Allied Warships

USS Monaghan (DD 354)

Destroyer of the Farragut class

USS Monaghan during the Second World War

NavyThe US Navy
PennantDD 354 
Built byBoston Navy Yard (Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.) 
Laid down12 Nov 1933 
Launched9 Jan 1935 
Commissioned19 Apr 1935 
Lost18 Dec 1944 
Loss position14° 57'N, 127° 58'E

After her commission, USS Monaghan served in the Atlantic as a training ship. Then she was relocated to the Pacific, and on Dec 7, 1941, she was stationed in Pearl Harbor, she was about to join USS Ward in pursuing some unidentified submerged vessels (the attacking Japanese midget-subs) at the entrance of the harbor, when the first wave of aircraft stuck Oahu. She opened fire with her AA guns, then a lookout spotted a midget submarine inside the harbor. Monaghan rammed the sub, then finished it off with two depth charges. After the attack Monaghan left Pearl Harbor, escorting the Lexington to relieve Wake, but they were late, and had to turn back. On the way home while protecting the capital ship, with two other escorts Monaghan chased away and possibly damaged a Japanese submarine. Apart from a brief escort duty, she spent the rest of the spring in the task force around the Lexington.

At the Battle of the Coral Sea, the day before the major engagement Monaghan carried messages, keeping this way the radio silence, and missing out on the thick of the battle. With the loss of the Lexington, she was attached to the screen of the Enterprise. In the Battle of Midway she was ordered to save a downed pilot, when she came across the badly damaged Yorktown, and joined other escorts to prevent the Japanese to inflict further damage to the ship. However, one of Japan's most skilled sub-skippers, Cmdr Tanaka manages to sinks the Yorktown and the destroyer Hammann.

After the battle she was sent North, to the Aleutians, where in bad weather she collided with another vessel, forcing her into the repair dock. On 17 November, near the Fijis she suffered damage again, bending her propellers in shallow waters. After repairs she was sent again to the Aleutians, participating in the battle off Komandorski Islands. She spent the summer cruising around the Aleutians. On 20 June, she fought an unidentified foe, without seeing it, directing her fire solely based on information from the radar. 2 days later she pursued and attacked a submarine, wich ran aground in the shallow waters, and was abandoned. She was identified as the I-7. After she escorted convoys, then she was attached to three escort carriers, and took part in the invasion of Tarawa. The following months she fulfilled convoy escort duties, as well as screening task forces, engaged in landings like Kwajalein, Truk and Saipan.

USS Monaghan sinks during a typhoon on the 18 Dec, with two other destroyers, east of Samar, Philippines in position 14º57'N, 127º58'E. Only six of her crew were ever found by the destroyer USS Brown. Amongst the 257 crew who died was the Commanding officer Lt.Cdr. Floyd Bruce Garrett, USN). The six survivors were transferred to the hospital ship USS Solace on Christmas eve. They had been in the water for 4 days. All were treated for shock, exposure and dehydration otherwise in fair shape considering their experience.

Before her loss, USS Monaghan received 12 Battle Stars for her services.


Commands listed for USS Monaghan (DD 354)

Please note that we're still working on this section
and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

1Lt.Cdr. Daniel Fisher Worth, Jr., USN10 Jun 19385 Sep 1939 (1)
2Lt.Cdr. Kenmore Mathew McManes, USN5 Sep 19397 Jun 1940 (1)
3Lt.Cdr. Nicholas Bauer van Bergen, USN7 Jun 194027 Sep 1941 (1)
4Lt.Cdr. William Page Burford, USN27 Sep 19412 Feb 1943 (1)
5T/Cdr. Peter Harry Horn, USN2 Feb 194321 Dec 1943 (1)
6T/Lt.Cdr. Waldemar Frederick August Wendt, USN21 Dec 194330 Nov 1944 (1)
7Lt.Cdr. Floyd Bruce Garrett, Jr., USN30 Nov 194418 Dec 1944 (+) (1)

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Notable events involving Monaghan include:

Lt. Cmdr Garrett was Exec Officer on the USS Cowell (DD 547) in 1943 - 1944 prior to assuming command of the USS Monaghan. He served also as the ship's navigator, and as QM2C,I was fortunate to be assigned duty as his assistant and spent much time with him taking star sights, calculating our position, maintaining charts, etc. After being detached to take over command of the USS Monaghan, on his first cruise as Captain and sailing with a task force off the Philippines, his ship ran low on fuel during the onset of a typhoon. With the ballast pumped out in anticipation of refuelling, the ship was top heavy and could not handle the heavy waves and capsized, with the loss of its Captain and all but six hands of his crew. This tragic information was received on the USS Cowell shortly after the disaster, whose crew was greatly saddened by the unexpected loss of its former Executive Officer - a slender, short man but a seasoned naval officer who was much respected by the entire crew of the Cowell. (2)

4 May 1942

Battle of the Coral Sea

Allies Forces in the area on 4 May 1942.

The Allied forces in the area were made up of the following units;
Task Force 11; aircraft carrier USS Lexington (Capt. F.C. Sherman, USN, flying the flag of R.Adm. A.W. Fitch, USN), heavy cruisers USS New Orleans (Capt. H.H. Good, USN), USS Minneapolis (Capt. F.J. Lowry, USN, flying the flag of R.Adm. T.C. Kinkaid) and the destroyers USS Phelps (Lt.Cdr. E.L. Beck, USN, with Capt. A.R. Early, USN, commanding DesRon 1 on board), USS Farragut (Cdr. G.P. Hunter, USN), USS Dewey (Lt.Cdr. C.F. Chillingsworth, Jr., USN), USS Worden (Lt.Cdr. W.G. Pogue, USN), USS Monaghan (Lt.Cdr. W.P. Burford, USN), Aylwin (T/Cdr. R.H. Rodgers, USN) and the tanker USS Tippecanoe (Cdr. A. MacOndray, Jr., USN).

Task Force 17; aircraft carrier USS Yorktown (Capt. E. Buckmaster, USN, flying the flag of R.Adm. F.J. Fletcher, USN), heavy cruisers USS Chester (Capt. T.M. Shock, USN), USS Portland (Capt. B. Perleman, USN), Astoria (Capt. F.W. Scanland, USN), and the destroyers USS Morris (T/Cdr. H.B. Jarrett, USN, with T/Capt. G.C. Hoover, USN, commanding DesRon 2 on board), USS Sims (Lt.Cdr. W.M. Hyman, USN), USS Anderson (Lt.Cdr. J.K.B. Ginder, USN), USS Hammann (Cdr. A.E. True, USN), USS Russell (Lt.Cdr. G.R. Hartwig, USN), USS Walke ( Lt.Cdr. T.E. Fraser, USN) and the tanker USS Neosho (T/Capt. J.S. Phillips, USN). The heavy cruiser USS Chicago (Capt. H.D. Bode, USN) and the destroyer USS Perkins (Lt.Cdr. W.C. Ford, USN) were also temporary attached to Task Force 17, these two ships were units of Task Force 44.

Early on the 4th (0805KL/4), Two more units of Task Force 44, the Australian heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, CB, RN) and Australian light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) had made rendezvous with Task Force 11.

Prelude up to 4 May 1942.

Task Force 11 and Task Force 17 had met earlier, around 0615LM(-11.5) on 1 May 1942 in position 16°16'S, 162°20'E. Task Force 17 had just spent seven days of upkeep and provisioning at Tonga.

Task Force 11 was then ordered to join the heavy cruiser USS Chicago, destroyer USS Perkins and tanker USS Tippecanoe in position 16°00'S, 161°45'E and with those ships rejoin Task Force 17 the next morning which they did.

It was desirable to take as much fuel out of USS Tippecanoe as possible before she was to return to Port Vila, Efate in accordance with orders from the Commander-in-Chief, US Pacific Fleet and to hold as much fuel as possible in USS Neosho as a reserve.

Intelligence reports meanwhile indicated that the long awaited Japanese attack on Port Moresby, New Guinea, might start very soon. Task Force 17 completed fuelling on May 2, but Task Force 11 did not expected to complete fuelling until noon on the 4th. Rear-Admiral Fletcher therefore ordered Rear-Admiral Fitch to fuel his destroyers, if practicable, on northwesterly course at night and rejoin Task Force 17 at daylight May 4 in position 15°00'S, 157°00'E. This was the same rendezvous as had been arranged with Rear-Admiral Crace, RN, which was to join with the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia and light cruiser HMAS Hobart.

At 1545LM/2, an air scout from USS Yorktown sighted an enemy submarine on the surface in position 16°04'S, 162°18'E, just 32 miles north of the Task Forces at that moment. The submarine dived but surfaced shortly afterwards as it was again sighted and depth charges by three planes sent out to locate it. Two destroyers were then ordered to search the area but no contact was made. It was thought possible that the Task Forces might have been reported by the enemy. [The enemy submarine in question was the Japanese I-21 (offsite link) en-route from Rabaul to Noumea. She reported the attack but did NOT report that the attacking aircraft were CARRIER BASED aircraft, so the Japanese were still unaware of the American carriers that were operating in the Coral Sea.]

Task Force 17 with USS Neosho continued to the northwestward during the night and topped off destroyers from Neosho on the third. It was intended to top off other ships requiring it after effecting rendezvous with Rear-Admirals Fitch and Crace the next morning. The former had been directed to sent USS Tippecanoe to Efate with a destroyer escort, this he did after his entire force had topped off with fuel. The destroyer USS Worden was ordered to escort the tanker to Efate.

Task Force 17 consistently kept in readiness for action on short notice by topping off destroyers from the tanker, cruiser and the carrier whenever they could receive as mich as 500 barrels of fuel. This condition of readiness paid dividends on the night of May 3 and 6.

At 1900LM/3, Rear-Admiral Fletcher received intelligence reports from the Commander Southwest Pacific Forces stating that five or six enemy vessels had been sighted at 1700 hours on 2 May, off the southern end of Santa Isabel Island possibly heading to Tulagi and that two transports were unloading into barges at Tulagi at an unspecified time. This was just the kind of report he was waiting for. It was regrettable that Task Force 11 was not available yet but it was fortunate that Task Force 17, fully fuelled, was able to stike at daylight on the 4th. USS Neosho, escorted by USS Russell was ordered to proceed to position 15°00'S, 157°00'E to meet Rear-Admirals Fitch and Crace at 0800 hours on 4 May and the combined force was then to proceed eastwards and join Task Force 17 in position 15°00'S, 160°00'E at daylight on 5 May.

Japanese landings at Tulagi on 3 May 1942 and the American response on 4 May 1942.

Tulagi had been evacuated by the Australians based there on 2 May 1942 and the Japanese landed there the following day. The Japanese force that had arrived there and had landed troops and supplies was made up of the minelayer Okinoshima, auxiliary minelayer Koei Maru, destroyers Kikuzuki, Yuzuki, auxiliary submarine chasers Toshi Maru No.3 and Tama Maru No.8, auxiliary minesweepers Wa-1, Wa-2, Hagoromo Maru, Noshiro Maru No.2 and Tama Maru. The transport Azumasan Maru (7623 GRT, built 1933) is also part of the force. (All links are offsite links).

At 2030LM/3, Task Force 17, currently made up of the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown, heavy cruisers USS Chicago, USS Chester, USS Portland, USS Astoria and the destroyers USS Perkins, USS Sims, USS Anderson, USS Hammann, USS Walke and USS Morris changed course to the north and increased speed to 24 knots and two hours later to 27 knots. At 0701LM/4, USS Yorktown launched a six plane combat air patrol and the first attack group. Combat air patrol was maintained throughout the day and cruisers maintained inner air patrol. The surface force maneuvered south of Guadacanal Island. Three air attacks were made on the Japanese at Tulagi. No enemy ships or aircraft were sighted from the ships of Task Force 17. The last attack group landed back on USS Yorktown at 1702LM/4.

One torpedo plane and two fighters failed to return due to being lost and running out of gasoline. The fighter pilots were recovered from Guadalcanal Island by USS Hammann that same evening. Six scout bombers and two torpedo planes were slightly damaged. USS Perkins was also detached to search for the missing torpedo plane but found no trace of it.

Enemy losses were reported by returning aircraft as two destroyers, one cargo ship and four gunboats sunk. One light cruiser beached and sunk, one destroyer, one heavy cruiser or aircraft tender severely damaged. One cargo ship damaged. Various small craft destroyed. Five single float planes shot down. [Actual damage inflicted on the enemy was as follows; During the first strike the destroyer Kikuzuki was sunk. During the second strike the auxiliary minesweepers Wa-1, Wa-2 were sunk. The Okinoshima , escorted by the Yuzuki were attacked but managed to dodge all torpedoes by radical maneuvering. She sustained some minor damage though, from near misses and strafing. Also the Yuzuki, Azumasan Maru, Koei Maru were damaged as was the Tama Maru which sank two days later as a result of the damage. Also five float planes were destroyed.]

Events between the action of Tulagi and the action of Misima.

During the night of May 4 - 5, Task Force 17, less USS Perkins and USS Hammann, proceeded southeast and south at 23 knots to rendezvous as previously arranged. The two detached destroyers rejoined Task Force 17 in the morning.

At 0825LM/5, USS Yorktown launched four fighters to investigate a radar contact bearing 252°, distance 30 miles. Interception was completed 15 minutes later and an enemy patrol plance was shot down. At this time the patrol plane was fifteen miles from USS Lexington and twenty-seven miles from USS Yorktown, so it might have been trailing Task Force 11 and not Task Force 17. Shortly before rejoining USS Hammann sighted the patrol plane. At 0845LM/5 Task Force 17 made rendezvous with Task Force 11 and HMAS Australia and HMAS Hobart.

Task Force 17 fuelled from USS Neosho on 5 and 6 May 1942. Task Force 11 and Task Force 44 now joined Task Force 17.

The heavy cruisers USS Minneapolis, USS Astoria, USS Portland, USS New Orleans, USS Chester and five of the destroyers were assigned as ' Attack Group ' in case enemy surface ships were to be attacked during a surface action.

HMAS Australia, USS Chicago, HMAS Hobart and two destroyers were assigned as ' Support Group '.

The carriers were assigned four destroyers as close escort.

The remaining two destroyers were assigned to escort the tankers, though one destroyer and one tanker were at Efate.

Intelligence reports were received on a large amount of various types of enemy vessels in the Salomon Sea between New Guinea, New Britain and the Solomon Islands. It was also reported that three enemy carriers were in the area.

It was decided to be in attack position at daylight on 7 May. Tanker USS Neosho was detached to the southwards escorted by USS Sims.

Action of Misima Island, 7 May 1942.

The morning air search was planned to locate the most suitable objective for attack and to obtain positive or negative information regarding enemy carriers of whose movements no information had been received since the previous afternoon. It was quite possible that three enemy carriers might be within striking distane. Unfortunately the search to the east-north-eastward was not completed due to bad weather. A scout searching to the north-westward reported two carriers and two cruisers north of Masima Island. After launching the attack groups, the scouts were recovered and it was learned that an error had been made in using the contact pad and that the pilot had not sighted any carriers. About the time this error was discovered, Army aircraft reported an enemy carrier group close to Misimi and the attack groups were diverted and made contact. The carrier and a light cruiser were claimed sunk in position 10°29'S, 152°53'E. The large number of torpedo and bomb gits and the rapidity of her sinking (within five minutes) must have resulted in the loss of practically all personnel and aircraft aboard the carrier. The light cruiser was reported to sink so quickly that there must have been great loss of life in her also. The attack groups returned to USS Yorktown and USS Lexington around 1338LM/7.

The Japanese carrier sunk was the Shoho, which had been part of the cover force for the Port Moresby landing group. The cover force had been made up of the already mentioned Shoho, the heavy cruisers Aoba, Furutaka, Kako, Kinugasa and the destroyer Sazanami.

The main assault force for the Port Moresby landings was made up of the light cruiser Yubari, minelayer Tsugaru, destroyers Oite, Asanagi, Mutsuki, Mochitsuki, Yayoi, minesweeper W-20, auxiliary minesweepers Hagoromo Maru, Noshiro Maru No.2 and Fumi Maru No.2, the fleet tanker Hoyo Maru (8692 GRT, built 1936) and ten transports with troops and supplies, these were the naval transport Shoka Maru (4467 GRT, built 1935), Mogamigawa Maru (7509 GRT, built 1934), Goyo Maru (8469 GRT, built 1939), Akibasan Maru (4670 GRT, built 1924), Chowa Maru (2719 GRT, built 1940) and the army transports Matsue Maru (7061 GRT, built 1921), Taifuku Maru (3520 GRT, built 1939), Mito Maru (7061 GRT, built 1921), China Maru (5870 GRT, built 1920) and Hibi Maru (5873 GRT, built 1921).

Thoughts were given to launching another strike or search but it was unlikely that another suitable objective was to be found near the location of the attack of this morning. The location of the Japanese 5th Carrier Division was still unknown but it was thought possible that these were within striking distance. Radar contacts and radio interceptions showed that our position was known to the enemy. One four engined enemy patrol bomber had been shot down by fighters from USS Yorktown.

It was decided to head westwards during the night to be in position if the enemy would pass through the Jomard Passage by morning heading for Port Moresby.

At 1659LM/7 an enemy seaplane was sighed but fighters failed to intercept.

At 1747L/7 (clocks had been set to zone -11 at 1700 hours), radar showed a group of planes to the south-eastward on a westerly course. Fighters were sent to intercept and between fifteen and twenty enemy planes were claimed to have been shot down. American losses were three fighters. When American aircraft were landing after dark, three enemy aircraft circled showing light and they made no sign of hostility probably having mistaken our forces for their own. It was realized that the enemy carriers must be in the area for such a mistake to happen. One of these enemy aircraft was shot down by AA gunfire.

Loss of USS Neosho and USS Sims.

While all of the above was going on, at 1051LM/7, a signal, repeated several times, was reveived from USS Neosho that she was being bombed by three enemy aircraft in position 16°50'S, 159°08'E. Later at 1600LM/7, USS Neosho reported that she was sinking in position 16°38'S, 158°28'E.

A subsequent signal from the Commander-in-Chief, US Pacific Fleet indicated that USS Sims had also been sunk. Unfortunately, nothing was received as to the type of aircraft which attacked them. It would have been extremely valuable information if it had been reported that they were carrier planes. The destroyer USS Monaghan was detached during the night of May 7-8 to search the next morning for survivors. While well clear of the Fleet, she was also to sent radio signals to the Commander-in-Chief, US Pacific Fleet and others. This left seven destroyers and five cruisers with the two carriers.

According to survivors of the USS Sims around 0910LM/7, a lone Japanese twin engined bomber had dropped a single bomb which hit the water rather close to port abreast the forward guns. On man at No.2 gun mount was injured by a fragment but no furher damage was done. The plane then kept shadowing USS Sims and USS Neosho. Weather was clear and the sea smooth.

USS Sims had numerous radar contacts and about 0930LM/7, sixteen high level bombers came in to attack USS Sims and USS Neosho. They dropped bombs but missed the Sims wide, Neosho reported being near missed, but neither ship was damaged.

Survivors from the USS Sims reported that the ships 5" DP gunfire apparently disturbed them with the above result. During these fist two actions 328 rounds of 5" ammunition was expended.

The horizontal bombers disappeared from sight but USS Sims continued to pick up planes on her SC radar. None were sighted, however, until twenty-four dive bombers, appeared around 1130LM/7 [USS Neosho gives the time as 1201/7, but it might be she kept another time zone]. As soon as these aircraft appeared, USS Sims went to flank speed and turned left to take position on the port quarter of the tanker. Fire was opened with the 5" guns in director control when the planes came within range. The attacks were directed promarily at the tanker and came in from various bearings astern in three waves. The planes approached at about 15000 feet and dove close to the ship in shallow dives of about 30°. Bombs were released quite close aboard. Survivors stated that some dive-bombers were destroyed by the blast of their own bombs. USS Sims obtained one direct hit on one of the dive bombers and the plane exploded in the air. The 20mm AA guns fired continuously at the dive bombers as they passed overhead and tracers were seen to pass through the planes, but the projectiles failed to burst and destroy the aircraft. One of the forward 20mm guns jammed early in the action and was not cleared during the remainder of the engagement.

Four aircraft broke off from one wave of Neosho attackers and directed their attack at USS Sims, diving on their succession from astern. All of these planes were single motored, had fixed landing gear, and had a silhoutte similar to that of Japanese dive bombers. The first released a bomb wihch landed in the water about amidships to port. The second released a bomb which landed on no.2 torpedo mount and exploded in the forward engine room. The third released a bomb which apparently hit the after upper deck house and went down through diagonally forward, exploding in the after engine room. The fourth plane is believed to have made a direct hit on No.4 gun but this can not be definitely established.

Numbers three and four gun mounts and the after 20mm guns were put out of commission by the bomb hits, but the forward mounts in local control and one 20mm gun forward continued firing at the planes untill all of them were out of range. The total of rounds fired by the Sims cannot be ascertained, but one survivor states that over 200 rounds were fired from number two mount alone. During this last attack, the paint on the barrel of number one mount blistered and caught fire. The crew, however, continued to fire with the complete length of the barrel in flames. Several planes were brought down by gun fire during this attack. It is believed that the bombs dropped were of about 500 pounds size. USS Sims broke in two and sank around noon.

Though there are only thirteen survivors of the Sims, these men are from widely separated battle stations and it was possible to reconstruct a fairly accurate account of her last moments. The survivors of the USS Sims then made for the USS Neosho was had been abandoned but was still afloat.

USS Neosho meanwhile had also been dive bombed. The majority of the dive bombers had been forced to released their bombs early due to effective AA gunfire which claimed to have shot down three of the attackers. One of these planes made a suicidal run into the ship hitting no.4 gun enclosure. Non the less the ship was hit by about five bombs, three near the bridge and two aft. It is also believed that at least two of the ships boilers exploded.

The Commanding Officer gave order to ' prepare to abandon ship ' but some must have misunderstood the order or only heard ' abandon ship ' some personnel in some part of the ship began to do so. Neosho's motor whale boat and the motor whale boat from the Sims were then dispatched to round these up. They picked up men and put them on raft so they could continue their search for more men in the water. After the boats were then full they returned to the ship. It was however to close near sunset to sent the boats out again to collect the rafts as it was also feared that the Neosho could sink at any moment due to her listing badly. The liferafts then drifted away with their occupants.

A muster roll was held and with the known casualties it was established that 4 officers and 154 men were missing. Accounted for were 16 officers and 94 men. The survivors on Neosho had been joined by only 15 survivors from the Sims. To righten the ship from it's 30° list, three valves in starboard wing tanks were opened, three other valves could not be opened due to them being damaged. Power could however not be restored.

During the night of 7/8 May, two surivivors (wounded), one from the Neosho and one from the Sims died. They were buried at sea in the morning of the 8th.

On the 9th, three more men (all from the Neosho), were buried at sea.

Shortly after noon on the 10th, an Australian Hudson aircraft was sighted and information was passed. Also on this day, three more men (all from the Neosho), were buried at sea.

Shortly before noon on the 11th, a Calatina aircraft was sighted and 1.5 hours later, the destroyer USS Henley (Lt.Cdr. R.H. Smith, USN) arrived on the scene. Just as well as by now the Neosho would not have held out much longer. The survivors were then taken on board the destroyer, a total of 123 officers and men. At 1522L/11, USS Neosho slid underneath the waves with her colors flying after having been scuttled by a torpedo and gunfire from the Henley. Position was 15°35'S, 155°36'E.

USS Henley then set course for Brisbane arriving there on the 14th. On the 12th an ex Sims survivor had died from his wounds as did an ex Neosho survivor on the 13th. Both were buried at sea on the 13th.

On 16 May 1942, the destroyer USS Helm (Lt.Cdr. C.E. Carroll, USN), which had also been searching in the area picked up four survivors from a life raft. One of these however died shortly afterwards. These survivors were also taken to Brisbane where the Helm arrived on 18 May 1942.

As a result of the confusion on board USS Neosho the Commanding Officer suggested to change the order ' prepare to abandon ship ' Navy wide to ' fall in at boats and raft stations ' and to only use the words ' abandon ship ' if this was actually to be done.

Carrier battle, 8 May 1942.

As shore based aircraft had not detected the two Japanese carriers and our intelligence was not sure of their position either with reporting that they could be either east or west of Task Force 17, a 360° degree search was launched at dawn. At 0828L/8, a scout from USS Lexington reported two carriers, four heavy cruiser and three destroyers. This was amplified seven minutes later as two carriers, four heavy cruisers and many destroyers bearing 028°, 175 miles from our own force (enemy approximate position would then be 11°51'S, 156°04'E). An intercepted radio transmission showed that Task Force 17 had been sighted by the enemy at 0822L/8.

The Japanese carrier force was made up of the aircraft carriers Zuikaku, Shokaku, heavy cruisers Myoko, Haguro and the destroyers Ushio, Akebono, Airake, Yugure, Shiratsuyu and Shigure.

Around 0900LM/8, attack groups were launched. Cruisers and destroyers were around the carriers in a circular screen. During the morning two radar contact resulted in no interception. One visual contact resulted in the destruction of a four engine enemy bomber / scout. At 1055L/8, radar indicated a large group of enemy aircraft bearing 020°, range 68 miles. Fighters were sent to intercept them.

American aircraft commenced to attack the enemy carriers out twenty minutes earlier then the Japanese aicraft commenced their attack on Task Force 17. The attack group from Yorktown arrived ahead of the attack group from Lexington although the almost attacked around the same time. The Yorktown bombers and torpedo planes made a coordinated attack on the northernmost enemy carrier. They reported six 1000 pound bomb hits and three, possibly four torpedo hits. When leaving they reported the enemy carrier ablaze forward and obviously severely damaged. The Lexington group reported three bomb and five torpedo hits on an enemy carrier of the Shokaku-class. When last seen she was on fire, settling and turning in a circle. It was thought that both enemy carriers had been severely damaged. In fact both air groups had attacked the same carrier.

The Japanese attack on Task Force 17 started around 1115L/8. USS Yorktown was hit by one bomb and suffered many near misses. USS Lexington suffered at least two torpedo and two bomb hits besides many near misses by both torpedoes and bombs. Both ships remained operational immediately following these attacks and damage they had sustained. There were troubles with the elevators in USS Lexington though.

Following the Japanese air attacks and the return of our aircraft an informal estimate of the situation was made. Consideration was given to making another attack or sending in the Attack Group for a surface attack. A returning Lexington pilot had reported that one enemy carrier was undamaged.

At 1422L/8, a report was received that an additional enemy carrier may have joined the enemy force. Three boilers in USS Yorktown which had been out of commission, were placed in use again and the ship was capable of 30 knots. Damage had reduced the speed of USS Lexington to 24 knots.

Radio interceptions showed that some aircraft of the Shokaku had landed on Zuikaku, this must mean that the Shokaku was damaged and that the aircraft were unable to land on her. The idea of making another attack was abandoned when it became apparent that USS Yorktown had only eight fighters, twelve bombers and eight torpedo planes serviceable. The idea of making a surface attack was also abandoned due to the fact that they then would not be with the carriers to provide protection against enemy air attack. Course was therefore set to the southward. It was intended to transfer operational aircraft from the Lexington to the Yorktown and then sent the Lexington to Pearl Harbour to effect repairs, however it was not to be.

At 1445L/8, USS Lexington reported that she had suffered a serious explosion and seven minutes later it was reported that the fires could not be controlled. The explosion was caused by leaking gasoline and the forming of fumes which eventually ignited. At 1610L/8, USS Lexington reported that they were abandoning lower deck spaces and at 1657L/8 they reported that all power had been lost. At 1710L/8, they started abandoning ship. Around 1737L/8, a big explosion ripped through the ship, possibly caused by ammunition exploding.

Rear-Admiral Kinkaid was then tasked to take charge of the rescue operations with USS Minneapolis, USS New Orleans, USS Phelps, USS Anderson, USS Hammann and USS Morris. They rescued over 2700 officers and men. USS Lexington was beyond salvage and was eventually scuttled by torpedoes from USS Phelps in position 15°05'S, 155°16'E. Five torpedoes were fired of which at least three hit.

Operations by Task Force 17.3 / Task Force 44.

At daylight on the 7th (0645LM/7), Rear-Admiral Crace, Royal Navy, had been detached with the ' Support Force ' made up of HMAS Australia, USS Chicago, HMAS Hobart, USS Perkins and USS Walke and reinforced with the destroyer USS Farragut. They were to proceed to the Jomard passage to destroyer enemy transports and light cruisers heading towards there. The group was known as Task Force 17.3.

Around 1130LM/7, an enemy shadowing aircraft was sighted by this group.

At 1506LM/7, Task Force 17.3 was attacked by eleven enemy torpedo bombers. No hits were obtained and five of the attackers were shot down. One torpedo passed close down the Port side of HMAS Hobart.

At 1513LM/7, they were attacked by nineteen high level bombers. Bombs fell close to HMAS Australia but no hits were obtained.

At 1519LM/7, three high level bombers attacked but they did no damage. It was later found out that this had been Allied aircraft which had attacked in error.

At 1055LM/8, a single shadowing aircraft was sighted.

In the afternoon of the 18th, HMAS Hobart fuelled USS Perkins.

At 2013LM/8, HMAS Hobart and USS Walke were detached to proceed to the Grafton Passage and then onwards to Australia.

At 1235LM/9, HMAS Hobart and USS Walke entered the Grafton Passage.

At 0045KL/10, HMAS Hobart and USS Walke parted company with each other. HMAS Hobart set course for Brisbane while USS Walke proceeded to Townsville.

Meanwhile USS Farragut fuelled from HMAS Australia in the morning of the 8th.

At 1947LM/9, a signal was received that Task Force 17.3 was released from operations with Task Force 17 and reverted to being Task Force 44 under operational command of ComSoWesPacFor.

Around 0735LM/10, Task Force 44 set course for the Grafton Passage which they entered around 1745LM/10.

Task Force 44 arrived in Cid Harbour around 1145KL/11 where they fuelled. The cruisers from the Australian Royal Fleet Auxiliary tanker Kurumba (3798 GRT, built 1916), and the destroyers from the cruisers. Around 1900KL/11, USS Chicago and USS Perkins departed for Sydney where they arrived in the morning of the 14th. HMAS Australia and USS Farragut proceeded to Brisbane where they arrived in the afternoon of the 13th.

13 Apr 1944

Operations of Task Force 58 from 13 April 1944 to 4 May 1944.

Providing (air) cover for operations Reckless and Persecution the landings at Hollandia and Aitape.

Also Attacks on Truk, Satawan and Ponape afterwards.

Task Force 58 (under Vice-Admiral M.A. Mitscher, USN) provided cover for the landings, it was made up of the following Task Groups;
Task Group 58.1 which was made up of Task Units.
Task Unit 58.1.1 under Rear-Admiral J.J. Clark, USN, was made up of the aircraft carrier USS Hornet (T/Capt. M.R. Browning, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.J. Clark, USN) and the light carriers USS Belleau Wood (T/Capt. J. Perry, USN), USS Cowpens (T/Capt. R.P. McConnell, USN) and USS Bataan (T/Capt. V.H. Schaeffer, USN).
Task Unit 58.1.2 under Rear-Admiral L.T. DuBose, USN, was made up of the light cruisers USS Santa Fe (Capt. J. Wright, USN), flying the flag of Rear-Admiral L.T. DuBose, USN), USS Mobile (Capt. C.J. Wheeler, USN), USS Biloxi (Capt. D.M. McGurl, USN) and the AA cruiser USS San Juan (Capt. G.W. Clark, USN).
Task Unit 58.1.3 under T/Capt. W.K. Phillips, USN, was made up of the AA cruiser USS Oakland (T/Capt. W.K. Phillips, USN) and the destroyers USS Izard (T/Cdr. E.K. van Swearingen, USN, with COMDESRON 46, T/Capt. C.F. Espe, USN on board), USS Charrette (T/Capt. E.S. Karpe, USN), USS Conner (T/Cdr. W.E. Kaitner, USN), USS Bell (T/Cdr. J.S.C. Gabbert, USN), USS Burns (T/Cdr. D.T. Eller, USN), USS Boyd (T/Cdr. U.S.G. Sharp, Jr., USN , with COMDESDIV 92, T/Capt. W.M. Sweetser, USN on board), USS Bradford (T/Cdr. R.L. Morris, USN), USS Brown (T/Cdr. T.H. Copeman, USN), USS Cowell (T/Cdr. C.W. Parker, USN), USS Bancoft (T/Cdr. R.M. Pitts, USN, with COMDESDIV 28, T/Capt. E.L. Beck, USN on board), USS Meade (T/Cdr. J. Munholland, USN), USS Caldwell (T/Cdr. G. Wendelburg, USN), USS Frazier ( T/Cdr. F.O'C. Fletcher, Jr., USN), USS Edwards (T/Cdr. P.G. Osler, USN), USS Maury (T/Cdr. J.W. Koenig, USN, with COMDESRON 6, T/Capt. E.G. Fullinwider, USN on board), USS Gridley (T/Cdr. J.H. Motes, Jr., USN), USS Craven (T/Cdr. R.L. Fulton, USN), USS McCall (T/Cdr. E.L. Foster, USN) and USS Case (T/Cdr. C.M. Howe, 3rd, USN).

Task Group 58.2 which was made up of Task Units.
Task Unit 58.2.1 under Rear-Admiral A.E. Montgomery, USN, was made up of the aircraft carriers USS Bunker Hill (T/Capt. T.P. Jeter, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.E. Montgomery, USN), USS Yorktown (T/Capt. R.E. Jennings, USN) and the light carriers USS Monterey (T/Capt. S.H. Ingersoll, USN) and USS Cabot (T/Capt. M.F. Schoeffel, USN).
Task Unit 58.2.2 under Rear-Admiral O.M. Hustvedt, USN, was made up of the battleships USS Iowa (Capt. J.L. McCrea, USN, flying the flag of COMBATDIV 7, Rear-Admiral O.M. Hustvedt, USN), USS New Jersey (Capt. C.F. Holden, USN) and the heavy cruisers USS Boston (Capt. J.H. Carson, USN, flying the flag of COMCRUDIV 10, Rear-Admiral L.H. Thebaud, USN), USS Baltimore (Capt. W.C. Calhoun, USN), USS New Orleans (Capt. S.R. Shumaker, USN, also acting COMCRUDIV 6), USS Minneapolis (Capt. R.W. Bates, USN), USS San Francisco (Capt. H.E. Overesch, USN) and USS Wichita (Capt. D.A. Spencer, USN).
Task Unit 58.2.3 under T/Capt. G.R. Cooper, USN was made up of the destroyers USS Owen (T/Cdr. R.W. Wood, USN, with COMDESRON 52, T/Capt. G.R. Cooper, USN on board), USS Miller (T/Cdr. T.H. Kobey, USN), USS The Sullivans (T/Cdr. K.M. Gentry, USN), USS Stephen Potter (T/Cdr. C.H. Crichton, USN), USS Tingey (T/Cdr. J.O. Miner, USN), USS Hickox (T/Cdr. J.H. Wesson, USN, with COMDESDIV 104, T/Capt. H.B. Bell, Jr., USN on board), USS Hunt (T/Cdr. H.A. Knoertzer, USN), USS Lewis Hancock (T/Cdr. W.M. Searles, USN), USS Marshall (T/Cdr. J.D. McKinney, USN), USS Dewey (T/Cdr. R.G. Copeland, USN, with COMDESRON 1, T/Capt. E.R. McLean, Jr., USN on board), USS MacDonough (T/Cdr. J.W. Ramey, USN), USS Hull (T/Lt.Cdr. C.W. Consolvo, USN), USS Farragut (T/Lt.Cdr. E.F. Ferguson, USN, with COMDESDIV 2, T/Capt. T.H. Tonseth, USN on board), USS Monaghan (T/Cdr. W.F.A. Wendt, USN), USS Dale (T/Cdr. C.W. Aldrich, USN) and USS Aylwyn (T/Cdr. R.O. Strange, Sr., USN).

Task Group 58.3 which was made up of Task Units.
Task Unit 58.3.5 under Rear-Admiral J.W. Reeves, Jr. USN, was made up of the aircraft carriers USS Enterprise (T/Capt. M.B. Gardner, USN, with Rear-Admiral J.W. Reeves, Jr. USN on board), USS Lexington (T/Capt. E.W. Litch, USN, with COMFASTCARTASKFORPAC, Vice-Admiral M.A. Mitscher, USN, on board), light carriers USS Langley (Capt. W.M. Dillon, USN) and USS Princeton (T/Capt. W.H. Buracker, USN).
Task Unit 58.3.1 was the Support Unit under Vice-Admiral W.A. Lee, Jr., USN, was made up of the following Task Units;
Task Unit 58.3.12 was made up of the battleships USS Massachusetts (Capt. W.W. Warlick, USN, USN, flying the flag of COMBATDIV 8, Rear-Admiral G.B. Davis, USN), USS North Carolina (Capt. F.P. Thomas, USN, flying the flag of COMBATPAC, Vice-Admiral W.A. Lee, Jr., USN), USS South Dakota (T/Capt. R.S. Riggs, USN, flying the flag of COMBATDIV 9, Rear-Admiral E.W. Hanson, USN) and USS Alabama (Capt. F.D. Kirtland, USN).
Task Unit 58.3.13 was made up of the heavy cruisers USS Louisville (T/Capt. S.H. Hurt, USN, flying the flag of COMCRUDIV 4, Rear-Admiral J.B. Oldendorf, USN), USS Portland (T/Capt. T.G.W. Settle, USN) and USS Canberra (Capt. A.R. Early, USN).
Task Unit 58.3.4 was made up of the destroyers USS Charles Ausburne (T/Cdr.L.K. Reynolds, USN, with COMDESRON 23, T/Capt T.B. Dugan, USN on board), USS Albert W. Grant (T/Cdr. T.A. Nisewaner, USN), USS Dyson (T/Cdr. J.D. Babb, USN), USS Converse (T/Cdr. J.B. Colwell, USN, with COMDESDIV 46, T/Capt. R.W. Cavenaugh, USN on board), USS Spence (T/Cdr. H.J. Armstrong, Jr., USN), USS Thatcher (T/Cdr. L.R. Lampman, USN), USS Clarence K. Bronson (T/Cdr. J.C. McGoughran, USN, with COMDESRON 50, T/Capt. S.R. Clark, USN on board), USS Cotten (Cdr. F.T. Sloat, USN), USS Dortch (Cdr. R.C. Young, USN), USS Gatling (Cdr. A.F. Richardson, USN), USS Healy (Cdr. J.C. Atkeson, USN), USS Cogswell (T/Cdr. H.T. Deutermann, USN, with COMDESDIV 100, T/Cdr. J.F. Chillingworth, Jr., USN on board), USS Caperton (T/Cdr. W.J. Miller, USN), USS Ingersoll (T/Cdr. A.C. Veasey, USN), USS Knapp (T/Cdr. F. Virden, USN).


Around 0800Y/12, the destroyer USS McCall got underway from Majuro for Green Island (Nissan Island).

Around 1500Y/12, Task Group 50.17, the oiler group for the 5th fleet, departed Majuro for the first fuelling rendezvous near position 00°01'S, 150°00'E. Task Group 50.17 was made up of the tankers USS Caliente (Cdr. H.J. Schroeder, USNR, with COMTASKGR 50.17, T/Capt. E.E. Pare, USN on board), USS Guadalupe (T/Capt. H.A. Anderson, USN), USS Platte (Cdr. F.S. Gibson, USNR), USS Sabine (Lt.Cdr. H.C. von Weien, USNR), USS Lackawanna (T/Cdr. A.J. Homann, USN), USS Neosho (T/Capt. D.G. McMillan, USN), USS Monongahela (T/Cdr. F.J. Ilsemann, USN), USS Neshanic (Capt. A.C. Allen, USNR) and USS Cahaba (Cdr. E.H. Danesi, Sr., USNR). They were escorted by the destroyers USS Maury, USS Gridley, USS Craven, USS Case [These four destroyers were to join Task Force 58.1 after fuelling], USS Porterfield (T/Cdr. J.C. Woelfel, USN, with COMDESRON 55, T/Capt. C.R. Todd, USN on board), USS Laws (T/Cdr. Lester Orin Wood, USN), USS Longshaw (T/Cdr. R.H. Speck, USN), USS Morrison (T/Cdr. W.H. Price, USN), USS Callaghan (T/Cdr. F.J. Johnson, USN) and the destroyer escorts USS Swearer (Lt. K.H. Hannan, USNR, with COMCORTDIV 44, T/Cdr. E.C. Woodward, USN on board), USS Samuel S. Miles (Cdr. G.B. Coale, USNR) and USS Riddle (Lt.Cdr. R.H. Cramer, USNR).

On the following day, the 13th, Task Groups 58.1 (minus Desron 6, see above), 58.2 and 58.3 departed Majuro for the operations area to the north of New Guinea.

On 17 April, USS Sabine, USS Lackawanna and USS Cahaba from Task Force 50.17 fuelled ships of their screen. USS Sabine fuelled USS Maury, USS Gridley, USS Craven and USS Riddle. USS Cahaba fuelled USS Laws, USS Longshaw, USS Case and USS Swearer.

Also on 17 April, USS McCall arrived at Green Island to pick up four passengers, photographs, grid charts and mail which she was to transport to Task Force 58. She departed to join Task Force 58 later the same day. She joined TF 58 the following day when her passengers and cargo were transferred to USS Lexington.

In the early afternoon of 18 April 1944, the three Task Force 58 Task Groups joined Task Group 50.17 from which they were the fuel the following day.

On 19 April 1944, USS Guadalupe, USS Platte and USS Sabine temporarily joined Task Force 58.1 and fuelled the following ships; USS Guadalupe fuelled USS Izard, USS Belleau Wood, USS Boyd, USS Santa Fe, USS Conner, USS Cowell, USS Bell and USS Edwards. USS Platte fuelled USS Cowpens, USS Bancroft, USS Frazier, USS Oakland, USS Caldwell, USS Meade and USS Mobile. USS Sabine fuelled USS Maury, USS Bataan, USS Gridley, USS Craven, USS Case, USS Biloxi, USS McCall, USS Brown and USS San Juan.

USS Caliente, USS Monongahela and USS Cahaba temporarily joined Task Force 58.2 and fuelled the following ships; USS Caliente fuelled USS Owen, USS Miller, USS The Sullivans, USS Stephen Potter, USS Tingey, USS Hunt, and possibly USS San Francisco, USS Wichita, USS Hickox and USS Marshall. USS Monongahela fuelled USS Dewey, USS Boston, USS Hull, USS Baltimore, USS MacDonough and USS Monaghan. USS Cahaba fuelled USS New Orleans, USS Monterey, USS Minneapolis, USS Cabot and USS Farragut. USS Aylwin fuelled from USS Cabot. USS Dale fuelled from USS Minneapolis, USS Lewis Hancock fuelled from USS Baltimore.

USS Lackawanna, USS Neosho and USS Neshanic temporarily joined Task Force 58.3 and fuelled the following ships; USS Lackawanna fuelled USS Spence, USS Princeton, USS Dyson, USS Louisville, USS Albert W. Grant and USS Charles Ausburne. USS Neosho fuelled USS Capeton, USS Ingersoll, USS Knapp, USS Langley, USS Converse and USS Cogswell. USS Neshanic fuelled USS Canberra, USS Portland, USS Cotton, USS Gatling, USS Healy and USS Clarence K. Bronson.

On completion of fuelling Task Group 50.17 was reformed (minus DESRON 6) and set course for Seeadler Harbour, Manus Island where it arrived the following afternoon.

At 1326K/19, the Combat Air Patrol from USS Cowpens reported having shot down a Japanese Betty reconnaissance aircraft 20 miles on the starboard quarter of Task Force 58.

On 20 April, all Task Force 58 Task Groups topped off their destroyers from the bigger ships and then set course towards position 01°10'S, 139°00'E. The CAP from USS Cowpens shot down another Betty around 1013K/20.

On 21 April, Task Force 58 arrived in the operations area and air strikes were launched against Hollandia and Wadke. Main targets of the air strikes were enemy air fields and the aircraft based on them. Following the air attacks Task Force 58 retired to the northward for the night.

At 2150K/21, Task Unit 58.1.6, under Rear-Admiral L.T. DuBose, USN, made up of the light cruisers USS Santa Fe, USS Mobile, USS Biloxi and the destroyers USS Izard, USS Charette, USS Conner, USS Bell and USS Burns parted company to bombard Wadke and Sawar airstrips.

At 0109K/22, fire was opened on Wadke airstrip. No fires were seen ashore and no opposition was encountered.

At 0156K/22, fire was opened on Sawar airstrip. Again no fire was seen ashore other then one which was already raging as a result of the air attacks earlier in the day. Again no enemy opposition was encountered.

Around 0711K/22, Task Unit 58.1.6 rejoined Task Group 58.1.

On 22 April, Task Force 58 returned towards New Guinea and air operations were commenced against target in the Tanahmerah Bay and Humboldt Bay areas.

On completion of the days operations Task Group 58.1 parted company to proceed towards position 00°25'S, 146°00'E and make rendezvous with Task Group 50.17 to refuel on 23 April 1944.

Around 1830K/22, Destroyer Division 45, made up of USS Charles Ausburne, USS Albert W. Grant and USS Dyson parted company with Task Force 58.3 to proceed to a point 30 nautical miles west of Cape Touch Merak. They then swept about 9 miles from the coast to the eastwards as far as to the west of Cape Sarmi but with negative results. They rejoined Task Group 58.3 around 0525K/23.

On 23 April, Task Groups 58.2 and 58.3 conducted air operations in support of Task Force 77 operations. On completion of the air strikes Task Force 58.2 proceeded eastwards to rendezvous with Task Group 50.17 to fuel.

Around 1826K/15, Destroyer Division 45, made up of USS Charles Ausburne, USS Spence and USS Dyson parted company with Task Group 58.3 to proceed to Seeadler Harbour, Manus where they arrived around 0800K/25.

Task Group 58.1, made rendezvous with Task Group 50.17 around 0800K/23 and commenced refuelling which continued . Task Group 50.17, now made up of the tankers (FuelDiv 2 and FuelDiv 3) USS Caliente, USS Monongahela, USS Cahaba, USS Lackawanna, USS Neosho and USS Neshanic. They were escorted by DesRon 55, made up of the destroyers USS Porterfield, USS Laws, USS Longshaw, USS Morrison and USS Callaghan. They had departed Seeadler Harbour (Manus) around 1200K/22.

On 23 April, USS Caliente [no names mentioned in her war diary, so there might be ships missing] fuelled USS Cowpens, USS Izard, USS Conner and USS Burns. USS Monongahela fuelled USS Edwards, USS San Juan, USS Meade, USS Mobile and USS Bancroft. USS Cahaba fuelled USS Biloxi, USS Maury, USS Case and USS McCall. USS Lackawanna fuelled USS Brown, USS Belleau Wood, USS Charette, USS Bradford, USS Gridley and USS Craven. USS Neosho fuelled USS Cowell, USS Bell, USS Santa Fe, USS Boyd, USS Oakland and USS Caldwell. USS Neshanic fuelled USS Craven, USS Bataan, USS Frazier, USS Hornet and USS Cowell. On completion of fuelling Task Group 58.1 proceeded westwards to join Task Group 58.3 in the operations area.

On 24 April, Task Groups 58.1 and 58.3 conducted air operations in support of Task Force 77 operations. On completion of the air strikes Task Force 58.3 proceeded eastwards to rendezvous with Task Group 50.17 to fuel. Task Group 58.1 also proceeded eastwards to cover the fuelling operations of Task Group 58.3 together with Task Group 58.2.

On 24 April, USS Caliente [no names mentioned in her war diary, so there might be ships missing] fuelled USS Bunker Hill, USS Monterey USS Owen and USS Aylwin. USS Monongahela fuelled USS Wichita, USS Hunt, USS Farragut and USS San Francisco. USS Cahaba fuelled USS The Sullivans, USS Minneapolis, USS Steven Potter, USS New Orleans and USS Dewey. USS Lackawanna fuelled USS Yorktown, USS Hickox, USS Dale and USS Cabot. USS Neosho fuelled USS Iowa, USS Miller, USS MacDonough, USS Monaghan and USS New Jersey. USS Neshanic fuelled USS Boston, USS Lewis Hancock, USS Hull and USS Baltimore. USS Tingey and USS Marshall fuelled from the cruisers USS San Francisco and USS New Orleans respectively bofore both cruisers then fuelled from a tanker.

On 25 April 1944, Task Group 58.3 fuelled from Task Group 50.17. Task Groups 58.1 and 58.2 provided cover.

USS Caliente [no names mentioned in her war diary, so there might be ships missing] fuelled USS Lexington, USS Princeton USS Ingersoll and USS Knapp. USS Monongahela fuelled USS Gatling, USS South Dakota, USS Healy, USS Morrison and USS Langley. USS Cahaba fuelled USS Dortch, USS Cotton, USS Porterfield, USS Canberra and USS Alabama. USS Lackawanna fuelled USS Enterprise, USS Thatcher, USS Albert W. Grant, USS Callaghan and USS Louisville. USS Neosho fuelled USS Converse, USS Massachusetts, USS Clarence K. Bronson and USS Longshaw. USS Neshanic fuelled USS Cogswell, USS North Carolina, USS Caperton and USS Portland.

On completion of fuelling Task Force 50.17 set course to proceed to the area to the north of Manus Harbour escorted by Task Group 58.1 which was to fuel from the tankers during 26/27 January 1944.

Task Force 58.2 and 58.3 remained in the area to the north of central New Guinea to be in position to assist the landing forces of the 7th Fleet if required.

On 26 January, USS Caliente [no names mentioned in her war diary, so there might be ships missing or listed in error] fuelled USS Belleau Wood, USS Caldwell and USS Case. USS Monongahela fuelled USS Maury, USS Bataan and USS Edwards. USS Cahaba fuelled USS Biloxi, USS Craven, USS Boyd and USS Santa Fe. USS Lackawanna fuelled USS Mobile, USS Brown and USS Bancroft. USS Neosho did not fuel any ships. USS Neshanic fuelled USS Izard, USS Cowell, USS Meade, USS Frazier, USS Charette and USS Gridley.

On 27 January, USS Caliente [no names mentioned in her war diary, so there might be ships missing or listed in error] fuelled USS Belleau Wood, USS Caldwell and USS Case. USS Monongahela fuelled USS Maury, USS Bataan and USS Edwards. USS Cahaba fuelled USS Biloxi, USS Craven, USS Boyd and USS Santa Fe. USS Lackawanna fuelled USS Mobile, USS Brown and USS Bancroft. USS Neosho did not fuel any ships. USS Neshanic fuelled USS Izard, USS Cowell, USS Meade, USS Frazier, USS Charette and USS Gridley. On completion of the fuelling operations Task Force 50.17 proceeded to Seeadler Harbour arriving there later the same day.

Around 0545K/28, USS Massachusetts parted company with Task Force 58.3 to proceed to Seeadler Harbour escorted by USS Converse and USS Thatcher. They arrived at Seeadler Harbour around 1415K/28. Rear-Admiral G.B. Davis, USN, then transferred his flag to the battleship USS Indiana (Capt. T.J. Keliher, USN).

Around 0845K/28, USS Bataan parted company with Task Force 58.1 to proceed to Seeadler Harbour escorted by USS Caldwell and USS Bancroft. They arrived at Seeadler Harbour just before noon.

Around 1700K/28, USS Bataan departed Seeadler harbour to make rendezvous with and rejoin Task Force 58.1. USS Caldwell and USS Bancroft were still escorting her. They rejoined Task Group 58.1 around 0630K/29.

Around 1745K/28, USS Indiana and USS Massachusetts departed Seeadler harbour to make rendezvous with and join Task Force 58.3. They were escorted by the destroyers USS Converse, USS Thatcher, USS Prichett (T/Cdr. C.T. Caufield, USN) and USS Cassin Young (T/Cdr. E.T. Schreiber, USN). They joined Task Group 58.3 the following morning.

On 29 April 1944, all three Task Groups fuelled from Task Group 50.17, which had departed Seeadler Harbour around 1630K/28. Task Group 50.17 was now made up of the tankers USS Caliente, USS Lackawanna, USS Monongahela, USS Neosho, USS Neshanic and USS Escambia (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Paulsson, USNR). They were escorted by the destroyers USS Porterfield, USS Laws, USS Longshaw, USS Morrison, USS Callaghan and the escort destroyers USS Levy (Lt. B.H. Hallowell, USNR, with COMCORTDIV 11, T/Cdr. F.W. Schmidt, USN, on board), USS Parks (Lt. E.R. Casstevens, USNR), USS Baron (Lt.Cdr. J.W. Stewart, USNR) and USS Acree (Lt.Cdr. C.O. Davidson, USNR).

On 29 April 1944, ships from Task Force 58 fuelled from the tankers. USS Caliente fuelled USS Charette, USS Burns, USS Brown, USS Cowell, USS Frazier, USS Edwards and USS Craven. USS Lackawanna fuelled USS Conner, USS Bell, USS Bradford, USS Boyd, USS Bancroft, USS Gridley, USS Maury and USS Caldwell. USS Monongahela fuelled USS Farragut, USS New Orleans, USS Miller, USS Minneapolis, USS The Sullivans, USS Baltimore and USS Stephen Potter. USS Neosho fuelled USS Dewey, USS Monterey, USS Hull, USS MacDonough, USS Cabot, USS Owen and USS Thatcher. USS Escambia fuelled USS Tingey, USS Hunt, USS Marshall, USS Dale and possibly USS Wichita and USS Boston. USS Cahaba fuelled USS Princeton, USS Cogswell, USS Ingersoll, USS Knapp, USS Prichett, USS Caperton and USS Albert W. Grant. USS Neshanic fuelled USS Langley, USS Gatling, USS Dortch, USS Healy, USS Converse, USS Cassin Young, USS Cotton and USS Clarence K. Bronson. USS Hornet fuelled USS Izard, USS Case, USS Meade and USS McCall. USS Cabot fuelled USS Hickox. USS Minneapolis fuelled USS Lewis Hancock. USS San Francisco fuelled USS Monaghan. USS Wichita fuelled USS Aylwin.

On completion of fuelling Task Force 58 and Task Group 50.17 parted company.

At 2320K/29, USS Escambia parted company with Task Group 50.17. She took USS Levy, USS Parks, USS Baron and USS Acree with her as escorts.

During 29 and 30 April 1944, Task Force 58 conducted air strikes against Truk and Satawan.

On 30 April a bombardment force, made up of all nine heavy cruisers of Task Force 58 (see above) escorted by the destroyers USS Izard, USS Charrette, USS Conner, USS Burns, USS Boyd, USS Bradford, USS Brown and USS Cowell bombarded Satawan. On 1 May 1944, Task Group 58.1 conducted air operations against Ponape. Also all battleships and fourteen destroyers were assigned to bombard the island. the Bombardment Group was organized as follows; BATDIV 7, made up of USS Iowa and USS New Jersey was escorted by the destroyers USS Owen, USS Miller, USS The Sullivans, USS Stephen Potter and USS Tingey. BATDIV 8, made up of USS North Carolina, USS Massachusetts and USS Indiana was escorted by the destroyers USS Converse, USS Thatcher, USS Prichett and USS Cassin Young. BATDIV 9, made up of USS South Dakota and USS Alabama was escorted by the destroyers USS Izard, USS Charette, USS Conner, USS Bell and USS Burns. The bombardment was carried out between 1530M/1 and 1649M/1. All forces involved in the operations against Ponape rejoined the other ships of Task Force 58 during the night of 1/2 May 1944.

Around 1430Y/3, USS Monongahela, USS Cahaba and USS Lackawanna parted company with Task Group 50.17 to proceed to Majuro escorted by the destroyers escorts USS Bangust (Lt.Cdr. C.F. MacNish, USNR, with COMCORTDIV 32, Cdr. R.H. Groff, USNR on board), USS Waterman (Lt.Cdr. W.B. Hinds, USNR) and USS Weaver (Lt.Cdr. R.S. Paret, USNR) which had joined about an hour earlier coming from Majuro. They arrived at Majuro the following day. The remainder of Task Group 50.17 proceeded to Pearl Harbour arriving there on 9 May. The destroyers of DesRon 55 had fuelled from the tankers on 3 May 1944 before the force split up. USS Callaghan had made a short stop at Majuro to replenish depth charges and pick up mail before she rejoined the Task Group.

Task Groups 58.1 parted company with the other two Task Groups to proceed to Kwajalein where it arrived on 4 May 1944. Task Groups 58.2 and 58.3 both arrived at Majuro on the same day.

Media links

Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

Blood on the Sea

Parkin, Robert Sinclair
($ 15.98)

U.S. Destroyers

Friedman, Norman

United States Destroyer Operations In World War II.

Roscoe, Theodore

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