Corregidor

USS Fletcher DD-445

Combat Action Report

Corregidor

February 13 - 17, 1945

DD445/A16-3                                USS Fletcher (DD-445)
Serial 020                                       c/o Fleet Post Office
                                                           San Francisco, Calif.

CONFIDENTIAL                                                                                     22 February 1945

From:                                  The Commanding Officer.
To:                                      The Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet.
Via:                                     (1) Commander, Destroyer Division FORTY-TWO.
                                             (2) Commander, Destroyer Squadron TWENTY-ONE.
                                             (3) Commander, Task Unit 77.3.2.
                                             (4) Commander, Task Group 77.3.
                                             (5) Commander, Task Group 78.3.
                                             (6) Commander, Task Force 78.
                                             (7) Commander, SEVENTH FLEET.
                                             (8) Commander in Chief, Southwest Pacific Area

Subject:             Action Report - Manila Bay Operations, 13 February through 17 February, 1945, inclusive.

Reference:                         (a) CTG 78.3 Op-Plan 4-45.
                                               (b) ComCruDiv 15 Op-Order 1-45.

Enclosures:                        (A) Track chart of USS Fletcher.
                                               (B) Spotting plane log (1328 - 1450 February 14, 1945)
                                               (C) Personnel Casualty Report.

Part I

BRIEF SUMMARY

     1.  During the period of 13 February through 17 February, 1945, this vessel as a unit of TU 77.3.2 participated in bombardment and mine-sweeper covering operations in the Manila Bay area, in support of the amphibious landings of Task Group 78.3 at Mariveles and Corregidor.

     2.  The landing at Mariveles was made February 15 and at Corregidor on February 16, 1945. During this time and subsequently it was necessary to silence numerous Japanese gun positions, which sought to interfere with the progress of our forces. There was also the constant necessity of sinking floating mines which had been cut adrift by our sweepers.

   3. The activities of FLETCHER included the following: bombardment, counter-battery and rescue of survivors of YMS 48 fatally hit by shore batteries. One hit by six inch shell was sustained by this vessel during these operations.

Part II

PRELIMINARIES

TASK ORGANIZATION

TG 77.3 Fire Support Group       Rear Admiral Berkey
CruDiv 12 less COLUMBIA
CruDiv 15 less NASHVILLE
CruDiv 21 plus ABBOT           Captain Ginder

TU 77.3.1 Fire Support Unit "A"   Rear Admiral Berkey
PHOENIX (F), BOISE
HOPEWELL, NICHOLAS, TAYLOR, O'BANNON

TU 77.3.2 Fire Support Unit "B"   Rear Admiral Riggs
DENVER, CLEVELAND, MONTPELIER
FLETCHER, RADFORD, JENKINS, LA VALLETTE, ABBOT

TU 77.2.5 Fire Support Unit "C"   Commodore Farncomb, RAN
HMAS SHROPSHIRE (F), PORTLAND, MINNEAPOLIS.
CONWAY, EATON, BRAINE, FRAZIER, HMAS ARUNTA, HMAS WARRANMUGA

ACTUAL OPERATION BREAKDOWN AS FOLLOWS:

February 13, 1945
DENVER, FLETCHER, MONTPELIER, RADFORD, LA VALLETTE, CLEVELAND, ABBOT, JENKINS.

February 14, 1945
Same as 13th except MONTPELIER group held in reserve.
P.M. (late) - RADFORD, LA VALLETTE relieved HOPEWELL, FLETCHER.

February 15, 1945
A.M.: PHOENIX, BOISE, TAYLOR, O'BANNON (North side).
CLEVELAND, ABBOT, JENKINS (South side).
MONTPELIER, HOPEWELL, FLETCHER, NICHOLAS in reserve.
P.M. MONTPELIER relieved PHOENIX
NICHOLAS relieved O'BANNON
FLETCHER relieved TAYLOR.

February 16, 1945
CLEVELAND, MONTPELIER, DENVER, PHOENIX, JENKINS, ABBOT, FLETCHER, HOPEWELL, NICHOLAS (South side).
BOISE, TAYLOR, O'BANNON (North side).

February 17, 1945
BOISE, ABBOT (North side).
PHOENIX, FLETCHER, JENKINS (South side).

Part III

Chronological Account of Operation

February 13, 1945

0623
 Underway from anchorage in Subic Bay. Luzon Island, P.I. in accordance with ComCruDiv 15 Op-Order 1-45.
0915 Arrived off entrance to Manila Bay, Task Group split up into designated fire support units to proceed to assigned areas in accordance with reference (b). USS DENVER, JENKINS, ABBOT and FLETCHER formed Fire Support Unit "B" and patrolled area.
1315 Proceeding independently as previously directed to bombardment position off Cochinos Point, Bataan Peninsula.
1351 Commenced firing at target area bearing 022°(T), range 9500 yards as set forth in reference (b).
1423 Shifted target to Gorda Point area bearing 029°(T), range 12400 yards.
1550 Ceased firing, bombardment completed. Commenced screening to seaward of USS DENVER as various units of Task Group 77.3.1 formed cruising disposition, 5 miles west of Corregidor Island.
1709 Exercise completed - formed A/S screen and set base course and speed to retire to Subic Bay with USS DENVER, CLEVELAND, ABBOT and JENKINS.
1915 Anchored in Subic Bay, Luzon Island, P.I.

February 14, 1945

0523 
Underway from anchorage in Subic Bay, Luzon Island, P.I., in accordance with ComCruDiv Op-Order 1-45, in company with TG 77.3 to proceed to vicinity of Corregidor - Mariveles Harbor area.
0804 Arrived off Manila Bay entrance and split into designated fire support units.
0820 Commenced scheduled exercises.
0953 Proceeding to fire support position in company with USS DENVER, southwest of Caballo Island.
1035 Commenced firing at flashes from shore battery on Caballo Island bearing 075°(T), range 11200 yards.
1050 Ceased firing, target reported destroyed.
1140 Proceeding independently at various courses and speeds to assigned bombardment station off Los Cochinos Point, Bataan Peninsula.
1227 Commenced firing at Cochinos Point area targets, bearing 025°(T), range 3000 yards.
1235 Shifted targets to Gorda Point bearing 030°(T), range 4000 yards.
1240 Ceased firing as arrival of USS HOPEWELL in area blanked our fire. Maneuvered at various courses and speeds as directed by CDD 42 to assist HOPEWELL in the destruction of obstructions at entrance to Mariveles Harbor in the form of buoys with chains attached which had to be removed before harbor could be swept.
1255 Lying to at harbor entrance - commenced firing at buoys west of center of bay, destroying all but one small one which defied destruction due to its size.
1319 Commenced firing at oil storage tank in Gorda Point area bearing 021°(T), range 2400 yards.
1322 On orders from CDS 21 prepared to lower boat to go close aboard offending buoy and sink it with rifle fire.
1325 Sighted near misses falling close aboard ship.
1326 Ship hit by gunfire from battery on northwestern end of Corregidor Island.
1328 Commenced firing at same shore battery bearing 120°(T), range 7500 yards.
1331 Ceased firing, direct hits reported.
1334 Stood to seaward of Mariveles Harbor, maneuvering to on a new approach course, avoiding HOPEWELL and PHOENIX.
1340 Steadied on approach course for counter-battery.
1345 Reopened fire on target bearing 095°(T), range 6000 yards.
1354 Sighted second shore battery in same and shifted fire to it.
1358 Shifted to target to lower of second shore batteries.
1406 Sighted premature bursts and bursts in water close aboard to starboard.
1415 Stood in toward YMS 48 in North Channel 1100 yards off the beach, Alasin Point, Bataan, which was dead in the water and afire from shell hits, to pick up survivors in accordance with orders from CTG 77.3.
1420 Smoker planes laid smoke screen over batteries to cover rescue work and remainder of survivors.
1425 Lying to - commenced taking aboard survivors of YMS.
1433 YMS damaged beyond salvage - sunk by automatic weapons. Due to about twelve knot wind from the east, smoke entirely disappeared.
1440 Sighted two shore installations on Corregidor bearing 133°(T), range 3800 yards, took them under fire and silenced them.
1450 Ceased firing - completed rescue of survivors proceeding to stand out of North Channel.
1500 Patrolling in fire support area, 5 miles west of Corregidor.
1540 Doctor and medical supplies received aboard from USS PHOENIX.
1552 Set course and speed to proceed to Subic Bay in company with USS HOPEWELL (CDS 21 - OTC).
1734 Anchored in Subic Bay, Luzon Island, P.I.

February 15, 1945

0400
 Underway from anchorage in Subic Bay, P.I., in accordance with ComCruDiv 15 Op-Order 1-45, in company with TG 77.3 proceeding to the vicinity of Corregidor - Mariveles Harbor area.
0636 Arrived off entrance to Manila Bay. Formed separate designated fire support units - standing into area south of Corregidor Island.
0747 Commenced firing at sighted shore battery on Corregidor Island.
0750 Ceased firing - continued on patrol in designated fire support area.
1153 Standing into North Channel to exchange stations with USS TAYLOR in accordance with orders from CTG 77.3.
1203 On station 012°(T), range 3000 yards from La Monja Island. Commenced firing one minute salvos at target shore batteries bearing 105°(T), range 5200 yards, on Corregidor Island.
1255 Reduced firing to 5 minute salvos.
1302 Ceased firing as air strike commenced - lying to at station.
1815 Commenced firing at same designated target bearing 113°(T), range 4400 yards.
1817 Ceased firing.
1837 Reopened fire at target on Corregidor bearing 118°(T), range 4800 yards.
1900 Completed scheduled bombardment - commenced standing out of North Channel to join other ships of TG 77.3.
1945 Set base course and speed to retire to westward of Manila Bay for the night, in company with TG 77.3 less USS RADFORD and USS LA VALLETTE.

February 16, 1945

0630
 Arrived in Manila Bay entrance area to start scheduled exercises. Fire support units separated and proceeded to assigned areas.
0700 Patrolling to seaward of Corregidor Island 3 miles.
0815 Commenced standing into South Channel.
0840 Lying to in fire support station with Caballo Island bearing 042°(T), distance 1.7 miles in support of paratroop and amphibious operations.
1015 Commenced standing into Caballo Bay to assist USS WICKES in bombardment of north side of Caballo Island as ordered by CTG 77.3.2.
1032 Units of TG 78.3 landed at black beach, Corregidor Island.
1033 Commenced firing at Caballo Island shore installations bearing 086°(T), range 3300 yards.
1047 Ceased firing at Caballo Island - shifted to sighted enemy battery on Corregidor Island bearing 327°(T), range 1780 yards which was firing on our landing beach.
1059 Ceased firing at Corregidor, shore battery silenced.
1110 Commenced firing on Caballo Island bearing 087°(T), range 2400 yards.
1125 Ceased firing - still lying to at fire support station in Caballo Bay.
1356 Commenced firing at Caballo Island target bearing 092°(T), range 2700 yards.
1407 Ceased firing.
1500 Sunk two buoys close aboard.
1532 Commenced firing at Caballo Island bearing 085°(T), range 2800 yards.
1553 Ceased firing.
1705 Commenced firing at Caballo Island bearing 087°(T), range 2400 yards.
1722 Ceased firing.
1800 Commenced firing at Caballo Island bearing 086°(T), range 2900 yards.
1813 Ceased firing, proceeding to search for stranded paratroopers on western side of Corregidor Island.
1830 Results negative - proceeded to A/S screening station on USS PHOENIX, seaward of Corregidor Island.
1930 Completed exercise - set base course and speed to retire to westward of Manila Bay with USS PHOENIX (CTG 77.3 - OTC), USS BOISE, USS ABBOT and USS JENKINS.

February 17, 1945

0721
 Arrived in Manila Bay entrance area - proceeding to fire support station off south side of Corregidor with USS PHOENIX.
0750 Patrolling around station with left tangent of Caballo Island bearing 013°(T), range 3400 yards.
1305 Commenced standing toward El Fraile Island to investigate same in company with PT's on orders of CTU 77.3.1.
1322 Commenced firing with 40mm guns on El Fraile Island bearing 200°(T), range 475 yards in order to destroy what appeared to be a pile of ammunition cases.
1329 Ceased firing - cases apparently contained nothing inflammable or explosive.
1334 Commenced bombardment of Carabao Island bearing 199°(T), range 5100 yards on orders of CTG 77.3 in order to destroy what was believed to be a few remaining small arms positions. USS PHOENIX plane was used to locate these.
1340 Close Carabao Island for closer firing and inspection.
1345 Commenced bombarding caves, pill-boxes and installations on Carabao Island as directed by spotting plane.
1400 Ceased firing, target reported destroyed.
1415 Resumed fire on targets on Carabao Island bearing 113°(T), range 1100 yards.
1425 Ceased firing.
1431 Commenced firing on targets bearing 152°(T), range 1050 yards.
1443 Ceased firing, targets reported destroyed.
1448 PT's made strafing run on east shore dock of Carabao Island.
1457 Commenced firing on type "A" barge at dock.
1502 Ceased firing - barge destroyed.
1504 Proceeding to vicinity of USS PHOENIX with PT's following astern - mission completed, no return fire was received from Carabao Island Calungpang Point, plane thoroughly investigated Calungpang Point but could find no targets.
1515 Commenced screening of USS PHOENIX, distance 2 miles to seaward of Corregidor Island.
1732 Proceeding to join USS BOISE and ABBOT to proceed to Subic Bay, P.I.
1749 Set base course and speed to proceed to Subic Bay, P.I. Exercise completed.
1910 Arrived in Subic Bay anchorage area.

Part IV

ORDNANCE

1. All ordnance material and equipment functioned as designed with exceptions as follows: Hoist failures on Guns #1, 2, 5 - 5"/38. All were quickly remedied and put back in operation. Gun #4 experienced a broken rammer which was immediately replaced by CGM and men in the gun and was ready to fire in ten minutes.

2. After six inch hit from shore battery, Guns #1 and #2 - 5"/38 had no power.  Gun one was out of operation altogether from damage.  Gun two was able to fire and to match indicating in train, elevation and sight angle from plot in manual.

3. Ammunition expended: 1089 rounds AA Common projectiles; 266 rounds Common projectiles; 2 rounds W.P.; 13 rounds Special; 2183 rounds 40mm.

4. Fire discipline was excellent. Communications were good.  When the hit occurred it was necessary however, to send the assistant gunnery officer to the scene to obtain a true estimate of the damage, equipment put out of commission and that which could still be used.  In a few minutes gun #2 was matched with the director and ready to fire.

5. Optical control with stereo ranges checked against CIC ranges, was used throughout.  Aircraft spotters were used when available.

6. Effectiveness of gunnery was very good.  Many buildings, pillboxes, and gun emplacements appeared to be destroyed.  On Caribao Island common dye load projectiles fired into tunnels burst far back inside and smoke was seen to rise 100 feet back on the mountain.

Part V

DAMAGE

(A)  Battle damage to own units:

1. At 1326, February 14, 1945, this vessel was struck by a projectile estimated to be at least 6 inches in size. Explosion occurred as projectile passed through the main deck, starboard side forward at frame 25, about 3 feet in-board. Fragments killed three men in gun #1, two men in gun #1 handling room and wounded six others. Gun #1 was immediately out of commission and gun #2 had to be secured shortly because of severed hydraulic leads and oil leakage making loading impossible.  Other fragments penetrated below to gun #1 magazine where three powder cases were hit and set afire. Numerous electrical leads were also cut which rendered the sonar gear and fathometer inoperative.

2. The crux of the Damage Control problem presented was the prompt extinguishing of the fire in gun #1 magazine, as the various perforations of the deck and shell plating were above the water-line and of no consequence to the safety of the ship.

3. When the explosion occurred and the fire broke out in the magazine, the magazine crew bailed out without hesitation and made their way topside at high speed. Seeing these men, BIGELOW, WT2c, a member of Repair II, and MACKIN, SSML3c, sensed that the magazine was on fire. They rushed below with CO2 extinguishers and BIGELOW went down into the heavy smoke of the magazine while MACKIN handed him the bottles. BIGELOW later reported that he could see nothing but the glow of the fire in the thick smoke and that the two bottles of CO2 directed at this glow put it out.

4. Meanwhile, RUSSELL, CGM, having learned that there was a magazine on fire, flooded No. 2 magazine, under the impression that that was the one so affected.  No. 1 magazine was flooded about 90 seconds later.

(B)  Battle damage to enemy units:

1. Damage inflicted on the enemy in this case cannot be stated definitely but a far as can be determined, the guns of this vessel accomplished the following (for positions on Corregidor and Caballo, see track chart Enclosure "A").

February 13, P.M.: Started small fire on west side of Mariveles Harbor, probably oil storage tanks.

February 14, A.M.: Assisted in silencing battery on the southwest face of Caballo Island which had been annoying minesweeps.  This was an exposed position and was observed to be completely destroyed. No further fire was reported from this area on Caballo in subsequent operations.

February 14, P.M.: Silenced one or more of the cave emplaned guns firing from the north coast of Corregidor which scored hits on FLETCHER, HOPEWELL and YMS 48. These positions were taken under fire almost immediately after this vessel was hit, and subsequently by the CLs PHOENIX and DENVER.  Effectiveness of own fire is based upon observation from ship and reports from spotting plane (See Enclosure "B"). Only one gun was reported to fire from this area the following morning.

February 15: Assisted in silencing batteries on southwest coast of Corregidor.

February 16, A.M.: Definitely demolished three inch gun position which was firing on landing craft and our Corregidor Beachhead from the left flank.  LCI gunboats had unsuccessfully attempted to deal with this gun, whose location as clearly observed from this vessel. No further fire was received from this position to our knowledge.

February 17, P.M.: Definitely demolished several gun emplacements on Carabao Island, from which, however, no fire was noted.  Also destroyed one type Able barge at the small dock on the eastern side of the island.

Part VI
This section is missing and its subject matter is not known.

Part VII
This section deals with the recommendation for the Medal of Honor for Elmer Bigelow


Part VIII


LESSONS LEARNED, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS

1. Magazine crews must be frequently drilled to initiate magazine flooding when necessity arises. The ship has held several in the past few months but apparently failed to get the point home. Magazine crews must thoroughly understand that the quickest and only way to save themselves from a magazine fire is to flood and that they cannot wait to be told.  All hands must further be indoctrinated that CO2 is practically useless against a powder fire supplies its own oxygen. What prevented further spread of the fire in our case was in all probability the heavy concentration of snow resulting from discharge of CO2.

2. I must again emphasize the importance of using common ammunition against pillboxes, cave entrance and sand bag emplacements.  On one occasion a concrete pillbox about 12" thick was seen to disintegrate on being hit by Common projectiles leaving nothing but the foundation and the now exposed gun mount.

3. 40mm fire has no effect on gun emplacements and represents a waste of ammunition.  I particularly noted one battery, which, although taken under heavy fire by an LCI gunboat with 40mm did not slacken its rate of fire one whit, however on one hit by a 5" common projectile, fire ceased immediately.

4. Selection of targets and their destruction with assistance of a spotting plane increases the effectiveness of the ships fire by a great margin and reduces ammunition expenditures. Whenever practicable, it should be resorted to immediately.

5. Lack of tender facilities in the forward areas is a great handicap in the expeditious repair of damage.

/s/ J. L. FOSTER

Copies to:

   Cominch (Adv)
   CinCPac (3) (Adv)
   CinCPac-CinCPOA (2) (Adv)
   ComDesPac (Adv)

CONFIDENTIAL                             SPOTTING PLANE LOG

1326 - Ship hit by shore battery
1328 PLANE - Wilco out. I saw a couple splashes but I can't tell where they came from.
1329 FLETCHER - Do you see our shots?
PLANE - Negative, I'm still looking.
PLANE - Do you have any idea what direction that last splash came from?
1334 KING to ACE - Have you seen any return fire?
1335 PLANE - Am still looking over the area but I"m still unable to locate anything.
FLETCHER - We think the fire is coming from the south corner of area C-1 where the cliffs is.  Will you investigate?
PLANE - That corner is under fire by the DENVER, it can't be the return fire.
FLETCHER - We are going to fire on cliffs in area C-1.
1345 PLANE - Go ahead.
PLANE - Have you commenced firing yet?
FLETCHER - We fired one shot without telling you.
FLETCHER - Salvo.
PLANE - I think this is your salvo I believe, down 50, no change.
FLETCHER - Salvo.
PLANE - Nice shooting, no change.
1348 FLETCHER - Salvo
PLANE - Left 25, no change.
FLETCHER - Salvo.
1349 PLANE - Very good, left 25, no change.
FLETCHER - Salvo.
PLANE - Left 25 again, no change.
FLETCHER - Salvo.
PLANE - In the area again, move it left again 25..
FLETCHER - Salvo.
PLANE - Very good, walk it to the very left again 25, no change.
FLETCHER - Salvo.
PLANE - 50 to the left, no change.
1352 FLETCHER - We are checking fire.
1354 FLETCHER - We are resuming fire.
PLANE - What area are you trying to shoot in?
FLETCHER - We are still firing in C-1.
PLANE - The last spot down 150, right 25.
FLETCHER - We are being fired upon from bearing 062 from 225 from it.
1358 FLETCHER - Fire came from bearing 062 down near the water.
FLETCHER - In area C-1 down near the water, on the slope.
FLETCHER - Salvo.
PLANE - You are in the area - good shooting. I'll keep looking for the firing.
FLETCHER - Salvo.
PLANE - There are so many falling in that area I can't tell who is who. Anyway, they are all in the area. You are in the area. I can't tell what is gun flashes or bursts.
FLETCHER - We are firing near the water on the slope bearing 062 from us. Do you have us spotted?
PLANE - I have you spotted.
PLANE - I know but where is the fire coming from?
1400 FLETCHER - We are in rapid continuous fire.
FLETCHER - What observation did you make on out shot?
PLANE - You are in the area very nicely, but I can't see where the fire is coming from. Keep firing I'll look.
PLANE - It is very difficult to see which are your shots but I can see that your shots are falling in that area.
1403 FLETCHER - We are firing in rapid continuous fire for 10 minutes.
PLANE - I have still been unable to observe anything.
1407 FLETCHER - We have ceased firing, we will let you know when we commence again.
FLETCHER - We have resumed fire in the same area C-1. We received return fire from that area.
PLANE - Go ahead and fire.
FLETCHER - We are now doing rapid continuous fire.
PLANE - Go ahead and fire, we are spotting.
PLANE - You are in the area but I cannot tell what are gun flashes and what are shells.
FLETCHER - Do you think the guns firing on us are near the water on the slope?
PLANE - I believe I know where some of the firing is coming from, give me a salvo.
FLETCHER - Salvo.
1410 PLANE - Right 50, no change.
1413 FLETCHER - We have ceased firing. We will let you know when we start again.
FLETCHER - We are resuming fire.
FLETCHER - Salvo.
FLETCHER - Can you make any observation on our shots?
PLANE - The only way I can do it is if you give me the salvo and splash.
FLETCHER - Salvo.
PLANE - Right 25, no change.
FLETCHER - We had to cease firing, we are to pick up men from YMS.
1416 PLANE - I will be on the lookout for splashes and inform you when I see any. The gun has not fired in the last 5 or 10 minutes.
1421 PLANE - Get that gun, we'll protect you.
1432 PLANE to DENVER - Does Ace Denver know that there are some bombers over in that area he is in?
DENVER to PLANE - Will check.
1440 PLANE - Ace says we need a traffic cop up here.
FLETCHER - We are resuming fire again.
PLANE - I will start spotting for you as soon as you fire.
FLETCHER - We can not see your plane. Keep us informed as to how they are falling.
FLETCHER - Salvo.
PLANE - Very, very close, left about 25, no change.
FLETCHER - Salvo.
PLANE - Very, very close. Try another one in the same area. I can see exactly where they are falling.
1446 FLETCHER - Salvo.
PLANE - If that was your shot, up 25, no change.
PLANE - No change, no change, fire again please.
FLETCHER - Salvo.
PLANE - Up 25, no change.
FLETCHER - Salvo.
PLANE - Boy that was a honey, no change, no change, right in there.
FLETCHER - We have been ordered to cease firing. We have completed our exercise. Thank you and very good spotting.
PLANE - Very, very good shooting

Casualty Report                              15 February 1945

From:  The Medical Officer.
To:  The Chief of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Navy Department, Washington, D.C.
Via: The Commanding Officer.

Subject: Report of Casualties

Reference: (a) Manual of Med. Dept., Chapter 23, Para. #3518.

1. In accordance with the reference (a), the subject named report is herewith submitted:

Date: 14 February, 1945.
Place: U.S.S. Fletcher (DD 445)
Cause: Shrapnel from shell which struck ship.
Name: GRAFTON, Robert Jay, #858 36 47, S2c, USNR-SV
Diagnosis: WOUNDS, MULTIPLE, Abdomen, #2564
Disposition: DD. Remains sent to Army Burial Service, Subic Bay, Luzon, P.I.

Date: 14 February, 1945.
Place: U.S.S. Fletcher (DD 445)
Cause: Shrapnel from shell which struck ship.
Name: WILHELM, Frank Steven, #337 30 01, GM1c, USN.
Diagnosis: WOUNDS, MULTIPLE, Bilateral amputation of legs.
Disposition: DD. Remains sent to Army Burial Service, Subic Bay, Luzon, P.I.

Date: 14 February, 1945.
Place: U.S.S. Fletcher (DD 445)
Cause: Shrapnel from shell which struck ship.
Name: ROACH, Clarence Earl, #947 04 71, S2c, USNR-SV.
Diagnosis: WOUNDS, MULTIPLE, #2546.
Disposition: DD. Remains sent to Army Burial Service, Subic Bay, Luzon, P.I.

Date: 14 February, 1945.
Place: U.S.S. Fletcher (DD 445)
Cause: Shrapnel from shell which struck ship.
Name: SMITH, Johnny Givis, #605 98 44, S2c, USNR.
Diagnosis: WOUNDS, MULTIPLE cranium severed in two, #2564.
Disposition: DD. Remains sent to Army Burial Service, Subic Bay, Luzon, P.I.

Date: 14 February, 1945.
Place: U.S.S. Fletcher (DD 445)
Cause: Shrapnel from shell which struck ship.
Name: WINNIE, George Harold, MM2c, #386 06 93, USN.
Diagnosis: WOUNDS, MULTIPLE, #2564.
Disposition: DD. Remains sent to Army Burial Service, Subic Bay, Luzon, P.I.

Date: 14 February, 1945.
Place: U.S.S. Fletcher (DD 445)
Cause: Shrapnel from shell which struck ship.
Name: SNYDER, Keith "E", #800 21 89, SK3c, USNR-SV.
Diagnosis: WOUNDS, MULTIPLE, compound fracture, lt. radius and ulna, #2564.
Prognosis: Fair
Disposition: Transferred to U.S.S. LST 777.

Date: 14 February, 1945.
Place: U.S.S. Fletcher (DD 445)
Cause: Shrapnel from shell which struck ship.
Name: COOPER, Homer Lutral, #864 35 25, S1c, USN-M
Diagnosis: WOUNDS, MULTIPLE, abdomen, lt. thigh and rt. calf, #2564.
Prognosis: Unfavorable. 
Disposition: Transferred to U.S.S. LST 777.
(Webmaster note - Seaman Cooper died of his wounds on February 22, 1945.)

Date: 14 February, 1945.
Place: U.S.S. Fletcher (DD 445)
Cause: Shrapnel from shell which struck ship.
Name: ROBIER, Bernard Charles, #826 76 72, FO3c, USNR-SV.
Diagnosis: WOUNDS, MULTIPLE, forehead, lacerations, #2564.
Prognosis: Favorable.
Disposition: Retained onboard.

Date: 14 February, 1945.
Place: U.S.S. Fletcher (DD 445)
Cause: Shrapnel from shell which struck ship.
Name: BERTANI, Louis Frank, $872 79 53, S1c, USNR
Diagnosis: WOUNDS, MULTIPLE, lacerations on back of neck, #2564.
Prognosis: Favorable.
Disposition: Retained onboard.

Date: 14 February, 1945.
Place: U.S.S. Fletcher (DD 445)
Cause: Shrapnel from shell which struck ship.
Name: CAMPBELL, Lee Arnold, #864 32 80, S1c, USNR-SV.
Diagnosis: WOUNDS, MULTIPLE, lacerations, rt. calf and thigh, #2564.
Prognosis: Good.
Disposition: Transferred to U.S.S. LST 777.

Date: 14 February, 1945.
Place: U.S.S. Fletcher (DD 445)
Cause: Fighting fire in magazine as a result of enemy shell hit.
Name: BIGELOW, Elmer Charles, #725 02 27, WT2c, USN
Diagnosis: SMOKE INHALATION, #2549.
Prognosis: Patient died on 15 February, 1945.
Disposition: DD. Remains sent to Army Burial Service, Subic Bay, Luzon, P.I.

D. ELDER

FIRST ENDORSEMENT

U.S.S. FLETCHER (DD 445)
 c/o Fleet Post Office,
 San Francisco, Calif.

CONFIDENTIAL                                                     15 February, 1945

From: The Commanding Officer
To: The Chief of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Navy Department, Washington, D.C.

         1.  Approved, forwarded.

J. L. FOSTER

Webmaster’s note:  The shell that struck Fletcher on the 14th has been alleged to be an American 6-inch shell fired by the Japanese from an American gun that wasn’t rendered inoperable by American forces before their surrender in May 1942. In his book, “Corregidor, The Rock Force Assault” General E. M. Flanagan Jr. writes that Fletcher was struck by a shell from a Japanese 150mm (5.9 inch) gun commanded by Lieutenant Endo.  A photo of shrapnel from this shell can be viewed on theMiscellaneous Photos page, and a photo of the hole in the forecastle can be viewed on the Ship Photos page.  A piece of shrapnel from the shell can be viewed at our reunions.

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