Looking for Help

Looking for Help

Joined: December 13th, 2003, 12:33 am

December 13th, 2003, 12:33 am #1

I am in search of an LST that I lost an uncle on in 1943. I know when and where but I don't know which vessel and that is what I'm trying to find. Does anyone know of any available resources that I could use to get this information from?
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Joined: August 24th, 2003, 1:23 pm

December 13th, 2003, 1:23 am #2

You will have to search backwards...look up the time and place (1943 battle/Island/Beaches, etc) and you may locate the LST that was attacked, of write the US NAVY and request those ships damaged in the battle of? Or write the U.S Armed Force Personnel Records Center, St. Louis and obtain your Uncle's military records (the record should tell you the ship).

We have some of the most knowledgeable LST historians tracking/using this website..any facts on your Uncle would provide these gators an opportunity to go digging and could be of help to you...but try looking up the event and work backwards for the ships damaged.
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Joined: December 13th, 2003, 12:33 am

December 13th, 2003, 1:41 am #3

The olny information I have is what I recieved from my father. I know my uncle was a Marine and was killed when the LST he was on was bombed on 24 Sept 1943 at Vella Lavella. I don't know if this will be enough information but I will begin with the agencies you suggested. Thank you for your help.
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Joined: August 24th, 2003, 1:23 pm

December 13th, 2003, 3:10 am #4

Dear Joe:

I have not located any damaged LST on 24th of Sept 43 but the night is young. Here is what I have found that is close...caution this may not be his ship...we will locate you Uncle....

The Battle of Vella Lavella, Solomon Islands was the necessary prelude to attacking Bougainville. The H-hour invasion of the Battle of Vella Lavella started in mid August 43. During the invasion Japanese bombers attacked the landing fleet. Per "United States Coast Guard-Manned Naval vessels by Robert Erwin Johnson" he reports:

“Vella Lavella was the next link in the chain to be considered. Just forty miles from New Georgia it lay on the other side of the fortified and well-garrisoned island of Kolombangara. The Americans decided to bypass Kolombangara and make a landing on Vella Lavella. On August 15th, the fully-manned LST-167 participated in the landings.

On 24 September, LST-167 departed Guadalcanal and beached at Ruravai, Vella Lavella. Three Japanese dive-bombers appeared as the last equipment for the 77th Marine Combat Battalion rolled off the ship. Twenty anti-aircraft guns on the LST blazed away at the three planes as they rolled into their attack. The planes all released their bombs as they pulled out of their dive as one burst into flame and another began trailing smoke.
The Japanese aircraft, however, had been on the mark with their bombs. One struck and penetrated the main deck, exploded and blew out through the side of the ship. A second also went through the main deck and exploded on the tank deck setting fire to 1000 gallons of gasoline, and 250 drums of oil that had yet to be unloaded. The fire was intense. Casualties were removed and when live ammunition began exploding the fire fighting crews also left the ship. Two officers and eight men died in the attack. An additional five men were listed as missing. This constituted the largest loss of life on a Coast Guard landing ship during the war.”

Please feel free to share any facts, heresay..things your father may have stated...this can help. We can go private--my email is bkaupas@msn.com...however sharing this information with others can help heal and pay honor to your Uncle...this way we can all learn of his life and his service to our country.
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Joined: August 24th, 2003, 1:23 pm

December 13th, 2003, 4:23 pm #5

Correction...I did find a damaged LST (LST-167) on 24 Sept 43 at Vella Lavella. Have located another source that confirms the report of a damaged LST by a Japanese plane on 24 Sept 43 with U.S. KIA..including Marines...23 wounded that day. Report states another 5 died from wounds a few days after the attack. This was a book titled, "The Coast Guard and the Pacific War by Robert M. Browning Jr."

The book source is from USCG records...would like to confirm from USMC or other sources...I hope this can be of some help. Ask the Armed Forces Records Center, t. Louis for your Uncle's USMC Unit---see if it was the 77th Marine Combat Batt.?
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Joined: August 24th, 2003, 1:23 pm

December 13th, 2003, 5:42 pm #6

The world wide US Navy ship damage reports between Sept 22 to 26, 1943 is as follows (USN Official Records):

09/22 Wed. United States naval force of destroyers and landing craft (Rear Adm. D. E. Barbey) puts Australian troops ashore at Finschhafen, New Guinea.

09/25 Sat. United States naval vessel sunk: Minesweeper SKILL (AM-115), by submarine torpedo, Italian area, 40 d. 20' N., 14 d. 36' E.

09/25 Sat. United States naval vessel damaged: LST 167, by dive bomber, Vella Lavella, Solomon Islands, 07 d. 45' S., 156 d. 30' E.

09/26 Sun. United States Naval Operating Facility, Natal, Brazil, is established. Japanese naval vessel sunk: Motor torpedo boat KASASAGI, by submarine BLUEFISH (SS-222), Netherlands East Indies area, 05 d. 50' S., 121 d. 57' E.

Worth noting..24 Sept 43 Vella Lavella Island, the official landing of VMF-214...Major Greg "Pappy" Boyington and his famous USMC "Black Sheep" Squadron.
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Joined: September 24th, 2003, 4:45 am

December 14th, 2003, 6:07 am #7

It occurs to me that someone in Washington recording the days activities of a location west of the international dateline could list different days if not careful. Isn't Zulu time supposed to account for that?
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Joined: August 24th, 2003, 1:23 pm

December 14th, 2003, 9:18 pm #8

Corpman...you may be right. Vella Lavella is 18 hours ahead of Washington, D.C. time...It depends which time/place it was officially recorded. However, there is a 6 hour period in which both places are on the same day/date. Both locations would be the 24th Sept 43...Vella Lavella between the hours of 1800 to 2400 and Washington D.C. between 0001 to 0600.

Be interesting to know more about LST-167... I think I have located a family member of a sailor onboard the 167 at Vella Lavella during the attack...have emailed the individual...will let you the results.

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Joined: July 8th, 2003, 4:49 am

December 15th, 2003, 1:29 am #9

<font face="comic sans ms" color=navy size=4>I have the logs from my Dad's ship, LST 1110. ALL notations were made in LOCAL time. I don't know the rationale. But the logbooks always noted changing the clocks whenever a new time zone was entered.

I don't know if this was done on the captain's preference, or if it was standard practice. Perhaps SeaBat can help us with that one.
</font>



http://www.LSTMemorial.org

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Joined: August 24th, 2003, 1:23 pm

December 15th, 2003, 1:55 am #10

I remember SeaBat's Logs were also in local time. When I was in...our logs were local time, but messages were always in ZULU....There is an explaination (i) a mistake in logging the date...(ii) or some different between logging it in from overseas and Washington DC...This can be cleared up by knowing the time of the attack...following up on this to determine the time...
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