Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Clusterfuck At Pearl

SUN 21 MAY 1944
In a reprise of the type of raid conducted on Jaluit on 13-14 May, Navy F4Us and PV-1s and USAAF B-24s and B- 25s bomb Japanese positions on Wotje atoll. Navy PB2Ys had harassed the atoll the previous night.

Accidental explosion occurs in tank landing ship LST-353 as she is being loaded with mortar ammunition at West Loch, Pearl Harbor. The cataclysmic blasts result in the loss of LST-39, LST-43, LST-69, LST-179, LST-353, and LST-480; tank landing craft LCT-961, LCT-963, and LCT-983; 17 tracked landing vehicles (LVT); and eight 155-millimeter guns. LST-205 and LST-225 are damaged. During firefighting efforts, big harbor tugs Osceola (YTB-129) and Hoga (YTB-146); medium harbor tug Geronimo (YTM-119); little harbor tugs YTL-233, YTL-306, YTL-307, YTL-308, YTL-309, and YTL-339; net tender (tug class) Tamaha(YTM-12); and Navy-chartered tug Mikioi suffer varying degrees of damage.

Oiler Neches II (AO-47) is damaged by mine about 630 miles west of Los Angeles. [Quoth the Wiki: She was once again en route to San Pedro when, at 18:15 on 21 May 1944, she struck a mine off the California coast. The explosion tore a 22-foot (6.7 m) by 15-foot (4.6 m) hole in her port side, necessitating a week of drydock repairs at San Pedro. Final repairs were completed in two months, and she was back at Pearl Harbor on 27 July. Images from 17 July & 30 November 1944, & bonus footage of Neches II some 20 yrs. later.]

Submarine Billfish (SS-286) damages Japanese cargo ship Bokuy_ [sic] Maru west-southwest of the Marianas, 13°42'N, 140°41'E; Coast Defense Vessel No.12 counterattacks unsuccessfully. [Combined Fleet has the full name (& differing minutes of latitude & longitude): "At 0925, LCDR Vernon C. Turner's (USNA ’33) USS BILLFISH (SS-286) torpedoes BOKUYO (MUTSUYO) MARU at 13-44N, 140-46E. CD-12 remains with BOKUYO MARU. Later, TENRYUGAWA MARU takes the ship in tow."]

Submarine Cero (SS-225) attacks, unsuccessfully, Japanese convoy, and survives enemy antisubmarine efforts conducted by Anshu Maru, No.5 Takunan Maru, and No.17 Shonan Maru, 05°15'N, 128°55'E.

Submarine Narwhal (SS-167) attacks, unsuccessfully, 12-ship Japanese convoy en route from Cebu to Wasile, 08°15'N, 127°15'E.

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