At dawn of December 15th the TAYLOR entered the channel to San Francisco Bay. It was freezing cold this early in the morning and foggy, but as the sun came up it cleared. There ahead of us was the Golden Gate Bridge, the most welcome sight in the world. All destroyers in column, we steamed under the Gate at 0733 and later passed Alcatraz to port. The TAYLOR proceeded to anchor off Goat Island with the Oakland Bay Bridge in full view.

In the afternoon, the first leave party left the ship for fifteen days’ leave. When the motor launch carrying the leave party made a San Francisco pier it had difficulty. The gang were so anxious to touch U. S. soil that they all jumped the remaining two or three feet to the dock and beat it across Embarcadero Street for train tickets.

The fifty men to be transferred to New Construction left the next morning. The TAYLOR got underway that afternoon for Bethlehem Steel Yard for her overhaul. At 1945 the ammunition lighter came alongside and with the few remaining men on board the crew unloaded all the ammo right down to the small arms. It was a big job and required about seven hours of hard labor.

There was plenty of liberty for everyone and all the different events that happened cannot be mentioned. Yard workers swarmed all over the “T” day and night. Welding, chipping hammers, air hoses and sand blasting were only a part of the woes the crew had on board. The galley was serving all kinds of foods that we never got at sea, like fresh milk, which was a luxury. On December 31st the entire first leave party came back, and the second leave party left for fifteen days. In the meantime, sixty new men, fresh out of boot camp, were logged aboard.

Towards January 15th the TAYLOR was fast turning into a new ship in looks and in crew. The second leave party returned and the rest of the days in the States were spent granting liberty. On January 16th in a formal ceremony on the fantail, Commander Benjamin J. Katz was relieved as commanding officer of the TAYLOR by Commander Nicholas J. Frank, Jr. After a farewell address by Commander Katz, he was assigned to duty in Washington, D. C.

After the remodeling work was finished and a fresh paint job, the TAYLOR went through a number of tests in San Francisco Bay, such as degaussing and compass checking. Another tedious task of loading the new ammunition required another six hours time of the full crew.

On February 1st the dreaded day arrived which meant our departure from the United States. It was inevitable, but still hard to take.

Once more we were underway to do our part, leaving the famed San Francisco Harbor, proceeding to destinations unknown; just somewhere in the vast Pacific. As usual we had a rush of last minute men, but finally we stood out to sea with all hands aboard. On that afternoon, the first of February, 1944, most of us were strolling around the deck and as we passed under the Golden Gate Bridge many of us wondering if we would ever see it again and if so how many months this trip would last.

Aboard ship we had several passengers enroute to Pearl Harbor, and with a partial green crew they made quite a congested condition about ship. Before this trip was over they were all just as seaworthy and just as salty as the old hands, for it didn’t take long for one to learn the hazards and hard knocks of experience through naval combat.

On this voyage to Pearl we were not alone, as we were accompanied by two other destroyers, the TINGEY and the ABNER REED, who in later months met with misfortune. This voyage to Pearl Harbor took us about six days, in which constant drills and checking of equipment day after day were the main source of boredom.

On February 6th we arrived in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and moored alongside the TINGEY. Donning our whites we headed for liberty in the beautiful tropical islands of Hawaii. There were many of the new men who wanted to get off the ship and never return as they didn’t feel as if they would ever get accustomed to sea life. For the next six days all hands were occupied with training courses and various schools located in and around the Navy base. One course took us off the coast of Hawaii for training in anti-submarine warfare and anti-aircraft practice.

February 12th saw us on our way again as we proceeded out, escorting the S.S. MORMAC. Seven days we steamed toward our destination, arriving at Kwajalien Atoll off Roi Island early in the afternoon of the 19th. We did not stay here long for we were off in the morning with several ships, escorting troop transports to establish a new island base at Eniwetok, arriving there on the 20th. Approaching the island we came across warships bombarding to the full extent of their capacity. Leaving Eniwetok we joined a group of carriers and on March 3rd started towards Pearl with this group, arriving back in Hawaii on the 6th.

March 1st we sailed again for the Southwest Pacific, arriving in Purvis Bay, Solomons, several weeks later. This was a new base for many but for the old hands it was the same old stomping grounds. From Purvis we went to Milne Bay, New Guinea, anchoring off Cape Sudest on the 7th of April. For ten days we lay at anchor preparing for an operation scheduled shortly, then on the 17th one of the major operations in the South Pacific began to get rolling. Out of the channel we steamed, proceeding northward, escorting attack transports to Humbolt Bay, New Guinea for the invasion of the vital New Guinea coast. Patrolling and acting as the fighter director ship for two days occupied most of our time. On the 24th we were relieved by the SCHROEDER, who unfortunately was hit two hours later by a large number of torpedo planes. From Humbolt we retired to Merobe Harbor on the southern coast of New Guinea, from Merobe to Cape Cretin, from Cape Cretin to Humbolt Bay, from there to Cape Cretin and then to Buna Bay. In Buna we joined a group of LSTs and took them to the Russel Islands in the Solomon group. From Russel we went on to Nouméa; New Caledonia, where we joined the rest of our squadron. In Nouméa we put on a camouflage job that would really baffle the Japs. Even the members of our crew couldn’t tell the bow from the stern at a short distance.

On the 25th of May we sailed out of the French Harbor for the Purvis Bay area. As we passed through the Solomons many of us recalled memories of the past when we had passed through this area under much different conditions. Leaving the Solomons we went into the Green Island group to a little island called Treasury, which was to be our home for some time to come.

Arriving in Treasury we were greeted by the most welcome gift of all, mail. After a short stay we continued on the road to Tokyo by opening the campaign for New Ireland with a shore bombardment of coastal gun emplacements. The Japs retaliated with mortar and small calibre fire which was inaccurate, causing little or no damage. After the invasion we returned to Treasury and for the next month we lingered around conducting combat drills and standard training exercises which slowly brought our still green crew into shape. Treasury was not all work because without a little recreation the fighting man is no match for his equal. Beer parties and ball games were the popular recreation, while there was always swimming and fishing. In late May again came the call to duty for DesDiv 41. We were ordered to proceed north to the equator where four Japanese destroyers were supposedly prowling around. At the time it seemed like we were finally to again meet enemy ships face to face, but upon arrival at our destination we were disappointed to find that the Japs had caught wind of our approach and moved on. From here we joined an anti-submarine group consisting of CVEs and destroyers.

On June 2nd we encountered our first air action, this trip out, when a Japanese heavy bomber came up astern. He closed to a distance of eight miles where we opened fire. Turning, he circled out to sixteen miles and started a second approach. On this run he closed to ten thousand yards and although not scoring any direct hits, our pattern of fire apparently disrupted his aim, causing him to drop his bombs aimlessly into the water astern of us.

On June 6th, “D” day in Europe, we were ordered to put into Manus Island, in the Admiralty group. The landings in France did much to boost our morale, as we all realized that the sooner it was over, over there, the sooner we would get some much needed help in the Pacific. Leaving Manus with the Hunter-Killer group, which is the name applied to an anti-submarine attack group, we went northward towards the Philippines. On the 10th one of our scout planes reported an oil slick and believed he had seen a submarine crash dive eight miles ahead of our formation. The TAYLOR was immediately directed to investigate and attack the sub if contacted. We quickly picked up the oil slick and started following it down with our anti-submarine detection gear. At 1400 that afternoon we picked up sound contact on what we believed to be a submarine. Five minutes later we dropped our first in a series of depth charges, turning we returned again and again trying definitely to make a kill. Approximately one hour after the first contact the submarine surfaced two thousand yards dead ahead. All guns came to bear and opened fire as soon as they were in position, several direct hits with the five-inch guns were noted while the automatic weapons strafed and cut the deck of the submarine to pieces. Within two minutes she went down again, this time for good. To make sure of the kill we dropped our last two depth charges over the spot where she had gone down and a few minutes later a terrific underwater explosion was heard, positively assuring us of a kill on one of Hirohito’s submarines.

Some time later we returned to Treasury where we had the privilege of witnessing the Bob Hope Radio Show, sponsored by the USO. On the 19th we went into a floating drydock and began the tedious job of scraping and painting the bottom. These floating drydocks were the outcome for a much needed repair base in the far-flung outposts of our naval forces. These large cumbersome creations are just what 1he name implies, a floating dry dock capable of taking ships the size of a battleship. To the men that operated these ships we must give a lot of thanks, because without them our victory in the Pacific would have been delayed untold months.

From Treasury the squadron proceeded to Manus where for the next three weeks we went through simulated shore bombardment problems. On the 19th of August the TAYLOR and O’BANNON went to Aitape, New Guinea, where we set a four-day siege on the beach, throwing an average of two hundred rounds of five-inch shells on the beach per day. From Aitape we went to Humbolt Bay where we joined the rest of our squadron and went into training for further action. On the 5th of September Rear Admiral Struble, Commander of the Seventh Fleet Amphibious Corps, came aboard the TAYLOR to observe practice landing exercises on Wadke Island. Our small formation, consisting of landing craft of various sizes and shapes; headed towards the practice beachhead with all the mock up of a real attack, because they knew that they were preparing for the big event which would come shortly thereafter. After the exercises we returned to Humbolt Bay and remained at anchor for the next few days. September 10th we teamed up with the STACK and proceeded to Wadke Island where we joined the main force of the seventh Fleet. The next four days consisted of patrolling and waiting, waiting for the day when our troops would hit the beach and secure another island on our path to Tokyo and victory. This time our mission was to attack and occupy Morotai Island in the Halmahara group. Our own particular assignment was to act as fighter director ship. In this duty we had control of all aircraft operating in the area. We kept track of all planes, friendly and enemy. It was our job to see that our planes met and destroyed all opposition before it reached the formation. “D” day was the 15th of September. After a strong bombardment by our Seventh Fleet ships and numerous air strikes against the beachhead, the jungle hardened troops hit the beach with scattered and light resistance. This was what they had been training for and they did their job with clocklike precision. That night and most of the next day we patrolled back and forth just off the beach, prepared to meet any and all enemy opposition but none appeared. Late in the evening of the 16th our squadron formed up and took twelve LSTs and three LCIs in hand and headed out of the district, retiring towards New Guinea. We arrived in Wadke on the 19th and quickly anchored. Four days later we were off again, taking a group of LSTs back up to Morotai. The only excitement that occurred during this trip were the constant reports of bogies or unidentified aircraft from the radar operators.

While patrolling off Morotai, on the 28th of the month, we went through a small scale air attack which was directed primarily at the troops on the island. Two more days of patrolling and our unit was reformed as we started back towards New Guinea. We had no more than formed when “Condition Red” was flashed from the beach, another air raid was on the way. Although we experienced none of the attack, intense AA fire could be seen coming from our emplacements on the beach. About half way to New Guinea a PBY patrol plane was forced to land in the water due to engine trouble. We were directed to go to his aid and after investigating we decided to take him in tow as his destination was close to ours. We were quite a sight, proceeding along at a maximum speed of nine knots, with the damaged PBY towing along behind. On the 4th of October we came into Woendi Bay and dropped our passenger at the seaplane base.

The next two weeks saw us operating back and forth from Hollandia to Finschaven down in New Guinea. On the 18th of October Task Force 77 formed, consisting of several cruisers and destroyers. This operation was to be the initial landings of MacArthur’s troops in the Philippines. The Island of Leyte was chosen for this delicate operation and it was the duty of the ships in our task force to screen and cover our troops landing on the beach. This was going to be one of the toughest jobs we had tackled in many a month. The Philippines had been in Japanese hands for nearly three years and opposition from both air and surface was expected. Following a pre-dawn bombardment by units of the Seventh Fleet several divisions of the Sixth Army made the landing under heavy mortar and artillery fire. At 0700 the cruiser PHOENIX reported enemy aircraft overhead while our radar screen showed several unidentified planes in the vicinity. At 0800 a smoke screen was laid over the transport area and just in time at that, because at 0823 enemy planes made a heavy raid on the area. At the beginning of the raid we came into the transport area and began to lay our own smoke screen, but as the raid broke up we ceased making the smoke. Laying smoke over a heavily congested area like the transport area does not necessarily protect the ships from the raiders, but it does partially hide them and makes precision bombing inaccurate. Again that afternoon the transports underwent another air attack with negligible results. Later that evening we went into San Pedro Bay and anchored for the night.

All commands were notified to be on the alert and prepared for immediate action, as possible surface engagement might occur that evening. A Japanese Task Force had been sighted in Mindinao Straits. At 0235 on the morning of the 25th all ships in the area were notified that our surface forces had engaged an enemy task force in the Davao Sea and Surigao Strait. Enemy forces were reported to consist of two battleships, two cruisers, and several destroyers. 0425 we got underway and were ordered to patrol the entrance to Leyte Gulf. Our only contact with the enemy that night was with her aircraft. At 0600 reports came over the radio that the enemy was slowly re-treating down Surigao Strait. 0800 a second report came in stating that a second Japanese Task Force had engaged our surface forces just to the south of us. We were then ordered to join forces with our unit under attack to the south. 0836 two Jap planes approached overhead out of firing range. Enemy action broke off to the south and we returned to our patrol. 1119 three enemy aircraft commenced attack on our ship from the port quarter, all guns opened fire as the planes passed overhead causing no damage. As the planes went off over the bow our five-inch battery clipped the tail off one, dropping him into the water for our first tally of the battle. 1130 radio reports enemy forces of four battleships, eight cruisers, and several smaller craft were attacking our escort carrier group. The enemy was divided into two columns eleven miles from us. Our entire squadron was immediately ordered to their assistance, but action was broken off prior to our arrival. It was in this battle that the destroyer JOHNSON and the carriers ST. LO and GAMBlER BAY were sunk. The next day action between our forces and the enemy continued although we were not engaged ourselves. 2200 on the night of October 26th our squadron, consisting of the NICHOLAS, TAYLOR and McDONOUGH, formed column on the NICHOLAS in battle disposition to carry out a night torpedo attack against enemy forces operating near Dinagat Island. As usual our bad luck continued and contact with the enemy forces was not obtained, in fact, throughout the entire battle our only contact with the Japanese Task Force was on the radar screen. 0400 the transport area underwent another air attack without serious mishap to our own ships. 0800 a twin-engine fighter, later identified as a “Dinah,” passed overhead, out of range. 0845 an enemy fighter returned, diving on the TAYLOR, all guns opened fire, causing the plane to turn away, hugging the cast as she pulled away. The rest of the day was spent patrolling our station near the entrance to Leyte Gulf. Early in the morning of October 27th we joined the CVE group that had suffered such terrific damage the day before. 0700 several Nip fighters engaged in a dogfight with our carrier planes directly overhead. Again our planes showed superiority in maneuverability and skill as the attacking force was quickly dispersed. 0830 another lap dive bomber commenced a dive on our ship, but our accurate and rapid fire caused him to drop his bombs harmlessly. Later in the day the Australian cruiser SHROPSHIRE and the U. S. cruiser PHOENIX joined our group of CVEs and escorts. The rest of the day and most of the next remained uneventful. At 1500 on the afternoon of the 28th we proceeded into San Pedro Bay and anchored, but no sooner had we anchored than ‘”Condition Red” was set in the bay and we were ordered to get underway again. The next two hours we kept pretty much on the move, trying to avoid contact with the enemy air force. We passed one floating dead Jap in the water which was quite a sorrowful sight. The following two days were unoccupied and on the 30th we joined the cruiser LOUISVILLE and started for Seadler Harbor, Manus, Admiralty group. November 1st we were joined by the old Pearl Harbor battleships MARYLAND and WEST VIRGINIA, the cruisers DENVER and COLUMBIA, and the carriers SANGAMAN, NATOMA BAY, KADASHAN BAY, MARCUS ISLAND, SAVO BAY, OMNEY BAY, MANILA BAY, PETROF BAY and CHENANGO, plus seventeen destroyers. On the 3rd day of the month we arrived in Manus where we remained for five days until the eighth when the NICHOLAS, ourselves and the cruiser ST. LOUIS got underway for Ulithi, a small lagoon anchorage east of the Philippines. From Ulithi we went on to Kossol Rhoads in the Palaus where we were joined by the original group we had gone to Manus with. On the 14th, back we went to Leyte Gulf and assumed our old patrol station just off the entrance to the gulf. The 17th and 18th we witnessed a massive air attack, by the Japanese, on the transport area and a single attack on the cruiser DENVER. The next week was taken up with numerous patrols and several air attacks which was the beginning of the ill-famed suicide attacks by Japanese planes. The Japanese, seeing that our anti-aircraft fire was so intense that their pilots were incapable of getting through and dropping their load of bombs, resorted to a fanatical scheme of suicidal attacks. The planes, loaded with bombs, would make a normal diving run at their target and drop their bombs regardless of the prospects of hitting the target. After unloading his load of bombs the pilot then tried to dive his plane into the ship or ships nearby. At first these tactics were rough and unorganized but as time progressed and the attacks seemed to bring better results than their bombing, special suicide squadrons were organized and their pilots considered great heroes. On November 23rd we had our first taste of this suicide attack when one Judy, a single-engined fighter, dove out of a cloud at us. Fortunately for us he fell short of his target and caused no damage. Again on the 27th the entire Task Force 77 was taken under attack by this special suicide corps but the results of the attack were poor considering the number of Japanese planes shot down. About noon of this same day we sighted a single-engine fighter snooping about the clouds. All guns were brought to train and the next instant he came diving out of the clouds at an angle of seventy-five degrees. All guns opened fire but the dive was so steep that few guns could come to train on him. Again our proverbial luck was with us and his bomb fell short, twenty-five yards off our bow. As the plane, later identified as a Judy, pulled out of his dive all our automatic weapons came to bear on him and the combined fire of the 20 mm and 40 mm shot his tail away. The plane went into a slight spin and hit the water a short distance off the bow. The skipper brought the ship alongside the wreckage and we recovered tactical information from the body of the pilot and his records in the plane. On the 29th, after delivering the material from the plane to the authorities on the beach, we joined Task Force 77 and were immediately put on the alert for suicide attackers. A little before noon several “Vals” approached over the formation and started their suicidal dives on the larger ships in the center of the formation. One plane, diving at the DENVER, came directly overhead and was caught in our light machine gun fire, dropping her before she reached her target. Later that afternoon units of the task force were ordered to proceed on to Manus for repairs. At the time our engines were acting up and we were also ordered to join this group now consisting of the battleship COLORADO, cruiser ST. LOUIS and four destroyers. Just after leaving the main group an air raid consisting of eight to ten planes attacked shipping in Leyte Gulf. The entire formation was attacked by our carrier planes and a major dog fight developed over the gulf. Several bomb splashes could be seen amongst the ships and every now and then a flaming suicide mass could be seen coming down out of the sky. At 1809 the battleship MARYLAND was hit by one suicide and a large yellow flame emerged from her superstructure deck. She reported that no serious damage occurred, although casualties ran high, due mainly to the explosion on board ship. Late that night we pulled out of Leyte Gulf leaving behind us memories of one of the greatest naval battles in the history of our Navy. From tabulations later received as to the results of the battle we can now see that this battle was the final stand of the Imperial Japanese Navy, a stand that proved to be disastrous and brought about the complete ruination of the Nipponese fleet. We also later learned that the army made their last major stand on this little island in the Philippines. Between the Army and the Navy the battle of Leyte Gulf proved to be the beginning of the. end which brought about complete victory for the allies.

After reaching Manus we underwent an overhaul alongside the tender DIXIE and enjoyed a much-needed rest, with recreation and beer parties on the beach. The 15th of December found us underway with the battleships COLORADO, MISSISSIPPI, CALIFORNIA and PENNSYLVANIA headed for Kossol Rhoads. Christmas Day, 1944, was spent at anchor in Kossol with our holiday routine interrupted by a false air raid shortly after noon. The day after Christmas we took the MISSISSIPPI and NEW MEXICO to Leyte, where we anchored just off the air strip in Tacloban. By this time life around the gulf was back to normal and the fight on the island had moved on to the other side, near the Village of Ormoc. Our only reminder of the current action was a nightly snooper raid which broke up our sleep and caused slight damage on the air strip, from the bombing and strafing runs.

The TAYLOR ushered in the New Year of 1945 while at anchor in Leyte Gulf. The traditional holiday dinner was served, followed by a discussion of the coming Lingayen Gulf operation. The gulf was chosen for the main point of invasion, from which the famous drive to Manila was launched by General MacArthur’s forces. The chief concern over enemy opposition was the Japanese Kamikaze Corps. The Nips had started these suicide tactics during the Leyte Gulf Campaign and increased steadily in numbers until every enemy plane was a potential suicide bomber.

On the afternoon of January 4th, Task Force 77 was formed, consisting of the cruisers PHOENIX, BOISE, MONTEPELIER and DENVER, accompanied by the destroyers NICHOLAS, TAYLOR, O’BANNON, FLETCHER, HOPEWELL, RADFORD, EDWARDS and COGHLAN. This force, under the direction of Vice-Admiral Thomas Kincaid {Commander Seventh Fleet) was to be the interception fleet in the event of any Japanese surface or undersea activities.

The enemy’s opposition started the second day underway. The TAYLOR’S helmsman sighted two torpedoes on our starboard bow headed for the BOISE, which was carrying General MacArthur and his staff. The Captain notified the BOISE by T19-N-(inter-ship communication) in time for her to maneuver out of the torpedoes’ path. The task force executed an emergency turn in order to place the TAYLOR in a position to protect the formation and launch an attack. With all battle stations manned and ready, the TAYLOR started the initial run. One depth charge attack brought the sub to the surface. The lookouts spotted the sub as it broke water dead astern. The Captain maneuvered the ship into position for a ram and the helmsman steadied on a collision course. The sub was several hundred yards dead ahead, navigating under difficulty due to damages rendered by our depth charges, when a TBF Avenger made a dive bombing run, scoring a near miss. Several seconds later our bow hit the sub, forcing it down below the keel. The sub hit the ship’s bottom several times, shearing off the dome protecting the ship’s underwater sound gear. A full depth charge pattern was immediately dropped and the run was completed.

The Japanese started their aerial offensive on the morning of January 7th, and continued their raids for the duration of the operation. The first attack came early in the morning, before the crew had manned the battle stations for the usual morning alert. An Irving (Jap bomber) made a surprise attack, dropping two bombs close aboard. The bomber was out of range before our anti-aircraft battery was manned, but one of our carrier based fighter planes downed the plane before he could make a re-attack. The ships took their anti-aircraft station and the raids continued on a small scale for the rest of the morning. All attacking planes were shot down and the formation suffered no damage.

That afternoon a large group of enemy planes approached the formation and launched a large-scale suicide, attack. One of the planes made two dive-bombing runs on the PHOENIX and tried to crash dive her on the third, but the cruiser’s gunners shot off the tail assembly and the pilot, having lost control of his plane, missed his target.

Another member of the “Divine Wind” made a suicide attack on the cruiser DENVER, but before his dive was completed, the combined fire power of the DENVER and TAYLOR disintegrated the plane in mid-air.

Task Force 77’s most unfortunate incidents occurred the same day. The transport CALLOWAY was hit on the bridge by one of the deadly suicide planes. Shortly afterwards a Jap fighter plane flew through a heavy barrage of anti-aircraft fire and successfully crashed into the flight deck of the escort carrier KITKUN BAY. All unnecessary personnel were transferred immediately and the carrier was towed into the gulf for protection. The KITKUN BAY was sent to the States for repairs and returned to the Pacific in time to participate in the carrier strikes on Okinawa.

On January 26th, during the last phase of the campaign, Lt. Commander H. H. deLaureal reported aboard the TAYLOR for duty as commanding officer, relieving Commander N. J. Frank, Jr. Our new captain was transferred to the TAYLOR from the destroyer JENKINS during operational exercises at sea. The TAYLOR’S third commanding officer was welcomed by all hands as he came aboard. Most captains obtain a nickname at one time or another in their naval careers, and Captain deLaureal was soon referred to as Captain “D”.

On the morning of February 6th, Commander N. I. Frank, Ir., was relieved of his command by Lt. Commander H. H. deLaureal, in a formal ceremony held aboard the TAYLOR. Immediately following his farewell address, Commander Frank was detached from the TAYLOR and proceeded to the United States for temporary duty and further assignment.

Soon afterward, the TAYLOR got underway for a two-day anti-submarine patrol. This was our first assignment under our new commanding officer. Upon release from this patrol, we headed north for Subic Bay.

We entered Subic Bay for the first time on February 9th. In the center of the entrance to the bay lies Grande Island. Grande is a small island which was a concrete underground fortress before the coming of the Japanese in 1941. It was evacuated before the surrender of the Philippines, and its numerous gun emplacements were dismantled to prevent their use by the enemy.

Subic Bay was the new home base for the Seventh Fleet. The harbor is small, but for all practical purposes it was an ideal anchorage for an interception fleet covering the entrance to Manila Bay. Ships can steam in and out any hour, day or night, navigating by nothing but radar. The main advantage being that the entire fleet could clear the harbor in less than thirty minutes.

Two villages surround the colorful bay, Subic and Olangapo. There are no modern buildings in either of the villages. The people live in grass huts elevated several feet above the ground. However, some of the well to do set live in wooden bungalows and Spanish styled fruits and vegetables could be purchased. This was a welcome treat after subsisting on a dehydrated diet for many months.

Grande Island was chosen for the fleet’s recreation center. The bombers had demolished most of the buildings and damaged the underground fortress. Wreckage and large projectiles literally covered the beach. Several of the remaining buildings were mined with cleverly concealed booby traps which caused several casualties among the fleet’s personnel. However, volunteer demolition crews cleared the island and it was converted into the fleet’s favorite recreation center. Baseball diamonds; basketball courts, and a stage for the USO shows were constructed; diving boards were placed along the island’s natural swimming pool. During our stay in Subic Bay the TAYLOR’S baseball team emerged the Squadron’s champs.

For one of the engineering officers, our arrival at Subic was a happy occasion. He had been a resident of Subic and Manila before he left for Pearl Harbor in 1941. When the Japs took over the islands his family was interned in the Santo Tomas prison camp and he had been unable to establish communication since the enemy’s occupation. Before Manila was completely secured he was on several clays’ leave and paid a surprise visit to his family. After the happy reunion, he returned to duty and his family sailed for the United States.

On February 13th, the Seventh Fleet steamed into the entrance of Manila Bay for the initial bombardment of the island fortress of Corregidor. The cruiser BOISE fired the first shot in the campaign to recapture the famous island surrendered to the Japanese by General Wainwright in the beginning of the Pacific conflict. Shortly afterward all ships were firing coordinated salvos at the island’s large gun emplacements. During the first phase of the attack no enemy return fire was encountered.

The bombardment was interrupted at designated intervals to permit large waves of B24 Liberators and A20 Havocs to make bombing runs on the island’s summit. The hard-hitting bombers created so much dust and smoke that the island was completely hidden and the surface ships were forced to cease fire until the targets again became visible.

One of the A20 Havocs, on a photographic mission, made a forced landing in the bay several hundred yards off our starboard bow. The motor whaleboat was dispatched with the ship’s doctor and a pharmacist mate to rescue the survivors. The pilot and his photographer were brought aboard uninjured.

The U.S.S. HOPEWELL, while picking up survivors from a sinking minesweeper, was taken under fire by a combined battery of guns from the northern cliffs of Corregidor and the U.S.S. FLETCHER while aiding the HOPEWELL in her duel with the shore batteries, was hit and her number one five-inch gun mount was destroyed. When the survivors of the minesweeper were picked up the two ships moved out to care for casualties and the TAYLOR steamed in and finished off the remaining batteries. Most of Corregidor’s guns were buried in the rocky cliffs and were entirely invisible. The destroyers were ordered in to purposely draw the enemy’s fire so that the batteries could be located and destroyed.

The U.S.S. LA VALLETTE, while covering close inshore minesweeping operations in Mariveles Harbor, was put out of action by a mine. The U.S.S. RADFORD went to the aid of the LAVALLETTE, but before she could pull alongside, she was hit by an electrical controlled mine in an area already swept by the minesweepers. The TAYLOR started in to aid the two stricken members of Squadron 21, but was ordered to keep clear. The damaged destroyers were later towed back to base by salvage tugs.

On the fourth day of the operation, the amphibious rocket boats made their attack on Bataan. The rockets left the boats with a slight whizzing sound, flew through the air like a flock of birds and hit the beach, creating destruction surpassed only by the new atomic bomb. The infantry laddened landing craft followed with MacArthur’s forces, determined to avenge their predecessors who held the peninsula until they were ordered to retreat to Corregidor. Some of the landing craft never reached the beach. They were hit by shore batteries and more of the deadly electrically controlled mines.

The fifth day of the campaign brought the historic landing of the veteran 503rd Paratroop Battalion. Jumping from C47 Skytrains, the troopers landed amidst concentrated machine gun fire that caught them in mid-air. A small percentage of the troops missed the small island altogether and landed in the bay, but all were rescued by a fast PT boat squadron. The air-borne landing was coordinated by a sea-borne landing of American Rangers on Corregidor’s inboard shoreline. While the Paratroopers were battling the fanatical Japs on the summit, the Rangers were swarming up the cliffs, dodging machine gun fire from hidden nests in the rocks. The Nips set off charges in caves that had been sealed in an attempt to cover the advancing Rangers with tons of dirt and rock, but the largest percentage backfired in the caves and an estimated thousand or more of the sons of heaven perished by their own hands.

Upon completion of the joint landing, the Navy was ordered to abandon the Corregidor operation and concentrate its large guns on the Cavite shoreline. The bombardment of Cavite was only a one-day affair, but large storehouses, ammunition dumps and gun emplacements were destroyed. The pilot that was spotting for the TAYLOR complimented the ship on its accurate bombardment and jokingly kidded us about the destruction of one friendly horse. On February 24th, the TAYLOR returned to Corregidor with Rear Admiral Struble (Commander Seventh Fleet Amphibious Force), on an inspection tour and conference with Brigadier General Chase {Commander Army Occupation Forces Corregidor}. Following the tour of Corregidor the TAYLOR carried Admiral Struble to Lingayen Gulf to complete the tour of inspection.

On March 2nd, the TAYLOR entered the drydock in Subic Bay to repair the sound dome that was destroyed during our encounter with the submarine during the Lingayen Gulf campaign.

The TAYLOR left for Mindoro Island on March 5th, to take charge of a task unit of minesweepers and then proceed to Zamboanga on the south shore of Mindanao.
While enroute to Mindanao, the TAYLOR went out to investigate a large two-masted sailboat sighted ahead of the formation. The boat was flying the American Ensign and the flag of the Philippine Commonwealth. Investigation disclosed that the twenty-one occupants were Filipinos sailing in search of food. The TAYLOR furnished several boxes of “K” rations to help tide them over. he Filipinos stated that there were no Japs on their island.

ur task unit entered Basilian Strait on the morning of March 8th. Two natives were encountered in a canoe. One of the Filipinos was brought aboard, and informed us in broken English that some of the Japs fled to the hills when the American ships entered the strait.

The TAYLOR was assigned to cover the mines weeping unit and render counter battery fire when required. While conducting a close inshore bombardment, the TAYLOR was straddled by shells from a combined shore battery. Captain deLaureal ordered all engines emergency back full and the TAYLOR backed down just as three more salvos landed in the spot that she had occupied several seconds earlier.

During the joint minesweeping operations and surface ship bombardment, General Kenny’s B24 Liberators were making almost continuous bombing runs on the invasion beach. On one of these runs two squadrons of Liberators crossed the target simultaneous one above the other. One of the bombs from the higher squadron hit the leading plane in the formation flying at a lower altitude. The plane burst into flames and in a few seconds was just a ball of fire falling over the target area. One of the airmen was thrown clear of the plane and as his chute opened the Nip machine gunners on the beach opened up in an attempt to catch him in mid-air. The man landed safely in the water and several seconds later a daring pilot in one of the cruiser-based sea-planes landed, picked up the only survivor, dodged the enemy’s machine gun fire and returned to his ship uninjured.

The rocket boats launched their usual pre-invasion attack. Almost before the smoke had cleared, the landing craft hit the beach, discharging artillery, tanks, troops and supplies. The TAYLOR had a ringside seat to a well organized land offensive. When the beachhead was secured the TAYLOR returned to her anchorage in Subic Bay.

On March 15th, the TAYLOR was called back to Corregidor for a bombardment under the direction of the American troops on the island. Our objective was a series of caves and concrete blockhouses in which the Japs had set up a heavy machine gun cross-fire that was impenetrable to General Chase’s forces on the island. The TAYLOR moved into 20 millimeter range and picked out the targets. The combined fire from the TAYLOR’S main battery and heavy machine gun battery sealed all the caves and destroyed all the blockhouses in a few hours. After the completion of the operation, General Chase came aboard to visit. He congratulated the TAYLOR on a swift and efficient bombardment. This was the last action taken against the famous “Rock”, and the remaining Japs, if any, were completely sealed in and left to commit hari-kari or starve.

Before dawn on the 24th of March the TAYLOR got underway from her anchorage in Subic Bay and joined in formation with Task Group 74.3, composed of the cruisers PHOENIX, BOISE and HMAS HOBART, screened by the destroyers TAYLOR, NICHOLAS, O’BANNON, ABBOT, FLETCHER and JENKINS. We were off again to secure another island on the road to victory, this time we were enroute to participate in amphibious assault landing on Talisay, Cebu Island in the Philippines.

The next morning the Australian destroyer Warramunga joined the formation. Early the following morning the ABBOT reported a native boat off her port bow and shortly thereafter several other boats were picked up by other units of our formation. The extent of Japanese mines in this area was not known, but the water was shallow and the possibility of mines was great. We went to general quarters shortly after midnight to secure watertight compartments in the event of a casualty. Just about dawn we came into contact with the unit of minesweepers that were to precede us into the bay. Many small native canoes were observed coming toward us from the beach and the minesweepers reported that they believed the boats to contain Japanese with possible suicidal intentions. However, a closer investigation by our ship revealed them to contain native families leaving the beach to avoid being under the fire of the guns on the bombarding ships. Just before sunrise the PHOENIX let go a salvo of six inch shells that opened the campaign to recapture Cebu Island. After an intense but brief bombardment, the rocket boats launched their attacks. Before the smoke had cleared the army hit the beach with tanks, artillery and troops. They met little opposition on the beachhead as the bombardment from the surface ships had either killed most of the Japs or driven them into the hills.

Late that afternoon our mission was completed and we retired to Mindoro for fuel and ammunition and then proceeded to Subic Bay. The following eight days were spent at anchor in Subic. Early on the morning of April 6th, we got underway and steamed out of the bay, taking our position on the PHOENIX. The formation proceeded enroute to Manila Bay to conduct educational tours of the recently recaptured City of Manila. We passed Corregidor abeam to port in entering the harbor, but this time however, everyone was at ease, in great contrast to the TAYLOR’S previous visits to the “Rock”. We steamed into Manila Harbor, which was strewn with over two hundreds ships of all descriptions. Most of these enemy ships were sunk by carrier planes of the Third Fleet the previous month. The extent of the damage to Japanese shipping was unbelievable and a large percentage of the Nipponese merchant fleet was left on the bottom of Manila Bay.

Upon entering the harbor the TAYLOR moored starboard side to the NICHOLAS, who was anchored just off the breakwater, near the inner harbor. Immediately upon arrival the crew was divided into small groups with an officer in charge and sent ashore to conduct a tour of the war-torn Capitol. As the small boats carrying the groups neared the beach and dock section of the city it became more and more apparent that the battle of Manila had been a bloody, hard fight. All along the waterfront, buildings, docks, and shipping lay in ruin. The many bridges which spanned numerous canals throughout the metropolis were destroyed by the retreating Japanese forces and temporary bridges had been built by the Army engineers. The Japanese, upon surrender of Manila, had destroyed everything they possibly could before leaving it to the Americans. The combined destruction caused by the Japanese and the heavy artillery bombardment of the United States Army left Manila in complete ruin.

The legislative section, which once boasted of its many beautiful government buildings, lay in shambles as did nearly all the business district. Priests could be seen searching through the rubble of their once majestic churches which the Japs had destroyed along with hospitals and shrines.

Signs of the bitter battle for the capture of the city were to be seen nearly anywhere one chose to look. Even the University of Santo Tomas, though unharmed, because the Japs used it as a prison camp, presented a war scarred sight. Few automobiles were yet in running condition and as a result, horsedrawn carts were prominent throughout the city’s streets. Many stands were set up along the streets and in the front of gutted buildings; here the Filipinos sold souvenirs to the Americans. The people were friendly toward the Americans even though they were undergoing untold hardships to rebuild their city. The water situation was very acute and the water that was available was unfit for human consumption, as the Japanese still held the city reservoir in the hills back of the city.

After two day of sightseeing, we returned to Subic Bay and stayed until the 8th of April when at 0200 all ships in the harbor were ordered to get underway. We sortied outside of the bay with the same group of ships that had made up our task groups on previous assignments. The task group proceeded at high speed to intercept an enemy surface force reported heading toward Luzon from the north. That same morning the cruisers launched their scout planes to search the area for our contact, but much to our disgust the planes reported back with negative results. The formation reversed course and headed home, only to learn that land-based planes had intercepted the enemy and attacked one battleship, two cruisers, and six destroyers. After returning to port we began a series of battle drills and problems that lasted for eleven days, including an inspection by the Commodore.

Soon after dawn on the 24th of April the TAYLOR was underway, standing out of the harbor, joining in formation with our cruisers and destroyers of the Seventh Fleet. Our destination this time was Tarakan Island on the north coast of Dutch Borneo. While steaming through Sibutu Passage, the afternoon of the 26th, several small boats were sighted ahead of the formation. The NICHOLAS was directed to investigate. As she approached one of the small craft an explosion occurred that disintegrated both the boat and its occupants. The TAYLOR was then designated to investigate another similar boat or raft. The NICHOLAS had reported that the occupants of the destroyed raft were Japanese who committed suicide with hand grenades rather than risk capture. Upon receiving this report from the NICHOLAS all hands were called to their battle stations, and as we approached the raft all guns were trained on it and its five Japanese occupants. We were ordered to take them prisoner without taking any unnecessary risks. The Japs seemed to prefer capture to their present plight for they swam, as directed, one by one, to our ship. Within fifteen minutes we had the Nips and their equipment aboard and were proceeding to rejoin the formation. Questioning revealed that the first of the prisoners was a naval doctor, and his three companions were pharmacist mates under his command. The fifth member of the group was a member of an Infantry Division. They were evacuating a small island just recently captured by American forces, and were attempting to reach Borneo.

Early in the morning of the 27th we arrived at a designated point off Tarakan Island and commenced our patrol in support of the minesweepers. The next few days were spent providing coverage for the minesweepers. Our main duty was to provide counter-battery fire. At noon on the 28th the JENKINS reported that she had struck a mine and was slowly sinking. Aid was rushed to the stricken ship and she was saved. However her midship compartments were almost completely destroyed.

Shortly after midnight, on the first of May, we led the column of amphibious vessels through the narrow channel leading into the invasion beachhead. The attack force consisted of American landing craft, but the troops were members of the Australian Army. At five in the morning reports came in over the radio that one vessel had been struck by a torpedo, supposedly fired by a midget submarine; but the torpedo was a dud and bounced harmlessly off the hull of the ship. After the invasion it was found that the torpedo had come from a land-based launching station near the mouth of the river. The landings were executed on schedule and the troops hit the beach with little opposition. When the Aussies secured the beach-head and started their advance into the hills they found the opposition had strengthened and the drive lost some of its momentum. The surface vessels provided heavy barrages for the attacking Australians. All that day the TAYLOR concentrated her main battery on the retreating Japanese. Once a small motor launch put to sea, but she was immediately taken under fire and destroyed by the TAYLOR’S forty millimeter machine gun battery. Tarakan was the richest oil producing center that the Japanese had taken in their conquest. The oil could be used without being processed. The Japs held to their reputation; as they retreated, they set fire to the large oil storage centers and all positions of importance, whether a military necessity or not. For fifty-two hours after the initial landing the crew of the TAYLOR remained at their guns, pounding the ground ahead of the advancing Australian troops

Upon our release from the Tarakan area the crew, with the exception of the condition watches, headed for their bunks. On May 6th we anchored in Subic, remaining there effecting repairs and improvements until May 22nd. On that day several destroyers left for Manila for liberty. The TAYLOR’S crew enjoyed this liberty more so than the previous trip, because of the improvements made in the recreation facilities. We remained in Manila for four days. During this stay the crew enjoyed their first unsupervised liberty since our departure from the United States.

On June 1st we were ordered to join Admiral Halsey again, this time with the Third Fleet operating in and around the Japanese home islands. We departed from Subic Bay early in the morning with the remaining members of our squadron, the NICHOLAS and O’BANNON. We left Subic with mixed feelings of regret and relief at once more being underway. Subic Bay had been our home base for some time. We left many memories of liberty on Grande Island, ready duty, mail every day or so, USO shows, and of many native friends on the beach. Our trip to Leyte, where the Third Fleet was based, was uneventful except for frequent general quarters investigating friendly native canoes. Our hopes of going home were shattered when we were given ten days availability alongside a tender, prior to our joining the Third Fleet. Life along side a tender is one of constant complaint. Either the air is shut off or the water is salty; the tender can’t do your job and you can’t get underway until they do. Night and day the sound of the chipping hammer, the curse of the deck hand, keeps the otherwise silent tender alive. On the 15th day of June we joined the new cruiser OKLAHOMA CITY and proceeded out of Leyte Gulf northward. We were to join an escort carrier group which was lending air support to the army on Okinawa and carrying out air strikes against Sakishima in the Southern Ryukyus. Our formation consisted of ten CVEs, two light cruisers, and fifteen destroyers, which was a pretty formidable force for any man’s navy. During this period we added one more pilot to our rescued list. One air attack was turned back on the 22nd of June by our combat air patrol. It was always a tense period of time upon hearing our CAP tally-ho a plane and after a brief lapse of time hear him report,.’Splash one Judy.” Those pilots that flew in the CAP took the brunt of almost every air attack. It was our job to nail the planes that got through their cover and the ones that we both missed usually caused a lot of damage.

On the 23rd, our squadron was ordered to report back to Leyte for further orders to the Seventh Fleet. The week that followed was one of complete indifference. We were in the Third Fleet one day and the Seventh Fleet the next day. We all wanted to stay in the Third Fleet because that meant we would have a crack at Japan itself. Our wish came true; the first week in July saw us attached to the logistic group that would supply the mighty Task Force 30. On the 8th we started that memorable trip that none of us will ever forget. Screening five ammunition ships and an attack transport, we proceeded northeast towards our rendezvous point some 200 hundred miles off the coast of Honshu, Japan. Our skipper briefed us on what to expect; he said that we would probably be underway for at least a month, maybe more. This operation was to comply with Admiral Nimitz’s order to destroy the Japanese will to resist. And, if possible, drive the Japanese, through air power, into ultimate surrender. We knew the Japs, but our hopes were high, because this was an all-out drive for complete victory.

The first week of the trip was dull, a few sound contacts, with one attack which brought only fish to the surface. On the 17th of July we rendezvoused with the main replenishing group consisting of the old cruiser DETROIT, thirty tankers and five ammunition ships (plus the screen of twenty-four assorted DEs and DDs).

Our first encounter with Task Force 38 came on the 21st, when our unit re-supplied the fleet. Everything from fuel and ammunition to fresh provisions were given to the fighting ships. A personal message from Admiral Halsey complimented all hands on the hard job, “WELL DONE.” We repeated the performance again on the 26th and again on the 31st.

On August 2nd we joined Task Force 38 as a screening unit. The force was divided into four units, each comparable to any modern fleet. Three of these units were American, the fourth consisted of British ships under the command of Admiral Sir Bruce Frazier. The TAYLOR Joined the group under Admiral Radford, consisting of the battleships MISSOURI, IOWA and WISCONSIN, seven carriers, numerous cruisers and destroyers. We knew we had at last reached the top spot for any ship in the Pacific, the “Big League” as we called it.

Our association with Task Force 38 didn’t last long as we were detached a day later to intercept a possible enemy transport or hospital ship and deliver secret mail to the DETROIT. We didn’t find the Jap ship but we did have quite a time with one of our own hospital ships trying to identify her.

August 10th still found us with the logistic group. It was this night that the first signs of peace came from the Japanese. On the 12th the TAYLOR and LANDSDOWNE were detached to join 38 again; this time they were operating within 60 miles of Tokyo. Our two destroyers contacted the main fleet about noon, at which time the carriers were receiving planes aboard from the morning air strikes. When Japan offered to surrender we held up our strikes; one, two days. On the third day still no answer from the Japanese, so we struck again. On August 15th our carriers were ordered to launch every plane available for an all-out attack that would definitely make up the dickering Japanese minds. Well over fifteen hundred planes of every description were sent into the air headed for downtown Tokyo. There was no doubt as to which way Tokyo was-our planes formed an endless path pointing at the heart of Japan. All through the early morning we waited. Our Combat Air Patrol was continuously engaged with prospective suiciders but fortunately for us their shooting was inaccurate and we were not forced to fire once.

At 0805 word was received from Admiral Nimitz to cease hostilities, Japan had accepted our unconditional surrender ultimatum. For us peace meant no let up of our vigilance and stern gun watches, as several Nips, either unaware of the cessation of hostilities, or unwilling to quit, came at the formation in a do or die air attack. Fortunately for all involved, the Combat Air Patrol came to our assistance again and shot them all down before they could reach the ships.

On this morning, the day of surrender, we were operating with the world’s largest fleet. Our own group which was one of four, consisted of the battleships IOWA, MISSOURI and WISCONSIN; carriers YORKTOWN, BON HOMME RICHARD, WASP, SHANGRI LA, COWPENS and INDEPENDENCE; cruisers ST. PAUL, SAN DIEGO, BOSTON, CHICAGO, FLINT and QUINCY; and sixteen destroyers of Squadrons 21, 53 and 54.

Our air strikes were called in and the fleet retired southward to await further developments. During the next few days the fleet broke up into smaller units, some of which would take over the occupation of Japan. This time DesRon 21, consisting of the NICHOLAS, O’BANNON and TAYLOR, landed the number one spot assigned to screen the fleet command group.

Led by the UNITED STATES DESTROYER TAYLOR, Admiral Halsey’s Third Fleet steamed into Sagami Wan, Monday, August 27th, within sight of Japan’s shore batteries. Lines of American and British warships stretched for miles, as twelve hundred carrier planes ranged overhead. Close behind the TAYLOR were the battleships MISSOURI and IOWA and the British battleship DUKE OF YORK, Admiral Sir Bruce Fraser’s flagship. Our ship passed within three miles of Oshima, once heavily fortified island guarding Sagami Wan. The fleet reached the north end of Sagami Monday afternoon and dropped anchor under the towering Mount Fujiyama. Meanwhile, minesweepers began sweeping the two and one-half mile wide Uquga Strait, in preparation for the fleet’s entry into Tokyo Bay. A delegation of twenty-one Japanese, carrying mine field and fortification charts, met the fleet outside Sagami Wan early in the morning. The small twin stacked destroyer Hatuzakara met the UNITED STATES DESTROYER NICHOLAS just off our starboard bow. The NICOLAS kept her guns trained on the Japanese ship which kept its gun muzzles depressed. Two Japanese naval captains, thirteen pilots and six interpreters were transferred to the NICHOLAS and then taken to the MISSOURI. Admiral Halsey watched the delegation as they were delivered to the MISSOURI, but did not talk with them. They received instructions and were returned to their destroyer. However, some of the pilots remained to guide some fleet units through Uruga Straits.

Monday night the U. S. Pacific Fleet lay at anchor in Sagami Wan. Above us rose majestically the sacred Mount Fujiyama. For most of us who had never been farther from home than our own back yards, this was a glorious scene as Mount Fujiyama represented everything that was symbolic of Japan.

Early the next morning we got underway to enter Tokyo Bay forming column on the NICHOLAS followed by the O’BANNON, MISSOURI and IOWA. On the shores of the bay many large factories were seen still burning from recent air attacks and all fortifications flew a large white flag which pleased us all immensely. We anchored shortly before noon approximately half way between Yokohama and the naval base at Yokosuka.

Our long trail in the Pacific was brought to a dramatic climax on Sunday, September 2, 1945(Tokyo time), when the TAYLOR participated in the formal surrender ceremonies in Tokyo Bay. Saturday night four destroyers, that had long battled the Japanese in the Pacific, were directed to proceed to Yokohama and furnish transportation for the dignitaries participating in the surrender ceremonies. We would transport them to and from the U.S.S. MISSOURI, where the peace ceremony was to be held. The NICHOLAS, LANDSDOWNE, BUCHANAN and the TAYLOR arrived along side the docks in Yokohama about dusk Saturday night. That night the skippers met and discussed the coming ceremony while the men wandered around the docks and nearby beaches, collecting souvenirs. In the morning the four destroyers were assigned their various personages to take to the MISSOURI. We had quite a crowd as we were assigned the task of transporting the pressmen of all nations; Russian, Chinese, British, Japanese, Americans, French; 174 in all. The Russians couldn’t speak English and the French couldn’t speak Russian while the Japs could speak neither.

Aboard the MISSOURI the pressmen were distributed throughout the ship so as to cover every single angle of the ceremony. Several of the United States representatives were already aboard the MISSOURI. Among those present were Admiral Halsey, Commander of the Third Fleet, Vice Admiral McCain, Commander of the famous Task Force 38, and several other admirals from various ships in the bay. Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz was the first allied representative to arrive, coming along side in his five-starred motor launch. He was piped aboard with all the formality of sideboys and a Marine Band. Nimitz was followed shortly thereafter by the other allied representatives.

The ceremony took place on the large quarterdeck of the forty-five thousand ton, superdreadnaught MISSOURI, directly under her big number two sixteen-inch gun turret. The allied representatives formed a line athwartship behind the surrender table, while the flag officers of the United States Army and Navy formed along the inboard side of the quarterdeck. The surrender table was covered with a green felt cloth upon which the two copies of the document were placed. The Allied Supreme Commander, General of the Armies, Douglas MacArthur, wore a field uniform, open at the neck and without decorations, as did the other United States representatives. MacArthur, Nimitz and Halsey retired to the wardroom of the MISSOURI to await the arrival of the Japanese delegation.

Shortly before 0900 the Japanese delegation of eleven men came aboard. When they had formed facing the surrender table and the allied representatives, General MacArthur entered and addressed them. He told them the surrender was not one which would be carried out in a spirit of distrust, malice or hatred, and that he would rule them with justice and tolerance. MacArthur said, however, he was taking “all necessary dispositions to insure that the terms of the surrender are fully, promptly and faithfully complied with.” He said it was up to both victors and vanquished to rise to higher dignity which alone befits the sacred purpose we are about to serve.

Then without a word, Japanese Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu, in top hat and striped trousers, stepped forward to be the first to sign. Shigemitsu, representing Emperor Hirohito and the Japanese government, fumbled several moments with two watches and a pen and received a stern glance from General MacArthur. There was not a sign of emotion in his face as he finally signed the document, formally ending history’s bloodiest war. Shigemitsu penned his name in English on one document. There were two documents, one in Japanese, suitably bound in black, and one in English, bound in green and gold.

Following Shigemitsu, was General Yoshijiro Umezu, Chief of the Japanese Imperial General Staff, who signed quickly and stepped aside. A Japanese colonel wiped his eyes. All eleven members of the Japanese party were tense. Then General MacArthur signed as Supreme Commander for all United Nations. MacArthur signed with five pens. The first pen, silver plated especially for the occasion, he handed to General Wainwright who was forced to surrender Corregidor. The second pen was given to General Percival who had to give up at Singapore. Both Generals smiled and saluted smartly. They had been rescued only a few days prior to the ceremony from Japanese prison camps. MacArthur’s third pen was an ordinary pen from the battleship MISSOURI. The fourth apparently was a souvenir for President Truman and the fifth MacArthur himself kept.

After MacArthur, Fleet Admiral Nimitz signed for the United States. Beside him stood Admiral Halsey. Nimitz said, “The process of bringing Japan into the family of civilized nations, which was interrupted when Japan launched her program of conquest, will soon begin again.”

Next, General Su Yang Chang signed for China, then Admiral Sir Bruce Frazier for Britain, Lieutenant General Kuzma Derevyanko for Russia, General Sir Thomas Blaney for Australia, Colonel Lawrence Moore Cosgrave for Canada, General Jacques LeClerc for France, Admiral C. C. Helfrick for the Netherlands, and Air Vice Marshal Issit for New Zealand. Then MacArthur stepped to the microphone and said, “May peace return to the world and may God preserve it always. These proceedings are closed.” At that historic moment, just before nine A.M.

Sunday, Japan, under the terms of the Potsdam Declaration, was reduced to her four main islands and such minor islands as the allies might grant her. Her very life came under allied rule and will remain there until she is deemed worthy of rejoining the family of nations in a world dedicated to peace. MacArthur became the overlord of Japan and Emperor Hirohito a puppet.

MacArthur handed Shigemitsu general order number one, directing Japanese forces in Asia and Pacific islands to surrender to commanders acting for the United Nations. It gave instructions for demilitarizing planes and ships and the ending of manufacturing of army equipment and the release of all war prisoners. Even as he spoke, allied prisoners were pouring aboard hospital ships in Tokyo Bay. Thirty minutes after the Japanese arrived they were gone, and so was their dream of world conquest. It was the first time in twenty-six hundred years that Japan had been beaten.

General MacArthur then spoke to the nation by radio. He said, “A great tragedy has been ended. A great victory has been won.” He said that he spoke for the thousands of silent lips, forever stilled among the jungles and the beaches and in the deep waters of the Pacific which marked the way. Then he went on, “1 thank a merciful God that he has given us the faith, the courage, and the power from which to mould victory.” He closed by saying, “And so my fellow countrymen, today I report to you that your sons and daughters have served you faithfully. They are free from the bonds of war. Take care of them.”

In Washington, President Truman proclaimed Sunday, September 2nd, as “VJ” day; saying, “We shall not forget. The Japanese militarist will not forget the U.S.S. MISSOURI.” War came to a formal end exactly six years after Hitler marched into Poland on September. 1, 1939. The flag which was flying over the White House on December 7, 1941, flew from the battleship MISSOURI during the surrender ceremony. In between, it had flown over Rome and Berlin. Among some two hundred war correspondents aboard the MISSOURI were several Japanese newsmen. One reporter for the Domei News Agency ducked instinctively as American Corsair fighters flew over. Beside these Navy fighters were several hundred B29 Superfortresses and nearly two thousand Navy fighters and bombers performing in the greatest air show of all time.

The TAYLOR did her part in transporting over three hundred persons to and from the ceremony. Aboard our ship were many of the aforementioned notables, including the Japanese delegations of Shigemitsu and Umezu. The last Japanese official to leave the TAYLOR came to attention and smartly saluted our colors flying from the main mast, thus ending our part in the Pacific war.