R.C. Cannon

War Diary

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R.C. Cannon's War Diary

 
 

USS Navy V-2 Division    Amm3C Seaman 2nd Class 

     Plane Captain Of  F6F Hellcat Planes

     #12 "Flyable Dud" #13 and "Lucky 13" & #15

1944  
Feb   20 Left Seattle, Wash.
Mar     3 Arrived in Majuro Atoll  
   18 Captured group of Marshall Islands
  Left Majuro  
30 Raided Palu Is.  Bogies all day--Many Jap Planes attacked at sunset 
31  Many Jap ships sunk many planes destroyed on ground 
Apr      1 Attacked Woleai, no air opposition
B2d Flight deck crash
No. 13 suffered slight damage
Lt. Whiteway, pilot of 13 escaped miraculously when a  Fox came in high and  
pushed one Fox in No. 1 elevator on top of one already on the elevator. Finally  
going in himself. Ensign Spindler was killed
  2 Burial services for Ensign Spindler and Stauerer  ARM3C
Took aboard three Jap Prisoners, I talked to one who was a ship fitter once lived in
Frisco, thought  US planes had same engines as Jap Zero, and U.S. had stole the  plans.
5 Initiated Polywogs
6 Arrived in Majuro
MGT Roy Dennis Coxswain of Landing Barge.  We got drunk on saki,  He wrecked barge on coral rocks, we spent all that day and  night on islands using coconuts  for food .
Acquired  souvenirs of Jap planes and such.
7 Change in command.  Capt. Stump, now Admiral  was relieved   by Capt. Lynch
21 Shot down 8 Jap Planes
Apr    23 Chow was interrupted by G.Q.  Shot down one Betty  close to ship. Night fighter found 
9 Bettys  flying in formation with lights  on, but  was out of amunition
25 Shot down Betty, captured crew pilot of Betty,  requested to be shot,  next day he
changed his mind.  Prisoners were treated well.
28 Shot down several Boogies
29 Attacked truck, 17 Jap planes shot down, we lost 3   RF pilots all out  Jap attack during night
30 Judy dropped bombs off port quarter near destroyer sank Jap sub              
Still in Majuro went on island to take care of planes.                                
Went swimming  all day.  Caught octopus while swimming.
Jun    11 Sent fighter sweep over Saipan
12 Bombed Saipan, lost Lt. Cmdr. Isely and  Lt.  Delcardo and air  crewman.    
Acquired air strip, was later named Isely Field
14 Bombed Saipan, shot down one Betty making Lt. Vracci’s 12th plane
19 Task Force under attack all day, shot down 300 planes
20 Attacked fleet, our planes being covered to hit the fleet hard, run out  of gas,
several landed in the water, flight deck crash ruining approximately 20 planes.
21 Launched deck L2d to strike fleet, no luck, they had escaped
22 Burial at sea
25 Strike over Guam
27 Sally shot down by night fighter.
30 G.Q. Two planes attacked us.
Jul       1 Strike over Guam, Lt. Abercrombie shot down 1  Betty
2 Bombed Guam
5 Hit town on Guam
9 Air Group 11 left the ship
Air Group 19 landed aboard, 150 planes were credited to 11 with Vracci 
being top Navy Ace
Arrived in Eniweton same day
21 Covered invasion of Guam
22 mdr. Lang transferred , Cmdr. Southerland taking  his place
25 Strike on Palu
26 Crash on flight deck, 4 men injured, 11 planes damaged
31 Anchored at Saipan, watched shore batteries on Saipan shell Tinian, we  were 2 
Miles off  Saipan.
Aug     1 Left Saipan, sea rough.
4 Bombed Bonin Islands, shot down 2 Jap planes
9  Arrived in Eniweton
19 Capt. inspection
20 Holiday routine Hell!  Working parties all day.
 F18 fighter sweep over (Minddaao)? , lost one fighter.
Sep   13 Near miss
14 Hit Los Nocross, shot down many planes, sunk several ships
15 Covered invasion on Palu
20 4 strikes over Manila
Lt. Abercrombie went down as he was landing
Bogies came in early in morning.
Strike canceled because of typhoon
24 Hit central Philippines
27 Anchored at (Kossol)?  Road, one of the Palu is it has over 10,000 Japs  on it, 
 we’re about 10 miles off  shore.
Oct     1 Left Palu at 1200
2 Anchored at Ulthy Islands, had two movies, a can hit  a mine
3 Left island because of typhoon, water was roughest I’ve yet seen, in  the southwest
Pacific.  4 catra lines were required on planes.
All hands slept in.  Those who wern’t sea sick, no  movies, damnit!  Midnight chow again.
4 Storm lasted all night and late in the  morning-anchored in V1: 
The, atoll islands--Essex lost one plane, and  3 men in storm. 
Today celebrated!  One year in the Navy--Hell ain’t it!
5 Still in Ulthy Islands, no provisions taken aboard as yet.
6 Payday--Still no provisions, probably pull out this afternoon or  tomorrow.
7 Left Ulithy, Still stormy
9 C.A.P. resp.t for strike
10 Strike on Okinawa 21
One strike on Tauhle Nshima, only 2 planes shot down by our planes.
We sunk 2 heavy cruisers, several subs and numerous small craft.
Several of our planes shot up, one landed without landing gear,  beautiful landing,  
very few bogies got  in close.
11 2 C.A.P. refueled from tanker.
Bogies all day, plane shot down two in sight of our ship.
12 Bogies came in on launch, scared one pilot so bad he jumped out  of plane.
Strike on Formosa, we lost 3 fighters and 2 pilots one was CMD Cook.
 We sunk 3 A.K.’s , hit 2 radio stations and shot down  28 planes,  two of our planes had to be  thrown  overboard, one landed without tailhook.
Bogies all night and all day, taskgroup shot down 11 planes. 
Had very little sleep last night, cruised Cambaria got  one fish, only  making five  
knots strike on Formosa.  We got 6 planes.
Oct    14 G.Q. All night strike on Formosa 8 planes shot down
G.P.under torpedo attack, Reno was hit and burning, 2 Jap launched fish and and missed, he tried  a  suicide dive and  hit the fantail killing several men,               
jeep on our starboard side, had 2 runs  made  on it  and was hit by one burning plane,  another just missing it.
The plane we lost flew into 19 boogies splashing 4 before he was shot down. One Jap came in on our  fantail           
, we opened fire and  scared him, he did chandel, circled and dove missing us about 50ft with 500 lb. egg. 
As far as I know he got away.  It was hot while it  lasted! One more U.S. can sunk
15 Pc (Tauling)?--looked like lots of mail on tanker for  us.
Bomb from Jap ruined 2c
Beck Coleman died--Fighter plane captain
Still no god damned mail for Cannon!
16 Possible contact with Jap fleet.  2 bogies
G.Q. Hank died at 1100 today, Stewards Mate 3c
B.G. died, 4 others seriously ill,
Crazy Aram got a hole in his head a duplicate to mine only he had to shave 
 his head, ha! ha!
Enlisted October 4, 1944 Honorable Discharged August 22, 1945  Invalid from service 100% disabled Medals and ribbons include:             1 bronze star on the Asiatic-Pacific Area Service Ribbon                         for participation in the MARIANAS OPERATION  6/10 -8/27  1944                         consisting of neutralization of Japanese bases in the  Bonins, Marianas  and Western Pacific                         Capture and occupation of Saipan                         Battle of the Philippine Sea                         Second Bonins raid, Third Bonins raid, Fourth Bonins raid                        Capture and occupation of Guam                         Palau, Yap, Ulithi raid             Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal             Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon             World War II Victory Medal             Philippine Liberation Ribbon-Foreign             Philippine Presidential Unit Citation-Foreign             1998 R.C. answered some questions regarding the diary. He said Alvin  was intending to later write a book  about the ship during the war and asked the crew to keep diaries for that purpose.  He wasn’t going to, then changed his mind and kept one. He said that B.G and Hank died from drinking injector alcohol from the planes.  The alcohol was changed from ethel to wood alcohol.   He said the reference to drinking saki was actually beer. Lt. Whiteway piloted R.C.’s planes.  Fighter 12 was damaged and they threw it overboard. Roy Dennis had gone to Rosedale School in Bakersfield, Ca. with R.C. In reference to his last entry about the hole in his head.  He believes it was about when they would go out at night and steal the alcohol from the planes.  They used to go 2 at a time and run between the planes, sneaking their way to get the alcohol.   One night somebody was chasing them and he ran into a propeller and cut his forehead.  He said one of his buddies did the same thing., but had to have his head shaved. Roy Dennis was delivering supplies on a supply boat.  He was finished and had two cases of beer left in his boat.  He asked R.C. if he wanted some and he did, so they went on the supply boat to a nearby island.  The boat got stranded on a coral reef.  They were stranded on the island for 3 days with no food except coconuts and grapefruit.  R.C.  found a Japanese row boat and attempted to row out to the Lex, because he knew the ship was going to leave.  The row boat sunk about half way out.  He was rescued by another small boat with an Officer aboard.  The Officer heard his plight and said he looked hungry.  So the Officer took him back to the Lex, and ordered the cook to fix him anything he wanted.  He asked for a dozen eggs! When they were just off the island of Guam, a Marine swam out to the Lex and asked to come aboard.  He said he wouldn't fight another day if he didn't get something to eat.  The crew fed him and he swam back to the island.