Jan. 6, 1945

Hi Darling:

We are now in sight of land. The Chaplain, said we were within seeing distance of Bataan, last night.

All the ships are in battle formation and we are getting ready to move into Lingayen Gulf. The mine sweepers are in the lead sweeping the Gulf of all the mines that might be there.

Minesweepers were small, fast ships which had special equipment to get rid of mines.

I am beginning to get pretty nervous. Never can tell when the Japs may start shooting at us. Our first firing will be on San Fernando as it has a lot of warehouses and gasoline dumps there.

Just before we got there we saw a freighter burning. Flames were shooting hundreds of feet in the air. Dive bombers sank it. We have now spotted another tanker. It looks like it is right close to the beach. The New Mexico, has opened fire on it, they are getting close but not close enough. Now a Cruiser at our stern has began to fire and they can’t hit it. I guess they will have to let a good ship shoot at it. It is reported that the tanker has been beached. I sure am disappointed in the navy. But I’ll tell you more when I get home.

We are just about to our target.

We have opened up and are hitting our target. Now all ships opened fire and there are several fires on the beach.

Here come 6 Jap planes. The ships have all stopped bombarding and are firing at the planes. The New Mexico is just ahead of us and a Jap plane is going to crash dive her. They are shooting and we are shooting. The plane hit the yard arm on the port side. The whole side of the ship is covered with fire.

Now the fire is out, casualities amount to 50 men.

The USS New Mexico being hit be a Kamikaze

All the ships are really close together. A plane is diving at the Mississippi, but they blew the plane to pieces before it hit them.

Here are some more planes flying overhead. Our ship and a couple more were shooting at them.  Three of them are ours and one Jap. The Jap plane crashed but  they kept right on shooting at our planes. There were none shot down. I can see another plane diving into a Cruiser. There is another plane flying close to the water and all ships are firing at it but he got away.

There is so much going on that I can hardly remember all that I have seen.

We have started bombarding again and are setting more fires.

We also had another attack, 2 planes shot down.

We bombarded again and then went back to sea.

View larger map