
could be installed. "It was in the nature of building the roof of a house 
before the walls and foundations," reported Commodore Carter. On 27 
March Ringgold was docked in ARD-15 for completion of the work. 
Early in April she went to Pearl for permanent repairs, Yarnall to Mare 
Island Navy Yard. 

A greater loss by far occurred on the evening of 11 March, when the 
carrier Randolph was attacked by a suicide plane which crashed the star- 
board edge of the after end of the flight deck, tearing a 40-foot hole in 
it, wrecking part of the hanger deck beneath, destroying 14 and dam- 
aging 10 aircraft, causing 134 casualties (26 killed, 3 missing, 105 
wounded), and setting the ship on fire. Commodore Carter immediately 
ordered tugs and the salvage vessel Current to fight the fire. Current went 

326 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

alongside the port quarter and the tug Chickasaw on the starboard, both 
playing water effectively on the fire. When Current moved away, the 
fleet tug Munsee, with 6 streams, and the big harbor tug YTB-384, 
replaced her. The fleet tugs Apache and Molala then came up, but by 
now neither was able to get close enough to be very effective. 

The fire was confined to the Randolph's stern from main to flight 
decks. Continuous explosions occurred, presumably from 40-mm. ready, 
boxes. One small harbor tug and 3 YTB's were close in under the 
flight deck of the carrier, doing effective work. Here the small fire 
fighters had distinct advantage over the larger tugs held off by the over- 
hang of the flight deck. As the approach to the fire was upwind, smoke, 
sparks, and salt water were blown down on all ships as they approached 
the stern. Disregarding their own danger and courageously working to 
save the big fellow, these tugs, with the Randolph's own crew, got the 
fire under control. At daylight only a few smoldering embers remained. 

Though ships were partially darkened at Ulithi, a certain amount of 
shielded illumination was permitted for cargo handling and other night 
carrier activities; also on deck shielded movies were shown in the 
interest of morale. On the balmy evening of 11 March, pleasant topside 
but stuffy below decks,, a motion picture was being shown on the fore- 
castle of the Ocelot, Carter's flagship. The program had just started. 
Preceding the feature was a short subject, in this case one of those com- 
munity singing affairs in which audience joins in the chorus, keeping 
time with the bouncing ball on the screen. The song was "Red River 
Valley," and officers and men were vocalizing lustily when a plane flying 
at masthead height roared over in the darkness, drowning out the music. 
Many ducked their heads, and a few were heard to imprecate some 
"damn Army flier" who had the crust to zoom ships at anchor— though 
there was no Army flier nearer than Guam. But with the explosion on 
the Randolph, another on nearby Sorlen Island, the sounding of the 
general quarters alarm howlers, the true situation became apparent. 
Japanese suicide planes had attacked. There were two, possibly three, 
twin-engined planes, one of which hit the Randolph, another crashing on 
Sorlen, evidently mistaking that slim bit of atoll fringe for another big 
carrier. One must have come very close to the Ocelot, for next morning 
the commission pennant was reported missing. The same plane passed 
over Spruance's flagship, the Indianapolis, also having on-deck movies. 

Although the various departments of ServRon Ten could estimate 
with fair accuracy the requirements of a fast-carrier-force replenishment, 
it was obviously of much value to learn as far as possible in advance 

Activities at Saipan and Ulithi 327 

more exact needs, particularly in the unpredictable category of repairs 
and replacement aircraft. The task-group commander at sea making 
strikes on the enemy but not wishing to break radio silence to transmit 
supply and work lists to ServRon Ten, flew in such lists by special 
messenger to arrive ahead of the group. These officers sometimes 
reached Ulithi a day or two earlier, sometimes only three or four hours, 
before the carrier groups. The list of logistic requirements was handed 
to the chief staff officer, who passed them to the heads of the depart- 
ments concerned. Even though on occasion very short advance notice 
was received of the needs, this preparatory time was valuable in sched- 
uling services, especially if the visit of the task groups was limited to 
only 4 days, during which they had to rearm, replenish completely, and 
receive replacement aircraft before departing to make further strikes 
against the enemy. During early March three officer messengers were 
flown in: Lieutenant Sullivan from Task Group 58.1; Lieutenant John 
Roosevelt, son of the President, from Task Group 58.2; and Lieutenant 
Commander Brenner from Task Group 58.3. 

Provisioning of Task Force 58 for Okinawa was conducted by Service 
Squadron Ten according to schedules set up by the squadron supply 
officer, copies of which schedules were distributed to the force upon 
arrival. Destroyers were serviced by tenders to which they were assigned. 
They made requests to the tender which repeated them to proper squad- 
ron departments for items not in the tenders. Fuel and ammunition 
came direct from the squadron service vessels. Other ships were issued 
clothing and small stores, ships store stock, general stores from the 
supply ships Castor, Rutilicus, and Caelum and from the concrete barges 
Trefoil and Quartz. Medical stores came from the first three and air-mail 
stamps and envelopes were supplied by the Quartz. For the week ending 
10 March the Quartz issued 33 tons of clothing and 400 tons of stores. 
The Trefoil issued 1,053 tons to 325 ships in the same period. Issues were 
made on an around-the-clock 24-hour basis, each receiving vessel pro- 
viding 5 checkers and a working party of 35 under the charge of officer 
or petty officer. 

A representative of Commander Naval Air Bases was stationed aboard 
the aircraft stores ship Fortune to coordinate requests for material, 
replacement aircraft, and air crews. Delivery to the carriers was made 
by ServRon Ten boats and barges. The concrete Corundum supplied 
radio, radar, underwater sound, and ordnance spare parts. 

Ammunition was issued from naval and merchant ammunition ships 
and lighters. The Mazama issued to several battleships before leaving 

328 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

for Saipan. Throughout March the Mount Baker and Rainier serviced 
the forces replenishing at Ulithi, the former issuing 3,789 tons, the 
latter 3,320. Ammunition lighter YF-691 carried out routine reenergiz- 
ing and refuzing of antiaircraft projectiles on board. A steady stream of 
merchant ammunition carriers poured into Ulithi in the early March to 
rearm the carriers, among them the Manderson Victory, Bucyrus Victory, 
May field Victory, Red Oak Victory (these four now being commissioned 
AKE's), Meridian Victory, and Elmira Victory. Besides servicing Task 
Force 58, these ships discharged into the four ammunition ships Lassen, 
Mauna Loa, Shasta, and Wrangell, which were being loaded to sortie 
with the Logistic Support Group on 13 March. 

Assisting the food ships Aldebaran and Polaris in supplying fresh and 
dry provisions were the cargo ship Rutilicus and merchantman Cape 
Pilar. Fleet allowance of consumption of fresh and frozen provisions 
per 1,000 men was 21,176 pounds frozen and 30,823 pounds fresh 
monthly, or 1 M cubic feet per man per month. The amusing rumpus 
over shortage of black pepper that arose at this time would have made 
a good comic opera theme. There was such a howl in Task Force 58 that 
almost half a ton— 894 pounds exactly— had to be proportionately 
rationed among the ships before the growling stopped. 

Arrangements for fuel, lubricants, and water were handled by the fuel 
section on the oiler Sepulga, which with all other oilers had moored in 
the southern anchorage for smoother water servicing. The Sabine and 
Aucilla served the carriers, Marias and Platte the battleships. Cruisers, 
as they entered the harbor, went alongside the Taluga and Sepulga and 
two other oilers, two cruisers to each. Destroyers and destroyer escorts 
were fueled the same way as they entered, by the Cowanesque, Aucilla, 
Chotauk, Elk, and Malvern. On the 3d ten merchant tankers arrived to 
replenish the fleet oilers, bringing combined cargoes of 909,000 barrels 
of Navy special and 110,000 barrels of Diesel fuel, but no aviation gaso- 
line. One of the 10, the Hanging Rock, was sent next day to Leyte. On 
the 4th, 4 merchant tankers from San Pedro and Balboa brought 307,000 
barrels of Navy special, 50,000 barrels of Diesel oil. and 3,098,000 gal- 
lons of aviation gasoline. On the 14th, when the carrier force sailed, 14 
oilers also departed to provide replenishment at sea for them. Because 
of a temporary delay in merchant tanker deliveries at Ulithi, Admiral 
Spruance warned Task Force 58 to conserve fuel. 

Service Squadron Ten's Maintenance Division worked around the 
clock to effect repairs before the task force put to sea. Four tenders serv- 
iced the destroyers and destroyer escorts — the Cascade, Prairie, Piedmont, 

Activities at Saipan and U lit hi 329 

and Yosemite. The two large repair ships, the Ajax and Jason, and one 
small one, the Nestor, were taxed to capacity. Docking facilities for 
destroyers were furnished by ARD-13, ARD-15, and ARD-23. Final 
logistics for Amphibious Group Four, which had assembled at Guadal- 
canal, were given at Ulithi between 21 and 27 March, with a schedule 
similar to that worked out for the fast carrier force. As before, all but 
the destroyers were serviced direct from stores ships, and the destroyers 
from their tenders. The others drew clothing and general supplies the 
day they were scheduled for provisioning. Supply officers were notified 
to present all requisitions during the one issuing period, since time and 
facilities permitted only one issue for each ship. Stores came from the 
two IX's, Trefoil and Quartz, medical stores from the cargo ships Ascella 
and Azimech. The concrete Silica gave fresh, frozen, and dry provisions 
to the smaller ships, while all others got their fresh and frozen supplies 
from the merchant refrigerator ship Trade Wind, and dry from the 
Rutilicus. The fresh and frozen were issued only in balanced 5 -ton units, 
ranging from 4 units to attack transports down to l/20th unit for the 
little YMS's, the motor mine sweepers. 

Water at Ulithi was limited, and was issued only to ships whose evap- 
orators were inoperable. The situation was such that ships leaving Ulithi 
for Pearl or home ports were requested to inform the fuel section, at 
least 12 hours before leaving, of the amount of water carried in excess of 
requirements, so it could be picked up and added to the supply stock. 

Besides furnishing ammunition to departing ships, Service Squadron 
Ten loaded three cargo ships, the Bucyrus Victory, Las Vegas Victory, and 
Lakewood Victory, and also the ammunition vessel Firedrake, with bal- 
anced issue loads to be sent forward on the 25th to join Admiral Beary's 
Logistic Support Group. However, the latter two remained in Ulithi in 
a stand-by status until ordered forward early in April by ComFifthFleet. 
Nine LST's were loaded with bombardment ammunition to go to 
Kerama Retto, but one, because of a fire resulting from the ignition of a 
14-inch powder charge, did not sail with the others on 22 March. 

As always at Ulithi the assistance given by the atoll commander, 
Commodore O. O. Kessing, was to the extent of his facilities in boats, 
mail, personnel, and recreation. His port director's office was going full 
blast day and night, as was his boat-repair unit. The amount of mail 
handled by the fleet post office on Asor Island was tremendous. Service 
Squadron Ten helped somewhat in this by supplying storage and 
delivery vessels. At Mog Mog Island a very creditable fleet recreation 
facility had been built up which, considering the small size of the island 

330 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

and the thousands of men and officers who went ashore, was well 
supplied and managed. 

On 27 March, servicing of ships for the Okinawa operation was com- 
pleted with the departure of the Northern Attack Force. Other Fifth 
Fleet units which had replenished at Ulithi were the Amphibious Sup- 
port Force consisting of fire-support ships of gunfire and covering force, 
carriers and aircraft of Task Group 52.1, mine sweepers of Task Group 
52.2, and one section of the underwater demolition group. These 
departed in echelons between 19 and 21 March. One of the greatest 
logistic jobs in naval history had been accomplished on schedule. 


Logistics at Kerama Retto for the 
Okinawa Operation 

Suicide Plane Attacks 

Daring initiative has been a characteristic of American operations 
in both strategy and tactics. Our enemies have known the book 
doctrines as well as we, but they could not throw the book overboard 
and try something new as freely as we. Thus at times we have had the 
advantage of projecting moves that they did not anticipate. The capture 
of Kerama Retto is an example. 

This small group of islands lies about 15 miles southwest of Okinawa. 
The idea of seizing it for use as a forward base before the main assault 
was a bold conception. To replenish fuel and ammunition from the an- 
chorage there, so near the objective, increased immeasurably the effec- 
tiveness in useful hours of the fire-support and mine-sweeping ships. 
Also, maintaining repair facilities close at hand aided in quickly return- 
ing some damaged ships to duty, whereas many precious days would 
have been lost had the cripples returned to Guam, Ulithi, or some other 
rear base. Several crippled destroyers might have been lost altogether 
without such immediate succor. Originally conceived as an anchorage 
principally for fuel and ammunition replacement, the emphasis at 
Kerama Retto shifted to salvage and repair as enemy air attacks 

Apparently the capture of the Kerama Retto group came as a com- 
plete surprise to the enemy: its defenses were comparatively light. Japa- 
nese plans to use it as a base for small suicide torpedo boats went awry 
when, during the first and second days of operations, several hundred of 
these boats were captured in caves on the various islands and destroyed, 
fortunately before they could be used against our assault forces. 



^ ! 

Logistics at Kerama Ret to for the Okinawa Operation 333 

The Western Islands Attack Group, Task Group 51.1, transporting 
the 77th Infantry Division, came to Kerama Retto from Leyte. Its major 
tasks, under Rear Admiral I. N. Kiland, were to capture the islands, be- 
ginning about 6 days prior to the main assault, and to establish an an- 
chorage for logistic support of the fleet. At 8 a. m. 26 March the first 
units of the 77th went ashore, supported by naval gunfire and air bom- 
bardment. Although resistance on the beaches was light, Japanese 
suicide planes immediately proved a serious menace to our ships. 

On the 27th Task Group 51.6, the first salvage and repair facility, 
began operations with two fleet tugs, Yuma and Tekesta; 1 salvage tug, 
Clamp; and 1 landing-craft repair ship, Egeria; establishing itself in a 
well-sheltered location termed "Cripple Creek" or "Wiseman's Cove," 
to give emergency repairs to battle-damaged ships. The first job began 
at once, patching up the destroyer Kimberly, which had been hit by a 
Kamikaze several hours prior to the assault the day before. Patched into 
seaworthiness, the Kimberly returned to Ulithi. 

By the 28th all organized resistance in the Kerama Retto area was 
over. That day the seaplane unit arrived in the anchorage, followed by 
eight LST ammunition ships and three tankers of the Logistic Support 
Group. Atascosa, Brazos, and Kishwaukee, screened by four destroyer es- 
corts. The oiler Tomahawk, accompanied by the merchant ammunition 
ship Las Vegas Victory, relieved the Atascosa on the 31st, while the oilers 
Brazos and Kishwaukee remained as station tankers. Three converted 
Liberty Ships, the Camel, Elk, andWhippet, joined 2 April for base fuel- 
ing. Fleet tankers were called forward by Admiral Turner, Commander 
Task Force 51, coming to Kerama either from the at-sea vessels of Task 
Group 50.8 or from Ulithi about every third day thereafter. 

On 1 April the tanker Ponaganset brought in the first water cargo. 
Until relieved by the tanker Soubarissen on the 25th, she discharged water 
to damaged vessels, and various patrol, amphibious, and mine craft. She 
also issued most of the fog oil and smoke pots used in the anchorage, as 
well as quantities of lubricating oil and motor gasoline. On the 3d and 
again on the 6th she went alongside the Indianapolis, flagship of Admiral 
Spruance, to furnish food and potable water, as the cruiser's evaporators 
were inoperable as a result of a suicide-plane attack on 31 March. The 
cruiser was alongside the Clamp for temporary repairs before returning 
to Mare Island Navy Yard. 

Repair facilities were augmented 2 April by the arrival of landing-craft 
repairships Endymion and Coronis, and the battle-damage repair ship 
Oceanus. Because of the heavy toll of damaged ships, these too were soon 

214075 O-F-53 23 

H/' Mm> 



Destroyer Newcomb damaged by suicide attacks. 

Logistics at Kerama Rettofor the Okinawa Operation 335 

overtaxed, shortage of mechanics and of material for structural and other 
repairs being a serious handicap. In spite of a loan of Seabee personnel 
and the cannibalizing of equipment from vessels patched up for return 
to rear bases, the problem of damaged ships was becoming very serious. 

Kerama Retto anchorage was not secure from the Kamikazes. While 
the fast carrier force did not replenish there, the harbor was the logistic 
center for escort carriers of Task Group 52.1. The task-group commander 
reported that the "main desire of carriers at Kerama Retto is to get their 
supplies and get out as fast as possible." The escort carrier Sangamon was 
badly damaged shortly after leaving the harbor, while at least two car- 
riers were attacked at anchor and barely escaped damage. Others were 
attacked either approaching or leaving. 

Enemy air activity was, however, surprisingly light during the first 
weeks of the occupation. This was extremely fortunate because antiair- 
craft defense was limited to the ships at anchor; no defenses were set up 
ashore until later. On 6 April the first serious air attacks occurred when 
the two merchant Army ammunition carriers Hobbs Victory and Logan 
Victory were hit by suicide planes. Efforts to extinguish the fires were 
futile because of detonating ammunition. Both ships sank during the 
night after a furious pyrotechnic display. 

Several of our ships were hit during the succeeding days. One notable 
casualty occurred 28 April, when a suicide attack was made on the hos- 
pital transport Pinkney, serving as station hospital ship in the anchorage. 
About 80 percent of the crew was attending a movie in No. 6 hold when 
the plane crashed amidships. The entire engineroom and all auxiliaries 
were put out of operation, so the men had to fight the fire with only 
handy-billy pumps and carbon-dioxide extinguishers. The fleet tug 
Molala came alongside, put her fire-fighting crew aboard, and turned 
water on the blaze. With the assistance of several landing craft and land- 
ing ships the flames were under control in about 3 hours. 

At the time of the explosion an emergency appendectomy was being 
performed in the Pinkney' s operating room. All lights went out, but the 
surgeons and corpsmen completed the operation— the work illuminated 
by a flashlight— and then evacuated the patient to another ship. 

The Molala remained alongside the Pinkney next day to supply power 
for pumping out the engineroom. She was relieved by the net-layer 
Terebinth, which was later forced to cast off and get under way because 
of heavy seas. On 4 May the Pinkney was towed to a more protected 
anchorage to await repairs with several other badly hurt ships. Three 
days later she was sufficiently seaworthy to return to the rear area. 



Logistics at Kerama Rettofor the Okinawa Operation 337 

Indicative of the more or less constant tension at Kerama Retto, the 
headquarters ship Mount McKinley, flying Admiral Kiland's flag, re- 
ported that her crew went to general quarters 75 times during April. The 
Combat information center of that ship was charged with the air defense 
of the area, accounting for 25 enemy planes shot down. Fortunately, 
during the month, the Kamikazes succeeded in Keramo Retto only in 
the instances above mentioned. 

By the end of the first week of April, with the Okinawa operation but 
a few days old, battle-damaged ships were accumulating at Kerama 
faster than facilities could accommodate them. To assist in the supervi- 
sion of emergency repairs to destroyer types, Captain A. I. McKee, 
Assistant Fleet Maintenance Officer of Service Force Pacific, was brought 
from Ulithi. He arrived 16 April in ARD-13, a floating 3,500-ton dry- 
dock, towed by the fleet tugjicarilla, accompanied by the battle-dam- 
aged repair ship Nestor, tug Molala, four support landing craft, and two 
destroyers. He remained at Kerama until the arrival of Captain Rhoads, 
ComServRon Ten's Representative B, on 17 May. 

Besides battle damage, much routine repair and maintenance work 
was accumulating. The majority of the smaller vessels requiring work 
were LCI types and patrol craft which had operational deficiencies after 
long periods of service, some coming direct from Iwo Jima without op- 
portunity for maintenance, and many reporting that they had had no 
maintenance or overhaul for as long as 9 months. Once at the objective 
they naturally had no let-up. A very serious handicap arose from the lack 
of replacement parts for worn-out and damaged equipment for these two 
types, which resulted in some ships operating on one engine or at re- 
duced speeds. Overtaxed docking facilities, a shortage of parts, inoper- 
ative sonar or radar equipment, and lack of electronics repairmen kept 
many badly needed patrol craft out of useful service. In several cases 
patrol craft had to return to the rear for repairs which could not be 
handled at the objective except after long delays. 

In the case of landing craft, some shortages of anchors, cable, manila 
mooring lines, propellers, and engine spares developed. Unsalvagable 
ships and those patched up for return to rear areas were cannibalized to 
supply these shortages. All Seabees who could be spared were sent to 
Kerama to alleviate the shortage of mechanics. The use of these trained 
men and their welding equipment and tools made a considerable contri- 
bution toward getting damaged ships back into action in a hurry. 

Originally it was intended to use the Egeria and the landing ship dock 
Guns ton Hall for repairs to boat-pool craft, but both had to be used for 

Damage to Ki land's flagship Mount McKinley. 

Logistics at Kerama Ret to for the Okinawa Operation 339 

major work only. Repair facilities for boats, including hull repair shops 
and engine repair shops, were established on pontoon causeway sections. 
By this means most boat overhaul and repair was accomplished. A second 
LSD, the Casa Grande, joined for small-boat repair on 4 April. She re- 
ported "there appears to be plenty of work in store for us for some time 
to come." 

As was to be expected, the boats originally assigned to the boat pool 
were inadequate for transportation and the miscellaneous services re- 
quired. To build up the pool 31 LCVP's, 4 LCM's, and 3 LCP (L)'s or 
(R)'s were removed from transports returning to rear areas. The Casa 
Grande furnished 12 LCM(6)'s out of a total of 16 on board. The final 
total of boats was 51 LCVP's, 36 LCM's, 5 LCP (L)'s or (R)'s, and 17 
LCT's, which proved barely adequate to the heavy workload imposed 
on them. Of the group, 15 LCVP's were reserved for smoke-making 
duty only. 

The salvage unit on 1 April consisted of the salvage tugs Clamp and 
Gear; two fleet tugs, Yuma and Tekesta; and several landing craft. The 
fleet tugs Molala and Jicarilla joined on the 9th. The large salvage 
pumps on the Clamp and Gear proved valuable in keeping damaged 
ships afloat until temporary underwater patching was effected. The busy 
tugs were alerted for service at all times, and brought battle-damaged 
destroyers and other vessels in from picket and screening stations. By 
night salvage craft were strategically located throughout the anchorage 
to aid ships in case of fire or of damage by suicide planes. During the 
period of severe enemy activity, twice as many of these ships could have 
been utilized had they been available. The Gear and Clamp were released 
from salvage duty 15 May and sailed to Ulithi. 

On 1 May three additional repair facilities arrived from the rear— the 
Vestal, salvage tug Deliver, and auxiliary repair ship Zaniah. The de- 
stroyer tender Hamul arrived on the 10th, and within a few hours had 
her first destroyer alongside. The same day Captain Rhoads, Commo- 
dore Carter's Representative B, previously at Saipan, came aboard to 
establish his headquarters. A week later he assumed direction of logis- 
tics in the Okinawa area, relieving Admiral Kiland. 

Another casualty in the anchorage occurred early on 1 May when the 
minelayer Terror, serving as tender for minecraft, was hit by a suicide 
plane and set on fire topside. Order had been given to make smoke, but 
it had not become fully effective. Salvage craft went alongside immedi- 
ately and the fires in the superstructure were rapidly controlled, but the 
damage was heavy, a check of it showing 41 killed, 7 missing, and 123 

340 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

wounded. It was felt by some that the ship would not have been at- 
tacked had she not opened fire on the plane, thereby disclosing her posi- 
tion. Though the moon was out, visibility from aloft was not good. 
After temporary repairs and removal of all useful spare parts, the ship 
got under way for Saipan. There it was decided that her battle damage 
would not be repaired in the forward area, and she was sent back to the 
Mare Island Navy Yard. 

A most important feature of the Kerama Retto plan was the ammu- 
nition replenishment program. The Okinawa Operation Plan provided 
that all vessels except battleships should be prepared to receive ammuni- 
tion at sea. Actually, because of shortage of ammunition ships, transfer 
of ammunition at sea was made to ships of the fast carrier force only. 
Those of the Joint Expeditionary Force, especially fire-support ships, and 
the escort carriers were resupplied at Kerama Retto. 

To start the replenishment the 8 LST's loaded with fire-support am- 
munition were available, each equipped with special cranes, slings, and 
other gear necessary. This type of ship was first used at Iwo Jima and 
had proved its worth there as it did later at Okinawa. Loading was ef- 
fected direct from the LST's to combatant ships, without transfer by 
smaller craft, when demand for ammunition was particularly urgent. Two 
LST's were needed simultaneously to replenish satisfactorily each battle- 
ship or heavy cruiser during the course of a day, one for each light 
cruiser and one for every two escorts in a 4-hour period. Only about half 
the LST's which could have been satisfactorily used were available. 

Although each ammunition-carrying LST was reported to have four 
camels and six large fenders on sailing, they arrived with no camels and 
very few large fenders. Because this type of equipment is absolutely es- 
sential in any kind of swell or heavy weather, transfer of ammunition 
was slowed decidedly and in a few instances prevented altogether. Com- 
manding officers repeatedly emphasized the importance of placing 
camels between ships when transferring fuel and ammunition. 

These LST's proved particularly successful in contributing to the rapid 
replenishment of fire-support ships for 3 days before the main assault, 
and prevented the difficulty encountered in previous operations of hav- 
ing fire-support ships practically empty upon completion of D-day mis- 
sions. A total of 3,000 tons of naval ammunition was given the fire-sup- 
port ships in the 3 days preceding 1 April. 

Following the delivery of their initial loads to the battleships, the 
LST'.s reloaded ammunition from the naval ammunition and merchant- 
type ammunition ships whenever these were not discharging directly 


% -' : : ■■■■■■ ■. . ■ : . 





Logistics at Kerama Rettofor the Okinawa Operation 343 

into the fire-support ships, and thereafter those LST's discharged to the 
fire-support ships. This permitted faster unloading of the large ammuni- 
tion carriers and reduced the numbers of them required to be in port at 
any one time, besides expediting transfer by providing more sides for 
working. For instance, two or three LST's could lie alongside a battle- 
ship simultaneously, transferring two or three times as much ammuni- 
tion as could have been handled had the big fellow been required to 
receive from a single AE or AKE. 

To expedite resupply, all possible arrangements were worked out the 
night before. Generally, battleships, cruisers, and escort carriers sub- 
mitted their needs by dispatch the night before arriving, and all ammuni- 
tion carriers submitted their available inventories by 6 p. m. daily. That 
enabled definite assignments of the ammunition craft, thus saving a 
great deal of time. Destroyers and other escort types did not submit 
their requirements in advance. Destroyers were sent to Kerama on 
schedule with the larger ships, regardless of ammunition expenditure, so 
that they might fuel and also screen these vessels en route. 

As a general rule two ammunition ships— one carrier loaded and one 
bombardment loaded— were at Kerama Retto at all times. Eight LCT's 
from the boat pool were assigned duties of taking ammunition from 
LST's and AE's for further aid in delivery to combatant ships. But until 
the arrival of eight more LCT's early in April, the disposal of empty 
cartridge and powder tanks was a perplexing problem. Because of the 
insistence of several ships that empties be dumped into the craft trans- 
porting the ammunition, the latter craft were made useless as ammuni- 
tion carriers until the empties could be disposed of on the beach or put 
on vessels especially furnished for that purpose. It was necessary in a few 
instances to throw empties overboard. 

Sixteen LCM's were assigned from the boat pool for ammunition 
work, carrying the smaller types for reasons of weight and protection 
from the weather. Three weeks after replenishment began a few LSM's 
became available for ammunitioning. Though the number available 
varied from time to time because of other requirements, generally at 
least two were assigned ammunition duties exclusively. They proved 
most useful for supply and for receiving empties. Because they carried 
large crews, they were excellent for ammunition work with all types 
except carriers. 

To be in readiness to service combatant ships with the quantity and 
types required in the limited time available, considerable tonnage had to 
be preloaded and consolidated, much of this being done every night. For 

::'?.JM: ri: -&-R 

■ K 

Logistics at Kerama Retto for the Okinawa Operation 345 

the carriers, ammunition was transferred from the ammunition ships 
into LCM's for delivery. Battleships got theirs from LCT's loaded the 
night before, and from LST's ordered alongside. For the most part, 
cruisers were sent alongside ammunition ships to receive direct, as well 
as from LST's also alongside. Destroyers and escorts went alongside 
LST's and received their supplies direct. Battleships, cruisers, and car- 
riers were required to furnish working parties ranging from 50 to 200 
hands each for handling ammunition. Since most ships were replenished 
only during daylight, these working parties were not available at night, 
when most of the preloading and consolidation of cargo was under way. 
A permanent working force of 500 could have been utilized had it been 

Changes in the tactical situation brought changes in the types of am- 
munition used. When it became apparent that proximity-fused projec- 
tiles were best suited to combat the increased number of suicide planes, 
the demand for this type of destroyer ammunition immediately in- 
creased. Except for a few types, the supplies at Kerama Retto proved 
adequate at all times. From 28 March through 16 May the ammunition 
issued was 37,915.6 tons. The number of replenishments for the larger 
types were: Battleship 56; heavy cruiser 38; light cruiser 22; escort car- 
rier 53; destroyer 330. Other small types brought the total to 610. 

During the same period 1,137 ships received 1,295,000 barrels of black 
oil and 337,000 barrels of Diesel fuel. A much greater quantity of gaso- 
line was consumed at Kerama than had been anticipated, because more 
extensive seaplane operations were conducted than were originally con- 
templated, and battleships and cruisers also burned an unusual amount. 
As a rule the escort carriers received their supplies in their operating 
areas and not at Kerama Retto. 

Because fleet oilers were permitted to remain at the objective 3 days 
only, there was seldom time to fuel screening ships and station tankers 
and still transfer aviation gasoline to the seaplane tenders and fire-sup- 
port ships. As a result, tankers occasionally left the area without dis- 
charging the aviation gasoline needed by the forces at the objective. For 
future operations it was recommended that a loaded station tanker with 
aviation gasoline be provided at the objective for later issue, and that 
several small barges or bowser boats (small craft equipped with pump 
and carrying a supply of gasoline) be provided to supply the gas 
to fire-support ships while receiving other logistic services. The 
schedule of tanker arrivals at Kerama was about every third day. 
Their cargoes were discharged into station tankers; two for black 


346 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

oil, one for Diesel, two for black and Diesel, and one for gasoline. 

As facilities in the anchorage expanded for fuel, ammunition, and re- 
pairs, a greater need for supply facilities developed than had been anti- 
cipated. Naval personnel needing logistic support at Kerama soon 
approximated 110,000, considering ships stationed in the anchorage, 
those under repairs, and ships reporting for fuel and ammunition. Nor- 
mal replenishment of provisions, general stores, clothing, and small 
stores had been last available during the staging period in mid-March. 
Losses of provisions and stores by battle damage added to the demand, 
reducing normal reserves still lower. As a result the cargo carried by 
provisions and stores issue ships proved insufficient to provide full 
replenishment to normal operating stock. 

At first replacement of provisions lost by battle damage was available 
only from large ships stationed at Kerama, or from ships returning to 
the rear. Naturally only limited amounts could be obtained in this way, 
and very little, if anything, could be had from incoming fleet tankers, as 
they had usually expended their excess while fueling at sea before reach- 
ing Kerama. By mid-April destroyers and destroyer escorts required 
normal provision replenishment, in addition to battle-damaged ships. 

On 18 April the cargo transport Azimech arrived at Kerama. Before 
her departure 10 days later, she issued 2,800 tons of dry provisions to 
221 vessels, at least half of her deliveries under difficult conditions. Ships 
generally came into Kerama Retto after dawn and left before dusk the 
same day, and fueling and ammunitioning had priority over provision- 
ing. Vessels stationed at Kerama could have issues only- at night, a haz- 
ardous procedure because of the frequent air alerts in the anchorage. The 
Azimech carried a limited stock of clothing and small stores which was 
quickly expended in filling the needs of survivors and in issues to ships 
caring for them. She left for Hagushi Beach to discharge the remainder 
of her provisions cargo at that objective. 

On 26 April the food ship Adria arrived with fresh and frozen provi- 
sions. Her entire cargo was exhausted by 4 May without provisioning 
all ships normally receiving logistic support at this base. Issues were 
made on the basis of a 20-day supply, and 219 vessels received Adria 's 
entire cargo of 1,470 tons. Next arrival was the Castor on 1 May with 
general stores, issued chiefly to repair facilities and including only such 
items as were essential to place damaged ships in operable condition. 
She left for Hagushi on the 4th and returned to Kerama 23 May with a 
remnant cargo which she discharged before departing. 

The Antares on the 10th brought in 1,500 tons of general stores but 

Logistics at Kerama Retto for the Okinawa Operation 347 

no clothing, small stores, or ship's stores stock. Her cargo was more 
adaptable to filling the needs of repair facilities than to normal replace- 
ment of GSK items to fleet units. She issued to repair facilities, ships ar- 
riving for logistics, and to station units, but because of limited nature, 
only about 20 percent of the requisitions submitted could be filled. 
Issues were made to 170 ships. 

Next came the cargo ship Matar, on 14 May, with 5,800 tons of dry 
provisions, about 75 percent of a normal cargo of clothing and small 
stores, and an incomplete loading of ship's store stock and medical 
items. Controlled issues of clothing and ship's store stock were neces- 
sary because of limited quantities. Shoes in proper sizes were especially 
critical items. However, the ship's dry provisions were adequate and al- 
lowed a 30-day supply for vessels receiving replenishment. The Bridge 
on the 15th brought a combined cargo of fresh-frozen and dry provisions. 
She had previously made issues at Okinawa, so a large part of her fresh- 
frozen and some of her dry provisions had already been exhausted be- 
fore arrival. On 22 May the Latona came into Kerama with a 
much-needed cargo of 1,276 tons of fresh and 450 tons of dry provisions. 
Of the fresh, 522 tons were issued before she sailed for the Hagushi area, 
which was an anchorage off the west coast of Okinawa, 25 miles from 
Kerama Retto. By the end of May the supply situation was virtually 
adjusted, and repetition of the critical early days was no longer feared. 

Freight handling presented a problem at the Kerama Retto anchor- 
age. Tankers and escort carriers brought in freight consigned to ships in 
the Okinawa area. If the particular ship was known to be stationed at 
Hagushi, delivery was made by one of the ammunition ferry craft or the 
LCI patrol. When a ship was expected to arrive for logistics within a 
short time, arrangements were made for temporary stowage of her 
freight aboard one of the ships permanently assigned to Kerama. Vessels 
of the support carrier unit left air-drop supplies for delivery on the west- 
ern beaches of Okinawa. To distribute this, one LSM met the designated 
escort carriers, received the cargo, and when a sizable load had accumu- 
lated went to Hagushi Beach to discharge. On 20 May, LST's 851 and 
795 were sent to Kerama from Hagushi designated for receiving, stow- 
age, and redistribution of freight. 

Before night attacks began the supply of smoke materials and equip- 
ment to ships in the anchorage was considered sufficient. About the 
middle of April, however, because of abnormal requirements, the supply 
reached the critical stage and rationing became necessary for most ef- 
fective coverage. All ships present were repeatedly warned to conserve 

348 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

fog oil, and Admiral Turner, Commander Task Force 51, issued direc- 
tives covering the use of substitutes and dilution with 25 percent Diesel 
oil. Despite all precautions the supply remained critical until the arrival 
of the Clovis Victory 19 May. To add to the difficulty, smoke generators 
broke down under heavy use and replacements and spare parts were un- 
obtainable. When the Vestal arrived on 30 April, generator repairs were 
undertaken, but some had to be cannibalized to keep others operating. 
Smoke materials and generators were removed from ships returning to 
the rear. The situation was partially relieved by the arrival of a limited 
number of generators and spare parts about 12 May. 

Captain Rhoads, who had taken over Kiland's logistic duties,, was 
responsible thereafter in both Kerama and Okinawa areas for all sup- 
plies, ammunition, repairs, assignment of replacement personnel, assign- 
ment of berths and anchorages except in the seaplane area, provision and 
direction of harbormaster, and operational control of the boat pool. 
Admiral Kiland retained responsibility for local distribution of smoke- 
making equipment, spare parts and smoke material, exercised the mili- 
tary functions of senior officer present afloat, and administered salvage, 
casualties, mail, net and buoy unit, and antisubmarine and smoke screens. 

Captain Rhoads's subordinates in other areas were Lieutenant F. E. A. 
Wilden, fuel and water representative aboard the tanker Armadillo; 
Lieutenant (j. g.) E. E. Wilcke, GSK and provisions aboard the Ancon 
(on the Auburn after 3 June); Pay Clerk W. E. Click, assistant fuel officer 
aboard the gasoline tanker Hiwassee: These three ships at Hagushi. Click 
supervised delivery of all aviation and motor gasoline, and lubricants 
from YOGL's to shore installations. Some confusion arose during the 
first few days after the change of command. Many requests for fueling 
and ammunition assignments were made to the activities formerly han- 
dling them, resulting in some delay until finally relayed to Rhoads. All 
fueling was done during daylight, as the harbor was completely blacked 
out at night. 

Ammunition replenishment continued, but Commander Task Force 
51, who became Commander Task Force 31 on 28 May, was responsible 
for determining the ammunition necessary at Kerama Retto to replenish 
all forces in the area, and requested it direct from Commander Service 
Squadron Ten; Captain Rhoads was responsible, in turn, for the actual 
distribution replenishment of all ships arriving at Kerama Retto. Com- 
mander Task Force 51 designated fire-support ships for replenishment 
approximately 36 hours in advance of their scheduled time. The ships 
then submitted requests to Captain Rhoads. who was expected to be 

Logistics at Kerama Rettofor the Okinawa Operation 349 

able to meet their needs. Ammunition expenditure was extremely high, 
but so long as the supply was adequate, no restrictions were placed on 
the amount fired, except for star shells when, after 17 May, 720 rounds 
were allowed per night. Smoke and smoke equipment appeared to be in 
adequate quantities during the later phase of the operation. 

Fueling operations were handled on much the same basis as previous 
schedules. Every third day a fleet oiler arrived at Hagushi Beach from 
Admiral Beary's Logistic Support Group, fueled the screening vessels 
under way inside the screen during daylight, and anchored before dark 
the first night at Hagushi. The second night the oiler was sent to 
Kerama to refill station ships there and give aviation gas to the seaplane 
tenders. It remained there the third day and night and left with the es- 
corts that brought in the next tanker. The average oiler cargo at 
Hagushi consisted of 75,000 barrels of black oil, 8,000 barrels of Diesel 
oil and 350,000 gallons of aviation gasoline. Ashore in the Okinawa area 
there was tank storage on 21 June, at Hagushi for 798,000 gallons of 
aviation gasoline. 84,000 gallons of motor gasoline; at Ie Shima, 168,000 
gallons of aviation gasoline, and no motor gas. 

Besides the repair ships under his direct operational control, Captain 
Rhoads also had the assistance of Admiral Turner's repair ships at 
Kerama— the Egeria, Oceanus, and Casa Grande. Commander Task Force 
51 continued to repair landing craft at Hagushi Beach with the Achelous-, 
Coronis, Gunston Hall, and Oak Hill; at Nakagusuku Wan (Buckner 
Bay), with Endymion and Lindenwald; and at Naga Wan with Epping 
Forest. On 1 June Captain Rhoads assumed all repair work in the Oki- 
nawa area and was given all Admiral Turner's repair ships. 

Two additional drydocks reached Kerama Retto late in May, bringing 
the total to four ARD's. The ARD's 22 and 27 were towed by the fleet 
tugs Menominee and Tenino. ARD-27 reached Kerama 22 May; ARD-22 
on the 26th. The destroyer tender Cascade arrived 2 June for additional 
tender service. 

For provisioning all types of small craft, the barracks ships Wythe, Yolo, 
and Presque Isle, known as LST mother ships and first tried by Turner at 
Iwo, were turned over to Captain Rhoads by Turner. They provided 
fresh and dry provisions, Diesel oil, and fresh water, and had consider- 
able berthing space aboard for boat-pool personnel. The three replen- 
ished their own cargoes whenever provision and refrigerator ships 
arrived. The Wythe was anchored at Kerama throughout the Okinawa 
campaign, and served a gradually decreasing number of small craft as 
additional supply facilities were brought forward during May and June. 

214075 O-F-53 24 

350 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

In July she moved with other service ships to Buckner Bay. During May 
she issued 162 tons of fresh and 143 tons of dry provisions, 38,980 gal- 
lons of Diesel oil, and 88,600 gallons of fresh water, besides berthing 
and feeding the Kerama Retto Boat Pool during the entire period. 

The other two were stationed at Hagushi Beach from L-day onward, 
but the Presque Isle made alternate trips approximately every 10 days to 
Nakagusuku Wan and Ie Shima to replenish small craft in those areas.. 
Yolo remained at anchor 1,000 yards off the beach in the Yontan airfield 
vicinity where, since air activity was keen, it was necessary to carry out 
much of the replenishment between air raids. She described her activities 
during May: 

"In carrying out our assignment as a Landing Craft Tender for the second month 
off Okinawa, our operations for the month consisted of taking 407 ships of all classes 
alongside. These ships were serviced in all categories of supplies— provisions both 
fresh and dry, fuel, fresh water, ship's store items, medical services when needed, at 
times laundry facilities based on a standard unit, taking into account the needs of the 
ship, our own supply on hand, and the number of ships dependent upon us. Issues 
amounted to a total of 549,012 pounds of dry provisions, 382,814 pounds of fresh 
and frozen, 574,446 gallons of fresh water, 51,984 gallons of fuel, and 8 tons of fresh 
bread. Still another function of the ship was to act as a barracks for the Northern 
Boat Pool. In this capacity we took care of the needs of 120 men daily and provided 
mooring and fueling facilities for 20 small boats." 

Under Captain Rhoads, Representative B of Squadron Ten, provision- 
ing of all combatant ships continued at Kerama. Issues were restricted 
to 10-day supply for larger vessels, 20-day for others, with fire-support, 
radar picket, and screen ships given priority over station units. From 17 
May to 21 June, the date Okinawa was declared secured, 10 supply ships 
discharged 25,372 tons of cargo at Okinawa, representing all categories, 
with dry provisions heading the list. 

The service and salvage group operated independently of Captain 
Rhoads, but its duties after 17 May were salvage and rescue of ships 
only. Repair work it formerly did was assumed by Rhoads' group. Its 
various units were at Kerama Retto, Ie Shima, Hagushi Beach, and 
Nakagusuku Wan. With the exception of the Hagushi unit, which op- 
erated directly under the salvage group commander, all were operation- 
ally controlled by the respective SOPA's. The total consisted of 3 salvage 
tugs, 12 fleet tugs, 6 rescue tugs, 4 LCI's, and 2 LCT's constantly ready 
in their assigned areas for calls to assist damaged ships. 

Harbor clearance was another important duty of these vessels. When 
Asato Gawa, a small boat harbor just north of Naha, was opened from 
seaward, an investigation was made to clear that area for beaching of 

Logistics at Kerama Ret to for the Okinawa Operation 351 

landing craft to replenish supply dumps near the front lines, at that time 
inaccessible because of rainy weather. In agreement with the island com- 
mand, salvage personnel and equipment cleared the area of numerous 
wrecks obstructing landing craft traffic. 

As soon as Naha Harbor could be entered, the salvage group went in 
to clear away wrecks to make docking space available as quickly as 
possible. Various Army groups assisted, and in 7 days 10 LCT's and 15 
barge berths were available. Service Squadron Twelve, ordinarily charged 
with harbor clearance, gradually made equipment and personnel avail- 
able to continue the project. 

The salvage group also undertook to improve tanker moorings at 
Hagushi Beach because of the fire hazard in supplying the island of 
Okinawa with aviation and motor gasoline. Fuel was transferred into 
smaller tankers, and from them into four non-self-propelled barges an- 
chored near the terminus of the pipeline. The salvage group assisted in 
designing and constructing a terminal mooring whereby a fleet oiler 
could discharge directly into the pipelines. Besides lessening the fire 
hazard this insured a continuous supply of gasoline regardless of weather 
or sea conditions. At times, under the old system, the amount on hand 
ashore became reduced to 1 day's supply. 

The task-group commander reported that difficulties arose during the 
operation through lack of communication facilities aboard the fleet tugs.^ 
While temporary headquarters were in the LSD-6 at Nakagusuku Wan, 
communications were so difficult that carrier pigeons were employed for 
the speedy transmission of vital information. 

Several important recommendations regarding future operations, be- 
sides the need for better communications, were made by Commander 
Service and Salvage Group. He stressed the importance of having suit- 
able small craft assigned to salvage and rescue units for passing lines to 
ships needing assistance at the beach during assault operations. Experi- 
ence showed that numerous ships suffered major hull damage only as a 
result of lack of proper small craft for passing of tow wires at sea as well 
as at the beaches. With heavy surf, amphibious trucks (DUKW's) are 
invaluable; at sea and with favorable sea conditions, LCVP's and LCM's 
may be used. 

He further suggested that a number of LCM's be fitted with fire-fight- 
ing and rescue breathing apparatus and transported to the objective as 
fire-fighting units, as they can assist ships in shoal water and maneuver 
through smoke protection without endangering ships at anchor. In fire 
fighting, where time is vital, fleet tugs and rescue vessels are too slow in 

YMS-92 stern blown off. 

Logistics at Kerama Rett o for the Okinawa Operation 353 

reaching ships needing help in an anchorage covered by smoke. Briefing 
all ships on the necessity of transmitting correct information regarding 
damage is of prime importance if proper and ample assistance is to be 
dispatched. In numerous cases during the Okinawa operation insuffi- 
cient information resulted in the dispatch of salvage units badly needed 

In summing up the various aspects of accomplishment at Kerama 
Retto it is not difficult to see why task-force commanders were unani- 
mous in their praise of the facilities offered. Because of the unprece- 
dented number of Kamikaze attacks the ability to accomplish battle- 
damage repairs in a calm anchorage near the objective saved many 
heavily damaged ships which, without the benefit of quick on-the-spot 
temporary repairs, would not have been able to reach the rear. The Jap- 
anese never suspected that we had this advantage. 

While complete provisioning, fueling, and ammunitioning at sea had 
been proved for the fast carrier force, many more ships and personnel of 
the service force than were available in the Okinawa operation would 
have been required at sea to make replenishment an accomplished fact 
for all fleet forces. The logistic anchorage base at Kerama Retto was, like 
the use of Kwajalein lagoon in the Marshalls operation, of even greater 
value, in all respects, to the success of the Okinawa operation. With the 
securing of the island late in June after a long bloody battle of nearly 3 
months, the mission of Kerama Retto was completed. Most of the 
service-force facilities moved to anchorage in Nakagusuku Wan (Buck- 
ner Bay), Okinawa, which was to be the principal floating-equipment 
base for the final stages of the war. 


Expansion of "At Sea" Support by 
Service Squadron Six 

Service squadron six was established 5 December 1944 to provide 
mobile support to fleet units during specific operations. It proved its 
worth at Iwo, and in still greater degree demonstrated an advanced phase 
in naval tactics. Its logistic support during the Okinawa operation was 
principally to the fast carrier force, though substantial deliveries were 
also made to other Fifth, Fleet forces. 

Known in operations orders as the Logistic Support Group, the squad- 
ron was composed of ships speedy enough to remain near the fleet with 
facilities to supply fuel oils, food, ammunition, airplanes, clothing, gen- 
eral stores, personnel, and towing and limited salvage services, plus 
suitable escort. Units of the squadron, under Rear Admiral D. B. Beary, 
were formed at Eniwetok and Ulithi early in February for participation 
at Iwo Jima. The first fueling operations were undertaken with a Task 
Group 58 on 13 February. 

The fleet oilers were naturally the major component of Squadron Six. 
When the fast carriers were organized in four groups, there were usually 
three oilers in each fuel division; if. however, there were less than four 
carrier groups, then four oilers were generally utilized for each fuel divi- 
sion. The method of fueling task groups remained the same as formerly, 
but the procedure as applied to the Logistic Support Group bears some 
amplification here. 

During the night preceding a fueling rendezvous, careful check of the 
wind, weather, and state of sea was kept by the group commander with 
a view of determining the speed and course for safe and rapid fueling. 
Speed of the oiler group during the night was set so as to make contact 
with the fueling group one or two hours prior to rendezvous. The oilers 
then prepared to begin fueling as soon as there was sufficient light, 
unless rendezvous had been previously set for a definite hour. Three or 


356 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

four oilers, about 1,500 to 2,000 yards apart, formed in a single line to 
establish the fueling course, normally into the wind at about 10 knots 
speed. Carriers took aviation gasoline while taking fuel oil. 

As soon after each fueling as possible the oiler-group commander 
reported to the logistic-group commander the amount of fuel left on 
board; detailed figures of issues made were submitted later. Consolida- 
tion of cargoes followed in order to return empty ships to base, an 
oiler being considered empty when it had less than 10,000 barrels of 
fuel oil which it could not discharge within 36 hours*. This was regard- 
less of Diesel oil or aviation gasoline, on board. 

Commander Air Force Pacific Fleet, through his type command rep- 
resentatives in the forward area, was responsible for replenishing the 
Logistic Support Group ships with aircraft, aviation material, and avia- 
tion personnel. For this, carrier transports were assigned to the Logistic 
Support Group and delivered airplanes, pilots, and aircrewmen as re- 
quested by the carrier task force or group commander. Returning pilots 
were usually picked up by a destroyer for delivery to the transport car- 
rier. Ferry pilots went aboard her and planes were catapulted, carrying as 
much equipment for transfer as possible. Often replacement pilots flew 
replacement planes to the carriers to which both were destined. Other- 
wise, replenishment was made through ship-to-ship transfer. The trans- 
port carrier then reported back to the Logistic Support Group to effect 
consolidation of residual planes, pilots, and aircrewmen, and to allow 
several such ships to return to base for discharge of flyable duds and 
for replenishment. 

Ammunition ships took their positions in the second fueling line 
(oilers in the first) along with stores ships. All combatant types ap- 
proached the ammunition ship and took position abreast. After the 
position lines were put over and secured, the ammunition ship steamed 
at about 8 to 10 knots and the ship receiving kept station on her regard- 
less of which was the guide. Normal transfer was over the port side of 
the ammuntion ship. Only one large ship could be rearmed at a time, 
but two destroyers, escorts, or small vessels could be rearmed simulta- 

Stores ships were stationed in the second fueling line. 2,000 yards 
astern of the first. All ships made approach on the stores ships in order 
to preserve the formation. Position had to be carefully maintained to 
keep proper alinement between the issuing hatch on the stores ship and 
the receiving station on the combatant. Destroyers and small craft kept 
position on provisions ships. All receiving vessels maintained station on 

Expansion of !( At-Sea" Support by Service Squadron 357 

the stores ships because the latter could not in all cases regulate their 
speed closer than one or two turns of the shaft. Immediately after servic- 
ing a task group, the stores ships reported the balance of items on hand 
to the logistic group commander, reporting detailed issues later. 

Fleet tugs operated as part of the logistic train to render salvage 
service to damaged vessels by towing them to places where repairs 
could be made. Unless otherwise directed, two tugs were to be assigned 
to a battleship or carrier, one tug usually to any other disabled ship. 

Describing operations for the capture of Okinawa, the oiler Platte 
reported on the workings of the Logistic Support Group much as has 
already been stated, adding "Four or five oilers formed a line normal to 
the fueling course and spaced 1.500 to 2.000 yards apart. Four ammuni- 
tion ships and a provision ship formed a similar line 2.000 yards astern 
of the oilers. While these ships fueled, provisioned, and rearmed ships 
of Task Force 58. the other oilers of Task Group 50.8 consolidated cargo 
for the return of those emptied to Ulithi. Whenever an oiler became low 
on cargo it would not take 'fueling line.' but instead consolidate. Oilers 
also handled passengers. U. S. mail, patients, drum lube oil. carrier-plane 
belly tanks, and even Japanese prisoners of war. This vessel alone 
transferred and received as many as 50 passengers a day." 

After Iwo the Logistic Support Group 50.8 returned to Ulithi to 
prepare for the next operation. From arrival. 5 March, to departure on 
the 13th, conferences were held with ComFifthFleet, ComServRonTen, 
Commander Fast Carrier Force, and various other commanders. At Ulithi 
the Support Group 'was divided into 4 task units: First Replenishment, 
Second Replenishment. Salvage, and Carrier Transport. Admiral Beary's 
flagship was the old light cruiser Detroit. On departure for sea on 13 
March, after being replenished by Service Squadron Ten, the group 
totaled 1 light cruiser. 16 oilers. 4 ammunition ships. 4 fleet tugs. 2 
airplane transports. 2 escort carriers. 12 destroyers, and 7 destroyer 
escorts. The first fueling at sea for the Okinawa operation commenced 
16 March, when the support groups rendezvoused with units of fast car- 
rier force, servicing it from 4 divisions, 3 of which had 4 oilers and an 
ammunition ship, the other 3 oilers and an ammunition ship. 

Three days later, on the 19th, came the salvage unit's first call, when 
Task Unit 50.8.3. the tugs Cree. Ute, Munsee, and Sioux, with screen, 
was sent to the area southeast of Kyushu to help the carrier Franklin, 
seriously damaged by enemy aircraft bombs. The carrier was taken in 
tow by the heavy cruiser Pittsburgh at the scene, but by the following 
day had regained enough power to proceed without assistance. The 

358 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

tugs reversed course, steamed away, and rejoined Task Group 50.8. 

For the first complete replenishment on 22 March the carrier force had 
been reorganized into three groups to allow the Wasp, Enterprise, Franklin, 
and Santa Fe to return to Ulithi for repairs. Commander Task Force 58 
reported "a very busy day was spent fueling, provisioning, replenishing 
ammunition, and receiving replacement aircraft and pilots." This caused 
the British liaison officer on the staff of Commander Task Force 58 to 
remark that "it was during this first replenishment period that he became 
fully aware of the versatility, power, and efficiency of the United States 
Pacific Fleet." 

On the 26th the cargo ship Mercury arrived from Ulithi to join the 
group for provisions replacement. On this first day she transferred 37 
tons of fresh and 17 tons of other provisions to Task Group 58.1. On 
rejoining Task Group 50.8 at the end of the day she received the follow- 
ing message from the group commander: "Your commendable perform- 
ance in your initial replenishment operation is noted with pleasure." 
From that time until detached 12 May to return to Ulithi, the Mercury 
operated with Task Group 50.8. Transfer of cargo was slow because she 
was equipped with only one transfer whip on each side. Carrier-force 
commanding officers felt she should have had more whips. Toward the 
end of the Okinawa campaign increased efficiency in transferring stores 
under way decreased the time necessary for the replenishing ship to re- 
main alongside. For example, the Pittsburgh took 21 tons of ship's stores 
and provisions in 55 minutes while a destroyer was taking stores simul- 
taneously on the other side of the supply ship. 

As other Fifth Fleet units approached the objective during the last 
week in March the Logistic Support Group ceased to operate solely with 
the carrier force. Two oilers, Cowanesque and Atascosa, left Ulithi with 
Minecraft Task Group 52.3 on 19 March. After fueling the mine vessels 
on the 2 2d, the oilers and two destroyer escorts proceeded to rendezvous 
with another mine group, Task Group 52.4. After fueling it, the two 
oilers reported to Commander Task Group 50.8 on the 24th, spent 
several days with the carrier force, and separated, Atascosa going to 
Kerama Retto with the first tanker group to enter the newly acquired 
anchorage, and Cowanesque joining a group leaving to fuel the escort 
carriers of Task Group 52.1. Both tankers reported back to Commander 
Task Group 50. 8 on 1 April from their respective assignments and then 
went to Ulithi for fresh cargo. This was typical of the procedure followed 
throughout the operation. 

The Logistic Support Group performed additional service as a relay 

Expansion of"At-Sea" Support by Service Squadron 359 

and waiting station for ships of all types proceeding to the rear and from 
it to units in the combat area. Twelve ammunition ships came forward 
with the oiler shuttle units of Task Group 50.8 up to 28 May, and oper- 
ated with the group until called for by Admiral Turner, Commander 
Task Force 51. These ships were then included in the next regular oiler 
shuttle unit dispatched to Okinawa. Empty ammunition and other logis- 
tics ships were routed to the rear area via Task Group 50.8, using return- 
ing shuttle units from Okinawa. Combatant ships reporting to Task 
Force 58 also made rendezvous with the Logistic Support Group and 
remained in company until they could join their assigned units on 
replenishment days. A total of five cruisers, one small carrier, two 
cruisers, and eight destroyers joined Task Force 58 this way. 

Three carriers, one small carrier, two cruisers, and eight destroyers of 
Task Force 58, forced to withdraw by battle damage, joined with the 
Logistic Support Group, which serviced them as far as possible, after 
which they sailed under special escort to Guam or Ulithi. In one instance 
in which a combat destroyer had no officer left qualified to command, 
a relief commanding officer was supplied by the group. This was the 
case of the Hazlewood, hit by a suicide plane. Lieutenant D. N. Morey,Jr., 
of the Buchanan took her to Ulithi. 

On 5 April the oilers Escalante and Ashtabula, going to Ulithi for re- 
loading, were both in collision with the seaplane tender Thornton. The 
oilers sustained only minor damage; the tug Munsee went to the tender's 
assistance. Next day the oiler Neches, on a fueling assignment at Kerama 
Retto, secured a direct hit on an enemy plane, which was observed to 
disintegrate. On the 16th the oiler Taluga sustained a suicide attack by 
a plane believed to be a "Zeke," the Japanese Navy fighter. The result- 
ing fires were extinguished and repairs completed in the forward area. 
She was the only oiler to suffer battle damage during the Okinawa 
operation. On the 8th, approaching Kerama, the destroyer Gillespie of 
the Logistic Support Group, escorting the Thornton, towed by the 
Munsee, was attacked by four Kamikazes, two of which the destroyer 
shot down. The remaining two did not attempt to attack. 

Fuels and Lubricants. The fuel required for the Okinawa operation far 
exceeded that consumed during any previous campaign. This large con- 
sumption was the result of the many ships employed and an increase in 
their endurance at sea because of under- way replenishment facilities of 
Service Squadron Six. During a 3-week peak period in April the services 
of 39 oilers were required, making total daily issues averaging 167,000 -$ 
barrels of fuel oil and 385,000 gallons of gasoline to the fleet carrier force 










Expansion of (t At-Sea" Support by Service Squadron 361 

alone. With the program of rotation of one group of Task Force 58 to 
Ulithi for 10 days availability and replenishment, commencing 27 April, 
and the reduction of the number of combatant ships operating with the 
Joint Expeditionary Force (Task Force 51) after the latter part of April, 
the daily over-all consumption of fuel oil was reduced from about 
220,000 barrels to approximately 140,000. 

Fleet oiler schedules were established prior to sortie from Ulithi. The 
original schedule, providing that five full oilers leave from Ulithi every 
4 days, was modified to two full oilers every 3 days. Fuel supply at the 
objective was ample at all times. Once, toward the end of the period of 
highest sustained daily averages, the supply at Ulithi was exhausted, but 
sufficient fuel was on hand at sea in fleet oilers to prevent interruption of 

Aviation gasoline and aviation lubricating oil consumed was also 
materially greater than in any previous operation. Formerly the stand- 
ard load of 20 drums of lubricating oil on each fleet oiler adequately 
met carrier requirements. As the operation extended, each oiler had to 
carry 75 drums. Continued demand for it, and an average issue of 80 
drums daily over a period of 1 month prompted a directive requiring 
that fleet oilers leave port with an initial load of 150 drums. 

The oilers carried numerous other items in addition to their regular 
cargoes. They provided gasoline drop tanks, depth charges, arbors, am- 
munition, dry stores, medical stores, mail, replacement personnel, and 
passengers, as previously stated. All could be transferred while vessels 
were alongside for fueling. At Okinawa, until supplies were available 
from provisions and stores ships, fleet oilers were stripped of all stores 
and supplies in excess of bare essentials for the return to Ulithi. From 
17 March to 27 May the fuel oil, Diesel oil, and aviation gasoline issued 
by Task Group 50.8 for replenishment at sea and own use was 8,745,000 
barrels of fuel oil, 259,000 barrels of Diesel oil, and 21,477,000 gallons of 
aviation gasoline. This consumption decreased from 28 May to 11 June 
to 1,388,000 barrels of black oil, 64,000 of Diesel, and 4,096,000 gallons 
of aviation gasoline. 

On the 11th, after Task Group 30.6 (antisubmarine group) was 
serviced, Commander Task Group 30.8* retired to port. Thereafter 
logistic support was limited to shuttle groups from Ulithi, consisting 
of three fleet oilers every 5 days servicing Task Group 32.1 (carriers 
and aircraft of amphibious support force) and then reporting to 

*On May 28th the Fifth Fleet became the Third Fleet and the numerical designations 
changed by substituting a "three" for the first digit "five" in the Fifth Fleet designations. 

362 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

Commander Service Squadron Ten Fuel Representative for duty at the 
objective. On 28 June this service was assumed by Commander Service 
Squadron Ten, marking the end of logistic support rendered by Task 
Group 30.8. Commander Third Fleet's diary spoke of this in the follow- 
ing words: "Due to the departure of Task Force 38 from the operating 
area in the vicinity of Okinawa, certain units of the Logistic Support 
Group were also withdrawn and steps were initiated between Com- 
mander Service Squadron Ten (ComTask Group 30.9), Commander 
Service Squadron Six (ComTask Group 30.8), and Commander Marianas 
for the establishment of regular resupply convoys to care for the logistic 
needs of forces in the Okinawa area." 

Ammunition. Of all the difficulties of logistics afloat, ammunitioning 
at sea is the most dangerous, but with the high degree of success 
achieved during the Okinawa operation, fairly complete logistic support 
under way had proved practical. Only the fast carrier groups received 
ammunition at sea from the Logistic Support Group. 

In rearming at sea, where time is at a premium and unnecessary ship 
movements must be kept at a minimum, larger ships cannot "shop" 
from one ammunition carrier to another to obtain all their requirements. 
It was soon apparent that when only one ammunition ship accompanied 
the support group to service one particular task group, those ships with 
50 percent or more of their allowance expended found it impossible to 
obtain a balanced reload. Because of variety in size and weights, and its 
general nature, ammunition was not adaptable to cargo consolidation in 
the operation area, not forgetting the danger involved, and so the carry- 
ing and issuing capacity of a single ammunition ship was often below 
requirements. Admiral Beary therefore considered that four ammunition 
ships with balanced cargoes were needed on the servicing line to render 
more complete rearming service. 

There were frequent changes in the types of ammunition required. 
Alterations in the fleet issue load did not always solve this problem, 
For instance, initially 100-pound bombs were in great demand. This 
was due to heavy strikes on aircraft and airfield installations in the 
Empire by fighter planes. Following landing operations there was a 
great increase in the number of rockets issued. At all times aircraft and 
antiaircraft ammunition was used in considerable quantities. Main 
battery ammunition had to be carried by the ammunition' ships of 50.8, 
but for the most part was restricted in use, since shore bombardment 
was principally the duty of the fire-support ships operating under Task 
Force 51. They were replenished at Kerama Retto. 

Expansion of^At-Sea" Support by Service Squadron 363 

During the early part of the operation a critical shortage of depth 
charges developed. This was met by loading approximately 100 depth 
charges on each of 3 transport carriers, and a standard load was estab- 
lished for all oilers, which carried 27 complete depth charges and 17 
arbors. The frequent arrival of oilers assured adequate quantities of both. 
This became the most practical manner of rearming destroyers with 
depth charges, for at the same time tankers carried extra ammunition for 
limited issue to them. These ^extra sides" allowed larger ships more 
time alongside ammunition carriers. 

From past experience it was considered that attempts to service two 
large vessels simultaneously from one ammunition ship reduced the 
transfers to both ships to an undesirable point. Ammunitioning of a 
large ship and an antiaircraft light cruiser or destroyer at the same time 
proved more practical. Jeeps were delivered from the deck of an am- 
munition ship to a carrier. Airplane engines were also transferred. As 
a result, each ammunition ship carried a standard load of six. 

From 22 March to 27 May the five ammunition ships of Service Squad- 
ron Six— Wrangell, Shasta, Lassen, Mauna Loa, and Vesuvius— in a total 
of 106 days servicing, delivered a daily average of 143 tons, making a 
total of 15,159 tons. The Firedrake issued small amounts of HVAR 
rockets only and is not included above. Likewise, Las Vegas Victory made 
some experimental issues during this period which are not included. Her 
rate of transfer did not compare with that of the others because of 
smaller handling crews and inferior equipment. 

The types of ammunition issued 22 March-27 May indicate the de- 
mands: 77,482 5-inch, 38-caliber projectiles; 34,773 5-inch rockets; 119 
2,000-pound bombs, G. P.; 65 1,000-pound bombs, G. P.; 280 1,000- 
pound bombs, G. P.; 100 500-pound bombs, S. A. P.; 3,671 250-pound 
bombs, G. P.; 234 1,000-pound bombs, S. A. P.; 19,297 500-pound 
bombs, G. P.; 18,579 100-pound bombs, G. P.; 83 torpedoes A/C; 810 
depth charges; 289 arbors. In 3 days the Lassen issued 342 tons, the 
Vesuvius 233, and the Shasta 236 tons of explosives, the latter two in 4 
days each. We were learning the technique of ammunitioning at sea. 

Aviation Logistics. Four carrier transports (CVET's)— the Attu, 
Admiralty Islands, Bougainville, and Windham Bay— were assigned to 
the Logistic Support Group to deliver replacement planes and aircrews 
for the fast carrier force. During the early stages of the operation, plane 
requirements would have exceeded the supply available from these four 
had it not been that planes from carriers put out of action were used. A 
few shortages occurred later, but this represented a deficiency of plane 

364 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

models on hand in the forward area rather than of the total number. 

An important development in plane deliveries at sea was the suc- 
cessful transfer of several Kingfisher observation scouts. It was found 
that one or two of this type could be loaded aboard without inter- 
fering with catapult operations of carrier planes. When the CVET's 
rendezvoused with the support group, cranes lowered the planes into 
the water. They taxied up to the cruiser Detroit, which catapulted them 
for further delivery. 

Whenever it was determined that a surplus of a particular plane model 
existed, ComFifth Fleet was informed, to make the planes at sea avail- 
able for the best use of the fleet, and to expedite the return of the carrier 
transport to Guam for reloading. In this way several deliveries of excess 
plane models were made to the escort carriers of Task Group 52.1 operat- 
ing in close support of the amphibious landings and ground action on 
Okinawa. Once, however, the Attn made a special trip and delivered 76 
planes to that task group. At the beginning of the operation, aircraft 
supplies were carried aboard a stores ship. This soon proved impractical, 
and the stores were transferred to a CVET, which made them more 
accessible to the carriers. 

Besides being carried by the CVET's, drop tanks were available from 
fleet oilers. Task-group commanders preferred delivery of belly drop 
tanks from the latter because this eliminated double transfers from trans- 
port to operating carriers by destroyers, and better use of time while 
fueling alongside the oilers. The carrier transports were better used for 
delivering certain critical types of drop tanks available at Guam where 
the oilers seldom went (the oilers reloaded at Ulithi) and were also 
used to supplement temporary shortages on oilers. Corsair pylon tanks 
and 150-gallon Universal tanks were scarce throughout the operation, 
and it became necessary for Commander Task Force 58 to allocate them 
between the task groups. 

Delivery of aircraft engines at sea was made by the Lassen. Transfer of 
this weight (3,500 pounds) and cube (225 cubic feet) demonstrated that 
every aviation item except wings could be delivered at sea. Delivery of 
three jeeps to the Bunker Hill was made to replace three others lost 
because of a flight-deck plane crash. 

Commander Fast Carrier Task Group No. 1 (Commander Task Group 
58.1) reported that procurement of aeronautical spare parts presented a 
definite problem. Carriers generally submitted their requirements to the 
task-group commander the day before fueling. The list of items was then 
forwarded to each CVET and to Commander Logistic Support Group. 

Expansion of ff At-Sea" Support by Service Squadron 365 

What the former could not supply, he requested from Commander Air- 
craft Pacific, Subordinate Command, Forward Area, but the time between 
originating the request and receiving the material was often too great. 
It was the commander of this task group who recommended that each 
oiler carry 75 fighter drop tanks to eliminate the transfers from a CVET 
via a destroyer. 

Provisions and General Stores. The cargo ship Mercury joined the sup- 
port group 26 March to provision the fast carrier force with fresh, frozen, 
and dry food, general stores, ship's store stock, clothing, and small stores. 
Her cargo proved adequate for the first part of the operation because for 
the first 35 days few ships needed food. The time arrived, however, when 
all began running low at once, and beyond the ability of one stores ship 
to replenish. To meet this situation oilers were deckloaded with staples 
for issue while on the fueling line. Admiral Beary stated that if ships 
had replenished to capacity whenever the opportunity presented instead 
of allowing dry provisions to run low and taking only when in actual 
need, and if in addition larger ships had topped off dry stores earlier in 
the operation, the Mercury could have provisioned in half the working 
days actually required. He felt it was poor policy to hold a ship carrying 
half fresh and half dry provisions in order to issue dry after all fresh 
cargo had been exhausted. At the same time it was admitted that ship- 
ping space was wasted if a vessel returned to reload fresh provisions 
with the bulk of its dry provisions intact. He believed that in the long 
run forces receiving provisions would gain by drawing fresh and dry in 
a more balanced measure. 

The Mercury made issues until she was relieved by the Aldebaran on 9 
May. Fleet oilers continued bringing provisions in limited quantities. 
The tonnage transferred by ship from March to 27 May was: Mercury, 
29 service days, 275 tons refrigerated, 2,500 tons dry; Aldebaran, 8 days, 
1,350 tons refrigerated, 560 dry; fleet oilers, 36 days, 277 tons refriger- 
ated, 672 dry. Totals: 1,902 tons refrigerated, 3,732 dry. From 26 May to 
11 June, the Aldebaran issued in 8 servicing days 305 tons of refriger- 
ated and 146 dry, the fleet oilers in the same period, 59 tons refrigerated, 
127 tons dry, making totals of 364 tons refrigerated and 273 dry. 

Although ship's store supplies consumed were but a fraction in com- 
parison to the total weight of provisions issued, the quantities on a man- 
day basis were very large, indicating the scale of our operations 
and forces. For instance, more than 27,000,000 packages of cigarettes and 
1,200,000 candy bars were issued between 14 March and 27 May. Includ- 
ing the cigarettes and candy, the ship's stores stock issued during this 

214075 O-F-53 25 

366 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

period was: Mercury, 29 servicing days, 334 tons; Aldebaran, 8 days, 113 
tons; fleet oilers, 36 days, 58 tons. From the 28th to 11 June the 
Aldebaran gave out 57 tons and the oilers 13. 

Rear Admiral Beary reported that with stores ships and oilers carry- 
ing such adequate stocks of ship's stores, the especially prepared 
"pack-up units" of selected items packaged for immediate transfer in 8 
cubic feet, 200-pound units received little demand. Issues of these units 
were made chiefly when no other source was available, and to small craft 
at the objective before adequate bulk supplies arrived. In clothing and 
small stores items there was steady demand for socks, dungarees, cham- 
bray shirts, undershirts, and nainsook drawers. Prepackaged clothing 
units were also in small demand, as stores ships carried required' items 
which were easily transferred during provisioning operations. 

The amount of general stores available in the operating area was 
limited to the special load of approximately 100 items aboard the 
Mercury and quantities available from the regular allowance of oilers 
and carrier transports within the support group. Items not handled by 
these sources were ordered from Guam and Ulithi, delivery being 
handled in the same manner as any other freight. The 100 or so items 
on the cargo ships were mostly consumable goods, such as rags, soaps, 
toilet paper, cups, bowls, etc., with some special articles such as line, 
wire rope, flags, lamps, and fuses. Few large ships found it necessary to 
draw general stores, but there were continuing demands from destroyers. 
As the operation progressed, loadings of general stores were altered on 
the basis of requests and past experience. 

Towing and Salvage. During the heavy strikes against Japan by Task 
Force 58, fleet tugs with fire-fighting teams aboard moved forward along 
the retirement course of Task Force 58 to be in a more strategic position 
should their services be required. In the latter stages the operating area 
of the Logistic Support Group was close enough to that of the task force 
to make this unnecessary. Fortunately the calls for tugs from the fast 
carrier force were few, which made possible the loan of two to Task 
Force 51 at the objective, where their services for towing were in 

Mail. All first-class, registered, and officer mail for each task group 
was loaded on Task Group 50.8 oilers at Ulithi, the oiler with the mail 
being placed on the fuel line when the proper fast carrier group or 
groups were serviced. Standard practice placed the mail oilers on the 
left end of the fuel line. The flagship of the group, serviced from that 
oiler, arranged for mail distribution by destroyers within the group. 

Expansion of rr At-Sea" Support by Service Squadron 567 

Outgoing mail for other task groups and elsewhere was put aboard 
the oilers on the line by all ships being serviced, and the shuttle 
schedule of oilers between Ulithi and the fueling area provided a steady 
flow of mail in both directions. 

After the capture of air fields on Okinawa, mail was flown in, but fleet 
oilers continued to deliver most of the passengers and freight. Mail 
handled by the air bases on Okinawa during the operation ran to fig- 
ures as follows: April, incoming 322,819, outgoing 174,886 pounds; 
May, incoming 541,406, outgoing 564,000 pounds, June, incoming 
418,161, outgoing 504,855 pounds. Parcel post and second class was not 
delivered at sea, though Rear Admiral J. J. Clark, commanding Task 
Group 58.1, felt that with the number of service ships meeting fleet 
units under way, the important morale-building influence of mail should 
not be limited to first-class and air mail. 

Passengers and Replacement Personnel. Both officer and enlisted passengers 
ordered to specific ships and commands were transferred in much the 
same manner as mail, except that personnel often arrived on all the 
ships of a shuttle unit. This necessitated a great deal of errand running 
by destroyers and much rigging and unrigging of breeches buoys for "at 
sea" transfer until the men finally reached their destination in the fleet. 

During the first 6 weeks of Okinawa, until the fast carriers began 
returning to Ulithi for rotation, approximately 40 unassigned enlisted 
personnel came out in each tanker. Most of these men held rates; the 
commander of the task group being serviced was notified of the number 
and ratings available in each oiler for transfer. The greatest demand, 
however, was for nonrated men, and not enough were available. Supply 
of replacement personnel at sea marked the beginning of what was 
hoped to be the culmination of an effort to keep ships engaged in ex- 
tensive combat operations at full battle strength. Nonrated men, along 
with radio technicians, shorthand yeomen, and radiomen constituted the 
greatest need. 

Between 14 March and 27 May fleet oilers carried to the objective 
13,501 bags of mail, 1,064 officer and enlisted personnel-passengers, and 
988 replacement enlisted personnel. From 28 May to 11 June the 
figures were 1,897 bags of mail, 176 passengers, and 44 replacement 
enlisted personnel. 

Rear Admiral Beary, on the basis of experience gained during the 
Okinawa campaign, made recommendations concerning mail, pas- 
sengers, replacement personnel, and freight services, indicating that the 
activity forwarding mail to the operating area should be made informa- 

368 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

tion addressee on all dispatches concerning changes in composition of 
task groups of the fast carrier forces. Offices of activities handling mail, 
personnel, and freight must, he said, maintain close liaison with opera- 
tions to avoid misdirection. Second-class mail should be forwarded for 
delivery at sea, as receipt of magazines and packages decidely improves 
morale. Where possible, personnel under orders to specific ships or com- 
mands should be grouped aboard oilers in the same manner as mail. 
Finally, Service Squadron Six should be an addressee on regular dis- 
patches to post offices concerning holding or forwarding of mail in the 
forward and objective areas. 

Movie-Exchange Facilities. Commander Service Squadron Six did not 
run a movie exchange in the true sense of the term. However, he did 
afford ample opportunity to trade films between ships. The Detroit, 
flagship of the Logistic Support Group, carried from 15 to 25 prints 
available always for exchange. The stock of pictures was continually 
renewed and expanded by the frequent shuttles of oiler groups, together 
with shipments of more than 30 new prints to the support group from 
Service Squadron Ten. These were divided among the task groups of 
Task Force 58. 

And thus did Service Squadron Six still further develop the Navy's 
logistics afloat. 


Support Activities at Leyte-Samar 

Service Squadron Ten Main Body Moves to San Pedro 
Bay— Naval Bases on Leyte-Samar— Reorganization 

of Service Squadron Ten— Dysentery in Fleet 

Anchorage— Service Force Pacific Absorbs 

Service Force Seventh Fleet 

The war diary of Commander Fifth Fleet for 18 March 1945 
contains the following notation regarding fleet support as action 
moved westward: 

"CinCPac advised ComFifthFleet that . . . development of the Leyte-Samar Naval 
Base will proceed as a matter of highest priority to replace Ulithi prior to the advent 
of the typhoon season; a major portion of ServRonTen and principal advanced base 
facilities will be retained at Ulithi until May and then transferred to Leyte-Samar . . . 
facilities at Ulithi ashore and afloat will be maintained for the support of merchant 
shipping, escorts, and occasional combatant units."' 

Following this, much earnest investigation, discussion, and thought 
were expended in determining the best anchorage area for Service Squad- 
ron Ten in the Philippines. The Gulf of Leyte was a very exposed area 
for the barges, boats, docks, and other paraphernalia of the squadron, yet 
it did not have open sea room enough for craft which would get under 
way to ride out a blow. Casiguran Bay on the east coast of Luzon seemed 
ideal in many ways. It was well protected by four- and five-hundred-foot 
hills to seaward— big enough, yet narrow enough, to prevent the form- 
ing of heavy swells. A survey party was sent to make a complete report 
on it, and as luck would have it a lone Japanese plane made a pass at the 
vessel. When this was known the balance of high opinion turned against 


370 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

using it, and San Pedro Bay in the Gulf of Leyte was selected, notwith- 
standing the favoring of Casiguran by Commander Fifth Fleet and 
Commander Service Squadron Ten. This decision was influenced 
considerably by the fact that we were already committed to building a 
large shore base on Samar in the Gulf, and did not want to divert any 
Seabees to Casiguran to construct an airfield there. The squadron com- 
mander felt that a jeep carrier could furnish the necessary cover, but it 
was felt by the high command that none could be spared. So the fleet 
anchorage was to be San Pedro Bay, Leyte. 

For the first half of May there was an average of slightly more than 
600 ships at Ulithi. Service Squadron Ten units kept busy servicing them. 
Dry provisions were issued by the concrete Lignite and other provisions 
ships and from three merchant ships— the Cape Ducato, Midwest Farmer, 
and Cape San Bias. Fresh and frozen came from the merchantman 
Matchless and the Lignite, while the Quartz issued general, small, and 
canteen stores. Many ships were served by the ammunition depart- 
ment, cargoes were consolidated, torpedoes overhauled, the Amador and 
Bluefield Victory made available for general issues at Leyte, the Shasta 
reloaded for Task Force 58, and 11 LST's sent to Kerama with bombard- 
ment ammunition. 

Maintenance work continued at its usual heavy schedule. The repair 
ship Ajax made damage repairs to the Tennessee, the heavy-hull repair 
shvp Jason made repairs and alterations on the Missouri, and other main- 
tenance vessels, including the Mindanao, Tutuila, Vulcan, and Hector, 
carried their usual load. Merchant tankers arrived from the coast and the 
Panama Canal; fueling the fleet was a continuing job in port. Navy 
tankers came from at-sea fueling with remnant loads to be consolidated, 
and to have their tanks refilled from the merchant tankers, which sailed 
for more as soon as empty. The drydocks docked a never-ending stream 
of vessels, inspecting and overhauling sea valves, making rudder repairs, 
adjusting and repairing sound gear, and doing miscellaneous under- 
water work. The units included four 3,500-ton floating docks, 
ARD's-15-18-23 and 25, the 1,900-ton AFDL-32, and the 1,000-ton 

In the midst of all that activity, towing convoys were prepared for 
transporting non-self-propelled equipment from Ulithi to San Pedro , 
Bay. This also meant adjustment in scheduling of services after the de- 
parture of that equipment. The hooking-up of tows was not so worri- 
some and tedious this time as it had been at Eniwetok, for now more 
towing bridles, wire, swivels, and the like were on hand and more tugs 

Support Activities at Leyte—Samar 371 

were available. The first towing convoy left Ulithi 7 May in 10 strings, 
each tug towing two service units, all valuable. It arrived in San Pedro 
Bay 13 May, the convoy commander, Commander G. S. Higginbotham 
of the U. S. S. Albert W. Grant, reporting the voyage "completed with- 
out incident, the weather clear except for light squalls, wind gentle to 
moderate, sea calm." This was ideal weather for the ungainly tows, for 
though the voyage was not so long as from Eniwetok to Ulithi, it was 
900 miles at about 6 knots through waters even more dangerous from 
typhoons and enemy. 

On 19 May another towing convoy departed— 9 towing vessels with 
2 service units each, 18 in all; 4 hotel barges, 3 concretes, a 3,000-ton 
ARD, a 1,000- ton drydock, 2 repair barges, an oil barge, and 6 barges of 
food and other stores. All reached the new base safely. Accompanying 
the tows and acting as retrievers in case of breakdowns or as dispatch 
boats for transfer of sick or emergency purposes were 4 YTB harbor tugs. 
There were also 2 garbage lighters, 1 gasoline barge, 1 oil barge, and 1 
degaussing vessel. All arrived safely 24 May at San Pedro Bay. 

Just as our towing vessels were more numerous and towing gear more 
plentiful than formerly, so our mooring facilities in Leyte were better. 
Captain S. B. Ogden, Squadron Ten's Representative A at Leyte, reported 
in his war diary for 22 May "considerable harbor work done in laying 
moorings and boat strings to receive boats and non-self-propelled equip- 
ment of Service Squadron Ten expected to arrive this area within a few 

On the 21st, 10 merchant provision ships arrived from Ulithi, and on 
the 25th, 22 supply and ammunition ships and 5 merchant vessels. 

On 27 May 15 more ships arrived from Ulithi, among them several of 
the big tenders and repair ships. Service Squadron Ten was almost ready 
to take on its full load again after transfer of its main body to a new base, 
without ever completely stopping service. 

On 24 May Commodore Carter with some of his staff left Ulithi in 
the Ocelot, the former Yomachichi, built at Tampa in 1919 and taken over 
by the Navy and commissioned 2 October 1943 as a barracks ship. Before 
leaving, Carter designated Captain O. A. Kneeland, commanding the 
destroyer tender Prairie, as Representative Commander Service Squadron 
Ten at Ulithi and Administrative Senior Officer Present Afloat, to 
supervise activities there. 

The Ocelot had one of the early Diesel installations and was not too 
reliable. At first all went well, but on the evening of the 27th the lubri- 
cating system of her main engine broke down and she dropped speed 


Support Activities at Leyte—Samar 373 

from 10.5 to 7.6 knots. At 9:20 p. m. she had to stop to repair No. 2 
cylinder of the main engine, and after 20 minutes went ahead at 8.6 
knots. At 2:05 a. m. she stopped again because of loss of lubricating- 
oil pressure and for an hour lay to, a sitting duck for any roving 
Japanese submarine that might have chanced upon her. 

With the exception of the 100 percent cooperation of her officers and 
crew, it can be said here that the Ocelot was hardly the vessel the squad- 
ron commander would have chosen for his flagship. Commander Service 
Squadron Ten had the largest staff afloat in the Pacific, with several 
hundred ships and floating equipment under his operational control. 
The ship had been fitted out for flagship duties as far as her limited space 
and antique design permitted. The very large amount of radio and 
visual signal traffic the service job required had taken up much space 
topside and in the superstructure for radio and coding rooms, to say 
nothing of the berthing space required for personnel. The squadron 
commander, a group of his key staff officers, and their enlisted men 
took up more space. The flag office was in the forward hold. While it 
had some extra ventilation, it was not good, and at times personnel 
employed there had to knock off and go up on deck for fresh air. There 
was no clear deck space of any consequence topside, and the berthing 
spaces of everyone, including the senior officers, were small and hot. 
Though far from adequate, she had to be used. The squadron commander 
had to work with the tools at hand. 

To lie broken down and wallowing at sea between Ulithi and Leyte 
was not a situation the high planners had visualized. The squadron com- 
mander, whose quarters adjoined the main exhaust, had been getting his 
sleep to the "huff and puff" accompaniment of the old engine, and it 
was not too restful. Now that the engine had stopped for repairs, a few 
minutes sounder sleep seemed likely. It was at this time, however, that 
the messenger of the officer of the deck reported the mishap and asked 
for instructions. The squadron commander's satirical reply to this almost 
unanswerable but sleep-disturbing query was "Get out the oars!" Some- 
how the sweating engineers patched up the damage, and after wallow- 
ing an hour, the Spotted Cat, as she was dubbed because of her camou- 
flage, got underway again, reaching San Pedro Bay the next day. 

Naval-Base Plans, Leyte-Samar Area. After three days of bombardment 
by Navy ships and planes, the initial landings had been made on Leyte 
Island in the face of light enemy resistance the morning of 20 October 
1944. Within 24 hours, Tacloban, provincial capital of the province, and 
its adjoining airstrip had been secured. On the morning of the 22d, naval 

374 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

headquarters for shore-based naval activities had been established in 
Tacloban in buildings which, prior to Japanese occupation of the island, 
had been the provincial hospital. Naval personnel were temporarily 
housed in abandoned warehouses fronting the municipal docks, and in 
houses in the hospital area. 

Carefully worked out plans for the naval base in the area proved 
useless when it was discovered that about 80 percent of the land alotted 
to the Navy was swamp and rice paddies. An entirely new location had 
to be sought. Reconnaissance on foot and from the air revealed that the 
beach area from Basey, Samar, west, directly across San Juanico Strait 
from Tacloban, contained considerable acreage of promising land. By the 
time negotiations were completed for securing this section from the 
Army, the 75th and 105th Construction Battalions had landed at 
Tacloban. Their removal across the Strait was necessarily slow and labo- 
rious. By early November the rainy season had set in in earnest. Soil 
conditions were the worst imaginable; any kind of rock or gravel sur- 
facing material was nonexistent. Commodore Angas, in charge of the 
3rd Construction Brigade, visited the area and said that the mud was 
"even worse than Camododo," the south coast of Milne Bay where in 
developing the base 400,000 cubic yards of sticky water-soaked gumbo 
had been moved. 

By mid-November it was evident that the rains would soon bring 
construction to a standstill. Jeeps, trucks, bulldozers, and other mobile 
equipment bogged down and frequently had to be abandoned because 
of the mud. Up to this time the Army had been able to develop only 
one satisfactory airstrip on Leyte, on Cataisan Point. Rear Admiral 
Wagner, Commander Aircraft Seventh Fleet, present in the seaplane 
tender Currituck, was insistent that a naval airstrip capable of taking 
heavy bombers must be built in the Gulf area as an absolute tactical 
necessity. The urgency of providing proper naval air facilities prompted 
an engineering reconnaisance of the southeastern peninsula of Samar, 
the Guiuan district, which was reported to have an abundance of live 
coral available for surfacing and road construction. The report of this 
reconnaissance was so- encouraging that Wagner requested that construc- 
tion of the airstrip begin immediately. It was also recommended to 
Commander Seventh Fleet that major naval-base construction be trans- 
ferred to the same area. ' 

On 9 December Admiral Kinkaid concurred, issuing a general order 
to that effect. Construction in the San Antonio-Basey district of Samar 
was abandoned and construction battalions camped there moved to the 

Support Activities at Leyte—Samar 375 

Guiuan Peninsula as rapidly as possible. Subsequent survey parties 
developed the availability of Manicani Island for ship repair facilities, 
and of Calicoan Island for construction of docks and warehouses. 

This complete change of plans made it evident that the main naval 
activities would be centered in the Guiuan region, but because of the 
limited number of anchorages in close proximity to it, it was equally 
apparent that a majority of the fleet units would continue to anchor in 
San Pedro Bay. Because of this it was decided to build limited naval 
facilities in Tacloban to provide some kind of service for them. 

On Christmas Day, 1944, Commander Seventh Fleet established the 
U. S. Naval Operating Base, Leyte Gulf, and designated Captain S. B. 
Robinson as temporary commandant. On the same day naval activities 
around Guiuan were specified as U. S. Naval Station, Samar, with 
Captain R. M. Fortson as commanding officer. Naval activities in the 
San Pedro Bay area, including San Antonio, Samar; Tacloban, Leyte; and 
Tolosa, Leyte; were designated as U. S. Naval Shore Facilities, with 
Commander R. C. Mcllvaine commanding officer. The airstrip on 
Guiuan was officially named Naval Air Center, Captain J. M. Shoemaker 

The Naval Operating Base, Leyte Gulf, was to be a major base in the 
Philippines, so equipped and operated as to provide effective and ade- 
quate support and service to United States and Allied naval forces oper- 
ating in that theater: As a subordinate commander of Service Force 
Seventh Fleet, the commandant was directed to conduct and supervise in 
the Leyte Gulf area general services to the Seventh Fleet and attached 
units. To insure full coordination of all logistic facilities both afloat and 
ashore, they were placed under the commandant's operational control. 
He was designated Commander Task Group 72.7. 

Support of Seventh Fleet Operations. The war diary of Commander Service 
Force Seventh Fleet records that "Planning for the Lingayen operation, 
the largest invasion in the Philippine area, was begun as early as Octo- 
ber 1944 . . . Initially, the invasion force was to be supplied from New 
Guinea and the Manus bases, with resupply established on a regular 
schedule from Leyte, Mindoro, and Lingayen in the days immediately 
preceding and following the invasion. In addition it would be necessary 
to fuel at sea practically the entire transport groups and their screens. 
These plans were all predicated on a target date of 20 December. How- 
ever, the target date was later changed to 9 January, causing some slight 
modifications to the original plans. These modifications largely resulted 
in greater use of Leyte as a logistic and staging center for the operation, 

376 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

but did not affect the intactness of the service force units previously set 
up to handle the logistic requirements of the operation. These merely 
remained at anchor, completely loaded, waiting for the new date. On 
5 January these units started moving within the Philippine area. On 
9 January the invasion took place and its success was immediately 

These are quotations to be remembered, for it is quite apparent that 
notwithstanding the plans for big base development and its mission, at 
the end of 2% months after the Leyte landings the facility was still of so 
little use to the fleet in its greatest amphibious operations to date as to 
be negligible. Had entire dependence for logistics rested upon the shore 
base facilities, the assault would have had to be postponed to a much 
later date. Fortunately the floating mobile logistics were available. 

On 22 February 1945, Captain J. H. Jacobson— promoted to commo- 
dore 14 April — assumed command as Commandant, Naval Operating 
Base, Leyte Gulf. During the month, construction throughout the Gulf 
had pushed ahead though handicapped by weather, lack of construction- 
battalion personnel, and insufficient material and equipment. Progress 
on the airstrip was satisfactory. Transient personnel, as well as snip's 
company personnel, continued to present a problem in housing, but 
makeship arrangements made it possible to provide some sort of shelter 
for all coming ashore. Assignment of the barracks ships APL-17 and 
APL-19 to Leyte Gulf proved of great aid in relieving the berthing 
situation at this critical time. 

Welfare and Recreation. The fleet recreation facilities in Leyte Gulf were 
used to the full during June. The presence of numerous units of the 
Third Fleet— battleships, cruisers, carriers, and escort forces— increased 
the liberty parties beyond all previous records. At both San Antonio and 
Osmena Fleet Recreation Centers the fleet, to avoid congestion and yet 
give as many men as possible an opportunity to get off their ships, 
scheduled liberty parties in two shifts. The first arrived at 9 a. m. and 
left the area at noon; the second arrived at 1 p. m. and left at 5 p. m. San 
Antonio averaged 18,000 men daily, Osmena 26,000. The peak load at 
the new commissioned officers mess at Macarata was 4,000 officers. 

Water. Ships watered at Balusao, on the northern coast of the Gulf. 
Here the fresh-water line was run out on piling to deep water, where a 
set of mooring dolphins permitted mooring for vessels loading water. 
The water itself was good and plentiful, but getting it was frequently 
attended by maneuvering difficulties. When getting clear of the dol- 
phins with an offshore wind the tendency was for the stern to foul the 

The Ponaganset loading fresh water at Balusoa Water Point, Samar. 

378 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

dolphins or catwalks as the bow blew off. Nevertheless, in the week of 
6 July 1945, 9,000,000 gallons of water were furnished from this source. 

Construction of naval facilities throughout the area continued. There 
were 3,111 officers and 49,424 men shore based on 15 April and 4,055 
officers and 58,167 men on 1 May. In May the big floating drydock 
ABSD-5, stationed at Manicani Island, began limited operations. On 
10 June LST's 630 and 397 were the first ships docked at Samar in the 

At Naval Station Samar, where Captain S. B. Robinson relieved Cap- 
tain R. M. Fortson as commandant on 25 March, during June 88,977 
long tons of cargo were discharged from War Shipping Administration 
vessels and 24,672 tons from Navy ships, a total of 113,649 long tons, 
while 74,309 long tons were loaded into ships and craft of all types. At 
Tacloban 2,106 tons were discharged and 544 loaded, a total handling 
for the area of 190,608 long tons. 

When June ended there were 3,783 officers and 67,793 enlisted men 
at shore-based activities in the area, of which 2,831 officers and 58,604 
men, including Seabees, were at the Naval Station, Samar. The anchor 
section had 645 officers and 2,626 men. Other naval shore facilities, 
including some Seabees and Receiving Station, took the remainder— 307 
officers and 6,563 men. The number of men ashore was not, however, a 
factor of usefulness. The Leyte Gulf development, most of which, as 
planned, was to be at Samar, on Manicani, and Calicoan islands and 
vicinity, was never of great usefulness to the fleet, which depended prin- 
cipally on floating facilities. In all fairness it should be said that this 
great shore development might have been worth its cost many times 
over if the war had continued and the Japanese had fought the invasion 
of their homeland foot by foot for another year or more. Might have 
been! If enemy action, typhoons and other unforeseen disasters had been 
great and the floating facilities suffered from them, the huge base and 
repair facilities might have developed to high worth. The plans included 
a huge supply depot requiring many acres of covered and open storage, 
needing three cargo piers 500 feet long, one 500-foot pontoon pier for 
seven cargo ships, and a jetty for five LCT's. The cold storage included 
twenty-four 6,800-cubic-foot refrigerators. 

Facilities included a major destroyer repair base, ship repair depart- 
ment, wharves, berths for large floating drydocks, and a system of both 
fresh- and salt-water lines on Manicani Island. Near Guiuart was a large 
3,000 bed hospital, a large receiving station, and the biggest motor- 
torpedo-boat base yet built. In addition to all these and many lesser 

Support Activities at Leyte— Samar 379 

facilities, there were the airfield— which was always worth its cost— a 
very large amount of harbor improvement, and an advance base con- 
struction depot covering 80 acres for material to be used in still more 
bases. A tremendous amount of road was constructed, together with 
miles of piping and wiring for sanitary and electric systems. 

Of all these facilities, involving so many men and so much effort 
and money, perhaps the one most necessary— or to put it more posi- 
tively, the only one positively necessary except the airfields— was the 
great ABSD, the floating drydock for our biggest ships. After the battle- 
ship Mississippi— anchored off Hagushi Beach to bombard the Okinawa 
Japanese— was hit on the starboard quarter above the blister, she was |^ 
put into the dock for repairs; a 3 3, 000- ton fighting ship expertly re- 
paired, almost at the scene of action, many thousand miles from her 
home port. Nearly 40 years had elapsed since such a thing had been 
done in the Philippines. The last time was when the old battleship 
Wisconsin (10,000 tons) was cared for in the famous Dewey drydock, and 
whose tow out to the Far East made naval history early in the century. 

Reorganization of Service Squadron Ten—Service Force Pacific 
Absorbs Service Force Seventh Fleet 

In preparation for strikes to be made in November 1945 against the 
Japanese homeland it was planned to base major fleet units at Eniwetok 
and in Leyte Gulf. The former had been a rear operating base ever since 
the fleet had based at Ulithi, but now with the prospective raiding and 
harrying of Japan's home coasts it was decided that Eniwetok was the 
place on which to base the fast carrier force, since it was not only just 
as near the objectives as Leyte but would relieve the strain of large con- 
centrations there, was pretty well out of the typhoon belt, and would 
make a shorter haul for commercial tankers from California and Panama. 
A new and larger service detachment was set up at Eniwetok in July 
1945 to take care of this carrier force. A considerable expansion of its 
floating logistic activities was cut short by the enemy's surrender. 

Many of the landing and assault vessels were to be staged and based 
in the Marianas and at Okinawa. 

The projected November operations were on such a vast scale, and 
the amounts and needs of the fleet were becoming so great, that it was 
first proposed that in addition to Service Squadron Six for at-sea supply, 

380 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

two new service squadrons be established in the forward areas. These 
were to be independent in their assigned responsibilities and in dealing 
directly with any fleet commander in their fields of action. Consideration 
was also given to a northern invasion and a basing in the Kuriles. It was 
felt by some that the distance separating northern from southern activi- 
ties would be too great for the commander of the service squadron to 
administer logistics properly in both spheres simultaneously; therefore 
another service squadron should be formed for the northern zone and 
put under an independent commander. 

The Commander Service Force Pacific pointed out that some of the 
detachments of Service Squadron Ten were already separated by hun- 
dreds of miles but nevertheless operated successfully. Accordingly,' the 
scheme was dropped for what appeared to be a better plan; namely, 
keeping Squadron Ten as over-all administrative organization with 
cognizance of all service-force activities afloat in the forward areas, but 
establishing subordinate operating units to be known as service divisions 
in place of the detachments then under Squadron Ten. There were four 
as a starter, with provision for additional ones if needed later. It was 
decided that Commander Service Squadron Ten should have besides his 
personal staff, administrative officers for supply, squadron operations, 
personnel, ammunition, medical, maintenance, and communications. 
Internal organization of each service division was to follow the general 
plan outlined for the squadron, each division commander having a staff 
consisting of a chief staff officer, supply, operations, personnel, ammuni- 
tion, medical, maintenance, and communications officers, and a flag 
secretary. With such an arrangement Commander Service Squadron Ten 
instead of being tied to one specific location would be free to move, in 
his own flagship if he wished, from one anchorage or port to another, 
thus more closely following the logistics of all areas. This was the main 
advantage of the new organization which, after freeing the squadron 
commander from administrative duties at any one location, did not 
greatly differ from the previous organization except in names and titles. 

The over- all mission of the squadron remained unchanged. On 1 July 
1945 the new organization went into effect and the service divisions 
were actuated. Prior to this, Representatives A, B, C, and D had been 
located respectively at Leyte, Kerama Retto, Saipan, and Ulithi. Upon 
the arrival at Leyte from Ulithi of the main body of the squadron under 
Commodore Carter, the detachment under Representative" A had been 
absorbed by the main body, and some members of the representative's 
staff had been detailed to form a nucleus staff for the detachment being 

Support Activities at Leyte—Samar 381 

built up at Eniwetok. Captain. J. V. Query had been chosen as chief staff 
officer there. 

The term "representative" had not been in wide favor. It had been 
adopted to give the officer in charge of a detachment a mail address. The 
alphabetical designation, though not perfect, was better than one 
involving a geographical location or Navy mail number, for as the war 
progressed and the representative and his detachment moved from place 
to place, a geographical identity or mail number might have involved 
confusion or delays in routing mail and freight. A place name in the title 
was also undesirable from a security standpoint. Though "representa- 
tive" sufficed as an early term, it was not a proper title for a naval unit; 
the term "-service division" was. The directive from Commander Service 
Force U. S. Pacific Fleet, dated 4 June 1945, ordered the new organization 
put into being, and it continued under his over-all administrative com- 
mand. It was under the immediate supervision and operational control 
of Commander Service Squadron Ten, who in turn was a task-group 
commander under the fleet commander to whom he was assigned by 
Admiral Nimitz. The four Service Divisions were 101, 102, 103 and 104. 
The detachments, excepting the one at Ulithi, were changed to divisions 
as previously stated, each with a flag officer, his staff with needed addi- 
tional personnel and equipment absorbing and complementing the 
current organizations. 

Service Squadron Ten in July 1945 in preparation for its coming gigan- 
tic logistic mission was constituted as follows: Commodore W. R. 
Carter in the Ocelot; Commander Service Division 101 (Commander Task 
Unit 30.9.1), Commodore E. E. Duvall, Jr., also in the Ocelot in Leyte 
Gulf; Commander Service Division 102 (Commander Task Unit 30.9.2), 
Commodore J. T. Acuff, who assumed duty 5 July 1945, in xhcArgonne at 
Eniwetok. Commander Service Division 103 (Commander Task Unit 
30.9.3), Captain H. A. Houser, acting, in the Luzon at Saipan) Commo- 
dore Henry Hartley relieved him 21 July); and Commander Service 
Division 104 (Commander Task Unit 30.9.4), Commodore T.J. Keliher, 
in the Hamul at Okinawa. No service division was assigned to Ulithi, 
and the title "Senior Officer Present Service Squadron Ten," with code 
word for Ulithi, was given the commanding officer of the Prairie, Cap- 
tain F. S. Gibson, who was acting in logistic matters for Commander 
Service Squadron Ten. 

One of the first problems under the new organization was to get the 
squadron commander a flagship and separate his staff from that of 
Service Division 101, for the principal officers of each occupied the same 

214075 O-F-53 26 

382 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

flagship, which handicapped both organizations by limited facilities and 
crowded space. Furthermore, the squadron commander was not yet free 
to go where he felt he was needed, which was one of the principal pur- 
poses of the reorganization. Some trained key men had to be drawn from 
Service Squadron Ten for use in Division 101, and in order to maintain 
efficiency some corresponding departments in both had to be held 
united until each had sufficient personnel and space to operate effectively 
alone. Coming at a time when such big efforts were in the making, this 
was particularly annoying to the squadron commander, who was anxious 
to have a smoothly working routine well started before it was necessary 
to support the fleet in Operation Olympic, the intended invasion of 

The flagship problem was not confined to the squadron commander. 
Two of the division commanders occupied vessels handicapped in their 
servicing by the congestion caused by the presence of the staffs; and be- 
cause of the congestion, the staffs were not at proper efficiency. Exactly 
how this situation would have been overcome had the war continued 
was never answered. Doubtless a solution would have been found. At 
the time of the surrender the old submarine tender Holland was being 
made ready as one flagship, though not an ideal one. She was really too 
valuable as a ship supplying services to be given over entirely to admin- 
istrative duties. Other ships probably would have been chosen and 
assigned in time to meet conditions, even though at first some fretting 
was done. 

In addition to the heat, normal logistic work and preparation for 
the "big show," the summer of 1945 brought more worry in the form 
of an outbreak of dysentery on ships in San Pedro Bay. A survey 
reported on 5 July that 956 cases had been treated during the previous 
2 weeks and apparently cured, but that 715 were still under treatment, 
a total of 1,671 cases in 92 ships, with one death on the hotel barge 
APL-18. All vessels were put on a strict regimen. The following were 
some requirements: chlorination of all unboiled water for drinking or 
washing; sanitary control by medical officers over food and food han- 
dlers; no use of harbor water for cleaning purposes (which included 
washing down decks); and no swimming from alongside the ships. 

On 1 August at Leyte 29 ships reported 839 cases of gastroenteritis. 
Although diminishing, this was still 8 times more serious than the esti- 
mated norm of 100 cases. Six days later, with 1,400 ships present, 29 
reported 599 dysentery cases. This relieved anxiety over a condition 
which had appeared on some of our large ships such as the large cruiser 

Support Activities at Leyte—Samar 383 

Alaska and the Mississippi. The former reported 423 cases of this painful 
inflammation of the lining of stomach and intestines. The Mississippi 
had been quarantined 31 July and released 12 August. Between these 
dates she continued her training under way in exercises in the Gulf and 
Philippine Sea for radar calibration and drone and sleeve target practice. 
It was logical that the better the training and the more men trained, the 
better a shortage due to illness could be borne. On 19 August there were 
451 cases on 29 vessels, indicating a continued downward trend. By the 
end of the month, while still present in the Leyte area, dysentery was 
apparently under control. There were no more deaths. 

During the first part of August the water of San Pedro Bay was foul. 
Large areas were covered by a mixture of garbage, trash, oil, and boxes, 
the latter a potential danger to propellers and the hulls of lightly con- 
structed craft. This condition probably had some relationship to the 
epidemic of dysentery. Of the 1,400 ships of various types present it is 
estimated that 1,050 required garbage and trash service; that is, if the 
refuse was not to be dumped overboard. This service could not be sup- 
plied, and consequently large amounts did go overside. Though the 
anchorage was very large, the relatively slight tidal movement of the 
water was not much help in carrying away the stuff. Only 3 garbage 
lighters and 3 LCT's were available, and as each had to make a 100-mile 
round trip per load, the situation for a time was uncontrolled. An esti- 
mate of the essential service called for 14 additional garbage lighters and 
10 additional LCT's which were not available. 

The digression made here on the subject of dysentery is because of 
the influence of health on military operations. The spread of the disease 
during July and August, and the possibility that it might adversely 
influence future operations, concerned fleet and unit commanders. 
Everyone remembered the case of the repair ship Ajax during the previ- 
ous summer, with 195 of her men affected and two deaths. She was sent 
on 9 September 1944 to Kwajalein, where she remained until 10 Octo- 
ber, her services lost to the fleet. Fortunately this was not serious at that 
time. Later at Okinawa the situation called for every repair facility avail- 
able, yet still we could not keep up with the battle-damage rate. The 
coming invasion operations would use every man and resource available, 
and any serious loss through dysentery or any other epidemic might be 
more disastrous than enemy action. 

Service Force Pacific Absorbs Service Force Seventh Fleet. Following the 
reorganization of Service Squadron Ten, the Service Force Seventh Fleet 
was reconstituted as Service Squadron Seven of Vice Admiral W. W. 

384 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

Smith's Service Force Pacific Fleet, while remaining under Admiral 
Kinkaid's Seventh Fleet operational control. At this time Service Squad- 
rons Three, Four, and Nine, formerly echelons of Service Force Seventh 
Fleet, were dissolved and reestablished as Service Divisions Seventy-one, 
Seventy-two, and Seventy-three, respectively, under the newly consti- 
tuted Service Squadron Seven. 


Okinawa After 1 July 1945 

Operations Under Service Squadron Twelve— The 

Move to Buckner Bay and Service Activities There 

the Remaining Days of the War 

ON 1 JULY 1945 the new organization previously mentioned was 
inaugurated within Squadron Ten, whereupon Captain Rhoads at 
Kerama Retto ceased to be known as Representative B and became 
Commander Service Division 104. Rhoads, who had been Representa- 
tive B of ComServRon Ten since June 1944, had been recommended for 
command of the division but the powers could not see it, and Commo- 
dore Keliher was ordered to the job. Meanwhile Rhoads, in the destroyer 
tender Hamul, his flagship, continued administering the logistics of the 
division until relieved by Keliher at Buckner Bay on 13 July. This bay 
was Nakagusuku Wan, east side of Okinawa, renamed in July for Lieu- 
tenant General Simon Bolivar Buckner, killed in the fighting. 

Between 1 July and the abandonment of Kerama Retto as the main 
floating base of Service Division 104, activities in the Okinawa area were 
interesting and varied. Unloading of aircraft mines from the cargo ship 
Mayfield Victory, Lieutenant Commander N. H. Olsen, was completed 
in 3 days, 3 to 6 July. Relatively few ships received ammunition during 
the first week of July, tapering off to three on the 8th and none on the 
9th, as service division ships moved to Buckner Bay. 

Besides the many repair jobs continuing by dock, barge, and ship, new 
ones were added. The Zaniah, Lieutenant Commander Henry Mayfield, 
made voyage repairs to a destroyer, did boiler work on the tanker Whip- 
pet, and battle-damage repairs for the destroyer escort Halloran. The 
landing-craft repair ship Poseidon, Lieutenant E. M. Davis, made bow- 
door repairs on LCI-807, and other work, principally voyage repairs, on 
LCI's, LCS's, and a PC. The Hamul, Captain G. C Hoffner, repaired 


K I N A W A 
S H I M A 

Okinawa Shima, 

Okinawa After 1 July 1 945 387 

destroyer, escort, mine-layer, and seaplane-tender classes, including 
extensive battle-damage repairs to the destroyer Badger. Battle-damage 
repair ship Aristaeus, Lieutenant Commander J. K. Killen, repaired battle 
damage to the destroyer Shubrick. By smart execution of repairs on 
destroyers, escorts, light mine-layers, LSM's, IX's, the Waco Victory, and 
the Luxembourg Victory, the destroyer tender Cascade, Captain H. K. 
Gates, made her usual splendid contribution. Lieutenant Commander 
S. N. Davis' battle-damage repair ship Nestor made voyage repairs for 
a destroyer, an LST, an AK, PC's, and an AM, in addition to repairing 
battle damage to the seaplane tender Kenneth Whiting, Captain R. R. 
Lyons, which had been attacked 21 June at Kerama Retto by a suicide 
plane that crashed about 40 feet from the port side of the ship. The 
plane disintegrated violently upon impact, and its engine was hurled 
into the side of the ship, causing some damage, though not serious 
enough to force the tender to cease operations. 

Provisions and Dry Stores. On 1 July the light cruiser St. Louis and es- 
corts, on a brief visit to Kerama Retto, were supplied with provisions 
and stores. The same day the food ship Athanasia, Lieutenant D. M. 
Paul, discharged in a 15-hour period chilled, frozen, and dry cargo 
amounting to 756.5 tons to 11 units, including the cruiser and the large 
seaplane tender St. George. On the 2d she issued 411.9 tons to the Cas- 
cade, Hamul, and Wythe, and the 3d 110.8 tons to various ships including 
11 LSM's, 5 LCI's, and 11 LCS's. The merchant ship Musa had arrived 
1 July with 2,100 tons of fresh provisions and on the 2d the Polaris, 
Commander J. A. Stansbury, brought 1,650 tons of fresh and 2,000 tons 
of dry provisions, 150 tons of ship's store stock, and 75 tons of medical 
supplies. On the 3d Captain Rhoads' diary shows that the battleship 
Nevada, escorts, and screen were supplied with provisions and dry stores. 
The Nevada's account states that she fueled from the Elk, Lieutenant R. 
H. Weeks, completing her oiling and replenishment within 6 hours and 
leaving the same day. By the 6th the Athanasia had discharged all but 11 
tons of dry provisions in her cargo, and left for Pearl Harbor to reload, 
returning via Ulithi with fresh, frozen, and dry provisions for fleet issue, 
reaching Buckner Bay 4 September. 

From 1 to 5 July the ships daily present in the Kerama Retto anchor- 
age numbered slightly more than 300. This tapered off with the ap- 
proaching move to Buckner Bay. On the 9th only 90 ships remained. 
From the 4th to the 8th, Task Force 39, Rear Admiral Sharp's mine-craft, 
was busy mine-sweeping and training, and some of the units received 
logistic services. Besides his local duties at Kerama Retto, Captain 

388 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

Rhoads records in his war diary the dispatch of the Athanasia. on the 3d 
to Hagushi, of the general stores ship Castor on the 4th to Buckner Bay 
with approximately 25 percent of her original cargo, and the Musa to 
Ie Shima with 1,408 tons of fresh provisions. 

Fuel and Water. Four tankers— the Elk, Lieutenant R. H. Weeks; 
Camel, Lieutenant M. H. Parson; Whippet, Lieutenant Commander C. R. 
Stuntz; and Arethusa, Lieutenant R. L. Barrington— took active part in 
delivering oil and gasoline at Kerama Retto. Fresh water and petroleum 
products were also being supplied at Hagushi and Buckner Bay. The 
gasoline tanker Kishwaukee, Lieutenant J. V. Scott, on the 1st was at 
Buckner Bay issuing Diesel and lubricating oil, and on the 5th went to 
Hagushi on the same mission. Water was most important, especially to 
small craft which had no distilling apparatus. The gas tanker Tombigbee, 
Lieutenant A. O. Ashland, on the 1st delivered 84,000 gallons of fresh 
water to LCI, LCS, SC, and LCT types at Hagushi and on the 3 succeed- 
ing days 92,700, 141,650, and 39.350 gallons. After reloading from the 
water-carrying oiler Soubarissen, Commander W. H. Fogarty, by taking 
536,698 gallons on the 8th, she returned to Hagushi. Captain Rhoads' 
diary for 2 July records that "1 BB, 8 DD, 3 DM, 2 DE, 2 APD, and 6 
smaller type vessels were (ueled. U. S. S. Niobrara arrived with cargo of 
67,000 barrels of Navy special fuel, 5,000 barrels of Diesel and 375,000 
gallons of avgas and the usual deck cargo loads of drummed lube, cylin- 
der gases, ammo, provisions, and medical supplies." On the 8th the 
move of facilities to Buckner Bay began with the sailing of the station 
ships Camel, Narraguagas, Wabash, and Arethusa. 

Service Squadron Twelve; Bowditch Survey. Another important activity 
was that of Service Squadron Twelve, and particularly that of the Bow- 
ditch, a survey vessel. She prepared Buckner Bay for use by our forces. 
Commodore L. S. Fiske, commanding Squadron Twelve, had the task- 
group designation of Commander Task Group 94.2, a subdivision of 
Commander Task Group 94, Vice Admiral Hoover, Commander For- 
ward Area Central Pacific. Commodore Fiske's operation plan in part 
was phrased: "This force will survey, clear, and develop harbors, sea- 
plane runways, and anchorages in the Central and Western Pacific as re- 
quired in order to accommodate berthing of vessels and seaplanes sup- 
porting island and fleet activities." 

U. S. S. Bowditch. Assisting the Bowditch, Commander H. C. Behner, 
were the YP's 41 and 56 and other small craft. On 29 March she an- 
chored at Kerama Retto, and though engaged in the ordinarily peaceful 
occupation of surveying, on 1 April she was in battle readiness, actually 

Okinawa After 1 July 1 945 389 

firing on enemy planes on the 2d, 3d, and 7th. Between these encounters 
she continued her surveying, her attendant craft, boats, and shore parties 
conducting tide and current investigations and installing aids to naviga- 
tion, her office force producing temporary charts of the immediate 
locality and making preparations for surveying the general Okinawa 

On 18 April she left Kerama and 6 hours later anchored in Nakagu- 
suku Wan, which henceforth will be referred to as "Buckner Bay." On 
the 19th she went to Chimu Wan to conduct surveys to develop that 
anchorage, including a detailed survey of possible landing beaches and 
pontoon dock sites. Certain navigation aids were constructed, the arti- 
sans of survey vessels being highly skilled in that sort of work. But it 
was not all peaceful work. On the 29th the record shows she "splashed" 
a Japanese plane referred to as a "Judy" (single-engine Navy torpedo 
bomber), and later she was in combat with other enemy planes on three 
occasions. During peacetime, survey ships were painted white, had no 
armament, and their sole mission was to determine accurately and plot 
correctly the rocks and shoals— in short, to make the sealanes safe for 
navigators. But here we have the survey ship armed with all the guns 
she could carry while still doing her work, with the same mission, the 
same desire to do a precise job, but doing it while defending her very 
existence and that of her brood. 

On 12 May the Bowditch arrived at Buckner Bay and began the survey 
there by building navigation beacons, carrying the triangulation net- 
work from Chimu Wan to these stations. A tie was made to a Japanese 
marker on Kutaka Shima for which a geodetic position to the nearest 
hundredth of a second was available. A company of Marines landed with 
and protected the survey party on Kutaka Shima, as that island was then 
not occupied by friendly forces. During June, surveys at Okinawa con- 
tinued, with the Bowditch unit on the east and the Pathfinder unit, com- 
manded by Lieutenant Commander F. L. DuBois, on the west coast. On 
3 June while anchored in Buckner Bay the Bowditch shot down another 
Japanese plane, bringing the total to four for this operation, and on the 
4th sank a small boat carrying four Japanese, killing one and capturing 
three. These combat incidents occurred in the midst of building signals 
and the actual triangulation of Buckner Bay and wire dragging of Chimu 
Wan. The writer cannot refrain from recalling his own experiences as 
commander of a survey ship during peacetime, and noting the disparity 
of the conditions. During this month of June the ship's office accom- 
plished considerable chart work. Besides printing and distributing 2,000 

390 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

copies of Hydrographic Office Field Chart 2031 of Buckner Bay, the 
Bowditch printed field charts of Chimu Wan, Kerama Retto, Okinawa, 
and adjacent islands, and tide diagram, a total of 14,500 charts. She made 
a fine war record for a survey ship. 

In July the priority project, second only to that of Chimu Wan, was 
the hydrographic development by wire dragging and sounding of an 
area in northeastern Buckner Bay, north of Tsuken Shima, the site of 
the proposed seaplane base. Rough water, the presence of numerous 
coral heads, and rapidly changing tides made it difficult to drag the area 
at the specified depth of minus 10 feet. 

Dredging and Navigation- Aid Operations. Commodore L. S. Fiske, Com- 
mander Service Squadron Twelve, reported working conditions at Oki- 
nawa as fair in June. Few difficulties were experienced with bad weather, 
but many hours were lost because of heavy swells, preparation against 
expected typhoons, and frequent alerts for air raids. The transport Wil- 
liam Ward Burrows, Commander H. A. Ellis, reached Okinawa at the 
beginning of June, discharging more than 3,500 tons of equipment and 
working stores for the naval construction battalion. The battalion per- 
sonnel immediately began construction of the main camp near Baten 
Ko, on the southern extremity of Buckner Bay. On the 20th the 20-inch 
steam suction dredge Sacramento arrived under tow and was "unboxed" 
and made ready for operating. Besides these vessels there also arrived in 
June "three LCT's, one rescue tug, the salvage tug Anchor, four dredge 
barges or scows, and two buoy tenders— the Balsam, Lieutenant H. T. 
Hendrickson, USCG, and the Woodbine, Lieutenant J. A. Anderson, 

Three clamshell dredges, the YD-69 and two pontoon Whirleys, 
began work 1 June and during the month removed 88,921 cubic yards 
of material. Of this total the YD-69 took 51,200 cubic yards from the 
site of a fuel pier at Katchin Hanto in the Bay. Whirley No. 3 worked 
there also, removing 21,849 cubic yards from the site of Boat Pool A 
Section Base. Number 15 Whirley, operating on the western side, 
dredged 15,872 cubic yards from the small-boat channel at Bishi Gawa. 

Sounding sketches of the Baten Ko and Yonabaru areas of Buckner 
Bay were made and distributed, and a channel on the southeast shore 
was surveyed and buoyed for emergency discharge of LST's and other 
landing craft. The net layer Sweetbriar, Lieutenant Paul Lybrand, buoyed 
channels and shoals in Buckner Bay, Chimu Wan, and Naha Harbor on 
the west coast. Buoyage of Buckner Bay was 90 percent completed by 
the planting of 20 additional buoys. In the middle of the month the 


W* 1 
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392 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

Sweetbriar went to the west side of Okinawa, completed temporary buoy- 
age of Naha Harbor, and returned to Buckner Bay with a full load of 
Japanese buoy material salvaged from Naha. It was through the pains- 
taking efforts of the Bowditch and her survey crews, with the subsequent 
work of Service Squadron Twelve in clearing, dredging, and installing 
navigational aids, that the safe entry into the normal occupancy of 
Buckner Bay was possible as one of the new fleet anchorages and the 
location of the floating logistics of Service Squadron Ten's Division 104. 

The Move to Buckner Bay. Captain F. A. Rhoads, since 17 May charged 
with logistics at Kerama Retto, began to move his service ships by send- 
ing four fuel units— the Camel, Narraguagas, Wabash, and Arethusa— to 
Buckner on 9 July, continuing next day with the Whippet, Ponchatoula 
YW-88, and Cuyama. Because of the transfer of activities to the new 
anchorage, no ships were rearmed on either the 9th or 10th. On the lat- 
ter date the food ship Polaris, which had been resupplying forces afloat 
at Kerama Retto since the 2d, moved to Buckner Bay with the destroyer 
tender Hamul, Captain Rhoads' flagship, and all other vessels with the 
exception of seaplane tenders. Transfer of Division 104's fueling units 
was completed with the departure of the Elk, Brazos, YO-112, and the 
water tanker Soubarissen for Buckner Bay. The Alkes went to Hagushi to 
discharge dry provisions to forces there. The Bridge, with 893 tons of 
fresh provisions and 836 of dry, and the Palisana, with 1,720 tons of 
fresh, arrived in Buckner Bay. The Athanasia left for Pearl to reload pro- 
visions and the gasoline barge Tombigbee arrived to load water from the 
Soubarissen. The ammunition department serviced two ships, balanced 
the load of the Mayfield Victory, and unloaded the LST's 868 and 865 
into the Luxembourg Victory. For the maintenance department repair 
ships, a destroyer tender, floating drydock, battle-damage, and a landing- 
craft repair ship undertook voyage, battle damage, and incidental repairs. 
The ships present on 10 July under operational control of Commander 
Service Division 104 numbered 78. Operations at the new location had 

Service at Buckner Bay During Remainder of War. With the transfer of 
the main body of service units from Kerama Retto and the establish- 
ment on 10 July of the new logistic base in Buckner Bay, Service Divi- 
sion 104 continued to contribute very substantial support to current 
operations under trying conditions. Though Okinawa was officially de- 
clared to be "secure" as of 21 June, it was still harassed by the enemy 
from the air and our ships were continually molested by alarms of air 
raids or actually damaged by suicide attacks. The typhoon menace, with 

Okinawa After 1 July 1945 393 

its hindrance of logistic operations or actual storm casualties, was ever 

Our task forces were still rampaging in the general vicinity in cover- 
ing, sweeping, antishipping, and bombardment operations. For such 
forces it was highly desirable that they be supported nearby instead of 
returning to Ulithi or Leyte. No detailed account of the incessant activ- 
ity is necessary, for the fueling, provisioning, watering, and other supply 
accomplishments have all been told before, with vessels of all types 
shuttling back and forth and combat units dashing in and out as oper- 
ations required. In the midst of this an expected typhoon caused Com- 
modore Keliher to warn all ships to prepare to go to sea to ride it out, 
and on 18 July he issued a detailed typhoon sortie plan. Next morning 
at 5 :48 the sortie began. After the storm passed the ships came back into 
Buckner Bay, and on the 21st a busy period began in satisfying their 
logistic needs. 

Vice Admiral Oldendorf 's Task Force 32 entered with its gunfire and 
covering force, and mine craft and supply activities, especially fueling, 
reached a peak of efficiency. Commodore Keliher reported in his war 
diary one of the busiest fueling days in the area. More busy days fol- 
lowed. One rather unusual service was rendered by the Enoree, Lieuten- 
ant Commander E. L. Jurewicz. Early in July she had gone to Ulithi, 
reloaded alongside the merchant tanker Skullbar, and returned to Buck- 
ner Bay to service the large cruiser Guam and other fleet units. On the 
26th, besides her fueling duties, she unloaded five 27-ton pontoon barges 
for the LSM-329. Her 160- ton derrick enabled her to do this easily. The 
Niobrara was similarly equipped, so besides being fine tankers both ships 
were very useful in making heavy lifts. Later— 5 August— the Enoree 
lifted the 105-ton LCT-591 from the deck of the LST-534. 

On the 24th the cruiser Denver came in and went alongside the tanker 
Celtic, Lieutenant A. N. Michaelson, for fuel, and next day took ammu- 
nition from 2 Victory ships (May field Victory and Monroe Victory) and 
LST-555 before departing for another antishipping sweep off the China 
coast. Five days later, on the 29th, the cruiser Montpelier came alongside 
the Chotauk and took 159,778 gallons of fuel. Her commander, Captain 
W. A. Gorry, reported for 30-31 July that the nights at anchor were dis- 
turbed by intermittent "flash reds" from SOPA and OTC (Officer in 
Tactical Command); "All ships ordered to commerce making smoke in 
an effort to blanket the harbor." The atmosphere of working conditions 
in Buckner Bay is also expressed in the diary of the internal-combus- 
tion-engine repair ship Mona Island, Commander K. F. Home, which 

394 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

contained the entry that "during July 834 job orders were completed on 
138 vessels," and that work had been interrupted by 21 air raids. 

One of Commodore Keliher's branch activities was at Hagushi on the 
west coast of Okinawa. Here the tanker Armadillo, Lieutenant J. B. 
Hewgley, relieved after 24 July by Lieutenant Commander M. R. Myer, 
acted as station tanker for fueling and supplying water and lubricating 
oils to small craft in the area. Her fore and aft peak tanks, with a total 
capacity of 70,000 gallons, were used for water, so necessary when serv- 
icing small crafts. Her cargo capacity for Diesel fuel was 65,000 barrels. 
Commander Service Division 104 maintained a fuel representative in 
her. His responsibility was administration of all local fuel, water, and 
lubricating-oil matters. 

At Buckner Bay a special activity made necessary by suicide-plane 
attacks was the making of smoke to obscure ships at anchor. As has 
already been pointed out, this became so important and widely used that 
fog oil and smoke generators formed significant items in logistic plan- 
ning. Maintaining generators in proper working order became so essen- 
tial that at Buckner Bay during July the battle-damage repair ship Nestor, 
Lieutenant Commander S. N. Davis, was assigned the collateral duty of 
acting as smoke-generator repair unit. She was also very active in her 
principal duties, her record for July showing voyage repairs to 80 ships; 
battle-damage repairs to an attack transport, the Marathon, and the mer- 
chantman Allison; collision repairs to LST-107; and installation of new 
engines in submarine chaser SC-632. 

Nearing the End. Though the threat of enemy suicide planes was al- 
ways present, the number of interruptions due to this menace was di- 
minishing. However, the forces of nature were still to be reckoned with, 
and August began with the weather imposing its will upon current oper- 
ation in the form of a typhoon. In obedience to a typhoon plan issued 
by the senior officer present, ships sortied from Buckner Bay on 1 Au- 
gust to avoid or ride out the storm in the lesser danger of the open sea. 
Some of those interrupting their work and leaving port were: the repair 
ship Aristaeus, Lieutenant Commander J. K. Killen, which suspended 
voyage and battle-damage repairs; the gasoline tanker Wabash, Lieuten- 
ant Micklethwaite, which stopped fueling light mine units; the tender 
Hamul, flagship of Commander Service Division 104, which cast off de- 
stroyer types (alongside undergoing repair); the cargo vessel Rutilicus, 
Lieutenant Commander H. O. Matthiesen, ceased discharging fleet issue 
cargo; the oiler Enoree, did no more fueling of larger ships and got under 
way and took position in a group of 37 vessels cruising in 3 columns; 


: : ■'■■l : y yZ, 

;va : \ 






Okinawa After 1 July 1945 397 

the tender Cascade, interrupted her overhaul work to sortie, with the 
U. S. S. Supply, U. S. S. Nestor, and 7 merchant ships protected by 5 

Typhoon sorties were made at other Okinawa anchorages. The Bridge 
suspended cargo operations and left Hagushi. From Chimu Wan sailed 
the seaplane tender Norton Sound. On 3 August the majority of the ships 
which had cleared because of the typhoon returned, and service units 
immediately resumed their logistic tasks. The Niobrara, Commander R. 
C. Spaulding, having loaded 12,898 barrels of Diesel oil at Ulithi from 
the Spring Hill and 527,392 gallons of aviation gasoline from the Kern, 
Lieutenant Commander R. G. Malin, entered Buckner Bay. On the 5th 
she fueled the destroyers Dale, Dewey, and Farragut. On the 6th she gave 
50,059 barrels of fuel oil to the station tanker Celtic. The same day she 
pumped into the escort carriers Makin Island and Lunga Point, respec- 
tively, 3,223 barrels of fuel plus 25,992 gallons of aviation gasoline, and 
3,611 barrels of Diesel oil. The food ship Latona, Lieutenant Com- 
mander N. W. Landis, entered Buckner Bay on the 4th, began fleet issue 
of provisions, and continued until the 7th, when she commenced un- 
loading her cargo into the BRL-307 1 , a 1,000-ton refrigerated provision 
storage barge. 

The Memorable Tenth of August. Activities in the various anchorages 
and areas of the Pacific were continuing as usual when 10 August (east- 
ern longitude date) rolled around, looking like any other day. Then, 
after supper time, radios blared out the news that all our people in the 
Pacific had hoped for but which few had dreamed would come so soon— 
news of the Japanese surrender. The enemy was willing to accept the 
terms of the Potsdam treaty. This news was repeated by a San Francisco 
radio station many times without change of wording, so that there could 
be no doubt that those overseas would be informed. The effect was elec- 
trifying! Jubilation spread almost instantaneously. There was unre- 
strained raiding of the pyrotechnic lockers at fleet anchorages. In San 
Pedro Bay, Leyte Gulf, where more than 1,200 ships were anchored, 
countless rockets — red, blue, white, and green— were joyfully and freely 
shot into the night sky. Probably never before had there been anything 
to compare with the illumination. 

This was the end of the war! There might be a few more suicide 
attacks, possibly, as some thought, from failure of the peace news to 
reach all enemy units through the badly crippled Japanese communi- 
cations system. Precautions were taken against possible acts of treachery 
also. Captain J. B. Griggs, of the light cruiser St. Louis, in his war diary 

214075 O-F-53 27 

398 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

reported that "each night, 13-16 August, in accordance with Com- 
mander Task Group 95.3 dispatch, the task group got under way to 
avoid any surprise enemy attacks, and retired to eastward of Okinawa, 
returning to Buckner Bay each morning." 

With the month of August came an end of more than 3 years and 8 
months of arduous and sometimes desperate fighting in the Pacific. The 
end of hostilities was officially ordered on 15 August. 

Termination of hostilities brought a change in logistic requirements, 
which for a time tended to increase rather than decrease the work of the 
supporting units. Fuel and food were still needed, plus a larger demand 
than before for heavier clothing for occupation forces to be sent to 
Japan. The tremendous supply of ammunition was no longer drawn 
upon, but there was immediate demand for paint, polish, scrubbing 
gear, and boats. So, at Buckner Bay and elsewhere, the Service Divisions 
carried on. Though enemy action no longer threatened, there was still 
the threat of weather to be reckoned with in the daily scheme of things. 
The typhoons came and did a lot of damage, particularly at Buckner 
Bay, where it had been foreseen that the risk would be great. Storms 
struck on 16 and 28 September and on 9 October at this appropriately 
named "typhoon crossroads." While considerable information about 
Okinawa typhoons was available before Buckner Bay was chosen as a 
fleet anchorage, the necessity for a staging point for the planned Japan 
invasion, and the size of anchorage required to accommodate the tre- 
mendous number of ships to be used, turned the scale in favor of 
Okinawa and its risks. The typhoon of 9 October was very damaging to 
both floating and shore equipment. The elaborate land-based facilities- 
hospitals, ammunition and fuel storage, repair shops, receiving station, 
operating base, and recreation base— were well advanced when the gales 
roared in and practically none escaped heavy damage. In the harbors 
several ships were lost, among them the old Service Squadron Ten flag- 
ship Ocelot, previously damaged on 16 September. The October storm 
took the remaining lives of the "old Spotted Cat." 


The Giant Takes off His Armor 

Surrender— Changes in Logistic Services— Getting 
Back Toward Peace Routine— Pipe Down 

August 1945! Orders to cease fire were transmitted to the Pacific Fleet 
jl\ and to all other units under the command of Admiral Nimitz 
almost immediately after President Truman's announcement on the 15th 
that Japan had accepted our surrender terms. On the 16th Nimitz sent a 
dispatch assigning Service Squadron Ten, with Service Divisions 103 and 
104, to the Fifth Fleet, Service Division 101 to the Seventh Fleet, and 
Service Division 102 to the Third Fleet. With Japan's surrender some 
changes were to be expected, but this sudden overnight split-up to three 
different fleets— what could it mean? The answer was merely the pre- 
liminary assignment as task groups to the three fleets concerned in the 
invasion plans. It had ground through regular channels and come 
out almost simultaneously with the "cease fire!" 

On the 25th Admiral Nimitz modified these orders slightly by desig- 
nating Service Squadrons Ten and Six to operate under Commander 
Service Force Pacific Fleet for the occupation. Service Squadron Ten was 
further directed to provide mobile services to the Ryukyus, Marianas 
and Marshalls-Gilbert area, and Leyte. This did not differ greatly from 
what it had been doing most of the time. Service Squadron Six was 
directed to provide replenishment at sea. Commanders of Service Divi- 
sions 101, 102 and 103, with their staffs and vessels, could be moved 
forward at the discretion of the commanders of the Seventh, Third, and 
Fifth Fleets respectively. 

Commodore Carter had been ordered by the Bureau of Naval Per- 
sonnel to a continental hospital as a possible cancer case. The orders 
were very displeasing to Carter, who having been in the Pacific war 
during and ever since the Pearl Harbor attack wanted to stay and see the 


400 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

job through. But in spite of his objections based upon his disbelief in 
the suspicion (later, back in the United States, it was determined that 
the original suspicion was erroneous as several specialists in the Pacific 
had also held), the transfer was effected, and on 29 July Rear Admiral 
Allan E. Smith relieved Carter as Commander Service Squadron Ten. 

Despite the impairment of all its functions and that of the service 
divisions by reason of their lack of suitable flagships, all staffs, on aban- 
donment of Operation Olympic for invasion, concentrated upon organiz- 
ing for occupation of Korea, China, and Japan. Service Division 101, to 
go forward to Korea in accord with orders from Commander Seventh 
Fleet, turned over its duties and responsibilities at Leyte to Service 
Division 72, Captain J. D. Beard. On the 20th the heavy repair ship 
Jason, Commander E. F. Beck, of Service Division 101, was sent to 
Jinsen, Korea, via Buckner Bay, and was followed in a few days by the 
Division Commander, Commodore E. E. Duvall, Jr., in the destroyer 
tender Sierra. About the end of the month other units of Service Squad- 
ron Ten began to move forward to zones to be occupied in accordance 
with assigned tasks of the different fleets. On the 28th Commander 
Service Division 102 departed from Eniwetok with his staff and many of 
his vessels to take up his duties in Tokyo Bay. 

So began a wide spread in logistic facilities to meet the requirements 
at many occupation points. Rear Admiral Smith, in the Ocelot at Leyte 
1-9 September, went to Buckner Bay and on the 18th shifted his flag to 
the cargo transport Antares, shifting again on the 25th to the old sub- 
marine tender Holland, in which he went to Tokyo Bay where he found 
Commodore J. T. Acuff, Commander Service Division 102, with his flag 
in the destroyer tender Piedmont. Later Acuff shifted back to the Argonne. 

Commodore Henry Hartley, Commander Service Division 103, in the 
command control ship Campbell, was a few days in Leyte getting estab- 
lished aboard before going to Buckner Bay, where he spent 12 days, then 
went to the Wakayama area. 

Commander Service Division 104, Commodore Keliher, in the 
destroyer tender Hamul, remained at Buckner Bay, which was a place of 
much activity on the part of fleet units of all types. 

The problems of the next few months were troublesome. First came 
demobilization and the problem of how to carry on in spite of the loss 
of the most experienced and valuable men. The high-point officers and 
men were those of longest service and consequently the best qualified 
to fulfill the post-war mission in occupied areas, but they were the first 
to be sent home. Logistic support vessels had to be sent through and 

The Giant Takes off His Armour 401 

operated in regions where typhoons were frequent and violent, with 
winds of 86 miles an hour and barometer readings as low as 28.44. Offi- 
cers and men had to be assigned to naval base occupation units, special 
Japanese yen currency for Korea had to be obtained and distributed to 
naval personnel, and the types and schedules of supply loads had to be 
changed and shifted about to fit the occupation plan. 

On 1 October Service Squadron Six was dissolved and its duties and 
responsibilities taken over by Service Squadron Ten. The latter's com- 
mander, Rear Admiral Smith, was hospitalized on 5 October and 
relieved by Rear Admiral F. C. Denebrink, who broke his flag in the 
Holland 20 October. 

Five days later Admiral Denebrink began a tour of the important 
places where Service Divisions 103, 101, and 104 had logistic facilities, to 
make a thorough examination of each division's problems, with adjust- 
ments on the spot so that maximum service could be provided with a 
minimum of men and ships. On these visits he and his staff obtained 
first-hand knowledge of existing trends and of anticipated deficiencies. 

On 29 October the locations and operations of the four service divi- 
sions were: 

(a) 101 furnished logistic support for the Seventh Fleet and fulfilled 
normal obligations to assigned forces ashore in the jurisdictional areas 
of that fleet. Its major bases were Jinsen (Korea), Shanghai and Hong- 
kong; its minor bases were Fusan (Korea), Taku and Tsingtao, both in 
northern China. 

(b) 102 furnished logistics at the main fleet base in Tokyo Bay. Some 
smaller facilities remained at Eniwetok for the replenishment and repair 
of ships in transit. Eniwetok, however, was in process of being rolled up. 

(c) 103 supported units in Japanese waters west of Tokyo and south 
of latitude 40° N. The major facilities were fairly well divided between 
Sasebo and Wakayama, while minor ones were operated at Nagoya, 
Matsuyama, and Kure. 

(d) 104 at Okinawa was assigned approximately one-half of the total 
repair and supply facilities of Service Squadron Ten to handle local and 
fleet logistics, including typhoon damage and salvage work. 

Service Squadron Ten also maintained minor units at Ominato, Saipan, 
Ulithi, and Leyte. The one at Ominato was originally allocated to Com- 
mander North Pacific Forces, but authority was requested and obtained 
to make these a component of Service Squadron Ten, as they should have 
become when the North Japan Force (ex-North Pacific) became a 

402 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

component of the Fifth Fleet. At Leyte a reduced activity was maintained 
to carry out ammunition directives, while facilities at Ulithi were 
gradually being rolled up. 

Some of the high points of the continuing problems may be illus- 
trated by the activities of Service Division 101. The maintenance depart- 
ment was seriously handicapped by the reduction of skilled personnel in 
not only its own repair units but in fleet units as well. This reduced the 
output of the tenders and repair ships to an estimated 30 percent of the 
peak wartime standard. Less than one-third as much work could be 
done. Of course there was no battle damage to repair, but the handicap 
was great nevertheless. About half the loss was due to the lowered effi- 
ciency of the skilled mechanics of tenders and repair ships. The other 
half was the result of a combination of factors, such as the shortage in 
numbers of skilled men, the great scattering of the ships, and some delay 
in material supply because the urgency of war was gone. An added load 
to normal supply was the urgent requirement of replenishment for the 
mine-sweeping vessels of the Fifth and Seventh Fleets operating in the 
Formosa-South China area. Before that was completed Commander 
Service Division 101 was informed of plans involving the shifting of 
Chinese armies from Shanghai and South China ports to North China 
for the occupation of Manchuria. This necessitated the conversion of 
six LST's into horse transports. On the whole, the horse lift can be 
called successful. Of 2,000 horses transported, only 3 died. As one 
healthy colt was born en route, the net loss was 2. When occasion arises, 
American sailors can be horse wranglers, or just plain wranglers. Re- 
deployment of supply, fuel, and water equipment was required at Tsing- 
tao, Shanghai, and Hongkong to meet the logistic requirements of the 
vessels transporting Chinese troops, horses, and equipment. 

.Then up came the problem of obtaining quickly the winter clothing 
to outfit vessels diverted to North China. Another problem was a supply 
of anti-freeze fluids. However, after a bookful of dispatches, quantities 
of these items were received, and by the end of a month the supply was 

Personnel. The port of Shanghai was a very important place in person- 
nel traffic, the focal point from which replacements of men and officers 
were distributed to all ships operating in Japanese Empire waters. 
During November 300 officers and about 3,000 enlisted men were trans- 
ferred to the United States for separation from the Navy. Every ship 
leaving the China area for home was loaded to capacity with passengers, 
which resulted in very few being on the waiting list. 

The Giant Takes off His Armour 403 

There was difficulty in obtaining qualified replacements for men 
eligible for discharge. Nearly three-fourths of the replacements being 
sent out to China were nonrated men; of the rated remainder there were 
insufficient repair and engine-room ratings. This made it advisable to 
urge all ships to start intensive training programs to prepare these non- 
rated men to fill jobs left vacant by discharges. All personnel transac- 
tions were handled afloat, as there were no shore-based facilities for 
doing this work. With the shortages came a drop in efficiency, as already 
stated. It was distressing to those in command positions, used to doing 
things in prompt and thorough fashion, to see the deterioration of fine 
equipment from neglect and improper use. Equipment costing much 
money to provide in the first place, and much to repair or replace, was 
being wasted. But the harsh years of war with their death and destruc- 
tion were over, the giant was doffing his armor, and to Americans it 
seemed time for family reunions regardless of gear and equipment. "To 
hell with it! We'll make some more and better if we ever need it. Home 
and family and friends again! That's different. Every day lost from them 
is lost forever. We are no Roman legions to stay away a hundred years; 
no, not even a hundred minutes longer for all the equipment in the 
Navy if I can catch the next transport!" 

Thus was Denebrink, fortunately for the Navy one of its ablest offi- 
cers, left holding the bag. To his everlasting credit, he did an outstand- 
ing logistic job at a time when the bottom was nearly out of the bag. 
But service, nevertheless! 

Pipe Down 

The broader meaning of logistic service afloat had for years been repeat- 
edly brought up in naval circles, but the attention given by the majority 
of the influential during peace had been slight. Then came war! With 
hostilities spread over such tremendous areas of the Pacific, it seemed 
almost as if with the change of name of the Base Force to Service Force in 
those early tough-going days of the war, that the broader concept of 
logistics service began to sprout. But, whatever the reason, sprout it 
did, and it grew, first under the cultivating guidance of "Uncle Bill"— 
Vice Admiral William L. Calhoun, Commander Service Force Pacific 
Fleet— and later under that of Commodore Alan G. Quynn, his chief of 
staff. It grew until finally the question of what facilities a port or 
anchorage had was not vital. If we wanted to use that place, we sailed 

404 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

in with the necessary logistics afloat ready for service. Even with the 
demobilization handicap which confronted Denebrink, the Navy carried 
on in those far distant places, so well had we learned the lesson of 
"beans, bullets, and black oil," afloat. 

List of Commanding Officers 

The following is a list of commanding officers of the principal vessels 
which were engaged in logistic work under Commander Service 
Force Pacific. Numerous tugs and other small craft did routine service 
in a very satisfactory manner. The names of their commanding officers 
however are not included. Patrol Craft (PC's, SC's, PCE's, etc.) are not 
listed here. They were under the administrative command of the Service 
Force Pacific and were detailed from time to time to operations con- 
nected with the fleet. In those protective duties they were very valuable. 
Many sources were searched in compiling this listing and every effort 
made to have it as accurate as possible. 

Floating Drydocks (Large) 

1 Capt A. R. Mack 
Capt R. C. Parker 

2 Comdr J. J. Rochefort 
Comdr W. R. Lawrence 

3 Comdr A. B. Kerr 

4 Comdr A. L. Karns 

6 Comdr G. B. Wait 

7 Capt E. F. Robinson 

Destroyer Tenders (AD) 


Capt H. N. Williams 
Capt S. Y. Cutler 
CaptJ. T.Warren 


Comdr N. M. Pigman 
Comdr C. Campbell 
Capt G. B. Parks 
Capt C. D. Swain 
Comdr K. H. Nonweiler 


Comdr G. L. Harriss 
Comdr E. H. McMenemy 
Comdr C. J. Marshall 


Capt G. H. Bahm 
Capt R. H. Hillenkoetter 
Capt G. H. Lyttle 
Capt A. L. Hutson 


Capt O. A. Kneeland 
Capt F S. Gibson 


Capt S. B. Ogden 
Capt H. K. Gates 



Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 


Comdr M. D. MacGregor 
Comdr F. L. Robbins 


Capt P. B. Koonce 
CAPT E. R. Runquist 


Capt G. C. Towner 


Comdr C. C. Hoffner 


Capt L. B. Farrell 
Capt A. L. Prosser 


ComdrJ. W.Millard 

Ammunition Ships (AE) 


Capt N. Vytlacil 
Capt R. L. Boiler 
Comdr A. B. Dickie 
Comdr S. J. Reiffel 


Capt F. Trimble 


Capt S. Mills 
CaptD. R. Osbornjr. 
Capt K. W. Palmer 
Comdr J. E. Wade 


Comdr F. D. Hamblin 
Comdr E. B. Perry 


Capt W W Meek 
Comdr R. B. Miller 
Comdr F. S. Conner 


Comdr F. A. Smith 
Comdr W L. Ware 
Ltcomdr W H. St. George 


Comdr G. D. Martin 
Ltcomdr K. L. Rawson 


Comdr P. V. R. Harris 


Capt W D. Ryan 
Ltcomdr H. C. Taylor " 


Comdr H. A. Turner 


Capt H. C. Todd 

13 AKUTAN - 

Comdr R. C. Brown 


Comdr A. Elb 


Ltcomdr F. J. George 

Stores Ships (AE) 


Comdr W B. Jackson, Jr. 
Comdr E. P. Sherman 
Ltcomdr R. R. Stevens 
Comdr T N. Saul 
Lt O. G. Wickre 

Comdr C. E. Olsen 
Comdr L. B. Stuart 
Ltcomdr C. R. Frasier 
Ltcomdr L. O. Peterson 
Ltcomdr C. R. Frasier 
Ltcomdr A. A. Fischer 
Ltcomdr L. O. Peterson 

List of Commanding Officers 




8 BOREAS 24 

Comdr R. K. Davis 
Comdr E. E. Burgess . 
Comdr C. E. Taylor 
Ltcomdr B. G. Dennis 

9 YUKON 25 

Comdr E. R. Runquist 

Comdr A. L. McMullan 

Comdr R. W. Abbot 26 

CaptJ. L. Wyatt 

Comdr E E. Burgess 

Comdr S. L. M. Cole 

Comdr H. J. Olsen 

Comdr J. A. Stansbury 

Ltcomdr E. J. Hackett 

Lt S. H. Presper 

Lt A. F. Anderson 30 


Capt N. W. Bard 

Comdr R. C. Moureau 32 

Ltcomdr R. L. Howland 

Comdr H. J. Olsen 

Comdr J. D. Matheny 34 


Ltcomdr D. R. Phoebus 35 

Ltcomdr L. F. Kengle 

Ltcomdr A. R. Myers 36 


Comdr M. B. De Leshe 

Ltcomdr R. P. Oates 37 


Ltcomdr W W. Williamson 38 

Ltcomdr J. T. Baldwin 




Lt O. M Mikkelson 
Lt E. H. F. Buckner 
Ltcomdr G. L. Armstrong 
Ltcomdr C R. Armbrust 


Ltcomdr E. T Collins 
Ltcomdr J. M. Gallagher 
Ltcomdr A. M. Drake 


Ltcomdr O. J. Stein 
Comdr E. H. Doolin 
Ltcomdr C. T. Fitzgerald 


Comdr M. C. Wheyland 
Ltcomdr F. B. Doherty 


Ltcomdr B. P. Caraher 
Comdr E. H. Doolin 


Ltcomdr L. W. Borst 
Lt C. R. Paul 


LtA. G.Wood, Jr. 


Lt R. C. Mallon 


Lt H. C Prichard 


Ltcomdr N. W Landis 


Ltcomdr J. L. Boisdore 
Lt W H. Talley 


Lt C S. Rogers 


Lt W. W Wood 


Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 


Lt R. Weber 


Lt I. V. Chapman, Jr. 


Lt J. Janus 


Lt E. L, Lavoy 

Floating Dry docks (AFD) 

3 Ltjg C. N. Griswold 
9 Ltjg R. Burns 

13 Capt G. H. Lyttle 

14 Ltjg E. L. Jackson 

15 Carp O. L. Kleckner 
Ens E. M. Smith 
Ltjg R. H. Keidel 
Chcarp K. N. Burchfield 
Chbosn R. H. Eckholdt 

17 Chcarp I. H. Kissinger 

18 Ens R. N. Bates 

19 Ltjg H. F. Heaton 

20 Carp R. E. Crow 

21 Lt C. H. Leonard 

25 Ens H. L. Berube 
Ltjg L. Barger 

26 Ltjg F. V. Watson 

27 Lt M. W. Rosen 

28 Ltjg C. D. Moore 

29 Ltjg R. I. Fowler 

Floating Dry dock (AFDL) 

7 Lt H. S. Kellam 

22 Lt H. B. Kinnison 

23 Lt C W Robbins 
32 Lt H. W Teague 

Miscellaneous Auxiliaries (AG) 


Comdr D. M. MacKey 
Comdr J. U. Lademan, Jr. 
Ltcomdr T. J. Shultz 
Comdr H. Rawle 


Capt W H. Roberts 
Capt H. A. Houser 
Comdr T. H. Escott 


Comdr I. W Truitt 
Ltcomdr I. M. Johnson 
Comdr T. C. Brownell 
Lt D. C. Nutt 


Ltcomdr B. L. Rutt 
Ltcomdr W. A. Kanakanoi 
Ltcomdr E. L. McManus 
Ltcomdr E. Hassel 
Lt D. L. Lindhout 


Lt C. M. Sturgeon 


Lt F. A. Muller 
Ltcomdr J. W Baldwin 


Ltcomdr J. P. Gately 
Ltcomdr H. L. Liberg 
Lt N. W Littlefield 


Ltcomdr V. H. S. G. Holm 
Lt G. H. Fallesen 
Ltcomdr E. G. True 


Ltcomdr F. Isbell 
Lt A. B. Giles 

List of Commanding Officers 



Comdr A. M. Wright 
Ltcomdr W. C. Ball 
Lt D. A. Campbell 
Lt R. R. Ford 


Ltcomdr J. S. Kapuscinski 
Lt M. F. Root 
Ltjg C. H. Childress 


Comdr L. A. Parks 


Lt W. M. Aye 


Ltcomdr Henry Mayfield 


Comdr F. D. Hurd 

Surveying Ships (AGS) 


Capt B. H. Thomas 
Ltcomdr F. L. DuBois 


Comdr W. M. Scaife 
Comdr W. M. Gibson 


Comdr M. W. Graybill 


Capt J. H. Seyfried 
Comdr H. C Behner 


Comdr I. W Truitt 
Ltcomdr I. M. Johnson 
Comdr T. C. Brownell 
Lt D. C. Nutt 

Hospital Ships (AH) 


Capt P. M. Money 
Comdr J. B. Bliss 
Comdr J. C Sever 


Capt B. Perlman 
Comdr C L. Waters 
Comdr E. B. Peterson 


Capt T A. Esling 


Ltcomdr G. L. Burns 
Ltcomdr P. W Mallard 

Comdr C W Scribner 
Comdr W A. McCreery 
Ltcomdr A. E. Uber 


Capt T T Patterson 


Comdr C. C. Laws 


Capt M. D. Mullen 


Comdr P. S. Tambling 
Capt P. G. Beck 


Capt W O. Britton 

Cargo Ships (AK) 


Comdr J. H. Doyle 
Comdr E. Kirby-Smith, Jr. 
Ltcomdr H. B. Johansen 


Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 


Comdr F. A. Rhoads 
Comdr H. G. R. Johnson 
Ltcomdr V. F. Lucas 


Comdr J. W. Long 
Ltcomdr F. M. Kiley 
Lt F. R. Brooks 

17 VEGA 

Ltcomdr W. B. Dell 
Ltcomdr F. C. Rice 
Ltcomdr V. C. Branan 
Ltcomdr D. O. Burling 

Comdr H. C. Flanagan 
Comdr P. L. F. Weaver 
Comdr C A. Printup 
Capt R. V. Mullany 


Comdr W. H. Turnquist 


Ltcomdr G. W. Graber 

Ltcomdr N. D. Salmon 

Ltcomdr W. H. Barckmann 


Ltcomdr H. H. Hansen 
Ltcomdr J. W. Baldwin 
Ltcomdr E. L. Evey 
Ltcomdr L. W. Borst 


Capt W. W. Ball 
Ltcomdr A. W. Callaway 


Ltcomdr D. E. Collins 


Ltcomdr J. B. Blain 
Ltcomdr A. Elb 
Ltcomdr J. J. Hughes 


Ltcomdr J. I. MacPherson 
Ltcomdr B. Koerner 


Comdr W. E. Carlson 
Ltcomdr R. J. Brooke 


Ltcomdr N. E. Lanphere 
Ltcomdr H. H. Breed 

Ltcomdr J. P. Gately 
Ltcomdr A. S. Haines, Jr. 


Ltcomdr N. T. Gansa 
Ltcomdr E. J. Grey 
Lt C. B. Johnson 


Comdr W. L. Sorenson 


Ltcomdr E. L. Evey 
Ltcomdr R. M. Drysdale, Jr. 


Lt M. M. Coombs, USCG 
Lt W. A. Greene, USCG 
Lt L. R. Freeman, USCG 
Ltcomdr V. A. Johnson, 

Lt B. R. Mess, USCG 


Lt E. R. McCotter, USCG 

Lt E. A. McCammond, USCG 


Comdr O. C. B. Wev, USCG 
Ltcomdr F. E. Morton, USCG 
Ltcomdr J. A. Lewis, USCG 


Comdr L. S. Burgess, USCG 
Ltcomdr W. C. Hart, USCG 
Ltcomdr M. L. Johnson, 

List of Commanding Officers 



Ltcomdr J. E. King, USCG 
Ltcomdr D. S. Walton, USCG 
Ltcomdr A. DeZeeuw, USCG 


Ltcomdr J. B. Krestensen, 

Ltcomdr L. P. Toolin, USCG 
Ltcomdr F. T. Scheidell, 



Ltcomdr M. J. Johnson 


Ltcomdr J. G. Hart 
Comdr W. L. Travis 

105 NAOS 

Ltcomdr N. E. Wilcox 
Lt P. O. Bornander 
Ltcomdr A. M. Alcott 


Ltcomdr E. Johnson 
Ltcomdr J. J. Dineen 

Ltcomdr W L. Howard 
Ltcomdr J. B. Blain 
Ltcomdr G. H. Lehleitner, Sr. 

110 ALKES 

Comdr W H. Wight 
Ltcomdr C. L. Wickman 


Comdr G. J. King 


Ltcomdr F. W. Dutton 
Ltcomdr B. J. Parylak 


Ltcomdr H. O. Matthiesen 


Comdr E. G. Gummer 
Ltcomdr A. O. Johansen 

115 CRUX 

Comdr C. R. Beyer 
Ltcomdr P. H. Paulsen 
Ltcomdr A. L. Steele 


Comdr E. Fluhr 
Ltcomdr A. J. Oxley 
Ltcomdr H. F. Gumper 


Ltcomdr J. S. Kapuscinski 


Ltcomdr E. B. Waters 

119 MATAR 

Ltcomdr E. E. Smith 
Lt H. A. Weston 
121 SABIK 

Ltcomdr H. Corman 
Lt F. Grime, Jr 
Ltcomdr H. Ryder 


Ltcomdr N. P. Thomsen, 

Ltcomdr J. B. Krestensen, 



Ltcomdr E. P. Gaither 


Ltcomdr B. H. Bassett 
Lt R. C. Gilkerson 


Comdr J. E. Dow 

127 ALNITAH " 

Comdr E. J. Youngjohns 


Ltcomdr A. J. Barkowsky 


Ltcomdr E. R. Winckler 
136 ARA 

Ltcomdr W B. Hudgins 
Lt W H. Jacobs 


Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 


Ltcomdr A. Kusebauch 
LtJ. B. Blee 


Ltcomdr M. S. Clark 
Lt A. E. McKimmey 

139 PAVO 

Ltcomdr M. W. Verran 


Ltcomdr D. F. Anderegg 

Ltcomdr L. H. Higenbotham 

Ltcomdr K. C. Ingraham 

Ltcomdr G. Zimmerman 

Ltcomdr W. C. Ball 

Lt F. M. Hillman 

Lt F. W. .Beyer 

LtG. W.Hodges, Jr. 

Ltcomdr G. L. Eastman 

Ltjg J. A. Rininger 

Lt G. W. Rahill 

LtD.J. Woodard 

LtJ. R. Lyden 

Lt P. J. Wild 

Lt E. J. McCluskey 


Ltcomdr N. C. Harrison, Jr. 


Ltcomdr L. F. Marshall 

Lt C. L. Hitchcock 


Lt H. K. Golway 


Ltcomdr M. A. MacPhee 


Lt W. F. Heyer 

Lt I. Stein 

LtJ. P. Marzano 


Ltcomdr O. H. Pitts 


Comdr L. J. Alexanderson 
Ltcomdr F. W Dutton 
Ltcomdr R. F. Menge 


Ltcomdr F. W Schultz 


Ltcomdr W J. Lane 
Ltcomdr L. O. Hess 


Ltcomdr J. S. Hidings, Jr. 


Ltcomdr V H. S. G. Holm 


Ltcomdr F. E. Church 


Ltcomdr J. E. Johansen 


Ltcomdr W F. Lally 


Ltcomdr J. Larsen 


Ltcomdr D. A. Durrant 


Ltcomdr N. H. Olsen 


Ltcomdr J. T Edwards 


Ltcomdr F. A. Geissert 


Ltcomdr J. S. Sayers 


Ltcomdr E. H. Petrelius 

List of Commanding Officers 


AKS (General Stores-Issue Ships) 


Comdr H. B. Herty 
Capt F. C. Hun toon 


Comdr H.J. Bellingham 
Ltcomdr E. P. Skolfield 
Ltcomdr J. E. Kendall 
Ltcomdr N. T. Gansa 


Ltcomdr R. E. King 


Ltcomdr J. A. F. Knowlton, II 


Comdr H. Hanley 
Comdr E. F. Cochrane 
Comdr W. V. Simmons 


Ltcomdr S. Perie 
Ltcomdr M. Scudder 


Ltcomdr J. H. Church, Jr. 




Comdr N. H. Castle 


Ltcomdr W. G. Dutton 

Cargo Ship and Aircraft Trans- 
port (AKV) 


Comdr E. C. Rogers 
Capt E. E. Duvall 
ComdrJ. W Windle 
Ltcomdr N. I. Lee, Jr. 


Comdr P. R. Glutting 
Comdr C. J. Ballreich 
Ltcomdr H. Ryder 
Ltcomdr B. C. Modin 

Oilers (A0) 


Comdr K. S. Reed 
Comdr J. G. Cross 
Ltcomdr B. N. Bock 


Capt P. R. Coloney 
Ltcomdr E. W. Glines 
Ltcomdr C. R. West 


Comdr T. J. Kelly 
Comdr R. P. Glass 
Ltcomdr R. S. Hanson 
Comdr J. M. Field 
Ltcomdr G. A. Haussler, Jr. 

Comdr E. P. Abernethy 


Comdr H. A. Carlisle 
Comdr A. J. Homann 
Ltcomdr W. H. Fogarty 
Ltcomdr J. H. Bale 


Comdr W Hibbs 
Comdr W. W Angerer 
Ltcomdr G. E. Nold 
Comdr W. M. Darlington 


Ltcomdr H. L. Hassell 


Ltcomdr W. E. Reed 
Ltcomdr C. A. Brodine 

214075 O-F-53 28 


Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 


Comdr V. B. Tate 
Comdr A. C. Larsen 
Ltcomdr J. W. Home 
Lt G. S. Hayward 
Ltcomdr Angell Johnson 


Comdr A. Macondray 
Comdr R. O. Myers 
Comdr F. E. Vensel, Jr. 
Comdr G. D. Arntz 
Ltcomdr H. R. Banister 


Capt R. M. Ihrig 
CaptJ. P. Cady 
Ltcomdr J. Clague 
Comdr A. H. Kooistra 
Comdr H. G. Schnaars, Jr. 


Comdr J. S. Phillips 


Capt R. H. Henkle 
Comdr H. Keeler, Jr. 
Comdr C H. Sigel 
Comdr F. S. Gibson 
Comdr L. M. Fabian 


Comdr H. L. Maples 
Comdr W. F. Riggs, Jr. 
Capt A. F. Junker 
Ltcomdr H. C. von Weien 


Capt L. J. Johns 
Comdr J. A. Holbrook 


Capt W. L. Taylor 
CaptJ. T.Acuff 
Ltcomdr W. F. Patten 
Lt T D. Arthur 


Comdr H. R. Thurber 
Comdr H. A. Anderson 
Ltcomdr C. A. Boddy 
Comdr R. N. Gardner 


Ltcomdr C O. Peak 
Comdr B. F Brandt 
Ltcomdr T M. Lehland 
Capt G. Bannerman 


Comdr P. L. Mather 
Ltcomdr J. R. Ducat 


Capt W. E. Hilbert 
Capt V. Bailey 


Capt W. H. Mays 
Comdr A. M. Harvey 
Capt E. V. Raines 
Ltcomdr W. G. Frundt 


Capt A. L. Toney 
Comdr A. J. Homann 
Ltcomdr E. N. Eriksen 


CaptTM. Dell, Jr. 
Comdr F. J. Ilsemann 


Capt A. O. R. Bergensen 
Comdr C A. Swafford 
Comdr H. Corman 


Comdr B. Davis 
Comdr F. J. Firth 
Ltcomdr F. P. Ferrell 
Ltcomdr K. R. Hall 
Ltcomdr E. C. Hagen 

List of Commanding Officers 



Capt C. D. Emory 
Ltcomdr H. G. Hansen 


Capt F. L. Worden 
Comdr D. G. McMillan 
Ltcomdr F. P. Parkinson 


Capt R. E. Butterfield 
Comdr A. S. Johnson 
Ltcomdr N. C Bishopp 


Comdr J. B. Goode 
Ltcomdr W. F. Huckaby 


Comdr L. J. Modave 
Ltcomdr W. Barnett 
Ltcomdr M. K. Reece 


Ltcomdr G. Eyth 
Comdr G. D. Arntz 


Comdr H. J. Schroeder 
Ltcomdr A. E. Stiff 
Ltcomdr F. N. Lang 
Comdr G. L. Eastman 


Ltcomdr L. J. Hasse 
Ltcomdr G. Zimmerman 
Ltcomdr G. G. Boyd 


Ltcomdr C L. Cover, Jr. 


Comdr J. G. Olsen 


Comdr J. B. Smyth 


Comdr P. G. Beck 


Capt P. M. Gunnell 
Comdr A. C Larsen 


Ltcomdr O. Rees 


Ltcomdr H. M. Mikkelsen 


Comdr E. G. Genthner 


Comdr C. G. Long 


Comdr P. M. Gunnell 
Ltcomdr G. W. Renegar 
Comdr H. G. R. Johnson 


Comdr M. H. Bassett 
Comdr H. L. de Rivera 


Comdr P. Andersen 
Comdr M. C. Thompson 
Ltcomdr C. R. Cosgrove 


Comdr A. F. Block 


Comdr B. F. Brandt 
Ltcomdr E. L. Jurewicz 


Capt W. I. Stevens 


Capt A. C. Allen 


Comdr J. W. Marts, Jr. 
Comdr R. C Spaulding 


Comdr G. E. Ely 
Ltcomdr J. W. Home 


Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 


Comdr J. G. Cross 
Comdr H. R. Parker 
Ltcomdr C. G. Strom 


Comdr H. B. Edgar 
Comdr F. S. Kirk 
Ltcomdr J. F. Ardagh 
Ltcomdr R. P. Le Viness 


Capt F. A. Hardesty 
Comdr J. B. McVey 


Ltcomdr C. H. Glenwright 


Comdr H. R. Adams 
Ltcomdr H. K. Wallace 


Comdr L. S. McKenzie 
Ltcomdr E. A. Turpin 


Ltcomdr J. M. Paulsson 
Ltcomdr R. Goorgian 


Comdr B. N. Bock 
Ltcomdr C W. Brockway 


Comdr E. H. Danesi 
Ltcomdr J. Burnbaum 


Comdr C. C. Eden 
Ltcomdr J. F. Wickham 
Ltcomdr H. P. Timmers 


Comdr W. L. Sorenson 
Ltcomdr R. C Foyt 


Comdr D. J. Houle 
Ltcomdr C. B. Gjedsted 


Comdr J. R. Sanford,Jr. 


Ltcomdr H. M. Elder 


Capt B. W. Cloud 
Comdr W. L. Eagleton 


Comdr W. H. Fogarty 


Ltcomdr T. H. Hoffman 


Comdr R. S. Hanson 


Ltcomdr A. J. Church 

Gasoline Tankers (AOG) 


Ltcomdr A. J. Church 
Ltcomdr J. H. Bale 
Lt M. L. Miles 
Ltcomdr F. L. Lee 


Comdr L. Williams 
Ltcomdr A. G. Popkin 
Lt G. B. Johnson 
Ltjg R. G. Molin 


Ltcomdr D. Dillon, Jr. 
Lt T. P. Lawton 
Ltjg N. S. Cooper 


LtJ. F Ardagh 
Lt G. E. Verge 


Ltcomdr H. V. Ba'mberg 
Lt A. F. Anderson 
LtJ. C. Brown 

List of Commanding Officers 



Lt J. W. Foster 


Lt C R. Heath 


Lt J. V. Scott 
Lt F. M. Hillman 


Ltcomdr G. G. Boyd 
Lt C. R. Hampton 
Lt F. L. Dandrew 


Lt A. O. Askland 


Ltjg B. R. Everson 
LtJ.F. Shine 


Lt A. R. Norris 


Lt F. C. Steinmetz 


Lt B. W. Richelt 


Lt R. E. McAllister 


Ltjg L. F. Baker 


Lt G. A. Wagner, USCG 


Lt W. Hord 

Lt G. R. Robinson, USCGR 

Lt H. T Nottage, USCG 

Ltjg J. L. White, Jr., USCG 

Lt R. Rawcliffe, USCG 


Lt G. T. Frost, USCGR 


Lt R. F. Elder 


Lt A. W Walker, USCG 


LtJ. T.Collins, USCG 


Lt R. S. Logan, USCG 


Lt F. E. Hilton 


Lt W G. Peyton 


Lt L. A. Snider 


Lt S. K. Miller 
Lt E. W Heister 


Lt P. J. Hall 

Lt W G. Brown 

Lt E. G. Rifenburgh 

Lt L. R. Stahl 


Ltcomdr R. P. LeViness 
Lt F. W Ayers 


Lt W A. Jump, Jr. 

Hotel Barges (APL) 

2 Lt A. F. Legare 


Lt D. S. Sykes 
Lt H. L. Wright 


Lt R. S. Myers 


Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 


Lt L. R. Brandt 

13 Lt R. H. Wallace 


Lt H. E. Reice 

15 Lt T. Morrison 
LtJ. B. Kerr 
Lt J. G. Schaffer 


LtJ. A. Davies 
Lt W. E. Lee 

20 Lt W. H. Plympton 

21 Lt M. H. Powell 
23 Lt A. S. Powell 

27 Lt W. E. Pinnegar 

28 LtJ. K. Baillie, Jr. 

29 Lt R. W. Minear 

30 Lt W. R. Stead 

31 LtJ. D. Petree 


Lt E. W. Shuntill 

33 LtJ. F. Hazen 


Lt M. T O'Ferrall 

42 Lt M. A. Campbell 

43 LT R. H. Keehn 
47 Lt O. C. Gordon 

Repair Ships (ARs) 


Capt A. E. Schrader 
Comdr J. F. P. Miller 
Capt P. E. Kuter 
Comdr R. R. Ransom 


Capt R. P. Briscoe 
Comdr L. T Young 
Comdr C. C Laws 
Comdr H. E. Barden 


Capt C. Young 
Comdr W. T Singer 
CaptJ. B. Goode 
Comdr N. W Gambling 
Capt H. J. Pohl 


Comdr R. S. Caldwell 


Comdr J. L. Brown 
Comdr G. C Weldin 
Comdr E. M. Grimsley 


Comdr J. W Long 
Comdr R. P. Noisat 

Comdr C. F. Swanson 


Capt R. Dudley 
CaptJ. G. Hun toon 
Comdr V. M. Davis 


Comdr J. F. Warns 
Comdr C. T. Corbin 
Comdr C. Wilkes 


Comdr S. G. Nichols 


Comdr L. H. Hawkinson 


Comdr S. D. Simpson 

List of Commanding Officers 


Battle Damage Repair Ships 


Ltcomdr R. M. G. Swany 
ComdrJ. K. Killen 


Ltcomdr W. B. Studley 
Lt T. P. Lawton 
Lt D. Fluss 


Lt G. F. Watson 
Ltcomdr A. T. Ostrander 
Lt C. L. Hustead 


Lt W. C. Groves 


Comdr F. W. Parsons 
Ltcomdr S. N. Davis 


Lt W H. Farrar 

LtJ. L.Johnstone 

Heavy Hull Repair Ship (ARH) 


Capt A. O. R. Bergesen 
Comdr E. F. Beck 

Floating Dry docks (ARD) 

1 Comdr A. L. Karns 
Comdr T. Shine 
Comdr C S. Williams 

2 Comdr R. C. Parker 
Comdr R. R. Hayes 

5 Comdr C S. Williams 
Comdr T. W Sheridan 
Comdr H. Frericks 
Ltcomdr M. B. Grossman 

6 Comdr J. H.Wiley 
Ltcomdr H. L. Carpentar 
Ltcomdr S. W Hanns 

8 Comdr C. A. Rancich 
Lt K. B. Diffenbach 

1 1 Comdr W Hartenstein 
Comdr A. T. Swanson 

12 Comdr A. T. Swanson 

13 Ltcomdr W L. Travis 

14 Ltcomdr P. E. Troup 

15 Ltcomdr W E. Keller 

16 Ltcomdr G. T. January 

17 Ltcomdr A. Andersen 

18 Ltcomdr J. L. Jacobson 
Ltcomdr T Wollcott 

19 Ltcomdr A. P. Moffat 

21 Ltcomdr J. G. Bevelander 

22 Ltcomdr L. H. DeSanty 

23 Ltcomdr N. H. Geisenhoff 

24 Comdr L. Sederholt 

25 Comdr T F. Gorman 
Comdr O. Knudsen 

26 Ltcomdr I. B. Smith 
Lt I. Roswell 

27 Ltcomdr F. J. Silvernail 

28 Comdr W Hartenstein 

29 Lt H. Phillips 

30 Ltcomdr C. J. Dyer 

Internal Combustion Engine 
Repair Ships (ARG) 


Ltcomdr H. K. Bradford 
Ltcomdr A. Nelson 


Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 


Comdr E. R. Runquist 
Capt W. B. Tucker 


Comdr G. B. Evans 
Comdr J. A. Ivaldi 


Comdr G. T. Boldizsar 
Comdr A. R. Ridgely 


Comdr C. Lovelace 
Comdr A. M. Loker 


Comdr G. W. Stott 
Comdr D. B. Candler 

Comdr K. F. Home 
Comdr D. T. Baskett 

Comdr P. Andersen 

Salvage Ships (ARS) 


Lt W. T. Williams 


Lt R. Fisher 

Lt R. K. Thurman 

Lt J. N. Smith 


Ltcomdr A. T. Ostrander 
Lt L. B. Frank 
Lt A. W. Anderson 
Lt C. J. Boyers 


Lt C G.Jenkins, Jr. 
LtJ. F. Marshman 
Lt R. M. Van Home 


Lt R. M. Brunner 
Ltjg G. E. Joyal 
LtJ. L. Hill 


Ltcomdr M. E. McFarland 
Lt A. T. Pickett 
LtJ.J. O'DonnellJr. 


Lt L. C. Oaks 
Ltjg H. M. Babcock 


LtJ. H. Ferguson 

Ltcomdr H. Pond 


Ltcomdr J. B. Duffy, Jr. 
LtR. W.Swift, Jr. 


Lt A. W. Anderson 


LtJ. F. Simmons 


Lt H. B. Conrad 


Lt W D. Mooney 
LtJ. L. Walker 

29 VENT 

Lt H. H. Bothell 
Lt A. C. Boncutter 


Ltcomdr L. H. Curtis 
Ltcomdr S. D. Frey 

34 GEAR 

LtJ. F. Simmons 
Lt R. L. Morrissey 
Lt J. T. Moritz ' 


Lt F. J. Leamond 
Lt A. V. Hagstrom 

List of Commanding Officers 



Lt W. F. Lewis 

Ocean Tugs— Fleet (ATF) 


Ltcomdr H. B. McLean 
ComdrJ. A. Ouellet 
Ltjg F. Rigley 


Ltcomdr W. G. Fewel 


Lt C. S. Horner 
Lt A. L. Larson 


Lt C. B. Lee 
Lt A. H. Gunn 


Ltcomdr E. C Genereaux, Jr. 
LtJ. A. Young, Jr. 


Ltcomdr F. J. George 
Lt F. C. Dilworth 
LtJ. S. Lees 
Lt H. C Cramer 


Lt B. B. Johnson 
Lt L. M. Jahnsen 
Lt O. L. Crandall 

76 UTE 

Lt W. F. Lewis 

Lt O. L. Krick 

Lt V. P. Musto 

LtJ. M. Geortner 

Lt J. F. King 

Ltjg G. W McClead 

Lt L. C. Olson 

84 CREE 

Lt D. B. Howard 


Lt F. W Beyer 

Lt N. R. Terpenning 


Lt W G. Baker 
Ltjg C. O. Hall 
Lt A. B. Billig 
Lt W. K. Gillett 


Lt F. C. Clark 
Lt R. K. Thurman 
Lt H. E. Knox 
Lt L. C. Oaks 


LtJ. O. Strickland 
LtJ. D. Hutts 

94 YUMA 

Lt W.R.J. Hayes 
Lt T. T. White 

95 ZUNI 

Lt R. E. Chance 
Lt J. S. Malayter 
Lt R. R. Williams 


Lt D. Wally 


LtJ. Aitken 
Lt C. N. Jensen 


Lt R. F. Snipes 


Ltcomdr J. C. Hutcheson 


Lt H. A. Guthrie 


Ltcomdr W B. Coats 


Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 


Lt T. Brashear 


Lt R. L. Ward 


LtcomdrJ. F. Pingley 
LtC H.Silvia, Jr. 


Lt W. E. White 


Lt C. H. Stedman 

111 SARSI 

Lt H. J. Perry, Jr. 
Lt J. C. Blakeney 


Lt G. E. Cook 


Ltcomdr C. L. Foushee 


Lt F. L. Van Camp 


Ltcomdr E. G. Sheasby 


Lt G. E. Perry 


LtW. C. Beatiejr. 


Lt R. H. Teter 


Lt G. I. Nelson 

Lt E. C. Doty 

Lt E. A. McCammond 


Ltcomdr W R. Brown 


Ltcomdr H. K. Smith 


Lt A. C. Schoelpple 


Ltjg O. L. Guinn 

Ocean Tugs, Old (AT0) 


Ltcomdr J. A. Ouellet 
LtJ.F. Pingley 
Ltjg G. I. Nelson 
Lt W R. Wurzler 


Lt R. C. Schulke 
Lt H. F. Gordon 
Lt H. H. Branyon 


Ltcomdr N. B. Hopkins 
Lt J. A. Smith 
LtJ. D.Howell, Jr. 


Lt F. R. Davis 
Lt C A. Leonard 
Lt A. G. Willestoft 
Ltjg H. G. Labo 
Ltjg D. S. McLeod 


Lt A. A. Griese 
Lt H. E. Kiser 
Lt 2. T. Helm 


Ltcomdr P. M. Boltz 
Lt N. G. Neault 
Ltjg F. J. Donovan 
Lt I. M. Kidd 

List of Commanding Officers 



Lt J. L. Foley 
Ens F. G. Reed 
Lt H. L. Sigleer 
Lt E. L. A. Rau 
Ltjg E. L. Givins 

134 GREBE 

Ltcomdr E. D. McEathron 
Lt H. S. Bogan 
Ens W. L. Sloan 
Lt C. M. Lewis 


Ltcomdr C B. Schiano 
Ltjg R. L. Ward 
Ltjg A. B. Billig 
Ltjg J. T. Moritz 
Ens D. C. Enyeart 
Ltjg W. W. Collins 
Ltjg H. A. Brown 

139 RAIL 

Ltcomdr F. W. Beard 
Ltjg L. C Oaks 
Ltjg H. K. Smith 
Ltjg T. P. Pierce 
Ltjg E. D. White 
Lt D. F. Allen 

140 ROBIN 

Ltcomdr D. G. Greenlee, Jr. 
Lt J. J. Branson 
Ltjg E. C. Avery 
Ltcomdr A. J. Roy 

142 TERN 

Ltjg H. J. Perry, Jr. 
Ltjg G. F. Carey 
Ltjg W E. Hummel 


Ltcomdr T F. Fowler 
Lt S. B. Neff 
Lt R. J. Melchor 
Ltjg R. A. Botsford 
Lt J. M. C. Tighe 

144 VIREO 

Ltcomdr F. J. Ilsemann 
Lt J. C. Legg 
Ltjg C H. Stedman 
Ltjg P. R. Ekberg 
Ltjg S. O. Northrop 
Ltjg M. E. Seymour 
Lt B.J. Barber 

Ocean Tugs, Rescue (ATR) 

9 Lt L. H. Reybine 
Lt F. K. Davis 

10 Lt R. P. Griffing, Jr. 
Lt P. E. Pellusch 

11 Lt S. M. Meyer 

Lt R. H. Matheson 

12 Ltjg B. F. Gerttula 

13 Ltjg G. N. Hammond 
Ltjg J. A. Milliken 

16 Lt D. R. Luckham 

26 Ltjg J. H.Kelly 
Ltcomdr I. B. Smith 
Lt H. R. Macletchie 

27 Ltjg C. E. Kemmerer 
Ltjg L. L. Reynolds 
Ltjg M. A. Carr 

28 Lt E. Swanson 

33 Ltjg E. R. Weaver 


Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

34 Ltjg A. Zito 

35 Ltjg L. C. Gunn 
Ltjg E. A. Penland 
Ltjg G. C. Battle 

36 Lt R. D. Raikes 
Ltjg L. R. Vacovsky 

38 Lt P. W. Dodson 

39 Ltcomdr A. W Wilde 
Lt J. J. Phillips 

40 Ltjg P. A. Tyndall 
Lt A. J. Roberts 

44 Lt M. L. Wright 

45 Lt J. L. Hostinsky 

46 Lt R. K. Thurman 

47 Lt H. L. Lane 

50 Ltjg A. B. Billig 
Lt A. P. Woronick 
Ltjg G. W Kingston 

51 Ltjg A. L. Larson 
Lt L. C. Gunn 
Lt G. W Becker 
Lt J. W Jenkins 

52 Lt C. A. Miller 

53 Lt B. M. Stevenson 

58 Lt G. B. Barry 

59 Lt F. H. Matthews 
Lt J. M. Wysolmerski 

62 LtJ. M. Brown, Jr. 
Lt E. E. Leseur 

63 Lt R. W. Coffey 
Lt C. Richards 

65 Lt H. A. Preston 
LtJ. R. Strong 

66 Ltjg B. J. Begue 

69 Lt W F. Reinkin 

70 Lt W L. Sloan 
Lt T. B. Taylor 

71 Ltjg J. B. Walker 

72 Ltjg C. B. Hiner 
Lt P. V. Evans 

73 Ltjg E. L. Givins 
Ltjg R. J. Melchor 

75 Lt E. A. McCammond 
Ltjg L. J. Hanan 

76 Lt D. J. Myers 

77 Lt W A. Jewett 

78 LtjgJ. A. Macdonald 

79 Lt D. J. McMillan 

80 LtJ. P. Dubrule 
LtJ. W.Foster 
Lt T. D. Shihadeh, Jr. 

81 Lt M. P. Smith 

83 Lt M. T. Dalby 
LtD.J. Coughlin 

84 Lt R. R. Williams 
Ltjg M. J. Schwartz 

Distilling Ships (AW) 


Comdr W G. Fewel 
Ltcomdr C. M. Williams 


Ltcomdr E. N. Eriksen 
LtJ. D. Gaboury 

Destroyer Mine Sweeper (DMS) 


Comdr H. R. Prince 

Ltcomdr W K. Chisholm 

Ltcomdr R. L. R. Johnson 
14 2ANE 

Ltcomdr W T. Powell, Jr. 

Ltcomdr R. H. Thomas 

Lt L. C McFarland 

Ltcomdr M. Adams, Jr. 

Lt A. S. Brengle 

List of Commanding Officers 


Unclassified Vessels (IX) 


Lt N. H. Castle 

Lt C. A. Markham 

Lt C. R. Bower 

Lt J. McCarty 


Ltjg R. C. McGrath 

95 ECHO 

Ltjg M. C. Riddle 
100 RACER 

Lt W.J. Barnes 

102 MAJABA " 

Ltcomdr M. Shaw 
Lt F. J. George 
Chmach R. C. Andrews 
Mach D. S. Lee 

103 E. A. POE 

Comdr W. F. Ives 
Ltcomdr J. F. Kennedy 
Ltcomdr A. B. Beattie 

104 P. H. BURNETT 

Lt D. Ruos 
Lt H. N. Olsen 
Lt E. F. Cutler 
107 ZEBRA 

LtJ. E.Kendall 


Lt L. G. Elsell 
LtJ. Loughlin 
Ltjg P. G. Rick 


Lt M. S. Samuels 
Ltcomdr J. M. Hartfield 


Ltcomdr M. R. Meyer 
LtJ. B. Hewgley 


Ltcomdr R. E. Rew, Jr. 

113 CAMEL 

Lt D. Dunham, Jr. 
Lt M. J. Parsons 


Lt A. J. Nail 
Lt R. A. Davies 
LtJ. B. Humphrey 
LT H. G. Owens 

115 ELK 

Ltcomdr W. T. Stannard 
Lt R. H. Weeks 


LtJ. P.Marshall 
LtJ. B. Koeller 


Comdr A. H. Kooistra 
Lt E. W Smith 
Lt J. J. Moriarty 


Ltcomdr F. F. Daly 
Ltcomdr H. E. Thayer 

119 IBEX 

Ltcomdr J. L. Frazer 


Ltcomdr T. F. Marvin 
Lt A. H. Branson 


Lt G. D. Lawson 
124 MOOSE 

Lt G. E. Spencer 

Lt M. E. Vallario 

Lt J. F. Moore 


Ltcomdr R. Parmenter 
Lt F. F. Mullins, Jr. 
Lt C. R. Stuntz 


Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 


Lt B. F. Langland, USCG 
Ltcomdr D. H. Williams, 


Lt J. P. Marshall 
Lt J. J. Karugas 


LtW.J. Tross 

Lt R. L. Barrington 


Ltcomdr J. S. Loring 
Lt A. E. Michaelsen 


Lt H. C. Pollock 


Ltcomdr A. G. Munro 


LT E. A. Gray 
Ltjg V. E. Harris 
Lt D. Baker 


Comdr E. L. McManus 
Ltcomdr W. S. Ginn 


LtW.J. Tross 


Ltcomdr H. R. Will 

Ltcomdr K. H. Carlson 


Lt N. King 


Ltcomdr P. M. Runyon 
LtW.J. Sharp, Jr. 


Lt J. D. Neal 
Lt O. A. Seavey 


LtC. E. Burchjr. 


Ltcomdr M. K. Reece 
Comdr G. M. Street 


Lt A. R. Robertson 


Ltcomdr C. M. Lokey 
Ltcomdr F. de S. Gorman 


Comdr G. L. Armstrong 
Ltcomdr F. de S. Gorman 


Lt W T Bresnahan 


Lt F. Harris 

Ltjg R. K. Sherwood 

160 MARL 

Lt E. A. Mooney 
Ens R. O. Buck 


Lt H. B. Stiehl 


Lt F. E. Lucier 


Lt W E. Loughborough 


Lt F. Brinton, Jr. 
Ltcomdr W H. Thompson 


Ltcomdr W D. Baker 


Lt G. R. Olsen 


Lt J. O. Karlberg 
Lt J. McCormick 


Lt R. P. Morrison 


Lt R. S. Green 

List of Commanding Officers 






Lt T. E. Doey 

Lt A. E.Jackson, Jr 



Lt G. R. Oglesby 

Lt A. B. Melcher 

Lt M.J. Wakefield 
LTD. J. Crawford 


air Barges ( YR ) 




Mach A. E. Balog 

Ltcomdr H. L. Sigleer 


Mach J. H. Brenchick 




Ltjg R. S. Nelson 

Lt W. W. Beck 


Ltjg E. A. Sicard 


Chmach W. Vannatter 




Chmach G. G Macham 

Lt H. L. Ty singer 


Mach T. R. Rice 

Representative types of vessels and small craft 

engaged in logistic support activities under 

Commander Service Force Pacific 

214075 O-F-53 29 

ABSD Advanced Base Sectional Dock #1 (Battleship California inside) 

AD Destroyer Tender (USS Prairie AD-13J 

AE Ammunition Ship (USS Shasta AE-6) 

AF Provisions St ores hip (USS Bridge AF-lJ 

AFDL Mobile Floating Dry dock Large (Under tow) 1900 tons 

AFD Mobile Floating Drydock (AFD-5) WOO tons 

A GS Surveying Ship (USS Bowditch A GS-4J 

A H Hospital Ship (USS Bountiful A H-9) 

AK Cargo Ship (USS Formalhaut AK-22) 

A KS Stores Issue Ship (USS Kochab A KS-6J 

AKV Aircraft Transport (USS Kitty Hawk AKV-1 

AN Net Tender 

A Fleet Oiler (USS Housatonic A 0-33 J 

A OG Gasoline Tanker (USS Patapsco A OG-1 ) 


A PL Barracks Ship (Hotel Barge A PL-1 8) 

A R Repair Ship (USS Vestal AR-4 alongside damaged battleship) 


fc-»..,„, • 


'":,:,'..: ..." ■'■: - : ■' ■ .• : W,K. '• ' ..." a , •' ' . ::. .' S '■• . , .' ■■.■■■■ >V "■ >" ■"■ ' ' . ... ;. , -;■ . ... • ... . . -,,; ■ 

ic«*Wffi^ftl»««,,..v.. ■■■■■■■■■ 

v4 £ Repair Ship (USS Ajax A R-6) 


ARB Repair Ship, Battle Damage (USS Midas ARB-5) 


mmmmr m 

■■■.. : ' . "■." ' ■: ■. ,:.■:■ 

ARD Floating Drydock (3300 tons) (USS ARD-23 ) 

■" ■.■: 

^jRCt Repair Ship, Internal Combustion Engine (USS Mindanao ARG-3) 

ARH Heavy Hull Repair Ship (USS Jason ARH-1 alongside 

carrier Hancock) 

ARS Salvage Vessel (USS Current ARS-22) 

ATF Ocean Tugs, Fleet (USS Apache ATF-67) 


^TO Cto/z Tug, Old (AT 0-24 with target in tow) 

ATR Ocean Tug, Rescue (USS ATR-21) 

A W Distilling Ship (USS Abatan A W-4) 

YF Covered Lighters (YF-696 used for ammunition storage) 

YF Yard Freight Barge (YF-H2 stowage and issue of fleet freight) 

YG Garbage Lighter (YG-30) 

YO Fuel Oil Barge (YO-29 carried Diesel oil) YOG (gasoline) 

same as YO's 


YR Floating Workshop (YR-49) 

YSD Seaplane Wrecking Derrick (YSD-36 "The Marianne" ) 

YSR Sludge Removal Barge 

YTB Harbor Tug, Big (YTB-372) 

YTM Harbor Tug, Medium (With freight barge alongside) 

YW-Water Barge (YW-90 in floating drydock) 

IX A Concrete Stores Ship Making Issues to Small Craft Alongside 

Twin Engine "Sea Mule"— Not Too Reliable— (Note cordage at time of 

acute shortage) 

Pontoon (Floating) Landing for Liberty Parties with LCM Alongside- 

(LCM and LCVP in background) 

A 100-Ton Pontoon Cargo Barge, Outboard Driven 

Glossary of Abbreviations 

A A— Antiaircraft. 

AAC— Antiaircraft common. 

ABDA— American-British-Dutch-Australian Command (1942). 

ABDAFLOAT— American-British-Dutch-Australian Naval Operational Command 

ABSD— Advanced base sectional dock. Made up of 7 (825 feet), 9 (844 feet), or 10 
(927 feet) sections; lift capacity, 7 section, 55,000 tons; 9 section, 81,000 
tons; 10 section, 90,000 tons. Suitable for docking BB's, CVB's, and CV's. 
Docked heavy ships at Manus, Guam, and in Leyte Gulf. 

ACM— Auxiliary mine layer. 

ACORN— An airfield assembly designed to construct, operate, and maintain an ad- 
vanced landplane and seaplane base and provide facilities for operations. 

ACV— Auxiliary aircraft carrier or tender. 

AD— Destroyer tender. The largest of this class were the 530 footers (18,000 tons), 
of the Dixie class. Destroyer tenders took destroyers and escorts alongside 
serving their needs with repair work, stores, provisions, ammunition, and tor- 
pedoes. In addition some saw service as service-division and service-squadron 

ADG— Degaussing vessel. 

AE— Ammunition ship. About 450 feet long, and 60 feet beam. Cargo (ammunition) 
capacity of almost 7,000 tons. 

AF— Provisions stores ship. Has large refrigerated spaces. Supplied fresh and frozen 
provisions. Aldebaran, Hyades, Graffias, Polaris, the largest of the AF types, 
had over 5,000-ton cargo capacity. Brought highly prized fresh and frozen 
provisions to advanced logistic support anchorages. 

AFD— Mobile floating drydock. One-piece, steel. Length 200 feet. Nominal lift 
capacity of 1,000 tons. Suitable for docking YN's (net tenders) and AM's 
(large minesweepers). Used at logistic support anchorages. 

AFDL— Mobile floating drydock. One-piece, steel. Nominal lift capacity, 1,900 
tons. Length over all 288 feet. Capable of docking DE, ATR, and AMS. 

AG— Miscellaneous auxiliaries. 

AGC— Combined operations communications headquarters ship. In Pacific most 
frequently used as flagships of amphibious force or group commanders. 


452 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

AGL— Lighthouse tender. 

AGP— Motor torpedo boat tender. 

AGS— Surveying ship. These were converted from other types; equipped to conduct 
a harbor survey and to print the finished chart, complete with accurately 
placed reference points, shoreline, aids to navigation, depths of water, current 
data, shoals and other hazards, and anchorage circles. The work of this class 
was of much value, especially to enable use by our forces of a harbor promptly 
after seizure. 

AH— Hospital ships. Bearing such peaceful names as Repose, Solace, etc. These non- 
combatant vessels were, according to Hague and Geneva Conventions, ex- 
empt from attack. Painted white and brightly lighted at night they traveled 
alone. A floating hospital, they evacuated sick and wounded Army, Navy, and 
Marine personnel from combat areas. 

AIRSOWESPAC-Aircraft, Southwest Pacific Force. 

AK— Cargo ships. These were converted merchantmen of various types from about 
7,000 to 14,000-ton displacement and 4,000 to 5,000-ton cargo capacity (some 
as high as 7,000 tons). Speeds for most were about 11.5 to 12.5 knots, some 
faster. Among the AK's were the ships of the Liberty and Victory classes. 

AKA— Cargo vessel, attack. All of this class Maritime Commission built. Over 400 
feet long with a speed of about 17 knots, these were important units of 
amphibious forces. 

AKS— General stores issue ships. Except for Castor and Pollux, each of which had 
speed of about 16 knots, the AKS types had speeds of about 12 knots. Each 
had total cargo capacity of about 9,000 tons. These were active in making 
issues at advanced anchorages and returning to rear areas or U. S. for 
replenishment of cargo. 

AKV— Cargo ships and aircraft ferries. Kittyhawk and Hammondsport (formerly 
APV-1 and APV-2, respectively). These were ex-Sea Train Lines ships and 
carried airplanes (in ready-to-fly status), engines, and parts from the United 
States, principally to Hawaii, Noumea, and the Hebrides. 

AM — Large mine sweeper. 

AMc— Coastal mine sweeper. 

AMM— Aviation machinist's mate. 

Ammo— Ammunition. 

AMs — Auxiliary motor mine sweeper. 

AN — Net layers. These were the valuable "horned-toads" which laid and maintained 
antisubmarine nets protecting harbors and fleet anchorages. 

AO — Oilers. These were the important elements in the Navy's "lifeline" in the 
Pacific — the hard working, dependable fleet oilers and station tankers. 
Though specializing in fuel oil, Diesel oil, and gasoline, some of these later 

Glossary of Abbreviations 453 

carried some ammunition, provisions, bottled gas, mail, stores, spare parts, 
and personnel for delivery to fast carrier task groups at sea. Some AO's were 
converted to carry water. 

AOG— Gasoline tankers. Very useful size for harbor fueling. These were about 220 
to 320 feet in length, the largest carrying over 800,000 gallons of gasoline and 
some fuel oil. 

AP— Armor piercing. 

AP— Transport. 

APA— Transport, attack. 

APB— Barracks ships, self-propelled. Two of this type at Iwo Jima were converted 
LST's used as mother ships for landing boats and their crews, providing 
water, provisions, fuel, berthing, and messing; also accommodated 14 bed 

APc— Coastal transport. 

APD — High-speed troop transport. These were, for the most part, converted de- 
stroyer escorts; some were the old 1,100-ton flush-deck destroyers, the long- 
lived and revered "four pipers," some of which had been commissioned as 
early as 1917. 

APH— Transport fitted for evacuation of the wounded. 

APL— Barracks ships (hotel barges). These were non-self-propelled house boats 260 
feet long with a 49-foot beam. The ships data, U. S. naval vessels, lists accom- 
modations for 5 officers and 66 enlisted men with troop capacity of 583 en- 
listed. These seagoing barracks were invaluable for housing personnel, 
especially stevedores (construction battalion specialists) engaged in handling 
ammunition and other cargo at Eniwetok, Ulithi, and Leyte. Each barracks 
ship was nicknamed for some famous hotel such as the "New Yorker," 
"Biltmore," "Astor," and "Waldorf." To name one, the et Casa Marina" 
(APL-10), built at Nashville, Tennessee, was floated down the Mississippi 
and commissioned at New Orleans. She was towed to Ulithi via Pearl Harbor. 
Surviving typhoon winds she was towed from Ulithi to Shanghai, where she 
housed the boat-pool personnel for Service Division 101. 

APO— Army post office. 

APS— Transport, submarine. 

AR— Repair ships. Of the repair ships, the Vulcan (AR-5), Ajax (AR-6), and 
Hector (AR-7) were similar in design to the D/'x/V-class destroyer tenders and 
were equipped with splendid machine shops and foundries, enabling them to 
make repairs to delicate equipment (including optical) as well as heavy equip- 
ment. For their particular type of work, repair ships in advanced logistic sup- 
port anchorages were practically floating navy yards. 

ARB— Repair ships, battle damage. There were 12 of these converted from LST's. 

454 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

ARD— Floating drydocks. These, some 485 feet and some 491 feet long, had a lift 
capacity of 3,500 tons and could accommodate destroyers, submarines, and 
landing ships (tank). They were the bulwark of repair forces of service organ- 
izations in logistic support anchorages in the accomplishment of repair where 
docking was required. 

ARG— Repair ships, internal combustion engine. There were 13 ARG's, 12 of which 
were Liberty ships converted for repair duties. Gasoline and Diesel engines 
for planes and vessels were repaired in ARG's. 

ARH— Heavy-hull-repair ships. The Jason, of the same design as Vulcan class of re- 
pair ship, was the only ARH. She made a substantial contribution to Pacific 
war effort. At Ulithi she repaired and sent back to the battle line six major 
ships that had suffered serious damage from Kamikaze attacks— 4 carriers and 
2 battleships. 

ARL— Repair ship, landing craft. 

ARS— Salvage vessels. A little over 200 feet in length and about 40 feet beam, 
mostly twin-screw Diesel-electric machinery, these vessels performed valuable 
service in towing and rescue service in the Pacific. 

ARV — Aircraft engine overhaul and structural repair ship. 

AS— Submarine tender. 

ASR— Submarine rescue vessel. 

ATA— Ocean tugs, auxiliary. 

ATCOM— Atoll commander. 

ATF— Ocean tugs, fleet. This was the almost indispensable type to have at hand at 
logistic anchorages or in reserve support of invasions. They performed note- 
worthy service in the towing of three damaged cruisers back from the 
"shadow of Formosa." This class had American Indian tribal names, Diesel- 
electric propulsion, one screw. 

ATO— Ocean tug, old. 

ATR— Ocean tug, rescue. 

AV— Seaplane tender (large). 

AVD— High-speed seaplane tender (converted DD). 

AVS— Aviation supply ship. 

AVP— Seaplane tender (small). 

AW— Distilling ships. Two of this class were Liberty tankers and two others, the 
Pasig (AW-3) and Abatan (AW-4), were large oilers (523 feet long) adapted 
to carry water and with distillers to make it. These were valuable in furnish- 
ing water to shore stations and to ships without distilling apparatus. 

BARREL— Forty-two gallons of fuel oil— 50 gallons of gasoline. 

BATDIV— Battleship division. 

BATFOR— Battle force. 

Glossary of Abbreviations 455 

BATRON— Battleship squadron. 

BATSHIPBATFORPAC-Battleships, Battle Force, Pacific Fleet. 

BB— Battleship. 

BETTY— Japanese Navy medium bomber (twin engine— Mitsubishi). 

BLACK OIL- Bunker fuel oil. 

BOGIE— Unidentified aircraft. 

BU— As prefix means one of the bureaus of the Navy Department. 

BUS AND A— Bureau of Supplies and Accounts. 

BUSHIPS-Bureau of Ships. 

CA— Heavy cruiser. 

C AN FSWPA— Commander Allied Naval Forces, Southwest Pacific Area. 

CAPT— Captain. 

CARAIRGROUP— Carrier air group. 

CARDIV— Carrier division. 

CASU— Carrier aircraft service unit. 

CB— Large cruiser. Alaska (CB-1) and Guam (CB-2), commissioned in 1944, 

reached the Pacific near end of war. 
CDR— Commander. 
CDS — Commander destroyer squadron. 
CENPAC— Central Pacific Area. 
CENPACFOR— Central Pacific Force. 
CG— Coast Guard. 
CGC— Coast Guard cutters. 
CIC— Combat information center. 
CINC — Commander in chief. 
CINCAF — Commander in Chief, Allied Forces. 

CINCAFPAC— Commander in Chief, U. S. Army Forces in the Pacific. 
CINCPAC-CINCPOA-Commander in Chief, U. S. Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean 

CL— Light cruiser. 
CL(AA)— Light cruiser, antiaircraft. 
CM— Mine layer. 
CMc— Coastal mine layer. 
CMM— Chief machinist's mate. 
CNO— Chief of Naval Operations (Also OpNav). 
CO — Commanding officer. 

COM— Commander: Examples: ComDesRon (Commander Destroyer Squadron). 
COMDR— Commander. 
COMDT— Commandant. 
COMINCH— Commander in Chief, United States Fleet (Formerly CinCUS). 

456 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

COMMO — Commodore. 

COMSERFORPACSUBCOM-Commander Service Force Pacific Subordinate 

COMSERVRON— Commander service squadron. 
CRUBATFOR-Cruisers, battle force. 
CRUDIV— Cruiser division. 
CTF— Commander task force. 
CTG— Commander task group. 
CTU— Commander task unit. 
CUB — An advanced base unit consisting of all the personnel and material necessary 

for the establishment of a medium-sized advanced fuel and supply base". 
CV — Aircraft carrier. 
CVB— Large aircraft carrier. 
CVE— Aircraft carrier, escort. 

CVET — Aircraft carrier, transport (unofficial definition). 
CVL— Small aircraft carrier. 
DCNO— Deputy chief of naval operations. 
DD — Destroyer. 

DESBATFOR— Destroyers, battle force. 
DE— Destroyer escort. 
DESPAC— Destroyers, Pacific Fleet. 
DESRON— Destroyer squadron. 
DM — Light mine layer (high speed). 
DUKW— Amphibious truck. 
DUMBO— Seaplane used for rescue work. 

EMILY— Japanese Navy patrol bomber (four engine, Kawanishi). 
ESCORTDIV-Escort division. 
ETA— Estimated time of arrival. 
ETD— Estimated time of departure. 
F— Flagship. 
FF— Fleet flagship. 
FS— Small freighter. 

F6F— "Hellcat," single-engine Navy fighter (VF) manufactured by Grumman. 
Flash Red— Warning signal. Enemy aircraft in near vicinity. 
FPO— Fleet post office. 
GCT — Greenwich Civil Time. 
GP(bomb)— General purpose. 

GROPAC— Group Pacific (small advanced base component). 
GSK— General stores. 
HC— High capacity (refers to shell explosives). 

Glossary of Abbreviations 457 

HELEN— Japanese Navy medium bomber (twin engine— Nakajima). 


H-HOUR— Hour set for attack or other operation to begin (on D-day). 

HMAS— His Majesty's Australian Ship. 

H-Minus 1, 2, etc. — 1, 2, etc., hours before hour of attack. 

H-Plus 1,2, etc.— 1, 2, etc., hours after hour of attack. 

HE— High explosive. 

HVAR— High-velocity aircraft rocket. 

HYDRO-Hydrographic Office. 

IFF— Identification, friend or foe (radar signals). 

ISCOM— Island Commander. 

IX— Unclassified vessels. In this class of miscellaneous types fell the useful station 
tankers with animal names Armadillo, Beagle, Camel, Caribou, Elk, etc., which 
saw service at Majuro, Eniwetok, Leyte Gulf, and other logistic support an- 
chorages. Among the IX's were the concrete stores ships Asphalt, Bauxite, 
Carmita, Corundum, etc., known affectionately as the "crockery" fleet. In this 
category is the Ocelot (IX-110) (cx-Yomachichi) , a barracks ship, used as a 
flagship by Commander Service Squadron Ten. 

JCS-Joint Chiefs of Staff (US-GB). 

JASASA— Joint air-surface antisubmarine action. 

JICPOA— Joint Intelligence Center, Pacific Ocean Areas. 

JUDY— Japanese Navy torpedo bomber (single engine, Aichi). 

JURY Steering Rig— A contrivance to supply a means of steering a ship temporarily 
replacing or assisting the regular rudder or steering gear. 

KAMIKAZE— Name given to Japanese suicide pilots; "Kami" meaning "divine," 
"kaze" meaning "wind." The use of the word "Kamikaze" stems from an 
event, in 1281, during the second Mongol invasion of Japan. The Mongols 
embarked a huge force in two large fleets, one Korean and one Chinese. After 
almost 2 months of fighting, on land and sea, a terrific storm destroyed a large 
portion of the invading armada, and the remainder departed with serious 
losses. In World War II the Japanese hoped that the Kamikaze pilots would 
stop the United States Fleet just as the "divine wind" had turned back the 
invader in ancient days. 

KATE— Japanese Navy high-level or torpedo bomber (single engine, Nakajima). 

KIA— Killed in action. 



LAT— Latitude (north or south). 

LC or L/C— Landing craft. 

LCC— Landing craft, control (slightly larger than an LCVP). 

458 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

LCDR— Lieutenant commander. 

LCI (L) — Landing craft, infantry (large). 

LCI(R)— Landing craft, infantry (rocket). 

LCI (G) — Landing craft, infantry (gunboat). 

LCM— Landing craft, mechanized. This type has twin-screw Diesel propulsion, a 
50-foot all-metal hull with ramp. It was one of the most useful of the landing 
craft for logistic work, as it was suitable for handling bombs, ammunition, 
and other heavy stores (about 30 tons). In rough-water conditions within lo- 
gistic support anchorages the LCM withstood hard usage much better than 
the more lightly constructed LCVP, and the LCM likewise had greater capac- 
ity for handling liberty parties holding 120 men, three times that of an LCVP. 

LCM(3)— Landing craft, mechanized (mark III). 

LCP — Landing craft, personnel. 

LCP(L)— Landing craft, personnel (large). 

LCP(R)— Landing craft, personnel (ramp). 

LCS(S)— Landing craft, support (small). 

LCT— Landing craft, tank. About 110 feet long. Used for landing tanks or trucks. 
In size is between the LST and LCM classes. Service organizations found this 
class very useful in handling shells, powder, bombs, and other heavy and 
bulky stores. 

LCV— Landing craft, vehicle. Similar to LCVP. 

LCVP — Landing craft, vehicle, personnel. This is a 36-foot single screw (Diesel) 
landing craft of plywood construction. Boat pools of service organizations 
contained LCVP's along with LCM's. Though not as rugged as LCM's, the 
LCVP served a very useful purpose in handling small amounts of stores, up 
to about 5 tons of cargo, and about 36 persons. 

LION— A large advanced base unit consisting of all the personnel and material 
necessary for the establishment of a major all-purpose naval base. It is made 
up of a large number of functional components which enable the base to per- 
form voyage repairs and minor battle-damage repairs to a major portion of a 

LONG.— Longitude. 

LOR AN— Long-range radio aid to navigation. 

LSD— Landing ship, dock. These ships, over 450 feet long, accompanied amphibious 
forces on invasions, carrying LCM's and smaller craft. After the war they were 
used for transporting craft of boat pools to anchorages in occupied areas. 

LSM— Landing ship, medium. 

LST— Landing ship, tank. Over 320 feet long, these ocean-going ships with a large 
tank deck, low doors, and ramp served in many capacities. Some were con- 
verted into repair ships (see ARB), some were used for floating-post-office 

Glossary of Abbreviations 459 

work, while others were used to transport repatriated Japanese families (1,000 
persons— men, women, and children) from Chinese ports back to their home- 
land. Perhaps the most unique use of LST's was in China, where six were 
equipped with individual stalls for horses of Chinese Army for transportation 
to Manchuria. 

LSV— Landing ship, vehicle. 

LTGEN— Lieutenant general. 

LT— Lieutenant. 

LT(JG)— Lieutenant (junior grade). 

LVT— Landing vehicle, tracked. 

MAJGEN— Major general. 

MARCORPS— Marine Corps. 

MARGILSAREA-Marshalls-Gilberts Area. 

MINRON— Mine squadron. 

MOGAS— Motor gasoline. 

MOMM— Motor machinist's mate. 

MTB— Motor torpedo boat. 

MTBRON— Motor torpedo boat squadron. 

NABU— Naval advanced base unit. 

NAS— Naval air station. 

NATS— Naval Air Transportation Service. 

NAVBASE-Naval base. 

NAVFOR— Naval forces. 

NAVSTA-Naval station. 

N.E.I.— Netherlands East Indies. 

NICK— Single engine, heavy Japanese fighter (Mitsubishi). 

NOB— Naval operating base. 

NORPAC— North Pacific Area; North Pacific Force. 

NORWESSEAFRON-Northwestern Sea Frontier. 

NSD— Naval supply depot. 

NTS— Naval Transportation Service. 

OBB-Battleship, old. 

OMM— Officer messenger mail. 

OOD-Officer of the deck. 

OPPLAN-Operating Plan. 

OS2U— "Kingfisher," single-engine Navy scout-observation (VSO) landplane and 
seaplane, manufactured by Vought-Sikorsky. 

OTC— Officer in tactical command. 

OSS— Old submarine. 

PACFLT- Pacific Fleet. 

460 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

PATRON— Patrol squadron. 

PBM— Mariner, twin-engine Navy patrol bomber (Martin). 

PBY— Twin-engine U. S. Navy patrol bomber (VPB). 

PC— Patrol vessel, submarine chaser (173 foot). 

PCE— 180-foot patrol craft escort vessel. 

PCE(R) — 180-foot patrol craft escort vessel, rescue. 

PCS— 136-foot submarine chaser. 

PEARL-Pearl Harbor, T H. 

PF— Frigate. 

PG— Gunboat. 

PGM— Motor gunboat. 

PHIBPAC— Amphibious Forces, Pacific Fleet. 

PHIBSFORPAC-Amphibious Forces, Pacific Fleet. 

PHILSEAFRON-Philippine Sea Frontier. 

PICKET— Advanced or distant radar guard ship. 

PO A— Pacific Ocean Area. 

PR— River gunboat. 

PT— motor torpedo boat. 

P.U.C.— Presidential unit citation. 

PW— Public works. 


PYC— Coastal yacht. 

RADAR— Radio detection and ranging. 

RADM— Rear admiral. 

RAN— Royal Australian Navy. 

RCT— Regimental combat team. 

REEFER — Refrigeration . 

REP— Representative. 

RFS— Ready for sea. 

RON — A suffix meaning squadron (MinRon — mine squadron). 

SALLY— Japanese Army medium bomber (twin-engine, Mitsubishi). 

SA— Air search radar (shipborne). 

SANDA— Bureau of Supplies and Accounts. 

SAP— Semiarmor piercing. 

SBD— Scout bomber (Douglas). 

SB W— "Hell Diver," single-engine Navy scout bomber. 

SC— 110-foot submarine chaser. 

(SC)— Supply corps. 

SCAP— Supreme Commander Allied Powers (Japan). 

SEABEE— Construction battalion. 

Glossary of Abbreviations 461 

SEAFRON-Sea frontier. 

SECNAV— Secretary of the Navy. 

SERFORSOPACSUBCOM-Service Force South Pacific Subordinate Command. 

SERONSOPAC— Service Squadron South Pacific. 

SERRON— Service squadron. 

SERDIV— Service division. 

SERFOR— Service force. 

SERVON— Service squadron. 

SERVRON— Service squadron. 

SERVSOWESPAC— Service Force, Southwest Pacific Fleet. 

SPLINTER FLEET— A general term (unofficial) applied to smaller vessels of the 

subchaser and patrol-boat classes and the like. 
SONAR— Sound navigation and ranging. 
SO PA— Senior officer present afloat. 

SO PA (ADMIN)— Senior officer present afloat (administrative). 
SO PAC— South Pacific Area and Force (later, South Pacific Command). 
SPDC— Spare parts distribution center. 
SS— Submarine. 

SS&CS— Ship's stores and commissary stores. 
SUBBASE— Submarine base. 
SUBDIV— Submarine division. 
SUBPAC-Submarine Pacific. 
SWPA— Southwest Pacific Area. 
SWPAC— Southwest Pacific Area. 
TASKFLOT-Task flotilla. 
TBF— Single-engine U. S. Navy torpedo bomber. 
TBS— Voice radio— very high frequency, medium power. Used for ships' tactical 

TBM— "Avenger" single-engine Navy torpedo bomber. 
TF— Task force (numeral designation: Example TF 30, Commander Third Fleet 

(Admiral Halsey)). 
TG— Task group, (numeral designation: Example TG 30.9, CSR Ten (Commodore 

TU— Task unit (numeral designation: Example TU 30.9.1, CSR Ten Rep. (Captain 

TIME— Unless otherwise noted, the local civil time of the place concerned is used 

instead of the a. m. or p. m. designation. Example: 0835 instead of 8:35 a. m. 

or 2035 instead of 8:35 p. m. (the 2035 (p. m.) time designation being obtained 

by adding 12 hours to the clock-face time). 

214075 O-F-53 31 

462 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

TRANSPHIBPAC-Transports, Amphibious Force, Pacific Fleet. 

TRANSRON— Transport squadron. 

UDT— Underwater demolition team. 

UNRRA— United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. 

USC&GS— U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey. 

USCGR— U. S. Coast Guard Reserve. 

USMC— U. S. Marine Corps. 

USN— U. S. Navy (also indicates Regular Navy). 

USNR-U. S. Naval Reserve. 

U.S.S.— U. S. ship (naval vessel). 

UTRON— Utility squadron. 

VADM— Vice admiral. 

VAL— Japanese Navy dive bomber (single engine, Aichi). 

VB— Bombing plane, U. S. Navy. 

VF— Fighter plane, U. S. Navy. 

VT— Torpedo plane, U. S. Navy. 

VS— Scouting plane, U. S. Navy. 

WSA— War Shipping Administration. 

XAE— Merchant ammunition ship. 

XAK— Merchant cargo ship. 

XAKc— Merchant coastal cargo ship (small). 

XAP— Merchant transport. 

XAPc— Merchant coastal transport (small). 

XAV— Auxiliary seaplane tender. 

YAG— District auxiliary miscellaneous. 

YC— Open lighter. 

YCK— Open cargo lighter. 

YD— Floating derrick. 

YDG— Degaussing vessel. At the San Pedro Bay (Leyte Gulf) anchorage, one of this 
class, the YDG-6, was available for magnetic-compass adjustment and also for 
compensation of degaussing-compass corrector coils. The YDG-6 was also 
equipped to inspect and make minor repairs on the degaussing systems of all 
ships and to calibrate the degaussing coils of vessels of YM's and comparable 

YF— Covered lighters. These are of various tonnages. The ones in Service Squadron 
Ten in San Pedro Bay (Leyte Gulf), for instance, were of the 500-, 1.500-, and 
2,000-ton variety; used for storage and issue of following stores: Ammunition, 
torpedoes, freight, medical stores, steel stock, internal-combustion-engine 
spares, hull and machinery spares, motion-picture-projector spares, fog- 
generator spares, maintenance stores, etc. 

Glossary of Abbreviations 463 

YFD— Floating drydock. 

YG— Garbage lighters. These were of different sizes but the ones assigned Service 
Division 101 at Leyte were Diesel driven, 118 feet long, 27 feet beam, and had 
a standard displacement of about 350 tons. 

YM— Dredges. 

YMS— Motor mine sweeper. 

YN— Net tender. 

YNG— Gate vessel. 

YNT— Net tender (tug class). 

YO— Fuel-oil barges. These were of different sizes and capacities, some holding 
10,000 barrels of fuel, some 6,000 to 7,000 barrels; some were self-propelled, 
some non-self-propelled. Some of those assigned Service Squadron Ten held 
fuel oil, certain YO's carried Diesel, certain ones carried aviation gas; some 
held a combined cargo such as aviation gasoline and Diesel oil, fuel oil and 
Diesel oil, motor gas and lubricating oil, and certain ones had a cargo of 
water. The YO's made a material contribution in logistic services at advanced 

YOG— Gasoline barges. About the same as YO's but especially with cargoes of 
Diesel, aviation gas, and motor gasoline. 

YOGL— Gasoline barges (large). 

YP— District patrol vessel. 

YR— Floating workshops. These are 150 feet long with a 34-foot beam, non-self- 
propelled. Thirteen of these were assigned ServiceSquadron Ten at one time. 
They did useful service for boat-pool repair, torpedo repair, and small-craft 

YRD(H)— Floating workshop, drydock (hull). 

YRD(M)— Floating workshop, drydock (machinery). 

YS— Stevedore barges. 

YSD— Seaplane wrecking derrick. One hundred and four feet long with a 31 -foot 
beam, these derricks with a rated lifting capacity of 10 tons, are useful in 
accomplishing many different tasks at logistic support anchorages. 

YSR— Sludge-removal barge. 

YT— Harbor tugs. 

*YTB— Harbor tugs, big. These tugs, 100 feet in length, with a 25-foot beam, are 
rated as having 800 to 1,200 horsepower. 

*YTL— Harbor tugs, little. Rated at from 200 to 300 horsepower, they are for the 
most part about 66 feet long and have a beam of about 17 feet. 

*YTM— Harbor tugs, medium. Over 90 feet long with a beam of about 20 feet 
they are rated as having around 500 horsepower. 

*The above three types of harbor tugs had many and varied towing assignments at 
logistic support anchorages, being employed practically on "around the clock" schedule. 

464 Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

YW— Water barges. (Water barges with a rated capacity of 200,000 to 300,000 
gallons were valuable service units at advanced anchorages. Some were self- 
propelled, some non-self-propelled.) 

ZEKE— Japanese Navy fighter plane (single engine— Mitsubishi) (called "Zero" 
early in war). 


Names of ships in italics 

Page numbers in italics indicate photograph or chart 

Abbreviations, glossary of, 451-64 

Abner Read, damage and casualties, 84 

ABSD: assembled at Aessi, 55; characteristics, 
55; at Leyte-Samar, 379 

Achilles at Madang-Alexishafen, 182 

Acknowledgments, ix-x 

Acuff, J. T., Capt : command of oiler groups at 
Eniwetok, 190; support for Philippines cam- 
paign, 274-76; Commo, commander, Serv- 
Div 102, 381 

Adak Island: occupation of, 69; base develop- 
ment at, 73 

Admiralty Islands: description, 66; chart, 171 

Adria at Kerama Retto, 55 

AFD-13 and -16 arrive at Majuro, 123 

AFD-17 at Saipan for Okinawa campaign, 324 

Agenor in Marianas campaign, 141 

Air evacuation of casualties from Saipan, 160 

Air strips: Central Pacific, viii; construction at 
Leyte-Samar, 374 

Aircraft replacement: at Majuro, 140; escort 
carrier's role in, 144-46; off Luzon, 249; by 
Service Squadron Six, 356 

Aitape, landing at, 131 

Ajax: repairs at Funafuti, 91; joins ServRon- 
Ten at Majuro, 122; repair record in Mari- 
anas campaign, 147-48; at Eniwetok, 163; 
repairs at Eniwetok (August 1944), 179; at 
Ulithi, 271, 370; repairs to Guadalupe, 296; 
repairs for Okinawa, 329; dysentery aboard, 

AK-class cargo ships, fitted for transferring 
ammunition at sea, 99 

Akutan, oil storage ashore, 80 

Aldebaran: at Tongatabu, 23; at Ulithi, 224; 
provisioning record at Okinawa, 365 

Aleutian Islands: campaign, 69-85; distances, 
73; chart, 74; Attu chosen as first objective, 
75; end of campaign, 85 

Alexei Point, airfield begun, 83 

Ambon (N. E. I.), Patrol Squadron 101 sent to, 
13; Japanese planes attack, 15 

Amchitka Island, occupation of, 69 

Ammunition: for Guadalcanal, 30; for Mar- 
shall campaign, 118; for Hollandia opera- 
tion, 131 ; for Marianas campaign, 139; for I wo 
campaign, 289-90; for Okinawa, demands, 
by types, 363 

Ammunition: allowances: for replenishment 
from assault shipping, 241-42; changes in 
types required, 362; distribution: Central 
Pacific campaign, 110 ServRonTen the prin- 
cipal source, 111; expenditure: Kiska, 83; 
Marianas campaign, 151-58; Iwo campaign, 
289-90; fleet, 110-12; increased need after 
Central Pacific drive, 110; loads, Okinawa 
campaign, 329; replenishment: at Attu, 78; 
problems, 154; LST's, 340-41; at Kerama 
Retto, 340-45; shore-based storage proves 
adequate for Central Pacific campaign, 109; 
supply: scope, 111; Stalemate II, 197-200; 
Seventh Fleet, 307; Okinawa campaign, 327; 
transfer, difficulties at Leyte, 238; transfer at 
sea, AK's fitted for, 99 

Ammunition and ammunition ships on hand at 
end of war, 112 

Ammunition depot: first, set up at Espiritu 
Santo, 51-52; fall of 1942, 49 

Ammunition dumps, outlying, development, 

Ammunition lighters, gunner's mates assigned 
to, 135 

Ammunition ships: need in Gilberts campaign, 
99; need as war progressed, 110; heroism, 
unseen, 189; loading categories, 200; instruc- 
tions for Iwo campaign, 282; position in 
at-sea replenishment, 356; ServRonSix, 
rearming record at Okinawa, 363 

Ammunition units of fueling group at Leyte, 

Amycus at Buna, 131 

Anchorages: protected, Central Pacific, viii; 
for Marianas campaign, 138 

Ancon at Kerama Retto, 348 

Anderson, RAdm Walter S., ix 

Anderson, Capt H. A., commanding Guadalupe, 

Anguar Island, landing on, 182 



Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

Antares: at Tongatabu, 23; in Stalemate II, 
177; general stores issuing at Kerama Retto, 

Antigua: provisions for Attu operation, 81; in 
preparation for Stalemate II, 176; provision- 
ing for Okinawa campaign, 324 

Aore Island, recreation area, 54 

Apache in Stalemate II, 204 

APD-16 joins ServRonTen at Majuro, 122 

Appendectomy by flashlight aboard Pinkney, 

Apra Harbor, 303 

Arapabo in Stalemate II, 205 

Arctic at Seeadler 

Area Petroleum Office established in ServRon- 
Ten, 102 

ARD-2 installed at Noumea, 55 

ARD-6, submarine undocking from, 70 

ARD-13 joins ServRonTen at Majuro, 122; 
first floating drydock in CenPac, 123 

ARD-14 to Guadalcanal for Okinawa support, 

ARD-17 at Leyte for Okinawa maintenance, 

ARD-19, to Seeadler, 173, 174 

ARD-23 builds false bow on Yarnall, 325 

ARD-25 at Saipan for Okinawa repairs, 324 

ARD's at Kerama Retto, 349 

Area Petroleum Section of ServForPac, 10 

Arethusa: commissioning of, 125; to Seeadler, 
173, 174; in Ormoc landing, 268 

Argonne: flagship of RAdm Calhoun during 
attack on Pearl Harbor, 7; sails for Auck- 
land, 24; joins squadron at Majuro, 122; to 
Seeadler, 173; damaged by blowing up of 
Mount Hood, 187, 188; at Leyte for Oki- 
nawa, 317 

Aristatus: to Guadalcanal for Okinawa sup- 
port, 320; repairs at Okinawa, 387 

Armadillo: load carried to Seeadler, 174; fueling 
at Seeadler, 189; at Kerama Retto, 348 

Armor-piercing projectiles, shortage at Leyte, 

Asato Gawa, supply dumps, 351 

Asctlla: preparation for Stalemate II, 176; 
medical stores for Okinawa, 329 

Ashland, in I wo campaign, 289 

Ashtabula: In Palau strike, 130; fueling record 
at Leyte, 239; attacked off Homonhon 
Island, 239-40; collision with Thornton, 359 

Asiatic Fleet: joins British and Dutch cruisers, 
12; in Dutch East Indies, 12-17; gathers at 
Tjilatjap (Java), 16 

Assault task force 31, fueling plan for, 193 

ATA-122 to Seeadler, 174 

Atascosa: In Palau strike, 130; fueling in bad 
weather, 257-58; at Kerama Retto, 333 

Athanasia at Okinawa, 387 

ATR-51, rescue work after torpedoing of 
Mississinewa, 261 

At-sea replenishment; see Replenishment at sea 

Attu : chosen as first objective in Aleutians, 75; 
aircraft replacement in Okinawa campaign, 

Attu operation: ammunition replacement, 78; 
D-dav, 77; forces made available to, 76; fuel 
problem, 78-81; fueling of supporting task 
groups, 79; landing craft shortage, 77; plan- 
ning of, 76; provisions, 81; repairs, 81-82 

Aucilla: at Ulithi, 259; fueling for Okinawa 
campaign, 328 

Auckland: ship-repair facilities, 57; value as 
a base, 26 

Australia, charts, 14, 62 

Auxiliaries: balance in, lack of detailed 
knowledge for formula, 4; increase of be- 
tween 1940 and 1945, 5 

Aviation gasoline and lubricants, Okinawa 
campaign, 361 

Aviation logistics, Okinawa campaign, 363~65 

Aviation spare parts: at Manus Shore Base, 
177; for Stalemate II, 177; for Okinawa 
campaign, 365 

Aximech: provisioning records, in Marianas 
campaign, 146-47; at Kerama Rettp, 346 


Balikpapan (Borneo), Force anchors in, 13 

Balusoa water point (Samar), Ponaganset 
loading fresh water at, 377 

Barbey, Radm D. E. commands ServFor 
SoWesPac, 63; at Hollandia, 131 

Barge fleet, 101 

Barges: characteristics, 101; concrete, non- 
propelled, functions, 100; concrete stores, 
127; pontoon, completed at Majuro, 123; 
uses, 123; self-propelled, 101, 123; Kitty 
Hawk unloading torpedo plane to, 32; to 
Seeadler, 173; unmanned, 101 

Barracks ships at NOB, Leyte Gulf, 376 

Base Force: administration and operation of 
various types, 2; depression years, effect of, 
4; fleet, formed as part of, 2; Subordinate 
Command, San Francisco, 8; Train, compo- 
sition in 1940 and 1945 compared, 5; utility 
wing, 8; war plans for overseas movement, 4 

Base hospitals: in 1942, 33; at Espiritu Santo 
and Nouma, 60; Guam, 306 

Bases, distances apart, effect on supply system, 
38; see also Mobile bases and Shore bases 

Bayonne (N. J.) Storage Depot, expansion in 
1940, 4 

Beary, Radm D. B., viii, 282, 283 

Bellegrove in I wo campaign, 289 

Berthing problem, 264 

Bishopdale runs into mine, 25 

Black Hawk: in train of Task Force Five, 15; 
maintenance and repair in Aleutians, 73, 75; 
repairs McDonough and Sicard, 11 



Black pepper, rumpus over, 328 

Boak, Commo J. E., on Manus, 66 

Boat pool: buildup at Kerama Retto, 339; 

needs: at Majuro, 135; increase as logistic 

support moves westward, 147; number of 

boats needed arouses incredulity, 106; 

problem throughout Pacific campaign, 264; 

repairs: a difficult problem, 294; at Kerama 

Retto, 339; ServRonTen's, beginning of, 120 
Boise: cannibalization, 16; damages to, at 

Cape Esperance, 40 
Bolton, Capt Robert, landing craft group at 

Kiska, 83 
Bombardment, Iwo Jima, 289-90 
Bombardment group logistics, Leyte assault, 

Bombardment loading, 111 
Bombs, loading of, difficulty at Saipan, 168 
Bombs, transferring at sea, LST to Hancock, 199 
Bonin Islands; carrier attack on, 168; strike, 

Bootes in Ormoc landings, 268 
Boreas: provisions for Operation Galvanic, 90; 

in preparation for Stalemate II, 176 
Borneo, chart, 14 
Boston fueling a destroyer, 191 
Bougainville, landings on, supplies needs 

following, 52 
Bougainville, replacement of aircraft and pilots, 

Iwo campaign, 284 
Bountiful: at Saipan, 159; in Stalemate II, 207, 

Bowditch: surveys Majuro anchorage, 122; to 

Chimu Wan, 389; surveys Buckner Bay, 

Bowman, Capt M. C, at Auckland, 37 
Braxps: in Attu operation, 79; at Kiska, 83; 

at Kerama Retto, 333 
Briareus in Okinawa preparations, 320 
Bridge: in Attu operation, 81; at Majuro, 120; 
at Majuro, 147; preparation for Stalemate 
II, 176; at Kerama Retto, 347 
Brisbane, submarine base at, 63 
Brown, Capt J. L., 122 
Brown, VAdm Wilson, raid on Rabaul, 18 
Buckner Bay: air raids on, 393, 394; move to, 
from Kerama Retto, 388, 392; ServDiv 104 
continues at, 392; typhoon of 9 October 
1945, 398; typhoon sorties, plans, 394-97 
Bucyrus Victory, ammunition for Okinawa, 329 
Buna, tenders at, in Hollandia operation, 131 
Bushnell at Majuro, 133 

Cable, repairs to Lamson, 268 
Cacapon in Palau strike, 130 
Cahaba, fueling Iowa and Shangri-La on a 
smooth day, 360 

Cairns: floating equipment (February 1945), 
310; landing-craft bases and amphibious 
training centers, 64 

Calamares, support of Operation Interlude, 204 

Calhoun, W. L., RAdm, Commander Base 
Force at time of attack on Pearl Harbor, 7; 
Commander Service Force until 1945, 7 

Caliente: fueling activity at Lahaina Roads, 
115; in Palau strike, 130; arrival at Eni- 
wetok, 190 

California and Tennessee, collision, repairs 
after, 138 

Callaghan, RAdm D. J., killed on San Fran- 
cisco, 43 

Camels, 323 

Canberra: salvaging of, 226-31; repairs to, 295 

Cannibalization: of Boise, 16; of vessels leaving 
theater of operations, 225 

Canteen stores, stores ship supplies, 146-47 

Cap Lopez., provisioning at Saipan for Oki- 
nawa campaign, 324 

Cape Engano, battle of, 245 

Cape Esperance, battle of, 40 

Cape Esperance, work of replacement carrier 
described in war diary of, 279 

Caribou: to Seeadler, 173, 174; in Ormoc 
landing, 268 

Caroline Islands, chart 172 

Carolines, central, plan to isolate and neutral- 
ize, 137 

Carolines, western see Western Carolines 

Carney, VAdm R. B., xii 

Carter, W. R. : Capt, Commander Naval Bases 
South Pacific, 47; organizes ServRonTen at 
Pearl Harbor, 95; Commo, Commander 
ServRonTen, 137; leaves Majuro for 
Eniwetok, 142; safety measures at Ulithi, 
263; hospitalized, 399 

Carpender, VAdm A. S., service force in 
SoWesPac under, 63 

Carrier air attack on Marcus and Wake, 132-33 
Carrier groups, fast see Fast carrier groups 
Casa Grande, boat pool repairs at Kerama 

Retto, 339 
Cascade: at Funafuti, 91; in Marianas cam- 
paign, 147; at Eniwetok, 163; at Ulithi, 
271; repairs Ringgold, 325; at Ulithi, 
repairs for Okinawa, 328; at Okinawa, 387 

Casiguran Bay, considered as anchorage for 
ServRonTen, 369-70 

Castor: reaches Manus, 177; arrives at Seead- 
ler, 185; provisioning of TF 58 for Okinawa 
327; to Buckner Bay, 388 

Casualties; air evacuation from Saipan, 160; 
color classification of, 207-08; evacuation 
from beaches, night problems, 209 

Cebu in Stalemate II, 179 

Celtic at Buckner Bay, 393 


Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

Central Pacific: air strips, viii; anchorages, 
protected, viii; dependence on ServRonTen, 
135; lagoons as protected anchorages, viii; 
mission of VAdm Spruance, 87; mobile 
floating support the primary need, viii; plan 
to secure control of, 137; planning for 
operations in 1943, viii; situation in July 
1944, 163 
purpose increasing depths of, primary 

Channels, of ServRonTwelve, 9 

Chase, Radm J. V., Commander Base Force, 2 

Chepachet, 239 

Chester: in Task Force Eight, 17; hit and 
towed in, 41 

Chicago to Sydney for repairs, 32 

Chickasaw: in Stalemate II, 205; assists Ran- 
dolph, 326 

Chickaskia: fueling activity at Lahaina Roads, 
115; in Palau strike, 130 

Childs, narrow escape at Kendari, 15 

China, Japan, and Philippines, 273 (chart) 

Chotauk: fueling at Ulithi for Okinawa, 328; 
at Buckner Bay, 393 

Chowanoc in Stalemate II, 205 

Cimarron in Task Force Eighteen, 18; fueling 
of carrier force for Truk strike, 121 

Clamp: at Kerama Retto, 333; salvage work 
at Kerama Retto, 339 

Clamshell dredges at Okinawa, 390 

Claxton picks up Japanese survivors, 247 

Clothing, extra, need for, 42 

Clovis Victory at Kerama Retto, 348 

Cobb, RAdm C. H., Commander ServRonSoPac, 

- 47 
Colorado, overhauled at Bremerton after Pearl 

Harbor attack, 11 
Coman, Commo R. G., Commander ServFor- 

WesPac, 63 
Combat supplies insufficient in loading for 

Attu operation, 76 
Commander Forward Area, Iwo campaign, 

duties, 282-83 
Commander ServRonTen : made responsible for 

distribution of ammunition, 110; duties in 

Iwo campaign, 282. See Carter. 
Commanding officers of principal ServForPac 

vessels, 405-27 
Commercial tankers, role in distribution of 

oil, 99 
Communications, visual, at Ulithi, 278 
ComNorPac supplies Attu, 83 
ComSoPac's neeas, lack of understanding of, 39 
Concrete barges, 127: fragileness of, 126; 

nonpropelled, functions, 100 
Concrete stores barge, 127 
Concrete vessel (Corundum) joins ServRonTen 

at Eniwetok, 109 

Conolly, RAdm R. L.: report on effect of 
naval gunfire at Guam, 157; report on 
logistics in Marianas campaign, 162-63 

Construction battalion at Okinawa, 390 
Coordination for supplies, interservice, 103 
Copahee, aircraft replacement record in Mari- 
anas campaign, 145 
Coral Sea, battle of, 21 
Coronis: to Guadalcanal for Okinawa support, 

320; at Kerama Retto, 333 
Corundum joins ServRonTen at Eniwetok, 109 
Cowanesque: at Ulithi, 328; in Okinawa 

campaign, 358 
Crosse, RAdm C. W., commander Base Force 

Subordinate Command, San Francisco, 46 
"Crossing the T" at Battle of Surigao Strait, 

Cree assists Franklin, 357 
"Crockery" ships, 126 
Cub One, 51; establishes first ammunition 

depot at Espiritu Santo, 51-52 
Culehra Island at Madang-Alexishafen, 182 
Current assists Manama, 279; assists Randolph, 

Currituck at Leyte, 374 

Curtiss: based at Noumea, 23; at Funafuti, 91 
Cuyama: fueling in Attu operation, 79; at 

Kiska, 83 


Damage to ships, effects on supply system, 38 
Damaged ships repaired by ServRonTen, none 

lost, 294 
Damages and repairs, South Pacific, 35~47 
Darwin (Australia) becomes logistic base for 

Southwest Pacific, 15 
Deliver at Kerama Retto, 339 
Demonstration group (TG 51.2) in Okinawa 

campaign, 323, 324 
Depth charges, shortage in Okinawa cam- 
paign, 363 
"Desecrate Two," 130-32 
Destroyer fueled by Boston, 192 
Destroyer tenders in Aleutians, 73 
Dewey, stack renewed by Prairie, 296 
Diesel oil at Majuro, 134 
Distilling ship, 100 
Dixie: in Tulagi-Purvis Bay region, 178; at 

Ulithi, 271; at Leyte for Okinawa campaign, 

Dobbin at Oro Bay, 131 
Doyle, Capt W. E., Commander Base Force, 

Task Force Five, 15 
Dredging operations, Okinawa, 390 
Drop tanks, 364 

Dry provisions, stores ship supplies, 146-47 
Dry provisions ships, capacity, 102 
Durham Victory at Leyte, 238-39 
Dutch, Zero attack on, 69 
Dutch East Indies, Asiatic Fleet in, 12-17 
Dutch Harbor, submarine undocking from 

ARD-6 at, 70 



Duvall, E. E., Jr.: Capt, becomes chief staff 
officer of ServRonTen, 169; administers 
ServRonTen at Eniwetok during move to 
Ulithi, 220; leaves Eniwetok for Ulithi, 222; 
Commo, commander of ServDiv 101, 381 

Dysentery, outbreak at San Pedro Bay, 382-83; 
aboard Ajax, 383 

Early period of war, 11-22; maintenance, 54- 
58; repair, 54-58; scarcity of shipping, vii; 
shore facilities in SoPac and SoWesPac, vii; 
service forces, general activities, 58-61 

Efate Island: characteristics, 26; in Marianas 
campaign, 141 

Egeria: in Marianas campaign, 141; at Eni- 
wetok, 163; in Ormoc landing, 268; at Leyte 
for Okinawa campaign, 317, 318 

Elk: fueling at Ulithi for Okinawa, 328; at 
Okinawa, 387 

Ellice Islands, 91-96 

Emergency repairs see under Repairs 

Emirau Island, landing on, 66 

Endymion: at Leyte for Okinawa, 317, 318; at 
Kerama Retto, 333 

Enemy targets in Philippines, 255 

Eniwetok, 153 (chart): anchorage for Marianas 
campaign, 138; enemy air pipeline is cut, 99; 
forces present in July 1944, 165; fueling for 
Iwo campaign, 288; main body reduced to a 
minimum, 220; number of ships serviced, 167; 
oilers spotted for Iwo campaign, 288; pro- 
tection against wind insufficient, 146; repairs 
by Oahu, 288; ServRonTen at, viii, 149; 
principal activities, 163-70; ships, 179; ships 
at, 164; smoke-making at, 158; Stalemate II, 
preparations for, 171-83 

Enoree: fueling at Saipan for Okinawa cam- 
paign, 324; unusual service at Buckner Bay, 

Enterprise: in raid on Wake Island, 18; dam- 
aged in eastern Solomons, 36; repairs to, 

Escalante, collision with Thornton, 359 

Escambia in Palau strike, 130 

Escort carrier, aircraft replacement role, 144-46 

Espiritu Santo, 27 (on chart); ammunition 
supply, first, 51-52; base hospital at, 60; 
Cub One, 51-52; fuel unit at, 50; landing 
field, 39; mine depot at, 52; outstanding 
location for a major base, 40; provisions and 
stores at, 52-53, 60; ship-repair unit, 55; 
ships at, additional, by May 1943, 60; Stale- 
mate II, provisions issued for, 203; repairs 
for, 178; supply storage unit after Bougain- 
ville, 53; torpedo overhaul shop, 52 

Estes, major hull repairs for Okinawa cam- 
paign, 318 

Facilities, interservice exchange of, 46 

Farenholt, damages to, at Cape Esperance, 41 

Fast carrier task group; loading, 111; oilers 
with, at Seeadler Harbor, 190-94; Stalemate 
II, 212-13 

Fast carrier task force: replenishment in Iwo 
campaign, 284, 285; support at sea (Novem- 
ber 1944), 256-57 

Fechteler, RAdm W. M., TG 76.1, attack on 
Los Negros, 66 

Fellows, LCol T. H. (USMC), 36 

Fenders, truck tires used as, 323 

Fifth Fleet: relieves Third Fleet, for Iwo 
campaign, 281; combat forces at Iwo, 281 

Fighter cover for transports, Adm Ghormley 
emphasizes, 28 

Finger Bay (Adak Island), 72; PT boat base, 73 

Firedrake, ammunition for Okinawa, 329 

Fire-fighting schools developed at Pearl Harbor 
and Noumea, 37 

Fleet air arm, servicing by Base Force, 3 

Fleet ammunition, 110-12 

Fleet freight, amount handled at Ulithi, 278 

Fleet Gunnery Officer, CinCPac, controlling 
agent for ordnance, 107 

Fleet Maintenance Officer, ServForPac: func- 
tions, 8; backs up ServRonTen, 293~94 

Fleet oilers: cargo carried, average, 349; direct 
distribution to fleet ships, 99; instructions 
for Iwo campaign, 282; at Kerama Retto, 
345; location during Iwo campaign, 283; 
replenishment of, 194; schedules, Okinawa 
campaign, 361 

Fleet post office, floating, at Majuro, 123 

Fletcher, RAdm F. J., raids on Salamaua and 
Lae, 18; senior task force commander in 
South Pacific, 20 

Floating drydock: in 1940 Base Force Train, 
5; at Attu, 82; at Florida Island, 57; in 
Central Pacific operations, 123; at Eniwetok, 
163; in Stalemate II, 173, 178; at Leyte- 
Samar, 379 

Floating drydock: characteristics, 55; small, 
124; for various ship types, number in 1945, 5 

Floating mobile base: first, ServRonFour, 90; 
idea approved during preparations for Opera- 
tion Galvanic, 90 

Floating repair unit at Madang-Alexishafen, 

Floating storage barges under ServRonTen, 103 

Florida Island, 27 (on chart); ship-repair units 

at, 57 
Fog oil, expenditure at Iwo, 290 
Food see also Provisions: distribution: for 

Marshalls campaign, 117; for Stalemate II, 

176; requirements: February 1944, 126; at 

Majuro, 134 


Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

Force Supply Office absorbs early duties of 
ServRonTen, 102 

Formosa, air strikes, 213, 234, 272 

Fort Bridges at Seeadler, 189 

Fort Moultrie: fueling in Attu operation, 79; 
at Kiska, 83 

Fortune: at Majuro, 140; at Seeadler, 177; 
Okinawa aircraft and air crew replacement, 

Franklin: hard hit, 298; close up, 299; tugs 
assist, 357 

Freight, fleet: at Ulithi, 278; at Kerama 
Retto, 347 

Fremantle, submarine base at, 64 

Fresh water, acute problem, 201 see also Water 

Fresh-and-frozen provisions (or food): lack of, 
46; problem in Attu operation, 81; shortage 
at Eniwetok, 176 

Fresh-and-frozen provision ship, 147 

Fuel: conservation in Marshalls campaign, 
117; consumption, 50; major item trans- 
ferred at sea, 98; requirements: Marshalls 
campaign, 117; Marianas campaign, 139; 
Stalemate II, 173; storage facilities, 49; 
ashore, 306; supply: in Attu operation, 
78-81; Adm Ghormley faces problem of, 24; 
in fall of 1942, 49-50; at Majuro for Mari- 
anas campaign, 140; Seventh Fleet, 307; at 
Okinawa, 388 

Fuel oil, shortage, 16 

Fueling: in Attu operation, 80; Truk strike, 
121; for Hollandia operation, 131; in Wake 
attack, 132; in Marcus attack, 132; at 
Ulithi for Philippines campaign, 250; 
during Leyte aftermath, 275; I wo campaign, 
284, 286, 288; preparations for Okinawa 
campaign, 318-19; at Saipan for Okinawa 
campaign, 324; at Ulithi for Okinawa 
campaign, 328; at Kerama Retto, 345; at 
Okinawa, 359 

Fueling: activities of TG 30.8, 190-94; average 
cargo carried at Kerma Retto, 349 : bad weath- 
er, Philippines campaign, 257-58; fast earner 
task force, Iwo campaign, 284, 286; quantity 
issued, Leyte aftermath, 276; schedules, 
Leyte assault, 237-38; shore tank storage, 80 

Fueling areas, Marianas campaign, 139 

Fueling at sea: first, in Netherlands East 
Indies, 15; hazardous nature, 212-13; 
Marianas campaign, 139; Okinawa cam- 
paign, 357; predetermined rendezvous, 
Gilberts operation, 98; principles, 196; 
time consumed, Stalemate II, 193; Task 
Force 38, 191 

Fueling facilities at Great Sitkin Island, 73 

Fueling from both sides, 195 

Fueling group at Leyte, 239-241; ammunition 
units, 240 

Fueling record of Guadalupe in Marianas 
campaign, 143-44 

Fueling rendezvous, 191, 193; night before, 
355-56; predetermined, Gilberts operation, 

Fueling two ships simultaneously, 46 

Fueling underway at sea: instituted as part 
of annual exercises, 3; skeptical attitude 
toward, 1; looked upon as emergency stunt, 3 

Funafuti, 91-92: floating logistic support only, 
128; fuel anchorage and base for Operation 
Galvanic, 90; fuel available for Marshalls 
campaign, 117; little used by heavy ships 
after Tarawa, 93; repair facilities, emer- 
gency, 118 

Funafuti to Kwajalein, 126-28 

Fulton: at Iwo, 289; at Saipan for Okinawa 
repairs, 324 

Gansevoort, repairs to, 296 

Garapan Harbor, Copahee at 145 

Gasoline lighter alongside Intrepid, 198 

Gear, salvage work at Kerama Retto, 339 

Geisenhoff, Lcdr N. H., remains in charge at 
Eniwetok, 222 

General stores replenishment : for Stalemate II, 
177; in Okinawa campaign, 365-66 

George D. Henry in Dutch East Indies, 15 

Ghormley, Vadm Robert L. : Commander 
South Pacific, 23; faces fuel supply problem, 
24; emphasizes fighter cover for transports, 
28; concern over fuel supply, 30-32; staff 
moves to Noumea, 36 

Giansar at Saipan, 161 

Gibson, Capt F. S., at Ulithi acting for 
ComServRonTen, 381 

Gilbert Islands, 88 (chart), 87-93; ammunition 
ships needed for, 99; first long periods away 
from permanent bases, 98; forces under 
Adm Spruance, 87; loads, initial, 89; total 
forces involved, 89 

Gillespie attacked by Kamikazes, 359 

Glossary of abbreviations, 451-64 

Gold Star: joins forces in Dutch East Indies, 13; 
in train of Task Force Five, 15 

Goode, Capt J. B., commander first convoy in 
move to Ulithi, 217 

Grapple in Stalemate II, 204 

Graves Registration Service, 207 

Gray, Capt (later Commo) A. H., becomes 
Commander ServRonEight, 97 

Great Sitkin Island, fueling facilities, 73 

Guadalcanal, 28 

Guadalcanal operation: beginning of, 26; 
enemy effort to retake, 42;- enforced with- 
drawal of cargo ships, effect of, 33; logistics 
factors, 28; logistic vessels at, 23; needs, 
essential, 33; Okinawa preparations, 319-21; 
staging operating for Okinawa campaign, 



Guadalupe: fueling in Attu operation, 79; at 
Kiska, 83; in Gilberts operation, 89; fueling 
of carrier force for Truk strike, 121; in 
attack on Palau, 129; support rendered in 
Marianas campaign, 143-44; collides with 
Nantahala, 275; repairs after collision, 296 

Guam, plan to capture, 137 

Guam base, 303-306: hospitals, 306; supply- 
depot, capacity, 306 

Gugevive, strike on, 17 

Gulfwax, ordered to replenish supply at Samoa, 

Gunfire, naval, at Guam, Adm Conolly's report 
on effect of, 158 

Gunner's mates, need for, at Majuro, 135 

Guns from ServRonTen ships replaced damaged 
ones on combatant ships, 122 


Hagushi beaches: assault over, 314; tanker 

moorings, improvement of, 351 
Halsey, VAdm Wm. F., early raids on Mar- 
snails and Gilberts, 17; raid on Wake, 18; 

"Bull on the rampage again," 271-72; 

"Bull in the China Sea," 272-74 
Hamul: at Iwo, 289; at Saipan for Okinawa 

repairs, 324; at Kerama Retto, 339; repairs 

at Okinawa, 385-87 
Hancock, LST transferring bombs to, at sea, 

Harbor clearance at Kerama Retto, 350 
Harbor conditions, ServRonTen responsible 

for, 103 
"Harbor stretcher" squadron, 9 
Harbors, increasing depths of, primary purpose 

of ServRonTwelve, 9 
Hardesty, Cdr F. A., decides not to retire 

oilers to Eniwetok, 132 
Harris: services at Ulithi, 208; at Seeadler, 211 
Havannah Harbor: recreation area, 54; repair 

and salvage in early 1943, 58 
Hawaii, shore bases, contribution to mobile 

floating support, xi 
Hazelhurst, Cdr R. P., at Eniwetok, 164 
Hazelwood, damage to, Ml 
Health, influence on military operations, 383 
Hector: joins ServRonTen at Majuro, 122; at 

Eniwetok, 163; diving operations from, 

after torpedoing of Manama, 279; at Leyte 

for Okinawa campaign, 317, 318; at Ulithi, 

Heffernan, RAdm John B., xii 
Henderson airfield, improvements to, 41 
Heron: joins force in Dutch East Indies, 13; in 

train of Task Force Five, 15 
Hidasta in Operation Interlude, 205 
Hill, RAdm H. W., commanding southern 

attack force in Gilberts operation, 87 

Hiwasee at Kerama Retto, 348 

Holland: joins force in Dutch East Indies, 13; 

flagship of Task Force Five, 15; flagship of 

ServRonTen, 382 
Hollandia, capture and occupation of, 130-32 
Hollandia base, spring 1945, 309 
Homonhon Island, Ashtabula anchors at, 239 
Honolulu at Tulagi, bow damaged by "dud" 

torpedo, 56 
Hoover, RAdm J. H.: commanding Defense 

Force and Shore-based Air, Gilberts, 87; 

Commander Forward Area, 137 
Hornet: fueling record of, 20; lost off Santa 

Cruz Islands, 42 
Hospital ships: Marianas campaign, 141, 

158-59; number in 1940 and 1945 compared, 5 
Hospitals, base, 306 
Hostilities, termination of, increases work of 

supporting units, 398 
House, Capt C. E., Area Petroleum Officer in 

Pacific, 102 
Houser, Capt H. A., Commander ServDiv 103, 

Houston: flagship of Adm Glassford, 12; 

towing and salvage of, 226-31; repairs to, 

294-95; What holds her up? 227 
Howard W. Gilmore, relieves Sperry, 133 
Humboldt Bay, landing at, 131 


Idaho rushed to Pacific after Pearl Harbor 
attack, 11 

Ie Shima, enemy concealment on, 313 

Ie Shima, landing on, 314 

Independence, repair of damage to, 92 

Indo-China coast, enemy shipping attacked, 

Initiative, time to take, after Midway action, 

Interservice coordination for supplies, 103 

Interservice exchange of facilities, 46 

Intership transportation, 106 

Intrepid: damage at Truk, 121; gasoline lighter 
and LCT alongside, 198 

Iowa fueled by Cahaba on a smooth day, 360 

Iron Bottom Bay, Prometheus at, 178 

Isabel: joins force in Dutch East Indies, 13; in 
train of Task Force Five, 15 

Issue barges, concrete, 100 

Iwo Jima, carrier attack on, 168 

Iwo Jima campaign, 281-92; ammunition ex- 
pended, 289-90; Fifth Fleet relieves Third 
Fleet, 281; forces involved, 281; Joint Ex- 
peditionary Force, replenishment at bases, 
283; logistic agencies, 281; logistic instruc- 
tions, 282; logistics prescribed for, 281 
naval bombardment a decisive factor, 290 
repairs at Eniwetok, 288; at Saipan, 289 
replenishment rendezvous, 284; staging 
areas, extra load, 286; vessels by types, 281 


Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 


Jacobson, Capt J. H., Commandant, NOB, 
Leyte Gulf, 376 

Japan, China, and Philippines, 273 (chart) 

Jason: repairs at Seeadler, 185-86; at Ulithi 
during Leyte aftermath, 271; repairs flight 
deck of Randolph, 300; at Ulithi for Okinawa 
campaign, 329; at Ulithi during Leyte- 
Samar, 370 

"Jewelry," 101 

John D. Henley, flagship of Capt E. E. Pare, 139 

Joint action, poor coordination in early days of 
war, 12 

Jury steering rig made of coconut logs, 34 


Kamikazes see Suicide planes 

Kanawha at Tongatabu, 24 

Kankakee in Palau strike, 130 

Kaskaskia: joins Task Force Seventeen, 18; 
ordered to Koko, 25; fueling activity at 
Lahaina Roads, 115; fueling of carrier force 
for Truk strike, 121; in attack on Palau, 129; 
fueling in bad weather, 257 

Keleher, Commo T. J. Jr., Commander ServDiv 
104, 381, 385 

Kenneth Whiting, suicide plane attack on, 387 

Keokuk, battle-damage repairs by, for Okinawa 
campaign, 318 

Kerama Retto, 332 (chart): abandoned by 
ServDiv 104, 385; ammunition replenish- 
ment at, 340-45; battle-damage repairs, 337; 
capture of, 331-33; drydocking at, 349; 
fueling activities, 345; lands on, 313; pro- 
visioning at, 346; purpose of seizing, 331; 
repair facilities augmented, 333; salvage and 
repair activities, 333, 339; ships present 1-5 
July 1945, 387; shortages at, 337; suicide 
torpedo boats destroyed at, 331; suicide- 
plane attacks on, 335; summary of accom- 
plishments, 353 

Kessing, Commo O. O., atoll commander at 
Ulithi, 329 

Kimberly, repair of, at Kerama Retto, 333 

Kinkaid, RAdm T. C, Commander Task Force 
Eight, North Pacific, 69 

Kishwauhee: at Kerama Retto, 333; at Buckner 
Bay, 388 

Kiska operation: bombardment, 83; D-day, 
84; logistic preparations, 84; plans for, 82 

Kitty Hawk: loading at Pearl Harbor prior to 
Midway action, 22; supplying planes to 
Long Island, 29; unloading torpedo plane at 
Pallikulo Bay, 31 

Kneeland, Capt O. A., Prairie as flagship, 122 

Kodiak: air base, 73; oil storage ashore, 80 

Koli Point, enemy lands beachhead battalion, 

Kossolroadstead, 200 

Kuluk Bay : facilities at, 73; good anchorage, 69 
Kusaie, a geological exception, v'ni 
Kwajalein: anchorage for Marianas campaign, 
138; predetermined fueling rendezvous un- 
practical, 98; repairs at, for Stalemate II, 
180; strike on, 17 
Kyushu, fast carrier force attacks on, 313 

Lackawanna: fueling activity in Gilberts 
operation, 89; in Palau strike, 130 

Lakewood Victory, ammunition for Okinawa, 329 

Lae, strike on, 17 

Lagoons, Central Pacific, value as protected 
anchorages, viii 

Lahaina Roads, fueling at, 115 

Lakewood Victory: at I wo, 289; ammunition for 
Okinawa, 329 

Lamson struck by suicide plane, 268 

Land forces in Stalemate II, 173 

Land-based forces, water allowance, 203 

Land-based planes, insufficiency, effect on 
supply system in South Pacific, 38 

Landing craft: shortage at Attu, 77; small 
craft tenders aid, at Iwo, 290 

Langley: in Dutch East Indies, 12; in train of 
Task Force Five, 15; fires on planet Venus, 15 

Las Vegas Victory: ammunition for Okinawa, 
329; at Kerama Retto, 333 

Lassen: ammunition supply for Marshalls 
Campaign, 118; in Marianas campaign, 139; 
at Seeadler, 188-89; at Palaus, 197, 200; 
delivers aircraft engines at sea, 364 

Latona, provisioning at Kerama Retto, 347 

Laws, Capt C. C, Kossol Passage representa- 
tive of ServRonTen, 212 

LCI's equipped for salvage operations, 205 

LCM's: ammunition replenishment, 343, 345; 
fire-fighting units, 351; hoisting, problems, 

LCT: alongside Yorktown, 166; alongside 
Intrepid, 198 

LCT's, ammunition replenishment by, 343, 345 

heut%e struck by suicide plane, 296 

Lexington: replenishment and overhaul by Base 
Force, 3; in Task Force Eleven, 20; lost in 
battle of Coral Sea, 21; torpedoes being 
hoisted aboard, 113; taking on sugar at 
night, 202 

Leyte Gulf, 252 (chart): aftermath, 267-80; 
assembly point for Okinawa campaign, 
316-18; battle of, 244-48"; ammunition 
allowances and expenditures, 241-42; assault : 
ammunition units of fueling group, 240; 
bombardment group logistics, 238; fueling 
schedules, 237-38; Japanese naval strength, 
243; Seventh Fleet logistic support, 237; 



staging for, 234-36; battle off Cape Engano, 
245 ; battle off Samar, 245-46; battle of 
Surigao Strait, 246-47; eve of, 244; landings, 
236-37; maintenance facilities for Okinawa 
campaign, 317; Okinawa assembly and 
loading, 316; preliminary operations by 
Task Force 38, 212; prelude to battle, 244; 
ServRonTen at: viii; logistic work, 291-92; 
ships to be serviced for Okinawa campaign, 

Leyte-Samar base: 369-84; plans for, 373-75; 
difficulties in setting up, 374; construction 
of naval facilities, 378; personnel at shore- 
based activities, 378 

Liddle struck by suicide plane, 268 

Lignite at Ulithi, 370 

Lindentvald at Kerama Retto, 349 

Lingayen operation, planning for, 375 

Lion, modified, established on Manus, 66 

Lion One, 40, 50-51 ; at Espiritu Santo, 40 

Lipan in Stalemate II, 205 

Loading: Attu operation, secrecy a hindrance, 
76; faults in, 39 

Logistic buildup, gain after Guadalcanal, 43 

Logistic organization, SoPac, 35-47 

Logistic plan, foundation of a war operation, 

Logistic planning, poor organization, 39 

Logistic reports, Marianas campaign: TF51, 
160-62; TF 53, 162-63 

Logistic requirements: at Majuro, 134; list 
flown to Ulithi, 327; termination of 
hostilities changes, 398 

Logistic sources, South Pacific, 35-47 

Logistic Support Group (see also Service 
Squadron Six): added services, Iwo cam- 
paign, 283; organization, Iwo campaign, 

Logistic vessels, assignment to service specific 
ships, 287 

Logistics: afloat: growth of the idea, 5; 
opposition to, 1; dependence on, 49; new 
requirement develops, 42; raiding forces, 17 

Long Island, planes supplied to, by Kitty 
Hawk, 19 

Los Negros (site of Seeadler Harbor), landings 
on, 66 

Low, VAdm F. S., xii 

LST transferring bombs to Hancock at sea, 199 

LST's: ammunition replenishment at Kerama 
Retto, 340-41; assault ammunition and 
ordnance carried by, 110; fueling of small 
craft at Nawiliwili, 115; number of, in 
1945, 5; water stored in, 162 

Lubricants; consumption, 50; in Okinawa 
campaign, 359-62 

Luna at Eniwetok, 177 

Luxembourg Victory at Okinawa, 387 

Luzon, aircraft replacement off, 249 

Luzon: repairs at Funafuti, 92; Funafuti to 
Kwajalein, 126; at Kwajalein for Stalemate 
II, 180; at Saipan for Okinawa, 324 


MacDonough and Sicard collide, 77 

Mackinac based at Noumea, 23 

Madang-Alexishafen repair base, 180 

Mafia Island recreation area, 54 

Mail: essential to morale, 210; facilities: for 
Stalemate II, 210; for Okinawa campaign, 

Maintenance, see also Repairs: early period of 
the war, 54-58; preparations for, in Stalemate 
II, 177-82 

Makassar, Task Force Five at, for conferences, 
drills, and refueling, 13 

Makin, strike on, 17 

Maloelap, strike on, 17 

Malvern, fueling at Ulithi for Okinawa, 328 

Majuro Atoll, 119 (chart); aircraft replacement 
for Marianas campaign, 140; anchorage for 
Marianas campaign; anchorage surveyed by 
Bowditch, 122; boat pool needs, 135; Bow- 
ditch surveys anchorage, 122; floating dry- 
docks at, 123; motion picture exchange 
aboard Prairie, 125; pay office at, 135; 
repair facilities for main fleet in Marshalls 
campaign, 118; service craft join ServRon- 
Ten at, 122; ServRonTen grows at, 134-36; 
striking force for Palaus attacks bases, 129; 
submarine base, 133~34; value as base, 98 

Manileno, commissioning of, 125 

Manus Island (see also Seeadler Harbor) modi- 
fied Lion established on, 66 ships in Seeadler 
Harbor, 186; refrigerated storage capacity, 

Marhlehead: joins force in Dutch East Indies, 
13; patching up of, 16 

Marcus Island, carrier air attack on, 132-33; 
refueling for raid on, 18 

Marianas, 150 (chart): protected anchorages 
lacking, viii; raid, and photo reconnaissance, 

Marianas campaign, 137-48: aircraft replace- 
ment, 144-46; record oiCopahee, 145; ammu- 
nition, 139; expenditure and resupply, 
151-58; supply during, 149-50; forces em- 
ployed, 137; fresh-and-frozen provisions, 
147; fuel needs, 139; fueling areas, 139; fuel- 
ing at sea, 139; general logistics, 149-70; 
hospital ships, 141, 158-59; joint expedition- 
ary force, no losses in staging of, 142; 
logistic reports, 159-60, 160-63; logistic 
support, 138-41; logistics: at the objective, 
161-62; medical, 141; serious nature of the 

fwoblem, 160; at staging areas, 161; medical 
ogistics, 141; repairs, 147-48; emergency, 


Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

141; restaging area logistics, 161, 162; re- 
supply of ships withdrawing to SoPac 138; 
salvage, 141; ServRonTen facilities, 141-43; 
South Pacific area support for, 138; staging 
area logistics, 161, 162; stores ships in, 
146-47; supplying forces prior to, 138 

Marias, fueling at Ulithi for Okinawa cam- 
paign, 328 

Markab: maintenance and repair in Aleutians, 
73, 75; joins ServRonTen at Majuro, 122; in 
Marianas campaign, 147; at Eniwetok, 163; 
at Ulithi, 224; at Leyte for Okinawa, 317 

Marshall Islands, 116 (chart) 

Marshall Islands campaign, 115-28: ammuni- 
tion for, 118; food distribution plan, 117; 
forces involved, 115; fuel requirements, 117; 
predetermined, fueling rendezvous unprac- 
tical, 98; oilers assembled for fueling after 
D-day, 117; repairs, emergency, facilities for, 

Marston mat airfield, 73 

Maryland: to Bremerton for repairs after Pearl 
Harbor attack, 11; taking on turret-gun 
powder, 344 

Massacre Bay area, landing craft problem, 77 

Matar, provisioning at Kerama Retto, 347 

Mauna Loa: ammunition supply for Marshalls 
campaign, 118; in Marianas campaign, 139; 
at Palaus, 197, 200 

Mayfield Victory: unloads aircraft mines in 
Okinawa area, 385; at Buckner Bay, 393 

Manama: in Marianas campaign, 139; ordered 
to Saipan, 150; extract from war diary at 
Saipan, 152; complimented for work, 154; 
at Leyte, 238-39; torpedoing of, 278-79; 
ammunition supply for Okinawa campaign, 

McCall, Lcdr F. B., Commander ServRonTen 
for ammunition affairs, 150 

McMorris, RadmC. H., engages Japanese con- 
voy in Aleutians, 74-75 

McFarland: based at Noumea, 23 

Medical facilities in Hollandia operation, 131; 
in Stalemate II, 207-10; in Operation Inter- 
lude, 210 

Medical logistics : for Marianas campaign, 141; 
at time of Guadalcanal operation, 33 

Medical plans, Stalemate II, 207-10 

Medical report, Marianas campaign, 159-60 

Medical supplies, Saipan, 160 

Medical supplies for land-based forces, Stale- 
mate II, 209 

Medusa: at Havannah Harbor, 58; joins Seventh 
Fleet, 58; at Seeadler Harbor, 180; repairs 
after Mount Hood explosion, 188 

Megrez in move to Ulithi, extract from war 

diary, 219 
Menominee: in Stalemate II, 204; salvage of 

Reno, 255 

Merchant ships: conversion of, 6; supply am- 
munition carriers, 167 

Mercury: replenishment record at Ulithi, 358; 
joins Logistic Support Group, 365; pro- 
visioning record at Okinawa, 365 

Midas: at Madang-Alexishafen, 182; in Ormoc 
landing, 268 

Midget submarine, 262 (see also Suicide sub- 
marines); attacks at Ulithi, 261-65; Missis- 
sinewa torpedoed by, 260; raising, by net 
layers, 391 

Midway Island: defense of and logistic support 
for, 21; preparations at Pearl Harbor, 21-22; 
objective after battle of Coral Sea, 21 

Milne Bay, air and naval base begun, 64 

Millicoma: fueling activity at Lahaina Roads, 
115; fueling of Task Force 32, 191 

Mindanao; in Stalemate II, 178; at Seeadler 
Harbor, 186; to Guadalcanal for Okinawa 
preparations, 320; at Ulithi, 370 

Mindoro landing, 268-71; combat forces 
involved, 269; unloading on beaches, 270 

Mine depot, at Espiritu Santo, 52 

Minesweepers, high-speed, join squadron at 
Majuro, 125 

Minneapolis : bow blown off, 44: bow repaired 
with coconut tree trunks, 45, 46 

Mississinewa: in Philippines campaign, 249; 
torpedoed by midget submarine, 260: midget 
submarine attack on, 261 

Mississippi rushed to Pacific after attack on 
Pearl Harbor, 11 

Mitscher, Capt Marc, 18 

Mobile amphibious repair base, set up at 
Seeadler Harbor, 180 

Mobile floating bases, shore facilities con- 
tribution to, xi 

Mobile floating support, primary need in 
Central Pacific, viii 

Mobile issuing office, 277-78 

Mobile logistic support, conference on, at 

. Seeadler Harbor, 169 

Mobile service squadrons: concept for Opera- 
tion Galvanic, 90; early growth of, 90-91 

Mobile support units, advantage of, 214 

Mobilube arrives at Tongatabu, 24 

Mog Mog Island: brief rest on, 259; recreation 
facility, 329 

Molala: in I wo campaign, 284; assists Ringgold 
and Yarnall, 325; assists Pinckney, 335 

Mona Island: account of air raids at Buckner 

Bay, 393 
Monroe Victory at Buckner Bay, 393 

Montgomerey, RAdm A. E.,: commanding 
Southern carrier force in Gilberts operation, 
89; in Marcus and Wake attacks, 132 

Morinda loaded at Tongatabu, 25 

Morobe, PT boat fueling depot, Base No. 8, 65 

Morotai assault, 182; landings, fueling for, 194 



Motion-picture exchange, 277; aboard Prairie 

at Majuro, 125; ServRonSix, 368 
Mount Baker, ammunition supply for Okinawa, 

Mount Hood, blowing up of, damages Argonne, 

187, 188 
Mount McKinley: general quarters at Kerama 

Retto, 337; damage to, 338 
Multiple missions, 129-36 
Munsee: in Stalemate II, 204; rescue work 

after torpedoing of Mississinewa, 261; 

assists Franklin, 357; assists Thornton, 359 
Munsee-Canberra tow, 225 
Murxim in Ormoc landing, 268 
Musa, provisioning at Okinawa, 387 
Myrna Island, Seabees on, 134 


Naha Harbor, clearing wrecks from, 351 
Nakagusuku Wan (jee Buckner Bay) 
Nandi, unprotected, 26 
Nantahala, collides with Guadalupe, 275 
Naval bombardment, decisive factor at I wo, 

Naval gunfire at Guam, Adm Conolly's report 

on effect of, 158 
Naval Operating Base, Leyte Gulf, 375~76: 

water supply, 376; welfare and recreation, 

Naval Personnel (Over-All Pacific) section of 

ServForPac, 10 
Naval Station, Samar, cargo unloading at, 377 
Navigation aids, Okinawa, 390 
Nawiliwili, fueling at, 115 
Near failure of supply system, conditions 

leading to, 38 
Neches: fueling in Attu operation, 70; at 

Kiska, 83; in Gilberts operation, 89; in 

Palau strike, 130; destroys enemy plane, 359 
Nestor: at Ulithi, repairs for Okinawa, 329; 

at Okinawa, 387; smoke-making duty at 

Buckner Bay, 394 
Neosho, old: joins Task Force Seventeen, 18; 

fuels Yorktown in heavy sea, 19; lost in 

battle of Coral Sea, 21 
Neosho, new: fueling at Attu, 79; fueling 

record, 80-81; at Kiska, 83; in Gilberts 

operation, 89; at Lahaina Roads, 115; in 

Palau strike, 130 
Neptune party for casualties aboard Solace, 158 
Neshanic: fueling in Attu operation, 79; at 

Kiska, 83; in Gilberts operation, 89; in 

Palau strike, 130 
Netherlands East Indies, attempt to slow 

Japanese drive, 17 
New Guinea, 14 (chart); and part of Australia, 

181 (chart) 
New Hebrides, 27 (chart) 

New Mexico: rushed to Pacific after Pearl 

Harbor attack, 11; ammunition being 

loaded by Shasta, 155; sending 14' 'HC 

shells to magazine, 156 
Newcomhe: damaged by suicide attack, 334; 

repairs to, 296 
Nimitz, Adm Chester A.: CinCPac, 23; plan 

to solve Adm Ghormley's fuel problem, 24 
Niobrara: fueling at Saipan for Okinawa 

campaign, 324; at Hagushi, 388 
North Carolina: antiaircraft fire, effectiveness 

of, 35; gets "tin fish" in bow, 41 
North Pacific, first encounter with Japanese, 69 
Northampton lost, 43 
Noumea: base hospitals at, 60; most suitable 

base before Guadalcanal operation, 26; 

ship-repair unit at, 55 
Nuber, Cdr H. D. : at Auckland in 1942, 60; 

Capt, at, Noumea, 36 


Oahu, repairs at Eniwetok, 288 

Oakland Supply Depot, acquisition of, 4 

Oceanus: in Tulagi-Purvis Bay region, 178; at 
Kerama Retto, 333 

Ocelot: Commo Carter's flagship, 372; enemy 
plane flies over, 326; breakdown of, 371-73; 
in typhoon of 9 October 1945, 398 

Ocklawaha, water supplying record, 203 

Ofstie, RAdm R. A. : receives information from 
Japanese on U. S. naval effectiveness, 308 

Offensive, taking the, 23 

Ogden, Capt S. B. : Chief of Staff, ServRon- 
Four, 91; to Manus, 169; ServRonTen 
representative in planning for Stalemate II, 
173; relieved at Seeadler, 231, at Leyte, 371 

Oil quantity involved in Philippines campaign, 
251-52; sources in N. E. I. shut off by Japan, 

Oiler task groups : comments and recommenda- 
tions concerning, 194-97; Eniwetok, 190; 
Marianas campaign, 139; Stalemate II, 
lessons learned from, 194-95 

Oiler task units, 140; as part of carrier task 
force, question of, 196-97 

Oilers (see also Fleet oilers): assembled for 
fueling after D-day for Marshalls campaign, 
117; number in 1940 and 1945 compared, 5; 
stand-by unit in Stalemate II, 193; with fast 
carrier group at Seeadler Harbor, 190-94 

Okinawa Shima, 386 (chart) 

Okinawa campaign, 311-53: aerial strikes, 213; 
after 1 July 1945, 385~98; ammunition 
demands, 363; ammunition supply, 327; as- 
sembling of forces, 312; aviation gasoline and 
lubricants, 361; aviation logistics, 363-65; 
bombardment by amphibious support force, 
314; complexity of operation, 312; docking 


Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

facilities at Ulithi for, 329; dredging opera- 
tions, 390; dry stores after 1 July 1945, 
387-88; enemy air a formidable weapon, 313; 
first objective in attack on Nansei group, 
234; fleet oiler schedules, 361; forces in- 
volved, 312, 314-15; fueling: after 1 July 
1945, 388; by merchant tankers, 328; fuels, 
359-62; general stores, 365-66; hydrographic 
survey, 388-92; Ie Shima landing, 314; in- 
vasion forces, 314-15; Japanese defense 
strategy, 313; Kyushu attacked by fast 
carrier force, 313; Leyte as assembly point, 
316-18; logistic facilities, development of, 
315-16; lubricants, 359-62; Kerama Retto, 
logistics at, 331; mail, 366-67; move from 
Guadalcanal to Ulithi, 320; peak of Pacific 
operations, viii; phases in operation plan, 
312; preparations in Guadalcanal-Russels- 
Purvis Bay region, 319-21; provisioning for, 
327, 328, 387-88; provisions, 365-66; fresh- 
and-frozen, allowances, 328; repairs: at 
Ulithi, 328-29; after 1 July 1945, 385-87; 
replacement personnel, 367; salvage, 366; 
servicing ships for, completion of, 330; 
ServRonSix's responsibility, 312; ServRon- 
Ten's responsibility, 312; staging at Guadal- 
canal, 319-21; strategic advantages of 
Okinawa, 311; Towing, 366 

Oldendorf, RAdm J. B., report on capture of 
Leyte, 238 

Operating forces of Navy : in 1925, 3; in 1940, 4 

Operation "Catchpole" (Eniwetok), Truk 
strike as a part of, 121 

Operation "Cottage" (Kiska operation), 84 

Operation "Flintlock" (Marshalls campaign), 

Operation "Forager" (Marianas campaign), 
137-48; general logistics, 149-70 

Operation "Galvanic" (Gilberts operation, 

Operation "Iceberg" (Okinawa campaign), 

Operation "Interlude" (Morotai), 201, 204; 
medical facilities, 210 

Operation "Olympic," 382 

Operation "Scavenger" (Bonins), 168 

Operation "Snapshot," 167-68 

Operational control of support shipping, Stale- 
mate II, 175 

Operational planning, logistic planning and, 

Ordnance logistics, 107 

Ordnance section of ServRonTen, principal 
function, 107 

Ordnance spare parts, 108-09: depot established 
at Guam, 109; difficulties in procuring, 108; 
speedier distribution needed, 108 

Organization, logistic, 35~47 

Ormoc Bay, landings at, 267-68 

Ortolan raises two-man submarine, 59 

Otus: joins force in Dutch East Indies, 13; in 
train of Task Force Five, 15 

Packer, Capt F. A., at Eniwetok, 165 

"Pack-up" units of stores, 366 

Pacific commands, principal, April 1942, 23 

Pacific Ocean, opp. 404 (chart) 

Paddock, Capt H. E., commands service force 

in SoWesPac, 63 

Pakana in Stalemate II, 205 

Palau Islands, 172 (on chart): air attacks on, 

182; Japanese base after Truk strike, 129; 

plan for seizure of, 171; strike, 129-30; 

primary purpose, 129 
Pamanset: at Seeadler, 189; in Philippines cam- 
paign, 189 
Panda in Ormoc landing, 268 
Pare, Capt E. E., Chief of Staff for ComServ- 

RonEight, 98; Com TG 50.17, 139 
Passengers, Okinawa campaign, 367 
Pathfinder, survey at Okinawa, 389 
Patrol Squadron: at Kendari in Celebes, 13; 

holds on at Kendai, 15 
Patrol Squadron 101: sent to Ambon, 13; 

ordered to Soerabaja, 15 
Patuxent: fueling in bad weather, 275; fire and 

explosion, 284; fueling at Saipan for Oki- 
nawa campaign, 324 
Pawnee: in Stalemate II, 204; message to 

Houston, 228 
Pay office at Majuro, 135 
Pearl Harbor: battleships capable of steaming 

after, 11; ServRonTen formed at, 95-104; 

Storage Depot, expansion in 1940, 4 
Pecos: in Dutch East Indies, 12; in train of 

Task Force Five, 15; sunk en route to 

Colombo, 16 
Pecos, new: fueling activities at Attu, 79; at 

Kiska, 83; fueling of Task Force 32, 191 
Pelelieu Island, landings on, 182 
Penicillin at Saipan, 160 
Pennsylvania: to San Francisco for repairs after 

Pearl Harbor attack, 11; low in water after 

being torpedoed by plane, 342 
Pensacola torpedoed, 44 
Perimeter defense until after Midway, 38 
Personnel problems at Ulithi, 264 
Personnel transportation after hostilities 

ended, 402 
Phaon: repair of Washington, 120; at Saipan for 

Okinawa repairs, 324 
Philippine Islands, 235 (chart) 
Philippines, China, and Japan, 273 (chart) 
Philippines campaign, 233-80; carrier task 

missions before landings, 234; forces, 233; 

logistic support: of Seventh Fleet, 237-44; 

of Third Fleet, 249-61; Northern attack 



force, 236; oil consumed, 251-52; rearming 
at Ulithi, 255-56; Southern attack force, 
236; staging for Leyte assault, 234-36; 
suicide attacks begin, 255; vessels employed, 

Piedmont: at Eniwetok, 163, 180; arrives at 
Seeadler, 185; at Ulithi, repairs for Okinawa 

Pinkney: in Stalemate II, 209; attacked by 
suicide plane at Kerama Retto, 335 

Pittsburgh: in dry dock, Guam, 304; bow 
towed in, cut up, and restored to ship, 305; 
tows Franklin, 357 

Plane deliveries at sea, 364 

Platano, provisioning for Attu operation, 81 

Platte: in train of Task Force Eight, 17 
fueling in Attu operation, 79; at Kiska, 83 
fueling activity in Gilberts operation, 89 
fueling of carrier force for Truk strike, 121 
in attack on Palaus, 129; in Stalemate II, 
212-13 fueling at Ulithi for Okinawa 
campaign, 328; report on Okinawa activi- 
ties of ServRonSix, 357 

Polaris, provisioning at Okinawa, 387 

Pollux in Stalemate II, 177 

Ponaganset: water supplying record, 201-03; 
supplies fresh water in Palau-Leyte opera- 
tions, 242-43; first water cargo to Kerama 
Retto, 333; loading fresh water at Balusoa 
water point, Samar, 377 

Ponape, a geological exception, viii 

Pontoon barges, 101: completed at Majuro, 
123; uses, 123 

Pontoons for pontoon bridges, Vega supplies, 

Pope in Dutch East Indies, 12 

Port Chicago fire, effect on smoke-making 
supply, 201 

Port facilities, insufficiency, effects on supply 
system, 38 

Porter lost off Santa Cruz Islands, 42 

Portland patched up at Tulagi, 43 

Postwar problems, 400-01 

Potawatomie in Stalemate II, 205 

Powder, turret-gun, Maryland taking on, 344 

Powder load midway between Shasta and 
Vicksburg, 285 

Pownall, RAdm C. A., commanding carrier 
force in Gilbert Islands, 87 

Prairie: flagship of ServRonTen, reaches 
Majuro, 122; motion picture exchange, 125 
277; storage capacity, 126; sick bay, 159 
at Eniwetok, 163, 179; at Ulithi, 271 
mobile issuing office located in, 277-78 
repairs at Ulithi for Okinawa, 328 

Presque Isle at Kerama Retto, 349, 350 

Pre- World War II, 1-6 

Prometheus: at Iron Bottom Bay, 178; arrives 
at Seeadler, 185; at Leyte for Okinawa, 317 

Propellers, spare, 33 

Protected anchorages: Central Pacific, viii; 
for Marianas campaign, 138 

Provisioning: allowances at Ulithi for Oki- 
nawa campaign, 328; Attu operation, 81; 
dry, stores ship, 146-47; Expiritu Santo, 
52-53, 60; fresh-and-frozen, ship, 147; 
Kerama Retto, 346; Majuro, 135; Okinawa 
campaign, 365-66, 387; problems at objec- 
tive area, 161-62; Seventh Fleet, 307; ships 
within ServRonEight, 102; Stalemate II, 

PT boats: fuel and lubricant consumption, 50; 
fueling depot, Base No. 8, Morobe, 65 

Publications, issuing of, 278 

Quapaw: in Operation Interlude, 205; repairs 
to Lamson, 268 

Quarts to Majuro, 126; concrete stores barge, 
i27; in Marianas campaign, 147; at Eni- 
wetok, 177; at Ulithi, 256; provisioning for 
Okinawa, 327; general stores, 329 

Queenstown, destroyer tenders at, in World 
War I, 1 

Query, CaptJ.V., Chief StaffOfficer at Eniwetok, 

Quiros, commissioning of, 125 

Quynn, Commo A. G., Chief of Staff, ComServ- 
Pac, Conference at Manus, 173, 403 


Rabaul, raid on, 18 

Radford, RAdm A. W., commanding Northern 
carrier force in Gilberts operation, 89 

Raiding forces, logistics of, 17 

Rainier: at Tongatab u,23; repairs at Funafuti, 
92; ammunition supply for Marshalls cam- 
paign, 118; in Marianas campaign, 139; 
record in Marianas campaign,- 149-50; 
replenishes TG 38.2 at Ulithi, 258; ammuni- 
tion for Okinawa operation, 327 

Ramapo: fueling in Attu operation, 79; at 
Kiska, 83 

Randolph: struck by suicide plane, 297; repairs, 
300, 325-26 

Rassieur, Capt W. T., command of Task Unit 
30.8.14, 190 

Rearming at sea, 362 

Rebombing, difficulties of, 154 

Recreation, need for, 253 

Recreation facilities, SoPac, 53~54 

Reeves, RAdm J. W., Jr., base development in 
North Pacific area, 73 

Refrigerated storage capacity, Manus, 309 

Refrigerator ships: need for, 46; scarcity, 102 


Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

Relief: at Saipan, 159; in Stalemate II, 207; 
embarking casualties in heavy seas, 208; at 
Pelelieu, 209 , 

Remus at Alexishafen, 182 

Reno: hard hit and barely afloat, 229; towing 
of, 230; salvage of, 254-55; repairs to, 295 

Renshaw, repairs to, 295 

Repair base: at Milne Bay, 180; mobile, set up 
at Seeadler, 180 

Repair facilities: emergency, for Marshalls 
campaign, 118; value of, 309 

Repair ship, Marianas campaign, 147-48 

Repair ships, number in 1940 and 1945 com- 
pared, 5 

Repair unit, floating, at Madang-Alexishafen, 

Repairs: Attu operation, 81-82; damages and 
see Damage and repair emergency, Marianas 
campaign, 141; Kerama Retto, 337; Iwo 
campaign; at Eniwetok, 288; at Saipan, 
289; and maintenance, Stalemate II, 177-82; 
Marianas operation, 147-48; preparations 
for Stalemate II, 177-82; Okinawa cam- 
paign, 328-29, 385-87; at Saipan, 324; 
ServRonTen during Iwo campaign, 291 

Replacement aircraft, escort carrier's role, 

Replacement personnel, Okinawa, 367 

Replacement transports, instructions for Oki- 
nawa campaign, 282 

Replenishment at sea: carrier aircraft, 145-46; 
new squadrons planned, 380; Philippines 
campaign, 250; positions of various ship 
types in, 356 

Representative vessel types, 431-450 

Rhoads, Capt F. A., to Manus, 169; CSR Ten 
representative B at Saipan, 289; at Kerama 
Retto 337-353; move to Buckner Bay, 392 

Rigel: at Auckland, 23; at Espiritu Santo, 40; 
at Buna, 131; at Havannah Harbor, 58; at 
Madang-Alexishafen, 182 

Riggs, Cdr A. S., xii 

Ringgold, collision with Yarnall, 325 

Robinson, Capt S. B., in command of fast 
group of TF Five, 13; Commandant Naval 
Station Samar, 378 

Rocky Mount, penicillin supply, 160 

Rockwell, RAdm F. W., plans for Kiska opera- 
tion, 82; Commander Amphibious Force, 
Pac-Flt, 75 

Rogers, Cdr E. C, commanding Kitty Hawk, 
support of Midway, 21-22 

Roi, strike on, 17 

Rutilicus: in Ormoc landing, 268; at Ulith 
provisioning for Okinawa, 327, 328; dry 
provisions at Okinawa, 329 

Ryujo, sinking of, 35 

Sabine: in train of Task Force Seventeen, 17; 
in raid on Wake Island, 18; diverted to 
Espiritu Santo, 32; fueling of carrier force for 
Truk strike, 121; in attack on Palaus, 129; 
fueling at Ulithi for Okinawa campaign, 328 

Sacramento, dredging at Okinawa, 390 

Saipan, 150 (chart): base facilities, 306; 
Guadalupe's fueling record before and after 
assault on, 143-44; medical activities at, 
157-60; naval magazine developed, 111; plan 
to capture, 137; repairs at: for Iwo cam- 
paign, 289; for Okinawa campaign, 324; 
servicing for Iwo campaign, 288 

Salamonie at Leyte, 141 

Salvage: improvements in methods, 225-226; 
Canberra, 226-231; Houston, 226-231; Reno, 
254-55; Kerama Retto, 339-350; Naha Har- 
bor, 366; Stalemate II, responsibility, 205; 
Seeadler, operations coordinated by Capt 
Ogden 231 

Salvage action, value not yet learned, 22 

Salvage section with landing party, need for, 

Salvage tugs, lack of, 43 

Salvaging, improved methods at Ulithi, 225 

Samar, 252 (on chart): battle off, 245~46 

Samaritan: aground on Tauu Reef, 208; at 
Saipan, 159; in Stalemate II, 207, 208 

San Diego Storage Depot, expansion in 1940, 4 

San Juan hit by bomb, 42 

San Pedro Bay, Leyte: anchorage for SerRon 

^ Ten, 370. 

San Pedro, Calif.: base, 11; servicing after 
Pearl Harbor attack, 12 

Sand Bay, fueling facilities, 73 

Sangamon: damaged off" Kerama Retto, 334; 
damage to flight deck, 336 

Sangay: aircraft ammunition for Marshalls 
campaign, 118; in Marianas campaign, 139 

Saranac: fueling in Attu operation, 79; at 
Kiska, 83; in Palaus strike, 130; at Leyte, 239 

Saratoga: replenishment and overhaul by Base 
Force, 3; torpedoed, 36 

Schuylkill: fueling in Attu operation, 79; at 
Kiska, 83; in Gilberts operation, 89; at 
Marcus and Wake, 133; fueling of Task 
Force 32, 191; replenishes Intrepid, 213 

Scope of this publication, vii 

Scott, RAdm Norman: battle off Cape Espe- 
rance, 41 ; killed aboard Atlanta, 43 

Scull, Capt H. M., commander of the first 
mobile service squadron, 91 • 

Sea Flyer, salvage of, 167 

Sea Hag in Marianas campaign, 141 


Seabees: Enterprise repairs, 42; on Myrna 
Island, 134 

Seamanship, shortage through war, 170 

"Seamule" power units for barges, 101 

Seaplane tenders, increase in, 4 

Section organization of Service Force, sound 
reason behind, 10 

Seeadler Harbor, 172 (on chart): anchorage for 
Marianas campaign, 138; locus operandi of 
ServRonTen, 67; logistic support at, 185-205; 
planned as base for Third Fleet, 169; service 
unit at, 185-90, 210-12; ships in, 186: Stale- 
mate II, planning for, 173, 171-83; replen- 
ishment, 211 

Semimobile logistic agency, need for, 37, 38 

Sepulga: Funafuti to Kwajalein, 126; at Eni- 
wetok, 163; fueling at Ulithi for Okinawa 
campaign, 328 

Service craft join ServRonTen at Majuro, 122 

Service divisions of ServRonTen, 381 : postwar 
missions, 401 

Service Force Pacific Fleet, 7-10: beginning of, 
2; contribution to winning of war with 
Japan, 7; early organization, 8; general 
activities in early period of war, 58-61; 
headquarters moved from Argonne to Pearl, 
8; major divisions, 8; name established, 8; 
organization, 10; personnel, 9; ServFor 
Seventh Fleet absorbed by, 383-84; total 
ships, by squadrons (1945), 9; utility wing, 
9; vessels of, number increases, 9 

ServForPac Subordinate Command logistic 
agency for all SoPac bases, 8; functions, 8 

ServFor Seventh Fleet: administrative control, 
9; bases in spring 1945, 309; ServForPac 
absorbs, 383-84; tasks at Leyte, 237 

Service Squadron Eight: composition, 97; 
duties, 97; end of war, 103-04; function in 
ServForPac, 104; organization, 97; relation- 
ship to ServRonTen, 95-104; responsibility 
for supply, 8; ServRonTen an "outpost" 
of, 97 

Service Squadron Four: composition, 91; first 
mobile logistic support unit, 90; to Funafuti, 
9; Funafuti to Kwajalein, 126-28; organiza- 
tion, 91; ServRonTen absorbs, 128; training, 
responsibility for, 8; value of, comment on, 

Service Squadron Six : ammunition ships, record 
of, 363; establishment, 355; fleet oilers the 
major component, 355; former mine squad- 
ron, 9-10; mobile support expanded by, 
355-68; Okinawa campaign, 357; responsi- 
bility in, 312; responsibilities, 8; ships rigged 
for ammo and ordnance transfer at sea, 111; 
at Ulithi, 357-59 
Service Squadron Ten: ammunition, obtained 
from Fleet Gunnery Officer, CinCPac, 107; 
ammunition lighters assigned at Majuro, 
135; assembly of, 91; boat pool, beginning 

of, 120; build-up of, ix; changes, 301 
damaged by storm at Eniwetok, 169-70 
duties, 95-96; early composition, 105-07 
early organization, 105-07; at Eniwetok, 
149; principal activities, 163-70; scope and 
variety of duties, 165; ships available, 179; 
floating equipment estimated as needed at 
organization, 105; floating storage barges, 
103; food distribution for Stalemate II, 176; 
formation of, 95-104; growth: at Majuro, 
134-36; spring of 1945, 293; 293-310; added 
facilities for Okinawa campaign, 316; 
headquarters moved from Washington, 121- 
21; "If we've got it, you can have it," 122 
information service during Truk strike, 123 
Iwo campaign: duties, 282; services, 286 
logistic work at Leyte, 291-92; at Majuro, 
118; main base at Ulithi, 301; main body 
moves to Ulithi, 217-31; main reduced to 
minimum at Eniwetok, 220; Marianas 
campaign: facilities, 141-43; logistic serv- 
ices, 142-43; minor units, postwar, 401; 
mobile logistics forward area representative 
of ServForPac, 9; moments in the life of a 
representative of, 221-22; motto adopted, 
122; needs estimated at time of organization, 
96; Okinawa campaign, responsibility in, 
312; ordnance materials obtained from 
FGO, 107; ordnance section, principal 
function, 107; organized for occupation, 
400; organization early, 105-07; relation- 
ship to ServRonEight, 95-104; reorgan- 
ization, 379; repair jobs in Iwo cam- 
paign, 291; Seeadler Harbor the locus 
operandi of, 67; service divisions set up, 381 ; 
ServRonEight backs up, 97; ServRonFour 
absorbed by, 9, 128; ships comprising, 
Majuro (June 1944), 136; subordinate 
operating units, 380; supports force for 
attack on Palaus, 129; Truk-Marianas 
strikes, servicing fleet after, 125; at Ulithi, 
253-54; vessels of, 302-03 

Service Squadron Twelve, 388-92:- composi- 
tion, 8; largest operation at Guam, 9; 
organization, 10; purpose, 9 

Service unit at Seeadler Harbor, 185-90, 210-12 

Seventh Fleet logistics, 306-10: ammunition 
supply, 307; bases, 309; composition of 
force, 233 

Severn, water supply record, 203 

Seyfried, Capt J. H., Survey of Majuro, 122 

Shangri-La fueled by Cahaba on a smooth day, 

Shasta: arrives at Adak with ammunition 
replacements, 78; supplies Kiska forces, 
83; in Marianas campaign, 139; loading 
ammunition onto New Mexico, 155; in 
Palau Is. 197, 200; load of powder midway 
between Vicksburg and, 285; rearms carriers 
in Iwo campaign, 285; at Iwo, 289 


Beans, Bullets, and Black OH 

Sherman, RAdm F. C, commanding Relief 

Carrier Force at Gilberts operation, 89 
Shoemaker, Capt J. M., Commander Naval 
* Air Center, Guinan, 375 
/ Shore J^s es^jdependence on. vii 
*SKore basesmSoutnlind Soutfiwest Pacific, vii 
Shore repair facilities for Stalemate II, 179 
Shore tank storage of oil in Aleutians, 80 
Shipping, scarcity in early days of war, vii 
Ship-repair unit: at Florida Island, 57; at 

Noumea, 55 
Ship's stores stock, Okinawa, amount issued, 

Sicard and Macdonough, collision 
Sierra: arrives at Seeadler, 185; in Okinawa 

preparations, 320 
Signal, commissioning of, 125 
Stlica: at Ulithi, 256; provisions for Okinawa, 

Silver Bell, repairs to Liddle, 268 
Silver Cloud to Seeadler, 174 
Sims lost in battle of Coral Sea, 21 
Sioux: in Stalemate II, 205; in Iwo campaign, 

284; assists Franklin, 357 
Small craft, repairs a difficult problem, 294 
Small craft tender introduced at Iwo, 290 
Smoke: expenditure at Iwo, 290: materials at 

Kerama Retto, 347-48; use at Buckner Bay, 

Smoke-making at Eniwetok, 158 
Smoke-making equipment, large quantities 

recommended, 201 
Soerabaja, basing at, 12 

Solace: at Tongatabu, 23; at time of Guadal- 
canal operation, 32; wounded aboard, 32; 

arrives at Garapan anchorage, 158; record 

in Marianas campaign, 158; in Stalemate II, 

207, 209; at Pelelieu, 209 
Solomons: eastern, logistics in, 35; shore bases, 

buildup of, ix; shore repair facilities, 179 
Sonoma in Operation Interlude, 205 
Soubarissen: at Kerama Retto, 333; at Hagushi, 

Sounding sketches, Buckner Bay, ServRon- 

Twelve prepares, 390 
Sources, logistic, 35-47 
South Dakota: strikes uncharted coral pinnacle, 

41; bombed off" Santa Cruz Islands, 42 
South Pacific, 23-24: building up in, 49-61; 

damages and repairs, 35-47; fuel handled for 

Stalemate II, 194; hospitals in, 207; logistic 

organization, 35~47; logistic sources, 35-47; 

recreation facilities, 53-54; shore facilities 

in early period of war, vii; repairs, 35-47; 

roll-up in Okinawa campaign, 320; staging 

area for Stalemate II, 194; welfare activities, 

Southwest Pacific, 14 (chart): early logistics, 

63-67; shore facilities in early period of war, 


Spare parts: ammunition, see Ammunition 
spare parts; aviation, see Aviation spare 
parts; distribution centers, 309; Okinawa 
operation, 365; ordnance, 108-09 (see also 
Ordnance spare parts) 

Special freight deliveries, need after Marshalls 
campaign, 103 

Special types ships, usefulness, 99-101 

Sperry, flagship of SubSquadTen, 133 

Spruance, VAdm R. A., mission vj; and forces 
in Cen Pac, 87; Majuro 118; Truk; 121; 
Marianas 137; Iwo, 281; Okinawa, 311 

Staging areas, logistics, Marianas campaign, 

Stalemate II {see also Western Carolines opera- 
tion), 171-83; 185-205; 207-16 

Starr, major hull repairs for Okinawa cam- 
paign, 318 

Stewart abandoned, 16 

Stores: Espiritu Santo, 52-53; Majuro, 140 

Stores ships, 146-47: Marianas campaign, 
146-47; position in at-sea replenishment, 356 

Storm at Eniwetok, lessons from, 170 

Suamico: fueling activity in Gilberts operation, 
89; in Palaus strike, 130 

Submarine attacks at Ulithi, 261-65 

Submarine bases: in Australia, 63-64; at 
Majuro, 133-34; in Central Pacific, 87 

Submarine undocking from ARD-6, at Dutch 
Harbor, 70 

Submarine, two-man, being raised by Orto- 
lan, 59 

Sugar Loaf Hill, struggle for, 314 

Suicide plane: attacks begin, 255; attacks 
diminish, 394; Kerama Retto, 335; New- 
combe damaged by, 3; Randolph damaged 
by, 297 

Supplies, interservice exchange of, 46 

Supply depots: Espiritu Santo, 1943, 53; 
Guam, capacity, 306; Noumea, 53 

Surigao Strait, 252 (chart) 

Surigao Strait, battle of, 246-47: ammunition 
allowances, 241-42; combat forces, 246-47 

Surrender of Japan, news of, 395; celebration, 

Survey, Bowditch, 388-92 

Suva, limited value as base, 26 

Sweeper's Cove (Adak Island), 71 

Sweetbriar in hydrographic survey of Okinawa, 

Talita at Eniwetok, 177 

Taluga fueling at Ulithi, for Okinawa cam- 
paign, 328 

Tallulah: fueling activity in Gilberts opera- 
tion, 89; at Lahaina Roads, 115; in Palaus 
strike, 130 

Tanahmerah Bay, landing at, 131 



Tankers: primary mission of fueling not be 
sacrificed, 98; pure water supplied by, 100 

Tanks, drop, 364 

Tappahannock: in Palaus strike, 130; in Philip- 
pines campaign, 249 

Tarawa, 91-92 

Task Force Five, train of, 15 

Task Group 30.8, fueling activities of, 190-94 

Task Force 38, fueling of, 191 

Task Force 51, Marianas campaign: logistic 
report, 160-62; medical report, 159-60 

Task Force 53, Marianas campaign, logistic 
report, 162-63 

Tatarrax assist Manama, 279 

Tawasa: in salvage of Sea Flyer, 167; to See- 
adler, 174 

Technical advances, effect on logistics, 49 

Terror hit by suicide plane, 339 

Theobald, RAdm Robert A., command over 
the Aleutians, 69 

Third Fleet: composition of forces, 233~34; 
in Philippines campaign, 249; logistic sup- 
port, Philippines campaign, 249-61; logistic 
support units in Stalemate II, 175; relieved 
by Fifth Fleet, 281 

Thornton, Escalante and Ashtabula collide with, 

Time, priority consideration in war, 302 

Tinian, plan to capture, 137 

Tippecanoe: fueling in Attu operation, 79; at 
Kiska, 83 

Tokyo, raid on, 18 

Tombigbee at Hagushi, 388 

Tongatabu: reason for selection as base, 26; 
staging at, 24 

Torpedo overhaul shop at Espiritu Santo, 52 

Torpedoes hoisted aboard Lexington, 113 

Towing: Houston, 226-30; improvements in, 
370-71; Okinawa campaign, 366; problems 
of, 215-16; Reno, 230; Ulithi to San Pedro, 

Townsville, landing-craft bases and amphibi- 
ous training centers, 64 

Trade Wind, refrigerated provisions • for 
Okinawa, 329 

Transport evacuation vessels, number in 1945, 5 

Transports: inadequacy of space, Iwo cam- 

f>aign, 286-87; replacement, instructions for 
wo, 282 

Trefoil: at Majuro, 140; at Eniwetok, 177; at 
Ulithi, 256; Okinawa campaign, 327; gen- 
eral stores for Okinawa, 329 

Trinity: in Dutch East. Indies, 12; ordered to 
Woworada Bay, 15; first fueling at sea in 
N. E. I., 15 

Truk, a geological exception, vii; pivotal 
base, 121 

Truk strike, 121-26: fueling for, 121; part of 
Eniwetok operation, 121 

Try on in Stalemate II, 209 

Tugs: at-sea replenishment role, 357; busiest 

service vessels at Attu, 82; Funafuti to 

Kwajalein, 126; value not yet learned, 22 

Tulagi, Honolulu at, bow damaged, 56 

Tulagi-Purvis Bay region: repairs in, 178-79; 

salvage ships in, 204 
Turner, RAdm R. K., commanding Assaul 
Force in Gilberts operation, 87; insists on 
unloading his transports, 28-29; mastery of 
logistic preparations, 28; medical report 
on Marianas operation, 159-60; logistic 
report on Marianas, 160-62 
Tutuila: at Purvis Bay, 179; at Ulithi, 370 
Two-man submarine being raised by Ortolan, 59 
Type loading developed for ammunition- 
carrying ships, 111 
Types, special, creation of new, 99-101 
"Typhoon crossroads" (Naha), 314 
Typhoon off Mindoro, 270 
Typhoon sorties, Buckner Bay, 394~97 


Ulithi Atoll, 223 (chart): air strike on, 130i 
docking facilities for Okinawa, 329; dull 
routine at, 276-80; fleet freight, amount 
handled, 278; fueling for Philippines 
campaign, 250; geography of, 224; landing 
on, 182; main base for ServRonTen, 301; 
midget submarine attacks at, 261-65; 
mobile issuing office at, 277-78; move to, 
214-16; craft involved, 216; first convoy, 
217-18; preparations, 214-15; second con- 
voy, 218-19; third convoy, 219-20; "pow- 
der keg," 259-60; preparations for Okinawa 
campaign, 324-30; rearming for Phillipines 
campaign, 255-56; repairs for Okinawa 
campaign, 328-29; salvage methods im- 
proved at, 225; ServRonTen at, viii, 213-31; 
ships at, average number, 276; ships 
serviced (May 1945), 370; suicide planes 
attack, 326; useless as storm shelter, 225; 
visual communications at, 278 
Unloading, lack of study of the problem, 39 
Ute: assist Perida, 77; sent to aid Bismarck 
Sea, 284; assist Franklin, 357 


Vega joins ServRonTen at Majuro, 122 

Vestal: repairs at Funafuti, 92; repair of 
Washington, 120; in first convoy to Ulithi, 
217; salvage of Reno, 255; at Saipan for 
Okinawa repairs, 324; at Kerama Retto, 399 

Viburnum, repairs to, 296-300 

Vicksburg, load of powder midway between 
Shasta and, 285 

Victory ships refitted for ammunition handling 


Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil 

Vincennes in Task Force Eighteen, 18 
Visayas strikes, operational significance, 182 
Visual communications at Ulithi, 278 
Volans in Stalemate II, 177 
Volcano Islands strike, 182 
Voyage repairs, high priority, 293 
Vulcan: to Guadalcanal for Okinawa support, 
320; at Ulithi, 370 


Waco Victory at Okinawa, 387 

Wake Island: air attack on, 132-33; raid, 18 

Warehousing facilities at Great Sitkin Island, 

Washington, damaged, used as administrative 
center for ServRonTen, 118-19 

Wasp, sinking of, 36 

Water: distillation seen as a problem, 106; 
Hollandia operation, 131; fresh, acute 
problem, 201; limited supply at Ulithi, 329; 
pollution of, dysentery outbreak due to, 383; 
supplied to ships at Iwo, 100; total supplied, 
Tulagi estimate, 201 

Water allowance, land-based forces, 203 

Water supply: NOB, Leyte Gulf, 376; prob- 
lems at objective, 162; Seventh Fleet, 307; 
Stalemate II, 203; support of Leyte assault, 

Welfare facilities, SoPac, 53-54 

Western Carolines operation, 171-83, 185-205, 
207-16; ammunition supply, 197-200; am- 
munition supply plan, 197; assault force 
sails to objective area, 175; carrier attack 
on, 167; casualties, 207; fast carrier groups, 
212-13; first fueling operation, 191; forces 
involved, 173-74; fueling, 189-97; fueling 
requirements, 173; hospital ships, 208-09; 
land-based forces, 174; logistic plan for, 
173; logistic support at Seeadler Harbor, 
and at sea, 185-205; mail facilities, 210; 
maintenance, preparations for, 177-82; med- 
ical plans and facilities, 207-10; opening 
strikes, 182; operation plan, 175; Phase I, 
fire-support ships' rehearsal, 200; Phase II, 
177; planning and preparation, 171; prepara- 
tions at Seeadler Harbor and at Eniwetok, 
171-83; provisions, 203-04; purposes, 171; 
repair activities of Ajax, 179; repair prepara- 
tions, 177-82; repairs, 185-88; salvage, 
204-05; responsibility for, 205; total forces 
involved, 171; water supply, 202-03 

Whippet: fueling at Saipan for Okinawa cam- 
paign, 324; at Kerama Retto, 333 

Whippoorwill joins force in Dutch East Indies, 

Whitney: at Tongatabu, 23; at Seeadler Harbor, 

Wichita, speed of fueling required, 193 

Wilkinson, RAdm T. S., landing on Emirau, 

Woleai, air strike on, 130 

Warden in Task Force Eleven, 20 

Wotje, strike on, 17 

Wounded, transfer from beach to evacuation 
ships, 208 

Wrangell at Iwo Jima, 289 

Wright, RAdm C. H., intercepts the enemy, 43 

WSA vessels used to carry ammunition and 
ordnance, 110 

Wythe at Kerama Retto, 349 

Yap, air strike on, 130, 182 

Yap attack force reaches Eniwetok, 236 

Yarnall, collision with Ringgold, 325 

YF-412 in Marianas campaign, 147 

YF-624 at Leyte for Okinawa maintenance, 318 

YF-691 refuzing projectiles in Okinawa cam- 
paign, 328 

YFD-21, 57 

YMS-92, stern blown off, 352 

Yolo at Kerama Retto, 349, 350 

Yorktown fueled by Neosho in heavy sea, 19; loss 
of, 22; LCT alongside, 166 

Yorktown group, fueling of, 18 

Yosemite at Ulithi, repairs for Okinawa, 329 

YP's in Marianas campaign, 147 

YR-38 at Attu, 82 

Yuma: in Stalemate II, 204; at Kerama Retto, 

YW-90 to Seeadler, 173 

Zaniah: to Guadalcanal for Okinawa opera- 
tion, 320; at Kerama Retto, 339; at Okinawa, 

Zuni: to Kossol Passage, 204; salvage of Reno, 

Set and printed for the Department of the 
Navy by the United States Government Print- 
ing Office: 1953- Text SET BY PHOTO composition 


For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U. S. Government Printing Office, Washington, 

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