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Temperature recorded at 122°

Mon. Oct. 23, 1944

Kay Darling:

Air attack at daybreak repulsed. Air Combat Patrol, reports shooting down 16 planes. GOOD! Air defense sounded about 20 times today. The Japs are sure pesty people.

Temperature recorded at 122°. This is too hot, I am roasting.

USS Cony laying smoke screen near USS West Virginia, off Leyte

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Three Cheers For The Air Combat Patrol!

Tues. Oct. 24, 1944

Kay Honey:

Air attack at daybreak repulsed by Air Combat Patrol. Ho Hum, getting monotonous.

See Bees, sank a damaged L.S.T. and made an improvised drydock for the U.S.S. Honolulu.

Sea Bees are Naval Engineers.  Sea Bees could create bridges in hours and air fields in days. They were universally respected for their efficiency, bravery and ingenuity in the South Pacific during WWII.

Air defense about umpteen times today I sure am losing my patience with those Japs.
Temperature about 100° , slight breeze.

Listened to Tokyo Rose. She claims that half of our fleet has been sunk and the rest damaged – Ho Hum.

Air attack about sunset. Air Combat Patrol repulsed them. Combat Patrol reports shooting down 6 planes. Without Air Combat Patrol those Japs would give us a bad time.

F4U Corsairs Were the main carrier based fighter plane during this time.

Three cheers for the Air Combat Patrol.

The Jap Fleet was reported attacking our Carriers at Mindano.We are to intercept them. – Action ahead.

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We Only Have 12 Rounds per Barrell (16″)

Thurs. Oct. 26, 1944

My Kay Darling:

Air attack at daybreak repulsed by Air Combat Patrol. Almost every morning or evening a plane slips through the Air Combat Patrol and then we all turn to on it. Some Fun.

Walsh informed me today, that we only have 12 rounds per barrell (l6-inch) of armopr piercing ammunition. A tickelish position in case we have to come to blows with the Jap Fleet again.

A destroyer shot down one of our own planes today. I guess they got too excited. The plane crashed about a thousand yards to our starboard. The pilot was picked up by a destroyer .

Weather hot today about 110°.

Tokyo Rose, says that at Surgos Strait, the Japs forced us to use all our ammunition. She says we are trapped here in Leyte Gulf.

I wonder? We are supposed to get ammunition tomorrow.

Air attack at sunrise repulsed.

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Everything Seems To Be Going Wrong.

Fri. Oct. 27, 1944
Kay Darling:

Air attack at daybreak. Shot down 2 planes. We are supposed to take on ammunition today. I wonder??

Noon and no ammunition yet. Trapped??

Weather hotter than the devil o Approximately 115 0 •

Air attack at sunset repulsed.

I am getting tired of spending most of the day and all night in this hot gun tub waiting for Jap planes.

Where in the —- is the ammunition lighter?

Everything seems to be going wrong.

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Hurrah! Ammunition Lighter Along Side

Sun. Oct. 29, 1944


I slept in my sack last night for the first time since Oct. 17th.

"Sack" was slang for bunk. If the crew wasn't sleeping in their bunk, they would be sleeping at their guns.

Rained most of the night

Air attack at daybreak – repulsed by Air Combat Patrol.

The fuselage of a Jap plane with the pilot sitting in the green-house, afloat about  200 yards to our port bow. The pilot refused to be taken aboard our destroyer. The destroyer opened fire on the plane with 20 m.m. and the plane caught fire. Flames at least 30 yards high and throwing a fury of black smoke up in the air about 100 yards.

A downed Japanese bomber.

Hurrah! Ammunition lighter along side. First four divisions load ammunition. After about an hour and a half the lighter shoved off’. How much ammunition did we get? .

Ammunition Lighters were specialized cargo ships that carried and transferred ammunition.

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Japs Blew Up the Cargo Ship That Had All Our Ammunition

Nov. 11, 1944
Sweet Kay:
We have arrived at the Admirality Isles, and come to find that the Japs were here two days ago and blew up the cargo ship that had all our ammunition on. I don’t know where we will get it now. We don’t have too much aboard now.

Hurray! I got 4 letters from you and 3 from mom.

Well, I guess we will leave here tomorrow. No use hanging around if there is no ammunition.

The USS Mount Hood Explodes in spectacular fashion a day before it should have transfered ammo to the Wee Vee.

The ship referred to here was the USS Mount Hood, which exploded for unexplained reasons on Nov 10th, 1944. The explosion was so violent that no remains of the crew were found, a neighboring ship lost most of her crew, and a huge trench was created in the sea floor.  Click here for more info.
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