LST 785

   During WW II, LST-785 was assigned to the Asiatic Pacific theater and participated in the "Gunto" assault and occupation of Okinawa in April and May 1945.  LST 785 is one of the three ships visible in the 79th Battn. photo of the landing at Okinawa in WWII.  LST 785 left Saipan on April 23, 1945 with supplies and personnel of the 79th.

To read the impressive history of LST 785, visit:  LST 785

   79th Naval Construction Battalion "D" Company plus a portion of Headquarters Company prepared to be transported from Saipan to Okinawa on board LST-785.

BULLET.GIF (1053 bytes)  Sunday, April 15, 1945:  LST 785 is on base course sailing for Saipan to pick up men and equipment of the 79th NCB.  At 1000 (10:00 a.m.), a memorial service for President Roosevelt was held on board.

BULLET.GIF (1053 bytes)Tuesday, April 17, 1945:  Proceeded into Saipan.  At 1549 (3:00 p.m.), let go bow anchor.  At 1555, anchored in Berth Love l85, Saipan outer harbor in 28 fathoms of water, 65 fathoms of chain to bow anchor.

BULLET.GIF (1053 bytes)Wednesday, April 18, 1945:  Bow anchor aweigh.  1555 (3:55 p.m.)--Bow anchor housed, underway maneuvering at various courses and speeds to Tanapag Harbor to moor, bow to pier, portside to Pier A-7 as per order from Port Director, Saipan.  At 1703 (5:03 p.m.) , moored port side to Pier Able 7, Saipan Island and at 2035 (8:35 p.m.) started loading supplies and equipment aboard for 79th Battalion U.S.N.C.B.

BULLET.GIF (1053 bytes)Thursday, April 19, 1945:  0000-0400 (midnight to 4:00 a.m.) Taking aboard material of the 79th USNCB.  At 0310 (3:10 a.m.), commenced taking on fresh water.   Port watches maintained.  At 0400-0800 taking on 21,000 gallons of water..   At 1540 (3:40 p.m.), Lieut. Commander V. A. Volmer and the officers and men in his charge of the 79th USNCB reported aboard in accordance with Port Director, Saipan authorization for surface transportation dated 19 April, 194 for transportation to Okinawa.  At 2000-2400 (8:00 p.m. until midnight), continued loading C.B. equipment.

BULLET.GIF (1053 bytes)Friday, April 20, 1945:  0000-0400 Moored port side to Pier Able 7, Tanapag Harbor, Saipan Island loading equipment of 79th USNCB.   0040 -- Fire in Generator Number 2, Auxiliary Engine room.  Switched generators and put out fire.   Slight damage.

BULLET.GIF (1053 bytes)Monday,  April 23, 1945:  At 0520 (5:20 a.m.), made preparations to get underway.  At 0600 (6:00 a.m.) underway, maneuvering at various courses and speeds to join convoy in accordance with Port Director, Saipan routing instructions Saipan--Okinawa-dated 22 April, 1945.  Radar watch set, joined convoy on base course .  Convoy consisting of four columns of LSTs, one column of LSMs, and escorts.   LST 561 is formation guide and first vessel in third column.  This vessel is third LST in first column.  Escort commander aboard USS DE 640.

BULLET.GIF (1053 bytes)Friday, April 27, 1945:  Underway,  At 0830 (8:00 a.m.), commenced series of emergency turns to avoid apparent danger from submarine to starboard of convoy.   USS APD 100 dropping depth charges.  1106-- Tested magazine sprinklers by remote and local control for weekly test.  Condition satisfactory.  1120 Completed emergency turns.  No visible damage to any ship in convoy or escort, no visible contact with enemy.  Again at 1242 (12:42 p.m.), commenced series of emergency turns.  1300--held class in aircraft recognition.

BULLET.GIF (1053 bytes)Sunday, April 29, 1945:  0800-1200 Underway.  Maneuvering at various courses and speeds entering Chimu Wan Anchorage, Okinawa Gunto, maintaining General Quarters.  0805--Secured from General Quarters per authority COM LST Group 62.   0950--Anchored in 12 fathoms of water with 40 fathoms of chain to the bow anchor in Berth Fox 36, Chimu Wan Anchorage, Okinawa Jima, Nansei Shoto.  Awaiting orders to discharge cargo and personnel.  1030--Held church services.
     The LST 785 Deck Logs record that she pulled into Chimu Wan Anchorage under Air Raid alert from CTG 51.18 and at 2100 sounded General Quarters and 2119 commenced making smoke with Besler Smoke Generator and LCP with smoke pots, same authority.  General Quarters were secured and called again several times and commenced making smoke shields.

BULLET.GIF (1053 bytes)Monday, April 30, 1945:  Anchored in berth Fox 36, Chimu Wan Anchorage, Okinawa Jima, Nansai Shoto under command of COM LST Group 62 aboard USS LST 641 in same anchorage, standing by to beach and discharge cargo and personnel of US Navy 79th Construction Battalion.  Maintaining Condition Three watches and Material Condition Yoke.  General Quarters again sounded, smoke again, secured again.   0630 (6:30 a.m.) made preparations for getting underway.  0702--Bow anchor aweigh, maneuvering at various courses and speeds to beach to Gushikowa Beach, Okinawa Shima.   0712--Set beaching Condition One Able.  At 0926 (9:26 a.m.) , beached on Gushikawa Beach, Okinawa Shima with 450 feet of cable to stern anchor.  At 0934 (9:34 a.m.), doors opened and ramp lowered.  At 1122 (11:22 a.m.), commenced unloading cargo,.  At 1800 (6:00 p.m.), the officers and men of the 79th USNCB with the exception of 125 man working party remaining aboard temporarily for unloading, departed and detached from this vessel in accordance with the authorization from Port Director, Saipan, Marianas dated 19 April, 1945 and further orders to this vessel from Commander LST Group 62.  At 2000-2400 (8:00 p.m. to midnight.   Sounded General Quarters on orders from CTF 51, Air raid alert..

BULLET.GIF (1053 bytes)Tuesday, May 1, 1945:  Unloading at LST Landing, Gushikawa Chimu Wan, Okinawa Jima, Nansei Shoto continues.  Unloading equipment of 79th USN Construction Battalion transported from Saipan, Marianas.

BULLET.GIF (1053 bytes)Wednesday, May 2. 1945:  Unloading completed. 

    During the following days after the 79th disembarked, LST 785 continued to experience occasional air raid alerts.  Eventually returning to Saipan, LST 785 passed through submarine nets and let go bow anchor in Saipan Outer Anchorage on August 19, 1945 .  After replenishing supplies, on September 17, 1945, she departed Saipan in convoy and beached at Nagasaki, Japan on September 24, 1945 to disembark troops and unload equipment.  Two days later, on September 26, 1945, LST 598 returned to Okinawa, arriving on September 28, and leaving Okinawa the following day to ride out a typhoon at sea until October 1, 1945 when she anchored at Leyte.  Following a number of sailings, LST 785 returned to San Francisco and was decommissioned on May 3, 1946.    LST 785 was awarded two battle stars for her service in World War II.

Any information on the voyage from Saipan and participation of LST-785 in the "Gunto" invasion of Okinawa during World War II will be greatly appreciated. Please contact:

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Email:  JWinter588@aol.com

References:

  • LST 785 Deck Logs

  • U.S. Coast Guard Records