Allied Warships

USS Phoenix (CL 46)

Light cruiser of the Brooklyn class

NavyThe US Navy
TypeLight cruiser
ClassBrooklyn 
PennantCL 46 
Built byNew York Shipbuilding Corp. (Camden, New Jersey, U.S.A.) 
Ordered 
Laid down15 Apr 1935 
Launched13 Mar 1938 
Commissioned3 Oct 1938 
End service3 Jul 1946 
History

USS Phoenix earned 9 battle stars for the WWII service.

After being decomissioned on 3 July 1946 she remained at Philadelphia until being tranferred to Argentina on 9 April 1951. On 17 October 1951 she was commissioned into the Argentinian Navy as Diecisiete de Octubre (C-4) but renamed General Belgrano in 1956.

On 2 May 1982, during the Falklands War, General Belgrano was operating some 220 miles from the Falkland Islands and steaming toward the mainland at 10 knots, screened by destroyers Hipolto Bouchard (D-26) and Piedra Buena (D-29). At 1600 hours, local time, General Belgrano was torpedoed twice by the British nuclear attack submarine HMS Conqueror (S-48). The cruiser sank in 45 minutes with the loss of 321 men. Keeping station on the far side of General Belgrano from the submarine, Hopolto Bouchard was reportedly struck by a third torpedo from Conqueror, but it did not explode. The destroyers delivered a depth charge attack, but HMS Conqueror escaped undamaged.

 

Commands listed for USS Phoenix (CL 46)

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
1Capt. John Wilkes Rankin, USN24 Oct 19383 Jun 1940
2Capt. Herman Edward Fischer, USN3 Jun 194025 Oct 1942 (1)
3T/R.Adm. Joseph Reasor Redman, USN25 Oct 19426 Mar 1943
4Capt. Albert Gallatin Noble, USN6 Mar 194311 Mar 1944 (1)
5T/R.Adm. Jack Harlan Duncan, USN11 Mar 194421 May 1945
6T/Capt. Harold Lincoln Challenger, USN21 May 19451 Feb 1946
7Captain Richmond Kenneth Kelly, USN1 Feb 19463 Jul 1946

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Notable events involving Phoenix include:


27 Jan 1942
HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G. Crace, CB, RN), HMAS Perth (Capt. H.M.L. Waller, DSO, RAN), HMAS Adelaide (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and HMNZS Leander (Capt. R.H. Bevan, RN) departed Sydney to proceed eastwards to provide cover for a US troop convoy proceeding to Melbourne. HMAS Adelaide was to join the close escort of the convoy.

HMAS Australia, HMAS Perth and HMNZS Leander arrived at Sydney on 31 January 1942.

The convoy continued on and arrived at Melboune on 1 February 1942 escorted by USS Phoenix and HMAS Adelaide.

Rendezvous with the US Convoy was made around 1130L/29. The US convoy was made up of the light cruiser USS Phoenix (Capt. H.E. Fischer, USN) and the (troop) transports Mariposa (18017 GRT, built 1931) and President Coolidge (American, 21936 GRT, built 1931). HMAS Adelaide then join the close escort while HMAS Australia, HMAS Perth and HMNZS Leander patrolled ahead of the convoy.

(2)

6 Mar 1942

Convoy SU 2.

This convoy was made up of the following (troop) transports / tankers; Aronda (British, 9031 GRT, built 1941), British Aviator (British (tanker), 6998 GRT, built 1924), California Standard (Panamanian (tanker), 11246 GRT, built 1929), Dilwara (British, 11080 GRT, built 1936), Nevasa (British, 9213 GRT, built 1913), Querimba (British, 7769 GRT, built 1925), Rajula (British, 8478 GRT, built 1926) and Takliwa (British, 7936 GRT, built 1924).

On departure from Colombo the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN), sloop HMS Shoreham (Cdr. G.P. Claridge, RN) and corvette HMS Tulip (Lt.Cdr. A. Wilkinson, RNR).

Around 2000F/8, when in position 00°37'S, 79°02'E, the British Aviator, California Standard and Querimba were detached to proceed independently. Also HMS Shoreham and HMS Tulip were detached to return to Colombo.

Around 1100H/18, in position 31°16'S, 105°04'E, the light cruiser USS Phoenix (Capt. H.E. Fischer, USN) and destroyers USS Alden (Lt. E.E. Evans, USN) and USS John D. Ford (Lt.Cdr. J.E. Cooper, USN) joined the convoy as additional escorts.

The convoy arrived at Fremantle in the morning of February 20th.

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The convoy departed Fremantle in the early afternoon of 22 February 1942. It was made up of the same five transports that had arrived at Fremantle on the 20th with the addition of two more transports, these were the USS Gold Star (4871 GRT, built 1920) and Sea Witch (American, 6021 GRT, built 1940).

The convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMAS Hobart, destroyers USS Alden, USS John D. Ford and the minesweepers HMAS Burnie ( T/Lt. T. Christy, RANR(S)) and HMAS Toowoomba (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) P.H. Hirst, RAN).

Around 0430I/24, when in position 35°34'S, 118°00'E, the Aronda was detached to Albany.

Around 2030I/24 the convoy was dispersed in position 35°30'S, 121°26'E. (3)

17 May 1942

Convoy SU 4D.

This convoy departed Fremantle on 17 May 1942.

It was made up of the following (troop) transports; Duntroon (British, 10346 GRT, built 1935), Felix Roussel (British, 17083 GRT, built 1930) and Willard A. Holbrook (American, 14812 GRT, built 1921).

On departure from Fremantle the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser USS Phoenix (Capt. H.E. Fischer, USN) and the destroyer HMAS Voyager (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Robison DSC, RAN).

The Duntroon was delayed by engine trouble and sailed around two hours later to overtake and join the convoy at sea which she did around 0135H/18.

Around 1600H/19, HMAS Voyager parted company with the convoy in position 35°20'S, 120°00'E. She was to return to Fremantle.

Around 0500HI/20, the convoy was dispersed. USS Phoenix then set course to return to Fremantle.

(4)

13 Jul 1942

'Schooner' convoy.

This convoy departed Colombo on 13 July 1942.

It was made up of the following (troop) transports; Aronda (British, 9031 GRT, built 1941), Athlone Castle (British, 25565 GRT, built 1936), City of Canterbury (British, 8331 GRT, built 1922), City of Lille (British, 6588 GRT, built 1928), Clan MacDonald (British, 9653 GRT, built 1939), Devonshire (British, 11275 GRT, built 1939), Dunedin Star (British, 11168 GRT, built 1936), Ekma (British, 5108 GRT, built 1911), Martand (British, 7967 GRT, built 1939), Rajula (British, 8478 GRT, built 1926) and Westernland (Dutch, 16479 GRT, built 1918).

On departure from Colombo the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Gambia (Capt. M.J. Mansergh, CBE, RN), armed merchant cruiser HMS Worcestershire (A/Capt.(Retd.) E.H. Hopkinson, RN), sloops HMIS Jumna (Cdr. J.E.N. Coope, RIN), HMIS Sutlej (Capt. P.A. Mare, RIN) and the corvettes HMS Aster (Lt. W.L. Smith, RNR) and HMS Tulip (Lt.Cdr. A. Wilkinson, RNR).

Around 1845F/14, HMIS Jumna, HMIS Sutlej, HMS Aster and HMS Tulip parted company in position 02°23'N, 80°23'E.

Around 1750F/16, the City of Lille was ordered to proceed independently as she was unable to keep up with the convoy. Position was 06°03'S, 81°34'E.

Around 1330F/19, the light cruiser USS Phoenix (Capt. H.E. Fischer, USN) took over from HMS Gambia in position 17°02'S, 82°24'E. HMS Gambia then parted company with the convoy to proceed to Mauritius.

Around 0715F/20, the armed merchant cruiser HMS Kanimbla (A/Capt. W.L.G. Adams, RN) took over from HMS Worcestershire in position 20°11'S, 83°17'E. HMS Worcestershire then parted company with the convoy to proceed to Mauritius.

Around 0855H/27, the destroyer HMAS Voyager (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Robison DSC, RAN) joined the convoy in position 31°04'S, 112°00'E.

Around 1350H/27, the minesweeper HMIS Madras (Lt. S.G. Karmarkar, RINR) joined the convoy and five minutes later the convoy was split up, in position 31°11'S, 112°16'E, into two sections ' Schooner A ' for Melbourne and ' Schooner B ' for Fremantle.

' Schooner A ' was made up of the transports Athlone Castle, City of Canterbury, Dunedin Star and Martand. They were escorted by USS Phoenix and HMAS Voyager.

' Schooner B ' was made up of the transports Aronda, Clan MacDonald, Devonshire, Ekma, Rajula and Westernland. They were escorted by HMS Kanimbla and HMIS Madras.

' Schooner B ' arrived at Fremantle in the morning of the 28th.

At 1015H/28, in position 33°28'S, 113°48'E, ' Schooner A ' merged with convoy ZK 12 which was coming from Fremantle escorted by the light cruiser HrMs Tromp (Cdr. J.B. de Meester, RNN). Convoy ZK 12 was made up of the transport Duntroon (10346 GRT, built 1935) and the armed merchant cruisers HMAS Manoora (A/Capt. J.M. Armstrong, RAN) and HMAS Westralia (A/Capt.(Emgy.) H.V. Hudson, OBE, RAN).

Around 1900H/29, in position 36°45'S, 119°48'E, HrMs Tromp and HMAS Voyager parted company with convoy ' Schooner B '. They were to return to Fremantle.

Around 0530K/3, the Athlone Castle, City of Canterbury, Dunedin Star and Martand parted company with the convoy and proceeded to Melbourne.

Around 0715K/5, the destroyer HMAS Arunta (Cdr. J.C. Morrow, DSO, RAN) joined the convoy.

The convoy arrived at Sydney around 1630K/5.

21 Aug 1942

Continued operations in the Guadacanal - Tulagi area.

21 August 1942.

Task Force 44, made up of the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), light cruiser HMAS Hobart ( Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and the destroyers USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN, commanding Destroyer Squadron 4 on board), USS Bagley (T/Cdr. G.A. Sinclair, USN) and USS Patterson (Cdr. F.R. Walker, USN) made rendezvous with the Carrier Fleet (Task Force 61).

They then joined Task Force 11 (Task Group 61.1), made up of the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga (Capt. D.C. Ramsey, USN, flying the flag of vice-Admiral F.J. Fletcher, USN), heavy cruisers USS Minneapolis (Capt. F.J. Lowry, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C.H. Wright, USN), USS New Orleans (Capt. W.S. Delany, USN) and the destroyers USS Phelps (T/Cdr. E.L. Beck, USN, with Capt. S.B. Brewer, USN on board), USS Farragut (Cdr. G.P. Hunter, USN), USS Macdonough (Lt.Cdr. E. van E. Dennet, USN), USS Worden (T/Cdr. W.G. Pogue, USN) and USS Dale (Cdr. H.E. Parker, USN).

USS Selfridge was however ordered to join Task Force 18 (Task Group 61.3), made up of the aircraft carrier USS Wasp (T/Capt. F.P. Sherman, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral L. Noyes, USN), heavy cruisers Salt Lake City (Capt. E.G. Small, USN), USS San Francisco (Capt. C.H. McMorris, USN), AA cruiser USS San Juan (Capt. J.E. Maher, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral N. Scott, USN) and the destroyers USS Farenholt (T/Cdr. Lt.Cdr. E.T. Seaward, USN, with Capt. R.G. Tobin, USN on board), USS Aaron Ward (T/Cdr. O.F. Gregor, USN), USS Buchanan (T/Cdr. R.E. Wilson, USN), USS Lang (T/Cdr. E.A. Seay, USN), USS Stack (Lt.Cdr. A.J. Greenacre, USN) and USS Sterett (Cdr. J.G. Coward, USN).

These was also Task Force 16 (Task Group 61.2) made up of the aircraft carrier Enterprise (Capt. A.C. Davis, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral T.C. Kincaid, USN), battleship USS North Carolina (Capt. G.H. Fort, USN), heavy cruiser USS Portland (Capt. L.T. Du Bose, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral M.S. Tisdale, USN), AA cruiser USS Atlanta (Capt. S.P. Jenkins, USN) and the destroyers USS Balch (T/Cdr. H.H. Tiemroth, USN, with Capt. E.P. Sauer, USN on board), USS Benham (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Taylor, USN), USS Ellet (T/Cdr. F.H. Gardner, USN), USS Maury (T/Cdr. G.L. Sims, USN), USS Grayson (T/Cdr. F.J. Bell, USN) and USS Monssen (T/Cdr. R.N. Smoot, USN).

A ' Surface Attack Group ' was then formed in case it would be needed, although the ships assigned remained with the carriers for the moment. It was was made up of the following units;
USS San Juan (Independent Flagship)
1st Division; USS North Carolina, USS Minneapolis and New Orleans.
2nd Division; USS Portland, USS Salt Lake City and USS San Francisco.
3rd Division; the third division was to be formed from the screen on signal, the screen was made up of the AA cruiser USS Atlanta and the destroyers USS Selfridge, USS Maury, USS Worden, USS Benham, USS Lang, USS Aaron Ward, USS Bagley and USS Patterson. 4th Division; heavy cruiser HMAS Australia and the light cruisers HMAS Hobart and USS Phoenix (Capt. H.E. Fischer, USN) although this last cruiser was yet to join.

The ' Carrier Attack Group ' was made up of the three aircraft carriers and the remaining destroyers.

Vice-Admiral Fletcher outlines the mission of the ' Air Attack Group as being;
To destroy enemy forces prior to and while in the Tulagi - Guadalcanal area,
To defend the own carriers.

The mission of the ' Surface Attack Group ' was given as the defence of the carriers against hostile surface attack.

At sunset, the cruisers USS Minneapolis, USS New Orleans, USS San Francisco, USS Salt Lake City and the destroyers USS Selfridge, USS Worden, USS Patterson, USS Benham, USS Lang and USS Maury parted company with the rest of the fleet to form a scouting line 20 miles ahead of the main fleet to guard against night surface attack. They were to rejoin the main force after daylight.

Meanwhile on Guadalcanal, around 0200L/21, an enemy force of about 700 troops attempted to break through our defences at the mouth of the Tenaru River. There was heavy hand to hand fighting until about 0900L/21when the enemy, then retiring, was out-flanked and trapped with their backs to the beach. Fighting continued till about 1700L/21 when our infantery, supported by tanks, completed the destruction of the enemy. 670 Japanese were killed and a few were taken prisoner. Allied casualties were 28 marines killed and 72 wounded. According to an enemy prisoner, their landing force had sailed from Truk on 16 August 1942 in six destroyers and had been landed on 18 August 1942 at a point 18 miles east of Lunga [They had been landed near Cape Taivu by the destroyers Kagero, Arashi, Hagikaze, Hamakaze, Tanikaze and Urakaze (all offsite links)].

At about mid-day four of the fighters now based on Guadalcanal engaged six enemy Zero fighters over the area. One Zero was shot down and one of our own fighters crashed on landing owing to inability to extend the undercarriage.

During the afternoon the seaplane tender (former destroyer) 2314 McFarland (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Alderman, USN) and the high speed transports USS Colhoun (T/Lt.Cdr. G.B. Madden, USN), USS Gregory (Lt.Cdr. H.F. Bauer, USN), USS Little (Lt.Cdr. G.B. Lofberg, Jr., USN), USS McKean (Lt.Cdr. J.E. Shinners, USN), USS Stringham (Lt.Cdr. C.E. Boyd, USN) and uSS Manley (Lt. O.C. Schatz, Jr., USN) (also former destroyers) arrived at Guadacanal with provisions, gear, materials and some personnel. The USS McFarland had aviation gasoline on board. During the approach of this force, a torpedo fired by a submarine passed astern of USS McFarland. If genuine this may have been an attack by the Japanese submarine I-123 (offsite link) who was in the area and did not return from patrol.

At 0900L/21, the seaplane tender USS MacKinac (T/Capt. N.R. Hitchcock, USN), which was operating planes from Ndeni (Santa Cruz Islands) reported being attacked sustaining some damage and casualties. It was later find out this had been allied aircraft which had attacked in error.

22 August 1942.

At 0615L/22, when about 60 miles south of Guadalcanal the aircraft carriers flew off a striking force to attack target of opportunity in the Guadalcanal area. It is considered that this force probably had no success as no enemy were reported in the area this particular morning. During the day the Carrier Groups were kept roughly between San Cristobal and Rennel Islands but no enemy surface foreces were reported within range of our striking forces. An enemy flying boat was shot down by fighters. At the end of the day course was shaped to the eastward and after clearing San Cristobal, changed to the northward and westward to reach a position about 45 miles eastward of the southern end of Malaita Island by daylight the next morning. Ll/22, after the destroyers USS Blue (Cdr. H.N. Williams, USN), USS Helm (T/Cdr. C.E. Carroll, USN) and USS Henley (Cdr. R.H. Smith, USN) had escorted the storeships USS Fomalhaut (AK 22) (5028 GRT, built 1942) (Cdr. J.D. Alvis, USN) and USS Alhena (AK 26) (7101 GRT, built 1941) (T/Capt. C.B. Hunt, USN) through the lengo Channel to Tulagi and Guadalcanal, USS Blue was struck aft by a torpedo which was thought to have been fired by an enemy Motor Torpedo Boat. [The attacker was actually the destroyer Kawakaze, which had been on patrol in the Guadacanal area.] The stern of the destroyer was blown off. She reached Lunga in tow and though disabled, remained seaworthy. USS Alhena discharged her cargo of rations, water, distilling outfits, weapons, ammunition, aviation lubricating oil and bombs. USS Fomalhaut discharged at Guadalcanal a cargo consisting of rations, aviaton spirit, water, distilling outfits, ammunition and materials.

USS McFarland, USS Colhoun, USS Gregory, USS Little and USS McKean left the Guadalcanal area after having discharged their cargoes. USS Stringham and USS Manley remained in the area after having finished unloading. They were to assist USS Helm and USS Henley in screening the Fomalhaut and Alhena.

The morning air reconnaissance reported a Japanese ship, thought to be a light cruiser in approximate position 05°00'N, 159°00'E proceeding south-east at 24 knots. As it was thought this ship might be en-route to attack our seaplane tender at Ndeni so USS MacKinac and the destroyer minelayer USS Breese (T/Cdr. H.F. Staut, USN) were ordered to leave that place.

The light cruiser USS Phoenix which was to join the Fleet arrived at Noumea from Sydney. However she required repairs to one gun turret which were estimated to take 48 hours.

23 August 1942.

At 0630L/23, the three carrier groups had reached a position about 45 miles to the east of the south end of Malaita Island and throughout the day operated between this position and a positiom 70 miles to the south-east. CAP fighter patrols one again accounted for a Japanese flying boat. Our own reconnaissance aircraft made three submarine sightings. [These were the Japanese submarine I-17 (twice) and I-19 (offsite links).] These sightings seems to confirm an earlier intelligence report which had been received indicating a line of enemy submsrines stretching north-west from Ndeni (Santa Cruz Islands).

At 1030L/23, a reconnaissance aircraft reported an enemy force of two cruisers, three destroyers and four transports in approximate position 05°00'N, 160°00'E steering south towards Guadalcanal at 17 knots. At 1515L/23 USS Saratoga launched a striking force of 37 torpedo and dive bombers to attack this enemy force, then estimated to bear 320°, 260 miles from our own carrier forces. From the airfield on Guadalcanal a striking force of 9 dive bombers escorted by fighters was also launched but neither of these striking forces made contact with the enemy. This was not surprising as the reconnaissance aircraft had made only the initial sighting report and with passing rain stroms and a good deal of cloud it was essential that the enemy was effectively shadowed and reported if our striking forces were to reach them to deliver an attack. All the aircraft of these striking forces landed at Guadalcanal airfield. The carrier group then rejoined USS Saratoga the next morning. During the night the Japanese destroyer Kagero had bombarded the area of the airfield.

The enemy convoy sighted by the reconnaissance aircraft had been made up of the transports Boston Maru (5438 GRT, built 1919), Daifuku Maru (3194 GRT, built 1907) and Kinryu Maru (9310 GRT, built 1938). They had a close escort made up of the light cruiser Jintsu and the patrol boats Patrol Boat No.1, Patrol Boat No.2, Patrol Boat No.34 and Patrol Boat No.35.

Five Catalina flying boats were to attack this convoy with bombs and torpedoes in moonlight but these also could not find it. It was later heard that the enemy convoy had made a drastic alteration of course to the north-west. It was a pity that failure on the part of the reconnaissance plane to make further reports had led to so much wasted efforts of the Allied air striking forces.

In the evening Task Force 18 (USS Wasp group), parted company and proceeded to the south to refuel from USN tankers in approximate position 13°00'S, 164°00'E.

As no attack had developed against Ndeni, USS MacKinac and USS Breese returned to Graciosa Bay.

During the afternoon it became clear that the damaged destroyer USS Blue could not towed away from the Guadalcanal area. She was therefore scuttled in the evening by scuttling charges and gunfire (a torpedo had missed) from USS Henley.

During the night of 23/24 August, Task Forces 11 and 16 proceeded to the south-east, then to the north and finally to the westward to be back in the same area as today for continued operations. (5)

25 Aug 1942

Continued operations in the Guadacanal - Tulagi area following the Battle of the Eastern Solomons.

25 August 1942.

During the night of 24 August/ 25 August, Task Forces 11 and 16 retired to the south to refuel or retire from the area for repairs respectively. Task Force 18 had completed fuelling and now proceeded northwards to take their place.

The composition of Task Force 11 was as follows; the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga (Capt. D.C. Ramsey, USN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral F.J. Fletcher, USN), heavy cruisers USS Minneapolis (Capt. F.J. Lowry, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C.H. Wright, USN), USS New Orleans (Capt. W.S. Delany, USN), HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and the destroyers USS Phelps (T/Cdr. E.L. Beck, USN, with Capt. S.B. Brewer, USN on board), USS Farragut (Cdr. G.P. Hunter, USN), USS Dewey (T/Cdr. C.F. Chillingsworth, Jr., USN), USS Macdonough (Lt.Cdr. E. van E. Dennet, USN), USS Worden (T/Cdr. W.G. Pogue, USN), USS Bagley (T/Cdr. G.A. Sinclair, USN) and USS Patterson (Cdr. F.R. Walker, USN).

Task Force 16 was made up of Enterprise (Capt. A.C. Davis, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral T.C. Kincaid, USN), battleship USS North Carolina (Capt. G.H. Fort, USN), heavy cruiser USS Portland (Capt. L.T. Du Bose, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral M.S. Tisdale, USN), AA cruiser USS Atlanta (Capt. S.P. Jenkins, USN) and the destroyers USS Balch (T/Cdr. H.H. Tiemroth, USN, with Capt. E.P. Sauer, USN on board), USS Benham (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Taylor, USN), USS Ellet (T/Cdr. F.H. Gardner, USN), USS Maury (T/Cdr. G.L. Sims, USN), USS Grayson (T/Cdr. F.J. Bell, USN) and USS Monssen (T/Cdr. R.N. Smoot, USN).

Task Force 18, made up of the aircraft carrier USS Wasp (T/Capt. F.P. Sherman, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral L. Noyes, USN), heavy cruisers Salt Lake City (Capt. E.G. Small, USN), USS San Francisco (Capt. C.H. McMorris, USN), AA cruiser USS San Juan (Capt. J.E. Maher, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral N. Scott, USN) and the destroyers USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN, on board), USS Farenholt (T/Cdr. Lt.Cdr. E.T. Seaward, USN, with Capt. R.G. Tobin, USN on board), USS Aaron Ward (T/Cdr. O.F. Gregor, USN), USS Buchanan (T/Cdr. R.E. Wilson, USN), USS Lang (T/Cdr. E.A. Seay, USN), USS Stack (Lt.Cdr. A.J. Greenacre, USN) and USS Sterett (Cdr. J.G. Coward, USN).

The battleship USS North Carolina, the AA cruiser USS Atlanta and the destroyers USS Grayson and USS Monssen were ordered to detach from Task Force 16 and join the other Task Forces.

Another Task Force, Task Force 17, made up of the aircraft carrier USS Hornet (Capt. C.P. Mason, USN , flying the flag of Rear-Admiral G.D. Murray, USN), heavy cruisers USS Northampton (Capt. W.D. Chandler, Jr., USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral H.H. Good, USN), USS Pensacola (Capt. F.L. Lowe, USN), AA cruiser USS San Diego (Capt. B.F. Perry, USN) and the destroyers USS Morris (Lt.Cdr. R.B. Boyer, USN, with Capt. G.C. Hoover, USN on board), USS Hughes (T/Cdr. D.J. Ramsey, USN), USS Anderson (T/Cdr. R.A. Guthrie, USN), USS Mustin (T/Cdr. W.F. Petersen, USN), USS Russell (T/Cdr. G.R. Hartwig, USN) and USS O'Brien (T/Cdr. T. Burrowes, USN) were approaching the New Hebrides area from the eastward. With them was also the tanker USS Guadalupe (T/Capt. J.S. Freeman, USN). Originally intended as reinforcements but they now could take the place of Task Force 16. USS Guadalupe parted company with Task Force 17 on this day as did USS Hughes which was detailed to escort the tanker.

Shortly after midnight during the night of 24/25 August, enemy destroyers shelled our positions in the Guadalcanal / Tulagi area but they inflicted almost no damage. Casualties among our troops were two killed and three wounded. Some dive bombers took off from Henderson Field and claimed to have obtained on hit on an enemy destroyer. The Japanese destroyers which were operating in the Guadalcanal / Tulagi area this night were the Kagero, Isokaze, Kawakaze, Mutsuki and Yayoi. Our positions on Guadacanal were also bombed by high level bombers shortly before noon this day.

After daylight on the 25th, Task Force 11 and part of Task Force 16 commenced fuelling from the tankers USS Cimarron (T/Capt. R.M. Ihrig, USN), USS Platte (Capt. R.H. Henkle, USN) and USS Sabine (T/Capt. H.L. Maples, USN) which were escorted by the destroyers USS Clark (T/Capt. M.T. Richardson, USN), USS Dale (Cdr. H.E. Parker, USN) and USS Gwin (Cdr. J.M. Higgins, USN).

On completion of the fuelling USS Enterprise, USS Portland, USS Balch, USS Benham and USS Ellet parted company to leave the operations area. USS Maury was ordered to proceed to Tulagi. She rejoined on the 28th. Task-Force 16 arrived at Tonga on 30 August 1942.

Meanwhile Task Force 18 was operating in support of the Marines on Guadalcanal. Three enemy reconnaissance aircraft were shot down by fighters from USS Wasp. In addition aircraft from USS Wasp reconnoitred Rakata Bay which was suspected to be used by the enemy but the Bay was found to be empty.

Two submarine contacts were obtained by Task Force 18 on the 25th. The destroyer USS Grayson sighted a ship on the horizon and was detached to invesitigate. The ' ship ' turned out to be a large submarine which submerged. USS Grayson then attacked with several patterns of depth charges. She was later joined by USS Patterson. When USS Grayson ran out of depth charges USS Monssen took over from her. In the end the Japanese submarine, which was the I-9 (offsite link), managed to escape damaged. The other submarine contact was attacked by a dive bomber from USS Enterprise which claimed a direct hit.

26 August 1942.

Shortly after midnight Task Force 11 (Saratoga Group) completed fuelling and reinforced by USS North Carolina, USS Atlanta, USS Grayson and USS Monssen proceeded northwards to join Task Force 18 (Wasp Group).

At 1215L/26, our positions on Guadacanal were raided by sixteen twin engined enemy bombers supported by twelve Zero fighters. Allied land based fighters intercepted them and shot down seven bombers and five fighters for the loss of one fighter including its pilot.

On joining up both Carrier Task Forces operated during the night of 26/27 August on the parallel of 11°S, between San Christobal Island and the Santa Cruz Islands.

27 August 1942.

During the day the carrier groups had steered to the southward and by sunset had reached position 12°00'S, 165°00'E. In the afternoon the CAP had shot down a large four-engined enemy flying boat which attempted to shadow the carrier forces.

Allied reconnaissance aircraft from Ndeni again found enemy naval forces to the north-east of the Solomons. The forces comprised a battleship, cruisers and destroyers. They were reported on various courses during the day but always in the vicinity of position 02°00'S, 162°00'E.

According to intelligence more and more units of the Japanese Fleet were known to be in the area as were a lot of the Japanese senior naval commanders. This indicated the magnitude of the effort the Japanese are preparing to make in the area.

The Allied Commander South Pacific (Vice-Admiral Ghormley) decided that every effort should be made to reinforce our positions in the Guadalcanal - Tulagi area.

During the day the seaplane tender (former destroyer) McFarland (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Alderman, USN) relieved the destroyer minelayer USS Breese (T/Cdr. H.F. Staut, USN) at Ndeni thus joining the seaplane tender USS MacKinac (T/Capt. N.R. Hitchcock, USN) there.

In the Guadalcanal - Tulagi area there were no reports of enemy activity. A large patrol had been sent to attack a Japanese outpost at Kukumbona (seven miles west of Lunga Point). In the afternoon four additional fighters landed at Henderson Field. On their way in they had damaged and hopefully destroyed a large four-engined enemy flying boat.

During the night Task Forces 11 and 18 cruised around latitude 12°00'S between meridians 165°00'E and 162°00'E.

28 August 1942.

At daylight the two carrier groups were sixty miles south of San Cristobal Island and operated throughout the day to provide cover for a convoy en-route to the Guadacanal - Tulagi area from the New Hebrides area.

This convoy was made up of the transports USS William Ward Burrows (AP 6) (4577 GRT, built 1929) (T/Cdr. E.I. McQuiston, USN) and Kopara (New Zealand, 679 GRT, built 1938). They were escorted by the destroyer minelayers 2157 Gamble (Lt.Cdr. S.N. Tackney), 2368 Tracy (Lt.Cdr. J.L. Collis, USN) and the high speed transports (former destroyers) USS Colhoun (T/Lt.Cdr. G.B. Madden, USN), USS Gregory (Lt.Cdr. H.F. Bauer, USN) and USS Little (Lt.Cdr. G.B. Lofberg, Jr., USN).

Reconnaissance aircraft found no enemy naval forces in the area north-east of the Solomon Islands. Enemy submarine activity in the area between 05°S and 15°S, and 160° to 170° has greatly increased during the last few days and it is estimated that there area now at least ten enemy submarines in the area. It would appear that the enemy is aware of the approximate vicinity of our forces and is andeavouring to achieve some success against our carriers with this concentration of submarines. However, the carrier forces have an ample number of screening destroyers and strong A/S air patrols which are maintained during daylight and have been keeping the submarines down and scoring some successes against them.

During the day Rear-Admiral Scott transferred from the USS San Juan to the San Francisco. The USS San Juan then parted company to join Task Force 16 (the Enterprise Group) as she had a defective gun mount for which she needed to undergo repairs.

In the Guadalcanal area, the US Marines patrol returned after dealing with the enemy detachmentt at Kukumbona. US casualties had been five killed and ten wounded. Enemy casualties uncertain.

An afternoon air patrol from Guadalcanal located an enemy force comprising three large destroyers and one smaller one seventy miles to the northward and steering south. Eleven dive bombers took off and attacked this force resulting in one large destroyer blowing up and sinking, one large destroyer being hit amidships and set on fire and the smaller destroyer being hit and left proceeding at slow speed and in distress. The remaining large destroyer escaped. One of our dive bombers failed to return. It was reported that these destroyer had carried considerable quantities of gear on deck. The destroyer attacked were the Asagiri which was sunk while the Shirakumo and Yugiri sustained heavy damage and the Amagiri sustained minor damage. [All these destroyers were the same size as all belonged to the Fubuki-class, all links are offsite links.]

It was learnt that about 100 Japanese had landed on Mahige Island (South end of Isabel Island) the previous afternoon from two rafts. It is probable that this party consised of survivors from the transport which had been sunk about 120 miles to the northward on the 25th by our aircraft.

During the night of 28/29 August 1942, both carrier groups proceeded to the northward.

29 August 1942.

At daylight the carrier groups were in approximate position 10°00'S, 163°00'E, able to cover the arrival at Guadalcanal of the convoy mentioned earlier. In this position Task Forces 11 and 18 were joined by Task Force 17. During the day they operated to the southward reaching latitude 12°S by sunset.

At 0440L/29, our position in Guadalcanal was bombed by 6 enemy aircraft and at 1155L/29 our position was again bombed. In this raid, which was carried out by 18 twin-engined bombers, supported by 9 fighters, our shore based fighters intercepted and shot down at least three enemy bombers and four enemy fighters (Type Zero). In addition one bombers was brought down by AA fire. Two Allied fighters were destroyer on the ground and two were damaged in aerial combat. Some ammunition and AA material had been destroyed. Allied casualties were 3 killed and 9 wounded.

The Commanding General Guadalcanal has reported that only the F4F Wildcat fighters are able to compete against the enemy's bombing formations owing to the great height at which they approach.

At 1250L/29, our convoy arrived in the Tulagi area with a much needed cargo of ammunition, rations, aviation spirit and stores. After unloading, the three high speed transports (former destroyers) will remain in the area to transport Marine raider detachments in mopping up operations against outlying enemy detachments.

The next movement of supplies to Guadalcanal area began today with the departure from Esperitu Santo of the destroyer USS Helm (T/Cdr. C.E. Carroll, USN) escorting the patrol tenders YP 239, YP 284 and YP 326 and of the destroyer USS Henley (Lt.Cdr. E.K. van Swearingen, USN) escorting the Naval Cargo Ship USS Betelgeuse (AK 28) (6198 GRT, built 1939) (T/Capt. H.D. Power, USN).

A report was received the enemy cruisers or destroyers have left Faisi (Shortland Islands) to proceed to Guadalcanal at high speed. Orders were therefore given for the USS William Ward Burrows, Kopara and their escort to retired to the eastward through the Lengo Channel and to return to the area the next day to complete unloading. Indeed the Japanese destroyers Isokaze, Kawakaze, Suzukaze and Umikaze had departed followed by the Fubuki, Hatsuyuki and Murakumo. They landed Japanese troops near Cape Taivu during the night of 28/29 August 1942.

During the night of 29/30 August 1942, the Carrier Groups cruiser in the vicinity of position 12°00'S, 164°00'E.

30 August 1942.

At daylight the light cruiser USS Phoenix (Capt. H.E. Fischer, USN) finally joined the Carrier Forces which at 0800M/12 were reorganized as follows;
Task Force 61 (Vice-Admiral F.J. Fletcher, USN)
Task Group 61.1, under Vice-Admiral Fletcher was made up of the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga, battleship USS North Carolina, heavy cruisers USS Minneapolis, USS New Orleans, AA cruiser USS Atlanta and the destroyers USS Phelps, USS Farragut, USS Dewey, USS Macdonough, USS Worden, USS Grayson and USS Monssen.
Task Group 61.2, under Rear-Admiral G.D. Murray, USN, was made up of the aircraft carrier USS Hornet, heavy cruisers USS Northampton, USS Pensacola, light cruiser USS Phoenix, AA cruiser USS San Diego and the destroyers USS Morris, USS Anderson, USS Mustin, USS Russell, USS O'Brien, USS Bagley and USS Patterson.
Task Group 61.3, under Rear-Admiral L. Noyes, USN, was made up of the aircraft carrier USS Wasp, heavy cruisers HMAS Australia, USS San Francisco, USS Salt Lake City, light cruiser HMAS Hobart and the destroyers USS Selfridge, USS Farenholt, USS Aaron Ward, USS Buchanan, USS Lang, USS Stack and USS Sterret.

During the day the combined Task Force operated in the vicinity of position 12°30'S, 164°00'E.

In the Guadalcanal area there was an aerial engagement in the forenoon in which Allied fighters shot down 8 land-based enemy type Zero fighters for a loss to themselves if 4 aircraft of which 1 pilot was rescued. Around 1500M/30, 18 enemy bombers attacked Allied ships unloading of Kukum during which the high speed transport USS Colhoun was sunk. No other ships were hit. During the night of 29/30 August the transport William Ward Burrows had grounded on Sylvia shoal off Tulagi. She was towed off, with great difficulty, the following day. It was believed that USS Gamble and USS Little each destroyed an enemy submarine in the area on the 29th. [USS Gamble indeed sunk the I-123 (offsite link).]

In the afternoon 17 F4F fighters and 4 scout dive bombers arrived as reinforcements at Henderson Field.

During the afternoon an enemy force of four cruisers was located between Isabel and New Georgia Islands, proceeding to the north-west. They were then bombed by the aircraft which made the sighting but no hits were obtained. [More likely this were destroyers though.]

During the night of 30/31 August 1942 the combined carrier forces steered to the northward. Task Force 18 / 61.3 ('Wasp'-Group) was to be detached during the night to proceed to Noumea for fuel, provisions, ammunition and a few days of in harbour. Task Forces 11 / 61.1 and 17 / 61.2 would reach latitude 10°S at daylight to continue the operations.

31 August 1942.

Shorty after midnight, Task Group 61.3 turned to the southward to proceed to Noumea as planned.

However, at 0748M/31, in position 10°34'S, 164°18'E, USS Saratoga was hit by a torpedo from the Japanese submarine I-26 (offsite link) which had fired a salvo of six. The torpedoes were spotted by USS Macdonough which alerted the carrier which was able to dodge the other torpedoes, one of which had broken surface as well. The carrier came to a standstill. Prior to the attack, at 0310M/31, the new SG radar of USS North Carolina had detected a surface contact and at 0337M/31, USS Farragut had been detached to investigate but she could not find anything [obviously, the submarine had submerged and tried to get into an attack position.]

Towing gear was then rigged and USS Minneapolis and USS New Orleans were ordered to make ready to take the disabled carrier in tow but at 0835M/31, USS Saratoga was able to get underway on one shaft and commenced to leave the area. the destroyer USS Monssen was left behind with orders to keep the sumbarine down until sunset and then rejoin. At the same time USS Phelps obtained a contact. While maintaining contact USS Macdonough came in and dropped depth charges. USS Monssen then took over.

Around 1018M/31, the destroyer USS Bagley joined from Task Force 17 / 61.2 to reinforce the damaged carrier's destroyer screen. Eight minutes later a second shaft could be used to propel the damaged carrier which by now was back on an even keel.

At 1043M/31, all power was however lost and she was dead in the water again. At 1204M/31, a towline was established with the cruiser USS Minneapolis and towing commenced around half an hour later.

Around 1310M/31, both usable shafts were back 'online' and she was able to propel herself again. Towing was still continued though and the ship was towed into the wind and at 1330M/31, 29 aircraft were flown off to Esperitu Santo. Tow was casted at 1637M/31.

During 1 September 1942, 5 more aircraft were flow off to Esperitu Santo while 2 returned from there. Also an A/S patrol was maintained throughout the day. Around 1842M/1, the tug Navajo (T/Cdr. J.A. Ouellet, USN), escorted by the destroyer Laffey (Lt.Cdr. W.E. Hank, USN) joined.

On 2 september USS Saratoga flew off 2 aircraft to Esperitu Santo and a total of 32 fighters to Efate. also the Task Group, less the Saratoga fuelled from the tanker USS Guadalupe which had arrived escorted by the destroyer USS Dale. Also during the day personnel and bagage were transferred to the destroyers USS Monssen and USS Grayson. Early in the afternoon 17 aircraft landed on from Esperitu Santo for gear, torpedoes, etc.. These aircraft later took off again to return to Esperitu Santo but one crashed on taking off, the pilot being rescued by USS Navajo. Again A/S patrols were maintained throughout the day.

On 3 September fuelling was completed and USS Guadalupe and USS Dale were detached around 1245M/3. As usual air patrols were maintained throughout the day. Task Force 11 arrived at Tonga on 6 September 1942.

Meanwhile around 1200M/1, Task Force 18 / Task Group 61.3 turned around. The destroyers then fuelled from the bigger ships.

On 31 August 1942, in the Guadalcanal area, moonlight air patrol had located two enemy cruisers and two destroyers near Cape Taivu. They were close inshore and are thought to have been discharging troops and cargo. Dive bombers then attacked them forcing them to withdraw. [In fact during the night of 31 August / 1 September, 1000 troops and stores were landed by the Japanese destroyers Kagero, Kawakaze, Suzukaze, Umikaze, Fubuki, Amagiri, Hatsuyuki and Murakumo.]

In the afternoon the USS Betelgeuse escorted by USS Henley arrived at Guadalcanal. On board were much needed stores including aviation spirit. Also on board were 200 Navy construction personnel to assist in unloading operations. On their departure these two ships were to evacuate 400 POW's. Also on this day the Kopara completed unloaded and departed escorted by the USS Tracy.

Around 1800M/31, HMAS Australia, HMAS Hobart and USS Selfridge parted company with Task Group 61.3 with orders to proceed to Brisbane, Australia.

Around 1900M/31, USS Phoenix, USS Bagley and USS Patterson parted company with Task Group 61.2 also with orders to proceed to Brisbane, Australia. All these ships were to revert to the control of the Commander-in-Chief South-West Pacific.

2 Sep 1942
Around 1330L/2, HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN on board) are joined by USS Phoenix (Capt. H.E. Fischer, USN), USS Bagley (T/Cdr. G.A. Sinclair, USN) and USS Patterson (Cdr. F.R. Walker, USN) joined company. They then continued their passage to Brisbane. (5)

3 Sep 1942
In the afternoon, Task Force 44, made up of the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), light cruisers HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN), USS Phoenix (Capt. H.E. Fischer, USN) and the destroyers USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN on board), USS Bagley (T/Cdr. G.A. Sinclair, USN) and USS Patterson (Cdr. F.R. Walker, USN) arrived in Moreton Bay. They arrived at Brisbane early in the evening. (5)

7 Sep 1942

Operations by Task Force 44 in the south-west Pacific / Milne Bay area.

7 September 1942.

Around 1100K/7, ships of Task Force 44, the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), light cruiser USS Phoenix (Capt. H.E. Fischer, USN) and the destroyers USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN, commanding Destroyer Squadron 4 on board) and USS Bagley (T/Cdr. G.A. Sinclair, USN) departed Brisbane to patrol in the Coral Sea so as to be in position to support operations in the Milne Bay area if called upon. Reinforcements were to join as soon as possible as some ships of Task Force 44 had been detached on other duties or were undergoing repairs.

On departure from Brisbane it had been intended to conducted gunnery exercises using a target that was being towed by the auxiliary M/S trawler HMAS Tongkol (?). Bad weather conditions hover prevented the exercises proceeding as the towline of the target fouled the srew of HMAS Tongkol. USS Bagley briefly stood by the M/S trawler but rejoined the other ships later the same day.

8 September 1942.

At 1200K/8, Task Force 44 was in position 23°27'S, 154°45'E, course 345°, speed of advance 15 knots.

Around 1 830K/9, USS Selfridge and USS Bagley parted company with the cruisers for a night encounter exercise. On completion of the exercise they rejoined the cruisers.

9 September 1942.

During the forenoon Allied bomber aircraft made contact with the force in order to learn the recognition and identification of our ships.

At 1200K/9, Task Force 44 was in position 17°42'S, 152°58'E, course 345°, speed of advance 15 knots.

At 1500K/9, course was reversed to make contact with the destroyers USS Helm (T/Cdr. C.E. Carroll, USN) and USS Henley T/Cdr. E.K. van Swearingen, USN) who were approaching the area coming from Efate. They were however not sighted and at 1745K/9 course was shaped to the north-west and speed was increased to 22 knots.

10 September 1942.

Around 0700K/10, USS Helm and USS Henley were sighted and joined company and the force then entered the area in which it had been intended to operate. Course was thus set to the northward at 15 knots to get within striking distance of Milne Bay whilst awaiting the results of our land based reconnaissance aircraft.

At 1200K/10, Task Force 44 was in position 13°45'S, 148°47'E, course 350°, speed of advance 15 knots.

Around 1145K/10, HMAS Hobart ( Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN), with her repairs completed, departed Brisbane to join Task Force 44 at sea.

By 1800K/10, no reports of enemy forces had been received to Task Force 44 retired to the southwards for the night.

11 September 1942.

At daylight Task Force 44 turned and steered towards the north-east to await the result of this mornings air reconnaissance.

At 1200K/11, Task Force 44 was in position 12°49'S, 147°49'E.

The forenoon air searches had not located any enemy forces within reach of Milne Bay. Task Force 44 therefore turned to the south-east and USS Selfride and USS Bagley were ordered to fuel from HMAS Australia and USS Phoenix. Fuelling was barely begun when an aircraft report was received placing two enemy destroyers east of the Trobriand Islands at noon steering to the south-west. As this was the type of force that had previously been sent into Milne Bay and that when these ships would continue to Milne Bay they would find the destroyer HMAS Arunta (Cdr. J.C. Morrow, DSO, RAN) and two transports there.

Fuelling was at once stopped and Rear-Admiral Crutchley ordered Captain Flynn to proceed, from position 13°09'S, 148°03'E, with USS Selfridge, USS Helm, USS Henley and USS Bagley at 28 knots towards Milne Bay to destroy any enemy force entering or found in the bay or to withdraw to the southward in case the enemy was forced to withdraw due to our bombing by land based striking forces or to withdraw by early dawn if his force had entered Milne Bay and contact had not been made with the enemy.

Meanwhile HMAS Australia and USS Phoenix would proceed to the northward to be in position to provide cover if needed. At 1600K/11, a reconnaissance aircraft reported an enemy cruiser north of Woodlark Island and on a southerly course. It was seen that this enemy vessel could also reach Milne Bay during the night and Rear-Admiral Crutchley therefore turned his cruisers towards China Strait at 22 knots. At 1630K/11, an air striking force from Port Moresby attacked the two enemy destroyers which had now reached Normanby Island and scored on hit on the stern of one of them, setting her on fire and bringing her to a standstill. The second enemy destroyer was last seen at 1725K/11, heading 160° at 30 knots. No other report subsequent to the original sighting report was received of the enemy cruisers. It seemed, therefore, that one enemy destroyer and one enemy cruiser might enter the Milne Bay area during the night and that Captain Flynn's force would be ample to deal with them. [The Japanese destroyers were the Isokaze and Yayoi of which the last one was sunk in position 08°45'S, 151°25'E.]

By 2030K/11, no further information had been received and so being confident that cruiser support was not required, Rear-Admiral Crutchley turned HMAS Australia and USS Phoenix to the southward to make rendezvous with HMAS Hobart the next morning. Speed was set to 17 knots.

12 September 1942.

Around 0800K/12, HMAS Hobart joined having steamed from Brisbane at 22 knots. The three cruisers then shaped course to the northward to make contact with the four destroyers now withdrawing from the Milne Bay area.

At 1200K/12, the cruisers were in position 14°03'S, 148°02'E steering 000° at 15 knots.

Around 1600K/12, the destroyers rejoined. USS Helm and USS Henley were at once fuelled by HMAS Australia and USS Phoenix.

Captain Flynn reported that they had entered Milne Bay at 2345K/11 and then swept to the westward to 150°33'E and then patrolled east and west between that longtitude and 150°54'E on either side of latitude 10°24'S. They had cleared China Strait at 0615K/12 and had sighted nothing of interest. HMAS Arunta and two transports then entered the Bay at 0600K/12.

On completion of fuelling the two destroyers Task Force 44 set course to the south-west of the night.

13 September 1942.

At 0630K/13, USS Selfridge and USS Bagley commenced fuelling from HMAS Australia and USS Phoenix.

At 1200K/13, Task Force 44 was in position 12°21'S, 147°37'E, steering 130° at 15 knots.

14 September 1942.

At 1200K/14, Task Force 44 was in position 14°07'S, 149°25'E, steering 050° at 15 knots.

Shortly after noon, HMAS Henley obtained a promising A/S contact which was immediately attacked with a full pattern of depth charges after which contact was lost. An A/S patrol launched by HMAS Australia then patrolled the area of the attack but found no sign of an enemy submarine being present.

During the night the force proceeded to the southward.

15 September 1942.

At 1200K/15, Task Force 44 was in position 14°02'S, 149°00'E, steering 010° at 15 knots.

Around 1400K/15, Task Force 44 turned to the South-West to proceed to Challenger Bay, Palm Islands to fuel.

16 September 1942.

At 0545K/15, USS Phoenix launched two aircraft for A/S patrol off Grafton Passage through which the force was to pass.

Task Force 44 passed through the Grafton Passage around 0745K/15 and arrived at Challenger Bay around 1545K/15. They now had to wait for the tanker to arrive, meanwhile the sloop HMAS Warrego (Lt.Cdr. A.D.C. Inglis, RN) conducted A/S patrol off the bay. This duty was later taken over by HMAS Castlemaine (T/Lt.Cdr. P.J. Sullivan, RANR(S)).

A transport with fresh supplies was also sent from Townsville. (6)

18 Sep 1942

Continued operations by Task Force 44 in the south-west Pacific / Milne Bay area.

18 September 1942.

Around 0900K/18, Task Force 44, made up of the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), light cruisers HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN), USS Phoenix (Capt. H.E. Fischer, USN) and the destroyers USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN, commanding Destroyer Squadron 4 on board), USS Bagley (T/Cdr. G.A. Sinclair, USN), USS Helm (T/Cdr. C.E. Carroll, USN) and USS Henley T/Cdr. E.K. van Swearingen, USN) sailed from Challenger Bay (Palm Islands) to operate again to the south of New Guinea. On sailing USS Selfridge developed a steering gear defect and she had to be left behind to effect repairs and join on completion of these. The chartered tanker British Sailor (British, 5576 GRT, built 1918) and supply ship Yunnan (British, 2812 GRT, built 1934) also departed for Townsville escorted by HMAS Castlemaine (T/Lt.Cdr. P.J. Sullivan, RANR(S)).

Around 1730K/18, Task Force 44 cleared the Grafton Passage and shaped course to the north-east at 15 knots. USS Selfridge rejoined around 1800K/18 having completed repairs to her steering gear.

19 September 1942.

At 1200K/19, Task Force 44 was in position 13°24'S, 148°46'E, course 110°, speed of advance 15 knots.

As HMAS Stuart (Cdr. S.H.K. Spurgeon, DSO, RAN), which had been at Milne Bay with four transports, had to retire to Port Moresby to fuel, Task Force 44 changed course to the northward at 1600K/19 so as to give close cover to these ships. By 2100K/19 there had been no report of enemy activity in the area and Task Force 44 turned to the southward for the night.

20 September 1942.

At 0600K/20, Task Force 44 turned to the north-west.

At 1200K/20, Task Force 44 was in position 12°37'S, 149°07'E, course 330°, speed of advance 15 knots.

Around 1600K/20, Task Force 44 changed course to the southward to meet the destroyer USS Mugford (T/Cdr. E.W. Young, USN) which was coming north from Sydney having completed repairs there.

During the day USS Bagley reported her gun director out of action. This additional casualty now makes it necessary for her to be the first destroyer to be withdrawn to Sydney for overhaul.

21 September 1942.

Around 0800K/21, USS Mugford joined.

At 1200K/21, Task Force 44 was in position 14°09'S, 149°07'E, course 080°, speed of advance 14 knots.

Around 1400K/21, course was altered to the northward. USS Bagley was then detached to proceed to Sydney so as to arrive there during daylight on 24 September.

Around 1800K/21, Task Force 44 turned to the westward as no enemy sightings had been made by our reconnaissance aircraft.

22 September 1942.

Around 0600K/22, course was altered to the eastward.

At 1200K/22, Task Force 44 was in position 13°29'S, 147°49'E, course 060°, speed of advance 15 knots. This course was maintained until 2000K/22 by which time there had been no enemy sightings by our reconnaissance aircraft and Task Force 44 retired to the southward during the night.

23 September 1942.

At 1200K/23, Task Force 44 was in position 12°26'S, 150°05'E, course 070°, speed of advance 15 knots.

At 1300K/23, course was altered to the north and at 2000K/23 course was altered to 220° for the night.

24 September 1942.

During the forenoon HMAS Hobart and the destroyers were fuelled by HMAS Australia and USS Phoenix.

At 1200K/24, Task Force 44 was in position 15°45'S, 148°37'E, course 120°.

Fuelling was completed around 1300K/24, and course was changed to north with speed set at 15 knots.

25 September 1942.

During the forenoon two unidentified aircraft flew over the Task Force at 15000 feet. Visibility was poor and it was hoped the aircraft did not see Task Force 44. They later disappeared of the radar screen steering a steady course of 190°.

At 1200K/25, Task Force 44 was in position 13°45'S, 148°02'E, course 060°, speed of advance 15 knots.

At 2000K/25, Task Force 44 turned to the south for the night.

26 September 1942.

Around 0600K/26, Task Force 44 turned to the east-north-east.

At 1200K/26, Task Force 44 was in position 14°41'S, 149°46'E, course 030°, speed of advance 15 knots.

By 1800K/26, no reports of enemy warships within reach of Milne Bay had been received course was set for the Grafton Passage as Task Force 44 needed to refuel.

27 September 1942.

Around 1130L/27, Task Force 44 entered the Grafton Passage. Half an hour later USS Mugford, which had collected mails from all ships, parted company to proceed to Townsville so as to arrive there around 1830L/27. She had orders to remain at Townsville overnight and having embarked mails, stores and personnel for Task Force 44, to leavy harbour around 0800L/28 and then rejoin the force at Cid Harbour.

At 1230L/27, HMAS Australia's aircraft was launched to fly to Townsville with despatches. the aircraft was recovered at 1800L/27 when Task Force 44 was near the Brook Islands.

28 September 1942.

At 0730L/28, Task Force 44, less USS Mugford, reached Cid Harbour and began fuelling and provisioning from the chartered tanker British Sailor (British, 5576 GRT, built 1918) and supply ship Merkur (Australian, 5946 GRT, built 1924).

At 1400L/28, USS Mugford arrived from Townsville.

A/S patrol of the area was maintained during daylight hours on 28 and 29 September by a Catalina flying boat. (6)

30 Sep 1942

Continued operations by Task Force 44 in the south-west Pacific / Milne Bay area.

30 September 1942.

At 0530L/30, USS Henley (T/Cdr. E.K. van Swearingen, USN) departed Cid Harbour to pick up mails at Townsville. She was to join Task Force 44 at sea later the same day.

At 0700L/30, Task Force 44, made up of the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), light cruisers HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN), USS Phoenix (Capt. H.E. Fischer, USN) and the destroyers USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN, commanding Destroyer Squadron 4 on board), USS Helm (T/Cdr. C.E. Carroll, USN) and USS Mugford (T/Cdr. E.W. Young, USN) departed Cid Harbour to operate again to the south of New Guinea.

Around 1330L/30, USS Henley rejoined and the mails were distributed among the other ships. HMAS Australia's aircraft, which had flown to Townsville with despatches, was recovered at 1615L/30.

At 1750L/30, a man fell overboard on board HMAS Hobart but he was quickly recovered.

Around 2200L/30, Grafton Passage was cleared and Task Force 44 shaped course 060° at 15 knots.

1 October 1942.

At 1200L/1, Task Force 44 was in position 14°57'S, 149°21'E, course 060°, speed 15 knots.

At 1300L/1, course was altered to 010°.

At 1830L/1, course was altered to 280° and to 230° at 2100L/1.

2 October 1942.

At 0700L/1, course was again shaped in the general direction of Milne Bay.

At 1200L/2, Task Force 44 was in position 14°42'S, 148°21'E, course 030°, speed 15 knots.

At 1900L/2, course was altered to the north.

At 2100L/2, Task Force 44 retired to the south-south-east for the night.

Around 1900L/2, USS Helm was detached to the Grafton Passage as a signal had been received from the Commander-in-Chief South-West Pacific that could not be decyphered. USS Helm was to transmit a signal to inform the Commander-in-Chief South-West Pacific of this.

3 October 1942.

At 0900L/3, Task Force 44 turned to the north-west.

At 1200L/3, Task Force 44 was in position 15°03'S, 150°00'E. USS Helm rejoined and course was then shaped to the north. Speed still 15 knots.

At 2100L/3, Task Force 44 turned to the south-west for the night.

4 October 1942.

At 0900L/4, course was altered to 070°.

At 1200L/4, Task Force 44 was in position 14°50'S, 148°54'E, course 340°, speed 15 knots.

Around 1845L/4, course was altered to the southward to reach a position suitable for fuelling the destroyers out of range of enemy air reconnaissance.

5 October 1942.

Around 0730L/5, HMAS Hobart, which had on board mails from all ships of Task Force 44, parted company to proceed to Sydney to give leave to her crew and to undergo a short refit.

During the morning, USS Helm and USS Mugford fuelled from HMAS Australia and USS Selfridge and USS Henley from USS Phoenix.

During the fuelling operation the aircraft of HMAS Australia provided A/S patrol, unfortunately when it got alongside to be picked up it hit the ships side, capsized and sank. The crew was picked up.

At 1127L/5, course was set in the direction of China Strait.

At 2130L/5, course was altered to the southwestward for the night.

6 October 1942.

At 0645L/6, Task Force 44 altered course to the north-east. USS Phoenix now had to supply the dawn A/S patrol from now on.

At 1200L/6, Task Force 44 was in position 14°33'S, 148°37'E, course 050°, speed 15 knots.

At 2030L/6, Task Force 44 altered course to 250°, to rendezvous with the destroyer USS Patterson (T/Cdr. W.C. Schultz, USN), which is coming from Sydney, the following day.

7 October 1942.

At 0640L/7, Task Force 44 altered course to 107° along USS Patterson's approach route to the rendezvous position in 14°00'S, 148°00'E.

Around 0702L/7, USS Patterson was sighted ahead and then joined company. She delivered correspondence from Sydney to all ships.

Around 0910L/7, USS Henley parted company to proceed to Sydney for her maintenance period. She had collected mails from all ships of Task Force 44.

At 1200L/7, Task Force 44 was in position 14°26'S, 149°09'E, course 070°, speed 15 knots.

At 1600L/7, course was altered to 330° and at 2100L/7 to the westward for the night.

8 October 1942.

At 0642L/8, Task Force 44 altered course to 170°.

At 1200L/8, Task Force 44 was in position 14°27'S, 147°29'E, course was now altered to 025°, speed still 15 knots.

At 2100L/8, course was altered to 170°, speed was now 13.5 knots.

9 October 1942.

At 0637L/9, course was altered to 110°, speed 15 knots.

At 1000L/9, course was altered to 340°,

At 1200L/9, Task Force 44 was in position 14°23'S, 149°25'E.

At 1600L/9, course was shaped for Grafton Passage as the fuel in Task Force 44 was no longer sufficient to provide for an operation in the Milne Bay area at high speed with a safe margin for return to base.

10 October 1942.

The Grafton Passage was reached around 0800L/10.

At 1545L/10, Task Force 44, anchored in Challenger Bay, Palm Island. Fuelling was commenced from the chartered tanker Aase Maersk (British, 6184 GRT, built 1930). The supply ship Yunnan (British, 2812 GRT, built 1934) was also present with provisions and mail for all ships. (6)

25 Oct 1942

Continued operations by Task Force 44 in the south-west Pacific / Milne Bay area.

25 October 1942.

Around 1800L/25, Task Force 44, made up of the light cruisers HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), USS Phoenix (Capt. J.R. Redman, USN) and the destroyers USS Bagley (T/Cdr. G.A. Sinclair, USN), USS Mugford (T/Cdr. E.W. Young, USN) and USS Patterson (T/Cdr. W.C. Schultz, USN) departed Brisbane to patrol in the area to the south of New Guinea.

26 October 1942.

By 0100L/26, Task Force 44 was clear of the searched channel to Moreton Bay. Course was then shaped to the north-north-east.

At 1200L/26, Task Force 44 was in position 24°24'S, 155°08'E, course 345°, speed of advance 17.5 knots.

27 October 1942.

At 1200L/27, Task Force 44 was in position 17°47'S, 152°55'E, course 350°, speed of advance 14.5 knots.

At 1600L/27, course was altered to 300°.

28 October 1942.

At 0820L/28, the destroyer USS Henley (T/Cdr. E.K. van Swearingen, USN) departed Brisbane to join Task Force 44 at sea.

At 1200L/28, Task Force 44 was in position 14°27'S, 148°58'E, course 030°, speed of advance 15 knots.

At 2100L/28, course was altered to the south for the night.

29 October 1942.

At 1200L/29, Task Force 44 was in position 13°55'S, 148°49'E, course 340°, speed of advance 15 knots.

At 2030L/29, course was altered to the southward for the night.

30 October 1942.

At 0940L/30, USS Henley joined coming from Brisbane. She transferred mails to all the other ships of the Task Force. A south-easterly course was then shaped and USS Phoenix fuelled all four destroyers to top them up to about 75% capacity.

At 1200L/30, Task Force 44 was in position 14°18'S, 148°14'E, course 130°, speed of advance 8 knots due to the fuelling operations.

At 1430L/30, Task Force 44 was ordered to return to Brisbane by the Commander-in-Chief South-West Pacific. Course was set accordingly.

31 October 1942.

At 1200L/31, Task Force 44 was in position 17°22'S, 153°01'E, course 170°, speed of advance 15 knots.

1 November 1942.

At 0645L/1, a B 17 bomber arrived to take photographs of the Task Force.

At 1200L/1, Task Force 44 was in position 22°55'S, 154°55'E, course 130°, speed of advance 14 knots.

2 November 1942.

At 1115/2, Task Force 44 entered to north-west swept channel to Moreton Bay. They arrived at Brisbane in the second half of the afternoon. (6)

6 Nov 1942
Task Force 44, made up of the light cruisers HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), USS Phoenix (Capt. J.R. Redman, USN) and the destroyers USS Bagley (T/Cdr. G.A. Sinclair, USN), USS Mugford (T/Cdr. E.W. Young, USN), USS Henley (T/Cdr. E.K. van Swearingen, USN) and USS Patterson (T/Cdr. W.C. Schultz, USN) conducted gunnery followed night exercises in the Brisbane area. They returned to Moreton Bay the following morning.

USS Bagley and USS Patterson had parted company around 1545L/6 for escort duties. These destroyers therefore did not participate in the night exercises. (7)

11 Nov 1942
Around 2200L/11, Task Force 44, made up of the light cruisers HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), USS Phoenix (Capt. J.R. Redman, USN) and the destroyers USS Bagley (T/Cdr. G.A. Sinclair, USN), USS Mugford (T/Cdr. E.W. Young, USN) and USS Patterson (T/Cdr. W.C. Schultz, USN) departed Moreton Bay for Cid Harbour. (6)

13 Nov 1942
Around 1200L/13, Task Force 44, made up of the light cruisers HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), USS Phoenix (Capt. J.R. Redman, USN) and the destroyers USS Bagley (T/Cdr. G.A. Sinclair, USN), USS Mugford (T/Cdr. E.W. Young, USN) and USS Patterson (T/Cdr. W.C. Schultz, USN) arrived at Cid Harbour.

Around 1400L/13, the destroyer USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN, commanding Destroyer Squadron 4 on board) joined.

Around 1530L/13, the destroyer USS Helm (T/Cdr. C.E. Carroll, USN) joined.

The following day Task Force 44 fuelled from the chartered tanker Aase Maersk (British, 6184 GRT, built 1930) after she had arrived from Brisbane escorted by HMAS Geelong (A/Lt.Cdr. C.G. Hill, RANR(S)).

Around 1900L/14, the destroyer USS Henley (T/Cdr. E.K. van Swearingen, USN) joined. (6)

15 Nov 1942

Continued operations by Task Force 44 in the south-west Pacific / Milne Bay area.

15 November 1942.

At 1900L/15, Task Group 44.4, made up of the light cruiser USS Phoenix (Capt. J.R. Redman, USN) and the destroyers USS Helm (T/Cdr. C.E. Carroll, USN), USS Mugford (T/Cdr. E.W. Young, USN) and USS Patterson (T/Cdr. W.C. Schultz, USN) departed Cid Harbour to patrol in the area to the south of New Guinea. Rear-Admiral Crutchley had been ordered that half his force was to proceed on patrol to cover shipping movements in the New Guinea area. The other half of his force was to proceed to a forward reef anchorage.

16 November 1942.

At 1200L/16, Task Group 44.4, was in position 17°05'S, 146°06'E.

At 2100L/16, Task Group 44.6, made up of the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN) and the destroyers USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN, commanding Destroyer Squadron 4 on board), USS Bagley (T/Cdr. G.A. Sinclair, USN) and USS Henley (T/Cdr. E.K. van Swearingen, USN) departed Cid Harbour for Challenger Bay (Palm Islands).

17 November 1942.

At 0500L/17, when Task Group 44.6 was abreast Townsville, USS Bagley was detached to that place to land despatches and to embark mails. Also a sick rating was landed for hospitalisation.

At 0845L/17, Task Group 44.6 (minus USS Bagley, anchored in Challenger Bay which USS Bagley rejoining around 1325L/17. Task Group 44.6 kept at 2 hours notice for steam.

At 1200L/17, Task Group 44.4, was in position 12°30'S, 147°19'E.

18 November 1942.

At 0800L/18, the chartered tanker Aase Maersk (British, 6184 GRT, built 1930) arrived in Challenger Bay.

At 1200L/18, Task Group 44.4, was in position 13°30'S, 149°24'E.

Information was received that convoy movements in the New Guinea area were delayed

Japanese forces, made up of one cruiser and two destroyers were reported at Buna, New Guinea. 12 B-17 bombers attacked them and the cruiser and one destroyer were reported to have been sunk. [In fact three destroyers were at Buna, these were the Asashio, Kawakaze and Umikaze of which the last two were damaged.]

19 November 1942.

At 0800L/19, the supply ship Merkur (Australian, 5946 GRT, built 1924) arrived at Challenger Bay.

Task Group 44.6 then completed with fuel and provisions.

At 1200L/16, Task Group 44.4, was in position 13°24'S, 148°40'E.

20 November 1942.

At 0800L/20, the Aase Maersk departed Challenger Bay with 6294 tons of fuel remaining. She proceeded to Townsville to fuel Task Group 44.4 there.

At 1200L/20, Task Group 44.4, was in position 13°48'S, 147°48'E. USS Phoenix fuelled the three destroyers of her Task Group during the day.

21 November 1942.

At 0800L/20, the Merkur departed Challenger Bay for Townsville to supply Task Group 44.4 there.

At 1000L/20, Task Group 44.4 departed Challenger Bay to relieve Task Group 44.6 on patrol. Grafton Passage was cleared around 1900L/20.

At 1200L/21, Task Group 44.4, was in position 13°14'S, 147°57'E.

22 November 1942.

At 0915L/22, rendezvous was made between Task Groups 44.4 and 44.6 in approximate position 14°00'S, 148°00'E. Exercises were then carried out, despatches were exchanged by line and both groups then opened out for radar calibration.

At 1200L/22, Task Group 44.4 was detached to withdraw to the Palm Islands for fuel and stores. Task Group 44.6 commenced patrol. Noon position was 13°49'S. 148°29'E.

23 November 1942.

At 1200L/23, Task Group 44.6, was in position 14°35'S, 149°48'E.

Around 1330L, Task Group 44.4 arrived at Challenger Bay. USS Phoenix then fuelled USS Helm and USS Mugford while USS Phoenix and USS Patterson fuelled from the Aase Maersk which had returned to Challenger Bay as did the Merkur.

USS Phoenix sent two of her floatplanes to Townsville with despatches.

24 November 1942.

At 0140L/24, USS Phoenix completed fuelling from the Aase Maersk.

At 0800L/24, the Aase Maersk departed Challenger Bay for Townsville.

Around 0815L/24, USS Bagley parted company with Task Group 44.6 to transmit a signal near Osprey Reef. She rejoined Task Group 44.6 around 1910L/24.

At 0915L/24, USS Patterson departed Challenger Bay for Townsville to transport two hospital cases there.

At 1200L/24, Task Group 44.6, was in position 14°10'S, 150°09'E.

25 November 1942.

At 1200L/25, Task Group 44.6, was in position 14°45'S, 149°48'E.

At 1755L/25, USS Patterson returned to Challenger Bay from Townsville.

26 November 1942.

At 0850L/26, HMAS Hobart commenced fuelling USS Bagley for a little over an hour. Apparently the destroyer was a bit short of fuel.

At 1200L/26, Task Group 44.6, was in position 14°24'S, 150°38'E.

At 1740L/26, the minesweeper HMAS Colac (T/Lt.Cdr. S.B. Komoll, RANR(S)) arrived at Challenger Bay with mails for the ships of the Task Group.

27 November 1942.

At 1000L/27, the Merkur departed Challenger Bay for Townsville.

At 1100L/27, Task Group 44.4 departed Challenger Bay to relieve Task Group 44.6 on patrol.

At 1200L/27, Task Group 44.6, was in position 14°02'S, 149°35'E.

Around 1915L/27, Task Group 44.4 cleared the Grafton Passage.

28 November 1942.

Around 0915L/27, rendezvous was made between Task Groups 44.4 and 44.6 in approximate position 14°00'S, 148°00'E. Exercises were then carried out, despatches were exchanged by line.

At 1200L/28, Task Group 44.6 was detached to withdraw to the Palm Islands for fuel and stores. Task Group 44.4 commenced patrol. Noon position was 13°51'S. 148°31'E.

29 November 1942.

Around 0700L/29, Task Group 44.6 entered the Grafton Passage. USS Bagley was then detached to proceed to Townsville to land mails and hospital cases.

At 1200L/29, Task Group 44.4, was in position 13°25'S, 148°58'E.

At 1430L/29, Task Group 44.6 arrived at Challenger Bay where the Aase Maersk and Merkur had also arrived and fuelling and provisioning was commenced. This was completed the following morning.

30 November 1942.

At 1200L/29, Task Group 44.4, was in position 13°34'S, 148°46'E.

Around 1515L/30, USS Bagley arrived at Challenger Bay from Townsville to rejoin Task Group 44.6.

At 1700L/30, the Aase Maersk departed Challenger Bay for Townsville with 2059 tons of fuel still on board.

1 December 1942.

At 1200L/1, Task Group 44.4, was in position 13°53'S, 149°08'E.

Around 1300L/1, the Merkur departed Challenger Bay for Townsville.

2 December 1942.

At 1200L/29, Task Group 44.4, was in position 14°35'S, 148°32'E.

3 December 1942.

Shortly before noon the Merkur and the tanker USS Victoria (Lt.Cdr. J.G. Olsen, USNR) arrived at Challenger Bay from Townsville.

At 1200L/3, Task Group 44.4, was in position 14°05'S, 149°30'E.

Around 1600L/3, the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Challenger Bay from Sydney (via Brisbane). Rear-Admiral Crutchley then transferred his flag from HMAS Hobart to HMAS Australia.

4 December 1942.

At 0815L/4, USS Henley departed Challenger Bay for escort duties.

At 0930L/4, Task Group 44.6, now made up of HMAS Hobart, USS Selfridge and USS Bagley departed Challenger Bay to relieve Task Group 44.4 on the Coral Sea patrol. While clear off Challenger Bay, HMAS Hobart conducted refuelling at sea trials with USS Victoria.

At 1200L/4, Task Group 44.4, was in position 13°33'S, 148°57'E.

Around 1915L/4, Task Group 44.6 cleared the Grafton passage and commenced patrol.

During the day the Merkur departed Challenger Bay for Townsville and then onwards to Brisbane.

5 December 1942.

Around 0900L/5, Task Group 44.4 entered the Grafton Passage.

At 1200L/5, Task Group 44.6, was in position 14°42'S, 149°57'E.

Around 1700L/5, Task Group 44.4 arrived at Challenger Bay, Palm Island.

Around 2200L/5, USS Phoenix and USS Mugford departed Challenger Bay for Sydney for overhaul and give leave.

The following temporary Task Force organisation came into effect on the 5th;
Task Group 44.3 was made up of HMAS Australia, USS Helm, USS Henley and USS Patterson.
Task Group 44.5 was made up of HMAS Hobart, USS Selfridge and USS Bagley.

6 December 1942.

At 1200L/6, Task Group 44.5 (former Task Group 44.6), was in position 14°26'S, 149°25'E.

7 December 1942.

At 1200L/7, Task Group 44.5, was in position 14°07'S. 148°28'E.

8 December 1942.

At 1200L/8, Task Group 44.5, was in position 14°21'S, 149°38'E.

9 December 1942.

At 1200L/9, Task Group 44.5, was in position 13°54'S, 149°00'E.

Around 2359L/9, USS Bagley was detached from Task Group 44.5 for escort duties.

10 December 1942.

Around 0830L/10, USS Henley arrived at Challenger Bay where she fuelled from USS Victoria. Commander E.W. Young, USN then hoisted his pennant as Commander Destroyer Division Seven on board USS Henley.

At 1145L/10, Task Group 44.3 departed Challenger Bay. While clear off Challenger Bay, HMAS Australia conducted refuelling at sea trials with USS Victoria.

At 1200L/10, Task Group 44.5, was in position 13°39'S, 148°34'E.

11 December 1942.

Around 0930L/11, Task Groups 44.3 and 44.5 made rendezvous with each other and exercises were then commenced.

Around 1020L/11, USS Bagley rejoined Task Group 44.5 having returned from escort duties.

Around 1500L/11, the Task Groups parted company. Radar calibration test were then carried out. Task Group 44.3 took over the patrol in the Coral Sea while Task Group 44.5 set course for the Dunk Island anchorage where the ships of this task group were to fuel and resupply.

Also on this day the Merkur departed Brisbane escorted by the minesweeper HMAS Goulburn (Lt.Cdr. B. Paul, RANR(S)). USS Victoria departed Townsville for Dunk Island.

12 December 1942.

At 0745L/12, Task Group 44.5 entered the Grafton Passage.

At 0900L/12, USS Selfridge parted company with Task Group 44.5 to proceed to Cairns.

At 1200L/12, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°22'S, 149°27'E.

Around 1300L/12, Task Group 44.5, minus USS Selfridge, arrived at Dunk Island where the ships were fuelled by USS Victoria.

At 1715L/12, USS Selfridge arrived at Dunk Island from a short call at Cairns.

Today it was noted that Japanese air reconnaissance reached further into the Coral Sea presumable to search for Allied aircraft carriers. Seems that an operation in the New Guinea area might be on shortly.

13 December 1942.

At 1200L/13, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°27'S, 149°14'E.

Around 1300L/13, Allied reconnaissance aircraft reported two Japanese cruisers and three destroyers about 200 miles north-west of Vitiaz Strait and proceeding south-east at high speed. This was obviously a force with reinforcements for the New Guinea area. The enemy force was successfully shadowed and tracked all day but attacks by Allied bombers were apparently unsuccessful. [The force reported was actually made up of five destroyers; Yugumo, Kazagumo, Arashio, Inazuma and Isonami.

14 December 1942.

The reported enemy force had landed troops near Gona, New Guinea during the night. The force was again tracked by Allied reconnaissance aircraft from daylight onwards. They were proceeding at high speed towards Rabaul. Bombing attacks were again unsuccessful.

At 0630L/14, USS Patterson completed with fuel from HMAS Australia.

At 1200L/14, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°28'S, 148°47'E.

At 1800L/14, USS Patterson parted company with Task Group 44.5 for Cairns and subsequent escort duty.

On this day the Merkur arrived at Townsville where she embarked mails for Task Force 44. She departed for Dunk Island later the same day.

During the day, Japanese reconnaissance in the Coral Sea came as far south as 14°S.

15 December 1942.

At 1200L/15, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°33'S, 149°31'E.

16 December 1942.

At 0700L/16, USS Bagley departed Dunk Island with mails for Cairns.

At 1200L/16, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°23'S, 149°47'E.

At 1340L/16, Task Group 44.5, minus USS Bagley, departed Dunk Island to make rendezvous with Task Group 44.3.

Around 1730L/16, USS Bagley rejoined Task Group 44.5 with mails from Cairns.

17 December 1942.

Around 0930L/17, Task Groups 44.3 and 44.5 made rendezvous. Exercises were then commenced.

Around 1500L/17, Task Group 44.3 and 44.5 parted company with the former setting course for Dunk Island while Task Group 44.5 took over the Coral Sea patrol.

18 December 1942.

Around 1200L/18, Task Group 44.3 reached Dunk Island where the destroyers were fully fuelled by USS Victoria. HMAS Australia also fuelled from the tanker but was still 600 tons short when the tanker was empty. Provisions were supplied by the Merkur.

At 1200L/18, Task Group 44.5, was in position 14°06'S, 149°04'E.

Around 1530L/18, USS Patterson arrived at Dunk Island from escort duties. She then rejoined Task Group 44.3.

19 December 1942.

At 1130L/19, USS Victoria departed Dunk Island for Brisbane, via Townsville.

At 1200L/19, Task Group 44.5, was in position 14°10'S, 149°32'E.

During the day Japanese air reconnaissace even proceeded further to the south. An aircraft was tracked as far as latitude 16°S in longtitude 153°E.

Also on this day the Aase Maersk arrived at Townsville where she embarked mails. She then departed for Dunk Island.

20 December 1942.

At 0800L/20, the Aase Maersk arrived at Dunk Island.

At 1200L/20, Task Group 44.5, was in position 13°30'S, 148°23'E.

21 December 1942.

At 1030L/21, the supply ship Yunnan (British, 2812 GRT, built 1934) arrived at Dunk Island with provisions for Task Group 44.3.

At 1200L/21, Task Group 44.5, was in position 14°00'S, 149°24'E.

At 1800L/21, the Yunnan departed Dunk Island for Townsville.

At 2000L/21, the Merkur departed Dunk Island for Townsville.

22 December 1942.

At 0630L/22, USS Mugford arrived at Palm Island following her overhaul at Sydney.

At 0800L/22, USS Patterson then left Dunk Island for Sydney for overhaul.

During the forenoon, HMAS Australia and USS Mugford completed with fuel from the Aase Maersk.

At 1200L/22, Task Group 44.5, was in position 14°18'S, 150°17'E.

At 1400L/22, Task Group 44.3, now made up of HMAS Australia, USS Henley, USS Mugford and USS Helm departed Dunk Island for patrol. USS Mugford however developed engine problems and had to be left behind for repairs. She sailed a few hours later to overtake and join Task Group 44.3 the following morning.

23 December 1942.

At 0915L/23, USS Mugford rejoined Task Group 44.3. Task Force 44.5 was sighted by Task Group 44.3 around the same time.

At 1000L/23, Both task groups commenced exercises.

At 1640L/23, the exercises were completed. Task Group 44.3 proceeded on patrol while Task Group 44.5 set course for Challenger Bay.

24 December 1942.

At 0740L/24, Task Force 44.5 entered the Grafton Passage. They were clear 40 minutes later.

Around 0900L/24, USS Bagley parted company with Task Force 44.5 to proceed to Townsville for mails and to land hospital cases.

At 1200L/24, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°35'S, 148°57'E.

Around 1515L/24, Task Force 44.5 arrived in Challenger Bay where the ships commenced fuelling from the Aase Maersk and embarking stores from the Merkur.

Around 1940L/24, USS Bagley arrived at Challenger Bay from Townsville.

25 December 1942.

At 1200L/25, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°34'S, 149°05'E.

26 December 1942.

At 1200L/26, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°24'S, 149°09'E.

Around 1800L/26, USS Mugford parted company with Task Group 44.3 and set course for Brisbane where she is to conduct exercises.

27 December 1942.

At 1200L/27, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°14'S, 148°56'E.

28 December 1942.

At 0950L/28, Task Force 44.5 departed Challenger Bay to make rendezvous with Task Force 44.3.

At 1200L/28, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°04'S, 148°56'E.

29 December 1942.

Around 1000L/29, Task Groups 44.3 and 44.5 met in approximate position 14°S, 148°'E. Exercises were then commenced.

At 1415L/29, the Task Groups parted company with Task Group 44.3 setting course for the Palm Islands while Task Group 44.5 took over the Coral Sea patrol.

As of 29 December 1942, Task Force 44 was orginised as follows;
Task Group 44.3 made up of the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia and the destroyers USS Henley and USS Helm.
Task Group 44.5 made up of the light cruiser HMAS Hobart and the destroyers USS Selfridge and USS Bagley.
Task Group 44.7 made up of the light cruiser USS Phoenix and the destroyers USS Mugford and USS Ralph Talbot (T/Cdr. J.W. Callahan, USN).

30 December 1942.

Around 0830L/30, Task Group 44.3 entered the Grafton Passage.

At 1200L/30, Task Group 44.5, was in position 14°03'S, 149°25'E.

Around 1530L/30, Task Group 44.3 arrived at Challenger Bay, Palm Islands to embark fuel and stores from the Aase Maersk and Merkur.

31 December 1942.

At 1200L/31, Task Group 44.5, was in position 14°21'S, 149°21'E.

1 January 1943.

During the morning HMAS Hobart fuelled USS Bagley and USS Selfridge.

At 1200L/1, Task Group 44.5, was in position 14°07'S, 149°15'E.

2 January 1943.

At 0740L/2, USS Henley departed Challenger Bay, Palm Islands for Townsville with mails where she arrived around 1400L/2.

At 1200L/2, Task Group 44.5, was in position 14°12'S, 150°03'E.

3 January 1943.

Around 0730L/3, USS Henley departed Townsville with mails for Task Force 44. She arrived at Challenger Bay around 0930L/3.

Around 1015L/3, Task Group 44.3 departed Challenger Bay to make rendezvous with Task Group 44.5.

At 1200L/3, Task Group 44.5, was in position 14°01'S, 150°16'E.

4 January 1943.

Around 0900L/4, Task Groups 44.3 and 44.5 made rendezvous. Mails were then transferred by USS Henley.

Around 1005L/5, USS Bagley parted company with Task Group 44.5 to proceed to Sydney for upkeep.

Around 1230L/4, the Task Groups parted company with Task Group 44.3 proceeding on patrol while Task Group 44.5 set course for Cid Harbour.

5 January 1943.

At 0920L/5, Task Group 44.5 (HMAS Hobart and USS Selfridge) entered the Grafton Passage.

At 1200L/5, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°26'S, 149°37'E.

6 January 1943.

Around 0700L/6, Task Group 44.5 (minus USS Bagley arrived at Cid Harbour.

Around 0930L/6, Task Group 44.7 (minus USS Ralph Talbot) arrived at Cid Harbour.

Around 1005L/6, the chartered tanker Aase Maersk arrived at Cid Harbour to supply ships of Task Groups 44.5 and 44.7 with fuel.

At 1200L/6, Task Group 44.3, was in position 13°22'S, 147°05'E.

7 January 1943.

Around 0650L/7, the Aase Maersk departed Cid Harbour for Townsville.

Around 0945L/7, USS Selfridge departed Cid Harbour for Townsville where she was to be provisioned.

At 1200L/7, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°01'S, 148°11'E.

Around 1345L/7, HMAS Hobart departed Cid Harbour for Brisbane.

On this day the organisation of Task Force 44 changed.
Task Force 44.5 was disbanded.
Task Group 44.3 was made up of the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia and the destroyers USS Henley and USS Helm.
Task Group 44.5 was made up of the light cruiser USS Phoenix and the destroyers USS Selfridge and USS Mugford. (6)

30 Dec 1942
The light cruiser USS Phoenix (Capt. J.R. Redman, USN) and the destroyers HMAS Warramunga (Cdr. E.F.V. Dechaineux, DSC, RAN) and HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. C.J. Stephenson, RAN) departed Sydney for Brisbane. En-route exercises were to be carried out. (8)

31 Dec 1942
The light cruiser USS Phoenix (Capt. J.R. Redman, USN) and the destroyers HMAS Warramunga (Cdr. E.F.V. Dechaineux, DSC, RAN) and HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. C.J. Stephenson, RAN) arrived in Moreton Bay. (8)

31 Jan 1943
Around 0715L/31, Task Group 44.5, made up of the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and the destroyer USS Patterson (T/Cdr. W.C. Schultz, USN) departed Challenger Bay, Palm Islands.

Around the same time, Task Group 44.7, made up of the light cruiser USS Phoenix (Capt. J.R. Redman, USN) and the destroyers USS Helm (T/Cdr. C.E. Carroll, USN) and USS Mugford (T/Cdr. H.G. Corey, USN) departed Dunk Island.

The two Task Groups made rendezvous around 0930L/31 and exercises were commenced.

Exercises were completed by noon and then Task Group 44.5 set course for Dunk Island while Task Group 44.7 set course for Challenger Bay, Palm Islands.

Both Task Groups arrived at their destinations later the same afternoon. (9)

6 Feb 1943
Around 0650L/6, Task Group 44.5, made up of the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and the destroyer USS Patterson (T/Cdr. W.C. Schultz, USN) departed Dunk Island.

Around 0700L/6, Task Group 44.7, made up of the light cruiser USS Phoenix (Capt. J.R. Redman, USN) and the destroyers USS Mugford (T/Cdr. H.G. Corey, USN) and USS Ralph Talbot (T/Cdr. J.W. Callahan, USN) departed Dunk Island.

Around 0900L/6, the two Task Groups met and exercises were commenced.

On completion of the exercises around 1230L/6, Task Group 44.5 set course for Challenger Bay, Palm Islands while Task Group 44.7 set course for Dunk Island.

Around 1330L/6, Task Group 44.5 was joined by USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN, commanding Destroyer Squadron 4 on board).

Around 1400L/6, Task Group 44.5 arrived at Challenger Bay.

Around 1530L/6, Task Group 44.7 anchored off Dunk Island. (10)

10 Feb 1943
As of 10 February 1943, the organisation of Task Groups 44.5 and 44.7 was as follows;
Task Group 44.5 was made up of the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and the destroyers USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN, commanding Destroyer Squadron 4 on board) and USS Ralph Talbot (T/Cdr. J.W. Callahan, USN).
Task Group 44.7 was made up of the light cruiser USS Phoenix (Capt. J.R. Redman, USN) and the destroyers USS Mugford (T/Cdr. H.G. Corey, USN) and USS Patterson (T/Cdr. W.C. Schultz, USN).

Around 1250L/10, Task Groups 44.5 and 44.7 departed Challenger Bay for exercises from which they returned around 1910L/10. (10)

15 Feb 1943
Around 0200L/15, Task Group 44.7, made up of the light cruiser USS Phoenix (Capt. J.R. Redman, USN) and the destroyers USS Mugford (T/Cdr. H.G. Corey, USN) and USS Patterson (T/Cdr. W.C. Schultz, USN) departed Challenger Bay.

They were followed around 0320L/15 by Task Group 44.5, made up of the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and the destroyers USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN, commanding Destroyer Squadron 4 on board) and USS Ralph Talbot (T/Cdr. J.W. Callahan, USN) also departed.

Around 0445L/15, night encounter exercises commenced between these two Task Groups. The exercises were completed around 0530L/15.

Around 0600L/15, the destroyers commenced conducting dawn torpedo attacks on the cruisers. These were followed by further exercises.

Around 0930L/15, the two Task Groups parted company.

Around 1150L/15, Task Group 44.5 anchored off Dunk Island.

Around 1945L/15, Task Group 44.7 anchored in Kennedy Sound for the night. They got underway again around 0700L/16.

Task Group 44.7 arrived at Brisbane around 1500L/17. (10)

9 Mar 1943
Around 0800L/9, the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, MVO, DSO, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), light cruisers HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN), USS Phoenix (Capt. J.R. Redman, USN) and the destroyers USS Bagley (T/Cdr. T.E. Chambers, USN), USS Mugford (T/Cdr. H.G. Corey, USN) and USS Ralph Talbot (T/Cdr. J.W. Callahan, USN) departed Dunk Island for exercises.

On completion of the exercises they proceeded to Challenger Bay where they arrived between 1230 and 1300 hours. (11)

17 Mar 1943
Around 1505L/17, the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, MVO, DSO, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), light cruisers HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and USS Phoenix (Capt. J.R. Redman, USN) departed Challenger Bay, Palm Islands for exercises.

Around 1845L/17, the destroyers USS Mugford (T/Cdr. H.G. Corey, USN), USS Bagley (T/Cdr. T.E. Chambers, USN), USS Helm (T/Cdr. W.B. Braun, USN), USS Henley (T/Cdr. E.K. van Swearingen, USN) and USS Patterson (T/Cdr. W.C. Schultz, USN) departed Challenger Bay to join the exercises.

Exercises continued until the following day and also included underway refuelling exercises with the tanker USS Victoria (Lt.Cdr. J.G. Olsen, USNR).

On completion of the exercises all ships, which was since 15 March 1943 known as Task Force 74, arrived at Dunk Island in the afternoon of 18 March 1943. (12)

24 Mar 1945

Landings off Cebu, as part of operation Victor II.

Around 0700I/24, Task Group 74.3 departed Subic Bay for operations. It was made up of the following units;
Task Unit 74.3.1 was made up of the light cruiser USS Phoenix (T/Capt. J.H. Duncan, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.S. Berkey, USN) and the destroyers USS Nicholas (T/Cdr. D.C. Lyndon, USN, with COMDESRON 21, T/Capt. J.K.B. Ginder, USN on board) and USS O'Bannon (T/Lt.Cdr. J.A. Pridmore, USN).
Task Unit 74.3.2 was made up of the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.S. Dowling, RAN) and the destroyers USS Abbot (T/Lt.Cdr. F.W. Ingling, USN) and USS Taylor (T/Lt.Cdr. H.H. de Laureal, USN).
Task Unit 74.3.3 was made up of the light cruiser USS Boise (T/Capt. W.M. Downes, USN) and the destroyer USS Fletcher (T/Lt.Cdr. R.R. Green, USN) and USS Jenkins (T/Cdr. P.D. Gallery, USN).

Around 1645I/24, Task Unit 74.3.3 parted company to proceed to Mangarin Bay, Mindoro where they were to remain in reserve.

At 1530I/25, the Attack Force (see below) was joined by the patrol vessel PCE(R)-850 (Lt. J.C. Mallien, USNR) which had on board members of the 8th Army staff. She came from Panay Gulf.

Around 1600I/25, off the southern point of Negros Island, the destroyer HMAS Warramunga (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, DSC and Bar, RN) joined Task Units 74.3.1 and 74.3.2. She had on board maps for the naval bombardments which were then distributed.

Around 2100I/25, they made rendezvous with the Attack Force to the north-west of Siquijor Island. They then proceeded up Bohol Strait to make for the landing beaches to the south of Cebu City. Task Force 74 was stationed 10 miles ahead of the Attack Force.

The Attack Force (Task Group 78.2) had departed Leyte around 1800I/24 and comprise the following units;
Task Unit 78.2.1 was the headquarters (Communications Command) ship USCGC Spencer (Cdr. J.R. Hinnant, USCG, with the overall commander T/Capt. A.T. Sprague, USN on board).
Task Unit 78.2.2 were the fast transports USS Lloyd (Lt.Cdr. W.R. Taylor, USNR, with T/Cdr, Wm.S. Parsons, USN, Commanding Officer COMTRANSDIV 103, on board), USS Newman (Lt.Cdr. R.I. Thieme, USNR), USS Kephart (Cdr. I.H. Cammarn, USNR) and USS Cofer (Lt. H.C. McClees, USNR).
Task Unit 78.2.3 was the LCI unit which was made up of the following LCI(L)'s; USS LCI(L)-972 (Lt. L.B. Brown, USNR, with COMLCI(L)FLOT 15, T/Cdr. W.V. Deutermann, USN on board), USS LCI(L)-607 (Lt. C.V. Fox, USNR), USS LCI(L)-609 (Lt. K.N. Krecke, USNR), USS LCI(L)-613 (Lt. E.E. Kern, USNR), USS LCI(L)-683 (Lt.(jg) B.H. Keppel, USNR), USS LCI(L)-685 (Lt. P.T. O'Hare, USNR), USS LCI(L)-686 (Lt.(jg) B.H. Keppel, USNR), USS LCI(L)-963 (Lt. W.A. Tomb, Jr., USNR), USS LCI(L)-965 (Lt. A.T. Wellman, USNR), USS LCI(L)-966 (Lt.(jg) R.E. Dein, USNR), USS LCI(L)-970 (Lt. W.A. Moore, Jr., USNR), USS LCI(L)-976 (Lt. W.C. Lawton, USNR), USS LCI(L)-977 (Lt. J.T. Morgan, Jr., USNR), USS LCI(L)-978 (Lt.(jg.) L.B. Huckabee, USNR), USS LCI(L)-980 (Lt.(jg.) K.R. Hopkins, USNR) and USS LCI(L)-984 (Lt.(jg) F.J. Keller, USNR).
Task Unit 78.2.4 was the LSM unit which was made up of the following LSM's; USS LSM-168 (Lt. R. Whelan, USNR, with COMLSMGR 24, T/Lt.Cdr. G.F. Baker, USN on board), USS LSM-35 (Lt. J.M. Burke, USNR), USS LSM-50 (Lt. J.C. Rogers, USNR), USS LSM-150 (Lt. G.B. McCauley, USNR), USS LSM-151 (Lt. W.H. Fitzgerald, USNR), USS LSM-219 (Lt. H. Burns, USNR), USS LSM-225 (Ens. F.C. Sheppard, USNR), USS LSM-237 (Lt. J.L. Poole, USNR), USS LSM-268 (Lt. N. Steinberg, USNR), USS LSM-316 (Lt. W.F. Ney, USNR) and USS LSM-317 (Lt. W.J. Ayres, USNR).
Task Unit 78.2.5 was the LST unit which was made up of the following LST's; USS LST-640 (Lt. F.P. McKenney, Jr., USNR, with COMLSTFLOT 24, T/Capt. H.B. Hudson, USN on board), USS LST-18 (Lt. F.C. Merriam, USCGR), USS LST-171 (Lt. R.L. McGirl, USNR), USS LST-181 (Lt.(jg) C.V. Lynch, USNR), USS LST-454 (Lt. D.J. Morrison, USNR), USS LST-457 (Lt. W.W. Hacker, USNR), USS LST-560 (Lt. H.T. Holsapple, USNR), USS LST-595 (Lt. A.C. Jackson, USNR), USS LST-619 (Lt. J.M. Brennan, USNR), USS LST-638 (Lt. F. Data, USN), USS LST-709 (Lt. G.P. Cruikshank, USNR), USS LST-777 (Lt. W.F. Lagotic, USN), USS LST-922 (Lt. R.A. Stallings, USN). It also included three LCT's, USS LCT-747 (?), USS LCT-830 (?) and USS LCT-1296 (?).
Task Unit 78.2.51 was the LST tractor unit which was made up of the following LST's; USS LST-597 (Lt. W.H. Loving, USNR, with COMLSTGR 70, T/Cdr. D.P. Stickley, USN on board), USS LST-467 (Lt. M.B. Taylor, USN), USS LST-941 (Lt. L.M. Edwards, USN) and USS LST-1035 (Lt. M. Perry, USN).
Task Unit 78.2.6 was the support unit; it was made up of the following LCI(R)'s; USS LCI(R)-230 (Lt.(jg) R.M. Prestidge, USNR, with T/Cdr. D.H. Day, USN on board), USS LCI(R)-225 (Lt.(jg) A.F. McCormick, USN), USS LCI(R)-340 (Lt.(jg) J.O. Luby, USN), USS LCI(R)-341 (Lt. E.W. Slavik, USNR), USS LCI(R)-342 (Lt.(jg) J.A. Hynes, USNR) and the following LCS(L)'s; USS LCS(L)-30 (Lt. C.H. Sanders, USNR, with COMLCS(L)GR 1, Lt.Cdr. W.F. Hunt, USNR on board), USS LCS(L)-28 (Lt. R.H. Bost, USNR), USS LCS(L)-29 (Lt. J.F. McNamara, USNR) and USS LCS(L)-50 (Lt. B.T. Clark, USNR).
Task Unit 78.2.7 was the control unit and was made up of the following patrol vessels; USS PC-1134 (Lt. O.A. Barge, Jr., USNR with Cdr. A.J. Petersen, USNR on board) and USS PC-1133 (Lt. H.G. Wheelock, USNR).
Task Unit 78.2.8 was the screen and was made up of the following destroyers; USS Flusser (T/Lt.Cdr. K.G. Robinson, USN with COMDESRON 5, T/Capt. F.D. McCorkle, USN on board), USS Shaw (T/Lt.Cdr. V.B. Graff, USN), USS Conyngham (T/Lt.Cdr. F.W. Bampton, USN), USS Drayton (T/Lt.Cdr. V.A. Dybdal, USN) and USS Smith (T/Lt.Cdr. E.H. Huff, USN).
Task Unit 78.2.9 was the minesweeping unit and was made up of the following YMS's; USS YMS-68 (Lt. G.L. O'Neil, USNR, he was also commanding the minesweeping group), USS YMS-9 (Lt. B.F. Hildes, USNR), USS YMS-46 (Lt.(jg) C.W. Lorer, USNR), USS YMS-52 (Lt.(jg) R.J. Ball, USNR), USS YMS-313 (Lt.(jg) W.H. Reibold, USNR), USS YMS-339 (Lt.(jg) M.E. Fitzgerald, USNR), USS YMS-340 (Lt. P. Schminke, USNR) and USS YMS-481 (Lt.(jg) T.D. Anglin, USNR).
Task Unit 78.2.10 was the beach party made up of Beach Party No. 5.
Task Unit 78.2.11 was the demolition party and was made up of the USS LCI(D)-228 (Lt.(jg) R.W. Kearns, USNR).
Task Unit 78.2.12 was the salvage and service unit and was made up of the tug USS ATA-179 (Lt.(jg) T.C. McClaren, USNR).

At 0538I/26, Task Units 74.3.1 and 73.3.2 were ordered to act independently and take assigned stations to cover minesweeping units. HMAS Warramunga was ordered to patrol in the Hilutungan Channel.

At 0700I/26, USS Phoenix and HMAS Hobart opened the bombardment. For spotting duties two aircraft had been launched by USS Phoenix, one to spot her own gunfire and the other to spot for HMAS Hobart.

Between 0740I/26 and 0750I/26, USS O'Bannon, USS Nicholas, USS Taylor and USS Abbot all join in on bombardment duties.

The bombardment was ceased around at 0825I/26.

At the same time the bombardment started the Attack Force was in it's sheduled position and the command ' Deploy ' was executed. The approach began.

At 0716I/26, the Commander Minesweeping Unit reported that his operations were on schedule with negative results to that time.

Around 0745I/26, USS Spencer anchored in position. The Commander Minesweeping Unit reported completion of sweeping of area ' Orchestra ' with negative results. At 0750I/26, the LST unit carrying LVT's [LVT = Landing Vehicle, Tracked] anchored in position. The control officer reports the Control Vessels anchored in position at the line of departure. The Close Support Unit had gained station. LST's commenced launching LVT's and LCVP's [a type of landing craft]. All units were conforming to the shedule.

At 0815I/26, the first wave (LVT's) left the line of departure. Destroyer bombardment of the beach area ceased at 0822I/26, Close support fire by LCS's and LCI(R)'s began at 0820I/26. The first wave landed at 0828I/26 followed by the second wave (LVT's) at 0831I/26. At 0835I/26, the third wave (LCVP's) landed. At 0837I/26, the Commander Close Support Unit reported mortar fire on the left flank of the beach. The landing force reported the presence of large quantities of land mines on the beach from the hight water mark to the edge of the coconut grove back of the beach. The fourth and fifth waves (LCVP's) landed on shedule, followed by the sixg and seventh waves (LCM's). The artillery embarked in the latter unloaded without difficulty. Reports from the beach indicated that LVT's on the right flank had been able to cross the beach. Troops were working inland. No enemy opposition had developed. Land mines were being cleared. Wave eight (DUKW's) beached at 0910I/26 in time.

Beginning about 0900I/26, a continuous series of explosions took place in Cebu City and it was apparent that the Japanese were destroying the city. Strangely no explosions were noted in the dock area. Sporadic mortar fore landed on the beach, but all in one rather small section which was kept clear and no damage resulted. At 0912I/26, HMAS Hobart took a suspected mortar site under fire. At 0917I/26, the Air Observer reported seeing two enemy planes take off from Lahug air strip. The Combat Air Patrol could not find them. They were not picked up by radar and were not seen again and it is believed that the aircraft flew across the island at low altitude.

Wave 9 (LCI) was slightly delayed. The LCI's could not beach due to the submerged log boom obstacle that had not hampered earlier small craft. They were unloaded just off the beach by LCVP, LCM and LCT. Unloading was completed at 1030I/26. The UDT [Underwater Demolition Team] began the task of clearing the obstruction. The LCT's beached satisfactorily at 0930I/26 and unloaded.

LSM's were held up from beaching until the obstruction could be cleared. Pontoon sections were launched from LST's and towed to a position just off the beach. The high priority LST's were brought in and ramp to ramp unloading into LCT's got underway. At 1045I/26, the Beachmaster called in the first LSM. At 1100I/26, USS LSM 168 reported that he was unloading tanks without difficulty. However, it was apparent that the beach gradient would in general prevent the satisfactory beaching of LSM's and LST's for unloading. Not only was the gradient too low, but a small sand bar off the beach caused both types to ground aft with ramps in varying depths from 5 to 7 feet of water. For a limited with, LSM's could beach fairly well. They beached three at a time and unloaded throughout the day but slowly and with the assistance of bulldozers to haul out drowned vehicles.

At 1130I/26, one roadway had been cleared thru the beach mines ashore and two others were nearing completion. Vehicles were beginning to move across the beach. Ramp to ramp inloading was getting underway. At 1148I/26 mortar of 75mm fire bracketed the control lone and nearby LST's and the PC's and LST's were directed to move to seaward.

The first LST was called in and beached about 1300I/26 and work began immediately to rig a pontoon causeway ramp. Unloading commenced at 1435I/26. Inloading continued with no further enemy gunfire on the beach or unloading area.

At 1535I/26, USS Conyngham reported sighting a possibly periscope in the channel from Cebu Harbour. USS PC 1133 was ordered to investigate. At 1610I/26, USS Flusser and USS Conyngham opened fire on an object sighted in Cebu Harbour Channel. It was reported as the conning tower of a small submarine that broached apparently from running on a bar while submerged. Although straddled, actual hits could not be varified. The Task Group got underway immediately and cleared the harbour, formed cruising disposition and steamed in Bohol Strait for the night, returning to the anchorage at daylight on 27 March. USS PC 1134, USS PC 1133, USS Kephart, USS Newman and USS Cofer were directed to conduct a sonar searxh of the anchorage and vicinity. USS Flusser remained in the area available for fire support if needed. The Close Support Unit remained to screen beached ships against small craft attacks. At 1800I/26, sound search results had so far been negative and the two remaining loaded LSM's and two LST's returned and beached to be unloaded during the night. No positive results were obtained from the A/S search of the anchorage and lower harbour area, but at 0035I/27, USS Newman sighted a midget submarne on the surface in position 10°09'N, 123°51'E. USS Newman opened fire with automatic weapons at 100 yards scoring many hits, attempted to ram but the submarine submerged. Two patterns of depth charges were dropped, one with a shallow setting as ramming missed and second with deep settings. Sonar contact was not regained. There were no other enemy contacts during the night.

At 1700I/26, the Cruiser Covering Force was released and left the area. USS Phoenix, USS Nicholas, USS O'Bannon and USS Taylor set course for Mangarin Bay, Mindoro where they arrived around 1115I/27 where the fuelled and ammunitioned. They departed Mangarin Bay around 1900I/27 for Subic where they arrived around 1000I/28.

HMAS Hobart and HMAS Warramunga set course for Leyte where they were to fuel and ammunition and then proceed to Subic Bay afterwards. They arrived at Leyte (San Pedro Bay) around 0815L/27. They departed Leyte on the 28th and arrived at Subic Bay around 0800I/30.

At 1900I/26, USS Kephart was recalled from the A/S search. The first returning echolon was formed and was known as Task Unit 78.2.15. It was made up of USS Abbot, USS Kephart, USS LSM-168, USS LSM-35, USS LSM-219, USS LSM-150, USS LSM-316, USS LCI(L)-965, USS LCI(L)-980 and USS LCI(L)-984 was ordered to return to Leyte. USS LCI(L)-965, apparently disabled, was being towed by USS LSM-316. They arrived at Leyte on the 28th.

Ongoing minesweeping operations meanwhile all had negative results. Sweeping of the area south of Mactan Island and Cebu Harbour inside the 100 fathom curve to San Fernando was completed.

Upon arrival at the anchorage around 0730I/27, LST beached or commenced unloadinf in stream as directed by the Beachmaster. At 0945I/27, 4 LCI(L)'s were detached to Sibonga, Cebu with 600 guerilla troops. They were covered by an LCS and and LCI(R). This group returned around 1545I/27, mission accomplished. At 1500I/27, an Army detachment using LVT's landed on Cauit Island, covered by LCS's and LCI(R)'s. The minesweeping detachment swept Olango Channel with negative results. During the afternoon troops occupied Cebu City. The docks were reported as essentially undamaged.

At 1900I/27, the second return echolon, known as Task Unit 78.2.16, made up of USS Newman, USS Cofer, PC-1134, PC-1133, USS LST-560, USS LST-595, USS LST-597, USS LSM-50, USS LSM-151, USS LSM-225, USS LSM-237, USS LSM-268 and USS LSM-317 departed for Leyte where they arrived on the 29th.

At 1930I/27, a single unidentified enemy plane flew over the beach and anchorage area. Three or four bombs were dropped harmlessly. No radar warning was received due to the low altitude of the plane over the island, and the plane was not sighted until overhead. A smoke haze lay over the anchorage from fires in Cebu City that made visibility poor during the twilight period. There were no other enemy incidents during the night and the unloading of LST's continued.

On 28 March, unloading continued. Progress was such that it was estimated that it would be completed around 1500I/28. The minesweeping unit swept the southern approaches to Cebu Harbour, area ' Stagedoor ', to 15 feet with negative results. The Close Support Unit covered the northern advance of Army elements from Cebu towards Mandaue and also of one company landing on Mactan Island to secure it.

By 1500I/27, indeed all LST's were unloaded and by 1600I/27 the last returning echolon, Task Unit 78.2.17, was formed up to proceed to Leyte. It was made up of USS Flusser, USS Shaw, USS Drayton, USS Smith, USS PCE(R)-850, the remaining 13 LST's and 2 LCI(R)'s [identities unknown to us]. They arrived at Leyte on 29 March.

At 2320I/27, USS PCE(R)-850 parted company with Task Unit 78.2.17 to land the staff officers she had on board at Tolosa.

At 1800I/27, CTG 78.2 (in USS Spencer turned over command of the objective area to CTU 78.2.14 (COMLCIFLOT 15) and departed for Leyte escorted by USS Conyngham. At Cebu remained 11 LCI's, 4 LCS's, 3 LCI(R)'s, 3 LCT's and the 8 YMS minesweepers. (13)

6 Apr 1945
Around 0500I/6, Task Group 74.3.1., made up of the light cruisers USS Phoenix (T/Capt. J.H. Duncan, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.S. Berkey, USN), HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.S. Dowling, RAN) and the destroyers USS Nicholas (T/Cdr. D.C. Lyndon, USN, with COMDESRON 21, T/Capt. J.K.B. Ginder, USN on board), USS Fletcher (T/Lt.Cdr. R.R. Green, USN), USS Jenkins (T/Cdr. P.D. Gallery, USN), USS Taylor (T/Lt.Cdr. H.H. de Laureal, USN) and HMAS Warramunga (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, DSC and Bar, RN) departed Subic Bay for Manila Bay where they arrived around 0830I/6. (14)

7 Apr 1945
Around 1600I/7, Task Group 74.3.1., made up of the light cruisers USS Phoenix (T/Capt. J.H. Duncan, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.S. Berkey, USN), HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.S. Dowling, RAN) and the destroyers USS Nicholas (T/Cdr. D.C. Lyndon, USN, with COMDESRON 21, T/Capt. J.K.B. Ginder, USN on board), USS Fletcher (T/Lt.Cdr. R.R. Green, USN), USS Jenkins (T/Cdr. P.D. Gallery, USN), USS Taylor (T/Lt.Cdr. H.H. de Laureal, USN) and HMAS Warramunga (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, DSC and Bar, RN) departed Manila Bay for Subic Bay where they arrived around 1900I/7. (14)

10 Apr 1945
Around 0800I/10, Task Group 74.3, made up of the light cruisers USS Phoenix (T/Capt. J.H. Duncan, USN, flying the flag of COMCRUDIV 15, T/Rear-Admiral R.S. Berkey, USN), HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.S. Dowling, RAN) and the destroyers USS Nicholas (T/Cdr. D.C. Lyndon, USN, with COMDESRON 21, T/Capt. J.K.B. Ginder, USN on board), USS Fletcher (T/Lt.Cdr. R.R. Green, USN), USS Jenkins (T/Cdr. P.D. Gallery, USN), USS O'Bannon (T/Lt.Cdr. J.A. Pridmore, USN), USS Taylor (T/Lt.Cdr. H.H. de Laureal, USN) and HMAS Warramunga (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, DSC and Bar, RN) departed Subic Bay for exercises.

Around 1700I/10, Task Group 74.2, made up of the light cruisers USS Denver (Capt. T.F. Darden, Jr., USN, flying the flag of COMCRUDIV 21, T/Rear-Admiral R.S. Riggs, USN), USS Cleveland (T/Capt. H.G. Hopwood, USN), USS Montpelier (T/Capt. W.A. Gorry, USN) and the destroyers USS Conway (T/Cdr. J.H. Besson, Jr., USN, with COMDESDIV 44, T/Capt. S.G. Hooper, USN on board), USS Stevens (T/Cdr. G.W. Pressey, USN), USS Cony (T/Cdr. A.W. Moore, USN), USS Eaton (T/Cdr. C. Brown, USN), USS Young (T/Cdr. D.G. Dockum, USN) and USS Sigourney (T/Lt.Cdr. F. Hale, Jr., USN) joined the exercises until 2345I/10 when they parted company.

All ships of Task Group 74.3 returned to Subic Bay on 11 April. Some rather early in the day but some, which had continued with exercises arrived later in the day. (14)

1 May 1945

Operation Oboe I, Allied landings at Tarakan.

The Cruiser Covering Group and Fire Support Group (Rear-Admiral R.S. Berkey, USN), known as Task Group 74.3, was made up of the light cruisers USS Phoenix (T/Capt. J.H. Duncan, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.S. Berkey, USN), USS Boise (T/Capt. W.M. Downes, USN), HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.S. Dowling, RAN) and the destroyers USS Nicholas (T/Cdr. D.C. Lyndon, USN, with COMDESRON 21, T/Capt. J.K.B. Ginder, USN on board), USS Fletcher (T/Lt.Cdr. R.R. Green, USN), USS Jenkins (T/Cdr. P.D. Gallery, USN), USS O'Bannon (T/Lt.Cdr. J.A. Pridmore, USN), USS Taylor (T/Lt.Cdr. H.H. de Laureal, USN) and HMAS Warramunga (Cdr. M.J. Clark, DSC, RAN).

The Tarakan Attack Group (Rear-Admiral F.B. Royal, USN) was made up of the following units;
Task Group 78.1 was made up of the Amphibious Force Command Ship USS Rocky Mount (T/Capt. F.A. Hardesty, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral F.B. Royal, USN).
Task Group 70.1.9 was the MTB support unit, which was made up the Motor Torpedo Boat Tender USS Wachapreague (Lt.Cdr. H.A. Stewart, USNR, with COMMTBRON 36, Lt.Cdr. F.D. Tappaan, USNR on board) and the following Motor Torpedo Boats, MTBRON 9 made up of USS PT-156, USS PT-157, USS PT-159, USS PT-160, USS PT-161, USS PT-162, USS PT-187, USS PT-318 and USS PT-319 as well as MTBRON 36 made up of USS PT-522, USS PT-523, USS PT-524, USS PT-525, USS PT-526, USS PT-527, USS PT-528, USS PT-529, USS PT-530, USS PT-531 and USS PT-532. MTB RON 9 was to operate from Malamaui and MTB RON 36 was to operate from Tawi Tawi.
Task Group 78.1.11 was the transport unit made up of Landing Ships HMAS Manoora (A/Capt. A.P. Cousin, RANR(S)), HMAS Westralia (A/Cdr. E.W. Livingston, RANR(S)), Landing Ship Dock USS Rushmore (Lt.Cdr. E.A. Jansen, USNR) and the Attack Cargo Ship Titania (T/Cdr.(Retd.) M.W. Callahan, USN).
Task Group 78.1.12 was the LST unit, which was made up the following LST's; USS LST-466 (Lt. B.M. Bryant, Jr. USCG, with COMLSTFLOT 7, T/Capt. G.A. Sinclair, USN, on board), USS LST-67 (Lt. R.L. McGirl, USNR), USS LST-171 (Lt. M.B. Taylor, USNR), USS LST-467 (Lt. M.B. Taylor, USNR), USS LST-562 (Lt. F.P. Lawrence, USNR), USS LST-584 (Lt. D.B. Russell, USNR), USS LST-585 (Lt. A.P. Morse, USNR), USS LST-590 (Lt. B.J. Arnett, USN), USS LST-613 (Lt. H.P. Rollinck, USNR), USS LST-626 (Lt. M.J. Codoner, Jr., USNR), USS LST-637 (Lt. R.A. Vielhaber, USNR), USS LST-667 (Lt. W.S. Biernat, USN), USS LST-697 (Lt. J.E. Tanner, USNR), USS LST-711 (Lt. F.C. Huntley, USNR), USS LST-742 (Lt. W.W. Holmes, USNR), USS LST-743 (Lt. F.H. Emerick, USNR), USS LST-924 (Lt. L. Tinsley, USN), USS LST-993 (Lt. A.W. Bates, USNR), USS LST-1025 (Lt. C.L. Curfman, USNR), USS LST-1027 (Lt. P.J. Shropshire, Jr., USNR) and USS LST-1035 (Lt. M. Perry, USNR).
Task Group 78.1.13 was the LSI unit, which was made up the following LSI(L)'s; USS LCI(L)-624 (Lt. E.F. Harris, USNR, with COMLCIFLOT 24, Cdr. A.V. Jannotta, USNR, on board), USS LCI(L)-625 (Lt.(jg) C.E. Bole, USNR), USS LCI(L)-626 (Lt.(jg) L.H. Keckler, USNR), USS LCI(L)-634 (Lt.(jg) A. Gain, USNR), USS LCI(L)-655 (Lt.(jg) E. Kingdon Hurlock, USNR), USS LCI(L)-699 (Lt.(jg) P.B. Gates, USNR), USS LCI(L)-700 (Lt.(jg) J.E. Howe, USNR), USS LCI(L)-712 (), USS LCI(L)-1008 (Lt.(jg) R.I. Basch, USNR), USS LCI(L)-1025 (Lt.(jg) W.C. Kingsley, USNR), USS LCI(L)-1072 (Lt.(jg) M.B. Kirby, USNR) and USS LCI(L)-1076 (Lt.(jg) H.S. Fish, USNR).
Task Group 78.1.14 was the LSM unit, which was made up the following LSM's; USS LSM-269 (Lt. H.T. Turner, Jr., USNR, with COMLSMGR 19, T/Lt.Cdr. W.A. Burgett, USN, on board), USS LSM-151 (Lt. W.H. Fitzgerald, USNR), USS LSM-224 (Lt. D.B. Wrensch, USNR) and USS LSM-267 (Lt. R.F. Ruben, USNR).
Task Group 78.1.15 was the LCT unit, which was made up the following LCT's; USS LCT-1317 (With COMLCTgR 74, Lt. DeMoss, USNR on board), USS LCT-1310, USS LCT-1312, USS LCT-1314, USS LCT-1316, USS LCT-1319, USS LCT-1321, USS LCT-1323, USS LCT-1325, USS LCT-1327, USS LCT-1329 and USS LCT-1331. [LCT's were being towed to the landing area.]
Task Group 78.1.21 was the Screen, which was made up of the destroyers USS Waller (T/Cdr. H.leR. Thompson, Jr., USN), USS Philip (T/Cdr. J.B. Rutter, Jr., USN), USS Bailey (T/Lt.Cdr. A.F. Johnson, USN), USS Bancroft (T/Lt.Cdr. C.E. Pond, USN), USS Caldwell (Lt.Cdr. D.R. Robinson, USNR), USS Drayton (T/Lt.Cdr. V.A. Dybdal, USN), USS Smith (T/Lt.Cdr. E.H. Huff, USN). and the frigates HMAS Barcoo (A/Lt.Cdr. C.G. Hill, RANR(S)), HMAS Burdekin (Lt.Cdr. T.S. Marchington, RD, RANR(S)) and HMAS Hawkesbury (Lt.Cdr. H.J. Weston, RANR(S)).
Task Group 78.1.22 was the Destroyer Escort Unit, made up of the escort destroyers USS Formoe (T/Lt.Cdr. J.C. Spencer, USN) and USS Charles E. Brannon (Lt.Cdr. O.M. Shirey, Jr., USNR).
Task Group 78.1.3 was the Support Unit which was made up of the following units.
Task Group 78.1.31 was the LCS Unit and was made up of the following LCS's; USS LCS(L)-50 (Lt. B.T. Clark, USNR, with T/Cdr. D.H. Day, USN on board), USS LCS(L)-8 (?), USS LCS(L)-28 (Lt. R.H. Bost, USNR), USS LCS(L)-43 (Lt.(jg) E.A. Blakley, USNR), USS LCS(L)-44 (J.M. Leggat, USNR) and USS LCS(L)-48 (Lt. D.E. Widel, USNR).
Task Group 78.1.32 was the LCI(R) Unit and was made up of the following LCI(R)'s; USS LCI(R)-71, USS LCI(R)72, USS LCI(R)74 and USS LCI(R)338.
Task Group 78.1.33 was the LCI(M) Unit and was made up of the following LCI(M)'s; USS LCI(M)-359 (Ens. T.S. Adair, USNR) and USS LCI(M)-362 (Lt.(jg) R.W. Kearns, USNR).
Task Group 78.1.34 was the Demolition Unit and was made up of the following USS LCI(D)-29 (Lt. J.F. McNamara, USNR) and USS LCI(D)-228 (Lt.(jg) R.W. Kearns, USNR).
Task Group 78.1.41 was Control Unit Red and was made up of; USS PC-1120 (Lt. J.R. Goodrich, USNR) and USS LCI(L)-624 (this last was assigned to this unit for the assault only).
Task Group 78.1.42 was Control Unit Green and was made up of; USS SC-698 (?) and USS SC- 746 (?).
Task Group 78.1.5 was the minesweeping unit and was made up of the high speed transport USS Cofer (Lt. H.C. McClees, USNR) and the minesweepers (YMS's) USS YMS-51 (Lt.(jg) A.L. Giesenschlag, USNR), USS YMS-68 (Lt. G.L. O'Neil, USNR), USS YMS-73 (Lt. J.H. Frederick, USNR), USS YMS-313 (Lt.(jg) W.H. Reibold, USNR), USS YMS-314 (Lt.(jg) J.W. Easton, USNR), USS YMS-329 (Lt. W.L. Ballew, USNR), USS YMS-334 (Lt.(jg) P.G. Rafferty, USNR), USS YMS-340 (Lt. P. Schminke, USNR), USS YMS-363 (Lt. F.A. Struve, Jr., USNR), USS YMS-364 (Lt. C.K. Soper, USNR) and USS YMS-481 (Lt.(jg) t.D. Anglin, USNR). These were split up into four Task Groups; Task Unit 78.1.51 was made up of four of the YMS's, Task Unit 78.1.52 was also made up of four of the YMS's, Task Unit 78.1.53 was made up of three of the YMS's and Task Unit 78.1.54 was made up of the USS Cofer and four LCVP's.
Task Group 78.1.6 was the Service Unit, made up of Task Unit 78.1.61 (the Survey Unit) made up of the survey vessel (frigate) HMAS Lachlan (Lt.Cdr. G.D. Tancred, RAN, with Cdr. K.E. Oom, RAN on board) and the net tender USS Satinleaf (Lt. Lt. P.F. Taylor, USN). Task Unit 78.1.62 (the Salvage Unit) made up of the tugs USS ATR-61 (Lt. W.M. Heywood, USNR) and USS Vireo (Lt.(jg) M.E. Seymour, USNR). Task Unit 78.1.63 (the Fire Fighting Unit) made up of the LCI(L)'s, LCI(L)-185 [this can't be correct as this LCI had been transferred to the Royal Navy on completion and was sunk of Normandy on 6 June 1944.], USS LCS(L)-961 (?), USS LCS(L)-1000 (?) and USS LCS(L)-1071 (?).
Task Group 78.1.7 was the Press Unit, which was made up of the patrol vessel USS PCE(R)-849 (Lt. C. Sanders, USNR), USS LCI(L)-635 (Lt. H. Hopkins, USNR) and the small army cargo ship FP 47.

The Cruiser Covering Force and Fire Support Group departed Subic Bay on 24 April 1945. The minesweeping and hydrographic groups left Leyte on 22 April, joined at Zamboanga with other units coming from Malabang, Mindanao, and arrived at the objective on 27 April, and commenced minesweeping and hydrographic survey.

Minesweeping was difficult, because the many types of mines encountered and water conditions. The approach of the main force through preferred ' Track Baker ', south of Menoeloen Island, had to be abandoned because of the possibility that mines there had not yet been swept. This necessitated approaching though ' Track Able ' which afforded deeper water, but was much less in width. A red conical top buoy and a black top buoy of Japanese origin were found by the Hydrographic Group and left remaining, the latter buoy being the mid-channel. A buoy was planted at Point Whirlaway, buoy 2 south of Point Equinox, and buoy 3 was planted marking the break-off point for Tracks Able and Baker. Buoys 1 and 4 were also planted, as ordered, in positions as previously charted. The Hydrographic Group on the afternoon of ' Peter minus One day ' [Peter Day was 1 May 1945] installed fixed whire lights on the mid-channel buoy (Point Whirlaway) and numbers 2 and 4 buoys to aid the approach of the Attack Group. The harbour entrance range was lighted. Beach reconnaissance and marking of gaps through obstacles for assault waves and slots for LST's were completed on 30 April, without casualties, despite enemy mortar and machine gun fire from the beach. These groups retired each night prior to ' Peter Day ' at the objective.

On 27 April, ten motor torpedo boats arrived at Tawi Tawi and commenced operations on the east coast of northern Borneo the following day.

On 26 April 1945, the ' Pulau Sadau ' attack echolon daparted Morotai Straits. The Sadau attack echolon was known as Task Group 78.1.16 and was made up from ships from other units which were to rejoin their repective units on ' Peter Day '. The following ships were part of Task Group 78.1.16; USS Philip, USS PC-1120, USS LST-667 with USS LCT-1331 in tow, USS LSM-151, USS LSM-359, USS LSM-362, USS LCI(L)-172, USS LCI(L)-185 [???], USS LCI(L)-961, USS LCI(L)-1000, USS LCI(L)-1071, USS LCS-8 and USS LCS-48.

The main assault force departed on the 27th. Both echolons involved in the two separate assaults arrived in their respective areas off the designated beaches on time, the main assault force arriving one hour ahead of time to allow for the transit to the anchorage area of the last ships of the strung out approach formation through the narrow track ' Able '. The landings proceeded exactly as had been planned.

The preliminary naval bombardment was conducted by the Cruiser Covering Group on ' Peter Day ' [1 May 1945] with only the destroyers participating. This Group had also covered the Minesweeping Group in their activities from 27 April to 1 May. The Minesweeping Group on 27 April first made exploratory sweeps from the hundred fathom curve to ' Point Whirlaway ' with negative results. They then next obtained negative results in sweeps of Areas ' Fork ', ' Spoon ' and ' Knife ' to Point ' Baker '. One thousand yards north and south of the sides of Area ' Knife ', west of Point ' Baker ', four magnetic mines were swept. LCVP sweeps, the same day, explored Spatula and swept two chemical horned type mines south-west of Menoeloen Island, apparently newly laid. The Covering Force could not safely proceed west of ' Point Baker ', so did not. On 28 April, three magnetic mines in area ' Knife ', and seven enemy horned mines were swept in area ' Spatula ', south-west of Menoeloen Island. Two magnetic mines were still known to be in area ' Spatula ' and not yet swept. One of these magnetic mines self detonated near a YMS in area ' Knife ', west of ' Point Baker ', approach ' Track Baker ', after two days of sweeping, was still not considered safe for the passage of the Cruiser Covering Force.

On 29 April, magnetic sweeps were negative in areas ' Knife ' and ' Spatula '. A floating mine was sunk by gunfire four miles east of No.2 buoy. Nine additional enemy contact mines were swept south-west of Menoeloen Island. A one-thousand yard check sweep was made on both sides of ' Approach Track Baker '. Area ' Plate ' was swept within 1200 yards of the beaches and the LCVP's made two sweeps within 400 yards of the pier, all negative. By this time, five magnetic mines in area ' Knife ' were still unaccounted for, as well as two west of the southern tip of Tarakan. Sweepers on 30 April were to continue their magnetic and acoustic sweeps in areas ' Knife ', ' Spatula ' and ' Plate ' and leave by the north channel (' Track Able ') alone. The cruisers could not yet safely venture into area ' Knife '.

On 30 April, two influence mines were swept west of the south tip of Tarakan, and two additional enemy mines south-west of Menoeloen Island were swept after the landing and fire support parties had passed through route ' Baker '. Later, one of the fire support destroyers, USS Jenkins, on retiring, struck a mine 1000 yards off the center of ' Track Baker '. The sweepers swept two more mines in ' Approach Track Baker ' immediately after this incident. Five ' influence ' mines were reported removed at an unknown location. Because ' Track Baker ' was now not considered safe, the sweepers concentrated on ' Track Able ' which was still found negative. That night the Attack Group safely transited ' Track Able ', as had been recommended, and began the assault on ' Peter Day ', 1 May 1945.

The Sadau Attack Force meanwhile had landed around 0800I/30 which was on shedule. They landed without opposition. The landings were completed two hours later.

At 1527I/30, the Commander Task Group 74.3, reported the USS Jenkins having been mined. Casualties were light despite the destroyer being extensively damaged.

Around 1730I/30, two mines were reported swept in the area where USS Jenkins had been mined. This was on ' Approach Track Baker '.

Around 1900I/30, USS Wachapreague and MTBRON 36 (minus six of the MTB's) departed Tawi Tawi for the objective area.

Around 2000I/30, USS Jenkins was reported to be dead in the water and leaking.

At 2010I/30, USS Waller reported hearing a torpedo noise and went on to investigate. Four minutes later she attacked a good sound contact with depth charges. Half an hour later she reported oil on the water and then delivered another depth charge attack on that spot. At 2045I/30, she lost contact. USS Formoe was then ordered to remain in the area and conduct an A/S search.

At 0520I/1, the order ' Deploy ' was given to go ahead with the landings. Ten minutes later USS Rocky Mount anchored in berth 4 in Area ' Mike '.

At 0630I/1, USS LST-562 reported a torpedo passing underneath her bow. The torpedo came from the direction off Cape Pasir. Nine minutes later destroyers opened fire at the mouth of the river near Cape Pasir as it was considered likely the torpedo had been fired from here. At the same time USS LST-562 reported a small submarine surfacing astern of her which immediately submerged again. HMAS Barcoo was ordered to investigate.

At 0646I/1, USS LST-637 launched the first LVT [Landing Vehicle Tracked] as the landing operations commenced. By 0705I/1, all LVT's from various ships had been launched.

At 0651I/1, USS Rushmore launched LCM's and USS Titania had launched all her boats.

At 0654I/1, HMAS Manoora reported her boats in the water. At the same time USS Rushmore reported a torpedo glanced off her port beam without damage. It came from the direction of Cape Pasir.

At 0655I/1, the dawn Combat Air Patrol arrived on station. At the same time USS LST-467 launched LVT's. All LVT's was launched by 0659I/1.

At 0700I/1, All assault causeway LST's and USS Rushmore on station in ' LST Area Two '. HMAS Manoora, HMAS Westralia and USS Titania were all on station in ' Transport Area Mike '.

At 0702I/1, USS LST-1027 launched the first causeway.

At 0705I/1, CTU 78.1.12 (LST Unit) reported all LVT's to have been launched.

At 0707I/1, the Support Line formed up.

At 0712I/1, USS Rushmore reported all her boats to have been launched while boat waves from HMAS Manoora were observed proceeding to the Line of Depature.

At 0714I/1, LCM's from USS Rushmore were observed forming up well behind ' LST Area ' so as to remain out of the way.

At 0722I/1, USS SC-746 reported to be on station on the ' Line of Departure '.

At 0724I/1, All waver for landing area ' Green ' were formed up.

At 0725I/1, USS LST-637 stood out beyond ' LST Area Two ' to clear the area.

At 0726I/1, USS LST-584 and USS LST-585 launched causeways. The causeways from USS LST-590, USS LST-711, USS LST-743, USS LST-993 and USS LST-1027 had meanwhile also been launched.

At 0731I/1, the ' Line of Departure ' was formed.

At 0733I/1, waves 1, 2 and 3 for ' Red Beach ' were formed up and were moving to the ' Line of Departure '.

At 0736I/1, the LCS Support Group was ordered into position ahead of the ' Line of Departure '.

At 0738I/1, CTG 78.1 ordered CTU 78.1.5 to resweep area ' Spatula ' in ordered that ' Track Baker ' may be made safe. Area ' Platter ' also was to be swept for mines.

At 0739I/1, B-24's were observed coming in for air strikes on the beach area. At the same time the Engineer Demolition Party was dispatched from USS LST-667.

At 0742I/1, all waves for ' Red Beach ' were formed up.

At 0747I/1, CTU 78.1.3 reported all ships of the Support Unit ready and on station.

At 0750I/1, air strikes on the beach area commenced, though this was a little late.

at 0756I/1, the first wave was dispatched to ' Red ' and ' Green ' beaches. LCI(M)'s opened mortar fire. At the same time four B-24's came over for an air strike on the beach area.

At 0800I/1, LCS(L)'s opened fire with 3" and 40mm guns.

At 0801I/1, the second wave was dispatched to ' Red ' and ' Green ' beaches.

At 0802I/1, six B-24's came over for an air strike on the beach area. Their bombs landed right on the target.

At 0806I/1, the third wave was dispatched to ' Red ' and ' Green ' beaches.

At 0809I/1, Red flares were sent up by support craft, to direct naval gunfire to shift inland.

At 0811I/1, wave four was dispatched to ' Green ' beach.

At 0815I/1, the first wave landed on ' Green ' beach followed one minute later by the first wave on ' Red ' beach.

At 0818I/1, the second wave landed on ' Green ' beach.

At 0819I/1, the Reserve Battalion from HMAS Westralia was observed moving up to the ' Line of Departure '.

At 0820I/1, the second wave landed on ' Red ' beach.

At 0822I/1, CTG 78.1 directed the reserves to be held at the ' Line of Departure '.

At 0824I/1, USS LST-590 moved up to the ' Line of Departure '.

At 0825I/1, the third wave landed on ' Green ' beach followed one minute later by the third wave on ' Red ' beach.

At 0826I/1, the fifth wave was despatched to ' Red ', ' Yellow ' and ' Green ' beaches. Also the fourth wave landed on ' Green ' beach.

At 0829I/1, USS LST-697 and USS LST-711 moved up to the ' Line of Departure ' with causeways.

At 0831I/1, the sixth waves were dispatched to ' Red ' and ' Green ' beaches. Also USS LST-993 moved up to the ' Line of Departure '.

At 0833I/1, Task Unit 78.1.3 ceased immediate gunfire support scheduled firings.

At 0836I/1, troops reported covering positions were taken without opposition. Bridge was intact and landings were made practically dry.

At 0839I/1, the fifth wave landed on ' Red ', ' Yellow ', and ' Green ' beaches.

At 0844I/1, the sixth wave landed on ' Green one ' beach followed one minute later by the sixth wave on ' Red two ' beach.

At 0845I/1, Red Beachmaster Unit reported ' Red two ' beach to be obstructed, with large logs and a defensive wall on the beach.

At 0847I/1, haze, smoke and dust obscured the beach area.

At 0848I/1, the Air Force requisted permission to make another air strike.

At 0850I/1, the Australian Principal Beachmaster Advanced Command Post indicated the condition of LST slots on ' Yellow ' beach. Extensive bull-dozing was required on some slots. He also indicated that ' Red ' beach was not ready for LST's. Also at this time all causeway LST's were observed on the ' Line of Departure '.

At 0906I/1, CTG 78.1 ordered CTU 78.1.4 to ' land the reserves '.

At 0907I/1, USS LST-584 was ordered to beach.

At 0915I/1, the seventh wave, containing the reserves was sent into ' Green ' beaches. Also USS Rushmore reported that her LCM's were completely unloaded.

At 0918I/1, USS LST-584 beached on ' Red ' beach slot 1 with causeway beached dry.

At 0920I/1, the eight wave was dispatched to ' Green ' beach.

At 0921I/1, USS LST-585, with causeways, beached on ' Red ' beach slot 2.

At 0923I/1, USS LST-590 was ordered to beach.

At 0925I/1, the ninth and last wave was dispatched to ' Green ' beach.

At 0927I/1, a B-25 strike on enemy barracks commenced. Also the seventh wave landed.

At 0930I/1, USS LST-171 was ordered to beach.

At 0931I/1, USS LST-743, with causeways, beached on ' Yellow ' beach slot 5.

At 0932I/1, the eight wave landed.

At 0936I/1, USS LST-590, with causeways, beached on ' Red ' beach slot 3.

At 0937I/1, CTG 78.1 ordered general unloading.

At 0939I/1, the ninth wave landed.

At 0941I/1, USS LST-711, with causeways, beached on ' Yellow ' beach slot 4.

At 0955I/1, USS LST-993, with causeways, beached on ' Yellow ' beach slot 6.

At 1001I/1, USS LST-1027, with causeways, beached on ' Yellow ' beach slot 7.
The line up of LST's was now as follows;
Slot 1, Red Beach, USS LST-584,
Slot 2, Red Beach, USS LST-585,
Slot 3, Red Beach, USS LST-590,
Slot 4, Yellow Beach, USS LST-711,
Slot 5, Yellow Beach, USS LST-743,
Slot 6, Yellow Beach, USS LST-993,
Slot 7, Yellow Beach, USS LST-1027.

At 1020I/1, CTU 78.1.4 directed LCI's to proceed to north pier and unload two at a time.

At 1022I/1, enemy mortar fire landed in the water off ' Green Two ' beach.

At 1024I/1, USS LCI(L)-625 and USS LCI(L)-1025 were observed alongside USS LST-590 on the beach.

At 1025I/1, artillery fire was observed near ' Green Two ' beach.

At 1030I/1, USS LST-584 and USS LST-590 started unloading.

At 1034I/1, LCI Fire Support Craft observed heading back from the beach to form a picket line. Also Brigadier Whitehead and his staff went ashore.

At 1035I/1, USS SC-698 directed USS Titania and HMAS Westralia to head towards ' Green Two ' beach.

At 1042I/1, HMAS Manoora ordered to direct small craft with cargo to ' Green Two ' beach for unloading.

At 1104I/1, USS LCI(L)-634 and USS LCI(L)-1076 were observed alongside USS LST-584 on ' Red ' beach.

At 1106I/1, Captain Dugan, Chief of Staff, and party left USS Rocky Mount for an inspection of the beaches.

At 1125I/1, a huge explosion was observed to the right of ' Green ' beach.

At 1142I/1, mortar fire was observed falling on the beachhead area.

At 1143I/1, USS LCI(L)-1076 was unloaded and retracted from the beach.

At 1145I/1, USS LST-742 ordered to beach on the starboard side of USS LST-584.

At 1150I/1, nine LCI(L)'s have unloaded. USS LCI(L)-699 was awaiting instructions.

At 1154I/1, USS LST-171 beached 650 feet off the beach aft of USS LST-584 and USS LST-585 on ' Red ' beach.

At 1157I/1, USS LCS-44 was fired upon by enemy mortar one mile south of ' Green Two ' beach.

At 1204I/1, the Commander 26th Brigade, 9th Australian Division, assumed command ashore of his troops.

At 1216I/1, USS LST-171 retracted from ' Red ' beach still unable to beach in a cleared area.

At 1230I/1, the ' Line of Departure ' was dissolved.

At 1308I/1, USS O'Bannon was relieved of fire support duties and was ordered to stand by USS Jenkins.

At 1315I/1, USS Wachapreague and MTB RON 36 (minus 6 PT boats) stood in and reported to CTG 78.1 for duty.

At 1325I/1, the Principal Beachmaster indicated that it was now impossible to unload more LCM's and LCT's.

At 1339I/1, it was reported that the docks ware usable by hand labor only. The crane on the long pier was reported to be unserviceable.

At 1349I/1, the unloading of LCVP's and LCM's stopped due to the rapid falling of the tide and consequent stranding of the boats.

At 1356I/1, the unloading of LCT's bogged down by mud.

At 1401I/1, it was reported that unloading at the piers was limited to the landing of bulk stores. Damage hindered unloading at the southern pier.

At 1437I/1, it was reported that the northern pier was found to be intact but that the tide was hindering unloading.

at 1454I/1, CTG 78.1 directed no night retirement from the objective area because of the slowness in unloading and so that good advantage might be taken of the high tide. No real enemy opposition had been encountered so far.

At 1500I/1, USS Cofer and the YMS minesweepers reported to CTU 78.1.2 in USS Waller for duty as A/S screen for the night.

At 1524I/1, CTG 78.1 ordered all ships to maintain sufficient armed sentries for protection against hostile small craft and swimmers.

At 1538I/1, Captain Dugan and party returned to USS Rocky Mount after inspecting beachhead and conferring with Landing Craft Control Officer, Beach Group Commander and the Commander, 26th Infantery Bridgade.

At 1539I/1, USS SC-746 reported that there was a possible ' Q ' boat unmannned in bushes north of Cape Karis.

At 1557I/1, Rear-Admiral Berkey came aboard USS Rocky Mount.

At 1600I/1, HMAS Hobart and HMAS Warramunga were released by CTG 78.1 and departed the Tarakan area for Hollandia via Morotai.

At 1610I/1, USS ATR-61 ordered to tow USS Jenkins alongside USS Phoenix and remain to assist.

At 1715I/1, Rear-Admiral Berkey left USS Rocky Mount.

At 1736I/1, two LCS's were stationed off Sadau to prevent movement of enemy craft into the anchorage during the night.

At 1942I/1, CTG 78.1 advised all ships that general unloading would continue during the night and that recognition of our own small craft was mandatory.

At 2008I/1, all beached LST's turned on lights and illuminated the beach and docks.

At 2044I/1, USS LST-697 was ordered to proceed to Causeway 1.

At 2045I/1, USS LST-924 was ordered to proceed to Causeway 6.

At 2047I/1, all ships and craft were ordered to use full running lights in the Transport Area.

At 2052/1, USS LST-613 was ordered to proceed to Causeway 4.

At 2100I/1, USS LST-171 was ordered to proceed to Causeway 2.

At 2120I/1, USS LST-626 was ordered to proceed to Causeway 4.

At 2130I/1, USS LST-171 beached.

At 2137I/1, USS LST-613 beached. By 2200I/1, USS LST-626, USS LST-697 USS LST-924 were also beached.

At 0048I/2, the beach was reported to be under mortar fire.

At 0155I/2, HMAS Manoora reported that she was completely unloaded.

At 0653I/2, CTG 78.1 ordered USS VireoUSS LST-584 to assist in retracting any of the LST's from the beach.

At 0710I/2, CTG 78.1 ordered USS LST-1025 and USS LST-1035 to assist other LST's in retracting from the beach.

at 0746I/2, CTG 78.1 ordered USS ATR-61, unless required by USS Jenkins, to report to CTU 78.1.4 to aid in retraction of LST's.

At 0800I/2, B-25 bombers commenced a call air strike 1000 yards in front of own front lines.

At 0906I/2, CTG 78.1 ordered USS LCS-8 to destroy two small boats east of Cape Pasir.

At 0916I/2, PT'boats with B-25 cover commenced operating to the north of Tarakan island.

At 1028I/2, Major General Wootten, General Officer Commanding 9th Australian Division, came aboard USS Rocky Mount having been flown in from Morotai.

At 1045I/2, the destroyer USS Robinson (T/Cdr. R.E. Malpass, USN) arrived.

At 1050I/2, USS Vireo was ordered to relieve USS ATR-61 and reported to CTG 74.3 to tow USS Jenkins to Leyte. USS ATR-61 was to return to the Transport Area to assist LST's.

At 1100I/2, Major General Wootten went ashore to the Brigade Headquarters.

At 1125I/2, an air strike by three B-25's was observed north-west of the beach area.

At 1127I/2, the tanker USS Winooski (Lt.Cdr. T.B. Christenson, USNR) arrived.

At 1130I/2, Rear-Admiral Berkey came aboard USS Rocky Mount.

At 1200I/2, HMAS Manoora, HMAS Westralia and USS Rushmore escorted by USS Bancroft and USS Charles E. Brannon departed the Tarakan area for Morotai to reload and then return.

Also around 1200I/2, enemy shells landed near USS Wachapreague. PT boats alongside shifted berth to avoid being hit by gunfire of splinters.

At 1220I/2, CTU 78.1.13 reported that all LCI(L)'s were unloaded.

At 1258I/2, only one LCT was reported unloaded, four LCT's were waiting for LST's on the beach to retract.

At 1310I/2, Rear-Admiral Berkey left the flagship with Rear-Admiral Royal. They went ashore to confer with Brigadier Whitehead and inspect the beachhead.

At 1322I/2, CTG 78.1 directed six LCI(L)'s for screening duty to report to CTU 78.1.3 prior to 1700I/2.

At 1530I/2, camouflaged batteries at Cape Djoeata (in the north-west of Tarakan Island) sank USS YMS-481 and damaged USS YMS-334 and YMS-364. USS Cofer and USS LCS-8 and USS LCS-28 silenced the battery. USS LCS-44, USS LCI(L)-1008 and LCVP's rescued survivors close inshore under direct enemy fire. USS YMS-51 and USS YMS-340 which were also sweeping in the area were not hit.

At 1530I/2, Rear-Admiral Royal and Major General Wootten returned to USS Rocky Mount.

At 1543I/2, four B-25's strafed and bombed the Cape Djoeata area. after they were finished, USS Fletcher bombarded the same area.

At 1555I/2, COMLSTGR 44 shifted his flag to USS LST-924.

At 1600I/2, Major General Wootten departed for Morotai by aircraft with Captain Hains, Assistant Chief of Staff to Rear-Admiral Royal.

At 1630I/2, four P-38's also made low bombing and strafing runs on gun emplacements on Cape Djoeata.

At 1635I/2, USS YMS-340 and USS YMS-364 put wounded men from the YMS engagement on board USS Rocky Mount.

At 1740I/2, USS LCS-44 sighted a mine in position 03°23'8"N, 117°30'E. CTU 78.1.3 was later ordered to search for and destroy this mine.

At 1811I/2, USS Fletcher took on board wounded from the YMS engagement from USS LCS-44. She later transferred them to USS Rocky Mount.

At 2015I/2, CTG 78.1 directed all LST's to illuminate all causeways and beaches but at ' Flash Red ' to darken ship until alert is over.

At 0751I/3, USS ATR-61 stood in to assist LST's retracting from the beach.

At 0830I/3, USS Phoenix proceeded to the vicinity of Sadau Island to fire on enemy coastal batteries and installations in the Cape Djoeata area. She opened fire at 0850I/3.

At 0920I/3, USS LST-697 retracted from the beach.

At 0925I/3, USS LST-711 retracted from the beach.

At 0928I/3, USS LST-626 retracted from the beach.

At 0929I/3, PT-boats made runs parallel to the beach to create waves to assist in retracting the LST's.

At 0931I/3, USS LST-171 retracted from the beach.

At 0940I/3, USS LST-613 retracted from the beach.

At 1000I/3, CTU 78.1.2 assumed control of naval gunfire support.

At 1010I/3, USS LST-924 retracted from the beach. USS LST-584, USS LST-585, USS LST-590, USS LST-711, USS LST-743, USS LST-993 and USS LST-1027 remained on the beach.

At 1025I/3, Rear-Admiral Berkey came aboard USS Rocky Mount. He departed again at 1103I/3.

At 1033I/3, USS Phoenix returned from the Sadau Island area on completion of her bombarding duties.

At 1300I/3, USS Phoenix, USS Boise, USS Nicholas, USS Taylor and USS O'Bannon departed the Tarakan area to return to Subic Bay where they arrived around 1100I/5.

At 1700I/3, CTG 78.1, in USS Rocky Mount, escorted by USS Caldwell, departed Tarakan for Morotai where they arrived around 1400I/5. Command had been turned over to Captain Gray (CTG 78.1.16) on board USS Formoe.

At 1830I/3, CTG 78.1.92 with COMLSTGR 44 in USS LST-924 with USS LST-171, USS LST-613, USS LST-626 and USS LST-697 departed the Tarakan area escorted by USS Philip, USS SC-746, USS YMS-51 and USS YMS-363. Seven LST's were still fast in the mud on the beach. The remaining eight other LST's had commenced to unload from the stream. Unloading continued slowly but steadily as did the fighting on the island against increasing opposition. CTG 78.1.92 arrived at Morotai around 1730I/5.

[The report of CTG 78.1 ends here.]

At 0700I/5, HMAS Manoora and HMAS Westralia departed Morotai to return to Tarakan with reinforcements and supplies. They were still escorted by USS Bancroft and USS Charles E. Brannon. They arrived at Tarakan around 0830I/7.

At 1800I/5, CTG 78.1.93 made up of USS LCI(L)-624, USS LCI(L)-625, USS LCI(L)-626, USS LCI(L)-634, USS LCI(L)-655, USS LCI(L)-699, USS LCI(L)-700, USS LCI(L)-712, USS LCI(L)-1008, USS LCI(L)-1025, USS LCI(L)-1072, USS LCI(L)-1076, USS LCI(R)-71, USS LCI(R)-72, USS LCI(R)-74, USS LCI(R)-338, USS LCI(M)-359, USS LCI(M)-362, USS LCI(D)-29, USS LCI(D)-228 departed the Tarakan area for Morotai where they arrived around 1700I/8. They were escorted by USS Waller, USS Cofer, USS PC-1120, USS YMS-6, USS YMS-68, USS YMS-73, USS YMS-313, USS YMS-314, USS YMS-329, USS YMS-334 and USS YMS-364.

At 1200I/7, CTG 78.1.94, made up of the tanker USS Winooski and the frigate HMAS Hawkesbury departed Tarakan for Polloc Harbour where they arrived around 1430I/8.

At 1730I/7, USS LST-924, USS LST-171, USS LST-613, USS LST-626, USS LST-697, escorted by USS Philip and USS Caldwell, departed Morotai for Tarakan with supplies.

At 1730I/7, having unloaded, HMAS Manoora and HMAS Westralia departed Tarakan to return to Morotai. They were still escorted by USS Bancroft and USS Charles E. Brannon. They arrived at Morotai around 1600I/9.

At 0800I/8, CTG 78.1.96 made up of USS LST-466, USS LST-467, USS LST-562, USS LST-637, USS LST-742, USS LST-1035, USS LCI(L)-635, USS LCI(L)-961, USS LCI(L)-985, USS LCI(L)-1000, USS LCI(L)-1071, USS ATR-61 towing USS YMS-51 departed Tarakan for Morotai where they arrived around . They were escorted by USS Robinson, USS Rudderow, USS PCE(R)-849, USS PC-1120 and USS SC-698.

Fighting on Tarakan continued until 19 June. The island was declared secure on 21 June 1945. [Up to this time supplies kept coming in but it goes to far to list these shipping movements here.]

10 Jun 1945

Operation Oboe VI, Allied landings at Brunei.

Composition of the forces taking part was as follows;
Task Group 78.1 was the Brunei Attack Group under Rear-Admiral Royal and was made up of the Amphibious Force Command Ship USS Rocky Mount (T/Capt. F.A. Hardesty, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral F.B. Royal, USN).
Task Group 74.3 was the Cruiser Covering Group under Rear-Admiral Berkey and was made up of the following units.
Task Unit 74.3.1, was Fire Support Unit One (Brown Beach), and was made up of the light cruisers USS Boise (T/Capt. W.M. Downes, USN), USS Phoenix (T/Capt. H.L. Challenger, USN), HMAS Hobart (Capt. R.S. Dowling, RAN, flying the broad pendant of Commodore H.B. Farncomb, DSO, MVO, RAN) and the destroyers USS Killen (T/Cdr. J.L. Semmes, USN) and USS Albert W. Grant (T/Cdr. G.S. Higginbotham, USN).
Task Unit 74.3.2, was Fire Support Unit Two (Green Beach), and was made up of the light cruiser USS Nashville (T/Capt. A. MacOndray, Jr., USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.S. Berkey, USN) and the destroyers HMAS Arunta (Cdr. A.E. Buchanan, DSO, RAN) and USS Conner (T/Lt.Cdr. W.A. Sissons, USN).
Task Unit 74.3.3, was Fire Support Unit Three (White Beach), and was made up of the destroyers USS Charette (T/Lt.Cdr. G.P. Joyce, USN), USS Bell (T/Lt.Cdr. B.H. Shupper, USN) and USS Burns (T/Cdr. J.T. Bullen, Jr., USN).
Task Group 74.2 provived distant cover from a position to the west of Brunei Bay. This force was made up of the light cruisers USS Montpelier (T/Capt. W.A. Gorry, USN, flying the flag of T/Rear-Admiral R.S. Riggs, USN (COMCRUDIV 12)), USS Cleveland (T/Capt. H.G. Hopwood, USN), USS Columbia (T/Capt. M.E. Curts, USN), USS Denver (T/Capt. T.F. Darden, Jr., USN) and the destroyers USS Conway (T/Cdr. J.H. Besson, Jr., USN, with T/Capt. S.G. Hooper, USN (COMDESDIV 44) on board), USS Stevens (T/Cdr. G.W. Pressey, USN), USS Cony (T/Lt.Cdr. T.C. Siegmund, USN), USS Eaton (T/Cdr. C. Brown, USN), USS Hart (T/Cdr. W.D. Coleman, USN) and USS Metcalf (T/Cdr. D.L. Martineau, USN).
Task Group 70.1 was the Motor Torpedo Boat Group under T/Capt. S.S. Bowling, USN and was made up of the following units.
Task Unit 70.1.7 which was made up the Motor Torpedo Boat Tender USS Willoughby (T/Lt. J.P.E. Brouilliette, USN, with COMMTBRON 13, Lt.Cdr. A.W. Fargo, Jr., USNR on board). The following Motor Torpedo Boats were part of this Task Unit, from MTBRON 13; USS PT-74, USS PT-75, USS PT-76, USS PT-78, USS PT-80, USS PT-81, USS PT-82, USS PT-83, USS PT-84 and from MTBRON 16; USS PT-223, USS PT-241 and USS PT-298.
Task Group 78.1.1 was the Transport and Landing Craft Unit under T/Capt. H.B. Hudson, USN and was made up of the following units.
Task Unit 78.1.11 was the Transport Unit under A/Capt. A.P. Cousin, RANR(S) which was made up the Landing Ships HMAS Manoora (A/Capt. A.P. Cousin, RANR(S)), HMAS Westralia (A/Cdr. E.W. Livingston, RANR(S)), HMAS Kanimbla (Cdr. A.V. Bunyan, RANR(S)), Landing Ship Dock USS Carter Hall (Lt.Cdr. H.L. Host, Jr., USNR) and the Attack Cargo Ship Titania (T/Cdr.(Retd.) M.W. Callahan, USN) and the high speed transports (Transport Division 103), USS Lloyd (Lt.Cdr. W.R. Taylor, USNR, with T/Cdr, Wm.S. Parsons, USN, Commanding Officer COMTRANSDIV 103, on board), USS Newman (Lt.Cdr. R.I. Thieme, USNR), USS Liddle (Lt.Cdr. W.D. Kennedy, USNR), USS Kephart (Cdr. I.H. Cammarn, USNR) and USS Diachenko (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Johnson, USNR).
Task Unit 78.1.12 was the LST Unit under T/Capt. H.B. Hudson, USN, which was made up the following LST's from LST Flotilla 24; USS LST-640 (Lt. F.B. McKenney, Jr., USNR, with COMLSTFLOT 24, T/Capt. H.B. Hudson, USN on board), USS LST-560 (Lt. H.T. Holsapple, USNR), LST-591 (Lt. R.C. Allen, USN), USS LST-595 (Lt. A.C. Jackson, USNR), USS LST-619 (Lt. J.M. Brennan, USNR), USS LST-638 (Lt. F. Data, USN), LST-696 (Lt. G.A. Hayward, USN), LST-806 (Lt. J.E. Montgomery, USNR), LST-912 (Lt. L.R. White, USN), LST-936 (Lt. M.E. Bolen, USN), LST-937 (Lt. G.W. Mitchell, USN), USS LST-941 (Lt. L.M. Edwards, USN) and LST-942 (Lt. H.F. Austin, USNR). From LST Flotilla 15 under T/Capt. L.J. Manees USN, USS LST-574 (Lt. W.F. Kruaeger, Jr., USNR, with COMLSTFLOT 15, T/Capt. L.J. Manees USN on board), USS LST-573 (Lt. G.W. Hessemer, USNR), USS LST-626 (Lt. M.J. Codoner, Jr., USNR), USS LST-709 (Lt. V.N. Jamieson, USNR), USS LST-751 (Lt. R.E. Garris, USNR), USS LST-922 (Lt. R.A. Stallings, USN), USS LST-1025 (Lt. C.L. Curfman, USNR) and USS LST-1027 (Lt. P.J. Shropshire, Jr., USNR). From LST Flotilla 22, USS LST-584 (Lt. D.B. Russell, USNR), USS LST-585 (Lt. A.P. Morse, USNR), USS LST-590 (Lt. B.J. Arnett, USN), USS LST-637 (Lt. R.A. Vielhaber, USNR) and USS LST-1035 (Lt. M. Perry, USNR). From LST Flottila 8 under T/Capt. E. Watts, USN, USS LST-614 (Lt. J.F. Stanfill, USN, with COMLSTFLOT 8, T/Capt. E. Watts, USN on board), USS LST-562 (Lt. F.P. Lawrence, USNR), USS LST-613 (Lt.(jg) D.B. Emmons, USNR), USS LST-667 (Lt. W.S. Biernat, USN), USS LST-697 (Lt. J.E. Tanner, USNR), USS LST-742 (Lt. W.W. Holmes, USNR), USS LST-743 (Lt. F.H. Emerick, USNR) and USS LST-993 (Lt. A.W. Bates, USNR).
Task Unit 78.1.13 was the LCI Unit under T/Capt. F.B.C. Martin, USN (COMLCI(L)FLOT 8), which was made up the following LCI(L)'s; USS LCI(L)-546 (Lt.(jg) H.K. Wells, USNR with T/Capt. F.B.C. Martin, USN, on board), USS LCI(L)-544 (Lt.(jg) W.L. Hall, USNR), USS LCI(L)-577 (Lt. E.J. Morgan, USNR), USS LCI(L)-636 (Lt. J.A. Moore, USNR), USS LCI(L)-661 (Lt.(jg) P.B. Pylant, USNR), USS LCI(L)-662 (Lt. G.L. Gates, USNR), USS LCI(L)-701 (Lt. H.O. Cheney, USNR), USS LCI(L)-702 (Lt. H.A. Hamilton, USNR), USS LCI(L)-703 (Lt.(jg) V.E. Harris, USNR), USS LCI(L)-713 (Lt.(jg) W.W. Parris, USNR), USS LCI(L)-744 (Lt.(jg) J.B. Vallely, USNR), USS LCI(L)-745 (Lt.(jg) J.R. Garland, USNR), LCI(L)-746 (Lt.(jg) W.F. Foley, USNR), USS LCI(L)-749 (Lt.(jg) W.F. Foley, USNR), USS LCI(L)-753 (Lt. G.B. Strother, USNR), USS LCI(L)-955 (Lt.(jg) D.C. Alexander, USNR), USS LCI(L)-958 (Lt. W.R. McCracken, USNR), USS LCI(L)-960 (Lt.(jg) E.H. Chittenden, USNR), USS LCI(L)-1019 (Lt. H.D. Curtman, USNR), USS LCI(L)-1060 (Lt. C.J. Wolfe, USNR), USS LCI(L)-1074 (Lt. R.G. Harvey, USNR) and USS LCI(L)-1075 (Lt. R.B. Smiley, USNR).
Task Unit 78.1.14 was the LSM Unit under T/Cdr. W.E. Verge, USN (COMLSMFLOT 7), which was made up the following LSM's; USS LSM-54 (Lt. D.L. Newborg, USNR, with T/Cdr. W.E. Verge, USN on board), USS LSM-50 (Lt. J.C. Rogers, Jr., USNR), USS LSM-51 (Lt. J.O. Potts, Jr., USNR), USS LSM-52 (Lt. J.H. Colquitt, USNR), USS LSM-53 (Lt. A.H. Nelson, USNR), USS LSM-63 (Lt. R.B. Hinze, USNR), USS LSM-64 (Lt. S.B. Whitehead, USNR), USS LSM-65 (Lt. L.D. Stephens, USNR), USS LSM-67 (Lt. K.D. Higgins, USNR), USS LSM-68 (Lt. W.R. Walker, USNR), USS LSM-128 (Lt. M.M. de Picabia, USNR), USS LSM-133 (Lt. C.D. Davis, USNR), USS LSM-138 (Lt. W.G. Arnold, USNR), USS LSM-139 (Lt. L.R. Mapes, USNR), USS LSM-168 (Lt. R. Whelan, USNR), USS LSM-203 (Lt. F.L. Townsley, USNR), USS LSM-219 (Lt. H. Burns, USNR), USS LSM-225 (Lt.(jg) F.C. Sheppard, USNR), USS LSM-237 (Lt. J.L. Poole, USNR) and USS LSM-269 (Lt. H.T. Turner, Jr. USNR).
Task Unit 78.1.15 was the LCT Unit under Lt. DeMoss, USNR (COMLCTGR 74), which was made up the following LCT's; USS LCT-1310, USS LCT-1312, USS LCT-1314, USS LCT-1317, USS LCT-1319 and USS LCT-1331.
Task Unit 78.1.16 was the 'Brown' Assault Unit under T/Capt. H.B. Hudson, USN. It was made up of ships listed above; HMAS Manoora, HMAS Westralia, USS Carter Hall, USS Titania, USS LST-640, USS LST-560, USS LST-585, USS LST-591, USS LST-595, USS LST-619, USS LST-637, USS LST-638, USS LST-696, USS LST-709, USS LST-806, USS LST-912, USS LST-936, USS LST-937, USS LST-941, USS LST-942, USS LST-1025, USS LCI(L)-744, USS LCI(L)-745, USS LCI(L)-746, USS LCI(L)-749, USS LCI(L)-955, USS LSM-168, USS LSM-50, USS LSM-51, USS LSM-52, USS LSM-53, USS LSM-63, USS LSM-64 and USS LSM-65.
Task Unit 78.1.17 was the 'Green' Assault Unit under T/Capt. L.J. Manees, USN. It was made up of ships listed above [except for USCGC Spencer]; fighter direction ship USCGC Spencer (Cdr. J.R. Hinnant, USCG), HMAS Kanimbla, USS LST-574 and USS LSM-237.
Task Unit 78.1.18 was the 'White' Assault Unit, also under T/Capt. L.J. Manees, USN. It was made up of ships listed above; USCGC Spencer, USS Lloyd, USS Newman, USS Liddle, USS Kephart, USS Diachenko, USS LST-574, USS LST-584, USS LST-667, USS LST-751, USS LST-922, USS LCI(L)-636, USS LCI(L)-701, USS LCI(L)-702, USS LCI(L)-703, USS LSM-168, USS LSM-67, USS LSM-68, USS LSM-138, USS LSM-203, USS LSM-219 and USS LSM-225.
Task Unit 78.1.19 was the Reinforcement Unit under T/Capt. E. Watts, USN. It was made up of ships listed above; USS LST-614, USS LST-590, USS LST-613, USS LST-626, USS LST-697, USS LST-742, USS LST-743, USS LST-993, USS LST-1027, USS LST-1035, USS LCI(L)-960, USS LCI(L)-544, USS LCI(L)-577, USS LCI(L)-661, USS LCI(L)-662, USS LCI(L)-753, USS LCI(L)-1019 and USS LCI(L)-1060.
Task Unit 78.1.20 was the Reserve Unit under T/Cdr. W.E. Verge, USN. It was made up of ships listed above; USS LST-562, USS LST-573, USS LCI(L)-713, USS LCI(L)-958, USS LCI(L)-1074, USS LCI(L)-1075, USS LSM-54, USS LSM-133, USS LSM-139 and USS LSM-269.
Task Group 78.1.2 was the screen under T/Capt. R.H. Smith, USN (COMDESRON 22) and was made up of the following units.
Task Unit 78.1.21 was the Destroyer Unit which was made up of the following destroyers; from DesRon 22, DesDiv 43, USS Robinson (T/Cdr. R.E. Malpass, USN, with T/Capt. R.H. Smith, USN (COMDESRON 22) on board), USS Saufley (T/Lt.Cdr. F.W. Silk, USN), USS Waller (T/Cdr. H.leR. Thompson, Jr., USN), USS Philip (T/Cdr. J.B. Rutter, Jr., USN), from DesDiv 28, USS Bancroft (T/Lt.Cdr. C.E. Pond, USN, with T/Capt. L.W. Pancoast, USN (COMDESDIV 28) on board), USS McCalla (T/Lt.Cdr. E. Vinock, USN), USS Caldwell (Lt.Cdr. D.R. Robinson, USNR), USS Edwards (Lt.Cdr. R.E. Weiss, USNR), USS Frazier (T/Lt.Cdr. J.N. Renfro, USN, with T/Capt. G.L. Sims, USN (COMDESRON 14) on board) and USS Bailey (T/Lt.Cdr. A.F. Johnson, USN).
Task Unit 78.1.22 was the Destroyer Escort Unit which was made up of the following destroyers escorts; from ComCortDiv 77, USS Douglas A. Munro (Lt.Cdr. E.S. Stevens, USNR, with COMCORTDIV 77, Cdr. H.G. White, USNR on board), USS Dufilho (Lt.Cdr. A.H. Nienau, USNR), USS Charles E. Brannon (Lt.Cdr. O.M. Shirey, Jr., USNR), USS Albert T. Harris (T/Lt.Cdr. S. King, USN), USS Jobb (Lt.Cdr. N.L. Field, USNR) and USS Day (Lt.Cdr. K.E. Read, USNR).
Task Unit 78.1.23 was the Frigate Unit under Lt.Cdr. H.J. Weston, RANR(S), which was made up of the following frigates; HMAS Hawkesbury (Lt.Cdr. H.J. Weston, RANR(S)) and HMAS Barcoo (A/Lt.Cdr. C.G. Hill, RANR(S)).
Task Group 78.1.3 was the Support Unit under T/Capt. R.E. Arison, USN, which was on board the USS LCI(L)-778 (Lt. W.B. Chinn, USNR) and was made up of the following units.
Task Unit 78.1.31 was the LCS Unit, under T/Capt. R.E. Arison, USN, which was made up of the following LCS's; USS LCS(L)-42 (Lt. R.S. Sondree, USN), USS LCS(L)-45 (Lt. E.M. Lang, USNR), USS LCS(L)-46 (Lt. W.P. McCarthy, USNR), USS LCS(L)-47 (Lt. F.E. Butler, USN), USS LCS(L)-58 (Lt. D. Gregory, USNR), USS LCS(L)-59 (Lt. N.L. Claxton, USNR) and USS LCS(L)-60 (Lt. W.H. White, Jr., USNR).
Task Unit 78.1.32 was the LCI(G) Unit, under Lt.Cdr. A.M. Holmes, USNR, which was made up of the following LCI(G)'s; USS LCI(G)-69 (Lt.(jg) H.R. Roesti, USNR, with Lt.Cdr. A.M. Holmes, USNR, on board), USS LCI(G)-23 (Lt. E.P. Wurtzebach, USNR), USS LCI(G)-64 (Lt.(jg) R.K. Call, USNR), USS LCI(G)-65 (Lt.(jg) W.J. McKeon, USNR), USS LCI(G)-68 (Lt.(jg) J.D. Devaney, USNR) and USS LCI(G)-70 (Lt.(jg) V.B. Millsap, USNR).
Task Unit 78.1.33 was the LCI(R) Unit, under Lt.Cdr. R.E. Sargent, USNR, which was made up of the following LCI(R)'s; USS LCI(R)-71 (Lt.(jg) C.C. Benson, USNR, with Lt.Cdr. R.E. Sargent, USNR, on board), USS LCI(R)-31 (Ens. D.B. Hummel, USNR), USS LCI(R)-34 (Lt.(jg) F.W. Schwarz, USNR), USS LCI(R)-72 (Ens. C.R. Weiner, USNR), USS LCI(R)-74 (Ens. V.J. Goerke, USNR) and USS LCI(R)-338 (Ens. J.S. Hageman, USNR).
Task Unit 78.1.34 was the LCI(M) Unit which was made up of the following LCI(M)'s; USS LCI(M)-362 (Lt.(jg) H.A. Petersen, USNR), USS LCI(M)-359 (Ens. T.S. Adair, USNR) and USS LCI(M)-431 (Lt.(jg) J.C. Elkins, USNR).
Task Unit 78.1.35 was the Demolition Unit which was made up of the high speed transport USS Kline (Lt. B.F. Uran, USNR) and the LCI(D)'s USS LCI(D)-29 (Lt. R.M. Burnes, USNR) and USS LCI(D)-228 (Lt.(jg) R.W. Kearns, USNR). Also part of this Task Unit were four Naval Combat Demolition Units (frogmen).
Task Unit 78.1.36 was the 'Brown' Support Unit under Lt.Cdr. Holmes and was made up from ships from the above units; USS LCS(L)-58, USS LCS(L)-59, USS LCS(L)-60, USS LCI(S)-1000 (?) and USS LCI(S)-1071 (?), USS LCI(R)-31, USS LCI(R)-34, USS LCI(G)-69, USS LCI(G)-70, USS LCI(M)-359, LCI(M)-362, LCI(D)-29 and two of the Naval Combat Demolition Units (NCDU 20 and 24).
Task Unit 78.1.37 was the 'Green' Support Unit under Capt. Arison and was made up from ships from the above units; USS LCI(L)-778, USS LCS(L)-42, USS LCS(L)-47, USS LCI(G)-65, USS LCI(G)-68, USS LCI(R)-74, USS LCI(R)-338 and USS LCI(S)-961.
Task Unit 78.1.37 was the 'White' Support Unit under Lt.Cdr. Sargent and was made up from ships from the above units; USS LCS(L)-45, USS LCS(L)-46, USS LCI(S)-985, USS LCI(G)-23, USS LCI(G)-64, USS LCI(R)-71, USS LCI(R)-72, USS LCI(M)-431, USS LCI(D)-228 and two of the Naval Combat Demolition Units (NCDU 2 and 3).
Task Group 78.1.4 was the Landing Craft Control Unit under Lt. Goodrich, USNR. It was made up of the patrol vessels USS PC-1120 (Lt. J.R. Goodrich, USNR), USS PC 1122 (Lt. J.S. Fullerton, USNR), USS SC-698 (Lt. J.C. Hedges, USNR), USS SC-732 (Lt.(jg) I.L. Mann, Jr., USNR), USS SC-741 (Lt.(jg) P.L. Schilling, USNR) and USS SC-750 (Lt.(jg) F.C. Cuthbertson, USNR).
This Task Group was split up into the following Task Units;
Task Unit 78.1.41 was Control Unit 'Brown' and was made up of USS PC-1120, USS SC-698 and USS SC-732.
Task Unit 78.1.42 was Control Unit 'Green' and was made up of USS SC-741 and USS SC-750.
Task Unit 78.1.43 was Control Unit 'white' and was made up of USS PC-1122 and USS LCI(L)-546. This last was attached for the duration of the assault only.
Task Group 78.1.5 was the Minesweeping Group under Lt.Cdr. T.R. Fonick, USNR. It was made up of the following units;
Task Unit 78.1.51 was Sweep Unit One which made up of the minesweepers USS Sentry (Lt.Cdr. T.R. Fonick, USNR, (COMMINDIV 34)), USS Salute (Lt. J.R. Hodges, USNR), USS Scout (Lt. E.G. Anderson, USNR), USS Scrimmage (Lt. R. van Winkle, USNR) and USS Scuffle (Lt.Cdr. E.A. Johnson, USNR).
Task Unit 78.1.52 was Sweep Unit Two which made up of the YMS's; USS YMS-51 (Lt.(jg) A.L. Giesenschlag, USNR), USS YMS-68 (Lt. G.L. O'Neil, USNR), USS YMS-73 (Lt. J.H. Frederick, USNR) and USS YMS-363 (Lt. F.A. Struve, Jr., USNR).
Task Unit 78.1.53 was Sweep Unit Three which made up of the YMS's; USS YMS-4 (Lt.(jg) F.D. Bender, USNR), USS YMS-39 (Lt. R.M. Sullivan, USNR), USS YMS-340 (Lt. P. Schminke, USNR) and USS YMS-365 (Lt.(jg) F.C. Huff, USNR).
Task Unit 78.1.54 was Sweep Unit Four which made up of the YMS's; USS YMS-6 (Lt. M. McVickar, USNR), USS YMS-259 (Lt. M. Goedjen, USNR), USS YMS-313 (Lt.(jg) W.H. Reibold, USNR) and USS YMS-314 (Lt.(jg) J.W. Easton, USNR).
Task Unit 78.1.55 was Sweep Unit Five (Support Unit) which made up of the high speed transport USS Cofer (Lt. H.C. McClees, USNR), LSM USS LSM-1 (Lt. E.J. Flowers, USNR), 4 LCVP's and 2 ML's.
Task Group 78.1.6 was the Hydrographic Survey Group under Lt.Cdr. G.D. Tancred, RAN. It was made up of the following ships; frigate HMAS Lachlan (Lt.Cdr. G.D. Tancred, RAN), net tender USS Satinleaf (Lt. Lt. P.F. Taylor, USN) and the YMS USS YMS-160 (Lt. E.C. Bolton, USNR).
Task Group 78.1.7 was the Salvage and Service Group. It was made up of the following units;
Task Unit 78.1.71 was the Salvage Unit and was made up of the tugs USS Pinto (Lt. R. Brown, USNR) and USS ATR-61 (Lt. W.M. Heywood, USNR).
Task Unit 78.1.72 was the Fire Fighting Unit and was made up of the LCI(S)'s; USS LCS(L)-961 (?), USS LCS(L)-985 (?), USS LCS(L)-1000 (?) and USS LCS(L)-1071 (?).
Task Unit 78.1.73 was the Service Unit and was made up of the tanker USS Winooski (Lt.Cdr. T.B. Christenson, USNR), landing craft repair ship USS Achilles [former LST-455] (Lt.Cdr. F.A. Gherini, USNR) and the LST (as logistics ship) USS LST-473 (Lt. E.H. Davis, USNR).
Task Unit 78.1.74 was the Press Unit and was made up of the patrol vessel USS PCE(R)-849 (Lt. C. Sanders, USNR), USS LCI(L)-635 (Lt. H. Hopkins, USNR) and the small army cargo ship FP 47.

At 1400I/4, the Brunei Attack Group under the command of Rear-Admiral Royal, USN in his flagship USS Rocky Mount departed Morotai for the objective area (Brunei Bay). The mission of this Attack Group was to transport, protect, land, firmly establish on shore the 9th Australian Division in the Brunei Bay area and support it in subsequent operations in order to secure Brunei Bay for use as and advanced fleet base and to protect resources in the area. The assault troops were the veteran 9th Australian Division and such supporting elements, equipment and supplies as would be needed immediately on Zebra Day (wich was set for June 10th). The main assault echelon contained 85 ships with an additional screening force of 6 destroyers, 3 destroyer escorts, 2 PC's and 4 SC's (patrol vessels). A second echelon consisting mainly of LST's and LCI's plus escorts departed Morotai on 5 June and arrived at Brunei Bay on 11 June. Other units, including LCM's and LCT's sailed from Tarakan via Tawi Tawi and also arrived on 11 June. One MTBRON with its tender from Mindoro joined the main assault echelon at sea on 9 June.

The Brunei Attack Group, enjoining fair weather, sailed without incident through the Celebes and Sulu Seas, and overcame the navigational difficulties presernted by Basilan and Balabac Straits without mishap. Although air protection was provided, and dawn and dusk alerts maintained, no enemy planes appeared enroute and no submarine contacts were reported by the screening vessels.

On 9 June (Zebra minus one), off the northwest coast of Borneo, the convoy was joined by USS Boise, USS Killen and USS Albert W. Grant. USS Boise had on board General MacArthur (CinCSWPA) to observe the landings at Brunei Bay.

The Cruiser Covering Group (TG 74.3) departed Subic Bay on 5 June. The Cover Group (TG 74.2) got underway from Subic Bay on 7 June.

The Minesweeping and Hydrographic Groups, which had departed Morotai on 2 June arrived off Brunei Bay in the early morning of 7 June. These units then began operations under the protection of the Cruiser Covering Group and the Fire Support Group commanded by Rear-Admiral Berkey, USN. On 7 June the minesweepers swept 34 contact mines on a north-south line at the main (southwestern) entrance to Brunei Bay in area 'Piccolo'. Areas 'Cornet', 'Trumpet', 'Bassoon' and 'Flute' were swept with negative results. Preliminary hydrographic survey work by HMAS Lachlan indicated that British Admiralty charts were accurate for the area. All sheduled operations were completed without enemy interference. Several large smoke columns in the vicinity of Brunei town indicated that enemy had begun destruction of installations in that area.

On 8 June minesweeping operations continued on shedule and 34 contact mines were swept in area 'Picollo' making a total of 68 mines swept through the second day of operations. At 1516I/8, USS Salute struck a mine which resulted in serious damage. Casualties were reported as 6 enlisted men killed, 3 enlisted men missing in action and 37 wounded. She subsequently sank at 2300I/8 in position 05°08'5"N, 115°05'E, the spot being marked by an obstruction buoy. Reconnaissance of 'Brown' Beeach, Labuan Island was carried out by an underwater demolition team. Swimmers closed to the high water mark along the entire beach, and found a firm sandy bottom. A thorough search revealed no underwater obstacles or mines, and there was little sign of recent activity along the beach. Light enemy opposition on shore inflicted no casualties. Planes of a scheduled bombing strike which failed to check in with the Advance Commander Support Air in USS Nashville dropped their bombs in the water of 'Brown' Beach while the swimmers were approaching the beach and inflicted casualties to the extent of 1 missing and 3 wounded. Buoys number 6 to 16, inclusive, were placed in position, and the original beach on the outer shoal was found still in position.

Reconnaissance of 'Green' Beach revealed a sandy bottom with gradual gradient. No obstructions or mines were found and the beach was marked with small white flags on either flank.

On the same day, the Fire Support Group gave the various landing beach areas a thorough bombardment. USS Phoenix and USS Conner plus gunboats gave 'Brown' Beach good coverage and exploded a large ammunition dump. HMAS Hobart, USS Charette and USS Burns covered 'White' Beach destroying serveal suspected gun emplacements and other targets.

On 9 June, Areas 'Trombone', 'Xylophone', 'Drum', 'Harp', 'Horn' and 'Piccolo' in Brunei Bay were swept with negative results. One mine was swept at the southern boundary of Area 'Piccolo' during a check-sweep making a total of 69 mines swept through the 3rd day of operations. USS Scuffle reported that the explosion of mines in gear streamed to 60-foot depth might indicate that an anti-sweep feature was used by the enemy to blow the mines when they were caught by the sweeping gear. A reconnaissance of 'White' Beach, Maura Island, revealed a hard sandy bottom with no obstructions or mines. Buoys 17, 18 and 19 were laid as hydrographic boats made a complete circuit of Maura Island unmolested. Soundings agreed with the charts.

'Brown', 'Green' and 'White' Beach Areas were again well covered by naval gunfire and a suspected gun emplacement on Pappan Island was thoroughly saturated. Heavy air strikes on Labuan Island and Brunei Bluff drew light inaccurate AA fire. USS LCI(G)-23 ran hard aground south of Maura Island. Commander of 'White' Support Unit assisted by PT boats stood by until she could get off at high tide.

Four PT boats arrived in Brunei Bay at 1500I/9 and commenced patrolling the objective area. Two boats strafed Sipitang town the night of the 9th with no return fire. The other two boats patrolled with no enemy contact to Mangalong River.

On Zebra Day (10 June), the Brunei Attack Group sailed into Brunei Bay in the early morning hours under the protecting guns of the Fire Support Group. At Point 'Lamb', inside the Bay, the assault units broke off and proceeded to the respective Transport Areas to deploy in accodance with directives of the Assault Unit Commanders.

After the 'Brown' Assault Unit had taken up its position of Labuan Island, it was attacked by an enemy plane at 0650I/10. This plane, identified as a twin-engined 'Nick', dropped one bomb near the Transport Area without damage to shipping. The plane was at about 500 feet altitude. It was fired upon but managed to get away.

The bombardment of 'Brown' Beach began at 0805I/10 by the large fleet units of Fire Support Unit One, being joined 5 minutes later by the small support craft with rockets and guns of smaller calibre. Fire Support Unit Two began the bombardment of 'White' and 'Green' Beaches at 0813I/10 and 0815I/10 respectively. Fire at all three points was so heavy and accurate that enemy troops retreated from the landing areas, enabling landings at all three beaches to be made unopposed. The hulk of a merchant vessel in Victoria Harbour was hit repeatedly by close support craft to insure that there were no operational guns aboard to fire on our landing craft.

At 0915I/10, the first waves in LCVPs and LVT's landed simultaneously at 'Brown', 'Green' and 'White' beaches, on shedule. These three separate landings, at different points as far apart as 18 miles, were carried out with precision and dispatch. The beaches were quickly secured and all assault waves were landed by 1003I/10, with the remaining waves on call. Fire support from naval craft was reported to be most effective as was that of the close support craft near shore. B-24's, although somewhat delayed in arriving, carried out attacks on areas in rear of the beaches with good results.

After the 'Brown' Beach Area was secured at 1100I/10, General MacArthur went ashore from USS Boise, accompanied by Lt.Gen. Morshead, COC I Australian Corps, Rear-Admiral Royal, Air Vice Marshal Bostock, General Kenney and others, for an inspection tour of Labuan Island.

The LSM's began unloading on 'Brown' Beach before 1200I/10 and the LST's at approximately 1500I/10.

Vitoria Town on Labuan Island was found deserted and almost completely destroyed. Australian Infantry and Tanks moved inland from 'Brown' Beach against little opposition and by 1129I/10 the 24th Brigade was within sight of Labuan airfield. From this point on the opposition increased. Maura Island was completely reconnoitred without locating any enemy. At 'Green' Beach by nightfall the Australians had captured Brooketon and had avanced 3000 yards towards Brunei Town. At 1724I/10 troops were landed on Hamilton Peninsula, Labuan Island, and at 1830I/10, Major General Wootten, GOC 9th Australian Division assumed command ashore.

During minesweeping on Zebra day, 3 mines were swept in Area 'Banjo', making a total of 72 mines swept up to date.

Before nightfall of Zebra day the transports and cruisers moved out to the middle of Brunei Bay to anchor in Transport Area 'Tare' as a precaution against enemy planes and suicide craft. Support craft and ships of the screen (TU 78.1.2) formed two concentric screening circles around the anchorage area as anti-aircraft, anti-submarine, and anti-boat protection.

On 11 June (Zebra +1), a YMS unit in area 'Banjo' off Labuan Island, swept 25 contact mines making a total of 97 mines swept since the beginning of the operation. There were 9 gear casualties from uncharted pinnacles. Areas 'Tenor', 'Ceillo', 'Chimes' and 'Violin' were swept with negative results.

During the morning, General MacArthur, Lt. Gen. Morshead, Rear-Admiral Royal, and Maj. Gen. Wootten inspected Brooketon area including 'Green' and 'White' beaches.

During the day, troops of the 24th Brigade advanced 3500 yards north of Labuan airstrip encountering opposition to the west and northwest. In the 'Green' Beach area troops advanced 7400 yards southwest on the Brunei Road and those on the Hamilton Peninsula went forward 800 yards. Maura Island was reported secured. A total of 30 Australian casualties were reported to date in all sections.

B-24's and Beaufighters continued to bomb and straft in the various areas as directed by Commander Support Air in USS Rocky Mount.

Durnig the night of 10/11 June, PT boats strafed Tutong, seria, Kuala Belait, Lutong and Miri. Damage was inflicted without drawing any enemy fire. The Japanese were observed to be setting fire to oil well and tanks in the Seria area. PT boat patrols within Brunei Bay were negative, and were discontinued after this day's work.

During the day the LCI's and one attack cargo ship were unloaded and departed. LST unloading progressed rather slowly owing to slow handling ashore.

It was reported that 50 Japanese troops with machine guns and rifles had landed at Menumbok.

Around 0800I/11, USS Cleveland, USS Hart and USS Metcalf parted company with TG 74.2 to report for duty with TG 74.3. The remainder of TG 74.2 then left the Brunei Bay area to proceed towards the Balikpapan Area via Tawi Tawi.

After a final inspection ashore General MacArthur departed the Brunei Bay area around 1315I/11 in USS Boise escorted by USS Killin and USS Albert W. Grant. They proceeded to Jolo.

On 12 June, 5 additional mines were swept in Area 'Banjo', bringing the total to 102. Other areas in Brunei Bay were swept with negative results.

HMAS Hobart and USS Metcalf effectively bombarded towns on the southern tip of the Klias Penisula.

Air strikes were staged on target areas in the objective area as well as Beaufort, Weston and Keningau. Good support was furnished to ground troops.

The Australian lines on Labuan remained virtually unchanged. However, good advantages were made toward Brunei Town resulting in the capture of Brunei airstrip. Hamilton Peninsula was completely secured. Australian casualties to date totaled 15 killed and 49 wounded.

General unloading of shipping was proceeding at a satisfactory rate.

There were indications that the enemy might be staging an evacuation of Jesselton where some small ship activity was reported.

On the night of 11/12 June, PT boats had again strafed Miri and Tutong starting fires. Boats received return machine gun and rifle fire from Miri without sustaining damage.

On 13 June, in minesweeping operations of Miri-Lutong-baram Point Area, minesweepers swept 31 contact mines on their first sweep, losing 5 sets of gear due to exploding mines. An additional 61 mines were swept later the same day making a total of 92 for the day. Additional sweeping gear was requisted by Commander Minesweeping Unit because of the heavy loss of gear to mine explosions since the beginning of the operations on 7 June. While sweeping, the minesweepers were fired upon by 3" guns ashore. About 25 rounds were fired all falling short. The battery ceased fired when destroyers heading in towards the shore. They were unable to close within range due to floating mines.

USS Metcalf bombarded caves and gun positions in hills on the northern end of Labuan Island. The caves appeared unused and the gun positions unoccupied.

The 20th Brigade captured Brunei Town, and made further advances on Labuan Island occupying the road west of Timbalai airfield and also advancing two-thirds of the way up the east coast.

Mitchell and Lightning aircraft rendered support to ground troups. One enemy aircraft (Dinah) approached our aircraft which were strafing Miri airstrip, but retired when fired upon. One other enemy aircraft (a Nick) was shot down over Brunei Bay at 1934I/13 by night fighters capably vectored by the fighter director team in USCGC Spencer.

During the night of 13/14 June 1945, PT boats strafed Cape Lobang and Miri. They reported receiving either 75mm or 90mm return fire from the vicinity of Pujut.

On 14 June, minesweepers of Miri cut 29 contact mines on their first sweep. A total of 72 mines were swept this day, giving 164 mines to date in this area. USS Scrimmage lost all gear and USS Scout and USS Sentry were able to sweep with starboard gear only. YMS vessels had such difficulty in cutting mine moorings that they planned to use explosive cutters. Mines caught in YMS gear slowed ships almost to a stop. Mines appeared deeply set and thickly planted. The minesweepers drew fire from the beach on their first pass, but the remainder of the day was quiet.

The 24th Brigade advanced to the northern tip of Labuan Island and advanced down Brunei-Tutong road with little opposition.

All assault shipping was unloaded as of this date. However the Reserve Unit was not yet committed.

At 2055 all ships went to General Quarters as enemy aircraft were reported. Two bombs were dropped on Labuan Island at 2103I/14 and one bomb fell in the anchorage area without damage to shipping. At 2230I/14, three enemy planes approached from the east. AA fire from ships shot down one of them.

On the night of 14/15 June 1945, PT boats worked south to Niah River (south of Miri) and north to Usukan Bay. Both patrols were negative.

On 15 June minesweeping continued in the Miri-Lutong area. Mines swept in that area to date total 246 mines. Minefield appears to be a continuous line extending from shoal water west of Baram Point in a southeasterly direction, following curve of shore line approximately 9 miles off shore. Heavy loss of minesweeping gear necessitated recalling the minesweepers to Brunei Bay. 9 YMS's continued to sweep. The channel east of Labuan was swept for five days with negative results and it is now considered safe for navigation.

Troops reached Kilanis settlement on Brunei-Tutong Road without enemy contact. On Labuan, the enemy pocked 1000 yards west of Labuan airstrip continued to resist.

USS McCalla and USS Philip bombarded targets in the Miri-Lutong area. Hits were scored on suspected gun emplacements and targets of opportunity. No return fire was observed.

On 16 June, 92 additional mines were swept in the Miri-Lutong area making a total of 338 swept to date. Many sets of YMS gear fouled with mines are in the area, but it was considered inadvisable to attempt recovery at this time since such efforts would interfere with sweeping. Progress in sweeping continued slow due to numerous losses of gear and the heavy chain mooring by which the mines are anchored.

Mopping-up activity continued on Labuan Island and troops advanced to a point halfway to Tutong along the Brunei-Tutong road.

At 0840I/16, the Liberty ship Helena Modjeska (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944) ran aground in Victoria Harbour but was pulled off by USS Pinto at 0947I/16.

Weston was reported to have been evacuated by the enemy. Troops are scheduled to land there on the 17th.

Captain H.B. Hudson, USN, is to assumme status of senior commander on 17 June for operational and administrative control of naval units except for Task Force 74 when CTG 78.1 will leave the area.

As of 1800I/16, Australian casualties in all sectors were 40 killed and 100 to 120 wounded. Enemy casualties on Labuan Island as of 1800I/16 were as follows; 205 counted dead, 29 estimated dead. 20 Wounded. 5 POW's. Enemy casualties in the Brunei Area as of 1800I/15 were as follows; 70 counted dead, 20 estimated dead. 6 POW's.

At 0930I/17, Weston was captured. Minesweeping in the Miri-Lutong Area was continued this date. CTG 78.1, Rear-Admiral Royal in USS Rocky Mount, departed the area at 1800I/17. The Cover Force, Task Group 74.3, also departed the area on this day arriving at Tawi Tawi on the 19th. Earlier that day the Australian heavy cruiser HMAS Shropshire (Capt. C.A.G. Nichols, MVO, DSO, RN) had arrived. Commodore Farncomb now took over the fire support duties for which HMAS Hobart, HMAS Arunta, USS Hart and USS Metcalf remained with him. he hoisted his broad pendant in HMAS Shropshire. (15)

2 May 1982
The General Belgrano (former USS Phoenix CL 46) was sunk by the British Navy during the Falklands conflict. 321 men perished when she sank in 45 minutes after being hit twice by torpedoed from the British nuclear attack submarine HMS Conqueror (S-48). (16)

Sources

  1. http://www.navsource.org/archives/04/046/04046.htm
  2. Report of proceedings of HMA Squadron + Report of proceedings of HMAS Perth for January 1942
  3. Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart from 6 to 26 March 1942
  4. Log of USS Phoenix for May 1942 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Voyager for May 1942
  5. Report of proceedings of HMA Squadron
  6. Report of proceedings of Task Force 44
  7. Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart for November 1942
  8. Report of proceedings of HMAS Vendetta from September to December 1942 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Warramunga from 23 November 1942 to 3 January 1943
  9. Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart for January 1943 + War Diary of USS Phoenix for January 1943
  10. Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart for February 1943 + War diary of USS Phoenix for February 1943
  11. Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart for March 1943 + War diary of USS Phoenix for March 1943
  12. Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart for March 1943 + War diary of USS Phoenix for March 1943 + War diary of USS Mugford for March 1943
  13. Action report of COMTASKGR 74.3 on Cebu City operations 24 - 28 March 1945 + Action report of COMTASKGR 78.2 on Cebu City operations
  14. War Diary COMDESRON 21 for April 1945
  15. Report on operation Oboe VI by CTG 78.1
  16. Personal communication

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