Support of minesweeping operations and amphibious assault on DINICAT AND LEYTE islands, 12 October to 16 November, 1944.

leyte

Continuing the Capt. Seay summaries:

During this operation this vessel was employed for various purposes. The first few days of the operation were interrupted by very heavy seas. On 20 October, 1944 the ship rendered scheduled neutralizing fire in the vicinity of CANON HILL. Concentrated enemy mortar fire was observed and taken under fire. Mortar fire and shore batteries opened up on the ship; however, radical maneuvering limited the enemy to three near misses. Numerous air attacks were carried out against our task force, evidently in preparation for a surface attack by the Japanese fleet. The CAP planes controlled by the fighter director team aboard this ship succeeded in splashing a total of over 70 planes during the continuous air attack of this day. On the night of 24 October contact was made with a Japanese Task Force in SURAGAO STRAIT. This vessel in company with the USS HALFORD and the USS ROBINSON executed a well coordinated torpedo attack, each ship firing a half salvo at 8000 yards. The unit was under fire during the attack with numerous near misses on the retiring course after the torpedoes were fired. As a result of this night surface action the enemy suffered the following cumulated damage: two battleships sunk, one heavy cruiser and light cruiser sunk, six destroyers sunk. On 1 November 1944 the enemy made repeated vicious air attacks, although these employed relatively few planes, each attack was pressed with fanatical determination. In spite of the fact that many heavy ships were in the formation, destroyers were obviously the primary target. At 0914, four :Vals” and one “Betty” attacked, hitting three destroyers with suicide tactics. The BRYANT splashed one “Val” diving to attack. At 1400 two “Vals” and one “Betty” attacked; the USS ABNER REED was sunk. After a strenuous day of fighting off Japanese “Suiciders”, battle disposition was formed. There were still many reports of heavy ships in the area. From 1 November to 16 November, the ships patrolled in Leyte Gulf with Task Group 77.1 due to consistent reports of Japanese fleet units being in the immediate area. A brief six day availability was spent at SEEADLER HARBOR, MANUS ISLAND for logistics.

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