Events from the
Official DECK LOG RECORDS of the USS SALT LAKE CITY CA25

December, 1943
List of Information Transcribed from Copies of Originals

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Dec. 1st, 1943

Steaming in condition of readiness II (modified) in company with CruDiv5 with Rear Admiral Small in ComCruDiv 5 in CHESTER; in column, natural order, standard distance 1000 yards, at fleet speed 12 knots, with standard speed being 15 knots, on fleet course. CruDiv 5 (CHESTER (guide) SALT LAKE CITY and PENSACOLA) operating as part of Task Force 53, with CTF 53 Rear Admiral HILL as OTC and SOPA in MARYLAND, engaged in occupation of APAMAMA ISLAND and patrolling northwest of the island within TBS range of MARYLAND (20 to 25 mile distance). Visibility temporarily decreased to 2000 yards because of heavy rain squall. Unidentified "SG" radar contact, distance 15 miles. Contact closing rapidly on collision course, distance 10,000 yards. Contact bearing, distance 8,000 yards. This force was challenged and promptly replied to challenge by the surface ship which proved to be friendly tug boat. The tugboat showed no IFF at any time and was engaged in patrolling area.

Dec. 2nd, 1943 - Steaming in condition of readiness II - Nothing of Interest

Dec. 3rd, 1943

USS CHESTER reported "SK" radar contact, unidentified planes, distance 50 miles, closing. Contact verified by this ship. Observed many AA bursts in sky in direction of contact. Planes proved to be enemy. Sounded G.Q. Radar contact on 4 or more groups of planes bearing between 40 and 55 miles, apparently in vicinity of TARAWA. Contacts, "SK" radar continued, frequently fading in and out. General direction of enemy planes was toward TARAWA which was under attack. Heavy AA fire observed. Flare observed - 30 miles. Commenced Z-Z, plan #15. All enemy planes faded from screen. AA fire ceased, TARAWA apparently no longer under attacks. Planes withdrew to north, none having closed less than 40 miles from this force. Secured from G. Q., set condition of readiness II. Ceased Z-Z, resumed b/c.

ocean wave

Dec. 4th, 1943

Catapluted plane to port for a/s patrol; ball-red-02 Deceased Pilot Lt. M. L. Dana; passenger, Bryan, D. H., ARM2c. Commenced maneuvering independently on patrol covering the northwest approach to APAMAMA. Secured from General Quarters; set condition of readiness III. Recovered planes to port

Launched aircraft to starboard for a/s patrol. Deceased Woolling, R. F., Pilot, Lt.(jg); passenger, Fife, J. D., AMM3c.

Recovered aircraft to port. Resumed patrol in assigned area; Steering casualty; Lost steering control on flying bridge; made emergency shift to steering aft, shifted from port to starboard steering unity; casualty appears to have been caused by failure in the selsyn panel. On station in form with CHESTER (guide), PENSACOLA astern and MACKINAC ahead as a/s screen. Ceased Z-Z, resumed b/c.

Dec. 5th, 1943

0215 - Visibility decreased to about 3,000 yards due to heavy rain squall. 0330-Visibility increased, unlimited.

Patrolling on various courses covering the transport group at APAMAMA, this ship in northwest area, set condition of readiness III. Starboard gyro repeater on bridge failed; shifted repeater to forward gyro. Launched plane to port for a/s/ patrol; pilot, Lt. M. L. Dana; passenger, Dennis, L. F., Ensign.

Shifted main engines #1, 2, and 4 to cruising combination. Steering control taken from bridge momentarily to adjust selsyn on port steering unit. Steering control returned to bridge.

ocean wave


Dec. 6th, 1943

Launched aircraft to port for a/s patrol, Lt. (jg) R. F. Woolling; passenger, ball-red-02 Deceased Porterfield, E. C., ARM2c. Maneuvering on various courses to take up patrol station within sound screen northwest of APAMAMA Island.

Launched plane to starboard for a/s patrol; pilot, Lt. M. L. Dana; passenger, Ellis, D. L., RM2c Resumed patrol of northwest passage of APAMAMA.

Dec. 7th, 1943

Patrolling northwest sector off APAMAMA. Launched aircraft to starboard for a/s patrol. Pilot: Deceased Toner, Edward P., Jr., Ensign; passenger, D. H. Bryan, ARM2c. launched aircraft to port for a/s patrol, pilot; Lt. (jg) R. F. Woolling; passenger, D. L. Ellis, RM2c.

Dec. 8th, 1943

Upon order of ComCruDiv 5, set condition of readiness I to repel air attack. "SK" radar contact on unidentified aircraft, distant 23 miles. Aircraft identified visually and by IFF as friendly. Maneuvering on various courses and speeds to take station from CHESTER, distant 1000 yards.

No further remarks of interest.

Dec. 9th, 1943

PENSACOLA reported small definite radar contact, distance 31 miles; faded immediately. Contact no verified by any other ship, but believed to be a cloud. This vessel assumed radar guard. Sighted friendly group of ships, distance 20,000 yards.

Sighted VAITUPU Island, distance 20 miles. Sighted 2 friendly tankers and 1 destroyer, distance 20,000 yards.

Sighted FUNAFUTI Island, distance 15 miles. Stationed all the special sea and anchor details, making all preparations for entering FUNAFUTI HARBOR. Set Condition of readiness I in AA batteries for entering port. Commenced maneuvering standing into FUNAFUTI HARBOR, Captain at the conn, Exec. Officer and Navigator on the bridge. Enroute to Berth B-9. Heavy rain squall approaching from northwest. Visibility reduced to 50 yards by heavy rain. Wind velocity 40 knots from northwest. All engines stopped. Anchored in 24 fathoms of water.

Dec. 10th, 1943

The day was spent re-fueling with aviation gasoline, diesel oil and making misc. repairs to airplane crane.

Dec. 11th, 1943

Anchored in Berth Baker 9, FUNAFUTI HARBOR, FUNAFUTI ISLAND, ELLICE GROUP, in 24 fathoms of water, rock, coral and sand bottom with 90 fathoms of chain out to the starboard anchor. Ship set on 15 minutes notice to get underway on main engines #3 and #4. Rain squalls with strong gusts of wind. Heavy rain and lightening storm with sinds up to 30 knots. Ready in all respects to answer bells. Wind increased in intensity 35 to 43 knots gusty. Very heavy rainfall. Heavy seas running.

Wind decreased in intensity, 15-22 knots. Seas calm. Secured main engines with 1/2 hour notcie, and all special sea details.

The following named men were transferred this date to the USS BRIDGE for futher transfer to duty in new construction by ComSerPac with bags, hammocks, records and accounts.

Burdick, Daniel Charles, CM2c
Camper, Norman Raman, Ck1c
Clatterbuck, Paul Herbert, GM3c ball-red-02 Deceased
Cordelles, Andrew Pantagious, GM2c
Dugan, Harold Willams, FCR1c Deceased
Fasse, Commelious, SC1c
Flor, Donald Harry, MM1c
Golson, Harry Richard, F1c
Kelley, Samuel Palmer, Bkr1c
Lewis, Haywood Daniel, St2c
Lindsey, Durward Warn, M1c Deceased
Loe, Donald Gray, QM3c ball-red-02 Deceased
McCormick, Joseph Francis, RM2c
McElwain, Robert John, GM2c ball-red-02 Deceased
Michael, Cyrus Thomas, F1c ball-red-02 Deceased
Miller, Fred Hugh, Jr., F1c Deceased
Pace, William Clarence, BM2c
Pattoon, Charles Willis, GM3c
Starnes, Odell Dent, MM1c
Strickland, Donald Sylvester, MM2c
Williams, Norman Wesly, S1c


Transferred Newman, F. E., Jr., GM1c to the USS BRIDGE, fft via Fagtrans Navy #128 to the nearest RecShip of station of U.S., to Washington, D.C., for a course of instruction in Gunner's Mate School.

Transferred Smythe, John Henry, BM1c to USS BRIDGE for fft to Washington, D.C.

Transferred the following named men to the USS BRIDGE, fft to nearest RecShip or Station on west coast of the US for assignment to duty in new construction.

Boyd, William Thomas, CM2c
Foreman, George Washington, GM2c
Henson, Mont Jerry, CMM(AA) Deceased
Hudson, John V.[B.], FCR2c
Huth, Thomas Joseph, GM2c Deceased
McLafferty, James Charles, F1c ball-red-02
Natale, Rocco "Roxie", Bkr3c ball-red-02 Deceased
Purvis, William Robinson, MM2c

ball-red-02 Deceased Potter, Elmer E., MM2c was transferred to the USS BRIDGE fft to San Francisco, CA. for a course in instruction in Diesel classification class.

Stollar, Wilbur Earl, FCR3c and Deceased Wilkinson, William Kenneth, FC3c were transferred to the USS BRIDGE fft to Mare Island, CA. for instruction in Class B, Short Course Optical School.

ocean wave

Dec. 12th, 1943

Anchored in Berth Baker 9, FUNAFUTI HARBOR, FUNAFUTI ISLAND, ELLICE GROUP, in 24 fathoms of water, rock, coral and sand bottom with 90 fathoms of chain out to the starboard anchor.

Dec. 13th, 1943

Anchored in Berth Baker 9, FUNAFUTI HARBOR, FUNAFUTI ISLAND, ELLICE GROUP, in 24 fathoms of water, rock, coral and sand bottom with 90 fathoms of chain out to the starboard anchor.

0515-Heavy rain squall with sharp gusts of wind up to 30 knots, visibility decreased to 200 yards. 0615-Weather cleared, wind dropped to 17 knots. Made preparations to receive ammunition ship, USS SANGUAY alongside to port. Commander W. S. Bitler, Exec., was relieved by Comdr. James T. Brewer, Gunnery Officer. Received USS SANGUAY alongside to port. SANGUAY moored alongside to port with bow spring wire, stern line. On the approach, the SANGUAY passed under the stern and swung wide up the port side, wind was from dead ahead, 18 - 20 knots, ship was swinging from 260 degrees to 310 degrees. As she closed our stern swung in so that she met at a 20 degree angle, her starboard bow meeting the ship at frame 60. As she moved aft, her bow flare overlapped the catapult causing heavy damage to plane and lesser damage to catapult, no hull damage. Report of plane damage: Left wing float struts sheered, left stabilizer and elevator control damaged, left wing float punctured and torn away from struts, fuselage sprung, left wing hold back rod broken, as left wing folded for SANGUAY'S approach and received force of ship on impact, it is assumed that there is structural wing damage. Other damage: Bomb rack on catapult bent, crane control rods bent but still operative, port sea sled recovery davit fractured, and a possibility that port catapult is sprung.

Commenced taking on ammunition. Object reported to be mine from this vessel, not distance given. Alerted mine lookouts, posted Marine with rifle on forecastle, energized degassing gear. Object identified as a can. Received pontoon lighter alongside to starboard to take damaged plane. Transferred damage plane to USS BRIDGE via barge fft to SOSUI NAS #128.

ball-red-02 Deceased Commander Worthington S. Bitler was detached from this vessel and ordered to report to 12th Naval District for further assignment by BuPers. Transferred Brooks, L. J., OC3c to USS BRIDGE fft to Navy 128.

Finished taking aboard ammunition having received 550 8"/55 cal. armor peircing projectiles; 150 8"/55 H.C. projectiles; 700 8"/55 cal. service powder charges; 250 5"/25 cal. AA common shells; 200 5"/25 cal. special shells;5680 rounds of 40 mm AA service; 900 rounds of 20 mm H.E.I. service; 720 rounds 20 mm H.E. T. service, and 960 MK 15-1 service primers.

Transferred to USS SANGUAY: 9 1/2 8"/55 cal. reduced powder charges; 192 mk 29-1 nose fuzes; 1400 8"/55 cal. empty powder tanks; 379 5"/25 cal. empty tanks with brass; 26 enpty catapult charge tanks; 70 40mm empty ammunition containers with brass. The USS SANGUAY cast off.

Crumm, H. H., S2c struck his head on the port catapult while skylarking and received a deep scalp wound. He was treated in sick bay and returned to duty.

Doyle, J. F., Ensign and ball-red-02 Deceased West, Robert K., 2nd. Lt., USMCR reported on board for duty.

ocean wave

Dec. 14th, 1943

Anchored in Berth Baker 9, FUNAFUTI HARBOR, FUNAFUTI ISLAND, ELLICE GROUP, in 22 fathoms of water, rock, coral and sand bottom with 90 fathoms of chain out to the starboard anchor.

Sighted mine: Distance 4,000 yards. Set material condition Zed. Number 1 motor whale boat with
ball-red-02 Deceased Halvorson, G. G., Lt. and ball-red-02 Deceased Och, J. T. S., Ensign proceeded to location of floating mine. Returned to ship after boat from USS SANGUAY disarmed mine.

Dec. 15th, 1943

Anchored in Berth Baker 9, FUNAFUTI HARBOR, FUNAFUTI ISLAND, ELLICE GROUP, in 22 fathoms of water, rock, coral and sand bottom with 90 fathoms of chain out to the starboard anchor.

Dec. 16th, 1943

Anchored in Berth Baker 9, FUNAFUTI HARBOR, FUNAFUTI ISLAND, ELLICE GROUP, in 22 fathoms of water, rock, coral and sand bottom with 90 fathoms of chain out to the starboard anchor.

Transferred Vanberkum, Gerrita A., SK3c and Valentine, James H., S2c to the USS RELIEF for treatment. Valentine returned on Dec. 24th, 1943.

Dec. 17th, 1943

Anchored in Berth Baker 9 as before

In accordance with a dispatch received from the Commandant, US Marine Corps, ball-red-02 Deceased Taplett, Robert D., Major, USMC was detached from duty on board this vessel, to proceed to Camp Elliot, San Diego, CA., and report to the Commanding General, Fleet marine Force.

Dec. 18th, 1943

Anchored in Berth Baker 9 as before

Radio Tower #2, FUNAFUTI ISLAND, reported floating mine, location indefinite. Dispatched LCV #T-17 with Ensign J. T. S. Och, in charge to attempt to locate and remove mine to safe place. Posted sentries and lookouts in accordance with ship's Mine Disposal Bill. Recalled LCV #T-17, attempts to locate mine or obtain further information regarding its location being unsuccessful.

Dec. 19th, 1943- FUNAFUTI ISLAND BERTH BAKER 9 -NO REMARKS

Dec. 20th, 1943

Anchored in Berth Baker 9 as before

0737-Underway in accordance with ComTaskGroup 57.8 in company with Task Group 57.8 consisting of CHESTER, PENSACOLA, HARRISON (573), JOHN RODGERS (574), McKEE (575), MURRAY (576). Destroyer Division 49: (DesRon 25 in John Rodgers). SOPA and OTC ComTaskGroup 57.8 in CHESTER. Captain, Exec. Officer, Navigator on the bridge, Captain at the conn, s/s 15 knots, engines in maneuvering combination, standing out of FUNAFUTI HARBOR, FUNAFUTI ATOLL, ELLICE ISLAND GROUP. Set condition I in AA batteries and condition "Zed" below 2nd deck incident to leaving port.

0810- Maneuvering on various courses in conformity with channel. Observed heavy explosion in water; distance 1500 yards in area of reef. Believed to be mine exploded accidentally or possibly torpedo striking reef. Departed from FUNAFUTI ATOLL. Set condition of readiness III and material condition "Zed".

"SK" radar contact on unidentified aircraft, distance 45 miles. Aircraft identified as briendly by PENSACOLA. Commenced with firing exercises.

Lee, Oliver, CK2c, while at General Quarters, cut his right hand with a pocket knife, a 1" laceration on back of right hand. Man was treated in Sick Bay and returned to duty. Negligence not apparent.

Dec. 21st-23rd, 1943-No FURTHER REMARKS

Anchored in Berth Baker 9, FUNAFUTI HARBOR, FUNAFUTI ISLAND, ELLICE GROUP, in 22 fathoms of water, rock, coral and sand bottom with 90 fathoms of chain out to the starboard anchor.

Dec. 24th-25th, 1943 - Still at anchor - NO IMPORTANT EVENTS

Dec. 26th, 1943

Transferred the following named men to report to the transport commander of the SS GEORGE W. JULIAN for transportation and further transfer to the nearest Receiving ship or station in the US for assignment to duty in New Construction, with bags, hammocks, records and accounts. Hess, W. J., CQM in charge.

Allen, David Bruce, SC3c
Ball, Walter Frank, F2c Deceased
Batchelor, Thomas Fulton, GM3c ball-red-02 Deceased
Bielanin, Carl, GM1c
Bohlin, Howard Harold, MM2c ball-red-02 Deceased
Braswell, Homer Ray, SF1c
Briery, Azle Elmo, GM3c Deceased
Bush, Harry Paul, Bkr2c
Campbell, Malcolm Dale, EM2c
Carveth, Elbert Clark, GM3c
Combs, Kenneth Burchell, QM2c Deceased
Cooper, Sidney Dee, GM3c Deceased
Corder, Curtis Sidney, GM3c ball-red-02 Deceased
Crane, Gordon Freeman, F1c ball-red-02 Deceased
Dahlsten, George Henry, BM2c Deceased
Davis, Chester Charles, GM3c
Donnie, Joseph Dudley, F1c
Drummond, Henry, GM3c
Ernst, William Joseph, GM3c Deceased
Fawcett, Harold, RM3c
Forbes, Grady Stevens, MM1c
Foster, Douglas Paul, GM2c
Franklin, Leo, F2c
Frenier, Andrew Jenks, Cox
Gaffaney, Durwood Andrew, GM2c[or CM2c]
Glidewell, Roy Allen, SC1c ball-red-02 Deceased
Goldfinch, William Risdon, SC1c
Hagerty, Paul Francis, F1c(B)
Heimbegner, George Phillip, GM3c ball-red-02 Deceased
Hess, William Jerome, CQM(AA)
Hobson, Raymond Lester, Cox ball-red-02 Deceased
Hokes, Ben Franklin, Ck2c
Holm, Carl Martin, EM2c
Hubbard, Jessie Marvin, SF1c
Jolley, Royal[Hoyd] Broadus, SC1c
Jones, Harry Wilson, F1c
Kearse, Forest, Ck3c
Kopytko, Leonard Joseph, SC1c
Krekel, Walter Ralph, Cox
Laining, Reinhol, RM3c
Laloli, Leon, CMM(AA)
Longfellow, Donald Calvin, F2c
Macbeth, George Elden, GM3c
Meunier, Albert Leo, BM1c
Michaelson, Oris Leslie, GM3c
Mickelson, James LaVerne, GM3c ball-red-02 Deceased
Miller, Stanley Morgan, GM3c
Mosebrook, Roy Allen, CBM(AA) ball-red-02 Deceased
Orcutt, Ernest Eugene, BM2c ball-red-02 Deceased
Pek, Vernon Clifford, S1c Deceased
Petalver, Fernando, St3c
Schneider, Carl Philipe, Bkr1c
Slone, Raymond Leroy, GM3c Deceased
Smyser, George Washington, GM3c ball-red-02 Deceased
Speer, Eugene Earl, Cox
Spence, Walter Frank, SC1c
Stedenfeld, Otto Rudolph, SK1c
Steffens, Charles George, F1c Deceased
Succarotte, Phillip William, EM3c
Susalla, Joseph Charles, Jr., F1c
Thompson, Walter Henry, F1c
Trexler, William Charles, RM3c
Weiner, Fred Ralph, BM2c
Wekkin, Eugene Duane, M2c Deceased
Wiget, Charles Donald, GM3c
Windham, Ellis Oren, RM3c
Woodbury, Orval Noble, Y1c
Woods, Audre Burges, F1c

ocean wave

Dec. 27th, 1943 - Anchored as before.

Vashus [Vashue], L., CM3c received lacerated ring and little finger on left hand while running wet board through a joiner machine in the Carpenter Ship. Board slipped and man's hand was drawn across the sharp edge of joiner. After treatment in Sick Bay the man returned to duty.

Dec. 28th, 1943 - Anchored as Before. Wind increased to 30 knots with heavy rains.

Haslam, M. L., S2c was transferred to the USS RELIEF for mental observation.

Dec. 29th, 1943 - Anchored as before.

The following named divers went overside to clear fouled screw and rudder of LCV-T-9, and LCV-T-17:
Wester, William E., SF1c,  Cobler, Robert C., S1c, and Masci, R. J., S1c

Dec. 30th, 1943 - Anchored as before

Wilson, J. H., F3c received contusion on left side of head and possible concussion as a result of a five inch projectile falling on him while he was walking under the boat deck.

The Commanding Officer held meritorious mast this date, citing the following named men for meritorious performance of duty in connection with the repiars to the's Hydraulic Steering Gear and to the reduction gears of the Anchor Windlass:
Allgood, B. C., MM1c
Cichelli, A. J., MM2c
Conn, R. E., F1c
DeVost, L. R., MM2c ball-red-02 Deceased
Glinzak, D., F3c ball-red-02
Hettesheimer, F. S., F3c
Masse, L. P., S1c
Stoffer, J. J., F3c
Swenson, T. R., CMM ball-red-02 Deceased
Van Etten, Omar C., S1c
Van Huss, Paul R., S1c ball-red-02 Deceased



The commendations were entered in the respective service records of the men cited.

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