Sunday, September 25, 2016

The LST 845 Gets Beached on Maui

Wed 4-4-45:  Got underway from West Lock in Pearl Harbor at 9:15.  We rendezvoused with a flock of APA’s, destroyers, D.E.’s and 7 other LST’s – don’t have yet what’s in the wind but will know soon.  It’s hot and fairly calm.  Got 5 new men, all seamen.  Had firing runs right off.  Had 6 – 8 PM and 4 to 8AM watch.

Thurs 4-5-45:  At dawn we formed into line and planes began strafing and bombing a beach on Maui.  We had 7 APA’s (amphibious personnel attack), LCS (Landing Craft Support), LSM (Landing Craft Mechanized), LCI (Landing Craft Infantry) and LSN (Landing Ship Navigation), and proceeded to “take the beach”.  The LCS pumped rockets onto the beach – the APA’s and LCVP’s poured 4 waves onto the beach spearheaded by LCT "Assault Alligators," a heavily armored tank strictly for assault waves.  We moved in (9 LST’s) and laid down a smoke screen – we didn’t beach because we had no load.  In the PM we took aboard 5 “Alligators” at sea and let ‘em out again for practice – Had 4-6 and 12-4 watch.  Hot and muggy all day – moderate sea.

Fri 4-6-45:  Rain and high winds – had 2 hours sleep and G.Q. at dawn got me up quick!  I stayed on the stern anchor all day.  We beached twice – on Green Beach again on the Island of Maui.  The second time the 845 attempted to pull us off but couldn’t do it.  Later she went on herself and damned if she didn’t broach to in the surf just like our small LCVP did 3 weeks ago!  A tug was called for from P.H. and worked all night to get her off.  The surf on that beach is terrific.  We had 700 ft. of our cable out and damn near swung in too.  10 men were caught sleeping in their sacks and got 30 hours punishment duty.  We put [a] small boat in the water once and hope to go back to P.H. tomorrow.  And the next time no leave; we have a load going for business.  Enough of this fooling around!  Miss Ethel and those kids something awful.

Sat. 4-7-45:  Had our first real storm last night.  I had the 8-12 watch and spent two solid hours on the main deck dogging down hatches with a wrench.  The rain came down in torrents and a very high sea and wind was running.  I was completely soaked in 10 minutes.  The foul weather gear was so much like paper!  I took my shoes off and poured the water out.  It was cloudy but no rain this AM.  We first fired at robot-controlled planes all AM and knocked 2 out of 5 down.  Good shooting!  [We are] on our way back to P.H. now.  The 845 on the beach at Maui lost her crane and when it broke loose it tore off two life rafts.  Her seams have cracked and main engine rooms are flooded.  [We] got into Pearl Harbor (for the 4th time) at 3 P.M. and went after mail.  I got 1 sack & lots of air mail.  I got a letter from Earl Cressy, Mr. Beckwith, V-Mail from Judy and 2 from Ethel.  [I also] got 5 copies of the Beverly Evening Times.

Sun 4-8-45:  Cleaned up the ship.  Lowered the repaired LCVP and tested her out; seems OK and doesn't leak.  Holiday routine - I rated liberty but didn't bother with it as Sunday in Honolulu is no damn good.  The bars are closed, stores also.  You can't even hire a pair of tights to go swimming it's so crowed - to hell with it!  At noon I went after mail and got a small bunch, but I did OK.  I got two from Ethel, 3 more Times, one from Ethel Scopel (Swannie) and one from the folks.  Right after mail, Shi, Willie Williamson, Duncan and I went up to the Richardson Recreation Center and stood in the pouring rain for half hour to get a bottle of beer.  It was only open for 1-1/2 hours so we drank it, got to the end of the line to get another one - round and round.  We drank 9 bottles apiece and lugged 10 back in the mail bag.  Had a good move in the tank deck, "Up in Mabel's Room."  It rained all day.