U.S.S. LCI G 561
FLEET POST OFFICE
SAN FRANCISCO, CAL.
5 FEBRUARY 1945CONFIDENTIAL
|COMMANDING OFFICER, USS LCI G 561 |
COMMANDER IN CHIEF, U.S. FLEET
1 COMMANDER TASK UNIT 79.7.1 LCI GR. 16
2 COMMANDER TASK GROUP 79.7 COM LCI FLOT 6
3 COMMANDER TASK GROUP 79.1 COM PHIB GR. 7
4 COMMANDER TASK FORCE 79 COM 3RD PHIB FOR
5 COMMANDER TASK FORCE 77 COM 7TH FLT
6 CINC SWPA
A SEVENTH FLEET CONF.LTR.1CL-44 OF 24 JANUARY 1944.
B COMINCH RES.LTR.FF1/A12-1/A16-3. SERIAL 7152 OF 29 OCTOBER 1943.
C PAC.FLT.CONF.LTR.1CL-45 OF 1 JANUARY 1945.
THE USS LCI G WAS A MEMBER OF THE CLOSE IN FIRE SUPPORT UNIT, ATTACHED TO TASK GROUP 78.2, WHICH LANDED ELEMENTS OF THE 11TH AIRBORNE DIVISION, U.S. ARMY, ON A BEACH IN THE VICINITY OF NASUGBU, BATANGAS PROVINCE, LUZON, X-RAY DAY 31 JANUARY 1945, HOW HOUR 0815, ACCORDING TO OPERATION PLAN MIKE SIX. THIS ATTACK GROUP REHEARSED THE OPERATION AT LEYTE GULF, PHILIPPINES, ON 27TH JANUARY, 1945, PRIOR TO DEPARTURE FOR OBJECTIVE.
THE PRINCIPLE [PRINCIPAL] ENEMY COUNTER ACTION TO THIS OPERATION WAS EXPECTED FROM PT BOATS, AND 250 THIRTY FOOT SUICIDE Q BOATS WHICH WERE REPORTED TO BE IN THE NASUGBU-BATANGAS BAY AREA.
THE MISSION OF THE CLOSE IN FIRE SUPPORT UNIT WAS TO PERFORM CLOSE INSHORE ROCKET BOMBARDMENT AND STRAFING WITH 40MM AND 20MM GUNS IN ADVANCE OF THE ASSAULT WAVES. THE SPECIFIC MISSION OF THIS SHIP WITHIN THE FIRE SUPPORT UNIT WAS TO DESTROY THE TOWN OF WAWA3, APPROXIMATELY 1000 YARDS NORTH OF THE BEACH ON WHICH OUR FORCES WERE TO LAND.
IN ORDER TO ACCOMPLISH THIS MISSION, 4 LCI R’S AND 4 LCI G’S4 FORMED A LINE OF 100 YARDS INSHORE OF THE LINE OF DEPARTURE WHICH WAS 2500 YARDS FROM THE BEACHES, ON A LINE BEARING 170 DEGREES TRUE, HEADING 80 DEGREES TRUE. THIS SHIP’S POSITION WAS ON THE
THE UNIT HEADED INTO THE BEACH ON COURSE 080 DEGREES TRUE, SPEED 8 KNOTS, TIME H-15 MINUTES. H HOUR FOR THE OPERATION WAS 0815, ITEM -9 ZONE. AT 2000 YARDS FROM BEACH, COMMENCED FIRING 40MM AT TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY ON THE BEACH. AT 1500 YARDS FROM BEACH, COMMENCED FIRING 20MM AND SWUNG SHIP’S HEADING TO COURSE 050 DEGREES TRUE IN ORDER TO TRAIN ROCKETS ON OBJECTIVE. AT 1100 YARDS, WHEN RANGE ROCKET WAS OBSERVED TO HIT ON BEACH, WE FIRED FIRST SALVO OF 35 ROCKETS, WHICH WERE SEEN TO LAND IN OBJECTIVE AREA, APPROXIMATELY 50 YARDS FROM THE BEACH. THE SECOND AND THIRD SALVOES WERE FIRED IN 25 SECOND INTERVALS IN ORDER TO SPACE SALVOES 100 YARDS APART. ALL ROCKETS WERE SEEN TO LAND IN THE TOWN, CAUSING DESTRUCTION OF MANY GRASS HUTS AND OTHER BUILDINGS. AT H-3 MINUTES, CEASED FIRING AND WITHDREW NORTH OF BEACH TO A POSITION APPROXIMATELY 1200 YARDS FROM MOUTH OF WAWA RIVER TO ACT AS GUARD AGAINST POSSIBLE SORTIES OF ENEMY SMALL CRAFT AGAINST AMPHIBIOUS SHIPPING ON THE BEACHES. AS WE WERE TURNING TO WITHDRAW, 40MM AND 20MM FIRE CONCENTRATED ON A CONCRETE BOX STRUCTURE ON THE END OF A PIER NEAR THE MOUTH OF THE WAWA RIVER. THE ENTIRE PIER AREA WAS STRAFED.
LATER IN THE MORNING, WE WERE ORDERED TO PROCEED INTO THE BEACH TO SILENCE THREE OR FOUR MACHINE GUN NESTS WHICH WERE ATTACKING LSM’S5 UNLOADING ON THE BEACH. TOGETHER WITH LCI G 558, WE THOROUGHLY STRAFED A BARN SUSPECTED OF HOUSING MACHINE GUN NESTS AND CONCENTRATED ON OTHER SUSPICIOUS OBJECTIVES. A DESTROYER LANDED TWO OR THREE FIVE INCH SHELLS ON THE BARN AT THE SAME TIME WE WERE STRAFING IT. LATER, WE RECEIVED A MESSAGE THAT OUR TROOPS HAD PENETRATED THE WAWA AREA AND WE CEASED FIRING. ONLY ONE MACHINE GUN OF THE ENEMY REMAINED IN OPERATION WHICH LEADS US TO BELIEVE THAT THE COMBINED FIRING OF THE DESTROYER AND THE TWO LCI G’S HAD SILENCED TWO OR THREE MACHINE GUN NESTS.
LATER IN THE AFTERNOON OF X-RAY DAY, WE WERE ORDERED TO PROCEED NORTH OF NASUGBU POINT AND INVESTIGATE A NATIVE OUTRIGGER, MAJOR VANDERPOOL, CENTRAL LUZON INTELLIGENCE COORDINATOR, AND FOUR PHILIPINO [FILIPINO] GUERRILLAS. WE TOOK THE PARTY ABOARD AND DELIVERED THEM TO THE TASK GROUP HEADQUARTERS ON THE BEACH. WHILE ENROUTE FROM THE POINT WHERE WE PICKED UP THE PARTY TO THE HEADQUARTERS ON THE BEACH, MORTAR AND MACHINE GUN FIRE LANDED APPROXIMATELY 200 YARDS FROM THE SHIP. WE WERE UNABLE TO DETECT WHERE THE FIRE WAS COMING FROM AND DID NOT RETURN FIRE.
ON THE NIGHTS OF XRAY DAY AND XRAY PLUS ONE, ENEMY SMALL CRAFT ATTEMPTED TO PENETRATE THE AREA WHERE OUR SHIPS WERE ANCHORED BUT THE OUTER PROTECTIVE SCREEN EITHER DESTROYED THEM OR DROVE THEM OFF AND THE MAIN SHIPPING WAS NOT THREATENED.
At 0750 an xray day, 31 Jan., 1945 this ship with rest of close inshore bombardment began to move in to the landing beaches of Nasugbu Bay from line of departure. This ship occupied the left flank, towards Wawa town. At 0812, 40mm guns begin stripping the target area, and 20 mm guns followed suit three minutes later. At 0816, after the ships heading had been changed from 080°T to 050°T to face Wawa town, green rockets were fired which were seen to hit on the beach, and three 35 rocket salvos were then fired in 25 second intervals, all of which landed in the target area. 0818, the ship began to run parallel to the beach, with starboard 40mm and 20mm guns strafing target near the mouth of the Wawa River, concentrating on objects around a pier. At 0821, ship began pulling away from the beach and all guns ceased firing. 0826, ship to station 1200 yards from mouth Wawa River to act as guard ship against enemy fast boats possibly attempting a surprise sortie.
At 0920, ship was ordered to proceed into beach and silence three or four machine gun nests which were attacking our LSM’S, then in the process of unloading on the beach. The machine gun fire seemed to be coming from a large barn, near the mouth of Wawa River. At 0922, in company with LCI-G-558, the ship moved in and began strafing the barn at 0923 and scored two or three direct hits with 5-inch shells. After giving the barn a thorough strafing, our guns fired on other spots suspected of housing machine gun nests, including a lighthouse, small houses, clusters of shrubbery and caves near the mouth of Wawa River. While we were attempting to silence the machine gun fire, the enemy opened up on our LSM’s with heavier fire, believed to be 105 mm. These batteries were suspected to be firing from a cliff back of Nasugbu Point and were beyond the range of our guns. Five shells were seen to land short off northern LSM and then the fire ceased. No damage was inflicted on our shipping. At 0942, received a message that our troops had penetrated into the Wawa Town area, and we ceased firing. Only one enemy machine gun continued to fire, which led us to conclude that two or three enemy machine guns had been silenced by the combined firing of the two LCI-G’s and the destroyer. This was the end of the action. We then resumed our guardship station 1200 yards from the mouth of Wawa River.
1740, the ship was ordered to go north of Nasugbu Point and investigate an outrigger, containing five persons. 1805, we picked up the occupants of the outrigger, which proved to be an army officer, Maj. Vanderpool, Central Luzon Intelligence Coordinator and four Philipino [Filipino] guerrillas. We then proceeded to deliver this party to the task group HDQ. on the beach. At 1830, while en route to the beach, mortar and machine gun fire landed approximately 200 yards astern of the ship, the fire coming from some point back of Nasugbu Point. This far cost the inshore screens to move outward from the beach but no damage was sustained by any of the ships. At 1855, the party was delivered to an LCVP6 for delivery to the beach.
On the nights of Xray Day and Xray Plus One, enemy small craft attempted to penetrate the area where our ships were anchored but were driven off or destroyed by the outer protecting
2 “LCI(G)-561 - Rep of ops in the assault landing at Nasugbu, Luzon Is, Philippines 1/31/45,” online at the United States National Archives.
3 Wawa is not a town but a barrio of “Nasugbu,” Wikipedia.
4 LCI(G) stands for Landing Craft Infantry (Gunboat), Wikipedia, op. cit.
5 LSM stands for “Landing Ship Medium,” Wikipedia.
6 “LCVP” stands for Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel. Wikipedia.