| 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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..
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.
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:
LST 785 Deck Logs
U.S. Coast Guard Records