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Ammunition On And Are Just Waiting For Orders

Nov. 18, 1944
Dearest Kay:

Well, here we are at Uluthi Island, it is just 60 miles from Yap Island, hope the Japs stay there.

We are going to take on ammunition today. Hurray !

Well, we have all the ammunition on and are just waiting for orders.

Boy!!  We have a lot of ships here. Some of the new ones.


We are going to stay here for three days waiting for our Cans to get ready. Then I guess we will go back to the Philippines.

Nothing happened in the three days so no use wasting paper.

We left on the 21st.

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3rd Thanksgiving Dinner in the Service

Nov. 24, 1944

Dearest Kay:
Well, here I am having my third Thanksgiving Dinner, while in the service. We had a swell dinner with all the trimmings. I helped fix the dinner so it had to be good. I never heard anyone say that he did not like the dinner or didn’t get enough.

Slept most of the afternoon. I guess we will arrive at the Philippines tomorrow or the next day.

Admiral Halsey (center, top) eats Thanksgiving dinner with the crew of the USS New Jersey (BB-62) November 30, 1944.

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Looks Like The Japs Haven’t Stopped

Men from the USS Lexington are buried at sea on Nov. 26 1944.

Nov. 26, 1944

Kay my Dearest :

Well, here we are back at the Philippines, and the first thing we had this morning was air defense. Looks like the Japs haven’t stopped. We also had an air defense at sunset but they did not come near us.

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The Longest Battle of its Kind, in This War.

Nov. 27, 1944

Kay I Love You:

Today we had air defense, then general quarters.

“Air Defense” was used when all anti-aircraft guns were to be manned.  “General Quarters” was used when all guns, including ship to ship weapons, were to be manned.

All of a sudden a plane came out of the clouds. Just as it came out it dropped its’ bomb and then tired to crash into a Cruiser. The plane and the bomb landed between us and the Cruiser.

In about 10 minutes all hell broke loose. There were Jap planes all over the sky. About a 1000 yards from us a Jap plane was shot down and it crashed down on the quarter deck of the St. Louis. Fire broke out all over the quarter deck.

We were also shooting at the same plane. Our gun was the first gun to start shooting on the West Virginia.

Right after that another Jap plane crashed into the St. Louis in the same place. We could not see this one.

The USS St. Louis being hit by a kamikaze

Then I saw 3 more planes shot down. One of them crashed into the Colorado. Just about that time we could hear everything on our starboard side shooting. We could hear the fellows hollering and making a lot of noise. Just then I turned around to see what was happening and as I did so a Jap plane was being blown to pieces, it crashed into the water just 35 yards from our ship. Pieces or the plane flew clear over the ship. Honey was I scared? Then I saw another plane crash on the port side. He must have been loaded with bombs, cause when he hit the water he sure did blow up. (twin englne bomber).

Well, the whole battle lasted about an hour and a half.  All together there were nine planes shot down. We are certain we will get credit for shooting down one plane.

Those Japs are sure crazy. It looked like some planes crashed into ships even if they were not hit.

Americans still didn’t understand that a strategy shift had occurred during the battle of Leyte Gulf.  Only later would they understand the word “Kamikaze”, and the terror that accompanied.

There was so much smoke in the air — well I will explain it to you some day.

They say it was the longest battle of its kind, in this war.  21 Jap planes were here.

We fired 250 rounds. I guess we are no longer the Virgin.

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I Sure Like To See Them Hit The Water

Nov. 28, 1944

Air defense again this morning. We saw one plane shot down, it was too far away for us to shoot at it. I sure like to see them hit the water.

The USS West Virginia destroys an inbound Kamikaze

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