The Seaweed

USS Champlin DD-601  

Summer 2000 - Page 2

S.C. with 3 manila lines and 3 wire cables, and one cable through bull nose to USS Shenandoah (AD26). Ships in nest from right to left: USS Shenandoah (AD26), USS Ordronaux (DD617), USS Nields (DD616), USS Champlin (DD601), and USS Boyle (DD600). Receiving the following services from the tender: Steam, electricity and fresh water. Ships present as listed by FAO, Charleston, S.C. Signed: J. A. Roberson."

Important stuff to the Navy, but really rather boring reading. Now then, with the above entry as your model, compare it to the following entry from the USS Champlin's Deck Log,, Tuesday, 1 January 1946, 00 - 04 watch as prepared by the Officer of the Deck, Dewitt A. Graybill, LTJG.

T'was the night before New Year in Charleston Bay, The Shenandoah with four cans lay,
Now Boyle and Champlin they were by name,
and Nields and Ordronaux, all ships of great fame.
The cans were all moored to the tender with care,
in hopes that morning would find them still there,
Three manila lines and three wire cables held us in place,
Through the bull nose was a wire for just in case.
Juice and fresh water from the tender we got,
and steam at odd times, but never a lot,
Other ships present we could see through the mist,
If the names are desired, FAO has a list.
The crew was nestled all snug in their beds,
While memories of leave still danced in their heads,
Far away to the west was a gleam of light,
From the town where thousands got high as a kite.
For those on the ship who couldn't get tight,
We tooted the whistle with all our might.
Happy New Year to all and to all, Good Night.

Berman Diary: 55 Yrs. Ago

Note: Fifty-five years ago, on Monday, 6 August 1945 the United States aircraft Enola Gay exploded the first atomic bomb over Hiroshima, Japan. On 9 August 1945, a second atomic bomb was exploded over Nagasaki, Japan. On 14 August 1945, Japan announced it's intention to surrender. World War II was coming to a close. On the same Monday the Enola Gay bombed Hiroshima, the USS Champlin departed Saipan Harbor for Okinawa. On the same Thursday Nagasaki was bombed, August 9th, Dick Berman's diary picks up the voyage of the USS Champlin.

(continued next column)

Thursday, August 9: At sea - proceeding to Okinawa. GQ at 1500 for more useless firing. Very warm and sunny. Stayed awake on watch last night, first time in a long while.

Friday, August 10: At sea - GQ again at 1500. At 2000 one of the ships in the convoy lost a man overboard. One of the cans turned her searchlights on, two boats were launched. He was recovered about 2045.

Saturday, August 11: At sea - expect to arrive Buckner Bay, Okinawa sometime in the morning. From the latest news bulletins in the last few days, the Japs are trying to get suitable peace terms. The war might end any day now. GQ again at 1500. Secured at 1545. Sea calm and another hot, sunny day.

Sunday, August 12: At sea - arrived Okinawa about 0800, went in the harbor about 0900. Tied up alongside the Boyle. Fueled from a tanker. There are many battlewagons, cruisers and carriers anchored here. Also tin-cans, about 1300 got underway for other side of the island to an anchorage. While steaming I saw Teddy Gold's ship, LST 769, steam by. Arrived at anchorage about 1700, dropped the hook. I've never seen so many ships as there are anchored around this island. At 2100 we had a Condition Yellow, all hands went to Battle Stations. At 2110 we began laying a smokescreen until 2145. All the cans in this area laid smoke. One battlewagon, the Pennsylvania, was hit by Jap bombs dropped by the raiding planes in Buckner Bay. We're lucky we got out of there earlier in the day. Secured from GQ at 2205.

Monday August 13: Okinawa - at 0345 had another air raid, enemy planes reported in our area, went to Battle Stations again. Prepared to lay another smoke screen, but we didn't. Secured from GQ at 0415. It was established that the Pennsylvania was hit by an aerial torpedo last night. Underway at 1300 after loading stores and ammunition. We are patrolling a sector of a picket line off the island. At 1945 went to GQ on a Condition Yellow. There were some fires on the beach, Jap planes got through again. Secured from GQ at 2200. An APA was hit in Buckner Bay.

Tuesday, August 14: At sea - still patrolling our sector off Okinawa. At 1925 had a Condition Yellow, went to battle stations. It was a false alarm, secured at 2015. Everything was peaceful until 2145 when we went to battle stations again, a few planes got through but did no damage. Through all these air-raids so far, the beach has been lit up like Coney Island. No blackout at all. In the afternoon the picket line was doubled in anticipation of a big raid as a last blow by the Japs before they surrender. Looks like the war will be over soon. The...

(continued on page 3)

| page 1 | | page 2 | | page 3 | | page 4 | | page 5 | | page 6 |