Logo by: Pat Stephens, Webmaster, DESA


Whitehurst DE-634 Receives Assistance from Crosley APD-87


Bill Winn, Crosley Plank Owner, on Veterans Day, 1998 and 1944

We are grateful to Bill Winn, of Bessemer Alabama for providing copies of the log  of  USS Crosley for 12 April 1945 and an official letter from the Commanding Officer 22 June 1945.  Bill was F1/c aboard the Crosley at the time the assistance was rendered.  The data has been retyped in order to post in text format rather than graphic. I have added highlighting and a few notes in parentheses.  max crow, author Whitehurst web site

From the Deck Log Remarks sheet Crosley (APD 87) Thursday 12 April 1945

12 to 16  (12:00 to 4:00 pm. All times appear as 4 digit numbers representing hours and minutes)

Steaming as before.  1337 Flash red; general quarters.  1455 Jap Val made direct hit on USS Whitehurst (DE-634) in suicide attack bearing 290 T,* distance 8000 yards.  Proceeding to assist damaged ship. 1500 Jap Val sighted bearing 340 R distance 15,000 yards.  1502 Commenced firing.  1505 Plane opened range and no hits were observed; Ceased firing having expended 18 rounds AA special 5"/38 cal, 21 rounds AA common 5"/38 cal.  1529 arrived near damaged ship and observed USS VIGILANCE (AM-324) alongside assisting; boat #2 lowered to pickup survivors.  1540 boat returned with 4 survivors of WHITEHURST as follows: Lieut. Hall*, USNR, McLondon, S1c USN; Lt.(jg) Mielke, Yeager, W.J. RdM3c, USNR.  1548 Boat #3 left ship with Lt. (jg) DeCarlo, MO USNR for the WHITEHURST to render assistance.  (signed) F.P. LIVELY Lt.(jg), USNR.

*Site author's note: After posting this page, I received the following e-note from Syd Calish, plank owner and first Engineering Officer of Whitehurst. There is no Lt. Hall the officer's list as we have it. mc

...I can not ever remember there being a Lt. Hall aboard (Whitehurst). I believe the report is in error and the officer they mention is actually Lt. Vince Paul USNR who was acting as the Asst. Navigator. Especially as he is described as being taken out of the water but returned to the Whitehurst almost directly thereafter.
With our Exec missing in action, Lt. Yates Bullock, and the skipper, Lt. Jack Horton getting 30 days leave once we arrived in Pearl Harbor, Lt. Paul was acting skipper during our repairs and overhaul in Pearl.
In the confusion of the moment, Paul's last name was understood as Hall. (SRC)

In early 2015, Fred Mielke, LTJG Whitehurst supply officer in 1944-45, passed away.  His son, Neal, has since contributed photos of Fred's Medals, http://www.de634.org/patches.htm  and pictures of the teak wood souvenirs from the IJN Submarine, I-45 sunk by Whitehurst.  http://www.de634.org/subsunk.htm
Today 19 April 2015 I received the following e-note from Neal Mielke, confirming the conclusion that "Hall" should have been identified as "Paul".

Hi Max, 
In doing some web searches in support of finishing up my father’s memoirs, I came across the Crosley log page of the Whitehurst web site (http://www.de634.org/crosleylog.htm).  It notes some confusion about one of the survivors rescued by the Crosley, and how it is believed that the one referred to as “Hall” in the Crosley log was actually Vince Paul. 
Based on my father’s memoirs, I can confirm this.  He writes:  When I reached the others, I found they were Lieutenant Vince Paul and an enlisted man, both from Whitehurst.  I knew Paul well, but was unacquainted with the enlisted man.  Paul was an older man, perhaps the oldest officer aboard, a Southerner from Florida, an avuncular, easy-going gentleman.”.  He [my dad] was referring here to his reaching the others when they were in the water after the kamikaze attack. 

16 to 20

Steaming as before. 1619 boat with Lt. Hall, assistant navigator of USS WHITEHURST (DE 634) and MacLondon S1c, with minor injuries only, left this ship returning to USS WHITEHURST.  1630 Boats #1 and 2 returned to ship leaving Lt. (jg) DeCarlo and CPhM C.B. Coleman on USS WHITEHURST to render assistance.  1647 Steaming various courses and speeds in company with USS WHITEHURST (DE-634) and USS VIGILANCE (AM-324) proceeding to Kerama Retto anchorage.  1700 Lt. (jg) J.W. Oliver, USNR, First Lieut. of CROSLEY, estimated 25 killed and 25 severely wounded aboard USS WHITEHURST,  1705 Proceeding to transport area west of Hagushi Beaches, Okinawa on Various courses and speed pursuant to orders from CTG 51.5 to rendezvous with CTG 51.5 for further orders.  1715 Secured from battle stations.  1900 laying to in transport area approximately 3,000 yards off Hagushi Beaches.  1910 The following two survivors from USS WHITEHURST with wounds and treatment as follows transferred to USS CRESCENT CITY (APA-121): Lt. (jg) F.W. Mielke, USNR, 268570, first and second degree burns on most of the body. Morphine and plasma administered.  Yeager, W.D., 631 12 87, RdM3c, USNR.  Second degree burns, right fore arm and right leg.  Laceration of right index finger, shrapnel in chest, 27 pin point shrapnel.  1945 Flash red.  Manned battle stations.  (signed but name obscured by the declassific

*author's note: 290 T is the True compass bearing.  8000 yards is 4 nautical miles.  In the next sentence, 340 R is the airplane's Relative bearing.  i.e. 340 degrees clockwise from the bow of the ship. VAL is the United Military's name for the Japanese D3A Dive Bomber.  mc

Crosley Crewman Commended for His Actions in Assistance of Whitehurst

Letter dated 22 June 1945.

From: The Commanding Officer (USS Crosley)

To:        The Commander Administrative Command, Amphibious Forces, U. AS. Pacific Fleet

Via:       Commander Underwater Demolition Teams, Amphibious Forces, US Pacific Fleet/

Subject: James Edward CONER, 234 18 34, Chief Boatswain Mate, USN,  Recommendation for Letter of Commendation with     Ribbon.

Reference:  (a) Pacific Fleet Letter 25L-45.

                1.     In accordance with reference (a) Chief Boatswain Mate James Edward CONER is recommended for a Letter of Commendation with Ribbon. 

                2.    SUMMARY OF ACTION:

                       The action in which CONER participated was as leading petty officer of this vessel's Fire and Rescue Party which performed 2 rescue operations within ten days on ships hit by suicide planes at OKINAWA.  In both cases he was in great personal danger;  in one as result of ammunition exploding in the magazines and in the other due to enemy planes in the vicinity.

                        It is felt that his outstanding service and conduct were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Naval Service and he is hereby recommended for a Letter of Commendation , with Ribbon.

                        I  USS DICKERSON (APD-21)   -2 April 1945.  Location: Station A-20, 11 miles southeast of Kerama Retto.

                                Fire and Rescue Party left ship at 2030 to assist USS BUNCH in rendering aid to the DICKERSON, hit by suicide bomber.  Fires in the forward magazine extinguished, the LCPRs jettisoned to correct list, tow line and hoses brought aboard from BUNCH.  Parties returned to ship at 0030:  CROSLEY continued A/S and A/A screen around until tug arrived at 0100.

                        II  USS WHITEHURST (DE-634) -12 April 1945.  Location Station A-24  10 miles south of Kerama Retto.

                                    At 1455 USS WHITEHURST  attacked by enemy planes under fire from CAP.  One plane crashed nearby, the other scored a direct hit in the bridge with consequent gasoline explosion.

                                    After retiring VAL under fire, CROSLEY closed WHITEHURST, and stopped enroute on sighting survivors in the water.  Rescue boat picked up 4 survivors, before joining fire party on board WHITEHURST.

                                    Fires extinguished in forward and first aid rendered.  All severely burned personnel them transferred to USS VIGILANCE (AN-324) which had come alongside.  Fire and Rescue Parties returned to CROSLEY leaving Medical Officer and Chief Pharmacist Mate with wounded on VIGILANCE. 

                                    1705 CROSLEY ceased A/S and A/A patrol around rescue operations and proceeded in accordance with previous orders.

                        3.    PARTICIPATION

                                   As Petty Officer in charge of Repair One of this ship and as an outstanding member of the Fire and Rescue Party, CONER is largely responsible for the enthusiasm and efficiency of this group.

                                    On board the DICKERSON, he personally took part in the extinguishing of the fires burning beneath him in the forward magazine and in the forward living compartments.  He jettisoned 3" ammunition from the ready lockers on the foc'sle and personally made an inspection of the lower decks to determine that all fires were out.  He then personally supervised the securing of he tow line from BUNCH.

                                    On board the WHITEHURST, CONER personally gave first aid to the burned and wounded until the arrival of the Medical Officer.

                                    He is recommended for a Letter of Commendation, with Ribbon, for cool conduct in the face of danger and for outstanding service in the line of his profession.

                            4.    PROPOSED CITATION

                                    For excellent service and high performance of duty as a member of the  USS CROSLEY Fire and Rescue Party which twice went to the assistance of ships hit by suicide planes at OKINAWA on April 2 and April 12, 1945.  Without regard for his own personal safety and in spite of exploding ammunition, he personally helped to extinguish fires in the forward magazines and living spaces; jettisoned ready ammunition, and rendered first aid to the wounded.  His actions contributed materially to the saving of life and property, and his personal courage, determination, and performance of duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

                            5.        CONER was transferred from this command on 13 September, 1945 to nearest Receiving (Intake) Station in Continental United states for further transfer to intermediate reporting station, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for reenlistment and rehabilitation leave.  His home address is: 4248 North Sydenham, Philadelphia 40, Pennsylvania.

                                                                                                                       ARCHER W. P. TRENCH [CO of Crosley]

USS Vigilance  Click the link to learn about another ship which help Whitehurst

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