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“They Practiced Attacking Our Ship”

Kay Dearest:

Friday the 13th (ouch).

Weather is fine, calm water, weather about 100 (degrees).  Scuttlebut is that MCArthur, is on the Cruiser Nashville.

The scuttlebutt proved to be correct.

Listened to Tokyo Rose’s scuttlebut, she still claims we are doomed.  She dedicated the song “Good Bye Now” to our Task Force. How Nice.
Carriers had a few planes up today. They practiced attacking our ship. Boy! Do those planes travel.

TBF Avenger, the most common type of attack plane used during this time in the pacific.

Always my love.
Action Ahead!

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Tokyo Rose’s Scuttlebut

My Darling:

Water is choppy, there is an overcast but no rain.

Typhoons can be Seen forming aft our beam, navigator is avoiding typhoons. We must not be in a hurry to get anywhere, avoiding a storm in a Battle Wagon.

Listened to Tokyo Rose’s scuttlebutt, reception poor due to rain. I wonder where Tokyo Rose gets her records she has the latest tunes by Glen Miller, Harry James etc.


Our scuttlebut now is we are going to Samar, Phillipines. I wonder???

The world “scuttlebutt” has been used a few times, and the word has an interesting source.  The scuttlebutt on a wooden sailing ship was the large cask where water was stored.  Men would often congregate around the ancient water cooler and trade gossip.  Therefore, “scuttlebutt” = “water cooler chat”.

Action Ahead!

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Weather Bad

My Darling :

Weather bad. Squalls and more squalls.

Carriers and six destroyers left our Task Force, to go ahead and soften up our opposition. Good luck guys.

I guess I’ll never get seasick again.  The ship is taking quite a bit of water over the decks.

The WeeVee in rough waters

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Ate Gedunks

Darling Kay:

Weather worse, a real tropical storm, spray over the entire superstructure, the ship is really rolling and pitching. Stayed below decks most of the day and ate gedunks. Pretty dull day. Played a few games of checkers.

The Gedunk Stand on the USS West Virginia

“Gedunk” is the snack bar room of the ship.  There were often vending machines in the gedunk, or other snack items.  A love of snacks seems to be quite common among the Rogers, even today.

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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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