Ship History

 

THE FOLLOWING IS A HISTORICAL ACCOUNT OF THE PATTERSON FROM THE BOMBING OF PEARL HARBOR TO 11 OCTOBER 1945. THE ACCOUNT IS WORD FOR WORD FROM DOCUMENTS FROM MY DAD’S SCRAPBOOK

U.S.S. PATTERSON (DD392)

11 OCTOBER 1945

In as much as ship’s records prior to 7 December 1941 are completely missing and those records from the Pearl Harbor raid up to mid 1943 are incomplete it is impossible to write a thoroughly complete history of the PATTERSON.

The PATTERSON joined the United States Navy on 22 September 1937 at the Puget Sound Navy Yard. In command was Commander F. T. Snellman, USN. Although substantiating records are lacking, it is assumed that the ship took its place in the Destroyer Battle Force of the Pacific Fleet. During the years preceding the war the PATTERSON was commanded by Commanders J. E. Hurff and later, M. H. Hubbard taking part in the peacetime routine of battle problems, gunnery exercises, leave, and liberty.

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7 December 1941 found the PATTERSON (Lt. Comdr. Frank R. Walker, U.S.N., Commanding) moored in berth X-11, Pearl Harbor in nest with HENLEY and RALPH TALBOT. When the Japanese struck, the enemy planes were taken under fire immediately and preparations were made to get underway. As a result of our AA firing a plane pressing home an attack on the CURTISS was destroyed. By 0900 the ship was underway, cleared the harbor, and commenced patrolling of the entrance. At 1200 joined with ComDesBatFor in DETROIT off Barbers Point and proceeded westward in company with the DETROIT , PHOENIX, ST. LOUIS, and various ships of DesRon4 in an effort to make contact with the enemy surface forces. The search continued until the 10th of December with negative results, and the ships returned to Pearl Harbor. 11 and 12 December were spent at anchor, but on the 13th the ship got underway to make an A/S search in the Pearl Harbor area. Results were negative. Later the same day cleared Pearl Harbor with DesDiv 8 less MUGFORD and spent the next two days patrolling off Pearl Harbor. On the morning of the 14th the PATTERSON dropped charges on a possible submarine contact with unknown results. The ship returned to port early the morning of the 15th and anchored for the day and night.

The following morning in company with CruDiv 6 less NEW ORLEANS and DesDiv 8 less JARVIS plus SELFRIDGE departed Pearl Harbor to make a search to the west which lasted until the 29th of December. On the 17th the SARATOGA and DesDiv 7 joined the formation, now known as Task Force 17. Available information indicates that the cruise was uneventful but for one incident. At 1055 on 28 December at 1.21-06N and 161-55W the Patterson rescued 19 survivors, including the Master of the S.S. MARIMI. The merchantman, according to the survivors report, had been torpedoed by an enemy submarine and the survivors had been adrift in the life raft for several days. The next day the ship entered Pearl Harbor where she rode at anchor for the next two days. The last day of 1941 found the PATTERSON sortieing from Pearl Harbor in company with Task Force 14 to take part in another search sweep to the west. This cruise lasted until 13 January 1942 and was uneventful except for negative A/S actions on the 12th and 13th of January. The night of January 13-14 was spent at anchor in Pearl Harbor. On the morning of 14 January departed Pearl Harbor in company with the HENLEY enroute to Canton Island conveying personnel and freight. Arrived at Canton Island on the 19th, spent the next day transferring the personnel and unloading freight, and then patrolled off Canton Island until the 25th when the track from Hawaii was retraced. There, until the 5th of February, the ship was alongside the WHITNEY for routine overhaul.

In company with DesDiv 8 less RALPH TALBOT plus BAGLEY and PENSACOLA, the PATTERSON departed Pearl Harbor the morning of 5 February 1942 and headed for Samoa, arriving at Pago Pago the morning of February 13th, departing the afternoon. Heading southwest the ships rendezvoused with Task Force 11 on 17 February 1942. In company with this Task Force the PATTERSON played a part in the action off Bougainville of 20 February 1942. That day the ship’s activities consisted of firing at enemy planes and rescuing a LEXINGTON pilot from the water. There is little information now on board as to the detailed activities of the ship from 21 February to 26 March 1942. During this time the PATTERSON was a part of Task Force 11 which teamed with Task Force 17 to strike Lae and Salamaua on 10 March. Other than an engineering casualty (overheated spring bearings on propeller shaft), which was repaired the night of March 7-8 by the ship’s force, the affair was uneventful. Because of the engineering casualty the ship was left behind by the Task Force and steamed independently while repairs were effected and she was able to catch up. On 11 March rendezvoused with the PORTLAND, LAWSON, and NEOSHO, and on 14 March rejoined Task Force 11. After the scheduled strikes, the Task Forces headed north-eastward enroute to Pearl Harbor, arriving there the morning of 26 March. The ship remained at Pearl Harbor until 7 April when she departed with JARVIS and KITTYHAWK in Convoy #4090 enroute to San Francisco. On April 14th the PATTERSON entered the Navy Yard, Mare Island for an overhaul which was completed on 8 May 1942.

In company with Convoy #2074 departed San Francisco 9 May 1942 enroute to Pearl Harbor. The trip passed without incident and the convoy arrived on the 17th of May. Remained in Pearl until the 22nd of May during which period Comdr. Frank R. Walker, USN, relieved Capt. Samuel B. Brewer, USN, as ComDesDiv 8, retaining as additional duty, command of the PATTERSON. On the afternoon of 22 May 1942 departed Pearl Harbor in company with MORMAC-STAR, PROCYON, and JARVIS enroute to the Fiji Islands. Arrived at destination without incident late the afternoon of 31 May. Spent the period from 31 May to 9 June in and about the Fiji Islands, departing in company with PROCYON for Noumea, New Caledonia. Again the voyage was without incident, and the ships arrived at their destination 12 June 1942. For two days the PATTERSON stayed in port, and then, on the 14th set course for Sidney, Australia in company with the JARVIS, arriving after an uneventful voyage on 17 June. Remained in Sidney until the 19th when the ship departed escorting the British Tanker LEKAY to Brisbane, arriving at the destination 21 June. Underway in company with Task Force 44 to make a sweep of the Coral Sea area which ended 28 June when the Task Force reached Noumea. The force left Noumea the next day and headed for Brisbane arriving without incident 1 July. The period of 1 July to 14 July was spent in and around Brisbane taking part in fleet exercises, on A/S patrol, and receiving routine tender upkeep.

On the 14th of July Task Force 44 departed Brisbane and set course for Wellington, N. Z. , arriving 19 July to be incorporated in Task Force 62 under Rear Admiral R. K. Turner. On 22 July the Task Force left Wellington and proceeded to the Fiji Islands where rehearsals for the forthcoming Guadalcanal operations were held until the end of the month. On July 31st Task Force 62 headed for the Solomon Islands. The Task Force proceeded toward the objective area without mishap during the first six days of August. Late in the morning of the 6th all ships were ordered to general quarters, and in the afternoon the approach disposition was formed. The next day scheduled landings took place with little interference from the enemy. The first hostile reaction was a horizontal bombing attack that took place early in the afternoon. No damage was suffered by ships in the area near PATTERSON whose assignment was to screen Transport Group "Xray". At 1459 that same day six enemy dive bombers attacked, and at 1500 the MUGFORD was hit. During the night the PATTERSON, BAGLEY, AUSTRALIA, CANBERRA, and CHICAGO took station near Savo Island screening the western approaches to Guadalcanal and Tulagi. At 0530 8 August the ship rejoined the protective screen supporting Transport Group "Xray". At 1036 it was reported that forty enemy bombers were coming in from the northwest. All ships were ordered to get underway as soon as possible, and all destroyers and cruisers were ordered to form an AA screen around the transports. At 1200 a torpedo attack was pressed home by the enemy. In the ensuing fight the PATTERSON saw twelve enemy planes go down and two damaged. Of the bag she claimed four kills and one hit. The rest of the day was quiet, and the night was spent on patrol between Savo and Care Esperance. At 0146 the morning of 9 August the PATTERSON notified the CANBERRA and CHICAGO of enemy ships approaching. 0147 changed course to left to bring guns and torpedoes to bear. 0148 illuminated with star shells three enemy cruisers and engaged them. 0149 PATTERSON illuminated by searchlight and under heavy fire. 0151 one unidentified ship hit and burning. Four minutes later an enemy shell struck the PATTERSON in the vicinity of Gun 4 shelter killing three men and wounding eight, seven more were listed as missing. By the time the ship had recovered the enemy forces were retiring between Savo Island and Tulagi Island. The action with the enemy lasted but a few minutes; the major piece of work done by the ship occurred around 0400 that morning. The CANBERRA had been heavily hit, was burning fiercely, and desperately needed assistance. At 0410 the PATTERSON moored alongside the CANBERRA and helped her fight fires, pump out flooded compartments, and care for the wounded. There was an interruption to the rescue and salvage work when an unidentified ship was picked up by radar at 0515. Casting off, the potential threat was challenged four times without answer. Illuminated with searchlight and opened fire. After an exchange of three salvos emergency recognition measures were taken. The ship turned out to be the CHICAGO. Firing was stopped instantly with no damage to either ship. Again at 0610 went alongside the CANBERRA and finished taking off survivors when it was ascertained that there was no hope of saving the ship. By 0645 the job was completed, and, with 400 survivors of the CANBERRA aboard, the ship proceeded to area "Xray" where the survivors were transferred to the BARNETT. Except for an air alert the morning of the 9th nothing of importance took place. The air attack did not materialize. At 1520 the PATTERSON was ordered to join a Transport Division, CHICAGO, MUGFORD, and DEWEY proceeding to Noumea. The trip to Noumea was uneventful, and the ships anchored in Great Roads at 1024 August 14th. Until 19 August the ship remained in and around Noumea having emergency repairs effected to the battle damage received in the First Battle of Savo Island.

On 19 August the PATTERSON in company with the AUSTRALIA, HOBART, SELFRIDGE, and BAGLEY were ordered to proceed north to join Task Force 61. At 1135 21 August the rendezvous was made. The AUSTRALIA, HOBART, PATTERSON, and BAGLEY reported to the SARATOGA Group (TF11); the SELFRIDGE reported to the WASP Group (TF18). While operating with these forces trouble was encountered the afternoon of the 24th; enemy planes attacked the ENTERPRISE (operating with another force in the vicinity) and hit her with bombs. Though Task Force 11 was alerted several times during the day, there was no action. The following day the GRAYSON made sonar contact, and the PATTERSON was dispatched to assist her. Several attacks were made, and the submarine believed sunk. The GRAYSON got credit for the kill. The forces operated in the general area west of the southern Solomon's with little excitement until the morning of August 31 when the SARATOGA was torpedoed by a submarine. That evening the PATTERSON, PHOENIX, and BAGLEY were detached from Task Force 11 and proceeded south to rejoin Task Force 44.

On 2 September rendezvous was made with Task Force 44 and course set for Australia. Then began a period of duty in the Australian area which lasted until May 1943. For that period the only sources of information now available are Captain’s Fight Order Books, administrative remarks in the logs, and incomplete quartermaster’s notes. According to these sources of information the period was not at all eventful, Most of the operating consisted of patrols in and around the Great Barrier Reef, coastal convoys, and training exercises. Liberty and recreation facilities of the Australian area were well used.

On 13 September 1942 Commander F. R. Walker, USN was relieved as Commanding Officer by Lt. Comdr. W. C. Schultz, USN. On May 29 1943, Commander Schultz was relieved as Commanding Officer by Lt. Comdr. A. F. White, USN. The ship was in Noumea again and under the control of ComSoPac. Routine convoy work between Noumea and Guadalcanal occupied the days until the afternoon of June 24th when a report was received that a "Tokyo Express" was heading for New Georgia. The PATTERSON joined with four other destroyers (OTC was in GWIN), and the group headed up "the slot" at 25 knots. Until well into the morning the ships patrolled off New Georgia, but when contact was not made by 0400 they headed back for Guadalcanal. On June 27th the ship left the Guadalcanal area to escort two ships to Aukland, New Zealand arriving on 1 July. On Independence Day she was proceeding north again escorting a fast evacuation ship (RIXEY) to Guadalcanal. On the 9th the ship was again patrolling off Guadalcanal and continued the patrol for the next two days while the RIXEY took on passengers. Upon the completion of embarkation on the 11th the PATTERSON escorted the RIXEY to a point reasonably close to New Caledonia and then, on orders from ComSoPac, headed back to Guadalcanal. On July 13 the ship was anchored in Tulagi Harbor, next day transferred torpedoes to ships of DesRon 21 and then departed the Guadalcanal area to rendezvous with the group escorting the HONOLULU and ST. LOUIS to Espiritu Santo. On the 16th the PATTERSON was at anchor in Espiritu Santo. The following day the ship started the return trip to Tulagi in company with the RALPH TALBOT. On the 18th the PATTERSON anchored in Purvis Bay, Florida Islands.

Until the night of July 23-24 activities were confined to escorting ships in the southern Solomon's area and escorting resupply echelons to Rendova. While returning from Rendova enroute to Purvis Bay on July 23rd , the PATTERSON was ordered to join up with the CONWAY, TAYLOR, ELLET, KILTY, TALBOT, CROSBY and WATERS. The group under command of Commander A. A. Burke, USN, was headed for Rice Anchorage in Kula Gulf to reinforce the Marine elements which had bee landed. While the APD’s were unloading the TAYLOR and ELLET were to go farther into the Gulf and bombard Baireko Harbor. The operation was carried out according to plan, the only dissenting voice being a shore battery from Kolombangara which was summarily silenced by the CONWAY and the PATTERSON. By 0400 the morning of July 24th the entire group was clear of Kula Gulf and making the best possible speed for Tulagi Harbor.

In the afternoon Tulagi was reached, the ship refueled, replenished ammunition, and stood out with the CONWAY, TAYLOR, WILSON, ELLET, MAURY, and GRIDLEY. The objective was New Georgia, the target Lambeti Plantation near the Munda air strip. At approximately 0630 the morning of July 25th the group had reached the area and preparations were completed to commence a scheduled bombardment. From 0627 to 0644 the ship expended approximately 450 5" projectiles, during the bombardment run. By 0700 the formation was headed out of Blanche Channel for Purvis Bay. Until the end of July the major activity of the PATTERSON consisted of running between Guadalcanal and Purvis Bay and patrolling off the unloading beaches at Guadalcanal.

On July 30th departed the Solomon's area in company with a convoy for New Caledonia arriving at Noumea on August 6th. 9 August the ship was underway again, steaming independently to Espiritu Santo. Late the morning of 11 August the ship anchored in Segond Channel. That evening a report came in to the effect that a merchantman had been torpedoed just north of Espiritu, and SC A (CTF37 in MARYLAND) ordered the PATTERSON to get underway and assist as necessary. The ship was on six hours notice at the time but got underway within one hour and a half after receiving orders. In the early evening contact was made on a group of ships including the one damaged by the torpedo. With PATTERSON augmenting the A/S screen, the convoy made its way to Espiritu Santo arriving the morning of the 12th. The next twelve days were spent in and around Espiritu Santo taking part in battle practices with units of Task Force 37.

On 24 August the ship departed Espiritu Santo with a convoy bound for Guadalcanal. While on screening station astern of the convoy the evening of August 25 the PATTERSON made sonar contact on an enemy submarine. In a two hour period the ship made five depth charges runs on the contact, and after the last attack a tremendous underwater explosion was heard contact was not again regained, and a retiring search was instituted. The search was maintained until the next morning when the ship was ordered to return to Espiritu. The only evidence of a submarine action was a huge oil slick in the vicinity of the attacks. The reported results were evaluated as possible slight damage to the submarine. A rivet blown out of the skin of the ship by the depth charges force the securing of the starboard engine. Early the morning of 27th August the PATTERSON limped into Espiritu Santo. Because there were no dry-docks available at the time in Espiritu the ship was sent to Noumea to be docked.

By 4 September necessary hull repairs had been completed and the PATTERSON joined a convoy of transports enroute form Noumea to Havannah Harbor, Efate Islands. The trip was uneventful, and the convoy arrived the morning of September 8th. While in Havannah Harbor the ship was granted an alongside availability period for necessary repairs and some alterations. It was during this period of availability that the PATTERSON’s chart house was given its first modification toward what was to be a Combat Information Center. By 15 September the availability period was completed and the PATTERSON in company with the SELFRIDGE, RALPH TALBOT, and WADSWORTH departed Efate enroute to Noumea where the ships joined a Transport Group which was going to Guadalcanal. On 21 September they arrived at Guadalcanal, and the ship joined the A/S screen patrolling off the beaches. After refueling in Purvis Bay the PATTERSON with the SELFRIDGE (CTG 31.2), McCALLA, RALPH TALBOT, RADFORD, JENKINS, and CONVERSE proceeded up "The Slot" 23 September on a hunt for barges the enemy was reported using to evacuate troops from Kolambangara Island. The results of the night hunt were negative, and the next morning the group retired to augment the screen of LST’s and APD’s carrying troops and supplies to Vella Lavella. The convoy arrived safely the morning of September 25th. After the APD’s had completed unloading the screening destroyers joined with them and steamed out of Vella Gulf for Rendova Island. While enroute the formation was alerted to repel air attacks. Although no enemy planes got through to the formation word was received that the LST’s beached at Vella Lavella were under dive bombing attack. In order to provide AA assistance the destroyers in the formation were ordered to reverse course and make for Vella Gulf at best possible speed. Arriving well ahead of the other ships the PATTERSON found the attack was over and two LST’s were burning. Closing the beached, damaged ships, the whale boat was lowered, and a medical and fire fighting party was sent to the island to help as much as practicable. Prior to dusk the party returned to the ship, the boat was hoisted, and the PATTERSON proceeded to rejoin the original formation at Rendova. There a group of LST’s returning to Guadalcanal was picked up, and the SELFRIDGE, PATTERSON, McCALLA, RALPH TALBOT, and CONVERSE formed the A/S screen. Late in the afternoon of September 26 the destroyers moored in Tulagi Harbor. The next day the ship moved to Purvis Bay where it remained until the 29th. The period was uneventful except for a few air alerts, all of which proved false.

Late the morning of September 29th, the PATTERSON (ComDesRon 4 embarked and OTC) in company with the McCALLA, FOOTE, and RALPH TALBOT sortied from Purvis Bay and proceeded up "The Slot" on a barge hunt. The area to be patrolled and searched was reached late in the afternoon. At 1730 the formation went to general quarters. The search had begun. Around 2200 radar contact was made on several groups of ships or barges. The McCALLA was ordered to investigate one group in particular. Before long she reported that she had opened fire and that she was receiving return fire. The OTC ordered her to rejoin. Meanwhile the three remaining ships had opened fire at possible barge contacts on the side away from the McCALLA. All ships were steaming at flank speed and just as the McCALLA was rejoining she lost steering control, and an unavoidable collision took place between that ship and the PATTERSON. The McCALLA’s bow was ripped off clean just forward of C. P. O. country. The PATTERSON’S bow was bent around to starboard just forward of Gun # 1 and was eventually broken off by maneuvering the ship. The only fatalities in the tragedy were three men who were trapped in the lower handling room of Gun # 1. In addition there were numerous men slightly injured. Both ships were able to proceed under their own power after the ruptured bulkheads were adequately shored. Throughout the night the formation was heckled by enemy aircraft, but no further damage was done to any of the ships. At dawn the PAWNEE, which had been in the area, came alongside and took off ComDesRon 4 and his staff for further transfer to the FOOTE. Slowly the group headed down "The Slot". At 0840 the PATTERSON secured from general quarters, but three hours later a potential air attack sent the ship to battles stations again. Fortunately the CAP provided by Munda Airfield beat back the threat before any damage could be done. Early the morning of 1 October the ship reached Purvis Bay, and the PATTERSON and the McCALLA went alongside the ARGONNE for temporary repairs.

The ship remained in Purvis Bay until October 16th when the bow was faired somewhat, and the ship was made more seaworthy. On the 16th she proceeded in company with the O’BANNON. CROUIER, and a merchantman enroute to Espinitu, arriving the morning of 19 October after an uneventful voyage.

At Espiritu Santo the PATTERSON was dry-docked, a false bow put on, and, in general, made ready for return to the Mare Island Navy Yard. By 3 December the PATTERSON was ready for the trip home. Steaming independently she left Espiritu Santo and proceeded to Pearl Harbor via Samoa. At Pearl Harbor the bow was strengthened, and the ship was sent to San Francisco escorted by the DALE. On December 22nd the PATTERSON was in Mare Island Navy Yard for an overhaul the was completed the first week in March 1944.

On 8 March , after routine post repair trials, the ship put out of San Francisco Bay manned by a crew, 75% of whom had never been to sea before. Proceeding to Hawaii as part of Task Unit 16.1.8 an uneventful voyage transpired, and the group arrived on the 15th. Upon arrival at Pearl Harbor the PATTERSON came under the operational control of ComDesPac for training. Until 3 May 1944 the ship remained in the Pearl Harbor area undergoing an intensive period of combat training. On the morning of the 3rd she departed Pearl Harbor in company with Task Group 12.1 and proceeded to Majuro Atoll in the Marshall Islands. After five days the ships entered the fleet anchorage at Majuro, and the PATTERSON reported for duty with Task Force 58.

Until May 23rd the ship took part in the exercises being conducted by elements of Task Force 58 in and about Majuro, but on the 23rd operational control passed to C.T.F. 57 for escort duty. The next morning the ship departed Majuro to escort the S. S. ANTIQUA to the 180th Meridian, returning the morning of May 27th. Similar chores were done in the succeeding days until, finally, on 6 June 1944 the PATTERSON sortied from Majuro in company with Task Group 58.7. Destination was the Marianas Islands. On June 8th Task Group 58.7 was dissolved, and the ship joined Task Group 58.2.

The Marianas campaign proved to be a long one for the PATTERSON. Until the 13th of June the ship operated with a fast carrier group making air strikes on Saipan and Tinian. On that day a bombardment group was sent in to the islands. During the daylight hours the fast battleships did the work, but through the night the destroyers carried out harassing fire missions. The PATTERSON took over and are on the west side of Saipan. Eighteen firing runs were made throughout the night, no enemy return fire was observed, and the only visible results of our fire we small fires on the beach. Upon completion of the fire missions the ship was sent to Task Force 52 for screening duties with various bombardment and transport units.

Outside of firing on "Fred", early evening on the 15th, nothing out of the ordinary occurred. However, on June 17th, the PATTERSON was ordered to join Task Group 58.7, as the Fifth Fleet made preparations to meet the Japanese Fleet sighted in the Philippine sea making for the Marianas. Heading westward the Task Group made all possible speed to engage the enemy, but the hoped for meeting of the two battle lines never occurred. On the 19th the group ran into some light air attacks all of which were successfully beaten off with slight damage to our units. The next two days witnessed the carrier strikes against the Japanese fleet. Late the evening of 21 June the chase was broken off, and the group of Task Force 58 set course for Saipan. Reporting again to C.T.F. 52 the PATTERSON resumed her duties which included at various times, radar picket, screening transports and bombardment ships, executing fire support missions, and escorting convoys. The night of June 27-28 joined the SAUFFLEY on a fire support mission against the southwestern area of Tinian. Again there was no enemy return fire, and the results were unobserved. On the 29th of July the PATTERSON departed the Saipan area and proceeded to Guam on an escort mission, returning to Saipan the next day. The night of July 30-31 was spent on another harassing mission against Tinian. Results were no different from other such missions.

On August 9th in company with the HALSEY, POWELL, STOCKHAM, YARNALL, MUGFORD, and PRICHETT, the PATTERSON left the Saipan-Tinian area and proceeded to Guam arriving the next morning and reporting to C.T.F. 53 for duty. Duty in the Guam area consisted of screening and escorting incoming convoys.

On August 16th the PATTERSON was assigned to the screen of a convoy bound for Eniwetok, arriving there after and uneventful trip on August 20. The ship remained at anchor until the 28th of August. Emergency repairs were accomplished by the ship’s force, provisions, supplies, and ammunition were taken on board, and on 22 August Lt. Comdr. A. F. White, USN was relieved by Lt. Comdr. W. A. Hering, USN, as Commanding Officer.

Reporting to the Third Fleet for duty the PATTERSON was assigned to Task Group 38.4 which departed Eniwetok the morning of August 28th to make a strike against air and shipping facilities in the islands of the Bonin group. The operation was accomplished according to plan with no enemy opposition to the naval units involved, and on September 4th the Task Group fueled in the vicinity of Saipan. The next day the group set course for Yap Islands where air strikes and naval bombardment operations were carried out on the 6th, 7th, and 8th of September. On the 8th the PATTERSON took part in the bombardment. There was no enemy fire observed, and the spotting plane reported the assigned target was well covered.

Until the 18th of September the Task Group operated in the vicinity of Palau Islands providing direct air support to the amphibious operations in progress. The next day the formation steamed toward Manus Island in the Admiralty group for a period of replenishment. From 21 September to 24th September the Task Group was anchored in Seaddler Harbor, Manus Island and then got underway to return to the area around Palau to continue air support operations. Except for a heavy storm on the 3rd and 4th of October the period up to October 9th was spent uneventfully.

Rendezvousing with the other groups of Task Force 38, a high speed run was made the night of October 9-10 to gain by morning launching position for air strikes against Okinawa Jima. There were no enemy attacks made against the force during the day, but the night of October 10-11, while on picket station the PATTERSON took under fire a heckler with unobserved results. On the 14th the Task Force fueled and carried out successful fighter sweeps against the enemy air installations in Northern Luzon, and then proceeded to an area southeast of Formosa in preparation for a sustained attack against that island. Strikes were launched on the 12th, and enemy air opposition was immediate. That evening a series of raids began which heckled the Task Force all night. A total of fifty one raids were reported and several burning planes were seen to crash into the sea throughout the night. The PATTERSON took under fire several bogies while on picket station, but results were unobserved. Air strikes were continued on the 13th. At dusk that day the force was attacked by a large number of twin engine torpedo planes. At least six planes were shot down by AA fire from ships of Task Group 38.4. No damage was incurred by ships of that group except to the PATTERSON. Machine gun fire from other ships firing at an enemy plane making a torpedo run on the carriers in the formation killed two men and wounded eight. Shrapnel cut into the T. B. S. antenna and steering control was lost. Instantaneous action by Combat requesting maneuvering signals on VHF and regaining of steering control by the bridge averted further trouble. It should be noted that in all the air actions around Formosa the Task Group operated at high speed in heavy seas using violent evasive maneuvers. At 2200 that night flooding of the starboard shaft alley forced the PATTERSON to drop out of the formation when it became necessary to secure the starboard engine. Repairs were effected within the hour, and the ship rejoined. The 14th of October was comparatively quiet with but few alerts and no enemy planes getting in at the formation.

Early the morning of October 15 Task Group 38.4 was detached from Task Force 38 and proceeded at high speed to an area east of Luzon where heavy strikes against the Manila area were to be launched. During the day the heavy ships fueled the destroyers. While fueling alongside the ENTERPRISE enemy dive bombers got through to the formation. The fueling operation was immediately discontinued, and the AA fire from the ships drove off the attackers with superficial damage being caused to the FRANKLIN by a near bomb miss. The next day the group fueled from tankers and then returned to the area off Luzon. There was but little enemy opposition to the strikes carried out the next three days and on October 20th Task Group 38.1 and Task Group 38.4 took station to the east of the central Philippines in order to provide air support for the amphibious operations in the Leyte- Samar area. Until the night of October 24-25 everything went according to plan. Then, in preparation to meet the Japanese forces sighted transiting San Bernardino Straits Task Force 34 was formed, and the PATTERSON was included in that battle force. Another enemy force was located east of Luzon headed south. Task Force 34 steamed north to meet the new threat. Air strikes were launched against the northern enemy force with excellent results. When word was received of the trouble being experienced by friendly units off Leyte Gulf Task Force 34 reversed course to lend a hand. A light striking force consisting of four cruisers and twelve destroyers (including the PATTERSON) kept proceeding north to pick off crippled enemy ships reported by returning planes. That evening an enemy CVE was sunk by cruiser fire, and that night an enemy CL was also sunk by cruiser fire. At 2100 the night of October 25, when no more enemy ships were contacted, the striking group headed south to join Task Force 38.

The morning of 26 October found the PATTERSON again with Task Group 38.4. Routine air support operations were carried out the next few days. No enemy air opposition was encountered until the afternoon of October 30th when a Kamikaze group attacked the formation. As a result of the attack the FRANKLIN and the BELLEAU WOOD were damaged. After the attack ended the PATTERSON was ordered to search the area and pick up personnel. Early that evening the ship returned to the formation having rescued numerous men from the BELLEAU WOOD, two of whom died on board. The next day the Task Group rendezvoused with a fueling group. The FRANKLIN and BELLEAU WOOD were detached and ordered to proceed to Ulithi escorted by the MUGFORD, BAGLEY, GRIDLEY, and PATTERSON.

On 3 November the PATTERSON was alongside a tender in Ulithi for repairs, rearming, and provisioning. The next day the ship was detached from the Third Fleet and reported to ComCarDiv 29 in the Makin Island for duty in the Seventh Fleet. Alongside availability was interrupted the afternoon of the 5th when the ship had to clear the tender because of an impending typhoon. Throughout the month of November the ship operated with CarDiv 29 providing air cover for the convoy routes to the Philippines. Events during this period were of a routine nature, and on 27 November the ship was in Seaddler Harbor, Manus Island. While there, alongside availability for five days was granted the ship for urgent repairs.

On the 6th of December the PATTERSON proceeded independently to Kossol Roads and reported to Task Group 77.12 for temporary duty. The mission of this group was to provide heavy support and air cover for the amphibious forces during their approach to and initial seizure of a beachhead on Mindrono Island in the Philippines. The force (consisting of CVE’s, OBB’s CA’s, CL’s and DD’s ) departed Kossol Passage on 10 December, made for Leyte Gulf, passed through Surigao Straits, Mindanao Sea, and on into the Sulu Sea.

Though the period spent in the Sulu Sea took in only seven days those days were far from uneventful. Air attacks against the formation were frequent. On the 13th of December, in the late afternoon the enemy pressed home a suicide attack which put the HARADEN out of the operation. Early the afternoon of the 14th enemy planes came within gun range of the formation but were driven off and eventually shot down by the CAP with no damage to friendly ships. The 15th was a day of continual enemy air action starting at 0400. Firing on various air targets during the day the ship made one kill late that morning. Although several suicide dives were made, only superficial damage was done to one carrier. The 16th was comparatively quiet. One enemy float plane was spotted by lookouts of the PATTERSON, the LCAB was vectored on to it, and the snooper destroyed. There were numerous alerts by no enemy planes got through to the formation.

On the 17th the Task Group departed the operating area and set course for Kossol Passage in the Palau Islands, arriving without incident on the 19th of December. From Kossol Passage the ships steamed to Manus for a short replenishment period, remaining in Seaddler Harbor from December 23 to December 27. A return trip was then made to Kossol Passage arriving December 30. There the support forces were gathering for the forthcoming Luzon campaign. The PATTERSON was assigned as one of the escorts for the CVE’s of Task Group 77.4.

On 1 January 1945 Task Group 77.4 in company with Task Group 77.2 (fire support ships) sortied from Kossol Passage and made for the Philippines. Additional heavy units joined the formation in Leyte Gulf on January 3rd. The available ships of the two Task Groups were divided into two formations with an equal number of CVE’s, OBB’s cruisers and escorts in each formation. The PATTERSON was with the rear group and assigned a station in the inner screen between a battle ship and a cruiser. The trip through Surigao Straits, Mindanao Sea, Sulu Sea, and on into the operating area in the South China Sea began. Along the entire track to the operating area the two formations were under air attack. Late the afternoon of January 4 the OMMANEY BAY, 1000 yards on the starboard beam of this ship, was hit by a suicide plane which had penetrated the screen undetected. The PATTERSON made every attempt to go alongside to fight the fires which were rapidly consuming the stricken ship. The rapidity with which the fires spread and the resultant heavy explosions made it obvious that the ship was beyond aid. Attention was then focused on rescuing personnel who were in the water. As a result of the ship’s search for survivors 110 men and 14 officers were rescued by the PATTERSON. That night the formation stopped, and the ships with survivors went alongside heavy ships to make transfer of personnel. The PATTERSON moored alongside the NEW MEXICO and discharged her human cargo. January 5th began eventfully very early in the morning when a plane (presumably enemy) crashed in flames off our port bow. There were many alerts during the day, and late in the afternoon two raids got in on the rear group, The first raid consisted of two low flying enemy planes which were shot down in the vicinity of the HELM and the MANILA BAY. A short time later when the attention of most ships in the formation was attracted by a "Val" flying just outside of AA range, a low flying formation of five "Zekes" approached the formation. The PATTERSON opened fire at 10,000 yards with the main batter and with the 40MM and 20MM batteries when the range had closed sufficiently. One plane crashed the STAFFORD in the outer screen, another crashed the flight deck of the MANILA BAY, another making a run on the MANILA BAY was shot down by MM fire of the PATTERSON, the remaining two were seen to crash into the water close aboard other carriers in the formation. This ship proceeded to close the MANILA BAY as fire broke out. However, the fire was extinguished in short order, and the MANILA BAY reported only superficial damage.

On January 6th there were frequent alerts, but no planes closed. The fire support group departed to carry out their mission in Lingayen Gulf. The next day an enemy plane was fired on by this ship with negative results. Until 13 January operations were carried out according to schedule with no enemy air action directed at the carrier groups. That day two planes were spotted by Control coming in on the far side of the formation. One plane dived the SALAMAUA, scored a bomb hit, and crashed in the water close aboard. The other plane began a run across the formation, and the PATTERSON took it under fire when the firing bearing was clear. The plane crashed into the water several thousand yards from another ship of the screen. The remainder of the operating period in the South China Sea was uneventful, and on 17 January the Task Group of which the PATTERSON was a part headed for Ulithi, arriving January 23rd after an uneventful trip.

The ship remained in Ulithi until 10 February receiving tender assistance for urgent repairs, replenishing, and taking part in rehearsal exercises for the impending Iwo Jima operation. Sortied form Ulithi on 10 February enroute to Iwo Jima via Saipan. Again the PATTERSON was assigned to the CVE groups whose mission was to provide direct air support for the amphibious forces enroute to Iwo, during the landing, and subsequent seizure of the island. All went according to plan except during the evening of 21 February, when the formation was attacked by a group of enemy torpedo planes that had been reported as planes from the SARATOGA. As a result of this action the BISMARCK SEA was sunk. The PATTERSON rescued 106 survivors, and with three other ships remained in the area until the next morning to make a thorough search for any other survivors. The search was negative. Throughout the succeeding days spent in the operating area off Iwo Jima there were frequent air alerts, but no attacks got through to the support carrier groups. On 1 March 1945 the PATTERSON was still steaming in the Iwo Jima area with the support carrier group. By March 10th the assault phase at Iwo had been successfully carried out and the support carrier groups were released. As a result the Task Group of which the PATTERSON was a unit proceeded to Ulithi arriving the morning of 15 March 1945. For a period of approximately a week the ship sat at anchor making urgent repairs to machinery and replenishing food stocks, ammunition, and necessary stores. During this period at anchor, on 17 March, Lt. Commander W. A. Hering, USN, was relieved as commanding officer by Lt. Commander A. H. Angelo, Jr., USNR.

At sunrise on 21 March the ship sortied from Ulithi as a part of Support Carrier Unit One which, with Support Carrier Unit Two, accompanied Task Force 54 to Okinawa Jima, the new objective. Enroute to Okinawa the two carrier units provided both day and night air cover. The trip to the objective area was made without enemy interference. Operational accidents during landings and launchings were the only incidents out of the ordinary routine. Upon arrival of the force at the operating area about Okinawa, Support Unit One took its position in an area approximately 60 miles south and east of the main island, From this area the CVE’s carried out their mission of providing direct air support to the assault forces on Okinawa and other islands plus neutralizing the Sakishima group from time to time. In spite of the continuous and heavy air attacks pressed home by the enemy on U. S. Naval Forces supporting the capture of Okinawa the support carrier units escaped almost unscathed. Red alerts were frequent but usually the bogey turned out to be a friendly not using identification signals properly. There were interesting moments, however. On the 2nd of April the PATTERSON with the LUNGA POINT, OLIVER MITCHELL and NAWMEN proceeded to Kerama Retto where the LUNGA POINT replenished munitions and the PATTERSON had its sonar dome checked. (Divers informed the ship that the lower part of the dome was missing and until the ship could be dry-docked the gear was inoperative). That evening as the group departed Kerama Retto a raid which closed a formation of transports nearby. At least three enemy planes, one identified as a Francis, closed the LUNGA POINT and her group. After a brief skirmish in which all ships threw a great amount of lead the planes were driven off without damage to any ships. In a message to the PATTERSON the next day the LUNGA POINT credited the ship with one kill and one probable. The remainder of the trip was made without incident and the parent formation was rejoined early the morning of the 3rd. From that day until April 29, the PATTERSON was more or less the handy man in the screen of Support Unit One making mail deliveries, acting as plane guard during night flight operations, sinking mines, and so on. On April 29, in company with MARCUS ISLAND, SAGINAW BAY, JEFFERS, and O’FLAHERTY the PATTERSON proceeded to Guam to be dry-docked for repairs to the sonar gear.

The group arrived in Guam on 3 May and the PATTERSON reported to the Naval Operating Base for repairs. On May 27 the ship was dry-docked, and the necessary repairs accomplished by the 31st. The period prior docking was spent by the ship’s force making repairs to equipment too long neglected because of operating conditions, replenishing stores and ammunition, and making use of recreation facilities. By June 4 the PATTERSON was at sea again, escorting the NEW MEXICO to Leyte, a trip which passed without incident. Arriving at Leyte on June 7th the ship remained in port over night and then joined a slow convoy headed for Kerama Retto. Again the trip was without incident, and the objective was reached the morning of June 12th. On being detached from the convoy and fueling the PATTERSON eventually made its way to the operating area of Support Unit One where it rejoined its old group. Until 24 June the formation carried out its mission and then was released from the Okinawa operation. June 27 found the ship at Leyte again, moored alongside the J. O. HENLEY in San Pedro Bay while attempts were made by technicians to repair the ships stable element.

On 2 July the PATTERSON departed San Pedro Bay in company with BAGLEY and RALPH TALBOT and steamed for Saipan. Upon arrival the three ships reported for duty in the escort-patrol pool of the Marianas. Duties with this new group consisted of patrolling an A. S. W. station near the Eniwetok-Guam shipping lanes and escorting ships or convoys to Guam or Okinawa from Saipan. Until the 16 August the ship did such chores. The war’s end was celebrated in Saipan Harbor. The next day (August 16) orders were received to report immediately to ComFifthFleet in NEW JERSEY at Guam. The trip to Guam was made the night of August16-17, and, there, the NEW JERSEY was met leaving Apra Harbor and escorted during an uneventful trip to Manila Bay via San Bernardino Strait. The two ships arrived in Manila Bay on 21 August and remained until the 28th of that month. It was during the stay that the word was received that the PATTERSON was to be sent to the West Coast for overhaul when a relief destroyer reported to ComFifthFleet. There was but one more chore to do, escort the NEW JERSEY to Buckner Bay.

Arriving at Buckner Bay 30 August the ship remained at anchor until 8 September. On that day the PATTERSON got underway for the United States via Saipan, Eniwetok, Pearl Harbor. At Pearl Harbor it was learned there was to be no yard overhaul on the West Coast. Instead the ship was routed to New York via San Diego and the Panama Canal Zone where it reported on 11 October ComThirdNav Dist for disposition.

 

Attached to but not a part of this document is a list of operations which the PATTERSON received stars for and is listed below.

LIST OF PACIFIC OPERATIONS FOR WHICH BRONZE STARS ARE AUTHORIZED

Pearl Harbor - Midway 7 December 1941

Air Action off Bouganville 20 February 1942

Guadalcanal - Tulagi Landings 7-9 August 1942 - 8 Feb. 1943

Capture and defense of Guadalcanal 10 August 1942 - 8 Feb. 1943

Eastern Soloman (Stewart Island) 23-25 August 1943

Support and consolidation Eastern New

          Guinea Operation 17 Dec. 1943 - 24 July 1944

Consolidation of Soloman Islands 8 Feb. 1943

New Georgia Operation 20 June 1943- 16 Oct. 1943

Marianas Operation 10 June 1944-27 Aug 1944

Western Caroline Island Operation 31 Aug. - 14 Oct. 1944

Leyte Operation 10 Oct. - 16 Dec. 1944

Luzon Operation 12 Dec. 1944

Iwo Jima Operation 15 Feb. - 16 March 1944

 

 

 

 

 

 


This page was last updated on 06/30/03

Copyright 1997,1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003  Robert Coburn   All Rights Reserved