Serial: 032335 Nov 18, 1944
From: Commander Task Force Seventy-Seven.
To: Commander-in-Chief, United States Fleet.
Subject: Preliminary Action Report of Engagements in Leyte Gulf and off Samar Island on 25 October, 1944.
References: (a) My Operational Plan 13-44.
(b) CTF 77 three part despatch 280015, 281002, and 280130, October, 1944.
Enclosure: (A) CTF 77 despatches 210641, 240315, 240325, 241655, and 240543, October, 1944.
1. This report is submitted in amplification of reference (b) and contains such additional information as is presently available. It is submitted in advance of the formal report.
2. During the period, 17-28 October, 1944, which covers the period of this report, Task Force Seventy-Seven was engaged in carrying out its assigned mission:
To accomplish a ship to shore amphibious movement; to transport, land, and support elements of the Sixth Army in order to assist in the seizure, occupation, and development of the Leyte area of the Southern Philippines.
3. The Japanese reacted to these operations by sending major fleet units in a vigorous effort to repel or destroy our forces, resulting in the actions in Surigao Strait and the action off Samar, which together constitute the "Battle of Leyte Gulf".
4. The Allied Forces taking part in the engagements were:
Task Group 77.2
6 OBB - Mississippi, West Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee, California, Pennsylvania.
4 CA - Louisville, Portland, Minneapolis, HMAS Shropshire
4 CL - Columbia, Denver, Boise, Phoenix
Task Unit 77.2.1
3 DD - Aulick, Cony, Sigourney
Task Unit 77.2.2
Desron 56, 12 DD - Leutze, Newcomb, Bennion, H. L. Edwards, Richard P. Leary, Robinson, A. W. Grant
Desdiv XRAY - Claxton, Thorne, Wells
Task Group 77.3
Desdiv 47, 6 DD - Bache, Beale, Hutchinson, Daly, Killen, Arunta (HMAS)
Task Group 77.4
Task Unit 77.4.1
4 CVE - Santee, Suwanee, Sangamon, Petrof Bay
3 DD - McCord, Trathen, Hazelwood
3 DE - R. S. Bull, Eversole, R. M. Rowell
Task Unit 77.4.2
6 CVE - Natoma Bay, Manila Bay, Marcus Island, Kanashan Bay, Savo Island, Ommaney Bay
3 DD - Haggard, Frank, Hailey
4 DE - R. W. Suessens, Abercrombie, Stafford, W. C. Wann
Task Unit 77.4.3
6 CVE - Fanshaw Bay, St. Lo, White Plains, Kalinin Bay, Kitkun Bay, Gambier Bay
3 DD - Hoel, Heerman, Johnston
4 DE - Dennis, J. C. Butler, Raymond, S. B. Roberts
BATTLE OF LEYTE GULF
5. Some discussion of conditions preliminary to the joining in action of major naval forces is deemed necessary in order that the action may be viewed in proper perspective. During the month of September, carrier-based aircraft of the Third Fleet had made extensive raids on main enemy airbases throughout the Philippine Islands, with the attacks concentrated on the group of airfields in the vicinity of Manila, San Fernando, and Laoag. These raids by the Third Fleet, under the command of Admiral Halsey, were most effective in destroying large numbers of enemy aircraft. Starting about 10 October, and continuing through about 20 October, Third Fleet carrier forces delivered destructive and extensive raids on enemy airbases and shipping in the Northern Luzon, Formosa, and LooChoo Island area. These Third Fleet raids, in addition to destroying large amounts of shipping, were effective in destroying large numbers of enemy aircraft and in drawing effective enemy aircraft strength away from the Philippine area and toward the Formosan area.
6. In the meantime, the Third and Seventh Amphibious Forces, covered by surface forces and carrier-based aircraft of the Seventh Fleet, moved north from New Guinea bases to effect a landing on the island of Leyte. The landing operations were initiated on the 17th October when the outpost islands of Suluan and Homonhon were seized by a light amphibious Group under the command of Rear Admiral Struble, supported by a part of the CVE's and by battleships, cruisers, and destroyers of Task Group 77.2. Minesweeping was commenced immediately to clear the mine barrier thought to exist between Dinagat Islard and Homonhon Island. The following day a landing was effected on Dinagat Island and the eastern entrance to Leyte Gulf was effectively secured. Minesweeping was continued and beach
reconnaissance completed by underwater demolition teams by 19 October.
7. Early in the morning of the 20th of October, the amphibious forces moved through the swept channel between Homonhon and Dinagat Islands and landed U.S. Army troops of the Tenth and Twenty-fourth Corps in two beach areas - one near Tacloban and one near Dulag, under cover of heavy fire from our surface ships and air bombardment from aircraft from the CVE's of Task Group 77.4. The landings were made exactly on schedule at 1000 Item, October 28th, and progress ashore was satisfactory. Army troops ashore continued to advance for the next three days, under strong air and surface ship support, making satisfactory progress against Japanese positions. By October 20th, the Third Fleet, under Admiral Halsey, had moved into supporting positions and his carrier Task Groups continued to bomb and strafe enemy air bases in Central and Southern Luzon and the Visayas. There was no immediate enemy reaction, other than relatively light air attack, to our landing on the island of Leyte. The enemy air attack, however, gradually increased in intensity despite continued air bombardment of his air bases by our air forces,
8. In order that early warning might be had of the approach of any hostile naval forces, submarines had been stationed to guard Brunei Bay, Balabac Strait, Mindoro Strait, Verae Island Passage and to the westward of Luaon off Manila and northward thereof. Air searches from Korotai Island, extending from Balabac Strait to Verde Island Passage were extended to a radius of 1000 miles, while carrier Task Forces of the Third Fleet and air searches by Central Pacific forces from Palau and Saipan were depended upon to give early information of the approach of enemy forces east of the Philippines.
GENERAL MOVEMENT OF ENEMY FORCES IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO THE BATTLE
9. At 0200 I/23 a submarine reported a radar contact on three battleships southwestward of Palawan Island on position
latitude 08-20N, longitude 116-20E, course 040 degrees, speed 15 knots. At 0300I/23 a submarine reported a force of 11 combat ships in position latitude 08-47N, longitude 116-37E on course 039, at speed of 15 knots. At 0340I/23 the submarine Bream reported a force of at least two heavy cruisers and several destroyers in position latitude 14-05N, longitude 119-43E, speed 10 knots and on a course directed for the Verde Island Passage, and reported one hit in an Aoba Class heavy cruiser. At 0630I/23, the submarine Darter in position latitude 09-24N, longitude 117-11E, reported 3 battleships, 4 CA, and three other vessels, and also reported obtaining four torpedo hits in one Atago CA and damaging another Atago class CA. At 0700I/23, the submarine Dace, in position latitude 09-24N, longitude 117-20E, reported a total of 11 ships including 3 BB, 2 CA, one CV, and many unidentified CA, CL, DD, and reported getting four hits in a Kongo class BB. It was later determined that the attack of these two submarines resulted in the sinking of the heavy cruisers Atago and Maya, and the damaging of the heavy cruiser Takao. The U.S.S. Darter in the heat of pursuit subsequently grounded on Bombay shoal and had to be abandoned.
10. From the foregoing reports it was realized that large Japanese naval forces were on the move and it was estimated that the Northern force could arrive at Coron Bay about 2000I/23 and the large force moving Northeast through the Palawan Passage could arrive at Coron Bay about 0100I/24. It was believed that the Japanese might refuel in the vicinity of Coron Bay, and it was now felt fairly certain that they would attempt an attack on our naval forces off Leyte, probably through Southern Surigao Strait. At 2130I/23, the submarine Angler in position latitude 13-00N, longitude 119-30E reported 15 to 20 ships including three probable battleships on easterly course at a speed of 18 knots.
11. Presumably based on these excellent submarine reports, Commander Third Fleet directed three reinforced air searches to be mode by his fast carrier groups on the early morning of the 24th; one to cover thc Manila, Verde Island Passage, and Sibuyan Sea areas; one to cover Southern Visayas and Central Sulu Sea area. These searches here successful in locating large enemy forces, and at 0840I/24 an enemy force
reported to consist of 4 BB, 8 CA, and 13 DD, was reported, just south of Mindoro Island, moving northeastward into the Tablas Strait. At 0904I/24, aircraft reported a force consisting of 2 BB, 1 CA, and 4 DD in position latitude 08-55N, longitude 121-50E, course northeast, speed 15 knots, and claimed four bomb hits in each of the battleships and rocket hits on the DDs. These two enemy forces will henceforth be referred to as the Central Force and the Southern Force.
12. The Southern Force was again reported by aircraft and attacked at 1000I/24 in approximately the same position and on the same course as before and at 1155I/24, a Korotai search plane in position latitude 09-30N, longitude 120-30E, reported 3 CA, 4 DD on course southeast, at speed 10 knots. The morning attacks on the enemy Southern Force had been delivered by the reinforced search group of aircraft of Task Group 38.4 which shortly after 1000I/24 stated it was moving north to effect concentration with the remainder of Task Force 38, northeast of San Bernardino Strait and would be out of range of the Southern Force.
13. As reported by Third Fleet aircraft, the enemy's Central Force continued to move northeastward through Tablas Strait and at 1200I/24 a total of 25-27 combatant ships of this force were reported north of Tablas Island moving on a general easterly course. Aircraft from Task Force 38 struck at this enemy force between 1430 and 1500I in a position in the Sibuyan Sea about 30 miles north of Sibuyan Island. The force was reported to consist of a total of 4 BB, 8 to 9 CA, 2 CL, and 12 or 13 DD. Aircraft reports indicated that the enemy force had been severely damaged and was badly disorganized. Nevertheless, aircraft at 1925I/24, reported substantially this same force moving on a course of 120 degrees towards the northern tip of Masbate Island and again at 2030I/24 aircraft reported the same enemy force just north of Masbate Island on an easterly course evidently bound for San Bernardino Strait.
14. Commencing with first light and throughout the day of the 24th, enemy aircraft attacked our naval forces off Leyte at steadily increasing intensity. By morning of the 24th, it was evident that we were faced with two large Japanese naval forces. One, the Central Force, moving eastward towards San Bernardino Straits, and the other, the Southern Force, moving northeastward towards the Kindanao Sea, while a third force, henceforth referred to as the Northern Force, consisting of 2 CV, 1 CVL, 1 BB-XCVS, 3 BB-CA, 5 CA-CL, and 6 DD, was reported by aircraft at 1640I/24 in position 18-1ON, 125-30E, course southwest, speed 15 knots,
15. By early afternoon of the 24th, it was felt definitely that the enemy intended to attack our naval forces covering the landing on Leyte Island, and dispositions were made accordingly. Thirty PT boats in ten groups of three each were stationed as reconnaissance and attack groups as follows: three groups between Southeast Bohol and Camiguin Island, and Sipaca Point on Mindanao. The remainder covered the southern entrance to Surigao Strait and Jinatuan Passage, and the passage between Mindanao and Southern Dinagat Island, with orders to remain south of latitude 10-10N, and to report and attack enemy forces sighted. Task Group 77.2, under Rear Admiral Oldendorf, consisting of 6 OBB, 4 CA, 4 CL, and 24 DD, took up initial station in the latitude 10-34N, longitude 125-19E, in a position to guard both the southern and eastern entrances of Leyte Gulf with orders to attack and destroy any enemy forces attempting to enter the gulf. The carriers of Task Group 77.4 with their escorts were disposed about fifty miles to the eastward of Homonhon Island in three Task Units within mutually supporting distance and from north to south as follows: 77.4.3; 77.4.1; 77.4.2.
16. In addition to these forces, destroyer pickets were stationed in the southern and eastern entrances to Surigao Straits to give early warning of enemy approaches. A late afternoon air search to the westward in the Mindanao Sea to a distance of about 100 miles from the southern entrance of Surigao Strait failed to disclose the presence of enemy
forces. Searches by night Catalina over the Mindanao Sea were not productive of reports of enemy sightings. Commander Task Group 73.7 (the Black Cats) was also ordered to conduct a night search to the northward of Leyte Gulf and eastward of Samar. Commander Task Group 77.4 was directed to run a search at daybreak for enemy surface ships to the northward covering sector 340 degrees to 030 degrees for distance of 135 miles, point of origin Suluan Island.
BATTLE OF SURIGAO STRAIT
17. About 0030I/25 PT boats between Bohol and Camiguin sighted, reported, and delivered an attack against a fast approaching enemy force on a course for Surigao Strait. At 0123I/25 PT boats at the southern entrance to Surigao Straits reported strong enemy forces moving north at high speed in two groups. The first group consisting of 6 to 8 ships, including several heavy units and a second group about four miles astern of the first group and composed of about 8 ships. As the enemy moved north, PTs drove into the attack, but so far as can be determined, without effecting any material damage. Our Surface forces closed the enemy to form a semi-circle around the northern end of the strait--battleships in the center, cruisers and destroyers equally divided on each flank.
18. The action was opened at 0305I/25 by a destroyer torpedo attack, delivered by picket destroyer and torpedo attacks from both east and west against the enemy heavy ships by our destroyer attack groups. This was an excellently executed night torpedo attack by sections of three destroyers each. The torpedoes were seen to hit, the enemy column was slowed and many explosions noted. The destroyer attack was completed about 0400I/25 and at 0405I/25 our BB's and cruisers on easterly courses opened fire simultaneously at range of sixteen to seventeen thousand yards. BY 0445I/25 the remaining enemy had turned away and was in flight, hotly pursued by our surface forces. A few of his units were successful in escaping westward through southern Surigao Straits.
19. From the best information presently available, it is believed that the enemy's southern force, which moved into Surigao Strait commanded by Vice Admiral Shapi Nishimura, was organized as follows:
First Group - Batdiv 2
Fuso, Yamashiro 2 BB
Asagumo, Shigure 4 DD
About four miles astern of the above:-
Second Group -
Ashigara 1 CA
Kiso, Kinu or Isuzu 2 CL
Unidentified 6 DD
20. Of the first group, only the damaged M0GAMI is thought to have escaped the early morning action. In this action also the Ashigara (CA) and two DDs of the second group were damaged, and the damaged Ashigara was probably sunk by aircraft of Task Group 77.4.2 south of Panaon Island about 0857I/25. While between 0750 and 0841 the damaged Mogami and several destroyers were further damaged by air attack at the entrance to Sogod bay. In this action, the following damage was inflicted on the enemy:
SUNK: Yamashiro, Fuso 2 BB
Asagumo, Yamagumo, Shigure, Muhishio and one unidentified. 5 DD
PROBABLY SUNK: Ashigara 1 CA
DAMAGED: Mogami 1 CA-XCVS
Kinu or Isuzu 1 CL
Unidentified 2 DD
SUNK: PT 493 1 PT boat
DAMAGED: A. S. Grant (DD 649) 1 DD
PT 194 1 PT boat
BATTLE OF SAMAR ISLAND
21. At 0653I/25 aircraft anti-submarine patrol of Task Unit 77.4.3 (Northern CVE Group) reported many enemy battleships, cruisers, and destroyers on a southerly course about 15 miles north and westward of the Task Unit. The first news of this enemy force was received on board the flagship about 0724I/24 when Commander Task Unit 77.4.3 reported that he was under gunfire attack by four battleships, eight CA and many destroyers, at a range of about 30,000 yards. This was the first indication that the enemy's Central Force had succeeded in passing through San Bernardino Straits. Up to this time, from information available to Commander Seventh Fleet, it was assumed that Third Fleet forces were guarding the San Bernardino Straits in position to intercept and destroy any enemy forces attempting to come through. To confirm this assumption, Commander Seventh Fleet had sent a despatch to the Commander Third Fleet asking if he was guarding the San Bernardino Straits. Reply was not received until after the enemy surface forces were attacking our Northern CVE Group.
22. At this point, the situation appeared very critical. Our surface combatant forces were deep in the southern part of Surigao Strait, after the battle of the early morning, and after five days of almost continuous bombardment of shore objectives and fighting a naval action, they were exceedingly short of ammunition and fuel; moreover, the destroyers had expended almost all their torpedoes. Nevertheless, all of our available surface forces were ordered to concentrate at eastern entrance Leyte Gulf, preparatory to moving to the support of
the retiring CVEs and an urgent call for assistance was sent to Commander Third Fleet. All aircraft were recalled from support missions and were directed against the enemy's Central Force attacking our CVEs. Task Units 77.4.1 and 77.4.2 moved northward to the support of Task Unit 77.4.3 and the enemy was hit with every conceivable form of plane attack, including dummy torpedo runs by planes without torpedoes.
23. At about 0730, in response to orders to cover a retirement of the northern carrier Task Unit, two destroyers - Hoel and Johnston - and the Roberts (DE) reversed and delivered a daylight half salvo torpedo attack against the enemy battleships at a range under 10,000 yards, then turned and delivered the other half salvo against enemy heavy cruisers at a range of about 7,000 yards. After one of the most gallant and heroic acts of the war, all three ships were sunk, although the Hoel continued to withstand concentrated enemy fire for about one hour before finally sinking. As a result of continuing air action by our CVEs and the destroyer attack, the enemy momentarily turned away, and several of his ships were seen to be hit and in trouble.
24. The enemy, however, resumed the action and about 0900I/25 the Gambier Bay was badly hit, dropped astern, and later blew up and sank as a result of enemy shell fire. The Saint Lo was sunk about 1050I/25 as a result of a suicide attack by an enemy dive bomber which crashed into the flight deck and started a tremendous fire. This fire caused several violent explosions on the ship and the Saint Lo sank without further enemy action. At 1255I/25, the enemy force turned away and commenced retirement towards San Bernardino Strait on a course of 015 and speeds of 15 to 20 knots leaving several damaged ships behind. Throughout the morning and continuing into the afternoon, our CVEs were the primary target of incessant and strong enemy air attack. As a result of these attacks and of enemy surface gunfire, many of our CVEs were severely damaged and were unable to land or service their planes. In this extremity, the partially completed Tacloban airfield was put into use, and CVE planes were skillfully landed on that partially completed airfield, serviced, and returned to the attack, thus saving many planes and pilots who would otherwise have been lost due to water landings. It is remarkable, that in these landings on an unknown and ill-kept field, no serious injuries were sustained by our air personnel, which speaks very highly of their skill.
25. Planes of Task Group 38.1 arrived over the retreating enemy at about 1330I/25 and delivered their first attack about 1400I/25. As the enemy continued to retreat northward, they were continually attacked and harassed by the planes of 38.1 and by the planes of the CVE Force. The enemy's remaining forces consisting of about 14 ships, including his four battleships, were last reported entering San Bernardino Straits at 2200I/25, leaving several cripples far to the rear, which were finished off the next day by the forces of Task Force 38.
26. Based on a careful analysis of all reports, it is now estimated that the enemy force, which succeeded in passing through San Bernardino Straits, headed south and attacked our CVE group, was composed as follows:
Haruna, Kongo 4 BB
Suzuya, Chikuma, Tone 5 CA
Noshiro or Yamagi 1 CL
Desron 2 and 10
unidentified units 11 DD
27. Of the above force, it is estimated that the combined attack of Task Group 77.4 inflicted the following damage:
SUNK: Chikuma, Suzuya 2 CA
Unidentified 1 DD
HEAVILY DAMAGED: Yamato 1 BB
Haguro or Myoko 1 CA
Unidentified 1 DD
(Plus some damage to 2 CA, 1 CL and 1 DD)
Task Force 71 inflicted the following damage:
SUNK: Atago, Maya 2 CA
DAMAGED: Takao 1 CA
Third Fleet inflicted the following damage:
SUNK: Kumano, Haguro or Myoko 2 CA (1 damaged by TG 77.4)
Noshiro, Yahagi 2 CL
Unidentified 1 DD
POSSIBLY SUNK: Musashi 1 BB
DAMAGED: Yamato, Haruna, Kongo, Nagato 4 BB
Chokai, Tone, Haguro or Myoko 3 CA
Unidentified 4 DD
28. In this action, our losses were as follows:
SUNK: Gambier Bay, St. Lo 2 CVE
Hoel, Johnston 2 DD
Roberts 1 DE
DAMAGED: Kalinin Bay, Fanshaw Bay, White Plains, Sangamon, Suwanee, Santee 6 CVE
HeermanN (DD532) 1 DD
Dennis (DE405) 1 DE
Except for the pursuit phase, this ended the Battle of Leyte Gulf in which the enemy's major fleet was decisively defeated with heavy loss.
29. Starting with the early morning of the 26th and throughout that day, the 27th and 28th, the damaged and retreating enemy forces were subjected to the unremitting attacks of aircraft of the Third Fleet, aircraft from our own CVE's and searching aircraft of Task Force 73. Submarines moved to positions likely to be productive for attacking the crippled enemy forces.
30. Early on the morning of the 26th, one CL and five DD remaining of the enemy's southern force, were sighted by planes of Task Group 77.4 off Ormoc, on the western coast of Leyte. The attacking planes definitely sank one DD and heavily damaged the light cruiser. The remainder of this group of ships then moved northwestward and eventually joined the Japanese Central Force in the Sibuyan Sea. The damaged CA-XCVS Nogami was located off the northern tip of Cebu Island that same morning and was further damaged by planes of Task Group 77.4. The remaining one CL of the enemy's southern force fled westward through the Mindanao Sea, but was attacked and damaged by a Task Froce 73 search plane at 0200I/28 in latitude 05-35W, longitude 119-07E off the Northeast tip of Borneo.
31. On the early morning of the 26th, planes of Task Force 38 sank a damaged heavy cruiser (probably Myoko or Haguro ) east of Samar Island, while reports indicate other Third Fleet air attacks sank the Nasashi (BB), Kimano (CA) - both damaged by Third Fleet aircraft on the 24th - well to the westward in the Sibuyan Sea, and sank one CL, probably Yahagi or Noshiro, in the same area. On the afternoon of the 26th, Third Fleet aircraft finally caught and sank the damaged CA-XCVS Mogami off the east coast of Panay. Further damage was inflicted on surviving ships of the enemy's central force. The data in this paragraph is based on probably fragmentary and incomplete reports by Third Fleet Units as received aboard the flagship of Commander Seventh Fleet and is therefore admittedly incomplete and subject to wide correction by Commander Third Fleet.
32. Heavy and intense enemy air attacks were withstood by our forces in Leyte Gulf throughout the 26th without serious damage.
33. Nothing has so far been said of action with the enemy's Northern Force as this action took place wholly between that force and units of the Third Fleet. In order to round out the picture, however, and subject to correction by Commander Third Fleet, it is deemed appropriate to make the following remarks:
1. The enemy's Northern Force is estimated to have been composed as follows:
Zuikaku 1 CV
Cardiv 3 (Chitose, Chiyoda, Zuiho) 3 CVL
Cardiv 4 (Ise, Hyuga) 2 BB-XCV
Nachi 1 CA
Oyodo, Abukuma, Tama, Kiso 4 CL
Destroyers 6 DD
2. The following damage is estimated to have been inflicted on the above force, based upon reports received:
Sunk; Zuikaku 1 CV
Chitose, Chiyoda, Zuiho 3 CVL
One of the 3-stack cruisers 1 CL (by sub Balao)
2 unidentified DD 2 DD
Damaged; Ise or Hyuga 1 BB-XCV
Oyodo 1 CL
34. Our total plane losses during this period were 221. 130 of this total were lost due to sinking and damaging of CVE's during the battle of Leyte Gulf, 25 October, 1944. While precise data is not yet at hand, the great majority of pilots and air crews were saved.
35. During this same period the following losses
were inflicted on the enemy by units of the Seventh Fleet engaged and by supporting units of the Third Fleet, exclusive of losses inflicted by the Third Fleet on the enemy's Northern Force:
Sunk; Yamashiro, Fuso 2 BB
Mogami (Central Force) 1 CA-XCVS
Atago, Maya, Chikuma, Suzuya, Kumano, Haguro or Myoko 6 CA
Noshiro, Yahagi 2 CL
Asagumo, Yamagumo, Shigure, Michishio, plus 3 others 7 DD
Probably sunk; Musashi 1 BB
Ashigara 1 CA
Damaged; Yamato, Nagato, Haruna, Kongo 4 BB
Aoba, Takoa, Chokai, Tone, Haguro or Myoko 5 CA
Kinu, Isuzu 2 CL
Destroyers 7 DD
36. During this same period, forces of the Seventh Fleet engaged are estimated to have destroyed the following enemy aircraft, principally by CVE aircraft of Task Group 77.4:
(a) On the ground on enemy airfields 127
(b) Anti-aircraft fire 28
(c) In air combat 399
37. During the entire period (17 October to 28 October) including the battle of Leyte Gulf, units of the Seventh Fleet engaged incurred the following losses:
DATE SUNK CAUSE
17 Oct. YMS 70 YMS Storm.
22 Oct. Sonoma AT Air bomb.
24 Oct. * Darter SS Grounded chasing enemy force.
24 Oct. LCI 1065 LCI Air bomb.
25 Oct. * Gambier Bay CVE Gunfire.
25 Oct. * Saint Lo CVE Gunfire and plane suicide dive.
25 Oct. * Johnston DD Gunfire.
25 Oct. * Hoel DD Gunfire.
25 Oct. * Roberts DD Gunfire.
25 Oct. * PT 493 PT Gunfire.
17 Oct. Powell DE Storm.
18 Oct. Ross DD Mine.
20 Oct. Honolulu CL Air Torpedo.
20 Oct. Ashtabula AO Air bomb.
21 Oct. Tennessee (slight) BB Collision.
21 Oct. Australia CA Plane crashed on bridge.
21 Oct. LST 269 LST Shore mortar fire.
21 Oct. LST 483 LST Shore mortar fire.
22 Oct. Augustus Thomas Lib. Ship Air bomb.
25 Oct. * Kalinin Bay CVE )
25 Oct. * Fanshaw Bay CVE )
25 Oct. * White Plains CVE )_ Gunfire, air bombs,
25 Oct. * Sangamon CVE ) plane suicide dives.
25 Oct. * Suwanee CVE )
25 Oct. * Santee CVE )
25 Oct. Hutchins DD Hit sunken LCI.
25 Oct. A. W. Grant DD Gunfire.
25 Oct. * Heermann DD Gunfire.
25 Oct. * Dennis DE Gunfire.
25 Oct. * PT 194 PT Gunfire.
26 Oct. PT 134 PT Airbomb.
27 Oct. Robert Wheeler AK Aircraft crashed on deck.
28 Oct. Denver CL Plane suicide dive.
* Due to action in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, 25 October, 1944.
T. G. KINKAID
More here. Previous post on this battle here. CDR Salamander's post.
Medal of Honor citation for Commander Ernest Evans:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as commanding officer of the U.S.S. Johnston in action against major units of the enemy Japanese fleet during the battle off Samar on 25 October 1944. The first to lay a smokescreen and to open fire as an enemy task force, vastly superior in number, firepower and armor, rapidly approached. Comdr. Evans gallantly diverted the powerful blasts of hostile guns from the lightly armed and armored carriers under his protection, launching the first torpedo attack when the Johnston came under straddling Japanese shellfire. Undaunted by damage sustained under the terrific volume of fire, he unhesitatingly joined others of his group to provide fire support during subsequent torpedo attacks against the Japanese and, outshooting and outmaneuvering the enemy as he consistently interposed his vessel between the hostile fleet units and our carriers despite the crippling loss of engine power and communications with steering aft, shifted command to the fantail, shouted steering orders through an open hatch to men turning the rudder by hand and battled furiously until the Johnston, burning and shuddering from a mortal blow, lay dead in the water after 3 hours of fierce combat. Seriously wounded early in the engagement, Comdr. Evans, by his indomitable courage and brilliant professional skill, aided materially in turning back the enemy during a critical phase of the action. His valiant fighting spirit throughout this historic battle will venture as an inspiration to all who served with him.Heroes. Much more in Thomas Cutler's book The Battle of Leyte Gulf: 23-26 October 1944 and in James D. Hornfischer's The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors: The Extraordinary World War II Story of the U.S. Navy's Finest Hour.