U.S.S. LST 522 Journal ~ Europe and Pacific Operations ~ by: Donald J. Miller, GM1/c and James Leib, S/1c
Donald J. Miller, GM1/c - Europe - 1944
Our crew started forming-up at Amphibious Training Station, Solomns, MD. We were about 40 or 50, and started out with a couple weeks training on the Chesapeake Bay. We got in to Baltimore a couple times. I was leading PO and had charge of draft to Great Lakes Naval Training Station for AA range 20mm and aircraft ID. We finally got a Bos'n to take over for musters and running the crew. Much easier now. "When the bos'n spoke" all hands paid attention!
About the middle of February our ship was ready for us to pick up. It was not too far down to Seneca, IL to the shipyard. This was something to see. Corn stalks were all over left from last crop before. Not enough room to describe the shipyard, just plain "Yankee know-how".
Our trip down the Mississippi was a great experience, though not at all exciting. The Coast Guard skeleton crew and I assumed the officers were river pilots. Each knew their section of the river and they changed quite often. We were plenty busy with tools and supplies to stow away.
New Orleans is a great town for sightseeing and liberty. Lots of good food. The "Oysters" are something to behold! We were in shipyard at Algers, Louisiana near the ferry that landed at Canal Street. It was just a couple blocks to the French quarter. Good liberty, but working 8-10 hrs a day.
Now, ready to leave on "shake-down" cruise to Panama City, Fl. Picked up some 20 and 40mm, and some 30 and 45 cal to give the guns a good check, and try and get some training in. Guns were in good condition. Back to Algers for a lot of work and getting ready. New crewmembers still coming, but we need more.
Taking on supplies and filled all fuel and water tanks. LCT on deck. Ship loaded.
Down River to take our allowance of 40 and 20 mm and small arms cal 30, 45, and 22 LR.
We're underway for New York City in small convoy to make up larger one. At pier (?92). Spent some time in NY but have no record of what we did. We were at Bayone, NJ and all liberty great.
April 18, 1944
Underway from NYC in convoy of 120 ships. Crossing uneventful. Saw some icebergs. Lot of fog (radar paid for itself) or maybe whales.
Landfall Northern Ireland. In Irish Sea. Welcomed. Buzzed by low flying aircraft.
Anchored 0800 Milford Haven, Wales, United Kingdom.
Underway in convoy from Milford Haven.
Arrived Plymouth, England.
At Plymouth fuel oil, LCT and trucks unloaded. Made liberty.
Underway from Plymouth 0800 in convoy.
Arrived Portsmouth 1430. Underway in convoy 1640.
Through Strait of Dover in Thames Estuary. Arrived South-end-On-Sea (summer resort town).
Pilot aboard. Underway 0830 up river. Arrived Depford. Moored to Old Cattle Market docks.
Minor repairs. In port routine. Liberty.
Underway 1030. Anchored 1920 South-End.
May 22 to June 2
Much air activity. Routine work. Liberty. Drew Shore Patrol (SP).
Underway up river to Tillbury and Tillman Docks. Loaded British Troops plus trucks. All are very excited. We figure this is IT!! This is what we have been training for.
Anchored at South-End.
Underway 1730 from South End in our invasion fleet.
The day everyone has been waiting for has finally arrived. First wave hit beach at 0525. We arrived Coursuelles, France 2330 making it about 18 hr. 5 min. After H hour some AA fire. Our deck covered with small ragged metal shrapnel. Tin hats very much in style.
Anchored off beach
Beached with tide and unloaded "DRY" after tide had gone out.
Underway from Coursuelles
Anchored South End
#1 Trip Complete
Up Thames to Victoria Docks. British troops plus trucks loaded.
June 12, 13, 14
Arrived France. Discharged cargo. Underway Portsmouth. Action 2400. Enemy aircraft dropped flares off starboard and our convoy lit-up like day! Ship ahead of us hit. Lost four men and five missing. Heard cries of men in water as we passed them. Seems we dropped life raft and our escort probably picked them up. Ship made port under own power. Not very pleasant weather. Convoy passed us going in and they took a lot of abuse!
Arrived Portsmouth 0730
#2 Trip Complete
British troops plus trucks loaded. Moored to tanker for fuel.
0130 underway to France and discharged our load form "Tank Deck." Amphibious ducks into bay. Arrived in bay overnight.
Beached Gold Beach and discharged balance of cargo "DRY." Anchored.
Underway 0900 in convoy.
Arrived South End and continued with pilot to Tillbury Docks. Moored to Hard.
#3 Trip Complete
Loaded British troops plus trucks. Liberty.
Underway 0630. Arrived South End. 2030 underway in convoy.
1100 arrived Gold Beach. Anchored.
0900 beached cargo unloaded DRY. 1400 off beach and underway in convoy.
0130 arrived Isle of Wight. Anchored.
#4 Trip Complete.
0830 underway Southampton. Loaded GIs plus trucks. This is first U.S. troops for us.
Anchored in Bay. 0130 underway. Arrived Omaha 1145. 2000 unloaded. Anchored overnight.
1130 underway. Arrived Portland 0135
#5 Trip Complete.
At Hard loaded GIs plus trucks. 2200 underway Omaha Beach.
0800 arrived Omaha. Anchored. Beached 1930 to unload.
2030 unloading complete. Anchored 0800. Underway 1030. Arrived 220 Portsmouth.
#6 Trip Complete.
Loaded British Troops plus trucks.
0130 underway. 1030 arrived France Juno beach. 1400 cargo unloaded. Anchored 2100.
Still at anchor. We watched air raid on Caen this evening, just before British took it. Never saw so many planes. Saw one go down and 5 crew hit their parachutes.
0930 underway in convoy.
1645 arrived Tillbury Docks and moored.
#7 Trip Complete. Liberty
1145 British troops plus trucks loaded. 1330 underway. Anchored South End.
2030 underway France.
Arrived British Gold Beach. Anchored 2215.
Beached 1730 unloaded. Anchored.
0900 underway Tillbury. Anchored 0800 in channel in dense fog!
Underway 0400. Anchored 0800 Fog. Underway 1700.
Anchored 0400 outside nets at South End. Underway 0800 Deptford. Anchored. Moored to dock for 2 hrs. Left and went into West India Docks 2000.
#8 Trip Completed.
1430 British troops plus trucks loaded. Underway 1900. Anchored South End.
Underway 2000 France.
Arrived 2300 Gold Beach.
1000 beached. Unloaded before dinner. 2300 left beach. Anchored.
0900 Underway Tillbury.
Arrived Tillbury Docks 1530.
#9 Trip Completed.
0800 British troops and ambulances loaded. 1400 underway. Anchored 1600 South End.
1800 underway France.
Anchored. Underway 2130. Floating Hard(Dock). Unloaded. Remained moored. Some air action during night.
Underway 0530. Anchored until 1000. Underway.
Arrived 1530 Deptford. Moored. Much damage visible caused by Buzz Bombs, and they keep coming all night long.
#10 Trip Completed.
Left Deptford and went into West India Docks to go into Dry Dock. Hearing lots of Buzz Bombs. One came down about 2 miles away that kept running till it hit the ground. Those are the ones that don't give you a chance to duck. Good visit with Russian Merchant seaman on one of their freighters in dock for some work.
In Dry Dock. Bottom scraped and hull painted. New screw on starboard shaft. Lit. Corbett, our Deck Officer transfers to LST 542. More buzz bombs.
Dry-dock. Import routine. Buzz bombs all around. Like they knew we were sitting here.
Still in dry dock. Don't like sitting here with all the B/B coming in all the time. Little did we know what fate had in store for us?
Out of Dry Dock and into Hard to load British trucks with only 5 drivers to do the job. We felt sorry for those drivers, as they did not have a knack for the job. A bunch of hot-rod sailors jumped in to help and the trucks were loaded in record time.
The Following is "Fate in Action."
If we had not loaded in record time, we wouldn't have been out of action for so long. Just above Tillbury a Buzz bomb struck a Barrage Ballon, started to spin, came down in the River and went "BANG." Close enough to cause considerable damage to our Starboard quarter. We had a small fire that was easily handled. Some lifelines to weld up. Some canvas to replace and a good number of things to take care of. Went into Tillbury Docks and moored at Hard. Dick English, GM3/c and Mike Chieffo, Sl/c were hurt bad enough to require hospital care. Rest of crew shook-up a batch! PhM's were not too busy thank God.
This may sound foolish, but it is true. Our accident had a "flavor" about it. Our cook had just got his ovens full of cake for supper when things started jumping. That cake batter was splattered all over the place (some mess in the mess), but the smell was out of this world. NICE! Our load was in bad shape. All glass broken and no idea what else was damaged.
August 6 to September 2
All the time during this period was spent in Tillbury Docks. Repairs were made to ship and routine work was carried on. We were granted much liberty at this time. Pat Patterson, SFl/c and I were invited by one of the dock engineers to spend the weekend at this home in Rochester. This area of South East England is known as the "bread basket," because of the fine farm land. All we saw were fine fields of hops they had to have to brew their good beers. Our friend and his wife had a very nice, comfortable home. It did seem small compared to most of ones in US, but they do not have the wide-open spaces we enjoy. Their bed was something, but very practical. It was called a "Morrison bed" guess he was Minister of Home Defense or something like that. The frame was very heavy metal and about 3' off the floor. In case of air raid they would get out of the regular bed, get the baby and crawl in just as snug as you could want. We did not use it but one night they had company and four of them had no problems. A very interesting and pleasant weekend.
Right in the area of the Dry Dock was the small district of Grays. We stayed there often rather than go up to London. The small roller skating rink attracted a number from the ship. We came back after a trip to France and a buzz bomb had come down and took about 10' of the roof off. Rain poured in and that end was very slippery. We did a lot of wandering around. One evening we found the foot tunnel under Rover to Greenwich. Walked in very dim lighting and spooked off. Another time late going back to ship discovered we were like in Lime house area and Chinese didn't look very friendly.
Repairs completed and moored along side crane and they loaded two LCVPs (Landing Craft Vehicle Personal), and bunch of spare parts. Underway. South End. Anchored.
0645 preparations to get underway. 0710 secured. Order changed.
0700 underway to Portsmouth with British Commander and his staff.
In route Portsmouth. Anchored South Hampton 1630.
Underway. Arrived Portland 1830.
Anchored Portland. Liberty Waymouth.
0930 Underway. Check compasses. 1330 secured. Anchored overnight.
LCVPs unloaded. Anchored in bay.
Into Hard and loaded GIs and trucks. 18 Army Nurses. Anchored overnight.
0745 underway to Utah. Arrived Utah Beach. Anchored 2330.
0930 beached. Discharged cargo. 1200 came off beach. 1930 underway to Omaha Beach. Arrived Omaha 2130. Beached in a hurry for something. Not normal to beach at night. Loading ammunition to take down coast. Getting it closet to St. Low. Saw Gene Neiler from Olean.
Loading carried on. Walked around beach. Lot of German small arms. This is where I picked so many different head marking 8m/m. Couple mates helped for half hour or so. Also, about his time, Mr. Clark, Ex. Officer asked me if I was interested in Mauser Rifle he had picked up, but did not want to lug it around. Sure was glad to get it. This is the one we remolded with the Winchester 30-06 barrel. Bishop stock blank and Unertel scope. Sure made up nice, and I think I had good luck with checkering. Came off the beach with full load of ammo. Great time for a fire in aft steering room. Not large, no damage but is sure gave us all the jitters.
0900 underway with 500 T ammo. Anchored off Utah Beach. 2100 underway with 3 other LSTs and a PC escort to Mt. Michael En Greve. National Geographic has a very good article you must read.
Arrived Mt. St. Michael and anchored inside mined area. Does anyone recall if we went in on high tide or was it swept for us? People came out in small boats with wooden shoes to trade for anything we had to offer...cigs, gum, candy, food, clothing. Anything we had they were interested in.
Anchored. Had swimming party. Very cold water. Went ashore. Played football, softball and rather long walk to town. MPs run us right out.
0700 Beached to unload cargo. GIs did all the work unloading Dry. Drove trucks into tank deck.
Still on beach. Ball game with 530. 1830 off beach. Anchored.
1215 Underway to Portland.
0730 arrived Portland and moored # 297 buoy.
#11 Trip Complete.
1530 Moored Hard loading GIs and trucks.
0600 underway. 0700 from Portland with 9 other LSTs. This is our first run without escort. 2115 Arrived Omaha. Anchored.
1400 Beached. Unloaded. 2400 came off. Anchored in bay.
Left Omaha Beach for Portland. Channel very rough.
Arrived 0730 Portland. Anchored 0900.
#12 Trip Complete.
Moored 1100 Hard loading GIs and trucks.
0500 Exchanged VP boats. 0645 underway. Arrived 1915. Anchored Utah.
0415 beached. 0500 unloaded. 1125 off beach. Underway 1545 England.
Arrived 0530 Portland. Anchored outside sub nets. 0900 though boom gate. Moored #31 buoy. Starboard Bow Door checked.
#13 Trip Complete.
1100 Capt. Inspection. Mike Chieffo received his Purple Heart. 1530 to Hard to load Hi-Octane gasoline trucks. Tried to come off Hard but had to wait for tide.
0700 underway to France. Arrived 2145 Utah. Beached 2200 and unloaded 2400.
0745 off beach. Underway to England. Arrived 2030 Portland. Moored buoy.
#14 Trip Complete.
Loaded GIs and trucks 1400. 1800 left Hard. Anchored.
0700 underway. Arrived Utah Beach. Anchored 2130.
0400 we discovered we had lost our bow anchor and adrift. Broached starboard side on beach. Very heavy seas. 0930 worked our self-clear, went out and anchored with our stern anchor. 1300 beached and unloaded. Took CBs aboard as passengers for England. Rigged spare bow anchor and chain. 2330 tried to come off and lost stern anchor. Storm now hitting our port side driving us into beach. Broached again. Forward of us, LST 512 broached on causeway and buckled midship. To our stern, LST 528 broached on beach.
Located stern anchor and rigged again. 1300 tried to get off but failed. Amount of water is decreasing with each tide. Several bulldozers moving sand around in hopes of getting flotation. 2400 stood by to receive line from tug and made attempts for retraction.
0300 secured tug detail. Bulldozers at it again. 1300 tug tries, but no luck. Put the CBs ashore. Bulldozer at it again.
0200 tried with help of tug but failed. Moving sand again. 1530 we had 3 tugs and an LCT pulling and we rotated 18 deg. Not clear.
Had 3 tugs and failed.
October 11, 12, 13
Waiting for high tide.
0845 came off beach and anchored.
0630 underway. Arrived Portland. Anchored outside nets. Small boat in for mail.
#15 Trip Complete.
Moved inside and anchored.
0830 underway. Moored buoy.
Underway from Portland.
Arrived Falmough. Anchored outside sub nets.
October 24-November 5
Went inside nets and moored buoy. Painting and routine ships work carried on.
72 hour passes start.
November 9, 10, 11
My 72 hour pass was spent at Penzance, England. This area was setting for Gilbert & Sullivan Opera fame. This is Cornwall and very pretty. With Lands End and the Lizard they greet returning Brits. Like our Statue of Liberty does for us. So sorry I can't remember the two shipmates I went with. Please try and let me know as we had such a fine time. For November this was a very pretty resort town. Gulf Stream takes the freeze out but you need the Peacoat. Generates lots of fog and semi-tropical plants. We found a beautiful "bed/breakfast" for the 3 of us. We had good rations with us from ship for 3 days that was added to the host's larder, and we wound up with fresh eggs, bacon, whole milk, butter. And, at the Pub, plenty of spirits. It was oh so quiet!! Crew thought we were kidding them.
Returned to ship.
Moored as before. Routine work carried on.
Went inside Dry Dock.
Painted hull in 4 hours by Ships Company.
Routine work. Rained all day.
1000 left dry dock. Anchored.
"Swing Ship" Returned. Anchored.
Thanksgiving. Our Capt. Lt. Comm. O.P. Jackson left to join the Staff of Capt. Shaw. Lt. Spencer W.W. Ravel (from Bath, NY) took command of 522. 1414 underway from Falmouth.
0800 arrived Portland Hard. Loaded GIs and trucks. Moored.
0800 underway. Arrived La Harve. Anchored.
Went inside breakwater and unloaded. Much damage from shelling and bombs. Underway England.
0300 arrived Portland. Anchored outside nets. 0900 into harbor. Moored buoy.
#16 Trip Complete.
1600 into Hard. Loaded GIs and equipment. Spent night at Hard.
0800 left Hard. Moored buoy.
0800 underway. Arrived 2030 La Havre. Anchored.
Pilot aboard and we have started up Seine River. Arrived Rouen 1900. Made Liberty.
Unloaded and started back down Seine. Dropped Pilot at La Harve and continued to Portland. Very rough weather in channel. Floating mines reported on our line of advance.
0715 arrived Portland.
#17 Trip Complete.
Went to Hard to load GIs and equipment. Here is the 1st of the rumors. "Ship to be turned over to the British."
Still at Hard. Too rough to operate.
Unloaded troops and equipment.
Left Hard. Moored buoy.
Spare stern anchor removed. Ship farewell party.
Inventory of all spare parts.
0800 underway South Hampton. 1400 anchored in bay. Prepared to get underway and secured. 1700.
0900 underway. 1000 anchored. Had report we were going to decommission.
1100 went to Hard and loaded damaged tanks and trailers. 1545 underway. Anchored in bay near Isle of Wight at 1800. Some firing out to sea.
0630 underway. Barrow-in-Farness. Weather beautiful.
Underway in heavy sea. 0600 sea calmed, weather nice.
Sea a little choppy. We are in the Irish Sea. Headed for the Scotland-England border.
0245 anchored Barrow. 1030 underway for docks at Hard. 1450 in locks. 1520 started unloading. 1640 finished. Liberty granted. Extreme tides require locking.
At Hard. Drew Shore Patrol.
Moved to Pier. Moored. SP. Got some special liberty.
1200 underway. 1245 tied just inside locks. 1400 underway in Irish Sea.
0900 passed Milford Haven.
10000 arrived at Falmouth. Through gate 1030. Anchored.
0930 moored buoy near King Harry's Ferry. Received word we would leave for States soon.
0900 moved into bay. 1000 anchored. Received word we are to go back into operations. Something big in air. (Now we know it was the Bulge) 1500 prepared to get underway. 1515 underway to Portland.
0545 arrived Portland. 0930 through boom gates. Moored to buoy. Standing by for sailing orders.
Christmas 1944. Moored waiting for orders.
Moored. Received orders. Underway Falmouth.
1345 underway. Met convoy 1400. About 1500 3 miles away 2 Liberty Ships were hit by torpedoes or ran into mines. General qtrs for afternoon.
0345 arrived Falmouth. Anchored. 1030 came into Pier and started fueling. Engine overhauled.
December 31, 1944
Moored. Just came off watch to welcome the New Year! All ships sounded their Horns!!!
January 1, 1945
Moored as before. Supplies coming aboard. Ways being put on deck to support weight of L.C.T. We will carry back to U.S.
Shifted Ship. Work carried out on Ways. Liberty.
3-1430 prepared to get underway. 1530 secured. 1700 moored to buoy.
0800 underway to Plymouth. Arrived 2200. Pilot and came through nets in to Bay. 2300 anchored.
1000 underway. 1300 plan to load LCT scuttled. Will return to U.S. without any LCT. 1400 underway Hard to take on water. 1500 moored Hard. Liberty.
1400 underway from Hard. 1500 moored along side LST's 377, 980.
Commodore's inspection of Ship. (This is carried out by Convoy Commodore prior to departure.) Very good. Lt. Comm. OP Jackson and Lt. JG Sutton.
LST 309 moored our port side. Liberty in Plymouth. Movie in town. "Jam Session" and "Mr. Winkle Goes to War".
LSTs 1 and 532 left this morning.
Today our British "L" (pounds) exchanged for US $.
Snowball fight this AM. Over on LST 980 for bull secession.
1500 underway. Anchored out side sub nets. Anchored 1700
January 26, 1945
We are on our way home. 0930 underway. 2 DE's for escort. Convoy joined by 4 British escorts. Sea and Wind at head. General Qtrs PM.
Moved my bunk into starboard compartment. Not as rough a ride. General Qtrs AM. Sea high, wind dying down. Listened to Lucky Strike Hit Parade from Boston, Mass. General Qtrs PM. Tanker broke down in PM. Back on station tonight ahead of us. We are LSTs 1, 16, 72, 73, 309, 377, 378, 522, 532, and 980. 7-YMS (mine sweeps). Dutch Tanker.
General Qtrs AM. Making good time today. Weather fair. Warming up. Sea rolling. No white caps. On emergency steering. General Qtrs PM.
General Qtrs AM. Fair time today. Sea rolling. 1600-2000 steering watch. General Qtrs PM.
General Qtrs AM. 0800-1000 steering watch. 1000-1200 conning lookout. Weather fair. Sea rolling. General Qtrs PM. Steering watch 2000-2200. Conning 2200-2400. Rain and wind fwd. Port. General Qtrs PM. Starboard Engine down 5 min.
General Qtrs AM. Wind on starboard. Sky clear. Nice day. Sea calmed some. General Qtrs PM. Starboard Engine down 5 min.
Rougher than Hell. 0000-4000 watch steering and conn. No General Qtrs AM. Sky overcast. Starboard engine down again 5 min. General Qtrs PM. 1800-2000 steering and conn watch.
General Qtrs AM, PM. Weather fair. Sky overcast. Rough. 0400-0800 steering and conn watch. Listened to radio from England in Chart Room. Too rough for General Qtrs.
0000-04000 steering and conn watch. Sea rougher than Hell. Sky overcast. 1200-1600 steering and conn watch.
0800-1200 steering and conn watch. Sea calm. Clear and sun out. 1800-2000 steering. General Qtrs PM.
0400-0800 steering and conn watch. Sea rough. Rain. Ship rolling mostly. Making fair time. Wind and sea on Port side. 1600-1800 steering and conn watch.
0000-0400 steering and conn watch. Sea still high. 1200-1600 watch. 60 mi. Gale Force winds. 20' to 24' sea.
0800-1200 watch. 40' to 50' waves. 1800-2000 watch. Sea calming. Wind almost null. We wonder if this would be the "eye" of the storm.
0400-08000 steering and conn watch. Sea still high. Wind 45mi. 1600-1800 watch.
0000-0800 watch. Sea calming and wind dying. Made 300RPMs most of day. 1200-1800 watch. Course 265. Wind rising a little. Sea getting choppy. Dutch Tanker-Christfore Bo left at 1800 after refueling the 7 YMSs.
0800-1200 watch. Sea choppy. Wind shifted to Starboard. Bars rising. Sun out this PM. 1800-2000 watch. Time change.
0400-0800 watch. Weather clearing fast. Sea calming. Made good time. 1600-1800 watch.
0400-0800 watch. Sea calm. Wind rising. White caps. Sun out. 1200-1600 and 2000-2400 watch. Weather fair. Making good time.
0800-1200 watch. Weather perfect. Sun out. Airplane came over this AM. Cloudy PM. Making good time. (We think the Old Girl knows she is almost home). Gyro-Compass went out on us. Found some cracks in main deck.
0800-1200 watch. Rough weather. 1600-1800 watch.
0000-04000 watch. Weather fair. 1200-1600 watch. 2000-2400 watch. Sea rough.
0800-1200 watch. Weather clearing. 1800-1200 watch. YMSs left for New York City.
0400-0800 watch. Sea smooth. Making good time. 0855 land fall. Came into channel. Arrived 1207 in Hampton Roads. 1400 went to pier and called home. 30 new men aboard. Our crossing is a trip of the past (T.G.). We sure had some times that made a number of us wonder if it would be the last. I did not look forward to watch in steering and usually had a regular helmsman with good feel, and he would free me to crank. I did not have his gift of feel. Being good we would, it seemed to me, only crank about half as much. Approximately 22 days 5 hrs. crossing.
0400-0800 gang-way watch. Underway 1630 for New Orleans. Fair weather. Nice sailing.
Nice weather. Fired all guns on Port side. All OK.
Underway. Weather beautiful. Getting hot. Coast of Florida flat. Nothing to look at. Into Gulf. Choppy.
Very smooth sailing. Beautiful weather.
Entered South Pass at 0715. Removed all ammunition from magazines to be put ashore at ammunition dump. Up River to New Orleans!
No good records were kept by me, as going home did not seem to require them.
Donald J. Miller, GM1/c - Pacific Operations - 1945
April 1, 1945
I left Olean, NY for Buffalo, NY on the PRR about 1800. My Dad thought I should take the Pullman, but I thought it a little expensive. "You might not get a chance to do it again." he said, so I bought a ticket, and was so glad I did, as it is nice to get up from a good sleep. Underway 2400 from Buffalo for New Orleans.
Walter Irland's log helped mostly with the first part of this record.
1200 left Todd Johnson Ship Yard, New Orleans. Moved up River to Berth 11 USNRB to take on fuel.
0730 left fuel docks. Went down River to NAD and loaded our ammunition all afternoon till late night. Anchored 2300 in River.
Underway to "swing-ship" and proceeded to Mobile (Theodore), Alabama to load our cargo. All imaginable powder, shells, fuses, rockets and a lot of stuff we didn't know about.
Arrived NAD Mobile about 1300.
Moored dock and taking on ammo. (Approximately 1700 tons) Made liberty on 12th and sent telegrams to Mary Ann, and home. No mail from me for a while. (Home did not worry. We were able to get mail off ship.)
1257 underway for Panama Canal.
Underway. Passed Cuba 2330. Could just see lights.
Entered the Caribbean Sea about 0800.
Underway 1530. Sighted Patrol Craft. 1745 entered Canal Zone and moored to pier on Coca Sola Navy Base. Made Liberty. ( Atlantic Side.)
Underway 1215 from pier 10 to pass through the Canal. Entered first lock 1305. Our starboard engine decided to quit while passing through cut. Nearly climbed the bank 1730. They got a tug to carry us the rest of the way through to Balboa. Overhauled engine. Most forward 20m/m mount did not get looked at during overhaul. We borrowed their special spring compressor and did the job that should have been done in shipyard. Good experience. We passed the carrier Franklin going east in the canal. We never saw such a sick ship. We wondered how anyone came off alive. One of our shipmate's brothers was a Chief and he was missing and we never did hear if he survived.
Repairs continued on engine. Made liberty here.
Moved from pier 8 to pier 18.
Moved from Pier 18 to pier 1 along side DE 681. Underway 1645 from Balboa to Pearl Harbor.
Underway. Very nice weather. Working on tans. 0930 saw 4 whales this day. Several sharks sighted.
Underway about 2300. We were able to transfer Windau to passing LST 1128. They had a doctor and were able to operate for appendicitis.
Wonderful news! VE DAY. We all had a can of beer and were very happy. Halfway to Pearl Harbor.
Underway. Sighted LST 379 at 0530. Passed her about 0800 about 10 miles to starboard.
Underway. Radio reports of Japanese sub action between Pearl Harbor and us.
Underway. 1325 cargo ship off starboard beam on horizon.
Underway 0740. Cruiser and DD off starboard approximately 2 miles away. Flattop on horizon starboard. 1330 sighted mountain on Maui. First landfall 40 miles away at 10,000 ft high.
Entered Pearl Harbor 0830. Moored LST 537 at 1000. Somebody came to us and said that our red flag meant we were not supposed to be here! Left at 1830 for other side of Oahu Island.
Entered Kaneohe Bay Navy Air Station and moored at buoy.
Moored to buoy. Made a number of liberties in Honolulu. Trip over mountain through the Pass was very interesting. First time. Fine swimming off ship in harbor. Air Station was very interesting. Lots to look at. Almost made a patrol flight, but we left too soon. Beer on base.
Underway 0845 Pearl Harbor. 1730 entered and moored to Toke 1 at Westwall.
Underway for Okinawa in convoy. 8-LSM, LSTs 522, 654, 1064, 1065. First stop is Eniwetok in Marshall Group.
Underway 1200 starboard engine off. Back in service 1220. Seaplane at 1330.
Underway first islands in Marshall Group sighted.
Underway 0700. Sighted Eniwetok. Anchored off shore. Into atoll at 1015. Anchored. Shore Liberty.
Underway from Eniwetok to Ulithi in Western Caroline's.
Arrived Ulithi. Anchored 1030. We never saw so many ships in our life.
Went on liberty at Mog Mog Island, the enchanted Island of the Pacific. You will have to get someone to describe this place to you.
June 26 to July 26
All this time spent visiting Mog Mog and church services. Routine work and drills.
Moved from berth 460 to berth 155. Anchored again.
July 28 to August 9
We had some good times on our liberty, and some pick-nick lunches during our stay at Ulithli. 0730 Underway Leyte, PI. LST- 309, 522, 1005, 1064, 1065, and 1066. 309 broke down. Left behind.
Underway. Radio reports two subs on our line of advance. Sweating them out for whole run.
Underway. LST 309 on horizon.
0345 entered Gulf of Leyte. 1530 anchored off Leyte in San Pedro Bay.
Received official news that Japan had accepted our surrender terms.
Anchored as before. To this date have made a number of liberties on Samar. Meet "Tubby" Wilson from Wellsville, NY on LST 500. Biggest crap game we ever saw. Had much good luck with the dice and gave the game a good try. Had a couple good rolls, but no way to the money. I made myself promise not to gamble again and have had luck keeping my word to myself.
0700 underway to tie to Manderson Victory (AK 230) about 1645 to unload 5"38 projectiles.
0700 underway 2 miles to Britian Victory to unload 8", 14" and 16" projectiles.
Finished unloading shells and propelling charges for same on Britian V. Back to Manderson V to unload 5"38 propelling shells.
0700 underway to tie-up to Reed Victory to unload. Sea high and wind coming up.
Pretty rough. 1245 underway to anchor as it got too rough alongside Reed V. 1330 anchored.
Sunday shifted. Anchored about a mile. Barge came along side to take remainder of 5"38 powder shells.
0930 underway from San Pedro Bay to unload lumber at Calicoan Island. Arrived 1415 and anchored 1/2 mile from shore. Waiting orders.
1600 underway to beach. Made three passes and gave up. Returned to anchor.
1300 underway to beach. Got stuck on sand bar and took hour to get off. Returned to anchor.
1700 finally beached. Started unloading.
Continued unloading the lumber from Tank Deck.
Sunday. Holiday Routine.
Work of unloading continued.
Prepared to retract at 1045. 1600 beached to take on fresh water and lube oil. Laucian Bay, Samar nears the mouth of Balusao River.
0700 underway for Samar Bay. 0900 arrived and moored. 6 Army staff officers aboard for Manila. Took supplies and fuel aboard. Underway 1800 for Manila.
Underway off Island of Nigros at 1700. Land port and starboard most of day.
Underway. Arrived Manila. Anchored 1230. Shift anchored 1430. This harbor lit-up like day.
Sunday. Liberty. Looked the town over and some of us got a little high.
Spent night ashore because harbor was too rough for small boats. Left city at 0900. Left anchorage to beach and got stuck on breakwater. Finally beached between piers 4-6 in North Harbor.
Beached as before. Started loading in PM. Was ashore on liberty till 2400.
Retracted about 0900 and had to anchor and make repairs to bow doors. Underway 1200. Sea running rather high and lots of rain.
Underway with LSTs 72, 655, 714, 996 and PC for escort. Rough seas. Anchored Lingayn Gulf 1800.
Underway. Sea running very high. Running back and forth killing time. Typhoon warning on our course.
Anchored again at San Fernando, Lingian Gulf at 0800. Took on supplies. Rumors 73 went down.
Underway 0800 for Jinsen, Korea. Sea high but not too bad.
Underway as before with sea running high. To change course at midnight.
Sea high from port bow. Rolling very badly.
Sea seemed to calm in PM. Changed course 0800 with sea coming ahead.
Underway as before.
Underway as before. 1200 changed course. Minefield.
Underway with pretty fair weather for a change. Passing through swept mine fields.
Underway. 1315 sighted mine. Passed starboard side about 50 yds. PC escort set it off with rifle fire. 1340 mine sighted to starboard. Destroyed by PC 1600 LSTs 72 and 655 leave our convoy.
Underway. Fair weather.
Arrived 1530 Jensen, Korea. Anchored 1600. Waiting orders.
This port is like Barrow, England where the tide is so great it is necessary to "pond" the harbor. Underway to unload 1340. Went through locks 1530 into Tidal Basin. Beached. Had load off at 1914.
0733 underway. 0755 in Locks. 0830 underway. Anchored in Chemulpo anchorage. Prepared to launch the L.C.T.
1120 launched L.C.T. 1400 underway. 1400 tidal basin to beach.
Removed "ways" from main deck. Loaded with a few trucks and about 100 barrels. 60 octane gas and oil.
1345 underway from Jinsen to Fusan, Korea in convoy of 6-LST and 1-LCI. 1645 steering went out. Steering by hand (crank).
Underway. Steering normal.
October 27 NAVY DAY
0840 left convoy at Siashuto Island. Proceeding alone.
Arrived 1400 Fusan. Moored to pier and unloaded. Had "beer party" at bow door.
Underway 1040 to Saishu To Island to pick up Japanese P.O.W.
0800 arrived at Saishutown and anchored outside the breakwater. 0820 went inside and moored to pier. Loaded 1400 Japanese POW. Underway 1300 for Sasebo, Japan.
Anchored 1100 Sasebo outer harbor. 1230 entered harbor. Awaiting orders. This is one of Japans largest Naval Stations. Visited Larry Miller MoMM 2/c LST 613.
0800 first load of Japanese left ship via LCT 717, 500 at a trip. 1245 last load away.
0745 underway to tie up to Markab (repair ship). Had screws checked. Made liberty.
1600 underway Sasebo to Hagushi, Okinawa. Pass through un-swept mine fields and waters.
Anchored 1500 off Haguski.
Moored 0745 IXIII took on fuel. 1500 water tanker 93 for fresh water. Anchored 1720.
At anchor as before. Awaiting orders. Weather fair and warm. Had good visit with Tubby Wilson, LST 700. We loaded Engine and Signal Corp. GIs and trucks.
Underway 1104 Haguski, Okinawa to Jensen, Korea in convoy. LST 700, 717 and LSM 148.
1510 sighted "horned mine" 300 yds. To starboard. LSM 148 dropped back and set it off.
THANKSGIVING at sea and you might say just another day. We all are very happy to be here.
We are off the SE Coast of Korea. Anchored 1632. Unable to pass through the numerous islands to reach Jensen in the dark. No light or channel markers.
Underway 0700 from our forced anchorage in dark. Anchored 1100 in Jinsen waiting orders.
0730 underway for tidal basin. Beached 1010 and unloaded troops, trucks, and light tanks (37 m/m). Made liberty. Saw Tubby Wilson.
0730 underway. Anchored 0815. Have 5 day availability.
Went hunting over hill and dale. Had a good look at the country and people. Won a camera.
Thanksgiving dinner. Went to Capital Krijo with Arnett and Conrad. We hitched a ride in jeeps, it sure was cold. Didn't have our pea coats with us. Glad to get back to ship. Had a beer on ship in evening.
Underway Jensen to Taku, China.
Arrived Taku. Anchored 1700 about 14 miles off shore with 700 and 717.
Underway 0730 moored next to 700 at pier. 117 moored to our starboard side. We loaded with Japanese civilians and 6 Marines.
Underway 1100 from Taku anchorage to Sasebo, Japan. About 1000 men, woman, and children and 27 Japanese GIs.
Arrived 2030 outside Sasebo. Anchored for night.
0800 entered harbor and anchored for night.
Unloaded and moored to LST 700. Made liberty with Tubby Wilson. Japanese trying to fasten explosives to ships anchored. Drew small boat patrol tonight. Cold and damp duty. All calm.
1115 anchored with stern-anchor and loaded Korean civilians. Underway 1500 to Gunsan, Korea.
1400 Walt Glod hurt with .22 Woodsman. 1600 floating mine dead ahead. Lay off and LST 717 exploded it with 20 and 40 m/m gunfire. 1845 sent small boat to 717 for PhM 1/c. 1905 underway again. 2015 convoy LCIs sent Doctor over to help. He could not do much.
0430 passed convoy of APAs. Got a doctor at 0930 and we transferred him for treatment and guess headed for States. (I saw Walt deer hunting some time after we all had been home couple years.) Underway flank for Gunsan. Anchored 2000 in channel entrance with 700 and 717.
Underway 1335 to enter Kunsan to unload but turned back because of wind and snow. Visibility bad and heavy seas. Anchored 1430. Underway 1635 to anchor behind a group of small islands. Anchored 1950 with 700 and 717. Very bad storm! 700 lost her anchor and spent most of time underway.
Underway 1305 for Kunsan. Storm had blown her self out. Left us with high seas and cold wind. Moored 1500 pier in Kunsan Channel to unload Koreans. Made liberty here.
Underway 1530 to Tsingtao, China.
Arrived 1900 about 20 miles outside and circled till daylight.
Anchored 0830 in harbor.
Christmas ashore in Tsingtao, China. Huge church here. Nice service. Mail at last, it has been pilling up for some time now, as they can't catch up with us. We on this end of mail know you folks are OK. And our mail is leaving to your stationary address so they don't have to chase you down. We are all having a good time here sightseeing. Interesting.
Third New Year in the Navy. Had a good party on board last night. Most of us saw it.
Back again to you and no news. Counting points. Not me. I have enough. Waiting out ship liberty is good here and conditions are very good. We all want to get home! Not too interested in keeping log and right at this time I wish I had.
No more from ship.
A good number of us were aboard APD. 100 to RR at Long Beach, Calif. Made good stop at Pearl Harbor. Things are cleaned up very well. Never thought I would come back and Mary Ann and I would stay at Royal Hawaiian Hotel. Liberty not too good at Long Beach, Calif. (All Dives) till we were able to visit the Elks Club. We were turned away the first time we were there, and I remembered the Elks card my Dad got for me as son (serviceman) of an Elk. They sure were glad to have us visit about 5 or 6 evenings, with lunch and any kind of drink you might want. Good number of us visited them.
Took some time to get organized for troop train. Also bag inspection. I needed a new pea coat, which was handy as they make a good work jacket. We pulled Pullman Car for cross country trip to Lido Beach U.S.N. Separation Center. Glad now I listened to my Dad as I knew what to look for. Didn't take them long to make us "Civies!"
Came home from NYC on the Erie RR.
James Leib, S/1c - Last Few Months of Active Service for LST 522 - 1946
March 3, 1946
0859 hours underway to Wangtao, China with 805 Chinese soldiers and 60 officers.
0710 hours underway to Shanghai, China.
1230 hours arrived Shanghais, China.
1415 hours 20 new seamen reported on board for duty. All S/2c.
1447 hours underway for Haiphong, French Indo China.
0620 hours arrived Tonki Gulf, French Indo China. 1250 hours moored to Haiphong docks. LST was the 2nd US ship to enter Haiphong since 1936.
Underway to join convoy enroute to Hulutao, Manchuria.
0927 hours moored in Hulutao harbor. 0930 hours commenced unloading Chinese troops and supplies. 1632 hours completed unloading. All lines cast off and underway to Hong Kong, China.
1034 hours arrived Hong Kong harbor.
0845 hours Carl Henry, RM/1c and Bob Ehrhardt QM/1c transferred to AO93 to States for discharge.
1423 hours finished loading Chinese troops, ammo and supplies including 848 troops.
0700 hours Lt. JG William T Howard was relieved of command, and Lt. JG. Thomas Costello in now Commanding Officer. 0700 hours underway enroute to Hulutao, Manchuria.
0159 hours arrived in Hulutao, Manhuria harbor. 1315 hours underway to join convoy with LST 618 enroute to Shanghai, China.
0833 hours arrived in Woosung anchorage, Shanghai, China.
1310 hours Captains orders. All regular Navy men are to be transferred. Then LST 522 will leave for Subic Bay, Philippine Islands to be decommissioned and LST 522 will be turned over to the Philippine Commonwealth.
1244 hours underway to join convoy with LST 49, 627, and 924 enroute to Subic Bay, Philippines.
0755 hours arrived in birth 122, Subic Bay, Philippines.
Working on IFF Equipment in preparation for decommissioning.
2230 hours Capt. Harry Deakyne came aboard. He went back to states, got discharged, and now is back here working for the U.S. Government selling LST's.
1505 hours USS LST 522 was put out of commission with a decommissioning ceremony by the Captain, Lt. JG Thomas Costello, and the remaining crew. Elroy Benker won the commissioning pennant.
LST 522 left Mobile, Ala. on April 14, 1945, and was decommissioned June 6, 1946. LST-522 traveled from Mobile, Ala. till its final trip to Subic Bay for a total of 27,412 miles.