A History of the USS CABOT (CVL-28):
A Fast Carrier in World War II
by J. Ed Hudson

.
CHAPTER TEN 

COVERING OF THE 
OKINAWA INVASION 
and THE SINKING OF THE YAMATO 
April 1945 


  On the evening of 28 March, Japanese Fleet
units were reported rounding the southern tip of
Kyushu, so the Task Group steamed north to
intercept.
  Strikes were launched the next morning, but
were unable to find any of the fleet, so an attack
was made on Kyushu. the strike was not wasted;
they destroyed eight medium-sized ships and 12
smaller vessels. They also bombed barracks,
radio stations, piers and hangars.
  One torpedo plane did not return. While
making a torpedo run, it was seen going into a
steep dive and crashed on land. It is believed
that the plane was hit by AA fire. The pilot was
Lt. (jg) R. E. MAHONEY and crewmen J. E. KELLEY, AMM2c(T) 
and N. S. URBANSKI, ARM3c(T). 
Hellcat pilot Ens. D. KELLEHER was shot down over 
the target, but was picked up by rescue planes.
  The next afternoon, a bogey was reported
closing in on the disposition. The Cabot's aft
deck was spotted, with torpedo planes loaded
with bombs for a strike, being launched. An
enemy plane started a bombing run on the ship,
from starboard quarter in a long, shallow dive.
  A 20mm started popping away, so the enemy
was close. The Task Group commander ordered
an emergency turn to the right and the Cabot
started into a tight turn.
  The plane pulled out of the dive, dropping a
bomb that hit the water close aboard on the
port quarter. Water, seaweed and bomb
fragments dropped on the flight deck, but no
casualties were suffered.
  At masthead height, the Japanese flew
through the formation. Few ships fired, and he
was finally splashed by the patrol 23 miles from
the formation. The plane was reported to be a
Judy by the fighter that shot it down.
  1 April was to be landing day on Okinawa.
All carriers launched strikes to support ground
troops. Every plane from every carrier reported
to the air coordinator, who directed them to
bomb or strafe different targets.
  The Army and Marines, pushing forward,
reported which positions were giving difficulty.
The air coordinator then directed aircraft to
remove the obstacles.

        ~ 83 ~

  As one torpedo plane flew off the deck, the
ship rolled to port. The plane went off the deck
about 50 feet from the end of the runway, and
the pilot fought for control. The right wing rubbed 
across the deck, and the left wing and
wheels were in the air. Everyone sweated it out
with him. and expected a crash, but Lt. Howard
SKIDMORE managed to keep airborne by;
skillful flying. Damaged, he landed aboard the
Essex soon afterwards and returned to the
Cabot the next day.
  In the first support strike over Okinawa, one
torpedo plane was forced down on land. The
pilot, Ens. L. A. ZEMANEK, said his engine
was cutting out and he had to find a spot to
land. he landed wheels down in a rice paddy
about a mile and a half from the western coast.
He was unable to make it out to water, where he
would have been much safer.
  A fighter division circled overhead in case
any Japanese came near. A Japanese farmer
saw, but he was not hostile; he was scared and
ran away. The downed fliers crossed the main
highway, walked into the water, inflated their
boat and paddled out to sea. A PBM rescue
plane picked them up.
  The next day, 10 fighters from the Cabot
were joining up after hitting targets on Amami
Gunto when they encountered enemy planes.
Four of the Cabot planes were seriously damaged 
and one was shot down. The pilot, Lt. (jg)
Melvin COZZENS, bailed out and spent the
night in a rubber boat. There, he counted 10
enemy fighters landing on Kikai Airfield. This
intelligence was used for later strikes on the 
Airfield. COZZENS was rescued by a PBM and
later returned to ship.
  On 5 April, Ens. David KELLEHER, shot
down over a target and rescued, was delivered
back to ship by USS Stembel (DD 644).
  About noon on 6 April, two groups of bogies
were picked up on radar 80 miles off and closing 
in from the north. Two divisions of Essex
fighters under Cabot control were sent out, and
soon afterward, another Essex division under
Essex control followed.
  The target was a lone Zeke, and a division of
fighters stayed to work it over while the other
two continued to intercept the second group.
When the target was sighted, all three Essex
divisions were in on the kill. Three Judys and 10
Zekes were splashed by the divisions under
Cabot command.
  A Judy, possibly part of those intercepted,
began a dive bombing run on the Cabot shortly
afterward. The Cabot took him under fire, and
on the way down, he dropped a bomb just short
of the starboard quarter. Instantly, the Judy
burst into flames and one wing came off. It
looked as if he might hit the deck, and the guns
pounded away. He came very close to the aft
starboard corner of the flight deck. Burning
fiercely, he stayed in the air and crashed off the
bow.
  An hour later, radar spotted two aircraft
closing rapidly from 30 miles away. They both
came within sight, and the North Carolina shot
one down. The second plane flew over several
ships without receiving heavy fire, and banked
around into the sun.
  The pilot selected the Cabot and pointed his
nose for the middle of the deck. Several ships
fired at him during the approach, and every gun
the Cabot had that could bear picked up the
target and started shooting.
The kamikaze's approach was long and shallow
and it looked certain the plane would hit the
deck, but gun crews fearlessly kept shooting.
The Zeke passed over the flight deck with a few
feet to spare. His wing hit the SK radar antennae 
and he crashed into the water, very close to
the starboard side. The deck was showered with
shrapnel and pieces of metal from the plane.
  The SG and SK radar were put out of commission. 
Sgt. Virgil SHROPSHIRE, a Marine,
was in the gun tub between the stack and near
the SK radar, but the plane passed over him.
Slightly wounded in the action were: 
E. H. FISHER, S2c; W. F. GERWIG, Slc; 
C. GRIMES, Slc; L. E. HIBBARD, EM2c; 
T. A. INTERLIGI, GM3c; C. B. WILSON, Cox.
 In addition, the Hancock (CV 19) lost 72 men
while the Intrepid (CV 11) suffered 10 casualties
when hit by suiciders.
  All needed repairs were finished by the ship's
force before 0900 hours the next morning.

     ~ 84 ~

  The final tally was not complete, but the
numbers reported were 85 enemy planes
destroyed by the Task Group on 6 April. The
Cabot got her two the hard way by repelling
kamikaze attacks.
  Search flights were sent out early on 7 April
to locate Japanese Fleet units reported
southeast of Kyushu. They were successful in
the search, reporting sightings of a Japanese
surface force including one BB, 2 CLs and 10 DDs.
  The Task Group turned north to close the
target, and the group commander ordered all
torpedo planes be loaded as soon as possible.
Two hours after the report was received, the
strike from the Cabot joined with strikes from
the other carriers and went out to strike the
Japanese ships.
  The secretly built Yamato-class battleships
were the biggest ever constructed by anyone,
and they had the thickest armor to repel
torpedoes and bombs. The Japanese built three
such ships: the Yamato, Musashi and Shinano.
  The Shinano was converted to a carrier
before she was finished, but she was sunk by the
USS Archerfish (SS 311) while on a shakedown
cruise. The Yamato-class BBs were 68,000 tons
and had 18.1-inch guns, compared to our Iowa-
class ships at 45,000 tons with 16-inch rifles.
The Yamato could fire a shell over 22 miles, and
her speed was 27 knots.
  The Japanese thought these superior battleships 
could dominate the Pacific war theater,
but the vessels were made obsolete by the fast
carriers. Thus, the enemy would have been
wiser to have built carriers.
  In late March, the Yamato left Kure Harbor
along with a cruiser and eight destroyers on a
kamikaze mission with no air cover to 
Okinawa. They had enough fuel to go only one
way, and there were faint hopes of getting to the
destination to use their heavy guns on our
troops invading Okinawa.
  The Cabot and other fast carriers under Admiral 
Mitscher made sure the enemy did not
reach the island with repeated torpedo and
bomb attacks. The Cabot made five strikes
against the Yamato and was credited with three
torpedo hits by Lt. Jack ANDERSON and his Avengers.
  The Yamato exploded and capsized. A total
of 2,740 men went down with this mighty warship 
at 1423 hours, 7 April. A cloud of smoke
could be seen for miles. Yamato joined her
sister ship, the Musashi, at the bottom of the
sea thanks to the Cabot and the other American
fast carriers.
  The light cruiser Yahagi was sunk also, and
three of the eight destroyers were scuttled. The
remaining ships turned back to Sasebo.
  Lt. (jg) J. P. SPEIDEL, aboard the Cabot,
was worried about taking that trip to strike the
Yamato. He was anxiously awaiting news of the
birth of his first child.
  Nevertheless, SPEIDEL's orders were to at-
tack the Yamato, and although he didn't relish
the idea, he made his approach directly on the
beam, relating that the Japanese were shooting
everything, including their main battery in a
futile death struggle. He said they also used
pyrotechnic displays and shot missiles resembling 
roman candles. He flew through one of them and 
felt nothing.
  SPEIDEL squeezed the pickle and swerved as
the torpedo hit the Yamato directly under the
bridge, causing a terrific explosion.
  When he returned to the ship, news arrived
that he was the father of a baby boy.
SPEIDEL's experience of the day was forgotten
temporarily; he received the news he had
wanted to hear.
  NOTE: Plans to salvage the Yamato,
now 1,200 feet under the East China Sea,
were announced in June 1985. A group of
Japanese businessmen, journalists and
Yamato survivors - there were 276 - wish
to reclaim the remains of crewmen so they
may be properly laid to rest in Japan.
  This planned operation came after the
wreck was discovered in 1982 by some
former Yamato crew members using a
special underwater camera.
  At noon on 8 April, an unidentified aircraft
was reported closing in on the disposition, and a
short while later, a Zeke attacked the Hancock,
then on the Cabot's starboard bow. The Cabot

     ~ 85 ~

fired only a few bursts, and the Zeke crashed into 
the forward part of the Hancock flight deck,
causing a big fire. Within a half hour, the fire
was under control, and the Hancock was later
able to recover her aircraft.
  Two hours later, radar tracked another target
into the formation from 30 miles away. A Zeke
began a run on the Cabot, and she took it under
fire immediately. The plane swerved away from
the AA, trying to crash on the Essex. However,
the AA shots were very accurate5 the plane went
into a steep dive and crashed into the sea, well
clear of the Essex.
  As the war in Europe was winding down,
Prime Minister Winston Churchill wanted his
fast carriers in on the defeat of the Japanese.
The U.S. Navy didn't want or need British help
because it would complicate logistics in the final
push to defeat Japan, but Churchill insisted,
and Roosevelt-then very ill-gave in.
  The British carrier Task Force was assigned
to Admiral Spruance's 5th Fleet from 26 March 
to 20 April and again from 4 - 24 May. Carriers
of their force were subjected to frequent attacks
by suicide planes, but with their armoured flight
decks, little damage was done.
  An interesting story concerning the Cabot
and the British was told by Joe COLE,
MoMM2c of the "A" division. A British life
boat had run out of regular gas near where the 
Cabot was anchored. The British asked Cabot's
officer of the deck, "Hi governor. Could we get
a bit of petrol? Our bloody tank has gone dry."
Since they were allies, permission was granted
to fill their 30 gallon tank. In the following
days, the life boat became a steady customer.
On one trip begging for fuel, the captain of the
Cabot witnessed the British approach.
   "What do they want?" he asked.
   "Fuel, sir...gas," replied a crewman.
   "Has this happened before?"
   "Many times, sir."
   "Give them aviation gas," the captain
ordered.
   "But sir," the crewman pointed out. "That's
too rich and powerful a fuel for their motor."
The captain just smiled.
   The British boat came alongside and its tank
was filled with the high-octane aviation fuel. In
the past, it had taken at least seven turns to start
the motor, but when the aviation gas fumes filled 
the cylinders, the engine started on the second 
turn, and the motor came to life with a
forceful bang. The small craft picked up speed;
the carburetor was giving it too rich a mixture,
and smoke from the exhaust was filled with carbon 
scale as the motor overheated.
  At 150 yards, paint was burning off the
motor. All the boat crew were excited. They
I shook their fists at us and never returned. The
captain had taught the "Limeys" a lesson.

      ~ 86 ~ 

[ 11 small pictures ] 
 
(Top left) Lt. Cmdr. Pittman, landing signal officer. (Top right) Boxing match between Marines and sailors on forward elevator. (Center left) F6F landing on board. (Center) Cabot after overhaul with planes spotted aft. (Center right) F6F JUSt landed. (Lower left) Captain's inspection. (Lower center) Landing at sunset with landing signal officer in background. (Lower right) Hula girls in USO show, Pearl Harbor. [picture]
This is a "still" located in the Chief's Head. Drinking is Sgt. Major Demario and "Scotty" Garrett, Sc1c. Scuttlebutt had as many as eight illegal distilleries in operation at one time on the Cabot. [picture]
A group picture of the Ordinance Dept. of the Y-2 Division. Both these photos courtesy of George DeLange. ACOM of V-2 Division. ~ 87 ~ [picture]
Bomb from a Judy near stern 29 March 45. [picture]
Capt. Schoeffel and Davy Jones on "crossing the line". [picture]
Dancing Mohawk and partial scoreboard early in the war. [picture]
Avenger (TBM) pilot Howard Skidmore and the Purple Heart. ~ 88 ~ [picture]
Ernie Pyle in cold weather gear during strikes of Tokyo. [picture]
Burying of the dead after Kamikaze attack. [picture]
Golden Gate Bridge and the Cabot. ~ 89 ~ [picture]
Chief's Mess [picture]
TBM (Avenger) about to crash in portside catwalk. ~ 90 ~ [picture]
This propaganda leaflet was dropped by the thousands over Tokyo by Cabot and other planes. A liberal translation is, "what follows war is illness." [picture]
Landing Signal Officer brings in another of the Cabot's planes. [picture]
Scoreboard of the "Iron Lady" as she heads home in April 1945. Each Japanese flag represents a plane shot down - each bomb a bombing mission - each torpedo a torpedo mission - broken ship is an enemy ship sunk - smoke puffs represent a ship hit. (not flag under VT29 which represents the only Japanese plane shot down by a Torpedo plane. This was accomplished by Ens. R. J. Maghan on 16 October 44.) ~ 91 ~ [page 92 is blank] ~ 92 ~ (end chapter 10) ======================= . CHAPTER ELEVEN ARI GROUP 29 October 1944 - April 1945 A Navy Flyer's Creed I am a United States Navy flyer. My countrymen built the best airplane in the world and entrusted it to me. They trained me to fly it. I will use it to the absolute limit of my power. With my fellow pilots, air crews, and deck crews, my plane and I will do anything necessary to carry out our tremendous respon- sibilities. I will always remember we are part of an unbeatable com- bat team-The United States Navy. When the going is fast and rough, I will not falter. I will be uncompromising in every blow I strike. I will be humble in victory. I am a United States Navy flyer. I have dedicated myself to my country, with it many millions of all races, colors, and creeds. They and their way of life are worthy of my greatest protective effort. I ask the help of God in making that effort great enough. ~ 93 ~ On S Oct. 1944, the Cabot's log records: "2020 hours, pursuant to orders of the commanding officer of the USS Barnes, the following officers and enlisted men of Air Group 29 reported on board for duty. References: (a) ComAir Center, Manus Island, dispatch dated 30 Sept. 1944, (b) CTF 38 dispatch dated 4 Oct. 1944:" Lt. Willard E. EDER, USN Commanding Officer, AG29 Lt. Pleas E. GREENLEE Jr., USN - VPPilot Lt. Guy H. BRANAMAN Jr., MC - Flight Surgeon Lt. Harry E. LESLIE - VF Pilot Lt. Jules E. McNAIR - VF29 Lt. Alfred J. FECKE - VF Pilot Lt. Uncase L. FRETWELL - VF Pilot Lt. John F. THOMPSON - VF Pilot Lt. Bruce D. JAQUES - VF Pilot Lt. Max G. BARNES - VF Pilot Lt. Edward VAN VRANKEN - VF Pilot Lt. Irvin H. McPHERSON - VT Pilot & CO VT-29 Lt. John W. WILLIAMS, USN - VT Pilot Lt. William N. DULANEY Lt. William H. ANDERSON Jr. - VT Pilot Lt. John H. BALLANTINE Jr. VT Pilot Lt. James "H" HARZ Lt. (jg) Glenn E. ELLSTROM - VF Pilot Lt. (jg) Joseph L. CHANDLER - VF Pilot Lt. (jg) John R. HERB - VF Pilot Lt. (jg) Benjamin J. HARRISON - VF Pilot Lt. (jg) Hubert E. COPPER - VF-29 Lt. (jg) Walter D. BISHOP - VF Pilot Lt. (jg) William M. GRESSARD - Recognition Officer Lt. (jg) Howard H. SKIDMORE - VT Pilot Lt. (jg) Charles F. NORTON - VT Pilot Lt. (jg) Stanley D. TINSLEY - VT Pilot Lt. (jg) John P. SPEIDEL - VT Pilot Lt. (jg) Ralph A. MARSDEN - Air Combat Information Ens. Irl V. SONNER, Jr. - VF Pilot Ens. John P. NEWTON Ens. Henry W. BALSIGER - VF29 Ens. Stanley DEATH - VF29 Ens. Edmond F. DeVINE-Air Combat Information Ens. James B. VAN FLEET - VF Pilot Ens. Robert E. MURRAY - VF Pilot Ens. Robert L. BUCHANAN - VF Pilot En,s. Francis L. COLLINS - VF Pilot Ens. Franklin W. TROUP - VF Pilot Ens. Robert B. WILLIAMS - VF Pilot Ens. John F. CARNEY Ens. Lyle E. EASTLING - VF Pilot Ens. Franklin BERTELSON - VF Pilot Ens. Frank A. WIER Jr. - VF Pilot Ens. James J. GILZEAN - VF Pilot Ens. Bernard DUNN - VF Pilot Ens. Melvin COZZENS - VF Pilot Ens. Robert JANDA - VF Pilot Ens. Emeral B. COOK - VF Pilot Ens. Bobby D. COMBS - VF Pilot Ens. W. H. TURNER - VF29 Ens. Donald LAMPSON Jr. - VT Pilot Ens. Henry L. HARKER - VT Pilot Ens. Birton E. McMULLEN - VT Pilot Ens. James A. VASHRO - VT Pilot Ens. Robert J. MAGHAN - VT Pilot Jason L. AUSTIN Jr., PhoM2c John R. BARBER, AMM2c Jasper C. BLEVINS, AEMlc Alfred E. CARNEVALE, PRlc, USN John H. COLBERT, AMM3c Alva O. CULP, ACOM(AA), USN Harold F. DAVIS, AMMlc, USN Henry W. DeFOSSE, AMM2c Ralph G. FLOWERS Ir., ARTlc Ola H. FORREST, Ylc Gentry S. FRY, ACMM(PA), USN Robert C. HITCHCOCK, AMMlc Robert A. OBORNE Jr., AOMlc William T. SCHWABLAND, ARMlc(T) Elmer B. WILSON, AM2C Walter K. BIYE, AOM2c James E. BOLAND, AOM2c Raymond F. COX, Ylc Joseph W. FITZGERALD, ARM3c, USN James W. FLYNN, AMM2c Albert A. GRANGER, AMMHlc, USN William GROEPPER Jr., AOM2c(T) Joseph P. HAGGERTY Jr., ARM2c Donald T. HAMBIDGE, AMM2c Richard L. HOLLOWAY, AOM2c(T) Richard L. HANLON, AOM2c(T) ~ 94 ~ William J. HESSE, ARM3c Harold E. JONES Jr., AMM3c Alfred J. JULEWICZ, ARM3c Alfred G. KERBY, ARM3c Harry P. KIMBALL, AOMlc George D. KRUS, ARTlc Daniel J. McCARTHY, ARM2c Roderique M. MICHAUD, AMM3c Joseph P. NEVIN, ARM2c William H. ODOM, ARM3c Robert D. OLLOM, AOM3c Herbert E. O'NEAL, ACOM(AA), USN Alister R. PATON, AOM3c Joseph W. PHILLIPS, ARM2c, USN Winston M. PIERCE, AOMM(AA)T Brealslaw L. RACZYNSKI, AEMlc Alfred G. SALMEN, ARMlc, USN Arthur H. SIDES Jr., AMMlc, USN Robert F. SMITH, ACRM, USN Lawrence M. SVIDEN, ARM2c Elmer C. THOMAS, AMlc, USN James J. WAGNER, PR2c Donald C. WASHBURN, AMM3c Fighting Squadron 29 This squadron was commissioned 21 Dec. 1942 at the Naval Air Station, Norfolk Va. The men participated in the invasion of North Africa from the deck of the USS Santee (CVE 29) in November 1942 and were then assigned to antisubmarine warfare from Racife, Brazil in the early months of 1943. The squadron made three trips to Casablanca, French Morocco in the latter half of 1943 and returned to the Naval Air Station, Atlantic City, N.J. On 10 April 1944, Lt. Willard E. EDER became commanding officer. The squadron reported aboard the Cabot in October 1944 at Ulithi Atoll. The pilots shot down 112 enemy planes between 12 Oct. 1944 and April 1945: Name Score Type of Plane Remarks ------------------------------- ----- -------------- ------------- Lt. J. W. ADAMS ...................1 .....Jake............................ Ens. H. W. BALSIGER ...............5 .....Betty, Frances, Val, Zeke, Frank Lt. M. G. BARNES ..................5 .....Betty, 2 Frances, Oscar, Frank Ens. R. L. BERTELSON ..............6 .....Betty, Jill, Frank, 3 Zekes Lt. (jg) W. D. BISHOP .............5 ...Betty, Frances, 2 Vals, Zeke ..Killed 14 Dec. 44 Ens. BROOME ......................1 ......Judy Ens. R. L. BUCHANAN ...............5 .....2 Jills, 2 Frances, Zeke Lt. tg) J. L. CHANDLER...........2 2/3 ...l/3 Jake, 1/3 Judy, 2 Judy Ens. F. L. COLLINS ..............2 2/3 ...1/3 Jake, 1/3 Judy, Frances Ens. B. D. COMBS ..................4 .....Jake, Jill, 2 Rufes Ens. M. COZZENS ..................6 1/2 ..3 Zekes, 2 Tojos, I/2 Jill, Tony Ens. S. DEATH .....................1 .....Kate ........Killed 29 Oct 44 Ens. B. DUNN .....................51/3....I/2 Hamp, 2 Zekes, 1/3 Val, I l/2 Jills, Tojo Ens. L. E. EASTLING ...............3 .....Frank, Tojo, Rufe Lt. Cmdr. W. E. EDER ..............5 .....2 Judys, Tess, Tojo, Rufe Lt. A. J. FECKE ...................7 .....5 Jills, 2 Frances Lt. U. L. FRETWELL ..............1 1/3 ...Zeke, 1/3 Val Ens. J. J. GILZEAN ................1 .....Jill Lt. P. E. GREENLEE ................1 .....Jill Lt. (jg) J. R. HERB ...............2 .....Frances, Frank Ens. R. G. HINKLE .................2 ...Jake, Nate Lt. B. D. JAQUES ................4 1/2 ...l l/2 Frances, Jill, Tojo, Betty Lt. H. E. LESLIE ..................1 ...Betty .......Killed 29 Oct. 44 ~ 95 ~ Lt. M V D MARTIN ............2 ...Tojo, Judy Ens. H. P. MISHLER ..........1 ...Zeke Ens. R. E. MURRAY .......101/3...1l/3 Betty, Frances, 2 Jills 3 Zekes, 2 Tojos, Tony Ens. H. C. SKARBEK ..........1 ...Zeke Lt. (jg) I. V. SONNER .......5 ...2 Frances, Zeke, 1 Jills .Killed 22 Mar 45 Lt. J. F. THOMPSON .........1/2..1/2 Hamp ...............Killed 14 Dec 44 Ens. F. W. TROUP ............7 ...Helen, Tojo, Frank, 2 Jacks, Myrt, Jill Ens. W. H. TURNER .........3 1/3..2 Zekes, Jill, 1/3 Val .Killed 25 Nov 44 Ens. J. B. VAN FLEET ........2 ...Val, Betty Ens. F. A. WIER.............1/2..1/2 Frances ...........Killed 13 Mar 45 Lt. E. VAN VRANKEN ........1 2/3..1/3 Jake, 1l/3 Judys Ens. R. B. WILLIAMS .........2 ...Zeke, Irving NOTE: If two pilots shot down the same enemy plane each were given l/2 credit, if three, then 1/3 credit. History of Fighting Squadron 29 5 October - 28 April 1945 Miscellaneous Statistics Combat Tour 5 Oct. 1944 to 9 April 1945. 1. Aircraft: Airborne Ground and water Total Destroyed 112 48 160 Probably destroyed 7 3 10 Damaged 18 132 150 ---- --- --- --- Total 137 183 Grand Total 320 II. Ratio of losses: Total enemy aircraft destroyed 160: Our losses 17: Ratio 9/1 III. Enemy Shipping: 23 Ships sunk totaling 25,600 tons 45 Ships damaged totaling 65,600 tons -- ------------------------ ------ 68 Ships for total of 91,200 tons Small craft sunk 21; damaged 105 IV. Fleet Units: 1 Kongo class BB 2 - 1000-pound near misses - severely strafed 1 Ise-class BB Severely strafed 1 Hayataka CV Severely strafed 1 CL Strafed 1 DD 6 - 500-pound Near misses - severely strafed 1 DD 1 - 1000-pound bomb hit, 2 - 100-pound near misses and severely strafed 2 DD Severely strafed 1 Minelayer Severely strafed ~ 96 ~ v. Total combat sorties (Engaged Enemy) 811 Total combat missions (Engaged Enemy) 112 Total hours flown 9,811.6 Total No. bombs dropped 457 Total tonnage of bombs 130 Total rounds fired .50 caliber 565,190 Total No. airfields attacked 44 Fighting Squadron 29 experienced the longest continuous period of intensive combat in carrier history-more than six months from 5 Oct. 1944 to 11 April 1945. Until that time, the longest period of continuous combat by an air group had been 41/2 months. Action against the Philippines and the main inner ring of Japanese defenses were being accelerated as the squadron arrived and completed six successful operations. The only time out was for brief stays at Ulithi for fleet repairs and supplies. The itinerary of the actions reads like a Cook's tour of the Far East: visits to Japanese military and naval installations from Saigon, French Indo China (Vietnam), China, the Philippines, Formosa, the Bonins, the Nansei Shoto and Tokyo. The squadron boasted an amazing number of feats that cannot be duplicated due to several factors, namely the extensive period of operations, time of the operations and the fact that the Japanese Fleet, for all practical considerations, no longer exists. Among the firsts are: -first carrier raids on the Ryukyus, Formosa, French Indo China, China, and Honshu and Kyushu, Japan; -pre- and post-invasion support the Leyte, Mindoro, Luzon, Iwo Jima and Okinawa landings; -continuous support on and after "L" Day during landings on Okinawa in the Nansei Shoto. -four strikes on the Japanese Fleet in three places: the Visayans, Kure Naval Base on Honshu, and south of Kyushu, Japan. While striking 44 enemy airfields, 10 harbors and numerous cities, and military and industrial installations, 315 enemy aircraft were destroyed or damaged. Of these, 109 were shot down in aerial combat to give the squadron 10 aces. In addition, 68 merchant ships were destroyed and 105 damaged. Bombing and strafing attacks were carried out successfully, despite heavy and accurate antiaircraft fire, on the four fleet attacks. Targets included two battleships, one light cruiser, a CV, four destroyers and a minelayer. Military, industrial and transportation facilities were frequently attacked, with some of the major targets being an aluminum plant, a nickel smelter, four power plants, radio stations, factories including Tachikawa Engine Plant near Tokyo, numerous barracks, buildings, hangars, airfield shops and other facilities. All were severely bombed and strafed. Most of the action was carried out over the heaviest AA-defended areas in the Pacific: Manila, Clark Field, Takao, Kure, Kiirun, Hong Kong, Okinawa and Tokyo. Except for October, operations took place when the enemy had discontinued large scale air attacks, which, for our forces, often were like shooting sitting ducks. In fact, many of our kills were the kamikaze- type requiring prompt, skillful interception. Weather, especially during early 1945, was not conducive to flight operations. Typhoons, low ceiling and zero visibility at times helped make the operations extremely difficult. However, during this period, 112 combat missions comprising 811 sorties were flown with the original pilots averaging 300 combat hours. In all, 457 bombs were dropped, totaling 130 tons, and more than 565,000 rounds of .50 caliber machine gun ammunition was expended. Numerous torpedo and bombing missions were escorted and protected, and during the whole period, no plane escorted by Fighting Squadron 29 ever sustained damage by enemy interceptors. The leader of the 10 aces had 12 planes to his credit. The tally for planes destroyed showed a very favorable ratio on our side - 9 to 1. Early on, 16 Oct. 1944 the squadron was to escort two crippled cruisers to safety from a few miles off the Formosa coast. Two of our divisions, while on routine CAP, were directed to ~ 97 ~ intercept a large enemy force. About 40 miles from the small squadron group, the eight fighters soon found the enemy-more than 75 Japanese fighters, bombers and torpedo planes. Diving to attack, the enemy forces scattered and soon the sea was covered with wreckage of blazing Japanese planes. Learning of the enemy force, two more divisions were sent to help, but most of the action was over when they arrived. In all, the fighters knocked down 32 aircraft, damaged four and possibly destroyed another. The pilots and their kills were: Lt. FECKE 5 Ens. BUCHANAN 5 Lt. (jg) SONNER 4 Lt. (jg) MURRAY 4 Lt. (jg) BISHOP 3 Ens. TURNER 2 Lt. (jg) BALSIGER 2 Lt. BARNES 2 Lt. FRETWELL 1 Lt. (jg) COZZENS 1 Lt. (jg) DUNN 1 Lt. (jg) WILLIAMS 1 American losses for the afternoon consisted of one fighter forced to water land. The pilot was soon picked up and returned by a scout plane. On 24 Oct., two strikes were sent against the enemy fleet off the Visayans during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Extensive bombing and strafing runs were made, and the squadron provided escort for torpedo bombers during the action. These two actions consisted of the major events in the first operations. Returning to Ulithi, the "29" scoreboard registered 66 planes destroyed in the air, seven probables and seven damaged; two planes destroyed on the ground with nine "possibles" damaged. In all, it was a very profitable - "shakedown" cruise since the squadron had never before operated from a carrier. The second and third operations were in the Philippine area. On the fourth operation, installations on Formosa, Luzon, the Nansei Shotos and French Indo China were visited. The Cabot, with Air Group 29, was the first fast carrier to enter the South China Sea for that operation, and the last one out. Additionally, unfavorable weather conditions hampered flights made near Formosa. The fifth tour opened with a raid against Tokyo. fighting Squadron 29 took part in the strike on Tachikawa Engine Plant which was left badly damaged. During this raid, Ens. BUCHANAN was forced down in the outer bay of Tokyo Harbor. Several of our planes immediately flew cover over him while a rescue sub was being contacted. The planes were forced to leave one by one as fuel ran low, and finally only Lt. FECKE and Lt. (jg) BERNER remained. It was a tricky job trying to guide a sub in mined waters and with several enemy fighter fields within sight. The sub did successfully pick BUCHANAN up, and the two remaining planes returned to the carrier hours overdue. The sixth operation again found the squadron striking Japan on the Island of Kyushu. Also, a strike was sent against the Japanese Fleet in the harbor near Kure Naval Base. Then, the group left for pre-invasion support and "softening" of Okinawa. "L" or Landing Day saw numerous support strikes carried out by the squadron. Later, a search was sent to find remnants of the Japanese Fleet, but nothing was found. Reports were received of several downed planes in a harbor on the southern tip of Kyushu, and two OS2Us were sent to rescue the pilots with the squadron providing a fighter escort. While waiting for the Kingfishers to pick up the survivors, one division investigated a seaplane base on the coast and thoroughly strafed it. Ens. KELLEHER was hit by AA fire and just managed to get out and parachute into the bay. He was promptly picked up by one of the scout rescue planes he had been escorting, and soon was aboard with the squadron. Lt. Cmdr. Willard Ernest Eder, USN Commanding Officer-Air Group 29 "Bill" Eder was born on a ranch near Buffalo, Wyo., 27 Sept. 1916. He was graduated with a B.A. degree from the University of Wyoming in 1938. ~ 98 ~ Soon afterwards he entered naval flight training and received his wings and commission at Pensacola, 10 April 1940. Immediately upon graduation, he was assigned to a fleet fighter squadron and has remained in this type duty. From May 1940 until January 1942 he was a member of Fighting Squadron 3 on the Saratoga and Enterprise. In January 1942 he was assigned to Fighting Squadron 3 on board the Lexington. While a member of this squadron, he received the Distinguished Flying Cross for his part in the battle of Bougainville. Later he participated in strikes on Lae and Salamaua. During April and May of 1942 EDER was a member of Fighting Squadron 2 and had a part in one of the key engagements of the Pacific, for his work in the Battle of the Coral Sea, he received the Navy Cross. In August 1942 he was transferred to Atlantic duty with Fighting Squadron 29. During his time in this squadron he has served in gunnery, to operations as executive officer and on to commanding officer and commander Air Group 29. He accepted a commission in the Regular Navy in April 1943. During the squadrons Atlantic duty, he was awarded the Silver Star for his part in the squadron's support of the occupation of French Morocco. Bill EDER assumed command of the Air Group in April 1944. To him belongs much of the credit for directing the squadron's intensive training which enabled it to achieve so much in the Pacific Theatre. Fighting Squadron 29 Citations and Awards Aside from those already mentioned in the history of the Cabot. Lt. (jg) Walter D. BISHOP-Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal Ens. Frank W. TROUP-Air Medal Ens. William H. TURNER-Distinguished Flying Cross Ens. James B. Van FLEET-Air Medal Lt. Harry E. LESLIE-Air Medal, Gold star in lieu of second Air Medal Lt. Edward Van VRANKEN-Gold star in lieu of second Air Medal Ens. Melvin COZZENS-Gold star in lieu of second Air Medal Ens. Robert B. WILLIAMS-Gold Star in lieu of second Air Medal, Purple Heart Lt. John F. THOMPSON-Air Medal Ens. Stanley (n) DEATH-Air Medal Ens. James J. GILZEAN-Air Medal Ralph G. FLOWERS, ARTlc-Purple Heart William T. SCHWABLAND, ARMlc-Purple Heart Ens. Bernard (n) DUNN-Air Medal (n) means the person had no middle name or initial. [picture skeleton flying in black circle]
TORPEDO SQUADRON TWENTY-NINE This squadron, called VGS-29, was officially commissioned in July 1942. In October 1942 the group was enroute to French Morocco for the invasion of North Africa, and in the early part of 1943 was based in Recife, Brazil searching for German U-boats and blockade runners. Later in the year they made three trips to Casablanca on the USS Santee (CVE 19) escorting convoys. Training in torpedo tactics was held at Hyannis, Mass. in early 1944, and the group went by train to San Diego in July. The squadron left San Diego for Pearl Harbor and continued training on the island of Maui. From Hawaii they visited the Admiralty Islands and went on to Ulithi where they were assigned to the Cabot in early October 1944. They replaced VT-31 with Lt. Cmdr. I. H. McPHERSON as commanding officer. Torpedo-Squadron 29 engaged in some of the heaviest fighting in the Pacific and took a major part in the famous Battle of Leyte Gulf. For their action, which spanned about seven months, they were awarded along with the Fighter ~ 99 ~ Squadron the Presidential Unit Citation. Following is a list of the actions and the men who so bravely risked their lives in our battle against the Japanese. The pilot's name is listed first with the two crew members of the Avengers listed next: 10 Oct. 1944 Attack on a Picket Boat Williams, Boland and Raczynski 12 Oct. 1944 Attack on 7 Sea Trucks Axlderson, Hanlon and Haggerty 12 Oct. 1944 Attack on a Betty Ballantine, Hesse and Biye 12 Oct. 1944 Attack on 2 Bettys McPherson, Kimball and Krus 13 Oct. 1944 Attack on 2 Sea Trucks Anderson, Hanlon and Haggerty 16 Oct. 1944 Attack on a Kate Norton, Paton and Sviben 16 Oct. 1944 Shot down a Tojo Maghan, Michaud and Julewicz 21 Oct. 1944 Attack on a Betty Williams, Boland and Raczynski 22 Oct. 1944 A Betty shot down J. W. Williams, Boland and Raczynski 22 Oct. 1944 A Betty shot down Ballantine, Biye and Hesse 24 Oct. 1944 Torpedo Attack on Jap Fleet A.M. Tablas Straight, P.I. McPherson, Kimball and Krus Ballantine, Biye and Hesse Skidmore, McCarthy and Hambidge Anderson, Hanlon and Haggerty Williams, Boland, and Raczynski P.M. McPherson, Kimball and Krus Tinsley, Flynn and Nevin Lampson, Odom and Granger 26 Oct. 1944 Torpedo Attack on Jap Fleet Sibuyan Sea Ballantine, Biye and Hesse Speidel, Groepper and Kerby Norton, Paton and Sviben 29 Oct. 1944 Bombing Attack, Clark Field, P.I. McPherson, Krus and Kimball Anderson, Haggerty and Hanlon Tinsley, Nevin and Flynn Skidmore, McCarthy and Hambidge Speidel, Kerby and Groepper Harker, Phillips and Holloway Vashro, Salmen and Washburn McMullen, Fitzegerald and Ollom Maghan, Julewicz and Michaud 19 Nov. 1944 Bombing Attack on W. Lipa Airfield Anderson, Hanlon and Haggerty Maghan, Julewicz and Michaud Ballantine, Hesse and Biye Vashro, Washburn and Salmen Tinsley, Flynn and Nevin McMullen, Fitzgerald and Ollom Speidel, Kerby and Groepper Harker, Phillips and Holloway Skikdmore, McCarthy and Hambridge 25 Nov. 1944 Strike, W. Lipa and Bstangas A.M. Airfields Anderson, Hanlon and Haggerty Skidmore, McCarthy and Hambidge Tinsley, Nevin and Flynn Maghan, Julewicz and Michaud McMullen, Fitzgerald and Ollom Harker, Phillips and Holloway Vashro, Washburn and Salmen Barnes, Foulkes and Sides Fisher, Gotthart and Jones P.M. Grace Park Airfield, Luzon, P.I. Anderson, Hanlon and Haggerty Speidel, Kerby and Groepper Tinsley, Nevin and Flynn Maghan, Julewicz and Michaud McMullen, Fitzgerald and Ollom Harker, Phillips and Holloway Walker, Compton and Holt Vashro, Washburn and Salmen 4 Jan. 1945 Karenko Harbor, Formosa McPherson, Krus and Kimball Harker, Phillips and Holloway Speidel, Kerby and Groepper Fisher, Gotthardt and Jones Norton, Paton and Walker Vashro, Salmen and Washburn Tinsley, Nevin and Flynn 6 Jan. 1945 Grace Park Airfield, A.M. Luzon, P.I. Anderson, Hanlon and Haggerty Fisher, Gotthardt and Jones ~ 100 ~ Norton, Paton and Walker P.M. Neilson Airfield, Luzon, P.I. McPherson, Kimball and Krus Vashro, Salmen and Washburn Speidel, Kerby and Groepper Barnes, Foulkes and Sides 7 Jan. 1945 Clark Field, Luzon, P.I. I Anderson, Haggerty and Wagner Harker, Holloway and Phillips Norton, Walker and Paton Barnes, Foulkes and Sides 9 Jan. 1945 Suo Harbor, Formosa McPherson, Krus and Kimball Vashro, Washburn and Salmen Fisher, Gotthardt and Jones Skidmore, Hambidge and McCarthy Tinsley, Nevin and Flynn McMullen, Fitzgerald and Ollom Norton, Walker, Paton and Marsden Speidel, Kerby and Groepper Maghan, Bishop and Julewicz 12 Jan. 1945 Searches, South China Sea McPherson, Kimball and Krus-No action Tinsley, Nevin and Flynn-Attack on AK Harker, Phillips and Holloway-Attack on AK Walker, Holt and Compton-Attack on Ak (hit and spun it) 15 Jan. 1945 Takao Harbor, Formosa McPherson, Krus and Kimball Vashro, Salmen and Washburn McMullen, Fitzgerald and Ollom Anderson, Hanlon and Haggerty Harker, Phillips and Holloway Tinsley, Nevin and Flynn Maghan, Julewicz and Michaud 16 Jan. 1945 Hong Kong Harbor, China McPherson, Kimball and Krus McMullen, Fitzgerald and Ollom Norton, Walker and Paton Fisher, Gotthardt and Jones Speidel, Kerby and Groepper 21 Jan. 1945 Takao Harbor, Formosa A.M. Anderson, Hanlon and Haggerty Maghan, Julewicz and Michaud Harker, Phillips and Holloway Vashro, Washburn and Salmen Skidmore, McCarthy and Hambidge Tinsley, Nevin and Flynn Fisher, Gotthardt and Jones P.M. Kiirun Harbor, Formosa McPherson, Krus and Kimball Norton, Walker and Paton Barnes, Foulkes and Sides Skidmore, McCarthy and Hambridge McMullen, Fitzgerald and Ollom Speidel, Sokolow and Groepper 17 Feb. 1945 Tachakawa Aircraft Engine Plant Tokyo, Japan McPherson, Kimball and Hume Moran, Smith and Round Skidmore, McCarthy and Hambidge Tinsley, Nevin and Flynn McMullen, Fitzgerald and Ollom Zemanek, Thompson and Plotczyk Gidney, Sokolow and Bond 18 Feb. 1945 Chichi Jima, Bonin Islands Anderson, Hanlon, Haggerty and Marsden Speidel, Kerby and Groepper Harker, Holloway and Phillips Mahorley, Urbanski and Kelley Vashro, Washburn and Salmen Norton, Walker and Paton Barnes, Foulkes and Sides Maghan, Julewicz and Michaud 18 March 1945 Miyazaki Airfield, A.M. Kyushu, Japan McPherson, Hume and Kimball Vashro, Washburn and Salmen Maghan, Julewicz and Michaud Skidmore, McCarthy and Hambidge McMullen, Fitzegerald and Ollom Moran, Smith and Round Mahoney, Urbanski and Kelley Zemanek, Thompson and Plotczyk Gidney, Sokolow and Bond P.M. Omura Airfield, Kyushu, Japan Anderson, Hanlon and Haggerty Speidel, Bishop and Groepper Harker, Phillips and Holloway Norton, Walker and Paton Tinsley, Nevin and Flynn Barnes, Foulkes and Sides Mahoney, Urbanski and Kelley Fisher, Gotthardt and Jones ~ 101 ~ 19 March 1945 Kure Naval Base, Honshu, Japan Anderson, Hanlon and Haggerty Speidel, Kerby and Groepper Harker, Wagner and Phillips Tinsley, Nevin and Flynn Vashro, Washburn and Salmen Maghan, Julewicz and Michaud Zemanek, Thompson and Plotczyk 23 March 1945 Okinawa Island A.M. McPherson, Hume and Kimball Moran, Smith and Round Skidmore, McCarthy and Hambidge Mahoney, Urbanski and Kelley Barnes, Foulkes and Sides Fisher, Gotthardt and Jones P.M. Anderson, Hanlon and Haggerty Harker, Phillips and Holloway Vashro, Salmen and Washburn Tinsley, Nevin and Flynn Maghan, Julewicz and Michaud Zemanek, Plotczyk and Thompson Speidel, Kerby and Groepper 24 March 1945 Okinawa Island A.M. Anderson, Hanlon, Haggerty and Marsden Speidel, Kerby and Wagner Harker, Phillips and Holloway Zemanek, Thompson and Plotczyk Norton, Walker and Paton Maghan, Julewicz and Michaud Tinsley, Nevin and Flynn Moran, Smith and Round P.M. McPherson, Kimball and Hume Vashro, Washburn and Salmen Norton, Walker and Paton McMullen, Fitzgerald and Ollom Skidmore, McCarthy and Hambidge Barnes, Foulkes and Sides Mahoney, Urbanski and Kelley Fisher, Bishop and Jones 26 March 1945 Okinawa Island A.M. McPherson, Hume and Kimbell Gidney, Sokolow and Bond Moran, Smith and Round Skidmore, McCarthy and Hambidge Tinsley, Nevin and Flynn McMullen, Fitzgerald and Ollom Mahoney, Urbanski and Kelley Barnes, Foulkes and Sides Fisher, Gotthardt and Jones P.M. McPherson, Kimball and Hume Maghan, Julewicz and Michaud Zemanek, Thompson and Plotczyk Anderson, Hanlon and Haggerty Vashro, Washburn and Salmen Speidel, Kerby and Groepper Fisher, Bishop and Jones Gidney, Sokolow and Bond 27 March 1945 Okinawa Island A.M. Anderson, Hanlon and Haggerty Harker, Phillips and Holloway Speidel, Kerby and Groepper Maghan, Julewicz and Michaud Skidmore, McCarthy and Hambidge McMullen, Fitzgerald and Ollom Tensley, Nevin and Flynn Vashro, Washburn and Salmen P.M. Anderson, Haggerty and Hanlon Gidney, Sokolow and Bond Skidmore, McCarthy and Hambidge McMullen, Fitzgerald and Ollom Zemanek, Thompson and Plotczyk Mehoney, Urbanski and Kelley Fisher, Bishop and Jones Barnes, Foulkes, Sides and Marsden 28 March 1945 Manami Daito Island Harker, Walker and Holloway Gidney, Sokolow and Bond Tinsley, Nevin and Flynn Maghan, Julewicz and Michaud Barnes, Foulkes (only) Speidel, Kerby and Bishop Vashro, Salmen and Wagner Zemanek, Thompson and Plotczyk 29 March 1945 Torpedo strike - Yamakawako Kyushu, Japan McPherson, Hume and Kimball Gidney, Dokolow and Bond ~ 102 ~ Vashro, Washburn and Salmen Mahoney, Urbanski and Kelley Zemanek, Thompson and Plotczyk McMullen, Fitzgerald and Ollom Harker, Phillips and Holloway Barnes, Foulkes and Sides Fisher, Bishop and Jones 30 March 1945 Okinawa Island A.M. Anderson, Hanlon and Haggerty Zemanek, Thompson and Plotczyk Speidel, Kerby and Groepper Barnes, Foulkes and Sides Skidmore, McCarthy and Hambidge Moran, Smith and Round McMullen, Fitzgerald and Ollom Fisher, Gotthardt and Jones P.M. McPherson, Hume and Kimball Zemanek, Thompson and Plotczyk Harker, Phillips and Holloway Vashro, Washburn and Salmen Tinsley, Nevin and Flynn Moran, Smith and Round Maghan, Julewicz and Michaud Gidney, Walker and Paton 31 March 1945 Okinawa Island A.M. McPherson, Hume and Kimball Gidney, Sokolow and Bond Vashro, Washburn and Salmen Harker, Phillips and Holloway Skidmore, Hambidge and McCarthy Barnes, Foulkes and Sides Tinsley, Nevin and Flynn Maghen, Michaud and Bishop P.M. Anderson, Hanlon and Haggerty Barnes, Wagner and Sides Moran, Smith and Round Zemanek, Thompson and Plotczyk Speidel, Kerby and Groepper Maghan, Paton and Julewicz McMullen, Fitzgerald and Ollom Fisher, Walker and Jones 1 April 1945 Okinawa Island A.M. Anderson, Hanlon, Haggerty and Marsden Gidney, Sokolow and Bond Speidel, Kerby and Groepper Fisher, Gotthardt and Jones Zemanek, Thompson and Plotczyk McMullen, Fitzgerald and Ollom Moran, Smith and Round P.M. McPherson, Hume and Kimball Barnes, Foulkes and Sides Vashro, Washburn and Salmen Maghan, Julewicz and Michaud 3 April 1945 Okinawa Island McPherson, Hume, Kimball and Marsden Harker, Phillips and Holloway Moran, Smith and Round Tinsley, Nevin and Flynn Gidney, Sokolow and Bond Fisher, Walker and Jones 4 April 1945 Okinawa Island Anderson, Hanlon and Haggerty Barnes, Foulkes and Sides Skidmore, McCarthy and Hambidge McMullen, Fitzgerald and Ollom Speidel, Kerby and Groepper Maghan, Julewicz and Michaud 6 April 1945 Kikai Shima Airfield McPherson, Kimball and Hume Harker, Phillips and Holloway Vashro, Washburn and Salmen Skidmore, Hambidge and McCarthy Gidney, Sokolow and Bond Zemenek, Thompson and Plotczyk Tinsley, Nevin and Flynn Moran, Smith and Round Fisher, Bishop and Jones 7 April 1945 Torpedo strike against Jap Fleet S.W. of Kyushu, Japan Anderson, Hanlon and Haggerty Speidel, Kerby and Groepper Barnes, Foulkes and Sides Skidmore, Hambidge and McCarthy McMullen, Fitzgerald and Ollom Moran, Smith and Round Norton, Walker and Paton Maghan, Julewicz and Michaud Fisher, Bishop and Jones NOTE: For list of casualties of AG 29 turn to ~ 103 ~ Appendix. For list of VF 29 "Aces" turn to Appendix. As the Cabot was limited to nine torpedo planes, they were kept very busy. The TBM/TBF replaced the Devastator (TBD) used earlier in the war. It was called other names such as "turkey" and "torpecker" but whatever it was called it meant destruction to the Japanese. Lt. Howard SKIDMORE was one of the outstanding pilots who flew this plane on over nineteen missions. Only a small percentage of the officers and men stayed in the military after the war but SKIDMORE remained and rose to the rank of Captain with an outstanding record after the war. Capt. Howard H. Skidmore Howard Homer SKIDMORE was born 25 April 1920 in Villa Grove, Ill. Before entering the Navy, he attended Eastern Illinois University at Charleston, where he was a member of the basketball team three years. SKIDMORE's hobbies were photography and softball having participated in the Illinois State Softball Tournament with an Army Air Corps team. Later in 1947-48, he was a member of the All Navy Softball Team. SKIDMORE was commissioned an ensign, and on 27 Nov. 1942 was designated a naval aviator. His flight training included stops at Naval Air Stations in St. Louis, Corpus Christi, Miami, Jacksonville and Norfolk. In April 1943 he flew the SB2U aboard the USS Charger (CVE-30) on his first carrier checkout. He joined VGS 29 in Norfolk and flew the SBD and TBF making three cruises to Africa on the USS Santee (CVE 29), and participated in antisubmarine duty in the North Atlantic. SKIDMORE reported aboard the Cabot in October 1944 with VT 29 and flew combat missions over the Philippines, Formosa, Iwo Jima, Japan and Okinawa as well as against the Japanese Fleet. Air Group 29 returned to the United States with the Cabot in May 1945 with an outstanding record that won them the Presidential Unit Citation. SKIDMORE's naval career continued after the war with stops at the Naval Air Stations in New Orleans, Glenview, Key West, Corpus Christi and aboard the USS Antietam (CV 36) in 1949. He attended General Line School, Photographic Interpretation School and Armed Forces Staff College. SKIDMORE was executive officer of Photographic Squadron VFP 62 and was later skipper of VF 41 and then VF 11, the "Red Rippers". While with the Rippers, the squadron was aboard the USS Independence (CV 62) flying the F8U Crusader. Earlier, SKIDMORE was "Air Boss" on the USS Lake Champlain (CV 39), which recovered America's first astronaut, Alan Shepard. From 1961-65, SKIDMORE was in charge of special projects in the Office of Naval Intelligence, and from July 1965 to August 1968, was defense and naval attache in Copenhagen. That year, was named assistant for administration and services at Naval Intelligence Command, Washington. SKIDMORE was promoted to captain on 1 July 1963 and retired in May 1972. His decorations and campaign medals include: Distinguished Flying Cross with two stars Air Medal with three stars Navy Commendation Medal Purple Heart Presidential Unit Citation with two stars American Area Campaign Service Medal European/African/Middle Eastern Theater with one star Asiatic Pacific Area Campaign Service Medal with five stars World War II Victory Medal National Defense Service Medal Kommandor of the Danneborg (Danish) Philippine Presidential Unit Citation Philippine Liberation Campaign Ribbon with two stars SKIDMORE married Lois A. Waage of Pompano Beach, Fla. in 1946. Their only daughter, Diana, was born in 1950. ~ l04 ~ [picture group in front of airplane - on shore]
VF-29 | Top row includes: Ens. Frank Wier*, Ens. Stan Death*, Ens. James Gilzeen, Ens. Bernard Dunn, Ens. Jim VanFleet, Lt. John Thompson*, Lt. Bruce Jaques, Lt. (jg) Ben Harrison. 11 3 Second row: Lt. Uncase Fretwell, Ens. Robert Janda, Lt. Ed Van Vranken, Lt. (jg) Walter Bishop*, Lt. (jg) Hubert Copper, Lt. John Fecke, Ens. Melvin Cozzens, Lt. (jg) John Herb, Ens. Bob Combs, Ens. John Carney, Lt. Jules McNair, and Ens. Bob Murray. | Front row: Ens. Irv Sonner*, Lt. Harry Leslie*, Ens. W. H. Turner*, Lt. Bud Greenlee, Ens. Robert Williams, Ens. Emeral Cook*, Commanding Officer, Lt. Bill Eder. I a (NOTE: Some names are unknown) * Killed in the Pacific Area ~ 105 ~ [picture]
V.T. 29 Groton, Conn June 44 I First row left to right: Ens. Charles F. Norton, Ens. John Mills*, Lt. (jg) Howard H. Skidmore, Lt. (jg) James H. Harz, Lt. William N. Dulaney, Lt. John W. Williams (xo), Lt. H. McPherson (co), Lt. "Tony" Schulties*, Lt. (jg) William H. Anderson, Lt. (jg) John H. Bailantine, Jr., Lt. (jg) John Padberg*, Ens. Birton E. McMullen, Ens. Phiiiip Trabing*, Ens. Robert J. Maghan. Second row left to right: Walter K. Boye AOM2c, Donald C. Washburn AMM2c, Harold E. Jones ARM3c, Rodergue M. Michard AMM2c, Joseph P. Haggerty ARM2c, Donald T. Hambidge AMMlc, Robert F. Smith ACRM, Ens. Stanley D. Tinsley, Ens. James A. Vashro, Ens. John P. Speidel, Ens. Donald Lampson, Herbert E. O'Neal ACOM, Richard Hergert, Armic, Joseph P. Nevin ARM2c, B. L. Raczynsiz Third row left to right: J. E. Boland, Joseph W. Fitzgerald AOM2c, T. J. McHugh, Robert D. Ollom AOM2c, A. J. Julewicz ARM, J. J. Wagner, R. L. Holloway AOM, William Groepper AOM2c, Ralph W. Hanlon AOM1c, E. C. Thomas, Larry Surben, A. R. Paton AOM, Harry P. Kimbail AOMlc, Danny J. McCarthy ARM1c, Raymond F. Cox Y1c, George D. Krus ART1c, Winston M. Pierce AMM1c. * Detached prior to departing NAAF Groton, CT for the West Coast. [picture]
Eleven Pilots in front of a TBF at NAAF Groton, CT. in June 1944. Front row left to right: 1. Lt(jg) William H. Anderson 2. Ens. Stanley D. Tinsley 3. Commanding Officer Lieut. Irvin H. McPherson 4. Executive Officer Lieut. John W. Williams 5. Ens. Birton E. McMullen 6. Ens. Charles F. Norton. Second row left to right: 1. Lt(jg) Howard H. Skidmore 2. Lt(jg) John H. Ballantine, Jr. 3. Ens. Robert J. Maghan 4. Ens. James A. Vashro 5. Ens. Donald Lampson. ~ 106 ~ [ 7 pictures]
Unheard of successful Cat Walk take-off 1 April 1945 Easter Sunday. Invasion of Okinawa Island. Pilot Lt. (jg) H.H. Skidmore, crew; D.T. Hambidge, AMM1c; D.J. McCarthy, ARM1c. ~ 107 ~ [ 2 pictures]
L to R: Hambige, Donald T., AMM1c, USNR; Skidmore, Howard H. Lt (jg), USNR; McCarthy, Daniel J. ARM1c, USNR; (photos in blues taken at NAAF Groton, CT and in flight gear aboard the Cabot.) [picture]
Grace Park A/F, Luzon, P.I. [picture]
TBF after "Cut" "Safe Return" ~ 108 ~ [picture]
Attack on Jap Fleet 29 Mar 45 Kure "Island Sea" Kyushu, Japan. [picture]
Tachakawa aircraft engine plant southwest of Tokyo, Japan 19 Feb. '45. 1st U.S. Navy strikes on Tokyo. ~ 109 ~ [picture]
(on left) Kimball, McPherson, Hume (on right) Lt. Cdr. McPherson Skipper VT-29 Lt Cmdr. Irvin H. McPherson, USNR; Kimball, Harry P., AOM1c USNR; Hume, Robert E. ARM3c, USNR ~ 110 ~ (end chapter 11) ====================== . CHAPTER TWELVE HOMWARD BOUND FOR AN OVERHAUL April - June 1945 The Cabot was going home now, and all ships put in bids like an auction for gear the Cabot would not need for the trip. One of the destroyers had a four-man band sitting on 5-inch gun turret pouring forth renditions of "Aloha", "California Here We Come" and other appropriate tunes. She also had a sign painted on the bridge, reading something to the effect, "See us for quick delivery service. We guarantee speedy delivery of everything from nuts and bolts to dunked aviators. " (Destroyers deliver all sorts of gear and personnel to larger ships.) The Cabot was detached from Task Group 58.3 and joined Task Unit 58.3.10 under command of Capt. W. W. SMITH aboard the Cabot. The Task Unit also included the Hancock, Haynsworth and Stembel. The Task Unit steamed to Ulithi Atoll and was dissolved upon arrival on 11 April. The Cabot remained at anchor for two days to replenish food and fuel, and on the 13th, under control of Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet departed for Pearl Harbor with the Hancock and Franks. The Cabot was returning to the States for a much-needed overhaul, but the next day-14 April-the colors were halfmasted in mourning for President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The Navy had lost not only their commander in chief, but also a dear friend since the days he had served as assistant Secretary of the Navy from 1913 to 1920. FDR had believed in a strong Navy that could protect our interests in world affairs. Unfortunately our country did not share his views before World War II, and the result was a weak Navy the Japanese took advantage of at Pearl Harbor. Upon Roosevelt's death, the Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal issued this announcement: "I have the sad duty of announcing to the naval service the death of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the President of the United States, which occurred on 12 April. The world has lost a champion of democracy who can ill be spared by our country and the allied cause. The Navy ~ 111 ~ which he so dearly loved can pay no better tribute to his memory than to carry on in the tradition of which he was so proud." "Colors shall be displayed at half mast for 30 days beginning 0801, 13 April West longitude date insofar as war operations permit. Memorial services shall be held on the day of the funeral to be announced later at all yards and stations and on board all vessels of the Navy, war operations permitting. Wearing of mourning badges and firing of salvos will be dispensed with, in view of war conditions." Divine services were held on the USS Cabot on Sunday, 15 April 1945 in tribute to Roosevelt, with Capt. Walton W. SMITH, Cmdr., David J. WELSH and Lt. Harry A. FIFIELD, Chaplain presiding. On 21 April, the Cabot arrived at Pearl Harbor and moored at Ford Island. CinCPac sent the following message to her as she came up the channel, "Welcome to Pearl. Congratulations upon the completion of a long and arduous tour of combat duty. Officers and men of the Cabot may be well proud of their part in pressing the attack on the enemy." Lt. Reginald WERRENRATH Jr., USNR, the Cabot's superb fighter director, was detached to the Pacific Fleet Radar Center. In addition that day, the following awards were presented: Lt. Cmdr. I. H. McPHERSON, Distinguished Flying Cross Ens. Franklin BERTELSON, Gold Star in lieu of 2nd Air Medal Ens. B. D. COMBS, Gold Star in lieu of 2nd Air Medal Ens. B. DUNN, Gold Star in lieu of 2nd Air Medal Ens. R. E. MURRAY, Air Medal The Cabot got underway from Pearl Harbor on 23 April and set course for San Francisco. At 1100 hours she passed under the Golden Gate Bridge, and upon arrival at the Naval Air station, at Alameda. Calif. and was serenaded by a Navy Band. Her former skipper Commodore S. J. MICHAEL, now commandant of the air station was on the dock to meet and welcome her home. Air Group 29 disembarked with a record equal to the famous Air Group 31, and later was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation along with the ship. Half of the ship's company were granted a much-deserved leave of 20 days, and when they returned, the other half departed on theirs. Due to their experience, hundreds of the now - expert battle - trained crew were transferred to other billets to lend their expertise to new ships. To fill the void, hundreds of new men - mostly untested in battle - were ordered to the Cabot from the giant U.S. Naval Training and Distribution Center at Shoemaker, Calif. Among the hundreds reporting on board in May were W. J. TOBORG, S2c(RdM), D. C. DeDECKER, F2c and J. E. HUDSON, S2c(Y) going to sea for the first time. Cmdr. Albert O. VORSE Jr. reported aboard as air officer. A few of the old salts transferred off were: R. A. ALBRECHT, GM3c; Bruce W. ARLISS, Slc; C. L. MACKARAVITZ, Slc; K. M. DeFERRAI, RdMlc; R. E. MERRICK, AMM3c; E. S. LOBODA, AMM3c; J. GODFREY, ACMM; R. CESINO, AOM3c; F. E. DUDLEY, AOMlc and T. W. D'ANGELO, AOM3c. Lt. R. A. NEWCOMB was detached to report to the USS Tuscaloosa (CA 37), and Lt. P. J. MUELLER and Lt. J. M. WOSIK were detached for assignment by the Bureau of Naval Personnel. The carrier underwent a Navy yard overhaul at the U.S. naval drydocks at Hunters Point, Calif. from 30 April to 20 June. Navy yard workmen labored 'round the clock with as many as 900 civilian employees aboard at one time. The Cabot was needed quickly for the invasion of Japan as soon as Okinawa could be secured, so time was of short essence. In the overhaul, the ship received a second catapult and the radar was changed from SK to SK-2. Meanwhile, dozens of schools were attended by the crew such as fire fighters, photography, rockets, gunnery with emphasis on 20mm and 40mm, gun direction, oxygen transfer equipment, and others. From the lowly ~ 112 ~ seaman to the experienced officers, schools like these made us far better trained than our enemy in all phases of carrier warfare. The Cabot was a good ship, but after being at sea for so many months, it was time for the men to let loose. Admiral Halsey once said, "I don't trust a sailor who doesn't smoke or drink." Certainly, Halsey could have trusted these boys in San Francisco, as many were returned to ship as drunk and disorderly, possession of liquor, AWOL from a few minutes to a few days, and so on. It was tough, though, for crewmen under 21, the legal drinking age in California. Many sailors were in their teens, so date of birth on ID cards were altered. A good alteration job bought a drink, but a bad one brought you back by the Shore Patrol. Ray E. BROWNLEE, PRlc of Air Group 31, managed to save a memo passed to all hands on 20 June. It read: "1. On Sunday, 24 June 1945, the S. S. Ernie Pyle will be christened in honor of our late shipmate. A plaque will be presented to the new ship by a represen- tative group from the Cabot, honoring Ernie who referred to the Cabot as 'My carrier.' "2. Members of the crew have recommended that a collection be taken up from the crew at the pay line today and from the officers in the wardroom fro the purchase of a present to be selected by a committee and presented to the crew of the Ernie Pyle from officers and crew of the Cabot, in honor of our late good friend. "3. Indications are that the battle record of the Cabot will be officially released in order to give nationwide publicity to this event. "4. The collection will be strictly on a voluntary basis." D. J. WELSH, Cmdr. USN Executive Officer ~ 113 ~ (end of chapter 12) ============================== . CHAPTER THIRTEEN BACK IN ACTION AND THE YELLOW SEA OPERATION On 21 June, the Cabot got underway for post repair Trials off San Francisco, returning to port at the Alameda Air Station the 22nd. She remained at Alameda until 27 June. The next day, passengers and aircraft were loaded and the carrier was underway for Pearl Harbor under orders of the Commander, Western Sea Frontier. On 28 June, we passed into international waters al 1450 hours. The ship entered Pearl Harbor on 4 July and reported to ComAirPac, but a decision was made to drydock the ship. A leak in one of the compartments was detected, and to make repairs, all passengers disembarked and the aircraft unloaded. On 11 July, Air Group 32 reported aboard for duty, and the next day, the Cabot joined Task Group 19.5 for training off Hawaii. Exercises were completed on 13 July, and the Cabot returned to Pearl Harbor and remained there until the 23rd. Cabot joined Task Group 12.3 under command of Capt. W. L. MOSES, and she got underway to proceed to Eniwetok Atoll, Marshall Islands. AA practice, radar calibration exercises and flight operations were conducted on the trip. Leaving Pearl Harbor on 24 July to invade Japan, we all felt many of us would never return home. We realized the Japanese had thousands of kamikaze planes reserved to defend their homeland, and as a fast carrier, Cabot was a prime target. We left with the USS Pennsylvania (BB 38) heading west. Our companion ship was to be the last major vessel to receive extensive damage in the war. Pennsylvania was hit by a torpedo killing 20 men and wounding the admiral on 12 Aug. in Buckner Bay. (It was named for Gen. Simon B. Buckner, who was killed by an enemy shell on Okinawa.) We were enroute to Eniwetok when VF 11 crashed 26 July into the water. However, pilot R. T. BARBOR was rescued. At 0614 hours 28 July, the Cabot crossed the International Date Line at Latitude 19 19.3' northwestward bound. We newcomers were now entitled to the unofficial certificate, "Domain of the Golden ~ 115 ~ Dragon". On 1 Aug., Air Group 32 hit Wake Island. This would be the last action by the Cabot against the enemy. We were promised a battle star for this action, but none was forthcoming and none was deserved. After America lost Wake early in the war, we never tried to retake it. The island had become a favorite target for every ship returning from Pearl Harbor back to the war zone, and it is believed that's why we did not retake Wake. Even so, forces on the island could fight back, as the USS Cowpens lost a pilot in an attack there a few months before we passed by. At about this time, the Zippo Lighter Company sent the Cabot's crew hundreds of their famous lighters inscribed, "In memory Ernie Pyle 1945". These became keepsakes for the men receiving them. It seems the owner of the Zippo company had become a good friend of PYLE through correspondence because Ernie spoke so highly of the lighter that "would not go out in the wind." Zippo periodically sent lighters to soldiers in Europe per Ernie's request, and perhaps PYLE asked for these lighters to be sent to the Cabot since he had a great fondness for the ship. After leaving the States, the following personnel changes were made as the ship's log records: "18 June-C. A. RUSSELL, CPhM, USN was transferred to receiving ship, San Francisco. "25 June-Cmdr. H. W. DUSINBERRE relieved Cmdr. D. B. CANDLER as navigation officer. "10 July-D. L. CAMPMAN, CY(T) USN reported on board. "21 July-J. W. ADAMSON, ACMM reported on board. Ens. A. G. MAYER reported aboard as relief for Ens. R. D. EDWARDS. "23 July-Frank MILANE, Ylc, USN reported aboard for duty. James BAGLANIS, GMlc reported on board for duty." At 1415 hours, 15 Aug. 1945, the Cabot received a dispatch from the Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet, Admiral Chester Nimitz to cease offensive operations against Japan. The War Was Over! ! The news was joyfully received by everyone. Those who had seen battle had no desire to see more, and those who had not seen action had heard enough to make them content not to see any. Said Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King of the surrender: "Never before in the history of war had there been a more convincing example of the effectiveness of sea power than when a well-armed, highly efficient and undefeated army of over a million men surrendered their homeland unconditionally to the invader without even token resistance." THE WAR WAS OVER!! In a Pacific Fleet communique #252109 dated 25 Aug: "Powerful forces of the U.S. Pacific Fleet have been assembling in waters off the coast of Japan for operation in connection with the forthcoming occupation of Japan. The naval forces scheduled to enter Japanese waters in the first stage of the naval occupation of the Tokyo area of the enemy home islands are under the operational control of Admiral William F. Halsey, Commander U.S. 3rd Fleet in his flagship, the USS Missouri (BB 63). These forces and those in immediate support include the following ships: 12 battleships, 16 fast carriers (including the USS Cabot); 16 escort carriers, 20 cruisers, 91 destroyers, 24 destroyer escorts, 35 tankers, 10 fast transports, four transports, three cargo ships, eight ammunition ships, seven fast minesweepers, five seaplane tenders, six minesweepers, three hospital ships and other auxiliary ships." However, the problems in North China prevented the Cabot from participating in the surrender ceremony. It was held on 2 Sept. while the Cabot was steaming for the Yellow Sea. Even before World War II broke out, there had been a civil war in China between the Nationalists led by Chaing Kai-Shek and Communists under Mao Tse-tung. But when the Japanese invaded China, the two factions had a ~ 117 ~ common enemy [o fight. As the Emperor of Japan commanded his troops to surrender, the Communists wanted to accept it since they were nearer the Japanese; troops. Gen. MacArthur gave the order that the enemy troops were to surrender to officials of Chaing Kai-shek, however. But, representatives of Chaing, who were in southern China, needed time to reach the north. Meanwhile, unrest among the Red troops resulted. U. S. Marines and a task force of carriers were ordered to keep the peace until MacArthur's orders could be carried out. The Marines landed, and the Cabot provided air cover until the situation was under control. The morning of 16 Sept., all ships in Buckner Bay steamed out to sea to avoid a typhoon approaching the island. The Cabot was buttoned up tightly, and everything movable was firmly secured to the deck. The carrier began to roll heavily. Several times she rolled to 38 degrees, and everyone aboard worried for the safety of the ship and themselves. She was caught in a heavy swell, rolling to 38 degrees when the sea filled gun sponsons on the starboard side and; white smoke poured from the stacks. T. H. HANNA, Slc, was on watch on the lower signal platform when the water washed him into the sea. Smoke floats and life rings were dropped over the side immediately, and a voice radio message was sent to the group commander about the man overboard. The Cabot also asked for a course change since she was rolling more dangerously each time. (The author was in CIC when news broke that a man was overboard. The scuttlebutt was that HANNA could not swim.) A half an hour later, the USS Ordronaux (DD 617) sighted a man in the water and shortly afterward, retrieved him. By voice radio, she informed the Cabot that the man was HANNA. Returning to ship, HANNA told his story. He was unaware that he was overboard until he had been in the water a few minutes, because he was tossed around by the ocean and was a little dazed. He removed his clothing to better stay afloat, and not being a swimmer at all, he quickly learned how to tread water. A life ring close by gave him something to hold onto. Tearing open the package of dye which makes the sea around yellowish, HANNA waited and said all the prayers he had ever learned. The first thing he knew, he had his feet on a deck again. If there are miracles in this age, this was surely one, for the sea was violent and visibility very poor. Much to the relief of everyone, the wind and waves abated on the second day, and the Cabot returned to Buckner Bay. Departing from Okinawa on 27 Sept., Task Force 72 steamed back into the Yellow Sea to support further landings in the area. A show of force was made over Shanghai the 28th and over Tsingtao the 29th. Proceeding into the Gulf of Pohai, the Task Force gave air cover for occupation forces going inland from Taku to Tientsin and Peiping on 30 Sept. and 1 Oct. Flights were made between Ching Wan Tao and Tang Shan, where trouble had arisen with Chinese Communists and where a great number of Japanese troops were assembled. The Task Group anchored in the Gulf from S to 8 Oct., and sent flights over Tsingtao the next day in preparations for landings set there. Landings were delayed one day, however, due to an approaching typhoon. News was also received that considerable damage was done on Okinawa by the weather. The Cabot's aircraft covered the area from Tsingtao to Chefoo through 15 Oct., being prepared to take any action necessary to protect the Marine landings. The Yellow Sea operations had no enemy opposition, but the sea was full of floating mines, presumably broken loose in the bad weather. Task Force 72 encountered mines daily, and on one day alone, 34 were destroyed by gunfire from screening destroyers. Right after the Japanese surrender, dozens of minesweepers went to work in all the bays and harbors around Japan. Apparently hundreds had been cut loose and floated into the Yellow Sea. Bill MEIER, Slc was on lookout one day when the sea was up, and he saw a mine on top ~ 117 ~ of a wave ready to crash into the Cabot. By some stroke of luck, it missed, and the destroyers were dispatched to blow it up. Joining Task Group 72. 1, the Cabot set course for Guam. She had been ordered to report to Commander, Marianas Islands upon arrival and receive passengers for the East Coast. That news was happily received; to be going home was truly something to celebrate. Cabot arrived in Guam on 21 Oct., was detached from Task Group 72.1, and reported to "ComMarianas". Liberty was granted various sections of the crew at the recreation area of Gab Gab, Guam's answer to Mog Mog, where enlisted men got two hot beers and officers had a choice of scotch or bourbon. Hundreds of men who had their points were transported back to the US via the Cabot or "Magic Carpet" as it was called. The carrier steamed out of Apra Harbor, Guam on 24 Oct. enroute to Pearl Harbor and moored there on 1 Nov. She was out again on 3 Nov. for San Diego, where she arrived the 9th. All passengers were transferred off and the carrier got underway the 1 5th for Balboa, Canal Zone and moored 23 Nov. A short leave was granted the crew at Balboa, which catered to the pleasures of sea-faring men. There were many bars and a red-light district. Some visited the famous Villa Amour (House of Love) while others went to a section called Coconut Grove. The men reported back on board with a few more tatoos and the Cabot passed the six locks in seven hours enroute to Philadelphia. On 26 Nov., Haiti was sighted, then San Salvador Islands on the 27th. A full power run was made the 29th-31.6 knots (about 36 m.p.h.), which is the fastest speed recorded for a CVL. The carrier anchored in Delaware Bay and moored in the Navy Yard on 3 Dec. Hundreds of crewmen had their "points" for discharge and were sent to separation centers. Here, dozens of ships were placed in mothballs, a naval term for preserving them until needed. The Cabot's preservation was completed in April 1946 and she was placed "In commission, in reserve, Philadelphia Group, 16th Fleet." She was part of the "zipperfleet" for two years and six months, and then she was recalled for active service. The Cabot was unzipped and recommissioned on Navy Day, 27 Oct. 1948 with a formal ceremony. Two of her former captains were guests at the occasion - Rear Admiral Malcolm F. SCHOEFFEL and Rear Admiral Walton W. SMITH, with the new Commanding Officer, Capt. John W. KING. Thus, the Cabot was the first fast carrier to be mothballed and the first unzipped. Like all else concerning the famous ship, the preservation was a success as she was able to continue her career as a member of the world's greatest Navy. Preserving a ship such as the Cabot had taken several steps. Those unfamiliar with such vessels don't realize that most of her vital organs are below water level, so the basic task is to keep damp, salt air out of these labyrinths and out of all but the open topside decks. The goal is to cork the ship airtight, and then circulate comparatively dry air through the ship. Like the circulatory system of the human body, ships such as the Cabot have fire - fighting water mains threading throughout. Water is removed from these mains, outlets and intake vents are cut in, air conditioning plants hooked up, and the ship is allowed to "breathe" dry and safe. This is only the beginning, though. Every piece of machinery must be coated with preservative, each lead in the electrical system decommissioned and tagged with instructions for quick restoration, every exposed deck gun sealed in an moistureproof igloo, and so on. ~ 118 ~ [map]
Map of China and Yellow Sea. Operating Area of he Cabot in September 1945. [picture]
While deployed in the Yellow Sea in October and November 1945, these shots were taken from Cabot's Planes. Above: The Great Wall of China. ~ 119 ~ [picture]
Aerial photos of Shanghai (top) and Peiking (bottom) taken by Cabot's Photo plane in 1945. [picture]
~ 120 ~ (end of chapter 13)

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