Riley Cannon's War diary

 

1944  
Feb  20 Left Seattle, Wash. 
Mar 3 Arrived in Majuro Atoll  
Captured group of Marshall Islands  
18 Left Majuro  
30 Raided Palu Is.  Bogies all day--Many Jap Planes attacked at sunset 
31 Many Jap ships sunk many planes destroyed on ground 
     1 Attacked Woleai, no air opposition 
B2d Flight deck crash 
No. 13 suffered slight damage 
Lt. Whiteway, pilot of 13 escaped miraculously when a  Fox came in high  and pushed 
one Fox in No. 1 elevator on top of one already on the elevator. Finally going in himself. 
Ensign Spindler was killed 
  2  Burial services for Ensign Spindler and Stauerer  ARM3C 
Took aboard three Jap Prisoners, I talked to one who was a ship fitter once lived in Frisco,  
thought  US planes had same engines as Jap Zero, and U.S. had stole the plans. 
5 Initiated Polywogs 
6 Arrived in Majuro 
MGT Roy Dennis Coxswain of Landing Barge.  We got drunk on saki,  He  wrecked barge 
on coral rocks, we spent all that day and  night on islands using coconuts for food .  
Acquired  souvenirs of Jap planes and such. 
7 Change in command.  Capt. Stump, now Admiral  was relieved   by Capt. Lynch 
21 Shot down 8 Jap Planes 
Apr      23 Chow was interrupted by G.Q.  Shot down one Betty  close to ship. Night fighter found  
9 Bettys  flying in formation with lights  on, but  was out of amunition 
25 Shot down Betty, captured crew pilot of Betty,  requested to be shot,  next day he changed 
his mind.  Prisoners were treated well. 
28 Shot down several Boogies 
29 Attacked truck, 17 Jap planes shot down, we lost 3   RF pilots all out  Jap attack during night 
30 Judy dropped bombs off port quarter near destroyer sank Jap sub 
Still in Majuro went on island to take care of planes.                                
Went swimming  all day.  Caught octopus while swimming. 
Jun        11 Sent fighter sweep over Saipan 
12 Bombed Saipan, lost Lt. Cmdr. Isely and  Lt.  Delcardo and air  crewman.  
Acquired air strip, was later named Isely Field 
14 Bombed Saipan, shot down one Betty making Lt. Vracci’s 12th plane 
19 Task Force under attack all day, shot down 300 planes 
20 Attacked fleet, our planes being covered to hit the fleet hard, run out  of gas, several landed
in the water, flight deck crash ruining approximately 20 planes. 
21 Launched deck L2d to strike fleet, no luck, they had escaped 
22 Burial at sea 
25 Strike over Guam 
27 Sally shot down by night fighter. 
30 G.Q. Two planes attacked us. 
Jul  Strike over Guam, Lt. Abercrombie shot down 1  Betty 
2 Bombed Guam 
5 Hit town on Guam 
9 Air Group 11 left the ship 
Air Group 19 landed aboard, 150 planes were credited to 11 with Vracci 
being top Navy Ace 
  Arrived in Eniweton same day 
21 Covered invasion of Guam 
22 Cmdr. Lang transferred , Cmdr. Southerland taking  his place 
25 Strike on Palu 
26 Crash on flight deck, 4 men injured, 11 planes damaged 
31 Anchored at Saipan, watched shore batteries on Saipan shell Tinian, we  were 2 
Miles off  Saipan.
Aug 1 Left Saipan, sea rough. 
4 Bombed Bonin Islands, shot down 2 Jap planes 
9 Arrived in Eniweton 
19 Capt. inspection 
20 Holiday routine Hell!  Working parties all day. 
F18 fighter sweep over (Minddaao)? , lost one fighter. 
Sep 13 Near miss 
14 Hit Los Nocross, shot down many planes, sunk several ships
15 Covered invasion on Palu 
20 4 strikes over Manila 
24 Lt. Abercrombie went down as he was landing 
Bogies came in early in morning. 
Strike canceled because of typhoon 
Hit central Philippines 
Anchored at (Kossol)?  Road, one of the Palu is it has over 10,000 Japs  on it, 
we’re about 10 miles off  shore. 
Oct 1 Left Palu at 1200 
2 Anchored at Ulthy Islands, had two movies, a can hit  a mine
3 Left island because of typhoon, water was roughest I’ve yet seen, in the  southwest 
Pacific.  4 catra lines were required on planes. 
All hands slept in.  Those who wern’t sea sick, no  movies, damnit! 
Midnight chow again. 
Storm lasted all night and late in the  morning-anchored in V1: 
The, atoll islands--Essex lost one plane, and  3 men in storm.  
Today celebrated!  One year in the Navy--Hell ain’t it! 
5 Still in Ulthy Islands, no provisions taken aboard as yet. 
 6 Payday--Still no provisions, probably pull out this afternoon or  tomorrow. 
7 Left Ulthy 
Still stormy 
9 C.A.P. resp.t for strike 
10 Strike on Okinawa 21 
One strike on Tauhle Nshima, only 2 planes shot down by our planes. 
We sunk 2 heavy cruisers, several subs and numerous small craft. 
Several of our planes shot up, one landed without landing gear,  beautiful landing, very 
few bogies got  in close. 
11 2 C.A.P. refueled from tanker. 
Bogies all day, plane shot down two in sight of our ship. 
12 Bogies came in on launch, scared one pilot so bad he jumped out  of plane. 
Strike on Formosa, we lost 3 fighters and 2 pilots one was CMD Cook. 
We sunk 3 A.K.’s , hit 2 radio stations and shot down  28 planes,  two of our planes 
had to be  thrown  overboard, one landed without tailhook. 
Bogies all night and all day, taskgroup shot down 11 planes.  
Had very little sleep last night, cruised Cambaria got  one fish, only  making five knots 
strike on Formosa.  We got 6 planes. 
Oct 14 G.Q. All night strike on Formosa 8 planes shot down 
G.P. under torpedo attack,  Reno was hit and burning, 2 Jap launched fish and missed, 
he tried  a  suicide dive and  hit the fantail killing several men,   jeep on 
our starboard side, 
had 2 runs  made  on it  and was hit by one burning plane,  another just missing it.  
The plane we lost flew into 19 boogies splashing 4 before he was shot   down.               
One Jap came in on our fantail, we opened fire and  scared him, he did a  chandel, 
circled and dove missing us about 50ft with 500 lb. egg.  
As far as I know he got away.  It was hot while it  lasted! 
One more U.S. can sunk 
15 Pc (Tauling)?--looked like lots of mail on tanker for  us. 
Bomb from Jap ruined 2c 
Beck Coleman died--Fighter plane captain 
Still no god damned mail for Cannon! 
Oct 16 Possible contact with Jap fleet.  2 bogies 
G.Q. Hank died at 1100 today, Stewards Mate 3c 
B.G. died 
4 others seriously ill, 
Crazy Aram got a hole in his head a duplicate to mine only he had to shave 
 his head, ha! ha!
Enlisted October 4, 1944 
Honorable Discharged August 22, 1945  
Invalid from service 100% disabled 
Medals and ribbons include: 
1 bronze star on the Asiatic-Pacific Area Service Ribbon 
     for participation in the MARIANAS OPERATION  6/10 -8/27  1944 
     consisting of neutralization of Japanese bases in the  Bonins, 
     Marianas and Western Pacific 
     Capture and occupation of Saipan 
     Battle of the Philippine Sea 
     Second Bonins raid, Third Bonins raid, Fourth Bonins raid
     Capture and occupation of Guam 
     Palau, Yap, Ulithi raid 
 Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal 
 Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon 
 World War II Victory Medal 
 Philippine Liberation Ribbon-Foreign 
 Philippine Presidential Unit Citation-Foreign 
            
     
Copyright 1998 by Patty Cannon all rights reserved