August 18, 1995
To Whom it may concern:
Several weeks ago one of the local television stations ran an account of some of the activities in Alaska during the war with Japan. One of the features showed USS Salt Lake City somewhere in the Aleutian Islands, dead in the water as the results of several hits from a Japanese heavy cruiser. here is what happened:
UPS correspondent Jim Bishop was aboard USS Indianapolis and got some photos of the SLC, twenty thousand yards away, dead in the water, MY SPEED ZERO at the signal halyards but still afloat. His commentary stated that for some unknown reason the Japanese cruiser broke off the action and headed west, full speed.
When SLC took several hits from the Japanese cruiser we lost way and things became serious. We had heard that USAF was slated to operate from Amchitka. I figured that if I knew about it, the Japanese did too. George H. Howard, RdM1c fired up our radio transmitter and we broadcast a running conversation with a fictitious USAF base on Amchitka, asking them for air help and thanking them for the promised services of five ďbig boysĒ which we hoped would mean something like B24ís to the Japanese cruiser people. Meanwhile Bailey and Dale charged the enemy cruiser, firing everything from main battery to side arms.
Lieu. Comdr. John R. Lambertís engineers got the boilers fired again. The Japanese apparently didnít want to get involved with any B24ís and headed West, presumably for where they had come.
During all this
John I. Lund, RM1c and
Joseph J. Luczak, RT1c were running a continuous DRT plot of the action. This was later presented to President Roosevelt. Captain Rodgers later learned that this was the longest running record of a sea battle up to that time in the Pacific war.
Respectfully submitted with the hope that the destroyer people get full credit for their splendid charge on the Japanese heavy cruiser.
Thatís the way it was.
John A. McWaid, Lt. USNR, 102009