USS Cascade (AD-16)
|Builder:||Western Pipe and Steel Company, San Francisco, California|
|Launched:||6 June 1942|
|Commissioned:||12 March 1943|
|Decommissioned:||12 February 1947|
|Recommissioned:||5 April 1951|
|Decommissioned:||22 November 1974|
|Struck:||23 November 1974|
|Fate:||Sold for scrapping, 1 October 1975|
|Displacement:||9,250 long tons (9,398 t)|
|Length:||492 ft (150 m)|
|Beam:||69 ft 9 in (21.26 m)|
|Draft:||27 ft 6 in (8.38 m)|
|Speed:||18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph)|
Originally designed as a passenger-freighter, the Cascade was launched on 6 June 1942 by Western Pipe and Steel Company in San Francisco, California. The ship was sponsored by Mrs. Charles W. Crosse, wife of Rear Admiral Charles W. Crosse, USN. It was turned over to the Matson Navigation Company of San Francisco, California, for outfitting in October 1942. The Cascade was commissioned on 12 March 1943, Captain S. B. Ogden in command.
- 1 Service history
- 2 Commanding officers
- 3 Service Squadron 4 and Service Squadron 10
- 4 Christmas 1945 USS Cascade at Wakeyama, Japan
- 5 Court of Inquiry
- 6 A Personal Message from the Commodore to all hands in Service Squadron 10
- 7 References
- 8 External links
World War II, 1943–1947
Cascade cleared San Francisco on 12 June 1943 for Pearl Harbor, where she began her war time duty of tending destroyers. As the war moved westward, Cascade followed, bringing her support close to the action areas. From November 1943, she was stationed successively at Kwajalein, Eniwetok, and Ulithi, while the ships she served ranged the Pacific, escorting convoys, screening carrier task forces, supporting invasions, and carrying out many other tasks with typical destroyer versatility. Cascade was part of Service Squadron 10.
In June 1945, Cascade sailed to Okinawa, where she endured the suicide raids and typhoon weather. She left Okinawan waters in September to serve in Wakayama, Japan and later at Tokyo, Japan, supporting the occupation until March 1946, when she sailed for the East Coast. Cascade was decommissioned and placed in service in reserve at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 12 February 1947.
Recommissioned on 5 April 1951, Cascade was based in Newport, Rhode Island, as tender for the many destroyers home-ported there. From Newport she cruised to the Caribbean and the Mediterranean to support the destroyers deployed there. During this time Cascade served as flagship, and carried the flag of Commander, Service Force, 6th Fleet, and the flag of Commander, Destroyer Flotilla 6. She also served as flagship for Commander, Destroyer Force, Atlantic. She served in this role as flagship and tender up through 1963. From 1970 to 1974, the Cascade was forward deployed to the Mediterranean, homeported in Naples Italy. When was in the port of Naples Cascade was used even like a set for a scene of Italian Movie Polvere di stelle in 1973 with Alberto Sordi, Monica Vitti and John Phillip Law.
Decommissioning and sale
The Cascade was decommissioned on 22 November 1974 and struck from the Naval Register on 23 November 1974. She was subsequently sold for scrap to Luria Brother of Brooklyn, New York, and dismantled at the Gulmar Yard in Brownsville, Texas starting September 1975.
- Captain Samuel Burr Ogden commissioning - May 1944
- Captain Herbert Kenneth Gates May 1944 - 24 December 1945
- Captain Louis T. Young 25 December 1945 - 12 February 1947
- Decommissioned 12 February 1947 - 5 April 1951
- Captain George Bennett Haywood Stallings RADM 5 April 1951 - May 1952
- Captain Robert Roy McGregor May 1952 - July 1953
- Captain Joseph Patrick Canty RADM July 1953 - August 1954
- Captain Robert J. Olsen August 1954 - January 1956
- Captain Edward Livingston Robertson January 1956 - January 1957
- Captain George Garvie Molumphy January 1957 - December 1957
- Captain Lester Cameron Conwell December 1957 - November 1959
- Captain Frederic Hall White Jr. November 1959 - November 1960
- Captain Carl Hawkinsmith Barnes Morrison November 1960 - October 1961
- Captain James Henry Curran October 1961 - November 1962
- Captain Eddy, Thomas Roderick November 1962 - December 1962
- CDR George McNemer Schwartze (Acting CO) December 1962 - February 1963
- Captain Robert Stephen Guy February 1963 - June 1964
- Captain Thomas John Moriarty June 1964 - July 1965
- Captain Lewis Kendall Worthing July 1965 - March 1966
- Captain George Birdt March 1966 - September 1967
- Captain James C. Linville September 1967 - January 1969
- Captain Robert S. Tisdale January 1969 - September 1970
- Captain Robert Francis Schniedwind September 1970 - 15 July 1972
- Captain Major Israel McCreight III 15 July 1972 - 27 August 1974
- LCDR. J. Hudson Beaton 27 August 1974 - 22 November 1974
Service Squadron 4 and Service Squadron 10
In the autumn of 1943 Admiral Nimitz ordered the creation of two service squadrons. These two squadrons would provide mobile service to the fleet as it moved across the Pacific — with one service as fleet base while the second remained to the rear. As the fleet captured new sites the rear squadron would move to the front and act as fleet base.
Service Squadron 4 was commissioned on 1 November 1943. The squadron was made up of 24 vessels and would be based in Funafuti Atoll. The USS Cascade, Captain Samuel Ogden, was the flagship for the squadron and Captain Ogden was also chief staff officer for the Squadron. The repair ships Phaon (ARB-3) and Vestal (AR-4) and 21 other ships comprised the squadron. On 21 November 1943 the Cascade arrived at Funafuti where she remained until February 1944. During the stay at Funafuti the Cascade serviced numerous fleet vessels — including 10 destroyers and 8 destroyer escorts.
During this period Captain Worrall Reed Carter (USNA 1908), was organizing the second service squadron. Service Squadron 10 was commissioned on 15 January 1944 at Pearl Harbor.
After the capture of Kwajalein in February 1944 the Cascade moved from Funafuti to Kwajalein. On 17 March 1944 Squadron 4 was absorbed into Squadron 10. Captain Herbert Meyer Scull (USNA 1919,) was reassigned as Chief of Staff for Rear Admiral Hoover, Commander Forward Area, Central Pacific. Captain Samuel Ogden in the Cascade became representative "A" of Commander Service Squadron 10 in command of Kwajalein and Roi.
The Cascade remained at Kwajalein until May 1944 when she moved to Eniwetok. On 5 June Commodore Carter joined SERVRON 10 at Eniwetok. His flagship was the Prairie (AD-15). The following ships were also present in July 1944: destroyer tenders Cascade, Piedmont (AD-17), and Markab (AD-21); repair ship Hector (AR-7); repair ship landing craft Egeria (ARL-8); floating drydocks ARD-13, ARD-15; mobile floating drydock AFD-15; and floating workshop YR-30. During July 1944 there were a large number of vessels present at Eniwetok. The daily average of ships present during the first half of July was 488; during the second half of July the daily average number of ships at Eniwetok was 283. By the end of July Commodore Carter flew to Pearl Harbor to participate in planning the move of Servron 10 facilities from Eniwetok to Ulithi.
On 4 October 1944 Service Squadron 10 began leaving Eniwetok for Ulithi. On 8 October 1944 Commodore Worrall R. Carter's flagship the Prairie, the merchant ammunition ship Plymouth Victory and the Cascade, Captain Herbert Kenneth Gates (USNA 1924), sailed for Ulithi. The Markab initially remained at Eniwetok, leaving for Ulithi on 18 October 1944 and arriving on 22 October. Service Squadron 10's conversion of the lagoon at Ulithi to a major naval resupply and staging area was one of the most remarkable feats of the war.
On 20 November 1944 the Ulithi harbor was attacked by Japanese kaiten human torpedoes launched from two nearby submarines. The destroyer Case (DD-370) rammed one in the early morning hours. At 5:47 the fleet oiler Mississinewa (AO-59), at anchor in the harbor, was struck and sunk. Destroyers began dropping depth charges throughout the anchorage. At 6:25 the cruiser Mobile (CL-63) reported that a torpedo had passed under its bow. The destroyer escorts Rall (DE-304), Halloran (DE-305), and Weaver (DE-741) performed an anti-submarine attack in response to the torpedo attack and reported that an enemy submarine was sunk. Another enemy submarine was sunk by an air attack some 15 miles east of Ulithi. There were two explosions on the reef which indicated the presence of additional kaiten. After the war Japanese naval officers said that two tender submarines each carrying four manned torpedoes had been sent to attack the fleet at Ulithi. Three of the suicide torpedoes were unable to launch due to mechanical problems and another ran aground on the reef. Two did make it into the lagoon, one of which sank the Mississinewa.
Following operations at Leyte, Task Force 38 arrived at Ulithi on 24 December. Damaged ships from the force had preceded the main fleet by a few days. The repair ship Ajax (AR-6) had begun work on the Altamaha (CVE-18) and Jicarilla (ATF-104); the Hector was repairing the San Jacinto (CVL-30); the destroyer Dewey (DD-349) was tied up to the Prairie for repairs; the Cascade had the Buchanan (DD-484) alongside; the Dixie (AD-14) was repairing the Dyson (DD-572).
On 4 March 1945 the destroyers Ringgold (DD-500) and Yarnall (DD-541) collided while conducting night battle drills while en route to Ulithi as part of Task Group 58.1. Ringgold's bow was sheared off to frame 22 and she was extensively damaged to frame 26 port and 38 starboard. Yarnall's bow was bent to the right and upward; her bow broke off and sank during towing. Upon arrival at Ulithi the Ringgold went alongside of the Cascade for installation of a temporary bow. In early April the Ringgold departed for Pearl Harbor for permanent repairs and the Yarnall left for Mare Island Navy Yard.
On 13 March 1945 there were 647 ships at anchor at Ulithi and with the arrival of amphibious forces staging at Ulithi for the invasion of Okinawa the number of ships at anchor peaked at 722. During the preparations for the Okinawa invasion the service load on Squadron 10 was extremely heavy.
On 8 March 1944 the Commander Service Squadron 10 created the Mobile Fleet Motion Picture Sub-Exchange No. 1. The Prairie operated the north exchange and the Cascade operated a branch exchange to service ships in the southern anchorage of Ulithi. The program issued 100 35-mm films and 652 16-mm films per day during December 1944.
Christmas 1945 USS Cascade at Wakeyama, Japan
The following brief history of the USS Cascade from her commissioning until the end of the war was included in the Christmas 1945 menu. At the time the commanding officer was Captain Louis T. Young, USN, and the executive officer was Comdr. T.W. Hardisty, USN.
Captain Young's Christmas message was as follows: "To all Officers and the Crew: It is my pleasure and privilege to wish you all, individually and collectively, the best of Merry Christmas and the happiest of New Years. May the following ones be even better."
Lt-Comdr. Hardisty's Christmas message was as follows: "The Christmas season is one when our thoughts are drawn to happy memories of the past and of happier things to come. It is my sincere wish for you all that this Christmas season be a very happy one and that the New Year will be filled with many blessings."
The Christmas menu included: Cream of Tomato Soup, Ripe Olives, Sweet Pickles, Roast Tom Turkey, Giblet Gravy, Sage Dressing, Cranberry Sauce, Mashed Potatoes, Buttered Peas, Parker House Rolls, Fruit Cake, Mince Pie, Ice Cream, Cigars, Cigarettes, Coffee.
A destroyer tender is a "mother hen" for a vast brood of destroyers, and is a "mother hen" especially equipped and provided with ships capable of undertaking and completing repairs and overhaul of practically all the equipment on a destroyer from the common place typewriter to the powerful engines which drive them at high speeds in carrying out their mission. In addition the "mother hen" is provided with large and sundry rooms and refrigeration spaces from which the destroyers are provisioned, clothed, and provided with the necessary spare parts for their maintenance. In addition, and like all good mothers the "mother hen" takes care of many of the destroyers personnel in administering to their pains, ills, and injuries.
With World War II over, and the task of "tending" the Navy's "tin-cans" being minimized, the USS Cascade, like many of the other "mother-hens" has every reason in the world to crow — shout, if you wish, about all the good deeds which have been accomplished by the vessel in helping destroyers and other craft on the road to victory.
As a destroyer tender, the USS Cascade's role in the war has been that of repairing, overhauling and supplying combatant destroyers of the Third, Fifth and Seventh fleets. Up until the time the Philippine Islands were secured, every fleet turn around found the USS Cascade busily engaged in preparing her assigned quota of ships for operations against the Japanese. Although designed primarily to handle destroyers and destroyer type vessels, the USS Cascade in nearly three years of duty in the Pacific has serviced more than a thousand ships. The majority of destroyers and destroyer escorts which numbered nearly half that number were serviced as many as four times each. In addition, the ship has tended 175 landing craft (LST, LCI, LCM, LSD, and LCS), almost 100 sub-chasers, 60 transports, 32 cargo ships, 56 tankers, 37 mine sweepers, 10 cruisers, 7 aircraft carriers, and a miscellaneous group of other types neighboring around one hundred in number. Due to the long supply line which commenced to make itself felt in November 1943, the USS Cascade was dovetailed into another assignment in addition to her original assignment. While machine shops hummed the new job added to the increasing tempo of the ship's activity. During the two years of this duty, ten thousand tons of fresh and dry provisions were received and issued. Five hundred and fifty one tons of clothing were issued and an equal number of tons of ship's store stock was sold by the ship. The combined value of these issues amounted to more than five million dollars.
A 15,000-ton destroyer tender, the USS Cascade was built by the Western Pipe and Steel Company of South San Francisco, California. Originally designed as a passenger-freighter, the keel for the Cascade was laid 6 July 1942. The ship was sponsored by Mrs. Charles W. Crosse, wife of Rear Admiral Charles W. Crosse, USN. It was turned over to the Matson Navigation Company of San Francisco, California for outfitting in October 1942. Joslyn & Ryan, Naval Architects of that city, assisted in the completion of the ship. On 12 March 1943 the USS Cascade was placed in commission with Captain S. B. Ogden, as commanding officer. There were at that time thirty (30) officers, forty-five (45) Chief Petty Officers and six hundred twenty six (626) enlisted men in the crew. After thirty days at Mare Island Navy Yard where some necessary alterations were made the ship sailed for San Diego and engaged in training operations for a short period. At the conclusion of training; orders were received to report for duty to Commander Destroyers Pacific Fleet, in connection with tending and repairing destroyers, and in accordance with these orders the ship sailed from the United States on 12 June 1943, arriving at Pearl Harbor 18 June 1943. As the activities of the ship increased it became necessary the latter part of 1943 to increase personnel of the ship to forty nine officers, eight Chief Petty Officers and one thousand fifty enlisted men.
During the two years and seven months that the USS Cascade has been in commission, the commanding officers have been Captain Samuel B. Ogden, US Navy, Paramount Apartments 565 Geary Street, San Francisco, California; Captain Herbert K. Gates, US Navy, 919 North McLellan Street, Bay City, Michigan; and the present Captain, Louis T. Young, US Navy, 1816 North Louise Street, Glendale 7, California. It has sailed a distance of over fifteen thousand (15,000) miles, which for a ship of the Navy, is not an impressive figure, but nearly all of it was steamed in the forward operating areas as the war in the Pacific moved westward. In order to remain as close as possible to the operating areas of the Pacific Fleet, the USS Cascade was stationed at the following islands and atolls during the periods as indicated:
- Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, June — November 1943
- Funafuti, Ellice Islands, November 1943 — February 1944
- Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands, March — May 1944
- Eniwetok Atoll, Marshall Islands, July — October 1944
- Ulithi Atoll, Caroline Islands, October 1944-May 1945
- Kerama Retto, Okinawa, June 1945
- Buckner Bay, Okinawa, July–September 1945
- Wakayama, Japan, September 1945
Of these the most interesting, yet most hazardous location that the ship operated was at Kerama Retto, Okinawa during the month of June 1945. The main island of Okinawa had not as yet been secured and Kamikaze raids took place almost nightly. A few such raids were conducted during the daylight hours also. Kerama Retto served as a refuge for destroyers and smaller ships damaged by the Japanese fliers. Here these ships which the USS Cascade and her sister tenders repaired were made ready once again for battle. Others which were more seriously damaged were made seaworthy for their long voyages to the Navy Yards of the United States. Among these ships who achieved nationwide publicity by their ability to sustain damage and still knock Japanese planes out of the air were the following vessels: USS Laffey, USS Evans, USS Cassin Young, USS Leutze, USS Braine, USS Stormes, USS Aaron Ward, and the USS Shannon.
The ship is currently winding up a Pacific tour of duty while tending US Navy ships off Wakayama, Japan. The next assignment to the Reserve Fleet, Atlantic, will return the USS Cascade to water and land the vessel has not seen in three years.
Court of Inquiry
In December 1944 a court of inquiry was held in the wardroom of the Cascade, at Ulithi, regarding the loss of three ships and over 800 men from the US Third Fleet during a typhoon. The Third Fleet was under the command of William F. (Bull) Halsey, Jr. during the typhoon in mid-December 1944. Admiral Chester A. Nimitz, CINCPAC, was in attendance at the court. Forty-three-year-old Captain Herbert K. Gates, of the Cascade, was the Judge Advocate for the court. Gates was an expert in mechanical and marine engineering. The story of the typhoon, the loss of ships and the court of inquiry is told in the book "Halsey's Typhoon — The True Story of a Fighting Admiral, an Epic Storm, and an Untold Rescue", Bob Drury and Tom Clavin, Atlantic Monthly Press, New York, 2007.
A Personal Message from the Commodore to all hands in Service Squadron 10
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During World War II the Cascade was assigned to Service Squadron 10.
The following is a personal message from Commodore W. R. Carter to all hands in Service Squadron 10. The message is undated but is assumed to have been written in the later part of 1945 (probably July 1945, when he was ordered back to Washington for medical examinations — he was found physically fit but the war ended before he could return to the Pacific theater. Following the war Rear Admiral Worral Reed Carter, USN (Retired) authored the book "Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil" - The story of fleet logistics afloat in the Pacific during World War II.
As some of you know, I am under orders to be detached, and upon being relieved as Commander Service Squadron 10, I am to proceed and report to a naval hospital in the United States for treatment. Upon the eve of my departure, I wish to express some thoughts about the Squadron, its people, and the work they have done during the past nineteen months.
To give you some of its historical background, the Squadron had its beginning back in November 1943, and Lieutenant (jg) Simon, my Staff Secretary, Lieutenant Commander McCall, my Ammunition Officer, Lieutenant Connitt, Lieutenant Weaver, and other "old timers, so to speak, with me will tell you that we started from scratch in every sense of the word. We began with very few personnel, but we did have backing and we had an idea. That backing was from Admiral Nimitz, Admiral Spruance, and others whose support and foresight stimulated the development of the idea; and that idea, or mission, was the LOGISTICS SUPPORT OF FLEET OPERATIONS FROM FLOATING MOBILE BASES. In other words, we were to be mobile and to serve the fleet from floating equipment, and to move forward as the operations advanced to the westward.
As I have already mentioned, our beginnings were modest ones — few officers, few men, and scant equipment marked those early days. However, we progressed and from a small office in Pearl we later set up operations in Majuro on 13 February 1944 when the Squadron Flagship, U.S.S. Prairie arrived from Pearl with my staff and enlisted personnel. Two or three days before the arrival of the Prairie, the U.S.S. Vega had reached Majuro with a load of pontoon cells. Based on difficulties encountered while attempting to assemble pontoons ashore in the South Pacific (sic), arrangements were made to assemble sections in the water alongside the ship. In twenty-one days, twenty pontoon barges were put together without shore assistance. Later as we grew, more adequate transportation was procured, but, this incident is recalled as it marked an early means of servicing the fleet. Pontoon barges were used for transportation of provisions, supplies, and were even employed then to take liberty parties ashore. As I look back, I feel grateful to the men who assembled and manned those barges — their service was invaluable in supplying the fleet in those early days.
I should like to mention, that, of comparatively few ships which carried the work load of the Squadron at Majuro over a year ago, some are still with the Squadron. The Prairie, then commanded by Captain Kneeland; and the Vestal, commanded by Commander Singer; were the only repair ships and tenders at Majuro when we started and for the first hectic weeks thereafter. Later we were joined by the Ajax, commanded by Captain Brown, which arrived from the Gilberts; the Markab, commanded by Captain Farrell; the Phaon; and the ARD-13, commanded by Commander Travis. The Cascade had been running the Service Squadron 10 business at Kwajalein, under Captain Ogden, who was also my representative there. When the Argonne arrived in May 1944, it was sent to Kwajalein to serve as the flagship for the Service Squadron 10 Representative, and the Cascade, the commanded by Captain Gates, joined us at Majuro in May. All of the above still carry on.
During our days at Majuro, it was my privilege to commission six naval vessels two thousand miles from the nearest naval district. They were six over-age merchant tankers which were commissioned as the Aretusa, Quiros, Signal, Malvern, Antona, and Manileno. Those ships, along with the Sepulag, have been the backbone of our harbor fuel fleet. The daily life of the officers and men on those ships may have seemed dull and unexciting (and it certainly was not very inspiring) but I am most appreciative of their persistent efforts, and fine work accomplishing without complaining.
Prior to our departure from Majuro, we were joined by the first of the concrete ships, or "crockery" fleet, the Trefoil and Quartz.
The above were the ships we had at Majuro. The were the ships that serviced Admiral Spruance's fleet prior to strikes against the Palaus, Truk, and the Marianas, prior to the occupation of Hollandia, and prior to offensive operations against the Marianas in the summer of 1944. They were the ships that helped to stage the amphibious forces through Kwajalein, Roi and Eniwetok prior to landings on Saipan.
After Majuro days, ships too numerous to mention individually, joined the Squadron.
In June 1944, the Squadron moved to Eniwetok. Here the demands upon the Squadron increased as more combatant units had to be replenished, and amphibious groups staged through. As in Majuro, with hard work and "Yankee" ingenuity, and with facilities sorely overtaxed, you overcame the many difficulties imposed upon the Squadron by this greatly increased work load. This was our critical test period, and our "fight" during June and July and part of August was tough, but you made it.
In August, Captain Rhoads was sent to Saipan as a representative, Captain Odgen to Manus, and in September, Captain Houser was sent to Guam. We were spreading out and I look back with pride upon those days when the Squadron was becoming better known and when it was beginning to play an increasingly important part in giving service, not only at the main fleet anchorage, but at advanced island bases as well. We made our share of mistakes and pulled a boner now and then, but we tried to do better the next time, and we did.
In October, we began the trek from Eniwetok to the westward. This time our destination was Ulithi Atoll in the Carolines. This was accomplished by despatching four towing convoys consisting of strings of floating equipment of assorted types and sizes — liberty ships towed barges and pontoon floats; fleet tugs towed drydocks large and small; smaller tugs going along as retrievers. Into the drydocks were loaded LCVP's, derrick barges, and small harbor tugs — LCM's were loaded on the deck of any ship that would carry them. Our supply and ammunition ships went forward. Covered lighters with ammunition and provisions, drydocks with their precious cargo of small craft, target rafts, etc., made their way across 1400 miles of open water, slow and vulnerable to storm damage and enemy submarine action, to a new operating base. I can not pass these incidents without a most favorable comment on the manner in which these large groups of slow vessels, with their ponderous tows of no-self-propelled equipment, were mothered across the ocean without a single loss. This incident testifies to your painstaking attention to the many details to insure, as far as you were humanly able, that the transfer of our equipment to a new location would be accomplished without mishap. Needless to say, I am humbly grateful that we encountered no bad weather.
It was while at Ulithi that the duties of Service Squadron 10 became more arduous, and the responsibilities more challenging than ever, for it was here that greatly increased naval task forces of all types were serviced prior to action against the enemy, this in spite of storms and rough water. The tempo was being stepped up, and sometimes you had only a few days to replenish a group before it had to sail again. This meant careful planning and hard work, both night and day. In relatively short times, very large quantities of supplies and materials of all classes were delivered. You may be interested in learning some of the figures recorded for a period during one of our operations. The daily average volume for a month of some items was as follows:
- Dry provisions: 376 tons
- Fresh and Frozen: 320 tons
- General stores: 289 tons (including 5 tons of rope)
- Ship's store stock: 50 tons
- Black oil: 75,000 bbls
- Diesel oil: 8,000 bbls
- Aviation gas: 216,000 gals
- Water: 157,000 gals
- Ammunition: 660 tons
- Prepacked medical supplies: 1 ton (plus)
- Whole blood: 100 pts
- Transportation of planes between ships: 10
- Salvage aviation material: 14
- Transportation air group personnel: 300 men
- Repairs to: 27 different ships
- Issued by radio pool: 4,000 items
- Spare parts issued by one ship: 227
- Transportation of recreation parties: 4,125 men
- Issues of 35 mm films: 157 programs
- Issues of 16 mm films: 45 programs
- Issues of sea prints: 33
- Surface and anti-aircraft firing: 5
- Exercises set up, Visual messages: 527 (one every 2.7 minutes)
- Radio traffic: 21,298 groups (14.8 groups a minute)
- Officer Messenger Mail center: 450 ship's representative's called at office; 897 pieces of mail distributed.
The above are representative items of various departments, and take note that these figures are average for one day only. Obviously, in this letter, one cannot assemble all of the descriptive data properly to show the work necessary to make the delivery of all items, or the effort expended to accomplish all services, some which have not been listed. But, whether recorded or not, I have not lost sight of the part all must play in the game of replenishing, repairing and rearming the fleet.
The term "all" must include everyone; not forgetting — coxswains and bow hooks of boats, men on tugs, on barges, storekeepers on concretes, welders on repair ships, fuze setters, winch handlers, hatch tenders, stevedores, shore patrol, cleaning details, divers, yeomen, signalmen, ammunition handlers, pharmacists mates, every one in every contributing capacity, almost too numerous to name. To all — well done! Or as Commander Third Fleet stated it in a message to me just after his command had been serviced, "A rousing well done to you and your hard working gang for a magnificent job in taking care of our needs. Beans, bullets, black oil, bulk stores and even bulkheads have been promptly forthcoming on each request. Service Squadron 10 is a tried and proven member of our big blue team." Signed "Admiral Halsey." I was immensely proud to have received that message. It gave me cheer and confidence, it made us tighten our belts for more strenuous duties to come. And more strenuous duties did come with the demands of the fleet steadily increasing!
For the Third Fleet, and later again the Fifth Fleet under Admiral Spruance had to be made ready for strikes against the enemy. The fleet was reaching out to support operations moving steadily westward and northward toward the Empire and to make strikes of its own against the Japanese homeland itself which included air strikes over Tokyo. The Admiral brought his ships back into port again and again to be replenished, repaired and rearmed by you. Again an Admiral in command of a Fleet after periods of replenishment, in this case, Admiral Raymond A. Spruance, sent our Squadron messages of appreciation of the work accomplished. Task force, task group and task unit commanders also commented favorably. These messages gave us a warm glow of pride, and spurred us on to even greater efforts.
Over a period of eight months you worked at Ulithi, and except for the inspiring sight of the fleet coming in and going out again, you had another to look at taller than an 80-foot coconut tree on the top of the coral rim of the atoll. Officers and men of the active units of the fleet had the excitement and inspiration of attacks against the enemy, while you had the steady grind of the work day and night, in order that the fleet might keep its unrelenting pressure steadily on the enemy. With unchanging scenery, sameness, and tropical heat, you did your work without complaining and you did it well. I give you credit! However, in May 1945, a change of scenery came at last, and again you packed your boats into docks, took the barges in tow, and again, through threat of typhoon and danger from enemy attack, made your way across the ocean to our present operating base. The good Lord was with us, and again our equipment arrived without loss of personnel or material, to set up our organization for the servicing of a fleet operating still closer to the Japanese Empire.
This brings me near the end of my message to you. We must soon part company but I hope it will only be temporarily, for, having been in the game so long, I want to see it through to the end. However, come what may, I want you to realize the important part you have played in the prosecution of this war, and that your work has fully justified the soundness of the idea that the fleet could be supported from floating and mobile bases, moving that floating equipment along with the fleet as it advanced further toward the Japanese Empire. As I have mentioned heretofore, your job may be lacking in the spectacular and glamorous features of battles at sea, nevertheless, as time goes on, and more of the history of this war is written, you will find that the contribution of our Squadron to the war effort will be one of the unique pages in the annals of this war, and so I want you to know the honor which I feel in having commanded Service Squadron 10 in carrying out its mission of giving LOGISTICS SUPPORT TO FLEET OPERATIONS FROM FLOATING MOBILE BASES.
In closing, may I offer my sincere thanks to all of my officers and men for your leadership, hard work, your foresight, your effective planning, your loyalty, your tireless support, - without any of these, the job could not have been done. Keep up the good work! Good luck!
- W.R. Carter
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.
- Photo gallery of USS Cascade at NavSource Naval History
- Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil - The Story of Fleet Logistics Afloat During World War II