SS JOHN LYKES (C-1 TROOP TRANSPORT)

 

·        THIS PAPER HAS BEEN PARTIALLY  TRANSCRIBED A MUCH LATER DATE FROM MY HANDWRITTEN PERSONAL LOG BOOK

 

MAY 5, 1945

DISCHARGED FROM U.S. MARITIME SERVICE AT CATALINA ISLAND, CA AND SIGNED ON TO JOHN LYKES THE SAME DATE IN SAN PEDRO, CA AS ORDINARY SEAMAN.

MAY 20, 1945

DEPARTED SAN PEDRO, CA BOUND FOR SAN FANCISCO AND ARRIVED AT OKLAND NAVAL SUPPLY DEPOT MAY 21, 1945.

MAY 24, 1945

MOVED TO ARMY PIER 7 IN SAN FRANCISCO, CA AND LOADED A CB BATALLION AND DEPARTED FOR PEARL HARBOR, HI ALONE.   NO CONVOY.  SOMEONE SAID THERE WERE ABOUT 1,000 CB’S ABOARD!

MAY 30, 1945

ARRIVED PEARL HARBOR AND TIED UP ALONG SIDE A NAVY AKA CARGO SHIP.

JUNE 2, 1945

DEPARTED PEAL HARBOR IN CONVOY WITH NAVY PATROL CRAFT AS ESCORTS.  HAD AERIAL GUNNERY PRACTICE WITH ALL GUNS FIRING AT SLEEVE FROM A NAVY TOW PLANE.  I FIRED SEVERAL ROUNDS FROM MY 20 MM GUN BATTLE STATION.

JUNE 7, 1945

CROSSED INTERNATION DATE LINE AND HAD THE GOLDEN DRAGON CEREMONIES.  LOTS OF FUN WITH THE ROYAL COURT.  ESSENTIALLY ALL OF THE CB’S GOT BALD HAIRCUTS.  WATCHED A MOVIE TODAY ALSO.

JUNE 11, 1945

ARRIVED ENIWETOK, MARSHALL ISLANDS AND ANCHORED OFFSHORE.  THERE MUST BE AT LEAST 100 SHIPS HERE.  WENT ASHORE IN SMALL CANVAS BOAT AND SPENT THE NIGHT ON THE ISLAND

JUNE 18, 1945

DEPARTED ENIWETOK IN CONVOY OF EIGHT SHIPS

JUNE 19, 1945

MAKING A SMALL ARCH AROUNT JAP HELD TRUK ISLAND.

JUNE 21, 1945

JAP SUBMARINE FIRED TWO TORPEDOES AT THE NAVY AKA DEAD AHEAD OF US AND BOTH MISSED.  WE WERE AT GENERAL QUARTERS AND CONDITION 2 ALL DAY.  DE’S AND NAVY PATROL PLANES DROPPED DEPTH CHARGES BUT NO SUB KILL.  ARRIVE IN ULITHI, CAROLINE ISLANDS AND ANCHORED AMONG ABOUT 50 OTHER SHIPS.

JULY 1, 1945

AFTER SPENDING 10 DAYS IN ULITHI HARBOR AND TWO TRIPS TO ISLAND OF MOG MOG, WE DEPARTED IN CONVOY FOR OKINAWA.  WE HAD AIR RAID, FIRE AND BOAT DRILLS.  ALSO BOXING MATCHES WHICH I PARTICIPATED AND WON.  THE CONVOY HAS EIGHT TROOP SHIPS, ONE AKA LOADED WITH EQUIPMENT AND TWO DESTROYERS AND ONE DE AS ESCORTS.  WE ZIG ZAG ABOUT EVERY 5, 10, 15 MINUTES.  ONLY AB’S ALLOWED TO STEER AND “NO IRON MIKES”

JULY 4, 1945

WE HAD A SONAR CONTACT AND THE DE DROPPED FIVE “ASH CANS” AND ONE OF THE DD’S STAYED BEHIND AND CONTINUED THE SEARCH FOR A SHORT TIME.

JULY 5, 1945

MORE ESCORTS JOINED US AND TOOK US TO “WHITE BEACH”, I THINK, WERE DROPPED THE HOOK OFF SHORE.  B-24’S WERE BOMBING ONE OF THE SMALL ISLANDS AND THERE WAS HEAVY ARTILLERY FIRE IN THE HILLS AND ON THE BEACHES.  THIS WAS MY FIRST TIME TO BE IN A COMBAT ZONE AND I WAS AMAZED AT HOW LOUD THE EXPLOSIONS WERE AS COMPARED TO THE WAR MOVIES!  A MARINE CORSAIR WAS DIVING ON A JAP AMMUNITION DUMP AND IT WAS EXPLODING AND SENT FIREWORKS UP INTO THE SKY LIKE THE FOURTH OF JULY!

JULY 6, 1945

THERE WAS AN UNSUCCESSFUL JAP SUICIDE PLANE ATTACK LAST NIGHT BUT I DIDN’T SEE OR HEAR ANYTHING.  THE CB’S AND THEIR EQUIPMENT ARE UNLOADING AND GOING ASHORE IN ALL KINDS OF LANDING CRAFT.   ARTILLERY FIRE IN THE HILLS CONTINUES.

 

 

 

 

 

 

JULY 8, 1945

ANOTHER UNSUCCESSFUL JAP SUICIDE PLANE ATTACK NEAR NAHA LAST NIGHT.  I WENT ASHORE WITH AN M-1 CARBINE AND RODE IN AN AMPHIBIOUS “DUK” AND LATER IN ARMY TRUCK.  WE DROVE TO THE CITY OF NAHA WHICH HAS BEEN COMPLETELY DESTROYED.  THE NARROW GAUGE RAILROAD TRACTS ARE COMPLETELY DESTROYED AS WELL AS MOST OF THE CIVILIAN BUILDINGS.  I SAW A LOT OF DEAD JAP SOLDIERS AND THE STINK WAS AWFUL!  THAT NIGHT, WE DROVE UP IN THE HILLS WHERE THE FIGHTING WAS GOING ON AS I HAD PROMISED MY WORLD WAR I COMBAT INFANTRYMAN DAD THAT I WOULD KILL A JAP FOR HIM!   OUR ARMY PATROLS WERE  HUNTING OUT THE JAPS AND THE ONLY TIMES I GOT TO FIRE WAS WHEN ONE OF THE JAPS WOULD SET OFF A “TRIP FLARE”  WHICH LIGHTED UP THE AREA.  I MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE KILLED ANY, BUT I  TRIED AND I WAS ALSO SCARED THAT NIGHT.  LATER THAT NIGHT WE SLEPT UNDER A TRUCK AT AN OLD JAP AIRFIELD AND A JAP “BETTY” FLEW RIGHT OVER US BUT DID NOT DROP ANY BOMBS.  IT WAS NIGHT, BUT THE SOLDERS COULD RECOGNIZE A “BETTY” BY THE WASHING MACHINE NOISE THEY MADE!  I BOUGHT A JAP FLAG (POSSIBLE MADE BY OUR ARMY FOLKS FOR A PROFIT SALE) AND ALSO FOUND A POUCH FROM A DEAD JAP OFFICER.  I ALMOST BOUGHT A JAP RIFLE AND HELMET, BUT DIDN’T.  THERE ARE STILL A LOT OF JAPS ON THE ISLAND THAT ARE LIVING IN CAVES AND COME OUT AT NIGHT TO FIGHT.

JULY 9, 1945

RETURNED TO THE SHIP THIS MORNING AND NEARBY WAS A DD THAT WAS BEING REPAIRED AFTER BEING HIT BY A JAP SUICIDE PLANE THAT KILLED 39 AMERICAN SAILORS.

JULY 12, 1945

WE HAD AN AIR ALERT LAST NIGHT AND FIRED TWO OF OUR SMOKE POTS.  DEPARTED OKINAWA IN A 20 SHIP CONVOY.  A FLOTING MINE WAS SIGHTED AND EXPLODED BY ONE OF OUR DD’SL

JULY 18, 1945

CONVOY FORMED A SINGLE LINE AND WE REMAINED THE LEAD SHIP.  OUR ESCORTS HAD PRACTICE FIRING AND LED US BACK INTO ULITHI  WHERE WE LOADED DECEASED SAILORS BELONGINGS AND MAIL

JULY 19, 1945

DEPARTED ULITHI AND SAILING ALONE WITHOUT ESCORTS BUT WITH IRON MIKE AND ZIG ZAG  MANUVERING AT 13 ½ KNOTS.  WE ARE LIGHT AND  SCREWS COMING PARTIALLY OUT OF THE WATER AT TIMES.  IRON MIKE BROKEN AND WE ARE STEERING BY HAND WHICH IS TOUGH IN ROUGH WEATHER.

JULY 30, 1945

CHANGED COURSE TO MISS A FLOTING MINE.  WE ARE PAINTING SHIP TO LOOK GOOD WHEN WE REACH SAN PEDRO,  CA.   CHANGED COURSE AGAIN TONIGHT AND HEADED FOR FLARES ON THE HORIZON, BUT FOUND OUT IT WAS SOME SHIPS HAVING TARGET PRACTICE.  BILLY ARBER AND I ARE PLANNING OUR TRIP HOME TO TEXAS.  ALSO LOOKING FORWARD TO SAN PEDRO BEACON STREE AND THE BAMBO HUT!  WEATHER IS VERY COLD.

AUGUST 5, 1945

ARRIVED SAN PEDRO AND ANCHORED FOR SEVERAL HOURS FOR CUSTOM AND FBI OFFICERS TO CHECK US OUT AND THEN WE WENT IN AND TIED UP TO  BERTH 51.   THEN JUST ABOUT ALL OF US WENT ASHORE TO RAISE HELL ALL NIGHT!

AUGUST 8, 1945

GOT PAID OFF  WITH $604.00 (I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE A LITTLE MORE) AND LEFT THE SHIP AND SO ENDED MY FIRST VOYAGE IN THE U.S. MERCHANT MARINES!  (AND I LOVED IT!!!)   ARBER, GILBERT AND I WENT TO LA AND BOARDED A TRAIN FOR TEXAS.