Allied Warships

USS Whippoorwill (AM 35)

Minesweeper of the Lapwing class

NavyThe US Navy
TypeMinesweeper
ClassLapwing 
PennantAM 35 
Built byAlabama Drydock and Shipbuilding Co (Mobile, Alabama, U.S.A.) 
Ordered 
Laid down12 Dec 1917 
Launched4 Jul 1918 
Commissioned1 Apr 1919 
End service17 Apr 1946 
History

Reclassified ocean tug AT-169 on 1 March 1944
Reclassified ocean tug old ATO-169 on 15 May 1944
Decommissioned on 17 April 1946 at San Francisco, California
Stricken on 10 June 1946

 

Commands listed for USS Whippoorwill (AM 35)

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.

CommanderFromTo
1Lt. Laurence Francis Blodgett, USN18 Jan 1936early 1941
2Lt.Cdr. Charles Arthur Ferriter, USNearly 1941Nov 1942
3T/Lt. Charles Lowell Knopp, USNNov 1942Oct 1944
4E. M. Floyd, Jr., USNROct 1944Aug 1945
5Lt. Thomas M. Dill, USNRAug 1945

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Notable events involving Whippoorwill include:


21 Oct 1942
Around 1740H/21, HMAS Adelaide (A/Capt. J.C.D. Esdaile, OBE, RAN) departed Fremantle to make rendezvous with USS Pelias (T/Capt. W. Wakefield, USN), HMAS Cessnock (A/Lt.Cdr. T.S. Marchington, RANR(S)) and USS Whippoorwill (T/Cdr. C.A. Ferriter, USN).

Rendezvous was affected around 0830H/23.

Around 1500H/23, HMAS Cessnock and USS Whippoorwill parted company to proceed to Albany.

USS Pelias and HMAS Adelaide arrived at Fremantle around 2000H/24. (1)

30 Dec 1942
Around 0815I/30, the destroyer HrMs Van Galen (Lt.Cdr. F.T. Burghard, RNethN), minesweeper USS Whippoorwill (T/Lt. C.L. Knopp, USN) and the transport USS Gold Star (4871 GRT, built 1920, Lt.Cdr. T.J. Schultz, USN) departed Fremantle for Exmouth Gulf. (2)

2 Jan 1943
Around 1145I/2, the destroyer HrMs Van Galen (Lt.Cdr. F.T. Burghard, RNethN), minesweeper USS Whippoorwill (T/Lt. C.L. Knopp, USN) and the transport USS Gold Star (4871 GRT, built 1920, Lt.Cdr. T.J. Schultz, USN) arrived at Exmouth Gulf from Fremanlte. (2)

17 Jan 1943
HMS Trusty (Lt.Cdr. E.F Balston, DSO, RN) arrived at Exmouth Gulf. She was escorted in by USS Whippoorwill (T/Lt. C.L. Knopp, USN). (3)

1 May 1943
Around 1830H/1, the submarine tender USS Pelias (T/Capt. W. Wakefield, USN), destroyer HrMs Tjerk Hiddes (Lt.Cdr. W.J. Kruys, RNethN), minesweeper USS Whippoorwill (T/Lt. C.L. Knopp, USN) and the auxiliary patrol vessel USS Isabel (T/Lt. F.D. Buckley, USN) departed Fremantle to establish an advanced base at Exmouth Gulf. (4)

3 May 1943
Around 2300H/3, the submarine tender USS Pelias (T/Capt. W. Wakefield, USN), destroyer HrMs Tjerk Hiddes (Lt.Cdr. W.J. Kruys, RNethN), minesweeper USS Whippoorwill (T/Lt. C.L. Knopp, USN) and the auxiliary patrol vessel USS Isabel (T/Lt. F.D. Buckley, USN) arrived at Exmouth Gulf from Fremantle. (4)

30 Jul 1944

Operation Globetrotter.

This operation was amphibious landings on Middelburg and Amsterdam Islands (east of Cape Sansapor) and to the west of Cape Sansapor and later also to the east of Cape Sansapor.

Forces involved.

Task Force 77 was the Attack Force under T/Rear-Admiral R.A. Fechteler, USN.
Task Group 77.1 was the Force Flagship, the destroyer USS Swanson (T/Cdr. W.K. Ratliff, USN, flying the flag of T/Rear-Admiral R.A. Fechteler, USN).
Task Group 77.2 was the Main body and was made up of the following Task Units.
Task Unit 77.2.1 was Fire Support Group A and was made up of the destroyers USS Morris (T/Cdr. G.L. Caswell, USNR, with COMDESRON 2, T/Capt. E.A. Solomons, USN, on board), USS Hughes (T/Cdr. E.B. Rittenhouse, USN), USS Mustin (T/Cdr. M.M. Riker, USN) and USS Russell (T/Cdr. L.R. Miller, USN).
Task Unit 77.2.2 was Fire Support Group B and was made up of the destroyers USS Fletcher (T/Cdr. J.L. Foster, USN, with COMDESDIV 42, T/Capt. A.E. Jarrell, USN on board), USS Radford (T/Capt. G.E. Griggs, USN), USS Jenkins (T/Cdr. M. Hall, Jr., USN) and USS La Valette (T/Cdr. W. Thompson, USN).
Task Unit 77.2.3 was Fire Support Group C and was made up of the destroyers USS Stevenson (T/Cdr. F.E. Wilson, USN, with COMDESRON 19, T/Capt. J.R. Pahl, USN on board) and USS Welles (T/Cdr. D.M. Coffee, USN).
Task Unit 77.2.4 was the High Speed Transport Unit and was made up of the high speed transports USS Kilty (Lt. L.G. Benson, USNR, with COMDESDIV 22, T/Cdr. D.L. Mattie, USN) on board), USS Schley (Lt.Cdr. E.T. Farley, USNR), USS Ward (Lt.Cdr. F.W. Lemly, USNR), USS Crosby (Lt.Cdr. W.E. Sims, USNR) and USS Herbert (T/Cdr. J.N. Ferguson, Jr., USN).
Task Unit 77.2.5 was the LCI Unit and was made up of the LCI's, USS LCI(L)-546 (Lt.(jg) W.B. Campbell, USNR with, COMLCIFLOT 8, T/Cdr. F.B.C. Martin, USN, on board), USS LCI(L)-544 (Lt.(jg) L.V. Sternberg, USNR), USS LCI(L)-545 (Lt.(jg) T.B. King, USNR), USS LCI(L)-547 (Lt.(jg) J.S. Peacock, USNR), USS LCI(L)-548 (Lt.(jg) J.B. Reeves, USNR), USS LCI(L)-577 (Lt.(jg) E.J. Morgan, USNR), USS LCI(L)-578 (Lt.(jg) W.D. Rounds, USNR), USS LCI(L)-579 (Lt.(jg) J. Wood, USN), USS LCI(L)-661 (Lt.(jg) P.B. Pylant, USN), USS LCI(L)-957 (Lt.(jg) J.F. Hartmann, Jr., USNR), USS LCI(L)-958 (Lt.(jg) W.R. McCracken, USNR), USS LCI(L)-961 (Lt.(jg) R.P. Games, USNR), USS LCI(L)-962 (Lt.(jg) R.L. Steele, USNR) from LCI Flotilla 8 and USS LCI(L)-430 (Lt. P.C. Hill, Jr., USNR, with COMLCIFLOT 7, T/Cdr. H.F. McGee, USN on board), USS LCI(L)-62 (Lt.(jg) J.M. Roye, USN), USS LCI(L)-334 (Lt.(jg) M.E. Staed, USNR), USS LCI(L)-335 (Lt.(jg) J.A. Latimer, USNR) and USS LCI(L)-519 (?).
Task Unit 77.2.6 was the LST Unit and was made up of the LST's, USS LST-18 (Lt. C.W. Radke, USCG, with COMLSTGR 21, Cdr. F.D. Higbee, USCG, on board), USS LST-26 (?), USS LST-28 (Lt. B.D. Quirk, USNR), USS LST-66 (Lt. W.H. McGowan, USCG), USS LST-170 (Lt.(jg) J.C. Baquie, USCGR), USS LST-202 (Lt.Cdr. T.N. Kelley, USCGR), USS LST-206 (Lt.(jg) J.D. Robertshaw, USCGR) and USS LST-466 (Lt. R.E. McCarthy, USNR).
Task Unit 77.2.7 was the Special Service Unit which was made up of the following Task Units.
Task Unit 77.2.71 was the Control Section which was made up of the patrol vessels, USS PC-1120 (Lt.Cdr. C.S. Molitor, USNR), USS PC-1132 (Lt. W.E. Quint, USNR), USS PC-1133 (Lt. J.C. Chandler, USNR) and USS PC-1134 (Lt. D.J. Callaghan. Jr. USNR).
Task Unit 77.2.72 was the Rocket Section which was made up of the LCI(R)'s, USS LCI(R)-31 (Lt.(jg) L.J. Haidet, USNR), USS LCI(R)-34 (Lt.(jg) R.J. Sponsler, USNR) and USS LCI(R)-73 (Lt.(jg) N.M. Taylor, USNR).
Task Unit 77.2.73 was the Salvage Section which was made up of the tug USS Vireo (Lt.(jg) S. Delamater, USNR).
Task Group 77.3 was the First Reinforcement Group and was made up of the following Task Units.
Task Group 77.3.1 was the LST Unit which was made up of the LST's USS LST-452 (Lt. G.W. Miller, USNR, with COMLSTGR20, Cdr. D.M. Baker, USNR on board), USS LST-171 (Lt. L.H. Smiley, USNR), USS LST-395 (Lt. A.C. Forbes, USNR), USS LST-397 (Lt. W.R. Hitch, USNR), USS LST-456 (Lt. G.W. Prue, USN), USS LST-458 (Lt. F.W. Hinrichs, USNR), USS LST-462 (Lt. W.D. Gregory, USNR) and USS LST-463 (Lt.(jg) A.E. Grounds, USNR).
Task Group 77.3.2 was the Escort Unit which was made up of the destroyers USS Hobby (T/Cdr. G.W. Pressey, USN, with T/Capt. COMDESDIV 38, W.S. Veeder, USN on board), USS Gillespie (T/Cdr. J.S. Fahy, USN), USS Anderson (T/Lt.Cdr. J.F. Murdock, USN) and USS Stockton (T/Cdr. W.W. Stark, Jr., USN).
Task Group 77.4 was the Second Reinforcement Group and was made up of the following Task Units.
Task Group 77.4.1 was the LST Unit which was made up of the LST's USS LST-469 (Lt. L.E. Green, USNR), USS LST-181 (Lt. R.J. Wilson, USNR), USS LST-204 (Lt. C.W. Radke, USCG), USS LST-245 (Lt. M.J. McCabe, USNR), USS LST-457 (Lt. W.P. Sullivan, USNR), USS LST-468 (Lt. I.K. Stevenson, USNR), USS LST-470 (Lt. D.J. Guthridge, USNR) and USS LST-475 (Lt. M.S. Whitsett, USNR).
Task Group 77.4.2 was the Escort Unit which was made up of the destroyers USS Wilkes (T/Cdr. F. Wolsieffer, USN, with COMDESDIV 24, T/Capt. A.J. Greenacre, USN on board), USS Nicholson (T/Cdr. W.W. Vanous, USN), USS Grayson (T/Cdr. W.V. Pratt, 2nd, USN) and USS Stack (T/Cdr. R.E. Wheeler, USN).

Cover Forces.

To provide cover for the operation, Task Forces 74 and 75 were deployed.

Task Force 74 was made up of the heavy cruiser HMAS Shropshire (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN, flying the flag of Commodore J.A. Collins, CB, RAN) and the destroyers USS Hutchins (T/Cdr. C.B. Laning, USN, with COMDESRON 24, T/Capt. K.M. McManes, USN, on board), USS Bache (T/Cdr. R.C. Morton, USN), USS Beale (T/Capt. J.B. Cochran, USN), USS Ammen (T/Cdr. J.H. Brown, USN) and HMAS Arunta (Cdr. A.E. Buchanan, RAN).

Task Force 75 was made up of the light cruisers USS Phoenix (T/Capt. J.H. Duncan, USN, flying the flag of COMCRUDIV 15, Rear-Admiral R.S. Berkey, USN), USS Boise (Capt. J.S. Roberts, USN) and the destroyers USS Abner Read (T/Cdr. T.B. Hutchins, 3rd, USN, with COMDESDIV 48, T/Capt. J.B. McLean, USN), USS Daly (T/Cdr. R.G. Visser, USN), USS Mullany (T/Cdr. B.J. Mullaney, USN) and USS Trathen (T/Cdr. J.R. Millett, USN).

Chronology of the passage towards the operations area.

0800K/27, Task Force 75 (see above) departed Seeadler Harbour, Manus for the operations area.

2300K/27, Task Force 77 (TF 77.1 and TF 77.2, see above) departed Maffin Bay for the operations area. This was known as Echelon G-1.

1000K/28, Task Force 74 (see above) departed Humboldt Bay to make rendezvous with Task Force 75. Rendezvous was affected around 1500K/28. Both Task Forces now operated in company as Task Force 78, Covering Force.. A naval bombardment for the landings was not planned, Task Force 78's orders were to just provide cover for the landings.

0800K/29, USS LCI(L)-958 parted company to proceed to Mios Woendi as reserve. One of the other LCI(L)'s also parted company as there were 16 LCI(L)'s present during the landing operations.

2330K/29, Echelon G-2, made up of Task Group 77.3 (see above) departed Maffin Bay for the operations area. The four escorting destroyers from Destroyer Division 38 had actually departed Humboldt Bay around 2245K/28 and joined the convoy of LST's on leaving Maffin Bay having first conducted an A/S patrol in the area. 2315K/29, Echelon G-3, made up of Task Group 77.4 (see above) departed Maffin Bay for the operations area. The four escorting destroyers from Destroyer Division 24 had arrived at Maffin Bay from Humboldt Bay earlier in the day.

Chronology of the landing operations in the operations area.

0700K/30, Task Force 77, (TF 77.1 and TF 77.2) commenced landing operations east of Cape Sansapor and on Middelburg and Amsterdam Islands. No enemy opposition was encountered.

0830K/30, Task Force 78, was released and set course to proceed to Mios Woendi. Around the same time the LCI(L)'s departed the operations area to return to Maffin Bay escorted by USS PC-1122 and USS PC-1133.

1800K/30, The LST's, having completed unloading, departed the area to return to Maffin Bay. Tug USS Vireo was with them. They were escorted by USS Swanson, USS Fletcher, USS Radford, USS Jenkins, USS La Vallette, USS Stevenson and USS Welles.

0800K/1, Echelon G-2 arrived commenced beaching the LST's to unload which was completed later the same day following which they set course to proceed to Mios Woendi having been joined by the three 3 LCI(R)'s and the tugs USS Whippoorwill (T/Lt. C.L. Knopp, USN) and HMAS Sprightly (Lt. G.S. Duck, RANR(S)). They were escorted by USS Morris, USS Hughes, USS Mustin, USS Russell, USS Hobby, USS Gillespie, USS Anderson and USS Stockton.

0800K/3, Echelon G-3 arrived commenced beaching the LST's to unload which was completed later the same day following which they set course to proceed to Mios Woendi.

Sources

  1. Report of proceedings of HMAS Adelaide for October 1942
  2. File 2.12.03.1613 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  3. ADM 199/1861
  4. File 2.12.03.2100 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands) + War diary of USS Pelias for May 1943 + War diary of commander US naval forces Western Australia for May 1943

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.


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