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I Guess This Is It

(A-Day-minus three) Oct. 17, 1944


Weather is still the same. What a storm!

The crew was officially informed that we are to strike the first offensive blow against the Philippine Islands.

Our Marine Captain, held a critique on the tactical situation that prevailes on Leyte Island, The Island in the Philippines we are to strike.

Today the Army landed a Battalion minus one Company of Rangers on the other islands that stand as sentinals to the Gulf of Leyte .


Carrier based planes bombed Leyte Island.

Report on Rangers Operation encouraging; 1 ranger killed,  1 wounded. They captured 30 Japs and secured the island.

Mine sweepers, escorted by destroyers, swept the Gulf clear of mines. One mine sweeper lost, one destroyer damaged. Casualties light. Things are looking,upl

We had been running in a tropical storm for three days and it looked like the attack would be postponed but the weather cleared up today and the force was intact except for one A.P.D. that lost its rudder in the storm.

I guess this is it.

Action ahead!


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Wee Vee Fires 1st Salvo as She Flies Her Original Flag

(A-Day-minus two)

Wed. Oct. 18, 1944

Weather fine about 100 (degrees)

Task Force entered Gulf of Leyte and divided, Battleships West Virginia, Maryland and Mississippi with three destroyers proceed north to the Bay of San Pedro to shell White Beach and Lacloban Airdrome on Leyte Island, Philippines. The Battleships Tennessee, Pensylvania and California, with six cruisers and three destroyers shell Red Beach, S.E. of Leyte Island.

Dive bombers from our carriers can be seen diving on objectives.

Here it should be recorded the West Virginia fired the first salvo or l6-inch guns on the Philippine Island and she was flying the same flag it flew on December 7th 1941, when the Jape sunk her with 8 torpedos and 2 one-thousand pound bombs.

Air attack at twilight repulsed by Air Combat Patrol and Southern Force.

The Fantail and Flag of the USS West Virginia during battle of Pearl Harbor. This flag returned with a vengeance.

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Bombarded Leyte Island with 16 Inch Guns

(A Day minus one)

Thurs. Oct. 19, 1944

Weather fine about 100 (degrees).

Bombarded Leyte Island with 16-inch and 5-inch guns.

Giant 16" guns bellow at distant targets on Leyte in opening phase of the Philippines Campaign, October 19, 1944


A.P.D.’s under cover of our 5-inch gunfire, slip in close to the beach.

With powerful glasses one can see Demolition Squads, going over the side to blow up mines and obstacles in the shallow water. The bravery ot these men is outstanding, we could see the splashes where the Jape were shooting at them. I saw some of the wounded that were brought aboard. They had to amputate one mans arm.

Dive bombers can be seen pounding the Japs positions.

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155,000 Men Made The Landing


Fri. Oct. 20, 1944

Dearest Darling :

600 transports, L.S.T. ‘s, L.C.I. ‘s, etc. from the Admirality Islands, arrived with the 6th Army. Landed the 6th Army at 10:01 (one minute behind schedule) on Leyte Island. The 10th Corps, landed on White Beach and Lacloband. The 24th Corps, landed on Red Beach.

LST is short of “Landing Ship, Tank”.  They are large landing craft designed to deposit tanks and men directly on shore.

LCI is short for “Landing Craft Infantry”.  These ships were smaller, but could still land 200 troops at a time.

The landing force of about 155,000 men made the landing in several different waves.

We continured to fire on the enemy with our 5-inch battery. Air attack at twilight repulsed by Air Combat Patrol and Southern Forces.

5" guns in action at Leyte


Casualities were very light, one L.S.T. sunk and several L.C.I. ‘s sunk and damaged.

It is reported that the enemy is bringing in reserves from Lamar.

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Cruiser Honolulu Torpedoed

Sat. Oct. 21, 1944

Dearest Kay:

Weather very hot today about 110 (degrees).

Air attack at daybreak repulsed by Air Combat Patrol. Patrol reported shooting down 2 planes.

Spot bombarded the Beach with 5-inch guns.

Air attack at twilight, Cruiser Honolulu, torpedoed. I was a bit shakey and it made you think.

USS Honolulu

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Shot Down A Plane

Sun. Oct. 22, 1944

My Dearest:

Air attack before daybreak. Shot down a plane. The plane dived at our superstructure, missed, then doved into an Austrailian Cruiser. T’he whole area was lit up by the explosion. Parts of the plane were still burning while in the water. The very top of the Cruiser was in flames.

That plane flew directly over our gun mount and I was so afraid it was going to bomb us. I still don’t see why we didn’t get the bomb.

The casualties on the Cruiser were very heavy, especially among the officers.

Listened to Tokyo Rose, she claims the Japs sunk the West Virginia. (Woe is us.)

Air attack at twilight, repulsed by Combat Patrol. Air Combat Patrol reports bagging  36 planes with a loss of two of ours.

Weather recorded at 123°.

The firing key on our Quad VI jambed this morning and did not fire a shot. We decided to rename the quad. The Liberty Hound has been changed to the Virgin.


A 40 mm Quad Gun on the USS West Virginia, as would have been manned by Dale Ritchie Rogers

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