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Page 15 text:
Bering Sea, and on westward. Its objective
Japanese forces were known to have oc-
cupied two islands in the Aleutians, Attu and
Kiska. It was decided to strike first at Attu, the
less strongly garrisoned of the twovand the
westernmost island in the chain.
.The weather in the Aleutians is notoriously
bad. It is cold, the fogs are thick and almost
continuous, and the seas are usually rough.
More unfavorable conditions for an amphib'-Q
ious operation would be difficult to find.
"Dog" Day was set tentatively for the
eighth of May, but on that day the seas were
too heavy to permit a landing. The PENNSYL-
VANIA patrolled first to the northeast of Attu
and then with the two other battleships and
a cruiser force to the west. "Dog" Day was
set definitely for II May. On the afternoon
of the IOth the battleships ioined with the
transports of the task force, and that night in
a dense fog two approach dispositions were
formed, one of the transports and fire support
ships, including the PENNSYLVANIA and
IDAHO, to operate in the Holtz Bay-Chi-
chagof Harbor area and the other of the ves-
sels to operate in the Massacre Bay area.
On the morning of II May the task group
to which the PENNSYLVANIA had been as-
signed arrived in the vicinity of Red Beach,
which had been occupied before daylight by
scout troops landed from submarines and an
UPPER LEFT: lnformal attire is the order of the day in the press shop. UPPER RlGHTg War and
peace make little difference to the barber. LOWER LEFT: Captain William A. Corn, Commanding
Officer, and Commander Thomas H. Templeton, Executive Officer, 1943. LOWER RIGHT: Coming
up in the wake is the quarterdeck dive bomber.
V 1 :WZ
Page 14 text:
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ABOVE: Paul Klein spent
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aboard as an
1941, he left Cl L
, - I '
HE PENNSYLVANIA left San Francisco
on February sixth' and arrived at Long
Beach the next afternoon. The following day
Capt. King was relieved by Capt. W. A. Corn.
During the next two and a half months the
ship operated out of Long Beach and con-
ducted practices in preparation for a coming
combat operation. The crew naturally could
not know what was in the wind, and there
were loudly-voiced complaints that the PENN-
SYLVANIA would serve as nothing more than
a training ship throughout the war.
Nevertheless the PENNSYLVANIA shoved
off from Long Beach on the 23rd of April and
arrived a week later at Cold Bay, Alaska. This
bleak harbor lies at the tip of the Alaska
Peninsula, and the PENNSYLVANIA stood in
during a miserable, wet windstorm. No one
questioned the aptness of the name, Cold Bay.
Rear Admiral F. W. Rockwell, Commander
Amphibious Force, Pacific Fleet, hoisted his
flag in the PENNSYLVANIA, and on May
fourth, a force, consisting of three battleships,
the PENNSYLVANIA, IDAHO, and NEVADA,
one escort carrier, the NASSAU, transports,
and destroyers, stood out from Cold Bay. It
proceeded to the westward, south of the
Aleutian chain, through Amukta Pass into the
Page 16 text:
THE NORTH PACIFIC CAMPAIGN-C0n1'il1UeCI
APD. The J. FRANKLIN BELL commenced land-
ing troops and supplies on Red Beach while
the PENNSYLVANIA cmd IDAHO withdrew to
the northward and prepared to execute fire
support missions as directed.
BLIND FIRING '
The PENNSYLVANlA'S first bombardment
mission was ordered that afternoon. A heavy
fog covered the area, and the approach had
to be made entirely by radar. Likewise the
bombardment had to be conducted entirely
by indirect fire methods, land was never
sighted. At 1514 the starboard secondary
battery opened fire at a range of about 9000
yards. 672 rounds of A.A. common, set for
both air and ground bursts, were expended
during the shoot, and only the secondary bat-
tery fired. There was no observation of the
fall 'of shot.
The second bombardment mission was or-
dered the following morning..Again there
was a dense fog, and again the approach
was made by radar. Both the main and sec-
ondary batteries fired, simultaneously during
part of the run. The fire was spotted by a
shore fire control party and, after the fog
had lifted, by surface spotters. L I
AN ENEMY TORPEDO
The PENNSYLVANIA bombarded a third
time on the afternoon of the 14th in support
of the "Love" Hour infantry attack on the
west arm of Holtz Bay. This time there was
sufficient visibility to make the approach and
first leg of the firing run by visual bearings,
but then fog set in, and visibility remained
low for the remainder of the day. All firing
on the Holtz Bay area was spotted by a shore
fire control party. The secondary battery,
while firing at targets in the Chichagof Harbor
area, was controlled by the ship's planes. The
ship was maneuvered in a restricted area en-
tirely by radar for over two hours, during
which the main and secondary batteriesfired
indirect fire atdesignated target areas with-
out endangering our own infantry 500 yards
to the right of the area and our scout troops
1500 yards beyond. This bombardment ma-
terially weakened enemy resistance in the
west arm of Holtz Bay, permitting our ground
forces to advance into and occupy the area.
Torpedoes were fired at the PENNSYL-
VANIA on twouoccasions. First, on 12 May,
as the ship was proceeding to the northward,
away from the island, to reioin the IDAHO,
a PBY on anti-submari ne patrol suddenly ra-
clioed, "Look out for torpedo, torpedo headed
for ship!" The ship was maneuvered at full
speed, and lookouts sighted the torpedo wake
passing safely astern. The PBY which had
made the report flew back along the track
of the torpedo and dropped a smoke bomb
on the point from which it had been fired.
Two destroyers, the EDWARDS and FARRA-
GUT, were detached to destroy the subma-
rine. They conducted a relentless attack for
about ten hours, until the sub was finally
forced to the surface and sunk by gunfire
from the EDWARDS, in water more than 1000
fathoms deep. Five days later a definite oil
slick covering about five square miles was still
ln the morning, two days later, the ship's
OS2U's were launched and directed to pro-
ceed to the CASCO, a seaplane tender, an-
chored in Unnamed Cove, Massacre Bay. The
planes and pilots operated from the CASCO
until the 24th of May, spotting supporting
naval gunfire and army. artillery fire and
bombing and strafing enemy positions on
From the 16th until the 19th the PENNSYL-
VANIA operated with the NASSAU in an area
about fifty miles north and east of Attu. Cn
the 19th she headed for Adak. That after-
noon, during a false air alert, an explosion
occurred in the gasoline stowage compart-
ment in the forward part of the ship. There
were no casualties, but there was some struc-
tural damage. - .
The PENNSYLVANIA paused for one day
at Adak and then proceeded to Bremerton.
She remained in the Puget Sound Navy Yard
through all of June and July, undergoing re-
pairs and overhaul. Also additional radar and
radio equipment was installed. On the eve-
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