A History of the

USS CABOT (CVL-28):

A Fast Carrier in World War II

by J. Ed Hudson


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Note: The copy that this electronic version
was made from is property of
Jackson County Library System
Medford, Oregon 97501

COPYRIGHT
by J. Ed Hudson
1986

This electronic copy made with the permission of the author.


CHRONOLOGY OF THE USS CABOT (CVL 28)
   December 1943 - November 1945
 1. Left NAS, San Diego - November 1943
 2. Marshall Island Operation - February 1944
 3. Strike on TRUK - February 1944
 4. Strikes on PALAU Islands - April 1944
 5. Strikes on HOLLANDIA, New Guinea - April 1944
 6. Another strike on TRUK - April 1944
 7. Strikes on the Marianas Islands and the "Turkey Shoot" - June 1944
 8. Strikes on IWO JIMA - July 1944
 9. Attacks on YAP and ULITHI - July 1944
10. Strikes on BONIN ISLANDS (Chichi Jima - Haha Jima) August 1944
11. Attacks on PALAU Islands - September 1944
12. FORMOSA strikes and "Streamlined Bait" Action - October 1944
13. Leyte Landings - Battle for Leyte Gulf - October 1944
14. Kamikaze attack - November 1944
15. The Big Typhoon - December 1944
16. South China Sea Action - January 1945
17. Ernie Pyle on Board and the first strike on Tokyo - February 1945
18. Strikes and patrols at OKINAWA - March 1945
19. Strikes on Japanese Fleet (YAMATO) - April 1945
20. Overhaul at Hunter's Point, San Francisco May-June 1945
21. Enroute for invasion of Japan and Wake Strike - August 1945
22. Anchored at Eniwetok - War ended August 1945
23. Supporting landings in Yellow Sea September-October 194S
24. Homeward bound


MAIN FLEET ANCHORAGES
A. Majuro - After February - 1944
B. Eniwetok - After March 1944
C. Ulithi - After September 1944

 
click on this map and a larger version will be presented --------------------------------------------------------------- "An aircraft carrier is a noble thing. It lacks almost everything that seems to denote nobility, yet deep nobility is there. A carrier has no poise. It is top-heavy and lopsided. It has the lines of a well-fed cow. It doesn't cut through the water like a cruiser, knifing romantically along. It doesn't dance and cavort like a destroyer. It just plows. You feel it should be carrying a hod. Yet a carrier is a ferocious thing, and out of its heritage of action has grown its nobility, I believe that every Navy in the world has as its No. I priority the destruction of enemy carriers. That's a precarious honor, but it's a proud one." Ernie Pyle (Written while Pyle was aboard the USS Cabot in February 1945. From: The Last Chapter by Ernie Pyle, Henry Holt & Co., 1945.)

PREFACE This is not a scholarly book written by a naval historian - I have neither the time nor talent to do that. But, I felt compelled to compile the research and write this book because to my knowledge none has ever been written about the Cabot. This is a simple book written primarily for those who served on the Cabot, and a story I hope will be passed on to their children. I did not want the history of this famous ship to be lost because historians did not have the time to devote to her. Every crewman has an important story to tell about the Cabot, and I have attempted to put as many as I could into these limited pages. Most of us who were in the lower petty officer ranks are now in our early sixties, the ensigns and "JGs" in their late sixties, and many of the lieutenants and lieutenant commanders in their seventies. The captains, if living, are in their eighties. Thus, in 20 years, most of us will be gone. It is my desire that someone with far more talent will take this book, improve on it with more research and interviews and publish a truly great history of this unique flattop before we have all passed away. - J. Ed Hudson 1986 Latitude 35 44.0l" North Longitude 8l 19.51" West -------------------------------------------- ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Thanks to Martin and Lena JENNINGS of Harkers Island, N.C. who sparked my interest in naval history by introducing me to the famous 15 volumes of the History of the U.S. Naval Operations in World War II by Admiral Sam Morison. Dozens and dozens of former crew members of the USS Cabot contributed information, personal experiences, data and letters necessary to put this book together. Some went beyond the call of duty to seek information for me, and I thank them. TBM pilots Howard SKIDMORE and E. E. "Ted" WOOD furnished much of the research on Torpedo Squadrons 29 and 31. (Both were awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, and WOOD received the Navy Cross for heroic actions against the enemy.) Tom O'GRADY, USS Cabot Association president, has gone to much time and expense to answer all my letters and follow up on much-needed information. In addition, Ed LOBODA of Phoenix, Ariz., has more information on the Cabot than anyone I know, and he has shared all of it with me. I am indebted to Carl G. FOX, AMM1c who served on the USS Enterprise, USS Hornet, and the USS San Jacinto for helping me check for historical accuracy. Thanks also go to Gene MASUCCI, Al and Marie STRANAGHAN, Fred and Peggy DUDLEY, Ray BROWNLEE, Dr. Paul ASHLEY, Earl HOEY, Raymond COX, "Salty" GALT, Capt. Bob HOWARD, Don HAMBRIDGE, Leonard JACOBS, Jay JOHNSON, Jim LANGHURST, Ray MILLER, Virgil SHROPSHIRE, Chaplain Roderic SMITH, Capt. Frank ZIMANSKI and Ken ROUND for their contributions. The late Admiral Stanley J. MICHAEL, Admiral Malcolm SCHOEFFEL and Admiral Ed MILLER answered all my letters and requests for information. Jerry SHAW of the USS Cowpens (CVL 25), the man responsible for the Cowpens Reunion, has shared all his knowledge about the sister ships, for which I am most appreciative. The information on the Cabot history in the 1950's were furnished by Cmdr. Larry W. BATTLE, Maurice E. MELTON, YN3, Jack MURPHY, and William NEUF. I also thank my daughter Cesarine Anne, who worked with me on the manuscript until she presented me with my first grandchild in July 1985, at which time Tammy WILSON took over. Tammy deserves high praise for her arduous labor in typing and editing the book. Deluxe Printing Co. also is due my thanks for their efforts and skill in producing the book. ---------------------------------------------------------------- To my wonderful wife, Betty, whose love, understanding and assistance proved invaluable. ---------------------------------------------------------------- . CONTENTS Preface Acknowledgments Introduction Glossary Chapter I BACKGROUND, COMMISSIONING, and SHAKEDOWN ................1 Chapter II THE ASSAULT ON THE MARSHALL ISLANDS, TRUK, and HOLLANDIA 9 Chapter III OPERATION "FORAGER" and the MARIANAS TURKEY SHOOT ....17 Chapter IV RAIDS ON THE BONINS, PALAU, and the PHILIPPINES .......23 Chapter V AIR GROUP NUMBER THIRTY ONE ............................29 Chapter VI "The STREAMLINED BAIT" ACTION OFF FORMOSA AND THE BATTLE OF LEYTE GULF .......................................49 Chapter VII THE KAMIKAZE ATTACK AND RELATED STORIES ..............59 Chapter VIII The "BIG TYPHOON" and HALSEY'S THRUST INTO THE SOUTH CHINA SEA ............................................69 Chapter IX ERNIE PYLE'S VISIT AND STRIKES ON JAPAN ................75 Chapter X COVERING THE OKINAWA INVASION AND THE SINKING OF THE YAMATO ...............................................83 Chapter XI AIR GROUP NUMBER TWENTY NINE ...........................93 Chapter XII HOMEWARD BOUND FOR AN OVERHAUL .......................111 Chapter XIII BACK IN ACTION AND THE YELLOW SEA OPERATION .........115 Chapter XIV AIR GROUP NUMBER THIRTY TWO ..........................121 Chapter XV THE MEDITERRANEAN CRUISE AND OTHER ACTIVITIES IN THE 1950's to the 1980's.......................................125 Chapter XVI THE CVL SUCCESS STORY ................................133 APPENDICES........................................................143 CABOT CASUALTY LIST STATISTICS of the CABOT CABOT FIGHTER "ACES" CVL'S AIR GROUPS RATINGS & PAY GRADES BIOGRAPHIES of the CAPTAINS VIGNETTES FROM CREW-MEMBERS LIST OF U.S. FAST CARRIERS and JAPANESE CARRIERS WORLD WAR II AWARDS CABOT & NAVY TRIVIA THE USS CABOT ASSOCIATION.........................................167 BIBLIOGRAPHY .....................................................171 ASSOCIATION MEMBERS ..............................................173 ERRATA ..........................................................180 ------------------------------------------------------------ INTRODUCTION Before Pearl Harbor, there was much debate over what would be the capital ship of the U.S. Navy. "Black shoe" admirals put their confidence in the battleship, while "brown shoe" admirals thought aircraft carriers were more important. Perhaps the controversy began back in the 1920s, when Admiral William S. SIMS, an outspoken advocate of naval aviation, predicted "A fleet whose carriers give it command of the air over the enemy fleet can defeat the latter....The fast carrier is the ship of the future." Sims' prophesy came true. After six Japanese fast carriers sunk our battleships at Pearl Harbor, most experts concluded that the carrier would be the mistress of the sea. And, on 10 Dec. 1941, when Japanese air power sunk the British Battleship Prince of Wales and the battle cruiser Repulse, the argument was confirmed. As a result, America built or Finished only eight battleships after Pearl Harbor, while nine CVLs (light carriers) and 14 CVs (large carriers) were launched to fight in World War II. In addition to the fast carriers, more than 75 CVEs (escort carriers) were commissioned before the end of the war. The simple truth was that a modern battleship could fire a projectile about 20 miles, while a fast carrier at the same speed could stay back some 200 miles and destroy a battleship with bombs and torpedoes. When the hostilities started, the Japanese had 11 carriers to our seven, but American production met and surpassed the enemy by December 1943. The sinking of four Japanese carriers in May 1942 at Midway was the turning point of the war in the Pacific. After Midway, it was all downhill for the Japanese Navy, and by 1944, we had such superiority in ships and pilots that there was little doubt about who would win the contest. Despite the CVLs' small size, they more than held their own with the larger Essex-type fast carriers on a plane-to-plane ratio. We are very proud of the light carrier USS Cabot (CVL 28) as it was credited with 252 enemy aircraft shot down by Air Groups 29 and 31, eight destroyed by AA batteries, 96 destroyed on the ground and 265 vessels hit by torpedoes or bombs from the air groups. Cabot sailed 133,880 nautical miles in combat and won the highest award, the Presidential Unit Citation. Other honors received during or immediately after the war were: American Area Campaign Service Medal Asiatic-Pacific Area Campaign Service Medal, with nine battle stars World War II Victory Medal Philippine Liberation Campaign Ribbon with two stars Republic of the Philippines Presidential Unit Citation -------------------------------------- [picture]
The Hellcat (F6F) FIGHTER Manufactured by Grumnan with a R2800 Pratt and Whitney engine of 2,000 HP. Top speed 324-380 MPH. Length: 33' 7" Span: 42'10" Weight. 13,228 loaded Crew of one. Armament: Six 50-caliber guns, 6 rockets and 1,000 pounds of bombs Total produced: 12,275 [picture]
The Avenger (TBF or TBM) Torpedo Bomber Manufactured by Grumnan and them by General Motors with a R2600R engine of 1500 HP. Top speed 254-275. Length 41' Span 54' 2" weight 15,906 Crew of 3. Armament Two 50-caliber guns forward, one turret 12.7 MM Ventral 50-Caliber gun Bomb load of 2,000 pounds or a 21" torpedo. Total produced: 9,836 ---------------------------------------------------------------------- THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY WASHINGTON The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION to the U.S.S. CABOT and her attached Air Groups participating in the following operations: January 29 to February 16, 1944, Marshalls, Truk: March 29 to April 30, 1944, Palau. Hollandia, Truk; June 11 to August 5, 1944, Marianas, Bonins, Yap: Sep- ember 6 to 24, 1944, Philippines, Palau, Yap: AG-31(VF-31). October 10 to November 25, 1944, Ryukyus, Formosa, Philippines. Luzon; De- cember 14 to 16. 1944, Luzon; January 3 tO 22, 1945, Philippines. Formosa. China Sea, Ryukyus; February 16 to 25, 1945, Japan, Bonins; March 18 to April 8, 1945, Ryukyus, Japan: AG-29 (VF-29, VT-29). for service as set forth in the following CITATION: "For extraordinary heroism in action against enemy Japanese forces in the air, ashore and afloat in the Pacific War Area from January 29 44, to April 8, 1345. Operating continuously In the most forward areas, the U.S.S. CABOT and her air groups struck crushing blows toward annihilating Japanese fighting power; they provided air cover for our amphibious forces; they fiercely countered the enemy's aerial attacks and destroyed his planes; and they inflicted terrific losses on the Japanese in Fleet and merchant marine units sunk or damaged. Daring and dependable in combat, the CABOT with her gallant officers and men rendered loyal service in achieving the ultimate defeat of the Japanese Empire." For the President, (James Forrestal) Secretary of the Navy ------------------------------------------------------------------------ CABOT'S BATTLE STARS In addition to earning the NAVY OCCUPATION SERVICE MEDAL for service in Asiatic waters during the period of 2 September to 15 October 1945, USS CABOT (CVL 28) earned nine battle stars on the Asiatic-Pacific Service Ribbon for participation in the following operations: One Star Marshall Islands Operation Occupation for Kwajalein and Majuro Atolls 29 January to 8 February 1944 Two Stars Asiatic-Pacific Raids Truk Attack 16-17 February 1944 Palau, Yap, Ulithi, Woleai Raid-30 March to 1 April 1944 Truk, Satawan, Ponape Raid 29 April to 1 May 1944 Three Stars Hollandia Operation Aitape-Humboldt Bay - Tanshmerah Bay 21 April to 1 June 1944 Four Stars Marianas Operations Battle of the Philippine Sea 19-20 June 1944 Third Bonins Raid 3-4 July Capture and Occupation of Saipan 11 June to 10 August Capture and Occupation of Guam 12 July to 15 August Palau, Yap, Ulithi Raid 25-27 July Fourth Bonins Raid 4-5 August 1944 Five Stars Western Carolina Islands Operations Capture and Occupation of southern Palau Islands 6 September to 14 October 1944 Assaults on Philippine Islands 9-24 September Six Stars Leyte Operation Third Fleet supporting operations and Okinawa attack. 10 October 1944 Northern Luzon and Formosa Attacks 11-14 October Battle of Surigao Strait 24-26 October Luzon Attacks 15 October to 16 December 1944 Visayans Attacks October and November 1944 Seven Stars Luzoo Operation Formosa attacks January 1945 Luzon attacks 6-7 January 1945 China Coast attacks 12-16 January Nansei Shoto attack 22 January 1945 Eight Stars Iwo Jima Operations Assault and occupations of Iwo Jima 15 February-16 March 1945 Fifth Fleet raids against Honshu and the Nansei Shoto 15 February to 16 March 1945 Nine Stars Okinawa Gunto Operations Fifth and Third Fleet raids in support of Okinawa Gunto operation 12 March to 11 June 1945 ------------------------------------------------------------------------- GLOSSARY AA Antiaircraft fire U.S. Aircraft (Navy) AK Cargo ship Avenger Gruman/General Motors AO Oiler TBF/TBM torpedo plane AP Troop transport Corsair Vought F4U fighter ASP Antisubmarine patrol Dauntless Douglas SBD dive bomber AG Air group Hellcat Gruman F6F fighter BB Battleship Helldiver Curtiss SB2C dive bomber Bogey Unidentified aircraft Kingfisher Vought OS2U float scout plane CA Heavy cruiser Seagull Curtiss SOC float scout plane CAP Combat air patrol Wildcat Gruman F4F fighter CinCPac Commander in chief, Pacific Fleet Japanese Aircraft Code Names CincPOA Commander in chief, Pacific (Girls' names for bombers; Ocean areas boy's names for fighters) ComSoPac Commander in chief, South Betty Mitsubishi twin-engine attack Pacific bomber ComSoWesPac Commander in chief, Claude Mitsubishi carrier fighter Southwest Pacific Dinah Army reconnaissance plane CL Light cruiser Emily Kawanishi flying boat with CO Commanding officer four engines CV Large aircraft carrier Frances Twin-Engine Medium Bomber CVE Escort carrier Hamp Mitsubishi fighter CVL Light aircraft carrier Helen Nakajima heavy bomber DD Destroyer Irving Nakajima reconnaissance plane DE Destroyer escort or night fighter FDO Fighter director officer Jack Mitsubishi fighter Flack Antiaircraft fire Jake Aichi reconnaissance IFF Identification, friend or floatplane foe (on radar) Jill Nakajima torpedo bomber Jinking To take evasive action Judy Yokosuka dive bomber with in an aircraft tail gunner LSO Landing signal officer Kate Nakajima torpedo bomber OTC Officer in tactical command Mavis Four-engine patrol flying boat TF Task force Nate Fighter-plane TG Task group Nell Navy twin-engine medium USMC United States Marine Corps bomber USN United States Navy Oscar Nakajima fighter USS United State Ship Rufe Zero-type float plane VB Navy bomber squadron or Tojo Nakajima fighter single plane Tony Kawasaki fighter VF Navy fighter squadron or Topsy Mitsubishi twin-engine single plane transport VT Navy torpedo squadron or Val Aichi dive bomber single plane Zeke Mitsubishi A6M fighter (Zero) --------------------------------------------------------------------------- ========== . CHAPTER ONE BACKGROUND, COMMISSIONING, and SHAKEDOWN ----------- When the keel was laid, the USS Cabot was supposed to be a Cleveland-class cruiser called USS Wilmington (CL 79), but in 1942, with the loss of four fast carriers and only one left in working order, the Navy was desperate. Aware of the problem, President Franklin D. Roosevelt advised the Navy to convert some of the cruisers to carriers. As a result, nine cruiser hulls were converted in record time all were commissioned in 1943, and some even saw action that year. However, the USS Cabot commissioned in 1943 wasn't the first American ship to bear the name. A vessel called "Cabot", a 14-gun brig, was purchased in Philadelphia during November 1775 and used in the Revolutionary War. She was named for John Cabot (1450-1498). the Venetian navigator who discovered the North American continent in 1497 while sailing for King Henry VII of England. The Cabot was, in fact, the first Continental naval ship to be seized by the British. In 1777, she was forced ashore in Nova Scotia, but the captain and crew escaped the British, who took the brig and refitted her for service in the Royal Navy. The USS Cabot of World War II however, was, along with the eight other carriers, given the special designation, "CVL", signifying "light carrier." During the war, the nine CVLs won 80 Battle Stars, three Presidential Unit Citations and one Navy Unit Commendation. One of the carriers went on to earn more Battle Stars in the Korean Conflict. Most rush conversions are disappointments, but the CVLs proved so successful that two Baltimore-type cruisers were converted, though not in time to participate in World War II. The Independence-class carriers weighed 11,000 tons with a flank speed of 31.6 knots and carried a complement of 1,569 men. About 35 planes, including F6F fighters and TBM or TBF torpedo bombers, made up the air force. These carriers had four boilers with a 100,000 SHP powering the four screws. The CVLs initially had one catapult, but another was added. ~ 1 ~ CVLs were sometimes confused with CVEs (escort or jeep carriers) due to similar size and silhouette. But there was a big difference CVEs could attain speeds of only 16-17 knots, and could not operate as fast carriers or compare to large CVs such as the Essex class. Additionally, CVEs could not withstand a torpedo hit or take any other significant punishment CVEs were numerous, though. Henry J. Kaiser built 50 of the Casablanca-type within a Short time. lt's important to note that a carrier is prac- tically useless in wartime without an air group, and the Cabot had three during the war: Air Group 31 from commissioning in 1943 to October 1944; Air Group 29, from October 1944 to April 1945, and Air Group 32, from July 1945 to November 1945. The Air Groups were divided into a fighter and a torpedo group, with 24 F6F (Hellcats) and nine TBM (Avenger) planes. Unlike the CVs, the CVLs never carried dive bombers because of a small flight deck. In late 1943, some admirals wanted the CVLs to carry only fighters, but Admiral Ernest King, then commander-in-chief, did not agree. When the war ended in August 1945, all torpedo planes were removed, and the Cabot operated with fighters only in the Yellow Sea operations after the War. (For more about the CVL, read "The CVL's Success Story" by Lt. Cmdr. Ashley Halsey Jr., U.S. Naval Pro- ceedings, April 1946 in Chapter XVI.) Commission and Shakedown At 1445 hours on Saturday, 24 July 1943, the USS Cabot was placed in commission at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, with Capt. Malcolm F. SCHOEFFEL, USN, taking command. During the next two months, the crew was fleshed out toward a full complement of 1,569 enlisted men and officers. The Marine detachment for the Cabot was formed in July 1943 at Portsmouth, Va., where they received training in naval terminology, shipping and gunnery practice. The Marines reported on board in September and stayed for the war's duration. The detachment included two commissioned officers - a major and a first lieutenant - and 41 enlisted men: one sergeant major, a gunnery sergeant, a platoon sergeant, two buck sergeants, five corporals and 31 privates or privates first class. The Marines were placed in the 6th Division, and their duties at flight quarters were to be on battle stations. Duties at general quarters were to man six 20MM guns nos. 10, 12, 14 and 16 on port side, and guns nos. 9 and 11 on the star- board side. One Marine served as captain's orderly who was Nicholas HALVAS. The two Marine officers had quarters in the officers' country, and enlisted men's compartment was midship-one deck below the hangar deck, just behind the bridge, starboard side. The sergeant major, gunnery sergeant and platoon sergeant slept in the Marine office and ate in the chief's mess. The rest ate in the crew's mess hall. All major warships had a complement of Marines with duties similar to those on the Cabot. The CVs and BBs had four Marine officers and about eighty enlisted men, while cruisers had the same size complement as the CVLs. The Marines manned all gangways while in port, and the brig while at sea. In addition, Marines were given the task of guarding all Navy jails and prisons. Appropriately, a verse of the Marine Hymn reads: "If the Army or the Navy ever look on Heaven's scenes They will find the streets are guarded by the U.S. Marines." (Thanks to Platoon Sgt. Virgil J. SHROPSHIRE of USS Cabot for this information.) From 30 Aug. to 9 Sept., the Cabot was steaming for trials on Chesapeake Bay, and then from 10-13 Sept., was anchored at Hampton Roads, Va. On the 14th, the carrier was underway for a shakedown cruise to Trinidad. A tragic incident happened on 19 Sept., when Ens. Robert Vance BENNETT died as his plane crashed. Not reported in the ship's log were others killed the ~ 2 ~ same day: Ens. Ed ZALOT, the pilot; and crewmen D. C. SCIANAMEOs ARM3c and William S. KOCH, AMM3c. While anchored in the Gulf of Paria, Trinidad, a minor Jeep accident was reported on 27 Sept. Involved were Lt.(.jg) C. E. SHERMAN, Ens. W. F. FISCHER, Lt.(jg) S. S. TALBERT, Lt.(jg) E. E. WOOD, Ens. J. H. BUSHNELL and Ens. L. J. MILLER. These pilots hitched a ride with a chief, who was driving his Jeep back to the Cabot. They didn't know the driver was drunk, and when he said his vehicle could do anything their planes could, they dared him to do a "slow roll". The fliers received scratches and bruisers, but the driver was left with a broken arm, and much more sober. From 20 Sept. to 6 Oct., the Cabot steamed off the British West Indies for training exercises, and moored back at Philadelphia Navy Yard from 11-30 Oct. During that time, the crew received authorized leave. Most reported back in time, but dozens were AWOL from a few minutes to a day or so. By 30 Oct., the carrier was underway again, enroute to Rockland Harbor, Me., for post trial runs. From 3-5 Nov., she moored at South Annex, Boston, and was enroute to Quonset Point, R.I. on 6 Nov. The next day, officers and men of Air Group 31 reported back for duty. The Cabot's log records that on 12 Nov., the carrier was at Colon Harbor, Panama. By the 14th, she had transited the canal and moored on the Pacific side at Balboa. From there, the Cabot cruised to San Diego, where officers and men of VF36 were picked up for transport to Pearl Harbor. As the carrier entered Pearl Harbor several days later, hundreds of her crew watched on the flight deck for signs of the Japanese attack two years earlier. All they saw were the Arizona and salvage operations on the Utah and Oklahoma. Everyone there agreed with Admiral Halsey, who had said, "Before this war is over, Japanese will only be spoken in Hell." At the time, all the big ships were on their way for the invasion of the Gilbert Islands (Tarawa); the Cabot had just missed taking part in the action, but she would never miss another major war operation, as she remained in the Pacific 16 straight months. On 27 Nov., the Cabot was moored at Ford Island, Hawaii, and then from 2-5 Dec., attach- ed to Task Unit 19.15.1 underway for training around Hawaii. The Cabot cruised in and out of Pearl Harbor, and while training, TBF plane #5 overran the port side of the flight deck. To avoid being hit, P. M. WITHROW, AMM3c jumped overboard. The USS Young picked him up uninjured. The plane's pilot had been Ens. E. J. LARKIN, with crewmen A. L. PELLETIER, AOM3c and Harold LARSON, ARM3c. On 28 Dec., the Cabot's forward elevator gave way, causing an F6F piloted by Ens. A. R. HAWKINS to crash into the shaft. In addition, an F6F piloted by Ens. F. R. HAYDE, was damaged. The log reads that on 2 Jan. 1944, R. L. WAGGONER Jr. GM3c, returned on board after completing temporary duty with the Shore Patrol. On 9 Jan., while conducting air operations, VF #27, piloted by Lt.(jg) J. T. ANDERSON, landed on board and crashed into the barriers. Fortunately, there was little damage. 11 Jan. saw Ens. R. G. MELLIN and Ens. J. JONES Jr. reporting for duty with Torpedo Squadron 31. The Cabot was underway with the USS Essex and USS Intrepid plus various cruisers and destroyers on 16 Jan. All were members of what would be the famous Task Group 58.2. As a member of the group, the Cabot cruised south and crossed the equator at 0843 hours, 22 Jan. 1944 at longitude 1792S' west. At 1500 hours, 23 Jan., "Davy Jones" came aboard with ruffles and such befitting the royal messenger of Neptunus Rex. All pollywogs were duly initiated, and Davy Jones pronounced them all "honorable shellbacks". (NOTE: If a ship crosses the equator, those aboard are entitled to a "Shellback" card. If a ship crosses the 180th meridian (International ~ 3 ~ Date Line), passengers receive the "Golden Dragon" card. But, when a ship crosses both the equator and the 180th meridian at the same time-a rare occurrence-those aboard are designated "Golden Shellbacks." Although the Cabot's log records crossing that day at 17925'west,the author believes the crew qualified as Golden Shellbacks. Some old cards from crewmen show this to be the case.) [picture]
Capt. Malcolm F. Schoeffel Commanding Officer [picture]
Left to right: Lt. Cmdr. A. L. Gurney, assistant air officer; Capt. Schoeffel; Cmdr. G. A. T. Washburn, executive officer; Lt. Cmdr. E. S. Miller, navigator; Lt. H. Krebs, communication officer; Cmdr. G. Chaffee, air officer. ~ 4 ~ [picture]
Admiral Edwin S. Miller USN (Ret) Navigator [picture]
Captain Roderick Lee Smith USN (Ret) Chaplain ~ 5 ~ [picture]
GUNNERY DEPARTMENT - May 1944 Back row (standing) left to right: Lt(jg) J. M. Wosik, Henry Geller, Lt(jg) J. P. Miller, Frank Fortune, Lt(jg) P. J. Mueller, W. G. Parker, ( ) ( ) Chief Torpedoman H. H. Herbert, Ens. F. J. Lyons, Robert M. Ervin, Lt(jg) E. C. Duggins, Lt(jg) J. T. Wheeler. Front row (seating) left to right: Lt(jg) Marshall Field, Jr., Lt. B. E. Eader, Comdr. David J. Welsh, Executive Officer, Capt. S. J. Michael, Commanding Officer, Lt. Frank A. Zimanski, Capt. (USMC) Ed. J. Johnson, Lt(jg) E. J. Langhurst [picture]
Shellback Initiation Cermony - 23 January 44 ~ 6 ~ [picture]
Flight deck Crew with Cmdr. Al Gurney (center) and Edward S. Loboda, AMM3c V2 Division (left foreground), Barbara is to his left, and TBMs are in background. [picture]
Left to right; Lt. "Bill" Green, LSO; Lt. "Red" Sherman; Lt. Frank Zimanski, gunnery officer; Lt. Jim Langhurst, athletic officer; Lt(jg) Joe Wosik. [picture]
Capt. Michael awards Lt. Frank Zimanski the Bronze Star. ~ 7 ~ (end chapter 1) ====================== . CHAPTER TWO THE ASSAULT on the MARSHALL ISLANDS, TRUK PALAU, and HOLLANDIA JAN 44 - JUNE 44 "Men are the Navy, yet they live in ships. On the far spaces of the sea they become knit together; crew and ship forge into a single powerful unit to serve the United States in peace and war. The ship is their home, their weapon, their faith, their pride. Men who have served in a ship are always interested in her. When they have trained and fought for their country in a ship, it becomes a part of them and they, in turn, a part of her forever after."* E. M. Eller Rear Admiral Director of Naval History August 1959 * Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships Vol. I (Washington, 1959) ~ 9 ~ The fall of 1943 was the time for the United States to go on the offensive in the Central Pacific. Our drive to defeat the Japanese would now be a two-prong attack, with General Douglas MacArthur moving up the New Guinea coast to take nearby islands, and Admiral Chester Nimitz steaming through the Central Pacific. The power to carry out the drive through the Central Pacific was up to the fast carriers, and Nimitz now had the new Essex and Independence types to do the job. The Marshall Islands was to be the first assault, but a decision was made to take the Japanese-controlled Gilberts first to protect the planned invasion of the Marshalls from enemy air attack. Thus, in November 1943, the Gilberts assault took place with the new carriers: Essex, Yorktown, Lexington, Bunker Hill, Belleau Wood, Cowpens, Monterey and Independence. The Cabot did not arrive in time to take part, but thereafter she participated in every major action in the South Pacific-Marshall Islands (Kwajalein, Majuro, Eniwetok), the Caroline Islands (Truk, Woleai, Ulithi, Yap and Palau Islands), the Marianas Islands (Tinian, Rota, Saipan, Guam) before MacArthur and Nimitz joined forces to invade the Philippines in October 1944. The Cabot was battle-ready to join the 5th Fleet for the Marshall Islands invasion (code name "Flintlock") between 29 Jan. and 23 Feb. Overall command was in the hands of Admiral Ray Spruance, with Task Force 58 (fast car- riers) led by Rear Admiral Marc Mitscher. As mentioned before, the Cabot was in TG 58.2, with Air Group 31 on board. Lt. Cmdr. Robert WINSTON led Air Group 31, with Lt. E. E. "Ted" WOOD in charge of VT 31. VF 31 had twenty-four F6F-3, and VT 31 had eight TBM-lc and one TBF-lc. The Cabot's first war action was over Roi and Namur Islands, where the Japanese had air fields in this northern part of the Kwajalein Atoll. At 0552 hours, 29 Jan., the Cabot completed catapulting 12 fighters to fly combat air patrol, while six Avengers flew antisubmarine patrol. At 0653 hours, A. W. TARAUBENBERG, AMM3c was struck in the shoulder by a propeller but his condition was later listed as satisfactory. Lt. Cmdr., WINSTON then led the combat air patrol (CAP) over the target, and reported numerous enemy planes were taking off from the airfield. Cabot's CAP reported shooting down five planes for certain, plus two "probables". There was strong AA fire up to 10,000 feet, but the attack seemed to have surprised the enemy. WINSTON was the first from our ship to be credited with shooting down a Japanese plane, and he also had the two probables. The other four hits were the work of Ens. C. N. NOOY, Lt. ag) H. H. SCALES, Lt. D. W. MULCAHY and Lt. R. C. WILSON. One fighter, piloted by Ens. F. HANCOCK, had to make a force landing in the water, but was picked up uninjured by the USS Owen (DD 536). No war ships were reported in the area, but small merchant ships were found in the Kwajalein Lagoon. The F6Fs took over, and the TBMs were on antisubmarine patrol (ASP) on D-1 day. Deep rumblings of heavy gunfire was heard from the battleships and destroyers which were blasting enemy positions on Roi and Namur. On 30 Jan., VF #23 accidentally fired one of the 50-caliber guns on landing, but no one was hurt. D-Day for the landings on Roi and Namur and the south part of Kwajalein took place on 31 Jan. And, on the last recovery of the day, TBM #7 had engine failure and landed in the sea about 100 feet astern. In minutes, all of the plane's crew were seen outside, and when the TBM sank, the depth charges exploded, severely injuring J. J. WOLF, AMM2c. The Lang (DD 399) reported Lt.(jg) R. P. McCHESNEY and K. M. HONEY, AMM3c were picked up, apparently uninjured. Six VTs were launched to bomb a large concrete building thought to be a radio station on ~ 10 ~ Ennubirr Island. On D-Day plus 1, the Marines of the 4th Brigade landed on the lagoon side of Roi and Namur, supported from the air by our Task Group. On 1 Feb., the Cabot suffered her first combat casualty. Word was received that T. J. WOLF, AMM2c was picked up and who died aboard the USS Stemble (DD 644), which was ordered to transfer his body to the USS South Dakota (BB 55) for burial at sea with full military honors. (NOTE: WOLF's name is on the plaque donated by the USS Cabot Association and placed on the USS Yorktown at Charleston, S.C.) Air support continued from 1 Feb. to 4 Feb., and the Task Group left the target area on 5 Feb. enroute to Majuro Atoll. By then, our troops on Kwajalein had captured the island; on the 8th, the whole atoll was in Allied possession. The Cabot remained at anchor for a week of rest at Majuro. During that time, replacement aircraft, provisions and ammunition were received. With this equipment aboard, Task Group 58.2 was underway with TG 58.1 and 58.3 to attack Truk Island. The following ships made up our group: Aircraft USS Essex (CV 9) carriers: Intrepid (CVl l) Cruisers: San Diego (CL 53) San Francisco (CA 38) Wichita (CA 45) Destroyers: Owen (DD 536) Stemble (DD 634) The Sullivans* (DD 537) Stephen Potter (DD 538) Hickox (DD 637) Hunt (DD 674) Lewis Hancock (DD 675) * The Sullivans (DD 537) was named for the five brothers who gave their lives when the USS Juneau (CL 52) was sunk in the fall of 1942. After Kwajalein, Roi and Namur were secure, Admiral Nimitz wanted to take Eniwetok Atoll for a logistic base nearer the Marianas, but he had to neutralize Truk first. By the time our fleet attacked Truk in February 1944, the Japanese had removed most of their combined fleet to the Palau Islands. Thus, on 14 Feb., the Cabot was steaming in company with TG 58.2 to attack a station northeast of Truk. The action began on 16 Feb., when Cabot launched eight F6Fs for CAP and six TBMs for antisubmarine patrol. At 1351 hours, the carrier launched eight fighters and three Avengers, led by Lt. E. E. "Ted" WOOD. They reported sinking a 7,000-ton AK, which was hit on the after hatch and seen sinking rapidly from the stern. At 1733 hours, eight F6Fs and three TBMs made a bombing strike on Truk. The F6Fs dropped delayed-action bombs on the Parani airstrip. Lt. LARKIN, leader of the flight, reported destruction of nine Bettys on the ground at Moem airstrip. Enemy planes attacked the formation, and at 0012 hours on 17 Feb., the USS Intrepid reported being hit by a torpedo on her starboard side. The TF commander ordered Intrepid, Cabot, San Francisco and Wichita, plus four DDs to form TU 58.24 and proceed to Eniwetok or Kwajalein. Heavy damage was inflicted on the enemy at Truk, both in ships sunk and/or damaged, and in planes downed and destroyed on the ground. This attack was particularly satisfying for Americans as it was generally seen as partial payment for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. At 0934 hours, 20 Feb., the Cabot anchored in Majuro Lagoon until 28 Feb., when she got underway with other units of Task Force 58.2 enroute to Pearl Harbor, zigzagging according to Plan 6 on base course at 19 knots. On 4 March, Cabot anchored starboard side to pier V-1 in Pearl Harbor with five manila lines and two wire hawsers. There, crewmen attended schools such as the Radar operator's school, with K. M. DeFERRARI, RdM2c in attendance. Others attended classes at Cape Catlin. ~ 11 ~ While in Pearl, many were transferred off the Cabot, with as many reporting aboard for duty. The carrier was underway again on 15 March to Majuro. On the cruise, F6Fs and TBMs were launched and recovered to keep the pilots sharp for action. Battle problems were conducted and simulated attacks from TG 58.3 were made for gunnery practice. Firing at a towed-sleeve target was conducted on 19 March with 1,200 rounds of 40 MM and 2,969 rounds of 20 MM ammunition expended. The Cabot anchored back in Majuro Lagoon in 31 fathoms on 20 March. While fueling, the USS Sabine hit the Cabot along port quarter. The impact buckled three or four caissons Behind the camel and bent the net supports around the landing signal platform. Also damaged was the catwalk guard rail, which was bent about six feet. 22 March saw the Cabot underway according to secret dispatch from Commander in Chief, Central Pacific area 58 and OTC in the USS New Jersey (BB 62). On 29 March, the USS Enterprise (CV-6) reported her CAP had shot down a Betty and four Japanese survivors were swimming in the water. Ens. Howard A. BO landed on deck when his aft landing wheel gave way, damaging the landing gear. Fortunately, there were no injuries. TG 58.1 and TG 58.3 accompanied the Cabot toward the Caroline Islands, when all were attacked by enemy aircraft. At dusk, heavy AA fire was seen, with many fires observed in the area, presumably burning enemy planes. Strikes on Palau Islands were made 30 March, with Cabot's Lt. (jg) Jack WIRTH flying an F6F on CAP. He rendezvoused with the wrong group and proceeded with a strike group from another carrier. Returning, WIRTH said he had shot down two Japanese Zekes and another probable, but he was not credited with the kills, because he did not stay with his group. During one strike mission involving eight F6Fs and two TBMs, one of the latter did not return. It had been piloted by Lt. (jg) Jarrel S. JENKINS with a crew of T. B. CONLEN, AMMlc and L. J. SUMERS, ARM2c. Pilots reported that the TBM made a direct hit on an AK, and the F6Fs strafed the same ship. Lt. (jg) JENKINS' plane was last seen pulling out of a dive after bombing the AK. On 30 March, Cabot's CAP vectored out to intercept an enemy raid and reported shooting down nine torpedo planes (Jills)*. Eight were shot down immediately, and another headed for a DD, apparently attempting a suicide landing. Nevertheless, it was downed before reaching the DD. Pilots who downed enemy planes in this skirmish were Lt. Cmdr. R. A. WINSTON, three; Lt. (jg) R. C. WILSON, three; Ens. F. HANCOCK, one, and Ens. C. N. NOOY, two. Another pair of enemy planes was chased by two Cabot F6Fs for 40 miles, but could not be intercepted. At 2230 hours, Cabot secured from general quarters, having been under attack for more than three hours. The Task Force sank three destroyers, 17 freighters, five oilers and damaged 17 other ships. Besides bombing the airfields, our aircraft mined the waters around Palau to immobilize enemy shipping. On 31 March, an F6F, piloted by Lt. (jg) Frank HAYDE crashed on approach. The plane skidded on the walkway, injuring E. BRECK, S2c on the catwalk. His condition was not serious, however. Task Group 58.2 steamed at 30 knots on 1 April, while the Cabot was darkened in battle condition II and material condition B. All four boilers were on the main steam line, and she proceeded to a position to attack Woleai Island. At 0750 hours, the destroyers sighted the targets and later reported sinking two small Japanese fishing vessels. At 1000 hours, the Cabot was ordered by the TG commander to send a couple of fighters to escort two seaplanes from USS Minneapolis (CA 36) into Woleai to pick up a pilot down in the water. The pilot was rescued, and Cabot launched six VFs for CAP and six VTBs for ASP. A photo mission was made over Woleai, ----- NOTE: WINSTON, in his book, Fighting Squadron, said these were Judys, or dive bombers with rear-seat gunners. He called this action a "grand slam", meaning nine kills. ----- ~ 12 ~ and while Combat Information Center reported 16 Bettys were headed our way, it turned out to be just one. At 1905 hours on 2 April, the Cabot backed all engines full to avoid colliding with the USS Conner (DD 582), which, for no apparent reason, had cut directly across the bow from the port quarter. TG 58 was enroute to Majuro and was ordered by Admiral Spruance to proceed independently. On 6 April at 0935 hours, the port anchor chain was walked out to 20 fathoms, and Cabot anchored in Majuro Lagoon in 15 fathoms of water. By 13 April, the ship was underway and steaming in company with TG 58.2 as part of TF 58. She crossed the equator at 15959.4" east, proceeding to New Guinea to join in the invasion of Hollandia. One of Cabot's TBMs reported being fired upon by a Langley (CVL 27) CAP plane, but no damage was done. 21 April was D-1 Day, and strikes were made on Wadke Island and Hollandia, New Guinea. The assault on Hollandia was the largest amphibious operation undertaken in the Southwest Pacific up to that time. More than 200 ships including carriers, battleships, cruisers and destroyers were commanded by Rear Admiral M. A. Mitscher to cover the landings. That same day, the CAP sighted a submarine, but did not attack because there were so many American destroyers available to track it down. Strike 3C (eight VFs and three VTs) wiped out two enemy aircraft on the ground at Hollandia. Lt. (jg) H. H. SCALES strafed two small ships in a cove north of Hollandia Bay. Ens. Adolph MENCIN destroyed some stores, while Ens. W. E. DUGGINS demolished a concrete emplacement in the same area. Ammunition used in the day's attack included 23,415 rounds of .50 caliber, nine 100 pound incendiary clusters, ten 500 pound semiarmor piercing bombs and three 500 pound general purpose bombs. Cabot had a near collision with USS Wichita (CA 45) at 0135 hours, 23 April. Bill MEIER, Slc was on lookout and notified the bridge that a vessel was off course. Tom O' GRADY, WT2c remembers he was on watch that night in the Y2 fire room as the ship backed all engines full, sounded the siren and put the rudder over hard right to avoid a disaster. The Wichita, which had cut across from starboard to port, cleared Cabot's bow by a mere six feet. The commanding officer publicly commend- ed several men for their alertness, initiative, decision-making and skill in helping avoid the near-collision. Those commended were: Lt. F.A. ZIMANSKI, command duty officer Lt. (jg) P. J. MUELLER, officer of the deck Lt. (jg) T. J. MURPHY, officer of the watch, engine room Lt. (jg) T. D. ALEXANDER, junior officer of the watch Ens. R. H. DINGMAN, in charge of #1 engine room CWT A. V. SPRAGUE, chief of the watch, #1 fire room G. M. HUNT, WTlc, in charge of #2 fire room H. E. HARTFORD, MMlc, in charge of #2 engine room E. B. JOHNSON, MM2c, throttleman W. J. MOTTA, MM2c throttleman A. F. STEINER, MM2c throttleman L. J. LITTLE, MM2c throttleman G. G. BENNETT, QM3c helmsman R. M. THOMAS, Slc quartermaster of the watch R. R. SZATWICZ, QM3c annunciator watch Had the collision not been avoided, the heavy cruiser would have cut the Cabot in two. With a full load of aviation gasoline on board, it could have ignited and caused one of the worst disasters of the 5th Fleet. Recalls Capt. Frank ZIMANSKI (USNA-1938): "From the second we detected the wild errant Wichita heading for us at 33 knots relative, we had not a second to lose-not to avoid collision, but to minimize the impact: "It is my belief that our starboard lookout was the first to detect the cruiser. He was the key and should have been singled out for the highest ~ 13 ~ award- Lt. MUELLER lost not a second in backing all engines full speed astern. I relieved him of the conn. and ordered hard right rudder and emergency back full. The engine and fireroom gave us every ounce of steam pressure and every ounce was necessary ! Capt. SHOEFFEL calculated we missed by two- Fifths of a second!" There was some disagreement between command duty officers. Some said the ship should have been turned port instead of starboard, but this would have been disastrous-Knight's Modern Seamanship agrees with ZIMANSKI. Chaplain R. L. SMITH and Lt. Paul ASHLEY, one of the ship's doctors), who shared the same stateroom, were grateful to Lt. (jg) MUELLER and Lt. F. A. ZIMANSKI who would have been crushed to death had the ships collided. Later on 23 April, the Cabot catapulted tour F6Fs for photographs and strikes on Wadke Island. Planes that bombed and strafed Wadke and Sawar used all their ammo and met no resistance except from small AA fire, which hit one of the F6Fs and forced it to land in the water three miles from the Cabot. The USS Hull (DD350) recovered Lt. (jg) J. L. WIRTH, who was piloting VF #12 when it crashed. Still another crash occurred at 1538 hours, 25 April, when TBM #5, piloted by Edward WOOD, hit the flight deck after going through barriers 2 and 3. The plane's tail hook had bounced over each arresting gear cable, causing the accident. No one was injured, but the plane was heavily damaged. Cabot's log records on 26 April, enemy aircraft were sighted and a destroyer reported "seeing a periscope". 29 April was the first day of a two-day strike on Truk Island by TG 58.2. At 0801 hours, TG commander ordered the Cabot to launch an emergency CAP of eight F6Fs to intercept an enemy attack. Japanese planes started to hit the Task Group and many ships in the formation opened fire. Three enemy planes were downed by AA tire, and a fourth was shot down by Lt. (jg) A. R. HAWKINS off Cabot's port quarter. HAWKINS, from Lufkin, Texas, made what should be a record. His F6F had just been catapulted, and as he retracted the wheels, a Japanese torpedo plane came into his sights 5,000 yards from the ship. HAWKINS squeezed the trigger and promptly knocked him down. He had barely been in the air more than 15 seconds when the incident occurred, and later it was discovered that still another plane, a Kate, was shot down off the port bow just behind the horizon by F6F pilot Lt. (jg) F. HAYDE. All five attacking torpedo planes were downed, reportedly four Kates and one Jill. The VTB strike reported hitting hangars and buildings on Eten Island, leaving the airfield enveloped in flames and smoke. One of the TBM pilots, Lt. (jg) W. FISCHER, was hit by AA fire in the wing, but the damage was not serious. M. W. HELM, ARM2c received slight shrapnel wounds in his right side and forearm, but was returned to duty. At 1330 hours, the Cabot recovered 13 VFs and four VTs of strike 3C and CAP. They reported direct hits on barracks areas southwest of Dublon seaplane base, bombing of Eten Island and setting a small ship on fire. A TBM from the Bunker Hill (CV 17) was recovered, and the damaged plane had been hit by AA fire. W. J. SCHUETZ, AMM2c was dead when removed from the plane and was buried at sea. One of Cabot's planes piloted by Lt. (jg) B. D. GALT Jr. was forced to make a water landing, but was picked up by The Sullivans. L. A. LUDFORD, S2c was slightly injured when an F6F machine gun accidentally misfired on the hangar deck. The Cabot waged further attacks on Truk 30 April. Rejoining our screen were the USS MacDonough (DD 351) and USS Stephen Potter (DD 538). Both reported sinking a small sub. During the strikes, Eten Island was successfully photographed and military installations on Dublon were bombed. VF #13, #24 and #19 all crashed into the barrier after landing too high and too fast. Cabot's log notes that strike 3C bombed oil tanks in the Dublon seaplane base and scored a ~ 14 ~ hit on the bow of a small tanker near Fetan Island. In all, the attack on Truk netted American plane losses of 27 versus 63 enemy planes destroyed in the air and at least 60 on the ground. On 1 May, the 5th Fleet was headed for Majuro, where it would be based and conduct maneuvers and training the whole month until plans were announced for the Marianas invasion. On 5 May, Capt. S. J. MICHAEL and Capt. M. F. SCHOEFFEL inspected the lower decks, and at 1015 hours, muster was held for captains' inspection. The two checked the crew in divisional parades. In conclusion, Capt. MICHAEL took command from Capt. SCHOEFFEL in a special ceremony. As the fast aircraft carrier had emerged as the ship needed to win the war in the Pacific, there was desperate need for flag officers, (commodores and admirals) who were aviators. Most flag officers were battleship-trained and did not know how to handle a carrier. In view of this situation, Capt. SCHOEFFEL, a pioneer aviator, was promoted to admiral and called immediately to Washington to serve on the staff of Admiral E. J. King, Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet and Chief of Naval Operations. Now a rear admiral, SCHOEFFEL, a near genius, was an aviator and had the experience of commanding a fast carrier, so his knowledge was needed at once by King. On 10 May, Cmdr. DAVID J. WELSH reported on board as executive officer, and on 19 May, about 50 S2cs and F2cs reported for duty. A week later, on 26 May, a number of crewmen were transferred to the USS Belleau Wood (CVL 24). Still more changes were to come. On 4 June, Lt. Cmdr. Daniel B. CANDLER came aboard as navigator to replace Lt. Cmdr. Edwin S. MILLER, who would later command the Lowry (DD 770). It was one of many destroyers that was involved in the most dangerous task assigned to any ship during the war-picket duty off Okinawa. (The National Broadcasting Company cited Cmdr. MILLER for valor on a radio broadcast in Dec. 1945 for his part in action off Okinawa.) Two days later, on 6 June, Medals were presented the following officers: Lt. (jg) Arthur R. HAWKINS, Distinguished Flying Cross Lt. (jg) Steve G. KONA, Air Medal Lt. tg) James G. STEWART, Air Medal Lt. (jg) Robert C. WILSON, Air Medal Lt. (jg) John L. WIRTH, Air Medal George SOULE, S2c, Presidential Unit Citation [ 2 pictures]  
These two excellent photographs were taken by Tom Legett, ARM1c over the Marshall Islands in January 1944. Thomas Riley Legett made chief before he left the Cabot and stayed in the U. S. Navy after the war. Born in 1923, he retired from the Navy in October 1967 as lieutenant commander. ~ 15 ~ (end chapter 2)
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