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Page 21 text:
return to the United States. Events negating this happyjuncture, she returned to Manus
on February Gm. '
After a few days at anchor, the Foreman was again undenlvay. Her orders read Ulithi
Atoll in the Caroline Islands, and the crew read between the lines and realized that this
was the end to rear area duty for her. This time they back in the fight.
On the 20th of February she returned to lVlanus for replenishment, joined again with her
sister ship, the USS England, and together they sailed to Ulithi, saying goodbye to
Manus Island forever.
Their new base was just then assuming a tremendous role in the last step of the war-
the strikes against the Jap homeland, and all about her, the Foreman saw bustling
activity, and felt the thrill of knowing that she, too, was to play her part in the crushing of
the Nip empire. On all sides, she saw the might of the U.S. Navy drawn together, and
knew that big things were afoot. Here, at last, she was the "fighting Navy."
From now on, the destinies of the Foreman were to be closely allied with those of the
Fifth Fleet, the striking fleet of one of the leaders of the Naval war, Admiral Raymond A.
Arriving on the 5th of lVlarch at the nerve center of future attacks on Japan, the Foreman
knew she was through with merchant escorting and other "rear area" tasks. Now she
was with the "heavies" and that meant action.
This conception was not wrong, for after a few days, at Ulithi, and another brief period at
Palau, and a one-day trip to Pelelieu, the Foreman was ordered to rush back to the
Ulithi and there was ordered to join Task Force 54, composed of battleships, cruisers,
destroyers, and one or two other destroyer escorts. The orders left no doubt. This was
Page 20 text:
By this time, the crew was calling their ship, "The Fighting Foreman," and even now,
they speak affectionately of her by this name.
She departed for Manus, a worn ship with a weary crew. Replenishment and rest was
During the remainder of the year 1944, the little Navy ship "turned to" once again on
missions of escort between Hollandia, Dutch New Guinea and Seadler Harbor at Manus
in the Admiralty Islands. The ships she escorted brought supplies and much-needed
equipment to the rapid-expanding New Guinea base.
Christmas Day was spent at Manus. A festive holiday dinner was served, including
traditional turkey and the fixings. All hands enjoyed a full day of rest by order of the
Skipper, and opened packages received from home. Despite gay decorations in the
crew's mess hall, and their attempts to feel happy, it was evident that many were the
thoughts of "those Christmases at home." Few spoke of it, but all were thinking of the
next Christmas, and wondering whether it, too, would be spent in Far Pacific waters.
By the end of 1944, the Foreman and her crew were veterans of the Pacific war,
participants in three invasions, accomplished .travelers of the South Pacific, experienced
in the battle tactics if the enemy, had known war weariness, and witnesses of the
inception of the new Japanese air techniques of "Kamikaze fDivine Windy Attacks."
They were to see more of this technique as their efforts in the war continued.
During 1944, major events had taken place aboard ship. Her commissioning Captain,
her commissioning Executive Officer, and her original Engineering Officer had been
replaced. So had the first ASW officer. Many new faces were to be seen among her
crew, and a few of the old ones were missing. A new battle-witness was evident. This
was to be an advantage in days to come.
As the year 1945 opened, the Philippines clampaign was almost complete. The big
ships were engaging the enemy in the last big naval battle of the war, and the last
phase of the Pacific war was beginning.
The outlook for action for the DE appeared not very bright as it continued its usual
escort runs between Hollandia and Manus for the first weeks in January.
However, the crew need have had no worries about inaction and boredom, as later
events were to prove.
A slight diversion was offered when on January 22nd, she -was ordered on escort to
Eniwotok in the Marshall Islands, and enroute picked up another sound contact, which,
after several hours, proved not to be a submarine. This was new duty, and the crew's
interest was renewed. The Foreman returned to Manus, and immediately was returned
to Majuro, also in the Marshalls, on another escort mission, which almost resulted in her
Page 22 text:
The Okinawa Campaign
Departing Ulithi Atoll on the 21st of Nlarch, and sortie-ing with the other ships of Task
Force 54, the Foreman was at last on her mettle. For her Commanding Officer told the
crew that her goal was Okinawa Jima in the Ryukyu Islands, a mere 325 miles south of
the main Japanese islands.
"This will either be a push-over, or the worst thing we've been through," Comdr Carey
told his men.
How prophetic his words were to be, not one member of his crew fully appreciated.
On the 23'd of March, the Foreman fueled for the first time at sea from a battleship,
more were to follow. The men thrilled at the gigantic war machine which they were
guarding against underwater attack, and knew that with the many other similar
battleships and cruisers in the group, that the Navy this time meant business.
At dawn on the 25th of March, Task Force 54 arrived at Okinawa Jima and was
surprised to encounter no enemy opposition. This was to come later.
The entire day of the 25th passed uneventfully, and the Task Force retired from the
immediate area of Okinawa at night. Still no enemy opposition appeared, and nothing
of significance occurred. The crew was sure that this could not last. They were right.
On the 26th of March, while attached to a fire support unit covering attacks on Tonachi
Shima, the Foreman witnessed the first air raid she was to see at Okinawa. A fire was
observed in the immediate vicinity, but no enemy planes approached her formation.
The day did not pass quietly, however, for at 0746, after search planes from a cruiser
near-by had sighted underwater targets, the DE was ordered to make attack. lt loosed
depth charge patterns, and circled to make ramming attack on contact. As the distance
closed between the target and the Foreman's bow, her crew braced themselves for the
jarring shock of the collision. Tension ran high as the PA system sounded, "ZOO feet,"
"1OO feet," "50 feet," "2O feet." The ship trembled as she approached her flank speed.
"Any second now," men were saying in low, hushed, worried tones.
lvlingled regret and happy relief ran thru the crew when it was discovered that the
"target" was nothing more than a huge Japanese blackfish.
Still more action was observed in the afternoon of that second day at Okinawa when a
sudden raid warning was received and anti-aircraft fire was observed from other
formations close-by. But still no enemy aircraft approached the Foreman's group. The
night passed without significant events.
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