FS-255 (U.S. Army ship)

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Design 381 Army FS.jpg
Similar ship, a Design 381 (Vessel, Supply, Diesel, Steel, 177') FP-343 (FP later designated FS) photographed in 1944. Naval Historical and Heritage Command: Photo #: NH 74691
Career (USA)
Builder: Wheeler Shipbuilding, Whitestone, New York
Commissioned: U.S. Army, 6 June 1944
Fate: Sunk by torpedo, 11 May 1945, Taloma Bay, Davao Gulf, Mindanao, Philippines
General characteristics
Type: U.S. Army Design 381 (Vessel, Supply, Diesel, Steel, 177') Freight & Supply (FS)
Tonnage: 560 gt
Length: 177 ft (54 m)
Beam: 32 ft (9.8 m)
Draft: 14 ft (4.3 m)
Propulsion: two 500hp GM Cleveland Division 6-278A 6-cyl V6 diesel engines, twin screws
Speed: 13 knots (24 km/h; 15 mph)
Crew: 20 enlisted, 4 officers

U.S. Army FS-255 was one of the U.S. Coast Guard manned U.S. Army Freight and Supply (FS) ships of World War II.

Construction[edit]

The ship was a Design 381[1] coastal ship built at Wheeler Shipbuilding, Whitestone, New York and commissioned at the shipyard on 6 June 1944 with LT Ludwig Ehlers, USCG as commanding officer. On 3 August 1944 he was succeeded by LT Robert F. Maloney, USCGR.[2]

Service history[edit]

FS-255 with the Davao Gulf First Re-Supply Echelon was loaded with a cargo of 155-mm ammunition destined for the U.S. Army 24th Division. She was anchored on the night of 10–11 May 1945 in 17 fathoms of water, 1000 yards, 140 degrees from the pier at the head of Taloma Bay, Davao Gulf, Mindanao, Philippines with hatches open and about 80 tons of ammunition remaining to be unloaded. At 0030 on 11 May 1945 in rainy weather she was hit on her port quarter in the after crew's compartment by a torpedo.

LT George A. Tardif, USCG, the commanding officer, went on deck and ordered all hands checked and a search for injured. The search determined SC3 Frank Ness, YN1 Edward P. ConIiffe, and NM1 William Brown were injured and that MoMM 2/c Lewis Cohen, Steward Theodore R. Strong were missing from the crew's quarters and MoMM 1/c Robert Swett and SC 1/c Richard E. Hoetger who had been sleeping in hammocks on the fantail were also missing with large masses of blood found on deck.

The aft bulkhead of the engine rooms was ruptured and the main engines were nearly flooded. The wardroom, galley and mess hall aft were torn apart and impassable. The lifeboat and gig were heavily damaged with sterns blown off and out of their cradles. The ship had buckled between the #2 hatch and bridge with foot high ridges in deck plating and extending down the ship's side to the water. Ammunition from a gun aft had been blown forward to the forecastle head near the anchor winch. The gun was missing.

FS-255 was settling rapidly and two life rafts were launched as LCI-21 was signaled that the ship had been hit. Three minutes after the life rafts had cleared FS-255 rolled over to port and sank at 0050. LCI-21 picked up all survivors ten minutes later. Sixteen of twenty enlisted crew and all four officers survived.

See also[edit]

Battle of Mindanao

References[edit]

Paraphrased from: World War II Coast Guard-Manned U.S. Army Freight and Supply Ship Histories: FS-255

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]