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Click here for an excerpt from 
"Tales of the USS Conklin DE439"
,
a tribute to the 5 Sullivan brothers 
and the veterans of WWII.

 

Timeline

1944

4/21/44   Conklin commissioned in Brooklyn.
Commander Donald Cairns Brown is captain.

5/8/44.   Leaves New York for first open sea voyage.

5/12/44 to 6/5/44.   Shake down cruise, Bermuda 

6/6/44 to 7/3/44    New York/ Norfolk

7/8/44   Panama

7/17/44    San Diego

7/30/1944 USS Conklin reaches Pearl Harbor by way of the East Coast. .

7/31/44 -8/16/4.    Pearl Harbor

8/15/44    Edmund L. McGibbon assumes command.

8/16/44    Escort duty between Pearl Harbor and Eniwetok

10/3/44    Serve as plane Guard at Guam.

10/18/44   Eniwetok for submarine guard.

10/24/44.   Escort troopship of 1,300 men to Saipan. At Saipan act as submarine guard . Multiple air raids experienced at Saipan.

11/6/44 - 11/8    Saipan to Ulithi.

11/11/44    Leave Ulithi and with the USS McCoy Reynolds DE 440; escort the
troopships SS Howell Lykes and SS Anson Burlingame to San Pedro Bay,
Leyte, carrying 4,800 troops ( the first replacements for the ground battle of
the Philippines.)

  11/14/44    Arrive Leyte. Multiple air raids are experienced.

11/15/44.   Leave Leyte. In convoy to New Guinea. McCoy Reynolds and Conklin diverted to Palau.

11/18/44 Arrive Palau.

11/19/44 McCoy Reynolds and Conklin receive emergency notice 0915 (9:15 AM)
of Japanese submarine sighting nearby, at western entrance of Kossol passage of Palau. Sub found and sunk with hedgehogs by late afternoon. Later identified at the Japanese I -37, one of a group 3 Kaiten -bearing attack
submarines, sent from Japan. ( Force "Kikusui".) Kaiten were "midget suicide subs", basically the torpedo equivalent of a kamikaze plane. Force Kikusui was the first -ever Kaiten attack group . The Conklin and McCoy Reynolds stopped the I-37 just 12 hours before it was to attack the American forces grouped at Ulithi. The remaining 2 subs did so, resulting in the explosion of the American USS Misissenewa AO 59 and horrendous loss of life.
The Conklin then did days of patrol duty at Ulithi, Palau, Eniwetok and
Guam.

1945

1/1/45. Japan sent the second group of Katin -bearing submarines, Force Kongo, to attack the American forces. .

1/12/45. Force Kongo attacks at Ulithi while the USS CONKLIN and hundreds of American ships are grouped there as part of the build up for the invasion of Japan. Japanese Kaiten damage the American USS Mazama, killing one sailor
and seriously injuring eight. Kaiten also explode into t he American Infantry Landing Craft LCI -600.

1/21/45  USS Conklin  joins another hunter - killer group patrolling near Ulithi. 
 
1/23/45.  USS Conklin heads a team including destroyer escorts Corbesier DE-438 and Raby DE-698 in the sinking of another Japanese submarine 1-48,  off Yap Island in the Caroline Islands.  (This sub was part of the second Kaiten Special Attack Groups, "Force Kongo", which included the I-53 and 2 other Jap subs. Officers of Kongo included LTJG Kazuhisa Toyozumo, ENS Taro Taukamoto, PO 2nd Katsumo (I-48). The LCDR of the I-48 was Matsunobu Toyama. Kaiten, which means "Turning of the Heavens" were known as "Kamikaze subs", "suicide subs" or "midget subs." They were essentially manned torpedoes.)

2/14/45.  USS Conklin sails from Ulithi on escort duty to the Palaus and Mamus.

 
2/27/45. USS Conklin arrives in Palua and Manus, joins the screen for the logistics group supporting mighty carrier TF-58.
 
3/1/45.  Participates in Okinawa operation.
 
3/2/45. Recapture of Corregidor, Philippines.
 
5/8/45. Victory in Europe.
 
3/20/45 to 6/5/45. USS Conklin is almost constantly at sea with the logistics group for the Okinawa operation. Duties include transferring passengers, mail and freight, serving as plane guard and escorting ships of the group to replenishment at Guam and Ulithi.

 

 6/45. In early June Admiral Halsey had taken over the fleet and was as customary with this change of command the Fifth Fleet became the Third Fleet.
 
6/5/45. USS Conklin is heavily damaged in a typhoon off Okinawa.  A monstrous wave knocked the ship completely onto her side, at which point the ship lost all power and water. Fuel oil flooded into the ship.  Three of her crew were killed immediately.  Lt. Peter N. Meros and Rudolph Slavich S1c were swept over board, and Anthony Monti S1c was killed inside the ship by a collapsing hatch.

When Butler-class Destroyer Escorts rolled the critical angle of 72 degrees, the weight of the top-heavy masts inexorably continued the roll and dragged the ship to the bottom of the sea.  The inclinometer of the Conklin measured a roll of 78 degrees.

Then, by what figuratively and perhaps literally can be termed the Hand of God, another freak wave hit the Conklin and rolled her back up so that the rest of her men survived with the superb seamanship and desperate efforts of their crew.

USS Conklin is put into Guam for emergency repairs.
 
6/17/45.  USS Conklin sails for Mare Island Navy Yard for a complete overhaul.
  when this is completed, she sails for San Diego.
7/9/45.  Arrive San Francisco (click for the story)
8/6/45.  Hiroshima, A - Bomb.
 

1946

1/17/46.  USS Conklin is decommissioned and placed in reserve, San Diego, CA.

 

Pacific Battle LineArrive   San   Francisco
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