World War II Navy Documents



                                                                         


 Diary of the Armed Guard Gunnery Officer on the S.S. Lewis Luckenbach    

 Mag Temp:  Fwd:  51   Aft:  51      Mag Temp:  Fwd:  51   Aft:  51      
 Tuesday, January 18, 1944           Wednesday, January 19, 1944         

 BST                                 BST - 1200 Butler, Thomas George,   
 Stevedores worked 22 1/2 hours      RM3c, USN, 207 41 97, reported      
 moving 848 tons.                    aboard for duty under orders from   
                                     the U.S. Naval Port Officer,        
                                     Cardiff, in substitution for Smith, 
                                     Richard P., RM3c, USNR, 6601445,    
                                     who is left in hospital and detached
                                     from ship. Smith's gear put ashore  
                                     in custody of U.S. Naval Port Office
                                     BST - 1200 - Lt. Comdr. Bishop,     
                                     officer in charge of shore patrol in
                                     Cardiff came aboard and asked that  
                                     the liberty party of Thursday,      
                                     January 13 be brought to him        
                                     individually for questioning with   
                                     regard to an alleged assault by two 
                                     American sailors on the proprietor  
                                     of the Carleton pub in Cardiff on   
                                     January 13. The men were summoned   
                                     and after questioning all he took   
                                     ashore O.C. Kirksey, SM3c, and K.A. 
                                     Ward, Sea1c, to his office for      
                                     further questioning, saying that he 
                                     was convinced that these two men    
                                     were those involved and further that
                                     their offense was concealed and not 
                                     reported by the shore patrolman from
                                     this ship on duty that night, R.P.  
                                     Smith, RM3c, now in hospital in     
                                     Cardiff.                            
                                     BST - 1600 - Ensign McCarthy went to
                                     the Naval Port Office to get full   
                                     particulars from Lt. Comdr. Bishop  
                                     re circumstances of entry of 1200.  
                                     Found that he had left for the day  
                                     and that he had questioned Kirksey  
                                     and Ward, took a statement from     
                                     them, and then sent them back to    
                                     the ship. Ensign McCarthy telephoned
                                     Mr. Bishop and asked him for a copy 
                                     of the statement he had taken from  
                                     the men. This he refused to do say- 
                                     ing that he would take care of      
                                     everything by forwarding a copy of  
                                     the statement to the Brooklyn Armed 
                                     Guard Center where the men would be 
                                     disciplined. The men are aboard now 
                                     and will be kept aboard until after 
 


 Diary of the Armed Guard Gunnery Officer on the S.S. Lewis Luckenbach    

                                     Mag Temp:  Fwd:  51  Aft:  50       
 Wednesday, January 19, 1944 (Cont)  Thursday, January 20, 1944          

 officials at Brooklyn Armed Guard   BST - 0000 - Ship restricted        
 Center tell me what action to take  preparatory to sailing.             
 in the light of the information                                         
 they presumably will have received  Coal slag loaded today: 1500 tons   
 by time of arrival in New York.     in 11 1/2 hours. Grand total        
                                     loaded: 2386 tons.                  
 Stevedores worked 14 1/4 hours                                          
 moving the remaining 399 tons.                                          
 Grand total 6500 tons, in 25 days,                                      
 from day of arrival to today.                                           
                                                                         
 Coal slag loaded today: 886 tons in                                     
 4 hours.                                                                
                                                                         
                                                                         


 Diary of the Armed Guard Gunnery Officer on the S.S. Lewis Luckenbach    

 Mag Temp:  Fwd:  50   Aft:  47      Mag Temp: Fwd:  51   Aft:  50       
 Friday, January 21, 1944            Saturday, January 22, 1944          

 BST - 0300 - Cast off from Queens   BST                                 
 Dock, Cardiff, Wales.               Conference postponed - sailing put  
 BST - 0415 - Left Cardiff docks.    off 24 hours.                       
 BST - 1200 - Dropped anchor at                                          
 Milford Haven, Wales, to form       Received word from British Naval    
 convoy.                             Control that Zielinski would not be 
 BST - 1600 - DEMS enlisted man came able to rejoin ship and that his    
 aboard to explain target firing on  gear would be called for tomorrow.  
 leaving Milford Haven.              Packed his gear, tagged it and      
 BST - 1600 - Zielinski, Robert M.,  prepared memorandum to U.S. Naval   
 Sea1c, complained of feeling ill.   Port Office, Cardiff, and to        
 Abdomen tender to touch; nauseated; Brooklyn Armed Guard Center to be   
 temperature and pulse normal. Sent  taken off with his gear.            
 to bunk. No medicine or food or                                         
 drink given. Hot water bottle       DEMS came aboard and loosened up    
 placed on abdomen.                  plug on 5"51 and repaired sight on  
 BST - 1930 - Zielinski called       #2 20MM. Was informed by them would 
 again, said he felt worse. Pain     be required to fire all guns on     
 localized to some extent in left    departure. This confirms what Comdr.
 abdomen, temperature 101 degrees,   Pendill, U.S.N. Port Officer,       
 pulse strong at 100. Has had no     Cardiff, said previously. If refuse 
 food or drink since breakfast.      to fire, a reprimand will follow -  
 Physician signalled for from nearby even though target ammunition       
 ship.                               allowance for period expended.      
 BST - 2230 - British Naval Control                                      
 Tug came alongside for Zielinski.   5"51 cleaned today and lubricated.  
 Had no doctor aboard. Took him                                          
 ashore to hospital.                 Have not been able to get ashore    
                                     reports on Zielinski and Smith. Will
 Received word today that we are to  try again tomorrow.                 
 sail tomorrow. Conference at                                            
 Milford Haven at 1100, January 22,                                      
 1944.                                                                   
                                                                         
 Convoy No.: ONM 221. This ship will                                     
 have position 113. There will be 19                                     
 ships from Milford Haven to be                                          
 joined at Liverpool by 67 more,                                         
 when convoy will have 12 columns.                                       
 Convoy speed scheduled to be 9.5                                        
 KTS. Two escorts are listed: HMT                                        
 Setter from Milford Haven and HMT                                       
 Aquamarine from Liverpool.                                              
                                                                         
                                                                         


 Diary of the Armed Guard Gunnery Officer on the S.S. Lewis Luckenbach    

 Mag Temp:  Fwd:  50   Aft:  50      Mag Temp:  Fwd:  47   Aft:  49      
 Sunday, January 23, 1944            Monday, January 24, 1944            

 BST - 1200 - Zielinski was put back BST - 0800 - Ship weighed anchor and
 aboard ship. Says he was treated as proceeded alone out of Milford Haven
 a suspected appendicitis case at    vo overtake convoy on its way to    
 the Royal Naval Hospital, Milford   Liverpool. Captain received orders  
 Haven, Wales. Was released as       to do this sometime last night. Sea 
 recovered today at 1100. No other   watches put on.                     
 information was obtainable.                                             
 BST - 1330 - Captain informed       Have not yet been successful in     
 Ensign McCarthy that he had         getting hospitalization notices on  
 received orders to sail at 1500.    Smith and Zielinski ashore. Will try
 BST - 1400 - Captain handed Ensign  again at Liverpool. If not success- 
 McCarthy revised orders for the     ful there, must take them to New    
 target firing on departure. Made    York.                               
 every effort to get notices of      BST - 1815-1910 - General Quarters  
 hospitalization of Smith and        BST - 2110 - Convoy in sight.       
 Zielinski to U.S. Naval authorities                                     
 ashore. Not yet successful.         Guns were not fired on departure    
 BST - 1600 - Heavy wind and rain.   today because ship was late and     
 Captain afraid to weigh anchor lest because sailing was not as          
 we be thrown on rocks.              originally planned.                 
 BST - 1900 - Rest of convoy gone.                                       
 Captain has decided to wait until                                       
 morning and then ask for permission                                     
 to overtake convoy alone.                                               
                                                                         
                                                                         


 Diary of the Armed Guard Gunnery Officer on the S.S. Lewis Luckenbach    

 Mag Temp:  Fwd:  48   Aft:  49      Mag Temp: Fwd:  46   Aft:  47       
 Tuesday, January 25, 1944           Wednesday, January 26, 1944         

 BST - 0825-0905 - General Quarters. BST - 0845-0925 - General Quarters. 
 BST - 1400 - Seas becoming very     BST - 1400 - Convoy arranged. This  
 heavy and wind increasing in force. ship has taken position 113.        
 Forward lookout moved back to       BST - 1845-1925 - General Quarters. 
 bridge and saloon deck.                                                 
 BST - 1825-1915 - General Quarters. Opportunity has passed vo get ashore
 BST - 2000 - Still accompanying     notices referred to in entry of     
 ships of convoy. Have not yet taken January 24, 1944. Will have to take 
 position. All ships proceeding in   them on to New York and submit them 
 just two columns.                   there.                              
                                                                         
                                                                         
 


 Diary of the Armed Guard Gunnery Officer on the S.S. Lewis Luckenbach    

 Mag Temp:  Fwd:  44   Aft:  46      Mag Temp:  Fwd:  43   Aft:  48      
 Thursday, January 27, 1944          Friday, January 28, 1944            

 BST - 0845-0915 - General Quarters. GMT - 0930-1005 - General Quarters. 
                                     GMT - 1040 - Commodore signalled    
 Time retarded one hour as of 2400.  that enemy submarines are known to  
 Commencing at 1800 BST time of duty be in this vicinity. Condition II   
 watches retarded 20 minutes for     put into effect.                    
 each section.                       GMT - 1400 - Commodore signalled    
                                     "Submarine sunk." Condition III     
 BST -1/3 Hrs - 1845-1920 - General  restored.                           
 Quarters.                           GMT - 1830-1915 - General Quarters. 
                                                                         
                                     5"51 cleaned and lubricated.        
                                                                         
                                                                         


 Diary of the Armed Guard Gunnery Officer on the S.S. Lewis Luckenbach    

 Mag Temp:  Fwd:  43   Aft:  45      Mag Temp:  Fwd:  45   Aft:  47      
 Saturday, January 29, 1944          Sunday, January 30, 1944            

 GMT - 0815-0955 - General Quarters. GMT-1 Hr - 1030 - Received permiss- 
 GMT -1/3 Hrs - 1800 - Message from  ion from Commodore to fire 20MM and 
 Commodore received to effect that   5"51 guns at 1100.                  
 enemy submarines are known to be in GMT-1 Hr - 1100 - Fired 240 rounds  
 vicinity. All lookouts warned       from the four starboard 20 MM guns. 
 accordingly.                        GMT-1 Hr - 1115 - Prepared to fire  
                                     5"51, and gun misfired. After using 
 Clocks to be retarded one hour as   all the standard methods of firing  
 of 2400. Put back 20 minutes for    without success, it was assumed that
 each watch starting at 1800.        a hang fire was in progress, and the
                                     gun was secured except for pointer, 
 GMT -1/3 Hrs - 1815-1855 - General  trainer, gun captain, and battery   
 Quarters.                           officer, to see that it was kept    
                                     trained in a safe direction.        
                                     GMT-1 Hr - 1150 - Primer ejected    
                                     from firing lock of 5"51 without    
                                     opening breech. It was found to have
                                     fired.                              
                                     GMT-1 Hr - 1155 - 5"51 gun unloaded.
                                     Powder bag was thrown over the side 
                                     and it was observed that the        
                                     ignition end was partially burned   
                                     through. It is assumed that the     
                                     powder had become damp and therefore
                                     did not go off. New powder bag was  
                                     loaded into gun and a new primer    
                                     inserted. This time the gun fired   
                                     and was secured. One round expended;
                                     one misfire. Bowerman, GM2c, Harper,
                                     and Young, Sea1c, and Ens. McCarthy 
                                     were present during the unloading.  
                                     GMT-1 Hr - 1200 - All mounts of guns
                                     fired inspected for damage - none   
                                     found to have been adversely        
                                     affected by firing.                 
                                     GMT-1 Hr - 1700 - Clocks to be      
                                     retarded one hour as of 2400. Time  
                                     for duty of three sections put back 
                                     20 minutes as of 1800.              
                                     GMT-1 1/3 Hrs - 1810-1845 - General 
                                     Quarters.                           
                                                                         
                                     Noticed that escort was increased by
                                     at least three units - exact number 
                                     not known. These include an escort  
                                     carrier.                            
                                                                         
 


 Diary of the Armed Guard Gunnery Officer on the S.S. Lewis Luckenbach    

 Mag Temp:  Fwd:  47   Aft:  46      Mag Temp:  Fwd:  44   Aft:  45      
 Monday, January 31, 1944            Tuesday, February 1, 1944           

 GMT-2 Hrs - 0645-0720 - General     GMT-2 Hrs - 0630-0715 - General     
 Quarters.                           Quarters.                           
 GMT-2 Hrs - 1810-1845 - General     GMT-2 Hrs - 1400 - Storm brewing.   
 Quarters.                           High winds. Waves coming over bow.  
                                     Bow watch moved to bridge.          
                                     GMT-2 Hrs - 1600 - Gale very severe.
                                     Losing convoy.                      
                                     GMT-2 Hrs - 1700 - Ships steering   
                                     with difficulty. Convoy out of      
                                     sight.                              
                                     GMT-2 Hrs - 1800-1855 - General     
                                     Quarters.                           
                                     GMT-2 Hrs - 2230 - SOS from ship    
                                     45, William H. Prescott to effect   
                                     that she was breaking in two.       
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         


 Diary of the Armed Guard Gunnery Officer on the S.S. Lewis Luckenbach    

 Mag Temp:  Fwd:  43   Aft:  41      Mag Temp:  Fwd:  45   Aft:  43      
 Wednesday, February 2, 1944         Thursday, February 3, 1944          

 GMT-2 Hrs - 0400 - Gale unabated.   GMT-2 Hrs - 0655-0735 - General     
 GMT-2 Hrs - 0907 - SOS from ship 15 Quarters.                           
 of this convoy - name unknown - to  GMT-2 1/3 Hrs - 1825-1900 - General 
 effect that her starboard side,     Quarters.                           
 forward deck, main deck, between                                        
 deck, ship side, and fore and aft   GMT-2 1/3 Hrs - 2400 - Time retarded
 stringer were cracked. She request- one hour. Clocks retarded 20 minutes
 ed assistance. Sustained damage at  for each section of watch           
 0440.                               commencing at 1800.                 
 GMT-2 Hrs - 0951 - SOS from ship 15                                     
 to effect that she was breaking                                         
 constantly and needed assistance.                                       
 GMT-2 Hrs - 1200 - Storm abating.                                       
 Some ships of convoy in sight.                                          
 GMT-2 Hrs - 1700 - Rejoined                                             
 Commodore and main body of convoy.                                      
 GMT-2 Hrs - 1800-1840 - General                                         
 Quarters.                                                               
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