Bangust Sailors Compiled Diary


    Thanks to Anne E. McCarthy for sharing her work with us to be used on the Bangust pages. Anne's husband, George, served aboard the USS Hilbert DE 742. The Hilbert was one of the six DE's in CortDiv 32. The six ships were:

    USS BANGUST (DE-739), flagship
    USS WATERMAN (DE-740)
    USS WEAVER (DE-741)
    USS HILBERT (DE-742)
    USS LAMONS (DE-743)
    USS KYNE (DE-744)



    The Sea Duty of USS BANGUST (DE-739)
    Flagship of Escort Division 32

    Thanks to H. A. Lapham for sharing highlights taken from comments, diaries and notes of John Roulet, Harold "Shorty" Lapham, Richard Callahan and Charles G. Vondreau, all of whom served in BANGUST (DE-739). Revised and condensed from 72 pages for USS HILBERT (DE-742) by Anne E. McCarthy

    USS BANGUST (DE-739)
    Commissioned 30 October 1943 - 11:30
    CO: Charles Fraser MacNish
    Exec: Lloyd L. Keesling
    ComCortDiv 32, Roland Groff, on board

    1943

    October
    30 Fitting out until

    November
    18 Shakedown, operating off San Diego with BRACKETT (DE-41), FAIR (DE-35), FOREMAN (DE-633), MANLOVE (DE-36), REYNOLDS (DE-42), PORTERFIELD (DD-682) and LONG BEACH (PF-34) until December 15

    1944

    January
    7 One of crew stealing ship's mail made a prisoner, transferred
    10 Arrived Treasure Island; berthed with REYNOLDS, WHITEHURST (DE-634) and WITTER (DE-636)
    12 Underway in company with REYNOLDS; sea choppy; everybody sick
    19 Arrived Pearl Harbor; glimpsed SARATOGA (CV-3) heading west
    25 Underway in company with PASTORES (AF-16)
    30 Initiation of Shellbacks

    February
    5 Arrived Funafuti, Ellice Islands; left with AJAX (AR-6) (commissioned same day as BANGUST) for Makin, Gilbert Islands; detached for duty with CTF 57; ComAirCenPacFor in CURTISS (AV-4)
    6 Reported Tarawa; island demolished
    8 Operated with GREINER (DE-37)
    13 Operated with WADLEIGH (DD-689)
    15 Have already crossed Equator six times
    18-21 Dispatched to Roi with 60 Marines who all get seasick; in company with FLEMING (DE-32) and ANACAPA (AG-49), both loaded with Marines; with barracks destroyed and unsanitary conditions on beach, Marines stayed aboard for the night; an explosion night before killed 600 CBs at one spot
    23 Arrived Kwajalein (60 miles from Roi), biggest atoll in world; NEW JERSEY (BB-62) is SOPA
    24 Arrived Tarawa; saw TG of five BBs and seven DDs heading south; CURTISS, SOPA, leaves, relieved by BANGUST (CTU 57.7.1); beach party, no trees
    26 Left with USMT YARMOUTH, arrived Makin
    27 Left with YARMOUTH for 180th Meridian
    29 Back at Tarawa

    March
    22 Relieved by TISDALE (DE-33); underway; arrived Apamama, 100 miles south of Tarawa; alongside EISELE (DE-34); beach party; flies are terrible
    23 Underway; received orders for further assignment
    24 Arrived Majuro, fleet anchorage; sent to assist MANLOVE in Hunter-Killer Group, 100 miles north; MANLOVE and PC-1135 sink I-32
    29 In oiler convoy with six AOs, CANFIELD (DE-262), SWEARER (DE-186), WEAVER (DE-741) and two other DEs, to fuel fleet attacking Truk and Palau; air strikes on Yap and Ulithi

    April
    5-7 Back to Majuro; fleet coming in from air strikes -- five BBs, seven cruisers, five carriers, 70 DDs
    10 Left Majuro; screening one lonely AO
    13 Arrived 180th Meridian
    15 Back at Majuro
    17 Left with LST-119 which is loaded with ammo
    19 Arrived Kwajalein
    21 Left with Army transport and Navy tug with barge; slow trip
    23 Arrived Majuro; Lt. Keesling broke his arm, was detached; Exec is now F. A. Lind
    26 Met GROUPER (SS-214) to provide an escort; she's supposed to have sunk a Japanese carrier when it was launched in Tokyo Harbor (this was only a rumor!)
    27 Back at Majuro

    May
    4 Transferred mail from States
    13 Arrived Majuro; boiler damaged; alongside AJAX for repairs; underway; arrived Kwajalein
    17 Underway alone
    22 Arrived Pearl Harbor; damage can be repaired
    28 Dry docked

    June
    1 Out of dry dock; taking on stores 3/4 Underway; three or four guys "over the hill"
    10 Underway; 2330, 40 miles east of Roi; "pip" on radar; sighted by OOD; challenged visually; positively identified as Japanese submarine; it crash-dived; General Quarters (for the next eight hours); regained contact; made three runs; no definite indication of hit; sub rising; made fourth run; tremendous underwater explosion, cracked seam in BANGUST; sub trying to surface; lost contact; very dense oil slick; oil really stinks; very large oil slick seen in morning; sharks numerous; planes arrived; CTU 57.7.5 arrived, said it looked like a definite kill (later confirmed as RO-42, 10.05 N, 168.22 E)
    12 Japanese flag painted on bridge; arrived Roi; two brooms on yardarm
    14 Left Roi with WEAVER, CAPPS (DD-550), MARKAB (AD-21) and three AOs
    18 Sighted convoy of about 50 ships, mostly transports
    19 Met fleet and invasion forces; over 800 ships in area, the largest fueling operation ever attempted
    24 Back at Eniwetok
    26 Sighted Rota; air raid in progress; fueling invasion fleet
    28 In port, Eniwetok; one oiler unit of gang was attacked just over the horizon

    July
    17 About 30 miles from Guam, fueling TF 58; one AO lost a man overboard
    20 Japanese-held Rota on port quarter; our planes bombing
    23 With WHITMAN (DE-24) and two AOs
    26 Returned to Eniwetok

    August
    2 Sighted Saipan, Tinian, Rota; fueled fleet units off Guam
    3 Sub contact; let go five charges, nothing happened; patrolled
    4 Sighted Guam; watched fighting through long glass; naval units bombarding shore; aircraft almost continually over island; Chief Radioman Tweed picked up by McCALL (DD-400), after living in hills since Japan took Guam
    11-16 Anchored off Saipan; mopping up operations still in progress; town in Saipan completely destroyed by bombardment; on offshore patrol around Saipan; sighted first hara-kiri victim -- small boy, about 12, with head either cut or blown off and feet tied with piece of red cloth; weighted body and sank it; number of bodies floating around is sickening; ship can't keep clear of them; finally detached; en route for reassignment
    19-26 In port, Eniwetok
    26 Underway, ComCortDiv 32 is ComScreen; first big screening job
    30 Crossed Equator; initiation of Polliwogs; Cmdr. Groff took snapshots and movies of ceremony
    31 Arrived Manus after dark; island all lit up, giving everyone idea it was a smaller version of Pearl; small units of British fleet operating out of here

    September
    1 Island is a mass of mud in reality
    2 In port, Manus; beach parties on RaRa Island; best beach recreation center so far
    11 Underway; two oilers cracked up; BANGUST to bring them in [According to HILBERT Deck Log, SCHUYLKILL (AO-76) collided with MILLICOMA (AO-73) at 0433 on 10 September; a large portion of the stern of AO-73 was torn away and there was a large hole in the bow of AO-76; both vessels were detached 13 September, with BANGUST and WATERMAN (DE-740)]
    15 Arrived Manus; to take out two other tankers
    16 Underway with eight other escorts, three CVEs, ten AOs; WADLEIGH hit a mine, Palau area, one killed
    19 In fueling area around Palau; about 180 miles from Mindanao, southern Philippines

    October
    1 Arrived Manus; sound gear inoperative
    6 In dry dock for repairs to sound gear; piano on ADD (sic -- ARD?) and there's quite a jam session
    7 Out of dry dock
    12 Arrived Babelthuap Island, held by 30,000 Japanese; armed guards entire ship during night, to prevent boarding; US Navy has taken over harbor; primarily PT Boat Base with a great number here, to go to Philippines; no sooner detached from oiler than she ran aground; large portion of harbor mined by Japanese; US planes raid island; one lone Japanese bomber came over at night, for reconnaissance; movies in mess hall; dispatched
    21 Arrived Manus with one empty tanker
    25 Departed Manus with two CVEs, JASON (ARH-1) and an ammo ship
    28 Arrived Ulithi
    29 Fleet coming in; all hands manned rail to cheer them; band played in CIC as CVs came by (Battle for Leyte Gulf, 23-26 October); storm warnings out
    30 Third and parts of Seventh Fleet here; BANGUST in commission one year -- great meal to celebrate

    November
    5 Typhoon blowing up
    6 Center of storm not going to pass over BANGUST
    7 Plenty of wind and rain
    8 Typhoon at its peak
    12 Underway with two other escorts and three oilers to fuel Third Fleet just east of Luzon and Mindanao
    14 Joined another convoy: nine escorts, nine oilers, three ATFs, one CVE, with BANGUST plane guard 24 Arrived Ulithi; while DE-739 at sea, small Japanese subs entered Ulithi; MISSISSINEWA (AO-59) torpedoed before dawn (the 20th) and the only guys saved were those on watch; one can rammed and sunk sub at channel entrance; three Japanese subs sunk (it wasn't learned until after the war the 'subs' were actually kaitens - human torpedoes); in port rest of month
    28 Issued winter weather gear

    December
    10 In port, Ulithi; underway with 32 ships; sound gear fouled up; returned 1700 for emergency repairs; ComScreen in AYLWIN (DD-355)
    11 Arrived Ulithi; repaired sound gear
    12 Underway
    14 One of the tugs had a contact; no soap
    17 Windy and squally; fueling units of TF 58, stopped in afternoon due to rough seas; some DDs not fueled; looks like big blow; convoy breaking up; with WATERMAN and MONAGHAN (DD-354); at 2000 Navy flier crashed ahead of us; lost his flare in darkness at 1000 yards; winds 125 mph
    18 Storm at its height; wind over 100 mph; took 62 roll to port at 1202; ship rolling badly; 40-60 foot waves; wind 120 knots; AYLWIN dead in water, out of fuel; sent out SOS; other DDs out of fuel; HULL (DD-350) supposed to be sinking; CVE out of fuel and afire on flight deck; spotted light in water, evidently survivors, but unable to make contact
    19 Storm let up this morning; BANGUST shaken up, no great damage; AYLWIN in bad way; standing by to assist; AYLWIN taken in tow by another DD; ComScreen transferred from AYLWIN
    20 All clear after storm; ships reforming; some badly damaged; two five-inch DEs [MELVIN R. NAWMAN (DE-416) and TABBERER (DE-418)] lost masts; three DDs lost -- HULL, SPENCE (DD-512) and possibly MONAGHAN
    21 On search for survivors; in company with NEHENTA BAY (CVE-74) and THORN (DD-647); nearest BANGUST has been to Luzon; joined at 1900 with RUDYERD BAY (CVE-81), SWEARER, with survivors aboard, and GATLING (DD-671), on search; no word from MONAGHAN yet
    22 On search; spotted float and mattresses
    23 Still on search; General Quarters; bogie at 27 miles intercepted by our fighters; GATLING and others opened up; he got away; half hour flying time from Luzon
    24 Lost one pilot and searched six hours for him; sang Christmas carols, all in good spirits; formed conga line and went all over ship
    25 Arrived Ulithi; lots of mail; SWEARER alongside; StM from SPENCE, one of about 25 survivors told his story: SPENCE, out of fuel, took a roll two minutes after her generator stopped, didn't recover; StM thrown down, managed to open hatch, made his way out starboard side of hull of ship. He jumped, grabbed a kopak life jacket in water as a wave washed him away from ship. SPENCE went down in about seven minutes with practically all hands. StM and two others spent three days floating on life jackets. They kept seeing ships on the horizon and StM saw a task force unit, although he knew it never existed. They were picked up by SWEARER after being passed by during the night.
    28 Alongside DIXIE (AD-14), SWEARER and EISELE; 15 new men came aboard, one from HOLDER (DE-401) torpedoed (11 April 1944) in Atlantic
    31 Put on show in evening; went off well; a shipmate sang Irish songs




    1945

    January
    1 Smoker on MARKAB; put on our show after fights; they have swell set of drums we may buy
    2 Got drums; beach party
    3 Underway with six oilers and five escorts
    4 CHIKASKIA (AO-54) reports gyros shot
    5 Oiler still in trouble; BANGUST escorted her back to Ulithi; SWEARER in dry dock
    6 Underway with SWEARER and WESSON (DE-184), five oilers; BANGUST is ComScreen; COOPER (DD-695) (3 Dec 44) and REID (DD-369) (11 Dec 44) lost in Philippines action (Ormoc Bay, Leyte)
    9 DALE (DD-353) joined with two more oilers
    10 Contact with other units who joined; now 14 escorts, three CVEs, three fleet tugs; Hunter-Killer group near, with one CVE and about four escorts
    11 Fleet units made landing on Luzon; 11 DEs and one DD (DALE) in this group now 12 Navy announced the loss of HULL (DD-350), MONAGHAN (DD-354) and SPENCE (DD-512)
    13 In company with two CVEs and oilers; CAPE ESPERANCE (CVE-88) is OTC; DALE is ComScreen; escorts are BANGUST, WEAVER, KYNE (DE-744), SWEARER, WESSON and RIDDLE (DE-185)
    14 Sighted land; entered Leyte Gulf; all hands topside to wear life belts; two DDs and five-inch DE had sub contact, dropped charges all day; sighted Leyte Island; DALE and two oilers joined; water is infested with snakes, smaller than eels, yellow and black, with rattlers, may be poisonous; sighted native in outrigger who smiled and waved; have seen nothing of air support except four Thunderbolts; BANGUST in first Third Fleet unit to use this route; passed through Mindanao Strait
    15 Watched Corsairs dive-bombing Panay; one must have hit oil tank as flames leaped up, followed by dense black smoke; KYNE reported six torpedo wakes, two duds hit BANGUST; passed convoy of LSTs; fathometer doing loop-de-loops; oiler broke down, left with DE
    16 Entered China Sea; met CTG 30.8, 80 miles off Manila, about noon, reversed convoys; DALE and WEAVER left; sighted six PTs off Panay; GQ right after chow; a Liberator dropped a couple on shore installations on Panay and started fires; saw "Black Widow" fighters
    17 Passed Panay; met convoy of about 50 LSTs, LCIs, merchant ships and transports; passed between Negros and Mindanao; several fires on Negros; BANGUST ordered to investigate 15-20 native outriggers; natives evidently bringing in supplies, looked like two bags of rice and a watermelon in one outrigger
    18 NANTAHALA (AO-60) transferred five Chinese survivors from a fishing schooner, which capsized in China Sea, to BANGUST; entered harbor at Leyte; quite a few landing craft and amphibious craft; Chinese delivered to Seventh Fleet Intelligence officer on dock; natives all around in outriggers, trading for clothing and mostly white mattress covers; ships blacked out at night; frequent GQ; Army planes in air all day
    19 Native from University of Manila came on board; gave crew lots of information on natives
    21 Departed Leyte 1300
    25 Arrived Ulithi; assigned to CTG 50.8

    February
    1 ComCortDiv 32 and staff reported aboard
    8 In port, Ulithi; MacNish received orders to ComServRon 12; underway; OTC in DETROIT (CL-8); 12-15 oilers, three tugs, 10-12 escorts with BANGUST ComScreen
    9 At sea; spotted first B-29
    12 Relieved of ComScreen by five-inch DE; PITTSBURGH (CA-72), two CVEs and DDs joined unit; 42 ships in convoy
    13 Fueling fleet; all out here, ALASKA (CB-1) and GUAM (CB-2) on down
    14 WISCONSIN (BB-64) and MISSOURI (BB-63) escorted us all night; TF 58 completed fueling; a DE boarded a Japanese fishing schooner, took five prisoners all in Japanese army uniforms, sunk schooner
    15 AA firing; ComScreen, five-inch DE, almost knocked the plane down twice; passed three floating mines
    16 Raids on Tokyo began today
    17 Raids continuing; PATUXENT (AO-44) had fire this morning, started in paint locker, one man killed; WATERMAN helped in putting out fire when "can" refused to go alongside; oiler sent to Saipan with SILVERSTEIN (DE-534)
    18 Other oilers and AE joined; ComDesRon 19 on ComScreen, replacing five-inch DE 19 Fueling TF 58; 65 miles from invasion of Iwo Jima, which began today; all reports Tokyo raid very good, with 177 planes destroyed on ground and 157 probables downed; 30-40 US airmen lost; NEOSHO (AO-48) and DEWEY (DD-349) ordered to Iwo Jima
    20 Passed OMM from MITCHELL (DE-43); ammo ship and escort to Iwo
    22 KYNE having trouble with shaft bearing
    23 Arrived off Ulithi; discharged three oilers, took on six more; only two escorts as KYNE to make emergency repairs in Ulithi, HILBERT to wait for oiler to rejoin
    24 HILBERT and GUADALUPE (AO-32) rejoined
    25 All hands topside ordered to wear life belts; sea choppy
    27 Fueling units of TF 58 that raided Tokyo Sunday

    March
    1 Marines getting started on Iwo Jima
    3 Fueled units of TF 58, including WISCONSIN, MISSOURI, HORNET (CV-12); sound gear out
    4 Destroyers, part of TF 58, collided in the night; tugs assisting; arrived Ulithi
    7 Three destroyers from collision arrived today; one pretty well banged up
    11 GQ during movie tonight; kamikaze hit SANGAMON (CVE-26), afire and still burning; another suicide crashed on one of the atolls, thinking it a large ship [Naval Chronology lists SANGAMON as being bombed at Leyte 19 Oct 44, hit by kamikazes at Battle for Leyte Gulf 25 Oct 44 and again 4 May 45 at Okinawa; RANDOLPH (CV-15) was hit by kamikaze at Ulithi 11 March 1945]
    12 GQ at noon; bogie believed to be radio remote controlled target plane crashed just off atoll
    14 Alongside PRAIRIE (AD-15) for repairs
    16 Cmdr. Charles Fox MacNish relieved by Lt. Walker
    25 Underway at 1300 with HILBERT, KYNE, four AOs, two AKs and another escort
    26 Radio Tokyo claimed to have attacked four or five carriers in Ulithi 11 March; bombardment of Okinawa began
    29 Joined TG 50.8; OTC in DETROIT; two CVEs, oilers, AKs, tugs; bombardment of Ryukyus continues
    31 Storm warnings out; fueling of screen canceled

    April
    1 Easter; invasion of Okinawa began
    2 Fueling of TF 58 delayed due to rough seas
    3 Fueling delayed further; DEWEY to Okinawa with AK; KYNE and oilers back to Ulithi; one escort spotted and exploded a mine -- quite an explosion
    4 Fueling TG 58.2, comprising new battle cruisers GUAM and ALASKA; saw IOWA (BB-61), WISCONSIN, NORTH CAROLINA (BB-55) and MISSOURI
    5 Detached; at 2000, convoy of LST-999 and THORNTON (AVD-11) and several others came right through this convoy; hit ESCALANTE (AO-70); THORNTON rammed twice, forward and amidships; all oilers turned on lights; BANGUST sent to aid; survivors picked from water; THORNTON taken in tow by tug; STOCKTON (DD-646) sank a sub; VAMMEN (DE-644) hit a mine (1 April 1945)

    Vessels damaged by collision on 5 April were:
    THORNTON (AVD-11/DD-270), 24.24 N, 128.58 E
    AGENOR (ARL-3), 24.46 N, 141.19 E
    LST-646, 24.46 N, 141.19 E
    ASHTABULA (AO-51), 25.09 N, 128.47 E
    ESCALANTE (AO-70), 25.09 N, 128.47 E
    LST-940, 26.21 N, 127.43 E
    LST-1000, 26.21 N, 127.44 E
    LST-273, 26.25 N, 127.42 E
    LST-810, 26.25 N, 127.42 E

    HUDSON (DD-475) sunk RO-41 at 26.22 N, 126.30 E STOCKTON and MORRISON (DD-560) sunk I-8 on 31 March 1945

    April
    6 In company with six oilers, LAMONS (DE-743), BORIE (DD-704) and WELLES (DD-628), who has three THORNTON survivors on board
    7 WESSON hit by kamikaze
    8 Arrived Ulithi about 1000
    12 HILBERT to leave south anchorage
    14 Beach parties yesterday and today
    15 Five minutes of silence in memory of late President Roosevelt, after colors
    16 Underway at 0545 with five or six oilers, MAUNA LOA (AE-8) and screen of DALE, KYNE, BRACKETT and BANGUST, ComScreen
    17 KYNE sank mine; so far, 1,600 Japanese planes downed around Okinawa
    19 Joined TG 50.8; passed mail to DETROIT; two mines sighted, one sunk; news tonight told of Ernie Pyle being killed
    20 Scuttlebutt is that RIDDLE took a suicide plane at Okinawa (12 April 1945)
    21 All-out offensive on Okinawa started; plane guard for SAVO ISLAND (CVE-78); passed mail to TAPPAHANNOCK (AO-43); loss of 15 ships at Okinawa announced, mostly by suicide planes; PRINGLE (DD-477) one of five DDs sunk [From 1 to 21 April, eight US vessels were lost at Okinawa and 201 vessels were damaged from ALL causes, 75 of those by suicide planes]
    22 Fueling units of TG 59.1
    23 Hazy; cannot see all ships of convoy; replenishing TG 59.3; assigned to DETROIT for odd jobs
    24 Fueling units of TG 59.4, including ALASKA and GUAM
    25 Fueling units of TG 59.4; SHANGRI LA (CV-38) in that unit; sighted floating mine, horned type, sank it using rifles from bridge; went through mine field at 1300; five explosions; carrier plane shot down Japanese plane at 20 miles
    26 Refueling units of TF 58
    27 Fueling units of TG 59.3; AA drill, all hands topside ordered to wear helmets as precaution against shrapnel; RALPH TALBOT (DD-390) hit by two suicides at Okinawa
    28 Fueling units of TF 58; COMFORT (AH-6) hit by suicide plane at 25.30 N, 127.40 E
    29 BOUNTIFUL (AH-9) joined, then left, convoy
    30 Passed mail to DETROIT and AOs 58 (MANATEE), 59 (MISSISSINEWA -- !) and 74 (SARANAC); went alongside HOBBY (DD-610) for replacement part for sound gear; heard 29 killed, 33 wounded on COMFORT

    May
    1 Fueling units of TG 59.3
    2 Fueling units of TG 59.4; Hitler reported dead in the news -- for the fifth time
    3 Transferred appendicitis case to BOUGAINVILLE (CVE-100) at 0900; have steamed 86,745 miles since commissioning
    4 Refueled TF 58
    5 Went alongside WEAVER for ALNAV (General Message) 64; we rate campaign ribbon -- Philippine Liberation, with one star
    6 Fueling "Lucky and Gang," TG 58.3; transferred VHF aircraft receiver from BATAAN (CVL-29) to DETROIT
    7 Fueling "Rowdy and Gang," TG 58.4; transferred officer from WINDHAM BAY (CVE-92) to BOUGAINVILLE; went alongside DETROIT for mail; plane guard this morning; picked up mail from WINDHAM BAY at 1400; underway 1600 in company with WINDHAM BAY and DALE; patient on CVE-100 had appendix removed and doing fine
    8 VE Day in Europe; went alongside CVE-92 to transfer requisitions, etc.
    10 Sighted Guam; several ships standing in unescorted
    11 EGG HARBOR and DALE alongside; quite a few subs in harbor; appendicitis case (2nd) transferred to Naval Hospital on beach
    14 Beach party at GabGab (Gables); patient had appendix removed, doing well
    15 Alongside "can" hit badly by suicides; DALE alongside
    16 Nesting with DALE and LINDSEY (DM-32/DD-771) who took two suicides in Okinawa (12 April), with 114 casualties. (57 dead 57 wounded)
    17 Man broke his ankle, transferred to hospital on Guam; beach party
    18 Beach party
    19 HILBERT and GREINER arrived today with BOUGAINVILLE [George has a snapshot in his HILBERT album depicting, left to right, EDMONDS (DE-406), LINDSEY, BANGUST, DALE and GREINER which clearly shows the damage to DM-32]
    20 First appendix case back; two men left for States; underway at 1300 with WINDHAM BAY and DALE; DALE returned to Guam for fuel
    21 DALE rejoined just prior dark
    22 Alongside CVE and picked up ice cream, compliments of WINDHAM BAY
    23 Passed out two bottles of coke to each guy; joined convoy
    24 Joined JEFFERSON [? -- JEFFERS (DMS-27/DD-621)?] at dawn; received officer from BRACKETT
    25 MISSOURI joined us from Guam, left with escort at 1330; DD-645 (STEVENSON) alongside to pass official mail
    26 Fueling "Goblin," "Flashy" and "Kodak," TF 58, now TF 38; heard Halsey aboard MISSOURI
    28 Detailed to escort WACO and LUNENBURG VICTORY with CONKLIN (DE-439) and WEAVER (DE-971) (sic); merchant ships have hard time understanding Naval Operating Procedure
    29 Merchant ships carrying bombardment ammunition
    30 Transferred two men to merchant ships for operations purposes

    June
    1 Fueling units of TF 38; EISELE (could not verify) and O'NEILL (DE-188) (24 May) were hit at Okinawa [as was WILLIAM C. COLE (DE-641) 24 May]
    2 Fueling units of TF 58 (sic); transferred doctor to merchant to examine their skipper who has asthma; transferred mail to LEWIS (DE-535)
    3 Transferred doctor to merchant again
    4 Fueling units of TF 31; ordered to prepare for typhoon; high water; fueling discontinued; merchant ships having quite a time; left merchants who are helpless; CVE lost 20 planes off deck
    5 Spam and coffee for breakfast; typhoon; barometer hit 18 (questionable figure); high winds; impossible to sleep; several men lost from various ships; one man washed overboard and picked up by ship right behind, almost immediately; KALK (DD-611) in bad way -- no sound, radar or radio; one merchant located; CONKLIN and/or LEWIS (5" DE) lost mast; clearing up at noon; TG 30.8 rejoining; fueling fleet units prior dark [DONALDSON (DE-44) and HILBERT also damaged in typhoon, but no mention of LEWIS in listing]
    6 Fueling units of TF 38 -- ALASKA, GUAM, MISSOURI; Halsey may be with this bunch; two merchant ships to Okinawa; three CVEs not operational, decks are split [WINDHAM BAY, SALAMAUA (CVE-96), BOUGAINVILLE and ATTU (CVE-102) were all damaged in the typhoon]
    7 WINDHAM BAY has damaged flight deck; with CAPPS, four carriers, another DD and two other DEs; WYMAN (DE-38) sighted mine, results unknown
    10 WINDHAM BAY, SALAMAUA, BOUGAINVILLE, ATTU sent up 15 planes; one had fuel line trouble, crashed, uninjured pilot picked up by CAPPS; arrived Guam 1130; PITTSBURGH came in with bow torn off; DULUTH (CL-87) split in middle; berthed alongside DE-740 (WATERMAN) and DE-749 (ROBERTS)
    11 BRACKETT and WYMAN came alongside
    12 Quite a few submarines operating out of Guam
    13 Lots of mail; saw four subs go out
    17 "Smoker" on ATTU went off pretty good
    18 Skipper of DE-740 awarded Bronze Star for action and rescue of 17 February during fire on oiler (PATUXENT) at sea
    19 ROCKWELL (APA-230) pulled in
    20 Typhoon warnings up at sea
    21 WATERMAN underway
    23 Underway at 0630 alone; arrived Saipan 1500
    25 Splitting radio watch with WYMAN; DD-630 (BRAINE) came in, #2 gun missing, bridge torn to hell, #2 stack missing (hit by kamikaze 26 May); EVANS (DD-552) (hit by kamikaze 11 May) outside net with tug alongside
    26 Recreation party
    27 WYMAN and BRACKETT to go back to States; plenty of B-29s coming and going
    29 Beach party

    July
    1 Beach party
    4 Underway at 0730; to sortie with four CVEs, REYNOLDS, ComScreen, McCLELLAND (DE-750), BANGUST and RENNISON [? -- KENNISON (AG-83/DD-138)?]
    5 Met fueling unit this morning; DETROIT still CTG 30.8; total number of escorts now 36, 72 ships combined; split into three groups; BANGUST in "Baker;" course set northward for raids on Tokyo
    6 Alongside STEAMER BAY (CVE-87) to pick up hand set for TBS radio; destroyer sank mine off our port beam
    8 Fueling units of TF 38; Halsey is on MISSOURI
    9 Several oilers and two escorts returning to Ulithi
    10 Air strikes on Japan today; very good results
    11 Two CVEs, ten oilers, 11 escorts and one tug left in convoy
    13 Ordered to prepare for rough seas and high winds
    14 Fleet hit typhoon off Kyushu
    16 IOWA, WISCONSIN and MISSOURI bombarding Japan; pilot from ANZIO (CVE-57) sighted sub while en route to Guam; 5" DE LAWRENCE C. TAYLOR (DE-415) sank sub (I-13) with first hedgehog attack
    17 Another unit of two cruisers, AOs, AKs, and two APAs joined from Leyte; went alongside GARRARD (APA-84) to pick up mail for various ships in screen; went alongside CALIENTE (AO-53) for fuel and mail; delivered mail to FARENHOLT (DD-491) and BENNION (DD-662); joined by ANZIO
    18 Delivered mail to WATERMAN; underway at 0930; THETIS BAY (CVE-90), CROWLEY (DE-303), BEBAS (DE-10) to report to Guam; BEBAS to go to States; storm warnings out; getting pretty windy; we are really pitching around
    20 Sub contact; evaluated as fish
    21 BEBAS has sub contact; dropped charges; no results
    22 BEBAS, CROWLEY and THETIS BAY left for Guam; BANGUST ComScreen; only ship with sound gear operative; WATERMAN, WILLIAM SEIVERLING (DE-441) and BANGUST screen; six oilers
    23 Sighted Ulithi at 0800; nested with WATERMAN
    24 WATERMAN into dry dock
    25 Underway at 1700; in company with five oilers and one AK; screen CANFIELD, DIONNE (DE-261), DEEDE (DE-263), ELDEN (DE-264) and BANGUST; "Chelsea Two" is ComScreen
    27 One escort had mine at 0300
    28 Storm warning out north of us
    29 Joined TF 38 and TG 30.8 (Garfield) at 0630; during fueling, a mine floated close past our starboard side; a tug crossing our bow just missed it; while fueling, another oiler sighted mine dead ahead and pulled away from escort, parting lines; picked up mail from PATUXENT and NECHES (AO-47); picked up Dr. Meany from KYNE
    30 Sighted British fueling unit this morning
    31 Alongside THETIS BAY to transfer Dr. Meany; transferred Pascoe's gear to him on DE-743, HILBERT (sic). RESCUE (AH-18) joined us

    August
    1 Fueling units of Third Fleet; BANGUST is ComScreen
    2 With units of Third Fleet and TF 38; UNDERHILL (DE-682) attacked and sunk by three Japanese subs in Luzon waters (24 July -- later determined to be a kaiten - human torpedo - which UNDERHILL rammed, thinking it a sub, and DE-682 immediately split in two)
    3 Fueling units of TF 38
    5 In company with O'BANNON (DD-450) and others; STEVENSON alongside at 1030 to pick up mail; 300 miles from Tokyo; carrier planes making strikes from here; passed many mines; BRISTOL (DD-687) (sic) collided with ASHTABULA, tore off 50 feet of the oiler's port side (collision occurred 3 July -- BRISTOL is DD-857, UHLMANN is DD-687)
    7 Sighted Fleet at about 0400; behind us all night; fueling units of TG 38.3; sighted school of over 100 porpoises; with us until we changed course; carriers striking Honshu; atomic bomb used on Japan
    9 NICHOLAS (DD-449) alongside to trade movies at 0900; BORIE hit by suicide in fleet raid on mainland; she was hit on signal bridge with heavy casualties
    10 Typhoon 600 miles south of here; BORIE attempting to contact hospital ship, passed us at 1300 in company with ABBOT (DD-629) who had lost screw; BANGUST in port only two days since 4 July
    11 Fueling units of TG 38.4; KYNE alongside to transfer Division Medical Officer to examine CO of KYNE, recommended hospitalization; RESCUE passed through convoy at 1000, joined; typhoon moving north at ten knots
    12 Squalls; storm moving north-northeast, then east; sighted units of TF 38 steaming on our port bow
    13 Typhoon recurving to northeast; oiler replacements delayed due to storm; RESCUE steaming in company, no lights; empty tankers dispatched prior dark
    14 Clearing, still choppy; fueling Third Fleet, including British Task Force composed of one carrier, two cruisers, one battlewagon and ten destroyers -- which really cut the water. RESCUE and others detached prior dark
    15 At 0415 WATERMAN sank mine off starboard quarter, quite an explosion; picked up VHF radio receiver from CVE for further delivery; at 0900 President Truman broadcast acknowledgment of receipt of Japanese surrender; at 1130 Halsey reported "King's Row" (TF 38) under Japanese air attack, 138 miles from us -- 16 Japanese planes downed; Japanese resistance to stop at 1200 and US to "cease fire;" MacArthur to make peace negotiations; at 1245, alongside DE-7 (GRISWOLD)
    16 APDs, DMs, DMSes sighted, joined; hospital ship and British sloop joined in late afternoon; ten US transports attacked by Japanese planes; APDs, DMs and LSV detached
    19 Sighted amphibious units
    20 Fueling units of TG 38.3; to form new group with hospital ships, tenders and tugs: ATFs 105 (MOCTOBI), 118 (WENATCHEE), LST-648, ARS-10 (MEDRIC), ARL-24 (SPHINX-LST-963), PIEDMONT (AD-17) and PROTEUS (AS-19), TRANQUILLITY (AH-14), BENEVOLENCE (AH-13), all lighted up, and HS-3 TJIBALENGA (Dutch). OTC, Capt. Robbin, PIEDMONT, has not joined unit; alongside PASADENA (CL-65) to pick up Operation Orders; typhoon northeast; sank mine at 1630; SAN DIEGO (CL-53), WEAVER and KYNE with us
    21 DD-669 (COTTEN) delivered mail for further relay: MANATEE with mail and movies; BENEVOLENCE; TRANQUILLITY smacked by our fantail, no damage; DULUTH; DELTA (AR-9); PIEDMONT; TAMALPAIS (AO-96) and MOCTOBI; when going alongside KYNE, scraped their side with our anchor, damaged their whaleboat; typhoon northeast
    22 Fueling; seaplane tender joined; AVs and AVPs joined; typhoon, 30.1 N, 144 E - BANGUST, 32.15 N, 142.12 E; transferred mail to ANCON (AGC-4); 38.3 steamed by just about sunset with British destroyers part of screen; so many units in area it is increasingly difficult to stay out of one another's way; all but eight Japanese subs accounted for; visibility zero just after dark; British ship with no radar, hospital ship a steering casualty; RESCUE joined unit
    23 KYNE left 1220 to rendezvous with IOWA; BANGUST passed mail to HAMLIN (AV-15); WEAVER rejoined just after sundown; ARL and LST that were to join us collided; ARL back to Saipan; two women war correspondents on RESCUE to transfer to fleet units
    24 Two YMSs joined; PENNSYLVANIA (BB-38) hit by Japanese torpedo plane 12 August; storm warnings out; general low pressure area from Iwo Jima to Hainan Island in China Sea
    25 Typhoon warnings still out, south of us; TETON (AGC-14) and PCEs 848 and 849 joined; KYNE left to deliver mail
    26 AVs and AVPs detached; LST group to rendezvous with this group; Nimitz released list of ships in occupation force; BANGUST listed; typhoon conditions Okinawa to Japan; Spruance and Fifth Fleet brought out of mothballs; WATERMAN returned to convoy, ROWE (DD-564) joined
    27 Passed mail to LST; WEAVER detached to proceed to rendezvous with Japanese sub and put prize crew from PROTEUS aboard; BANGUST to pick up another sub; took crew aboard from PROTEUS, six officers and about 40 men
    28 Sighted land 0550 near Shioya, Honshu; area heavily mined; planes dropping food on POW camps; radio contact with MURRAY (DD-576) who is escorting sub and has boarding party of four officers and 12 enlisted men aboard sub; transferred prize crew to sub; brought 36-45 Japanese POWs and one officer aboard BANGUST, given thorough examination, taken to engineers compartment, fed eggs and Spam and secured for night; underway with sub at nine knots; made contact with WEAVER and her sub at 2250
    29 Passing over heavily mined waters; sighted Fujiyama at 0550; several ships mine sweeping; FRANK KNOX (DD-742) to pick up instructions; at 0945 entered Sagami Wan; units of American and British fleets here; WADLEIGH asked permission to look at our sub; Escort Division 32 the only DEs here; a lot of CLs, CAs, BBs, DDs and British vessels; I-14 and I-400 alongside PROTEUS; WEAVER's sub 5,000 tons, eight tubes forward, carried about 125 men; subs to be sent to Pearl, two of the largest in the world; BANGUST 15 miles from Tokyo Bay; movies on fantail; beach fully lighted, resembles Far Rockaway; at 1300 LCVP came to remove prisoners; they all waved when they left -- as if saying "We're home and you guys aren't."; received 40 bags of mail from CHICAGO (CA-136) -- best part of day
    31 Underway; foggy and squally; arrived Tokyo Bay in afternoon; several sunken ships in harbor channel; anchored 2500 yards from USS MISSOURI

    September
    1 MISSOURI about 1700 yards from us; underway at 1445 with KYNE to escort APAs 172 (GRIMES), 138 (BRAXTON), 125 (LANIER), 156 (MELLETTE), 203 (MERIWETHER) and AKA-84 (WAUKESHA) at 15 knots
    2 En route Saipan
    5 Sighted Saipan about 1200, entered, anchored
    7 Underway 1445 with KYNE, four merchant ships; movies topside
    13 Arrived Yokosuka 1030
    14 Nested with DE-744, ERBEN (DD-631) and UHLMANN
    16 Transferred men to CACHE (AO-67) for US
    17 Storm warnings out for Bay area; liberty in Tokyo
    23 BANGUST heads list for dates ships left States
    27 Storm warning; liberty canceled

    October
    1 Broke out "Homeward Bound Pennant" at 1600; all division here except LAMONS, in Okinawa; taking on two officers and 39 enlisted as passengers
    2 Underway at 0645; pennant flying from yardarm past fantail
    3 Very high winds
    5 WEAVER alongside to pass movies
    10 Arrived Pearl at 1000; nested with WATERMAN and DE-215 (BURKE - APD-65)
    11 Liberty; few sailors in town; lots of "WAVES" and "WACS"
    13 Liberty until 1200; LAMONS arrived; took on more passengers; underway at 1500 with Escort Division 32 less LAMONS
    15 Including those picked up in Pearl, there are about 85 enlisted passengers with 174 crew aboard
    16 Cmdr. Hutchison received orders to report to RecShip Philadelphia as Executive Officer; Taylor on WEAVER to be Division Commander
    20 Sighted US about 0700; disembarked passengers; liberty about 1400
    21 In Long Beach; liberty
    30 Ships' party at Lakewood Country Club

    November
    5 Liberty granted until 0000
    6 Underway at 0630 in company CortDiv 32 less LAMONS; Division Commander aboard WATERMAN; many shipmates left at Long Beach who were eligible for discharge
    8 Sighted DETROIT on her way to East Coast; at 2000 sighted Mexican coastal steamer MULEGE, in distress; attempted to take in tow, unsuccessful; stayed in vicinity, other ships continued on course; took MULEGE in tow
    10 Arrived Magdalena about 1300; about ten houses on beach; anchored MULEGE one mile from beach; en route
    15 Arrived Balboa, Panama, about 1100; awaiting transit with rest of Division; began at 1300; tied up in Cristobal at 2330; about 45 passengers came aboard
    16 Liberty until 1800; underway 2100
    22 Entered Delaware River about 0700; Philadelphia Navy Yard at 1300; Walker relieved by Lind; Yerxa to be Exec

    1946

    January
    9 Underway
    11 Arrived Jacksonville, FL
    17 Arrived Green Cove Springs, FL, Reserve Fleet

    (end of dated diaries, etc.)



    November 11, 1946
    Decommissioned; a total of 296 men had served in the "Mighty B."

    ESCORT DIVISION 32
    BANGUST (DE-739)
    WATERMAN (DE-740)
    WEAVER (DE-741)
    HILBERT (DE-742)
    LAMONS (DE-743)
    KYNE (DE-744)

    From the time BANGUST departed the US until she returned, she spent 646 days in the Pacific. That is 92 weeks or 21.5 months or 1.75 years, depending on how you want to measure time.

    BANGUST was transferred to Peru 26 October 1951, with WATERMAN and WEAVER. Completely modernized, the three DEs arrived Callao, Peru, 24 May 1952. BANGUST was renamed CASTILLA and renumbered 61. For the next six years, she had annual training with US Navy units in A/S exercise at San Diego. She then served as a training ship. In 1970-71, she patrolled the Peruvian coast to prevent US fishermen from fishing in Peruvian protected waters.

    In 1985, it was learned all that remained of BANGUST was her hull, sitting at Iquitos Naval Station, Loreto, on the Amazon River, where she had been based since 1979. WATERMAN had been dismantled and, in 1989, was serving as a power ship for active Peruvian vessels. At that time, WEAVER was serving as a sub tender.

    In 1972, about 50 DEs were brought to Philadelphia for scrapping. Of these, Boston Metal Company of Baltimore, MD, paid $60,666.66 for HILBERT and $62,866.66 for LAMONS. KYNE went to North American Smelting Company of Wilmington, DE, for $67,567.00.

    (Keep in mind the following was written about ten years ago. (abt 1990))
    The Carolines Chapter of DESA has a model of USS BANGUST (DE-739), built by Neal Sides of SC.
    For further data on the model, contact:
    TOM SPRINKLE
    USS REEVES (DE-156)
    1817 FAIRVIEW BOULEVARD
    WINSTON-SALEM, NC 27127
    919-788-5485

    The 190 vessels named in this history include 35 types of craft as follows:
    6 Battleships (BB)
    4 Aircraft Carriers (CV)
    1 Light Carrier (CVL)
    12 Escort Carriers (CVE)
    2 Large Cruisers (CB)
    2 Heavy Cruisers (CA)
    4 Light Cruisers (CL)
    38 Destroyers (DD)
    48 Destroyer Escorts (DE)
    1 Submarine (SS)
    2 High Speed Minesweepers (DMS)
    1 Frigate (PF)
    1 Sub Chaser (PC)
    2 Sub Chasers, Escort (PCE)
    2 Seaplane Tenders (AV)
    1 Seaplane Tender-Destroyer (AVD)
    4 Destroyer Tenders (AD)
    1 Sub Tender (AS)
    1 Attack Cargo Ship (AKA)
    7 Attack Transports (APA)
    2 Amphibious Force Flagships (AGC)
    8 Landing Ships, Tank (LST)
    1 Ammunition Ship (AE)
    1 Provision Storeship (AF)
    17 Oilers (AO)
    2 Repair Ships (AR)
    1 Repair Ship, Heavy HULL (ARH)
    2 Repair Landing Ships (ARL)
    5 Hospital Ships (AH)
    1 Salvage Vessel (ARS)
    2 Fleet Tugs (ATF)
    2 Miscellaneous Auxiliaries (AG)
    1 Maritime Transport USMT
    2 Foreign vessels
    3 Merchant vessels

    The 48 DEs are:
    BANGUST (DE-739), BEBAS (DE-10), BRACKETT (DE-41), BURKE (DE-215/APD-65), CANFIELD (DE-262), CONKLIN (DE-439), CROWLEY (DE-303), DEEDE (DE-263), DIONNE (DE-261), DONALDSON (DE-44), EDMONDS (DE-406), EISELE (DE-34), ELDEN (DE-264), FAIR (DE-35), FLEMING (DE-32), FOREMAN (DE-633), GREINER (DE-37) GRISWOLD (DE-7), HILBERT (DE-742), HOLDER (DE-401), KYNE (DE-744), LAMONS (DE-743), LAWRENCE C. TAYLOR (DE-415), LEWIS (DE-535), MANLOVE (DE-36), MCCLELLAND (DE-750), MELVIN R. NAWMAN (DE-416), MITCHELL (DE-43), O'NEILL (DE-188), REEVES (DE-156), REYNOLDS (DE-42), RIDDLE (DE-185), ROBERTS (DE-749), SILVERSTEIN (DE-534), SWEARER (DE-186), TABBERER (DE-418), TISDALE (DE-33), UNDERHILL (DE-682), VAMMEN (DE-644), WATERMAN (DE-740), WEAVER (DE-741), WESSON (DE-184), WHITEHURST (DE-634) WHITMAN (DE-24), WILLIAM C. COLE (DE-641), WILLIAM SEIVERLING (DE-441), WITTER (DE-636) AND WYMAN (DE-38)




Thank you Anne for sharing your work.

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