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Liveblogging World War II: October 27, 1943

Off the Treasury Islands in the South Pacific:

Stanley Baranowski on the USS Cony:

Oct. 27, 1943 We got up at 3:30AM and at 5:00AM we went into GQ. We were laying off from island “Treasury” because we were fighting director for our planes. Nothing happened all morning. Everything was going good, then at 3:00PM got contact with a lot of planes--enemy. Then at 3:15PM, they came at us. So many of them. We started to fire everything we had. Bombs dropping all around us. 17 of them missed us. Then at 3:25PM we got 2 direct hits on port and starboard. Shrapnel flew everywhere. Lots of men were hit. 3-4-5 guns went out. Fire broke out on engines, they went out of order. We started to leave Treasury at 4:00PM. Worked on fires. Was up all night taking care of wounded.

Oct. 28, 1943: Still working on fires. Everyone was ordered to lighten ship so we started to throw ammo over the side. Ship was listing to port. Everybody getting ready to jump over side. Japs are still after us. We are going on one engine. Then at 11:15AM port engine gave out. tug came along and started to tow us and at 12:00PM or later, fire was out. Then at 9:30PM we we entered nets of Port Pervis. At 11:00PM moored to tanker “Oragon” and we took off wounded men.

Oct. 29, 1943: Got up at 6:0AM. Worked like hell and at 1:35PM took off 2 dead fellows burned to death--what a horrible sight. There are 4 men in number, 3 magazine we can’t get at them too much pressure on hatch. Admiral came aboard to look things over, said its a State side job and at 5:30PM a show started named “Accidents Will Happen.”

Oct. 27, 1943 From “Landing Craft Flotillas, South Pacific Force, Office of the Commander:

The performance of Cony in shooting down four, or possibly five, enemy planes during this attack is highly commendable.

Signed G.H. Fort Commander Task Group Thirty-one

Oct. 27, 1943: From: Commander, Destroyer Squadron Twenty-Two, J.E. Hurff:

To: Comander-inChief, U.S. Pacific Fleet:

Subject: USS Cony Action Report October 27, 1943

  1. The Cony was alert in picking up the impending attack and gave timely warning to other ships present. The ship was skillfully handled and ably fought during the attack. The handling of damage was particularly gratifying. Only a ship thoroughly drilled and organized in damage control could have met this situation.

  2. In separate correspondence it has been recommended that the Navy Cross be awarded to the Commanding Officer, Commander Harry D. Johnston, U.S. Navy.