On Patrol in the Marshall Islands 1944-45.
A partial history of U.S.S. BRACKETT DE--41
by William L. Roberts

[Editor's note: I am indebted to William L. Roberts who wrote the history and shared it with me for use on the Marshall Islands web site. Excised from the account were all segments not directly related to the Marshall Islands. The full account is provided by Roberts elsewhere. What has been retained for use in this site is the diary narrative. The narrative at length demonstrates the action, and inaction, of a destroyer escort based in the Marshalls.]



About 1130 4th of February 1944 we sighted the Marshall Islands, and like a nervous mother hen, brought our charges into an atoll called Majuro. Ready to anchor, we received a call to go out and pick up the Kalinin Bay (CVE-68) being dropped off by a passing convoy. We picked her up with the Wilson (DD-408), Stadtfield DE--29), Tisdale DE--33), and brought her in through the Calalin Channel, Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands. We then went out with the Task Group 51.2, under the command of Rear Admiral Harry Hill, and stayed in a war cruising basis, heavy gunfire was heard at 1100, The big boys bombarded the atoll while we continued to be part of the escort of the whole fleet. We went into Majuro at 1944 and anchored in 22 fathoms. It appeared that the Japs had left.

We are anchored in Majuro Atoll on Saturday the 5th of February and at 0900 we tied up to the U.S.S. Pecos (AO-36)(U.S.S. Corsicana in peace time) we fueled at 0900 and returned to the anchorage. With us are the carriers Bunker Hill (CV17) and Enterprise (CV6), the Battlewagons Massachusetts (BB-59), South Dakota (BB-57), Missouri(BB-63), and the Washington (BB-56).
The U.S.S. Washington (BB-56) has an accordion bow due to a "RAM" with the Indiana (BB-58). There is a large hole in her, just below the aft 16"guns. It appears that on the first of February about 0428 the Washington hit the Indiana just below her # 3 turret on the starboard side and scraped down her side to the center of the starboard catapult before coming free. The Washington's bow had been smashed and the focsle, due to the lack of support caved in. A number of Officers and men aboard the Washington were killed. Captain J. M. Steele of the Indiana said he was the one that had screwed up. He was subsequently court marshaled and relieved of his command and stayed shore bound for the rest of his career.
On the 6th of February, for the first time aboard this vessel, the church flag was raised above the Stars & Stripes. Confession for Catholics was held at 15:45 and Mass and Communion at 16:35. position (07d 26' 00" N 171d 18' 00" E)
At 0700 on the 7th of February we got underway convoying with the U.S.S. Greer DE-23), U.S.S. Deede DE-263), U.S.S. Whitman DE-24), the U.S.S. Saugatuk (AO-50) (ex Newton), U.S.S. Lackawana (AO-38) (ex Conastoga), U.S.S. Neosho (AO-40) (ex Catawba), U.S.S. Neashantic (AO-68) (ex Marquette), and the U.S.S. Tallulah (AO-75) (ex Valley Forge). The scuttlebutt says we are on the way to Funafuti, in the Ellice Island Group. The sea is rough as hell.
On the 8th the weather abated. We left the Deede, Greer & Elden and joined up with the Elden, Emery and Whitman and continued screening for the five oilers.
On the 9th we had light rain and a moderate wind, we passed over the Equator again (3) about 1630 hours. On the 10th the U.S.S. Emery DE-28) left to check out a surface contact and came back a little after 0300.

FUNAFUTI, Ellice Is.

On the 11th of February 1944, arrived at Funafuti at 1400 hours and waited until everyone was in and safe and we went in, tied up to the YOG-82 refueled (about 17,663 gallons of diesel oil) then went back to our old location (C-39) and anchored.

The 12th became a big day when five bags of mail, dated from December, January and February, came aboard-Christmas finally arrived. Loaded stores this afternoon. The 13th was set aside for writing letters, and the next day, February 14th, saw twenty-five bags of mail come aboard.
On the 15 of February we got underway about 13:00 hours with the U.S.S. Whitman DE-24), the Oilers U.S.S. Saugatuk (AO-50) & U.S.S. Tallulah (AO-75) headed for Majuro.
Went to G.Q. on the 16th, from 0930 to 1045 hours and then twice a day until we hit port.
The 17th found us crossing the Equator again.

MAJURO, Marshall Is.

The 19th of February 1944, we had a surface contact at about 0300, Off we went like a bat out of hell and at 0440 he was indicated as a friendlyso back to the group we went. At a little after noon found us at Majuro again. About 1430 we got underway again and went over to the S.S. Mission and picked up twin floats-brought them over to the U.S.S. Natoma Bay (CVE-62) and went back to our anchorage. At 1840 we were underway again-headed out the channel,when our orders were canceled. Recalled we went back to our anchorage.


KWAJALEIN, Marshall Is.

On the 20th we were underway again at 1415 bound for Kwajalein, escorting the U.S.S. Pecos (AO-36), arrived there at 1130 hours on the 21st of February 1944; the YMS388 providing us with the charts of the harbor and the mine field, we went in and anchored. A few of the crew had a chance to go ashore and talk to the guys that hit the island. Evidently what had happened is that the U.S.S. Phelps (DD-360) and some YMSs found an open channel at the southern end of the atoll, and they went back and had a number of the L.S.Ts, LCVPs etc. and escorted them into the atoll where they anchored while the big boys raked the island with 15,000 tons of high explosives-after the bombardment was over our guys landed. The big guns that the Japs brought from Singapore were all facing out to sea in permanent gun emplacements. The marines who landed on Roi and Namur lost 196 men killed and about 550 wounded, while the Japs lost 3,534 killed and 101 were captured. The army landing on the island of Kwajalein lost 177 men and over 1,000 men were wounded. The Japanese, however, lost 4,826 with 174 captured. The place looked like a pancake after the shelling and bombing. We up anchored at 1600 hours to head back to Majuro.


MAJURO, Marshall Is.

On the 22nd of February 1944, found us looking for our berth in Majuro among the many capital ships. We refueled from the U.S.S. Sabine (AO-25) (ex ESSO), and returned to our anchorage. On the 24th Ensign Robert A. Stocking went over to the U.S.S. Nassau for transportation back to the states.

On the 25th we were underway again convoying an empty oiler the S.S. White Oaks with the scuttlebutt suggesting we were going back to Pearl! About 1000 hours on the 27th of February we left the Oiler and started back to Majuro! Along with it, the dreams and fantasy that Honolulu envisions. "G.Q." was called at 2100 hours to go after a fiveship convoy that did not answer our challenge (the U.S.S. Rocky Mount (AGC15) finally did).
We arrived at Sundance Harbor in Majuro Atoll on the 29th of February 1944, and anchored somewhere among the Saratoga, Enterprise, Yorktown, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Alabama, North Carolina, Iowa, South Dakota, Tennessee and a bunch of other ships; at 2100 hours 340 mail bags were brought aboard from the LST 119 for delivery to another Fleet P.O. . The ship was underway at 1130 hours on the 1st of March to Kwajalein, on the way out passed a Destroyer Squadron coming in and later the Hospital Ship "Relief". At 1730 hours picked up a "Sub" (fish?) on the sound equipment and lost it. At 2100 hours someone on the bridge saw a green flare and we went to G.Q. again searching for possible fliers that were down, but after a lengthy search secured.

KWAJALEIN, Marshall Is.

On the 2nd of March 1944, at 0812 hours we tied up to the U.S.S. Chester (CA 27) in Kwajalein and unloaded the mail. The Atoll looked like a flattened pancake due to the bombardment. We were back underway at 0900only to wait until 1530 for a tanker the U.S.S. Neshanic (AO-68) to come out to be escorted back to Majuro. At 1830 a fire broke out in the Muffler space due to a busted exhaust and dirty rags that were left laying around. The exhaust line to #2 engine was found to be bustedthe fire was put out post haste.


MAJURO, Marshall Is.

On the 3rd of March 1944, at about 0100 GQ sounded and we left the Neshanic in pursuit of a sonar contactno soapabout 1100 we anchored in Majuro, fueled and got stores from the U.S.S. Neshanic (AO-68).

On March 4th it began raining and a heavy fog blew in, quite strange since we had no rain ever since we had been in these waters.
On the 5th of March-LIBERT-Your first since leaving Pearl. About 60 men went ashore for beer, baseballbut no broads. The Fair DE-35), tied up aside of us, brazenly showing the "Jap" flag on the Bridge for the Sub she got on the 4th of February just freshly painted in Pearl Harbor. (All of us thought that we should have had that flag.)
On the 7th of March 1944, at 1630 hours, we were underway again for Kwajalein on a glassy surface. On the 8th at 0307 we picked up a sub on our sonar and the ship made six or seven runs over it, and because they thought it was more like a whale than a sub we abandoned the runs and got back on course. We sighted Kwajalein at 0900 and anchored at 1200 hours.

KWAJALEIN, Marshall Is.

Underway on March 9th at 0800 and waited outside for a freighter, but due to their having a fouled hawser, we had to return at 1630 for the evening. About 2330 Condition RED was set, GQ was soundedbut it was deemed a false alarmfriendly planes.

Back underway at 0800 on the 10th with the freighter S.S. Nathaniel Currier to ROI (northern islet of Kwajalein Atoll) and arrived there at 1500, turned around and arrived back at Kwajalein at 2300 hours.
Anchored at Kwajalein on the 11th, the Division Doctor Lt.(jg) Downing came aboard for inspection at 1400. He went down on his hands and knees with white gloves actually looking for dirt. Our sister ships the Lovering, DE-39 and the Donaldson DE-44 are anchored here also. On the 12th Protestant church call was piped at 1000 hours, and the Catholic party was supposed to go over to the Cascade for their services later, but it was canceledand we were underway again at 1800 hours escorting three L.S.T.s 29 and 272,to Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert Islands. On the 13th a P.C. joined us momentarily and then left with one of the L.S.T.s. and is about six to seven miles off our starboard side. On the 14th everybody is still in their apparent location. About 0530 on the 15th the LST29 took off on it's own headed for Makin. About 1630 we left the LST 272 and proceeded to Tarawa, and at 1800 we arrived and the YMS288 came along the side to give us charts (with mined areas designated) to enter the harbor. At 1910 on the 15th of March 1944, we dropped the anchor.

TARAWA, Gilbert Is.

On the 16th, while anchored in Tarawa, 50 cases of Beer were brought aboard. Mr. Roskilley, Mr. Reed, Mr. Painter, Mr. Tate and Mr. Chomel went ashore in the whaleboat. When they returned a few hours later, they were all drunker than skunks. It was the first time that they found a way to relieve the stressthey needed to.

On the 17th a few Liberty Parties went ashore with the beer, later in the day 29 sailors and a marine came aboard for our trip to Kwajaleinfor which we got underway at 1800 hours.

KWAJALEIN, Marshall Is.

We sailed in good weather and arrived in Kwajalein at 1030 hours on the 19th, and the passengers disembarked about 1530 hours for duty with the Naval Construction Battalion (SeaBees) #74.

March 20, after getting underway about 0930 we went over to the YOG82, we took on some 28,900 gallons of diesel fuel, and at 1600 hours we got underway for Makin, one of the Gilbert group, escorting a Cargo ship, S.S. Sea Pike and arrived in Makin at 0900 on the 21st of March 1944. According to scuttlebutt a Jap submarine landed five Japs on the island and they were caught, two were killed in the process and three were captured.

MAKIN, Gilbert Is.

On the 22nd a Liberty Party went ashore and played the Y.M.S. 499, the final score waswell we only lost by 17 to 3. Bill Roberts, the umpire for the first four innings, was thrown out of the game and a guy from the Y.M.S. took overwhich was the reason for the loss. The Deck Apes then played the Black Gang, with Roskilly the umpire--the Deck Apes won. On the 23rd we were joined by the Y.M.S. 488 and the Starboard side went on Liberty. On the 24th four army nurses, between the ages of 20 to 24 came aboard, our officers (including Tate) were dressed fit to kill. Evidently the crew were asleep when they left. The 25th of March found us still anchored in Makin with the water as glassy as ice, and sharks are playing off the fan tail with the brave ones of the crew tempting them with chunks of meat.

We got underway with the U.S.S. Revenge (AMS110) and the Cargo Vessel, S. S. Sea Pike (loaded with troops) bound for Eniwetok so the scuttlebutt goes. The 26th of March found rougher seas playing games, whitecapsbut nothing to worry about.

KWAJALEIN, Marshall Is.

On the 27th of March 1944, got into Kwajalein (Scuttlebutt wrong) about 0830, and at 1630 hours we received 10 bags of mailfor us! The 28th found more mail being brought aboard in the afternoon, along with Lt. R.L. Breen, who had been left in the hospital at San Diego.

The 29th of March found Commander William S. Howard with the Division Doctor Charles F. Downing and a few of his entourage came aboard bringing his flag of the Escort Division 28 with him.
On the 30th, a bunch of guys had the whaleboat on the island for liberty and a call came to get underway. A submarine was seen by an airplane in a crash dive mode about 45 miles bearing 045 true from Ebeye Island, Kwajalein Atoll. Off we went with the U.S.S. Revenge (AMS110), and two S.C.s (one was the SC993) were sent out to find it. Our #3 engine was all apart in the engine room, but in spite of that we were doing 15.5 knots, and were on the scene in about three hours with the rest of, and part of the "Hunter Killer Group #1. We searched to no avail, and returned the next morning to collect the liberty party which had slept on various ships last night.
On 1 April it was Liberty for the first section.
2 April at 0900 we had church call, Liberty for the second section at 0100but the GQ sounded againand the guys finally got to go at 1415. The YMS388 with our first Chief Bosun as Captain, and talked with the guys for about 40 minutes and was called away.
April 3 was Liberty for the third section and the 4th became the day for Tetanus Toxoid shots. Roberts, Bestwick and Parry went to the U.S.S. Curtiss (AV 4) for examination for Aviation Cadet, Gooch & Faulkner for Aerial Gunnery. Still anchored in Kwajalein over the Easter Holidays Church Call on the Cascade on Easter Sunday.
April 4th at 1810 the PC548 moored along port side, and the crew enjoyed a movie on the fantail with us. They left the about 0700 on the 5th and later in the day SC993 came along the side and dropped of Adler, James B. BM1c for two weeks temporary duty. When she left, we had another group of guys come aboard for the evening and the next day the SC993 moored along side and Richards William G. BM2c was transferred from the Brackett to the SC993. It looked like a swap. Most of the other guys also left for the U.S.S. Greiner DE-37) for further disposition.
On the 9th Ensign Donald Lee Riddering went to shore (Kwajalein) for the States.
On the 10th Commander William S. Howard, Commander Escort Division 28 left the ship with his Doctor Lt.(jg) Charles F. Downing and staff for the U.S.S. Sanders DE-40) * Thank God! At least we would not be tripping over someone on their knees every day looking for dust.
On the 11th Ralph Payne and William Broome went after each other with knivesIt was mostly grunting, groaning, pushing and shoving until Payne got cutthen we broke it up. On the 12th we got underway at 1330 to the Y.O.G. 82 for fuel (35,400 gallons) a side note "Joan" the ship's (female) dog met a male dog on the Y.O.G. 82. In spite of all the encouragement by the crewnothing happened-So we went back to our own anchorage.
The LCI462 came along the side on the 13th and we brought aboard about 20 tons of suppliesand they don't get aboard by themselves.
On the 14th we got underway at 0800 for some gun practice. We had two "G.Q.s" in which the gunners got an opportunity to ply their trade. Two barrels were tied together and a flag to help in seeing them was sent adrift and firing runs were initiated. The overall rating was pretty good, with gun #3 being the best. On the 20 millimeters and 1.1 they appeared to be hitting everything but the targetthe blocks helped not having our ship sunk from under us. The Exec. and Engineering officer with a 30/30 and a 12 gauge shotgun finally sunk it, with of course, big cheers from the crew. On the way in the crew was wondering if we should requisition "sling shots".
Before we got too far into the atoll, orders came from Commander Task Group 57.7, we turned around and headed out escorting two cargo ships, the U.S.S. Arctic (AF7) (ex Yamhill), U.S.S. ARA (AK90) (ex Daniel Boone), & the S.S. Hall Young. We are being assisted by two S.C.s. the 997 & 1031; rumor has it that we are going to convoy them to the 180th line and head back to Kwajalein.
On the 15th of April found us at sea and we confirmed the rumor the S.C.s will continue to proceed with the ships to Hawaii, after we turn around at the 180th meridian. The water is moderate to rough, quite a few clouds in the sky.
The 16th brought us showers in the morning. On the 18th we were called to "G.Q." we raced ahead of the convoy for about 2 miles then went into a controlled speed and fueled the S.C. 1031. They bounced around like a cork while taking on fuel. Almost the moment we arrived back at our screening station the S.C. 997 lost her steering control and the 1031 lost one of her pancake engines. The Arctic took the S.C.997 under tow and we slowed to 5 knots while the motormacs of the 1031 worked on the engine, as the repaired engine came back on linetheir Sonar went out. On the 19th, we crossed the International Date Line at 1256 hours, and even with continued status (The Arctic towing the SC997), we were surprisedbased upon the state of affairswhen we turned around at 1915 hours and headed back to Kwajalein, location about 14 degrees 20 min's N, 179 degrees 27 min's W, all of us hoping that they would not meet up with a Jap sub, and would make it.

KAWJALEIN, Marshall Is.

On the way back to Kwajalein on the 20th with a calm sea greeting us until we arrived at the atoll on the 22nd of April 1944.tied up to the Y.O.G. 82 for fuel at 1245, and upon Receiving 26,000 gallons of diesel went back to anchorage "K5" and secured about 1330 hoursand the Mail arrived.

On the 23 of April we got underway at 0800 hours to another anchorage, upon arrival the ship started to bang and shake. The intermediate starboard strut holding the starboard shaft came loose, and had slid down the shaft to the after strut bearing. This turn of events had Matthews and Lt. Tate taking many dives under the ship to check out the problem, then tie the strut with cable running under the ship and secured topside. Scuttlebutt immediately started suggesting that we would have to go back to Pearl to get it fixed.
On the 24th we received orders to proceed to Majuro to the Floating Dry Dock for repairs and got underway at 1310 hours with the U.S.S. Waterman DE-740) as a traveling companion. The cable is holding well as we proceed at 12.6 knots. There appeared to be a problem at the Radio Shack today with Shortlots of rumors . Arrived at Majuro at 1530 hours and had to hold up while three cruisers came out. A Lt. Garrow & Hayes came out in a whaleboat with chartsand acted as pilots to take us through the new mine fields. We anchored at 1815 on the 24th of April 1944.

MAJURO, Marshall Is.

We noticed that the U.S.S. Bangust DE-739), U.S.S. Waterman DE-740), U.S.S. Weaver DE-741), U.S.S. Hastings DE-19), U.S.S. Fair DE-35), U.S.S. Lovering DE-39) and U.S.S. Sederstrom DE-31) are anchored here, along with the U.S.S. Hornet (CV12), the Hospital Ship U.S.S. Relief (AH1), two floating drydocks R4, and R6, along with the U.S.S. Prairie (AD15), and 30 odd cargo and oiler type vessels. We were visited by a couple of construction officers to check out the problems.

On the 27th we became a gas station for the LCVP and gave her 150 gallons of diesel oil. We got underway at 1310 and tied up to S.S. Birkenhead, a Merchant Marine Oiler which was tied up to the U.S.S. Markarb (AD21). Part of the black gang have started to tear down the main engines and tearing out the salt water lines which are extensively corroded and springing leaks. The rest of the crew is cleaning and painting anything that doesn't move.
On the 28th Liberty was given to part of the crew and this afternoon news came down that Frank Knox, Secretary of the Navy had passed away. The flag was lowered to half mast.
Work and liberty was the menu of the day for the next few days, with time out on the 30th for church services. We were joined by the U.S.S. Eisele DE-34) at 1520 on the 19th. Old friends from both ships had a gab session. The crew always looked forward to a nest (a group of ships tied together) primarily for news, and secondarily for a different ear, after all you could only tell your sea tales so many times to the guys on your own ship.
At 0730 on 1 May we got underway to let the tanker out, the U.S.S. Eisele DE-34) is still alongside. This afternoon Parry, Bestwick, and Roberts went aboard the U.S.S. Markarb (AD21) ex S.S. Mormacpenn, for the Aviation Cadet Physical, along with Gooch and Faulkner for the aerial gunnery physical. The Y.O. 97 came alongside on the port side and left, the next day, the 2nd.
We got underway on the 3rd of May at 1000 hours and entered the ARD15, a Floating Dry Dock, and after adjustments were made, we secured at 1345 hours and the water was pumped out of the drydock. Most of us went down to see the starboard strut had broken away from the skin of the ship and had slid down to the main strut. The Propeller and shaft were removed, along with the strut and laid our deck. We all had no doubt that we would have to go back to Pearl Harbor to be repaired.
On May 4th after first chow, special sea detail was piped, the drydock filled, we got underway and anchored at 1100 hours and second chow was called. This afternoon everyone possible came on deck to see "CincPacFleet" come in. About 50 destroyers and everything else in the navy. On the 5th, 6th, 7th (church services), and the 8th we waited for orders to go to Pearl Harbor.
On the 9th of May we got underway, and as we passed the fleet to leave the atoll, we all thought that we would never see a sight such as thisthe whole navy was there. We are escorting, with the U.S.S. Sederstrom DE-31), the U.S.S. Gianstar (AK119) and S.S. Hillman, and have 23 passengers. On the 11th about 1100 hours, the tanker left us bound for the stateswe all wished that we could escort her there. We did cross the International Date Line at 0100. The weather was good, although numerous clouds started showing, and the crew was entertained by the passengers telling stories of how they were on the Northampton when it was hit by two torpedoes on the 30th of November 1942, and it went down. The Minneapolis, New Orleans, Honolulu and two Destroyers met up with eight Jap Destroyers. The Jap Destroyer "Takanami" was sunk by gunfire, however the Jap torpedoes hit the bow of the Minneapolis, hit a magazine on the New Orleans-blowing the bow completely off, and two torpedoes hitting the Northampton and sinking her. Two of the guys were then transferred to the Chicago which was hit by six torpedoes on the 29th of January 1943 and was sunk. We listened about the raids on Truk, Ponape, and Kurilies-we had heard some rumors about some of these, but these guys had been there. Over the next few days (13th, 14th 15th & 16th) the weather stayed cloudy, but the seas became increasing rough (rough as hell).
On the 12th at 0100 the S.S. Hillman left the convoy, we figured she was headed stateside.
On the 14th the ship's service generator went outbut we got another on line pretty quick.



On the 18th it started to calm down, and on the 19th of May 1944, we could see Oahu through the mist, and as we came into the harbor there seemed to be as many ships as we had left in Majuro.

[Text excised]

On the 29th of June we changed course for Kwajalein with two navy and one merchant marine ship. U.S.S. Megrez (AK130), U.S.S. Situla (AK221) & the S.S. Christenson. About 0400 the morning of the 30th of June 1944, the sky opened up and did it rain! It shut off about 1100, and at 1800 we spotted Kwajalein and went in and tied up along the side the U.S.S. Cloues, DE-265) (our Flag ship).


KWAJALEIN, Marshall Is.

Has it changed! Hangers, Airfield, Barracks, and Radio Tower; it was a bombed out rubble when we had seen it last.

On the 1st of July we got underway to the YOG 82 for fuel and back at 1030 hours tied up to the U..S.S. Cloues DE-265). At 1800 the SC 993 pulled up along the side and tied up. The 2nd of July was Sunday and a day for visitors. Richards BM 2/c came across to meet some of his buddies, and Adler BM 1/c went over to the 993 to see some of his. The U.S.S. Cloues DE-265) got underway at 1300 and the U.S.S. Salute (AM394) pulled along the side the SC 1024 which pulled along the SC 993, which was aside of us.
On the 4th of July we got underway at 0600 and patrolled outside until 1100 hours when the S.S. Contrerus (a speedy thing) came out and we proceeded at 16 knots to Majuro. We left her at 0207 hours on the 5th and headed back to Kwajalein. 1/2 day holiday starts today and will continue every Wednesday, providing the Departments get a 4.0 on Cleaning.


KWAJALEIN, Marshall Is.

We got back to Kwajalein at 1530 on the 5th of July 1944 in the midst of heavy wind and rain, made an attempt to moor alongside the U.S.S. Salute (AM 394) but missed on the first attempt, but succeeded on the second. After we were moored and tied down good, the wind and rain stopped.

On the 6th of July we got underway at 0950 to Eniwetok with a convoy of two ships the S.S. Mission Purissima and the S.S. Jalora (Jalopa) (2 Tankers). Sighted Eniwetok at 1005 on the 7th of July 1944, and waited until the tankers had got in safely, and started to go backbut were called in and tied up to the U.S.S. Steele, DE-8). She was one of the early ones built in Boston Naval Shipyard. One of the Brackett electricians said he and his girl helped build her.

ENIWETOK. Marshall Is.

We got our mail and were underway at 1415 headed for Roi doing 17 knots; and arrived there at 1030 on the 8th of July. Underway again, this time escorting the U.S.S. Windham Bay (CVE-92) (who was bringing aircraft from the States) to Eniwetok. Arriving there the following morning we had to wait to get in while two Battle Wagons, three Cruisers, 13 Aircraft Carriers, and innumerable Destroyers, along with five troop ships (APAs) came out.

We went in and tied up along the side of (believe it or not) the U.S.S. Sebec Soubarissen "SEA BAT" the (AO-87) that was commissioned in March of 1944 out of Portland, Oregon. Mr. Chomel our EXEngineering Officer came aboard for a visit is now a 1st Lt.
July 10th found us underway at 1300 hours, without a whale boatit was getting movies?as we approached the exit to the atoll the whaleboat came speeding out after us. We slowed and as soon as the shackles were set, we speeded up again. The U.S.S. Cavalier (APA37) was right in back of us coming out like an express train. (This was the ship that was docked right in back of us in Pearl Harbor with the Coxswain being the "Caesar Romero"). We are headed for Saipan and our designation is C.T.U. 57.18.10. It appears that the troops on the Cavalier are needed for the Mariannas battle.
July 11, 1944 at sea and on the way to Saipan in a very light rain and a very big Rainbow. It was a very good sign. The Captain spoke over the PA system requesting that all compartments below the water line be dogged down. We are about 800 miles from Jap held Guam, and the harbor at Saipan is under attack by day and night by the Japs. We and the U.S.S. Cavalier (APA37) are Zig Zagging. A small task force was spotted this morning. A TBF buzzed us at about 1530 hours.


[Trip to Saipan and Tinian excised from this account]


On the 14th the U.S.S. Phillip (DD-498) left us at 2400 hours and we passed another small task force about 1400 hours. On the 14th passed another four ship convoy headed for the Marshalls. Eniwetok was spotted on the 16th of July 1944 at 1100 hours and we were in about 1300 to receive some welcome mail.

ENIWETOK, Marshall Is.

The 17th found us obtaining fuel from the U.S.S. Giraffe (IX-118) and then going back to another anchorage. The 18th we changed anchorage again, and a few new guys reported aboard. Kohler, Roland C S2c, Kumar, Charles J. S2c, Lay, Richard A. S2c, Lea Richard E. S2c, Lee, Robert S. S2c, Lennox Gordon M. S2c, Learmont, Robert E. S2c.

On the 19th we brought aboard stores and changed anchorage again, and a few guys left the ship for new construction Tomzak, Edmund A. SK2c, Boone Billy M. S1c, Burden, Roscoe L. S1c, Clark, Albert U. StM1c, Jackson Benny Ck3c, McMillan, John R. S1c, Parry, Clarence SM2c, Payne, Ralph L. S1c, Short Charles E. S1c, Virgino, Milvin J. SF2c. On the 20th we got assigned "Patrol" duty outside the Lagoon. On the 21st while still guarding the harbor a Troop ship went by and within 15 minutes it had gone aground at the entrance. 2,000 soldiers had to be taken off by LCIs and a few tugs and YMSs were given the task of getting the ship off the reef. We were given orders to change station and assist the U.S.S. Case (DD-370) and the U.S.S. Tisdale DE-33) in screening the operation. We went in about 1800 and received seven bags of mailall papersvery few letters.
Underway on the 22nd July 1944, at 0800 bound for Kwajalein with the Sargent Bay (CVE-83) a baby flat top, she had come from the States bringing aircraft. Arrived at 1000 hours and anchoredwithin minutes picked up the anchor and went back and forth all afternoon while our orders were being madecanceled and made againA plane coming into the Atoll burst into flames and crashed into the atoll, while whales were playing around us; we finally went back into the Atoll at 1800 and anchored near the U.S.S. Holland (AS3).

KWAJALEIN, Marshall Is.

Underway at 0545 hours on the 23rd with the U.S.S. Holland (Submarine Tender) (AS3) bound for Eniwetok at 13 knots. At 1530 we received a change in orders to proceed to Saipan.(designated as TU 57.18.6). The 26th of July brought "Ice Cream and Cokes". On the 27th GQ at 1345 shoot the gunsand secure.

On the 28th at 1917 hours, with Lt. Muskie as O.O.D., we picked up a submarine on our sound gear which was heard clearly and distinctly. Our first run over it we shot our Hedgehogs (24) and dropped a flarebut no luck, on our second run we shot the hedgehogs again and two underwater explosions were heard. We lost contact and went back searching for wreckage with our searchlight, and the Holland requested that we return to station at 2015, and we secured "GQ" at 2330. All night we saw guns blazing away at Tinian, as we wended our way amongst the ships, and discussed the possibility that the Bureau would confirm our sub.


[Trip to Saipan and Tinian excised from this account]


ENIWETOK, Marshall Is.

On the 2nd of August 1944, we anchored in Eniwetok at 1747. Two Battlewagons, two first line carriers, (Yorktown and Wasp) the Princeton, (we counted the 57 Jap planes painted on her superstructure). Five Cruisers and a bunch of destroyers preceded us into the Atoll.

Special Sea Detail was called at 0746 on the 3rd and went along the U.S.S. Camel (IX113) for fuel, took ships store supplies aboard, underway at 1422 and anchored and secured at 1458. Captain Graham (CBM)(our first Chief Boats) came along the side with his YTM179 (471) to watch the movies on the fantail.
The 4th brought us a new Ensign, Charles A. Dailey, Green, William S. S2c, Gunter, Thomas M. S2c, Hall, Keith W. S2c, Hamilton, Richard M. S2c, and Hansen, Elmer H. S2c.
On the 5th of August we got underway to an Oiler, the S.S. Gulfstar and stayed there putting on 78 barrels (3,550 gallons) of lube oil. The next day we got the rest of the oil (86 barrels) and got underway and anchored over by the rest of the D.E.s. in heavy rain.
On the 7th, we up anchored and reanchored near the U.S.S. Sanders DE-40), and liberty parties were sent ashore. We stationed Special Sea Detail at 1800 with orders to go to Tarawa to pick up the U.S.S. Kwajalein (CVE- 98) and take her to Guam, and report back here. We got underway, turned around and came backand secured at 1830.
Underway at 0600 to follow orders given to us yesterday. The sea is moderate. The ship lost forward speed about 0810 when the forward "8" crapped out. Propulsion was soon gained again when the two "3s" were put on the line. The reaction was so automatic that everyone was pleased that we are a complete team again, with the new guys becoming a real part of the crew.
On the 9th in the early morning hours we passed the U.S.S. Coolbaugh, DE-217) with a CVE. That crew was in the next barracks to us in Norfolk, Virginia when we were in training as the D.E. 41s new crew, prior to its commissioning. Although we could hardly see them, a lot of waving went on, on both ships. The sea is like glass.


[Trip to Tarawa, Saipan and Guam excised from this account]


ENIWETOK, Marshall Is.

At 0819 on the 24th of August 1944, we were in the Atoll anchored with five Battlewagons, five first line Carriers, eight Cruisers and a large complement of Destroyers. Ensign Edwin M. Wilke reported aboard 1110 hours. About 1645 Hamilton, Richard W. RM3c was transferred to Submarine Training School, New London, Conn. We got underway at 1800 and tied up along the side the Silica (IX150), and took on stores. Chief Graham (one of our original crew, came along the side in his _Battlewagon_ and stayed to watch the movies and then left).

On the 25th, we got underway at 0834 and tied up to the U.S.S. Guadalupe (AO-32) an Oiler and took on 4,326 gallons of lube oil, then alongside of the U.S.S. Astacosta (AO-66) for 21,540 gallons of diesel oil. At 1630 got underway and tied up to the U.S.S. Sanders DE-40) (the flagship of the 28th Division).
On the 26th, Commander Howard came aboard with his staff, and the U.S.S. Wyman DE-38) tied up to our port side at 1100 hours.
The 27th found us with the U.S.S. Sanders DE-40) on our port side and the U.S.S. Mitchell DE-43) and U.S.S. Wyman DE-38) on our starboard, and church call aboard the U.S.S. Lexington (CV16). Rumor has it that the Captain is going to pull a locker inspection at 2030, at 2015 all of the cans of fruit juice and other amenities were disposed of. The Captain came and the Captain wentand many of the crew had a happy night sleep, as well as Lt.(jg) Harry Tatehe made full Lt. The U.S.S. Sanders DE-40) left sometime during the day.
On the 28th the U.S.S. Loeser DE-680) and the U.S.S. Wileman DE-22) came alongside and tied up, and part of the crew went on liberty on Parry Island.
On the 29th part of the crew went to Parry Island for liberty and a new type of D.E., the U.S.S. Jack Miller DE- 410) tied up alongside the U.S.S. Loeser DE-680). The inquisitive ones went over to see her 2 5"/38cal main battery enclosed in a turretlike a destroyer, two twin 40mm guns, one triple torpedo tube, the other armament was like ours the hedgehogthe two depth charge racks and 8 K gun projectors. The bridge structure appeared to be a bit lower.
August 30thGeneral clean up, no Liberty.
The 31st of August between 1230 and 1300 the D.E.680, 38 and 22 left, and the U.S.S. Jack Miller DE-410) came along the side like a cowboy on a bucking horse and her anchor creamed off our stanchions. (What a bunch of Boots). At 1720 the SC775 came alongside, at 1745 the LCMM2 came alongside to unload ammunitionby 1925 we were all clear again.
Liberty on the 2nd of September, and the D.E. 410 pulled out at about 1715. The YMS317 came along the side about 1640 and left about 1655.
On Sunday the 3rd of September we had a church party on the island at 0815, the sea became rough and storm warnings given. The U.S.S. H.C. Thomas DE-21) came along our port side about 1130 On the 4th.
September 5th was PAYDAY . . . and the dice and cards were busy all night. A very few heard the SC1066 come alongside about 1610 and then move to the port side of the U.S.S. H.C. Thomas DE-21).
On the 6th the U.S.S. Sanders DE-40) came along the side of the Thomas. Liberty on Parry Island was given to part of the crew. On the 7th "G.Q." was called at 0355 and secured at 0402. The U.S.S. a DE-344) came alongside, and at 1030 the U.S.S. Thomas DE-21) and U.S.S. Sanders DE-40) pulled out. Liberty party today.
On the 8th of September, the U.S.S. Oberrender DE-344) left this morning about 0600. Liberty partywith a few of the crew in a very pugnacious mood.
On the 9th the U.S.S. Cloues DE-265) came alongside. On the 11th the U.S.S. Cloues DE-265) left and the U.S.S. Deede (DE263) came along the side. On the 12th we fueled (2,332 gallons) the SC1066.
On the 14th Jennings, Kenneth P. S1c was transferred to the PC1135 and Weagraff, Alton R. RM2c reported aboard, about 1615 we fueled the YMS216 (722 gallons of diesel).
The 15th became a day of reflection, during the past few weeks we had torn down the main engines, painted the ship, greased the guns, and polished the brass, just so the ship would be in tip top shape for whatever we came up against in the futurethe few hours of liberty helped too.
The U.S.S. Sanders DE-40) tied up alongside about 1100 on the morning of the 16th and the U.S.S. Loeser DE-680) came alongside just a little bit later. At 1230 we got underway and went from the southern anchorage to the northern anchorage and tied up to the Provision Barge "Silica", the U.S.S. Cloues DE-265) came alongside at 1715 and Commander Howard took his flag over to her.
On the 17th the U.S.S. Cloues DE-265) got underway and their boat davit sheared off about one foot of our starboard anchor. We left the "Silica" about 0727 and went over to the U.S.S. Niobrara (AO-72) for fuel (24,045 gallons of diesel) and then went back to our original anchorage. At 1615 we got underway for Guam escorting a Dutch Ship "M.S.Sloterdyke".
On the 18th we could see many of the American troops on the rail of the Dutch ship, around 1600 when we went to a GQ drill and fired our guns, we are doing about 18 knots. The seas and weather, although threatening, stayed fairly calm and the sky cleared on the 19th.
On the 20th of September 1944, at about 0900 we spotted ROTA and watched the U.S. Planes dive bomb the enemy positions. About 0930 "Pay day" was piped and the Eagle had a bowel movement, at 1715 finally anchored, Apra Harbor has a poor anchoring bottom.


[Trip to Guam excised from this account]



ENIWETOK, Marshall Is.

Arrived in Eniwetok at 0820 on the 28th of September 1944, and got fueled (31,879 gallons of diesel) from the U.S.S. Sepulga (AO-20), tried for suppliesbut no soap. On the 29th we got underway and anchored in the north anchorage near the U.S.S. Prairie (AD15), and brought supplies aboard, pulled up the hook and proceeded to the south anchorage near the U.S.S. Cloues DE-265), our Division Flagship. Reporting aboard today were Donaldson, William E. S1c, Hinz, Henry R. S2c, Hendrix, Bill E. S2c, Hendrix, Narvin L. S2c, Hilton, Parke S2c, Miller, Don B. S2c, and Biggs, Jack Joseph SoM3c. The 30th of September at 1255 found us getting underway escorting the S.S. Robin Doncaster to a rendezvous with a convoy at the Equator and then if we miss it continue to Espirito Santo.

On October 1 the Brackett was honored for the second time with a visit from "Davey Jones". 23 crummy, lowly, lousy, stinking Polliwogs were initiated.
On the 2nd the U.S.S. Neuendorf DE-200) was sighted and she relieved us of the Doncaster at 1320. At 1330 King Neptune came aboard with his court. The Polliwogs were introduced to 30 shillelaghs yelling loud and strong "Hurrah for the Shellbacks" while taking 30 wallops. Each Polliwog was then sat before the royal judge and asked a question. The court "indubitably" believed that the polliwog told a falsehood, wherein the chief high executioner where he was shocked to his senses, and pleaded guilty. Once he had repented, he was taken before the Royal Baby, with her "lipstick coated lips", and had the extreme joy of kissing her Belly Button. Then on to the Royal Doctor and was pronounced unfit to live, but that they would fix him up! Royal liniment (black dirty grease) was applied handsomely over the affected parts, and after the "Nuts" were tightened was given over to the Royal Surgeon. After heeding a request to drop his laundry he was laid on the operating table for casterization and circumization. So that he would not Feel anything, he was blindfoldedand the Surgeon was ready to start. The first thing was to take away the "crabs" with a mixture of red lead and catsup, "Piles" were treated with red lead and carbon, his "peter" was put in splints and blood (catsup mixed with Tabasco sauce) began to run. He was cauterized with a hot soldering iron (icewhile the hot iron was pressed on a piece of meat near his nose). After being released he had the opportunity of going through the tunnel of creative juices (a long canvas tube filled with rotted garbage), of course he was helped through the tunnel by the royal cops, from the outside.
All in All, everyone had a good time.

Neptune Lt. Fischer.
Davey Jones Tart Sonarman 1st.
PrincessCoorey Seaman 1st.
Baby Storey Fireman 1st
JudgeLt. Herringer
SurgeonDr. Downey 28th Des Esc Div.
Surgeon Helpers Doc Young CPhMate
Doc St. Leon Ph Mate
Ryan C.C.S.
Hutchins GunnersMate
Constabulary Bill Riley
Clark BM

During the ceremony whales were seen blowing off the starboard side. When it was over, we turned in a big U to course 015 degrees at a speed of 18 knots and were on our way back to Eniwetok.

The next day, the 3rd of October, found a tired Dr. Downey who had stayed up all night with Broome who had an attack of appendicitis. They radioed for an airplane to take him to a base hospital. At 1515 the plane a PB2Y3 (ID = "REBEL") was sighted and after it dropped two flares to see which way the wind was blowing, it landed along our port side, taxied around the stern and up the starboard side and laid off about 50 yards. Broome was brought topside in a wire stretcher and the boat was lowered to the top of the railing where he was placed on top of the engine cover. Doctor Downey and Mr. Markham and a few of the boys got in, and it was lowered to the water. After they put Broome on the plane (Rosie#87) they came back, and the plane taxied over to the port side ahead of the ship, turned around and headed for our bow, missing us by about five feet he lifted the plane up about 200 yards later. At 1700 hours a Catalina flying boat came over and asked about Broome, and was told he had already been picked up. At sundown a seagull, looking tired and weary, lighted on Gun 24 and bedded down for the night.

ENIWETOK, Marshall Is.

At 1010, on the 4th, we anchored at Eniwetok, at 1038 special sea detail was set and we went over to the U.S.S. Giraffe IX 118 and got 26,362 gallons of diesel oil, and, in the afternoon (about 1230) we got underway againdue to the dense rain we were unable to see our way through the other ships so we anchored and waited. Scuttlebutt says we were transferred to the 9th Fleet, whatever that means.

The next morning at 0800 we got underway and anchored near the U.S.S. Prairie, and at 1300 underway again to the southern anchorage for mail (only packages) and reporting aboard was Ensign Joel O. Fly Jr., At 1500 Special Sea Detail was called again and we were underway at 1500 for Majuro.
The 6th of October and we are on our way to pick up a carrier at Majuro and take her to the Admiralty Islands, the day is calm the weather good. In the afternoon "G.Q." was called so the gunners could get a little practice, they bulls eyed everything in sight and the "Old Man" was happy and said so. At 1800 we passed Kwajalein, about two miles off our port side. That evening, on a watch, Mac Daniels & Roberts decided to play cowboys and Indians with oil cans in the engine room. The engineering officer didn't see the comic side of it and for the next two weeks you could eat off any of the bilges, as Roberts and Mac Daniels learned about cleaning the dark side (bilge) of the engine rooms. We must admit it was spotless for at least a month after.

MAJURO, Marshall Is.

On the 7th of October 1944 we got into Majuro and were taken aback due to the few ships in the atoll. Three oilers, five freighters, and some "S.A.s", and a few small boats made up the complement. We did wonder, however, about all of the Hellcats and Corsairs that about covered the island. We headed down the atoll and moored alongside the YOG83 to take on fuel (11,000 gallons of diesel fuel). We were moored at 0939 and after refueling got underway at 1059out in the channel escorting the U.S.S. Copahee (CVE-12) to the Admiralty Islands, some 2000 miles away. Her flight deck is loaded with planes. This morning around 0300, the 8th of October, it started to rain and it rained like hell, waves washed down the port side clean, you could see hardly anything. Payday was held at 1000 for the crew, the card & dice games started at 1001. On the 9th the nice day came back and the sailing smooth.

The 10th was a special day for Polliwog Ens. Joel Fry, who had come aboard in Eniwetok on the 5th of October. We crossed the equator and after the usual initiation he became a shellback.
On the 11th with the U.S.S. Copahee (CVE-12) still tagging along, we got a sound contact at 1045, and the "old Man" made his 1st run, but it was aborted. We started on the next one but lost the sub, and the Copahee sent a message to report to stationwe immediately dropped the search and arrived back on station and "G.Q." was terminated at 1115. We sighted Manus Island through dense fog at 1330, and at 1440 on the 11th of November 1944, we entered the harbor and tied up to the U.S.S. Armadillo (IX111). We fueled (29,300 gallons) and got underway at 1630 and anchored out.


[Trip to Manus excised from this account]



ENIWETOK, Marshall Is.

Wednesday, OCTOBER 18, 1944............ HAPPY BIRTHDAY

The "Old Lady" has her first birthday today. At 1645 we were in Eniwetok Atoll and anchored. For supper we had a TURKEY DINNER, fit for a KING. Later the "Little Theater of Fantail Square" presented a stage showthe cast was made up of Mr. Breen, Thode, Sinon, Smith, Chick, St. Leon, Bickford, Sweetland, MacDaniels, Mr. Markham, Emmanuel and a few more. It was rated 4.0 by the crew, and it was followed by a good movie"Sahara". To date we have traveled about 58,522.3 miles, assisted in two Invasions, have escorted 30 convoys, and have 4,123:49 hours on our engines. To top the day offmail came aboard this evening.
The 19th found some of the crew going on liberty, hopefully the entire crew can get ashore this time, before we go to sea again. The 20th another small liberty party left the ship at 1315, and at 1330 we got underway to fuel, got 40,000 gallons of diesel from the U.S.S. Beagle (IX112) and at 1600 underway again to moor to the starboard side of the U.S.S. Sederstrom DE-31).
On the 21st the Sederstrom got underway and we became the "Buoy" ship and the U.S.S. Wyman DE-38) came along the side a little later. "Captain Graham" and his little TUG (YT471) has been a frequent visitor, we guess that he still misses the "Old Lady", even though he is the captain of his own ship. Liberty for another part of the crew.
On the 22nd we find the U.S.S. Wyman DE-38) on our starboard side and the U.S.S. Greer DE-23) on our port side. A Catholic church party was called at 0900 and a Protestant church party called at 0930. Our motorwhaleboat became the taxi today for all three ships 23rd of October was another liberty day.
At 1610 on the 24th of October we got underway, (CUT 96.8.15) to Palau escorting the S.S. Pike and the S.S. Navajo Victory. Most of us remembered that we had escorted the Sea Pike in March of 1944. The 25th found us loaded for bear again, with "G.Q." being the order of the day, and particularly at sunset. Subs have been reported by a number of shipshowever we have nice weather and medium swells. Lt.(jg) Breen became a full louie today.
The 26th seen "GQ" again with the main batteries having a go at it. On the 27th we repelled borders (drill) with small arms fire 30/30 and machine guns. It appears that this is the JAP supply route used by submarines, but we have not had any contacts so far. This evening we saw YAP, a Japanese stronghold in the distance through the squalls and rain. The sea is rough and the clouds are extremely heavy and numerous.


[Trip to Palau excised from this account]


ENIWETOK, Marshall Is.

On the 5th of November 1944, we sighted Eniwetok and about 0800 came through the channel, and said our byes to the S.S. Cape Stephen. Mail came aboard at 1530, and there was a lot off indecision as to whether to open the mail at that time. A red headed woman in a whale boat with seven guys, thought to be from a Scandinavian ship anchored near us, went by. The "old lady" almost rolled over with all of the crew, on the starboard side, leaning over the rail to get a look at what a woman looked like.

On the 6th Mr. Rathburne came back aboard from being at Pearl, Broome returned after his appendicitis operation, showing the scar to anyone that would take the time to look and listen, and Kesock returned from the Eniwetok Hospital.
On the 7th of November we aired bedding and went about the usual in port routine (the electricians ducking Chief Lutgens, and other divisions ducking their Chief). Lights went out at 0340 this morning, Aux #3 was fouled up due to K switch not being opened. A new watch was made out for the E division which appeared to be the same as "War Cruising". Evidently the goofoffs got the best of the chiefs.
On the 8th we got underway to the "Beagle" IX 112 for fuel, took on some 30,500 gallons of diesel, we guessed that we were as thirsty as the U.S.S. Griswold DE-7) who was on the other side, then underway to the U.S.S. Kennebec (AO-37), then underway to the starboard side of the YO 187, filled with 1,436 gallons of Lube oil, and stayed the evening
On the 9th we were underway from the YO 187 at 0800, and anchored outside. Reporting aboard was Chisam, E. H. S2c, Hudspeth, R.C. S2c, Edwards, F.L. S2c, Hill, J.P. S2c, Krohn, A.N. S2c, Melton, P.C. S2c. At 1228 we were underway again with the U.S.S. Scurry (AM304) and four ships, S.S. Sylvester Pattie, S.S. Cape Lookout, and S.S. Jose C. Barbosa, and the S.S. Joseph Simon bound for Manus. We are designated as TU 96.8.1
On the 11th while underway to Manus, had a sound contact, went to "GQ" but the porpoise's came up to the bow and raced ahead of the ship. A second "GQ" came due to an airplane flying in without identification, just before we were ready to fire, they identified themselves.
It rained most of the morning of the 12th, and on the 13th Polliwogs were given their summons. We passed the U.S.S. Roi (CVE-103), she had supplied Task Force 38 with planes. This afternoon at 1625. On the 14th it rained most of the morning, in the afternoon we received a change of orders to have the convoy at Hollandia by Friday morning at 0700. About 30 miles out of Manus we will be relieved of the convoy and will go into Manus for further assignment. The Polliwogs were duly initiated this afternoon.


[Trip to Manus excised from this account]



ENIWETOK, Marshall Is.

On the 21st of November 1944, we sighted Eniwetok and anchored in the Atoll at 1700, and mail was brought aboard, along with Williamson, Calvin T. RM3c and Ensign Edwin R. Shoemaker reporting aboard.

Liberty was given on the 22nd, and on the 23rd, Thanksgiving, we had a halfhearted dinner of tough steak, yellow beans, beets and cake. It was a hell of a Thanksgiving dinner, even for out here. Our YTM471 came alongside about 1845, almost forgot This afternoon a contingent of nurses was seen on a Dutch ship off our starboard side. On the 24th our ship's officers took them around the ship, then off to the Officers Club for a little Rest & Relaxation.
On the 25th we stationed special sea detail at 0720, over to the IX 112 "U.S.S. Beagle" for 28,900 gallons of diesel fuel; after fueling we got underway again and went over to the YO 187 and took on 2,500 gallons of fresh water. Jewish Church party left the ship at 0830, and the liberty party at 1345.
On Sunday the 26th of November the Catholic church party left first with the Protestants next and then Liberty at 1345. Packages came aboard this afternoon. Bert, Joseph Enos RdM2c transferred to the Pacific Fleet Radar School (maintenance) for temporary duty.
On the 27th of November Mr. Fly left this morning for Gunnery school in Honolulu; we got underway for Guam, at 1015 escorting the S.S. Sea Corporal, a Merchant Ship, and Mr. Fisher (one fine gentleman) was promoted to the rank of Lt. Cmdr.
The 28th is a nice day, forward speed at 14.5 knots.
At 0658 "G.Q." was called due to an unidentified aircraft. It came along our starboard side and dropped two green flares, and about 5,000 yards further it dropped two more. We tried to talk to him by radio, light signals, and I.F.F. to no avail. Although the Log has him identified at 0700, most of the officers were wondering who and what it was all about all day long.


[Trip to Guam excised from this account]


KWAJALEIN, Marshall Is.

On the 8th of December 1944, we spotted Watho Atoll about 0825 (049(T) @ 14 miles) we arrived at Roi at 1400 and went down the inside passage and at 1800 we anchored at Kwajalein Atoll off Ebeye Island.

At 1200 on the 9th we got underway and as it rained we went into the AFDL 7 (Dry Dock) and we were set and then raised. On the 10th Catholic Church Party at 0900, Liberty party at 1300 and Protestant church call at 1330. On the 11th and 12th all hands were working on the ship's bottom, while the shaft was taken apart to be fixed. Chief Machinist Lee Barham left the ship todaywe will all miss himwhen something had to be done he was always there to give the guys a helping hand or a bit of good advicehe is one of the true chiefs in the navy. Eight (8) nurses came aboard at 1930 to visit with the Officers. Evidently no one made outWe had field day on the 14th, 15th and inspection by the captain at 0900 on Saturday the 16th. Liberty at 1230. (well deserved!). Sunday the 17th found us still in drydockCatholics at 0950, Protestants at 1230 and Liberty at 1230. On the 18th we cleaned up the exterior, and painted Irish pennants.
On the 19th the Dry Dock lowered and we went on a trial run to Roi and back inside the passage, and anchored at Kwajalein at 1830. The results of the run will be discussed tomorrow on the beach. On the 20th we suffered until 2200 when the "Old Man" said that conditions were too unstable to know what is going to happen, but the bearing ran hotter on the trial run than it did before the repair job.
The 21st four bags of packages, but no mail, and nothing else.
On the 22nd we were underway at 1050 bound for Majuro, as a "Crash" boat for Navy/Marine Pilots bombing the Jap held Marshall Islands. "G.Q." (drill) at 1515. The depth charges were armed and dropped. The Port side ones were set at 100 feet and blew, however the one in the starboard rack got stuck on its way out and Henning got on top of it kicked it loose and two fell off and both exploded at 100 feet. "G.Q." was secured at 1540 and Henning, normally a quiet and unassuming guy became the hero of the ship. At 1550 "G.Q." was called againbecause of a rag fire near gun #23. We put out the fire and secured from "GQ" at 1558. Our training at the Fire School in Hawaii was worth the trouble.

MAJURO, Marshall Is.

On the 23rd of December 1944, we anchored in Majuro at 1000 hours. The motor whaleboat went over for mail and came back with eight bags of packages, and six bags of air maila suitable Christmas present, if I do say so. Sunday the 24th of December we fueled at the YOG 82 taking on 23,138 gallons of diesel fuel. Our mission, at this location, is to support the 4th Marine Air Group while they bomb Mili, Jaluit and Wotje.

CHRISTMAS DAYwe had a good Christmas turkey dinner and got underway at 1740 bound for Maloelop Atoll. We will get there sometime tomorrow and the 4th Marines, supposedly, will bomb and strafe it. We are attached to them on a temporary basis as a long range crash and rescue ship. All of these "ByPassed" Islands seem to have either 5.0" or 8.0" guns on them, and in some instances both. We have been doing about 2/3rds speed all night and the sea is moderately rough. At 0817 we sighted and recognized Kaben Island, Maloelop. The lookouts saw the planes, but no bombingit wasn't what we had expected. We laid off the island about 3 miles doing 14 knots. At 1200 we went around the top of the island and continued down clockwise until we hit a point for a straight course for Jaluit, we expect to get there in the morning. Maloelop is Jap held and looks like all of the rest of the islands in the vicinitypalm and coconut trees on a sand dune. We are also running antisubmarine patrol through the island group at 12 knots.
The 27th saw us cruising just off Jaluit all day long, but no planes showed up, and we left about 1845.
At 0943 we sighted Enego Island, Erikub Atoll, at 1030 we sighted Kechautsu Island, Wotje Atoll and patrolled back and forth. About 1615 a lone PBY went over the island and we patrolled back and forth all night.
On the 29th, after patrolling, we left Wotje and headed for Jaluit Atoll. On the 30th we patrolled the southeastern portion of Jaluit Atoll and about 1030 we left the area, and started to Mili, which we reached at 2300.
On the 31st two SBDs went over Mili and after going back and forth all day we started back to Majuro at 1400. In process of heading back we got a message to check out a submarine periscope, seen by one of the planes. We searched all night, with the U.S.S. Ramsey (DM16) in a Hunter Killer Group, to no avail. We knew that the subs were the only ones that could supply the "bypassed" islands, therefore they had to be around.

MAJURO, Marshall Is.

On the 1st of January we went into Majuro to lots of mail and a turkey supper.

The 2nd saw Austin, Robert Clarence CM2c and Larson, Marlow William RM3/c transfer to the U.S.S. Howard W. Gilmore (AS16) this morning, and later we went over to the YOG83 for 21,727 gallons of diesel. About 1100 Carvalho, Robert Louis MoMM1c, Stasch, Jesse William Jr. S2c reported aboard. At 1240 we were under way to our anchorage. It was 0500 on the 3rd of January and Special Sea Detail was called and we were underway at 0630, bound for this weeks joint AirSurface operations within the Marshall Islands. We received notice that Commander Howard has okayed our request for overhaul of the whole ship. When we get our relief, we will head back. We arrived about 16 miles off Emidj Island, Jaluit Atoll at 1530 and started our patrolling operation.
In the early hours of the morning of the 4th we left the Jaluit area and sighted Mili Atoll early in the afternoon. Mili Atoll has many islands and islets (Enjat, Mili, Burrh, Tokowa, Alu, Lukunor, and Jobenor) At 1548 "G.Q." was sounded and we went into the plane crash drill. The motor whaleboat was lowered and it made a run around the ship, was picked up and we got underway, and headed into the beach for a shelling run. The first shell almost made it to the Island, part of the Mili Atoll. We did score at least two good solid hits on a target out of the eleven shots. The #3 Gun is good ! (The ship's log says we fired on _Dowagain Island_ but I believe it was Mili Island since it has an airfield + wireless/telegraph (W/T) station
On the 5th we were on our way from Mili Atoll to Maloelap Atoll and at 0115 "G.Q." went off and we searched for an unidentified ship. After we signaled for about five minutes, she signaled back. She was the S.S. John A Hunt. She was almost food for Davey Jones Locker. At 1200 we were outside Taroa Island, Maloelap Atollwaiting for the planes to come and then provide inshore coverage for the air strike on that Island. At 1400 the Dive Bombers came and put on quite a show, bombing the hell out of the two gun emplacements, . At 1427 we went to "G.Q." and started to close in on Taroa. When our range was about 4,200 yards from the island we started firing at the gun emplacements, After our 6th shell hit, the Japs started firing back. We could see the flashes from their guns.
It appeared, at first, as if someone was trying to signal us. The first shell went over the ship from port to starboard and fell into the water about 50 yards off the starboard amidships, the next off the starboard bow about 125 yards away, the next off the fantail about 25 yards, and the next two fell very close, and a few guys in the topside Repair Party got really wet.
In the meantime our guns were giving broadsides and we opened up our smokescreen generators. Our # 3 gun was firing at least six shells for each one that came roaring at us, and they were hitting the target. When the planes, who got out of the way when we started firing, saw the smoke they came out to find out if we were damaged. The concussion of the # 3 Gun, firing so rapidly, was so bad that it knocked down the canvas tarpaulin and bent the iron bars that secured the tarpaulin. Out of the forty rounds of 3"50 shells, we had scored several direct hits on the gun emplacement, trader's store and airfield. We left Maloelop with smiles on our faces, because after so many tries the "Old Lady" finally lost her cherry. Lt. Ed Muskie must have smiled a little too as he was writing up Action Report Serial #0032. Our Smokescreen valve got fouled during the action and we were inundated with the smoke most of the night. (Ship's log says five rounds of enemy fireevidently they were more worried when the smoke generator valve wouldn_t open that they did not see the last two that splashed just off the starboard side. Three of the guys in #2 Repair Party got splashed!_)
On the 6th "G.Q." was called at 0500it turned out to be an Army Cable Repair ship. About 0530 we arrived at Wotje Atoll and watched 18 planes blast hell out of (Ship's log says Kaben island.) I thought they were bombing Wotje Island, I was wrong. It was Kaben Is. The Japs has just built two landing jetties, fuel tanks, various hangers, barracks for the military plus about 1,000 convicts and an airfield with two runways). We stayed around most of the afternoon but did no shelling.
On the 7th at about 1500 we sighted Taroa Island, Maloelap Atoll and watched 15 to 17 planes trying to hit the gun emplacements and airfield that we were fired upon from two days ago. At 1600 we left and commenced barrier patrol of Maloelap and Ibbetson Atolls, Marshall Islands. We did expect Jap subs to be supplying the Japsespecially since a number of periscopes had been reported by the Carrier Planes in the area.

MAJURO, Marshall Is.

At sunrise on the 8th of January we were outside Majuro and went into the YOG 87 and refueled (18,692 gallons of Diesel), underway again to a concrete watering barge YOG184 and took on 6,000 gallons of fresh water, we then anchored out. About 1323 Kieffer, V.M. S1c reported aboard, Tart, D.H. SoM1c, Riley W.J.T. GM2c, Stiefel, L. E. EM3c (the man with the fabulous memory), and Lilly, W.T. GM3c, were transferred off and mail came aboard.

At 1500 an outrigger canoe came alongside and four natives (Enti, Elbrit, Bellam native Scouts), At about 1615 Lt.Cmdr C.C. Berquist and Edward Milne came aboard. (ComMarGilarea Plan 145.). The outrigger was hauled aboard and secured on the starboard side between the 1.1 and #3 3.0" gun on the main deck. These natives will be taken to Jaluit and let off for spying purposes. The outrigger is made of breadfruit wood which is very light, Most of the night we spent with Edward Milne, one of the natives who speaks Marshallese, English, German, and Japanese fluently. He told us many tales of what has been going on in the bypassed islands, and how the Japs treat the locals like slaves and believe them to be ignorant.
He told us of the time when Amelia Earhart was searched for by the whole Japanese fleet, who thought she was spying for the U.S. and indicated they never found her. His home is Ebon Island, one of the thirty fourcoral islands or atolls which lie in two parallel strips, about 130 miles apart and are about 650 miles long. The eastern group is called the Ralik or Radak or Sunshine Chain and the western group is called the Ralik or Sunset Chain. They don't get much rain on the northern islandsbut it rains like heck on the southern ones. They have coconuts and breadfruit and fish a lot. He appeared to have a good tan (brown) and was well built, like Hollywood portrays south sea islanders. He was very intelligent, and very knowledgeable. He told us about his parentshis father was a Skipper from Scotland and his mother a Polynesian woman from Ebon Island. He told us how to fish and what we should use as bait, and to watch out for the coralit is poisonousespecially when you step on it. He told us about a British sea captain "John Marshall" who the islands were named after, he was exploring the pacific in the later 1780s. About the Germans who had them in the 1880s, and the Japanese who got them after World War 1. We were so tired but we hung on his every word until wee hours in the morning. The next day he kept to himself and the rest of his crew.
On the 9th we got underway at about 1000 headed for the west side of Jaluit Atoll. About 2200 the outrigger was hoisted over the side and the three natives removed their American clothing and put on their Japanese clothes. Mr. Milne and one of the natives had a dispute over a watch that the native was wearing, the native finally took it off and threw it up to one of the guys and asked him to hold on to it until they got back. The three guys then hoisted a sail and were off into the night.
On the 10th "G.Q." was called due to an unidentified surface craft, which turned out to be the SC1034 and the YMS310. It was secured at 0148 and we sailed around in the waters 11 miles off Pinglap Island, Jaluit Atoll for the rest of the night. Since we did not make contact like we were supposed to by 0715 we changed course and beat it out of the area. About 0900 we were off Pinglap Island about 14 miles. We just beat back and forth the rest of the day and many of the crew were kind of worried about the scouts.
On the morning of the 11th, a little after 0600 we were patrolling about 11 miles west of Pinglap Island awaiting the rendezvous with the native reconnaissance party. At 0638 we were about 11.5 miles off Harappu Island, Jaluit Atoll and at 0650 we sighted a sail on the horizon and it turned out to be our little outrigger. There were four men in the canoe when only three left. The new guy named Anukoj, was a native of Jaluit. For safety sake we had a couple of guys with riflesjust in case this fourth guy was not a friendly. It started raining as the canoe was taken aboard and secured within 14 minutesquite a feat! The natives were all smiles when they came aboard, we guess that we would be all smiles to if we did what they did and didn't get captured. The canoe is secured outside the after head with the outrigger secured to the gun deck as before.
At 1345 we sighted Ailinglapalap Atoll, and about 1621 we sighted Leuen Island, Namu Atoll. We still were doing our expected task as TU 96.3.5making an AntiSubmarine Sweep southwest of Jaluit Island.

KWAJALEIN, Marshall Is.

On the morning of the 12th of January 1945, we sighted Kwajalein and at 0910 we were anchored. The native was given back his watch and he made sure it still worked, and they, Enti, Albrit, and Bellam native scouts and Anakoj (evacuee from Jaluit Atoll) left the ship with the outrigger. We never did get a chance to talk to Mr. Milne again, but we would never forget him. Lt. Commander L. C. Berquist who appeared to be somewhat in command of the group stayed in officers quarters most of the timewe only saw him when he arrived and when he left.

On the 13th of January we turned to and cleaned up the already clean ship, and at 1500 got underway for the joint AirSurface operations, the same duty as before, supporting the Marines on their bombing missions, and doing an AntiSubmarine Sweep of the area as we went.
On the 14th found us at Maloelop and approximately 31 planes took part in the bombing of the gun emplacements on Taroa Island, we also noticed two LCIs near there.We may be a part of a miniinvasion.
About 0127 "G.Q." was sounded on the 15th and secured by 0130, an unidentified plane was spotted and he came awful close before identifying himselfanother minute or so and someone would have a lot of lead in their ass. We waited until 1230 for a strike and then started back to Majuro. Anchored about 1800 and mail came . .

MAJURO, Marshall Is.

The 16th of January 1945, anchored in Majuro, Liberty, and showers. On the 17th the sun shined againas usualLiberty and we became part of the fifth fleet again. The 18th is a good day,LibertyMail and we got underway to refuel at the YOG 87, and it rained as we were taking on some 20,609 gallons of diesel fuel.

On the 19th we are underway at 0900steaming as beforedoing blockade and antisubmarine patrol, we spotted Acu Island, Mili Atoll about 1400 and we reached Mili Island, Mili Atoll late in the afternoon.
On the 20th about 1500 U.S.Army Air Force planes came over Mili Island, Mili Atoll and had their bombing raid. Afterwards we headed for Maleolap Atolldoing our blockade and AntiSubmarine patrol on the way. At 1833 we went by Arno Atoll. On the 21st, we were patrolling around Maleolap and Aur Atolls and between the showers, between 1445 and 1500, about 20 dive bombers (Dauntless) came over Taroa & Pigeeyatto islands and raised Cain. At 1945 we went by another island and you could see her fire lights and other lights off the port side about four to five miles away, while we cruised around the west side of the Maloelap Atoll, the sea is moderate and there are few clouds in the sky.
The 22nd finds us off Wotje and about 15 planes were in on the attack. At about 2055 we had a "G.Q." due to being on a collision course with a surface vessel. It turned out to be the S.S. Joseph McKenna, a merchant marine. This location is supposed to be off limits to all surface vessels (except us) due to U.S. Submarines working the area.
The Air Strike failed to materialize today (23rd) so we went back patrolling off Jaluit Atoll.
The 24th found a few clouds coming in over Jaluit, and although we are a couple of miles off the islandeverything on the island is very visible.
The 25th found us near Kechautsu Island, Wotje Atoll a little after 0900 and about 1000 we were in our patrolling station off the western side of Erikub Atoll chasing a nonsubmarine after a sonar contact.
On the 26th we are back off Maleolop. At approximately 1100 we were told that these operations were ceased, until 1 February, due to inclement weather. We put on the gas and returned to Majuro at about 1830, and after the movies on the fantail, we were given mail.

MAJURO, Marshall Is.

1200 on the 27th of January 1945we went over to the YOG83 and topped off our diesel fuel and headed back to our anchorage. The U.S.S.Huron DE-19),came along the side for about four hours. After an "Informal Inspection" by the Captain, we had Liberty at 1300.

On the 28th it was Protestant Church call at 1215, Catholic at 1245 and Liberty at 1300. Both Mail and showers arrived at the same time. Biggs, J.J. SoM3c left the ship for Sound School in San Diego. On the 29th MailLiberty and Rain. On the 30th we heard that we were going to be relieved by the U.S.S. Cloues DE-265) to got to Pearl for repairs and maybe even to the States. Paige John W. S1c reported aboard.
Ensign Joel O. Fly returned to us today from Gunnery and Torpedo School, and we changed anchorage from berth XI to berth 86.
On the 31st we got underway at 0615 to escort the U.S.S. Pipe Fish (SS388) to a safe place so that she could start her war patrol. After a few practice runs on her between 1130 and 1230 we started back to Majuro, shot off a round of hedgehogs, and got in at 1630.
On the 1st of February we are anchored in Majuro with all hands turning to, painting, cleaning, and whatever, so that there will be little work for the crew when we get back to the States or Pearl Harbor. Liberty later but no mail. Lt. H.W. Tate was detachedhe left the shiphe was one hell of a nice guy. The 2nd was another field day for Pearl, Liberty but no mail.
On the 3rd we got underway for the International Date Line to pick up a convoy bound for Majuro. On the 4th it rained all morning and we bucked the seas all afternoon. At 1030 on the 5th we met the U.S.S. New Kent (APA217) and at 0143 we pushed up the speed and took our escort position. At 1539 the ship lost all powerthe #3 ships service generator went outIt took six minutes to clear and put on another generator. The day is much calmer and very sunny. On the 6th we arrived at Majuro Atoll and anchored at 1530 in our regular berth and mail came aboard.

MAJURO, Marshall Is.

On the 7th of February at 0900 we got underway to the YOG83 and took on some 27,000 gallons of diesel oil. We left the oiler at 1130Ens. Wilkie brought aboard some $15,000 in cash and we were off to Pearl, escorting the U.S.S. General R.L. Howze (AP134). We crossed the I.D.L. at 2242 on the 8th and tomorrow is also the 8th.

It is a nice day on our second 8th of February with the exception for a little rain at 1218. The 9th was a good day, The 10th we got a little rain and a lot of expectations of arriving in Pearl tomorrow. We also sighted and challenged the S.S. Ferdinand Westdahlshe was identified by light code.


[Trip to Pearl Harbor excised from this account]



ENIWETOK, Marshall Is.

On the 16th of March 1945, we came in the back door of Eniwetok and the U.S.S. Lavaca (APA180) gave us a "Well Done" and more important 15 gallons of Ice Cream. We fueled, 37,328 gallons, at the YO 171 at 1350 and then over to the U.S.S. Vandalia (IX191) at 1629, filled up some moreanother 6,778 gallons of diesel then headed to an anchorage and bedded down for the night.

On the morning of the 17th at 0700 Chief Graham and his YT 471 came up to us and said hello to a few of the old gang, (not many of us anymore) and told us that we would be invading China with the 20th Army.
At 0737 we got underway for Ulithi as the U.S.S. Lavaca (APA180) went by us and the guys on her rails were waving at us to hurry up. We beat them out of the entrance, and started to escort herwe noticed Fleet Tugs pulling another A.O. off the ground. Another ship had grounded at the same place just months ago.. Tch Tch,,
On the 18th, at about 1803, smoke was seen on the surface and it was thought to be a Submarine. We pulled off to the starboard side and tried to get a fix with our underwater sound to no avail, and at 1915 we were back on station and we continued on our way.
19 March and no "G.Q." we did get a movie on first aid instead. YUK! The 20th saw a "G.Q." at 1530.


[Extended Trip to Ulithi, Okinawa, Ulithi (again) and Saipan excised from this account]



ENIWETOK, Marshall Is.

Saturday the 30th of June 1945, we got into port and tied up to the YOG83, and took on 16,664 gallons of diesel fuel oil, and then anchored out. The Homeward Bound pennant (this time we had time to work on it) was readied and we got underway at 1534. When we started the channel and the pennant was raised with four balloons holding it up, and the 19 stars, one for each month away from our home port was raised. We are escorting the U.S.S. Ormsby (APA49) to Pearl Harbor.

July 1st & 2nd were good days with beautiful sunsets, even if #4 engine is giving us fits. We passed the International Date Line the next daywhich put us back a day to the 2nd again. We are designated as T.U. 96.5.2.
On the 3rd of July Blues are being dragged out, rates we made during the voyage were being sewed on, Crap games are in progress and I'm losing my shirt.


[Ship leaves for Pearl Harbor and then the US mainland]. End of narrative

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Bibliographic citation for this document

Roberts, William L. (2003) On Patrol in the Marshall Islands 1944-45. A partial history of U.S.S. BRACKETT DE--41
URL: http://marshall.csu.edu.au/Marshalls/html/WWII_Recollections/WilliamRoberts_USSBrackett.html

Dirk H.R. Spennemann, Institute of Land, Water and Society, Charles Sturt University, P.O.Box 789, Albury NSW 2640, Australia.
e-mail: dspennemann@csu.edu.au

(c) William L. Roberts 2002
Reproduced with permission
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