World War II Navy Documents



                                                                         
 


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

 Mag Temp:  Fwd:  40   Aft:  41      Mag Temp:  Fwd:  34   Aft:  33      
 Friday, February 4, 1944            Saturday, February 5, 1944          

  GMT-3 Hrs - 0615-0705 - General    GMT-3 Hrs - 0615-0710 - General     
  Quarters.                          Quarters.                           
  GMT-3 Hrs - 0800 - Noticed that    GMT-3 Hrs 1800-1845 - General       
  ship was giving off white smoke    Quarters.                           
  from her stack. Found it to be due                                     
  to water having leaked into her                                        
  fuel tanks - which cannot be                                           
  corrected until we reach port.                                         
  GMT-3 Hrs - 0310 - Radio message                                       
  from ship 45 of this convoy to                                         
  effect that she expected to break                                      
  in two before daylight and was in                                      
  a heavy gale. (See entry of                                            
  2/1/44, 2230.)                                                         
  GMT-3 Hrs - 0325 - Radio SOS from                                      
  ship having call letters KIWW:                                         
  "Lat. 48.10W at 0600 GMT. Vessel                                       
  breaking in two."                                                      
  GMT-3 Hrs - 0329 - Radio SOS from                                      
  KIWW:"Lat 48.10N, Long. 41.10W at                                      
  0600 GMT. Vessel breaking in two."                                     
  GMT-3 Hrs - 0420 - Radio SOS from                                      
  KIWW:"Lat 48 degrees 40 North                                          
  Long. 41 degrees 20 West at 0600                                       
  GMT. Vessel breaking in two.                                           
                                                                         



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

 Mag Temp:  Fwd:  40   Aft:  41      Mag Temp:  Fwd:  38   Aft:  42      
 Sunday, February 6, 1944            Monday, February 7, 1944            

 GMT-3 Hrs - 0630-0720 - General     GMT-4 Hrs - 0615-0655 - General     
 Quarters.                           Quarters.                           
 GMT-3 Hrs - 1200 - Present position GMT-4 Hrs - 1530 - Ensign half-     
 of this ship is: 43-42N, 51-48W,    masted by order of Commodore. Reason
 approximately.                      unknown.                            
 GMT-3 Hrs - 1310 - Mate on watch,                                       
 Second Mate Roberts, at 1310                                            
 observed a life-boat drifting                                           
 upright in the water about a half-                                      
 mile off our starboard beam, on the                                     
 starboard side of our beam ship in                                      
 column 12.                                                              
 GMT-3 Hrs - 1340 - At 1340, another                                     
 drifted past between this column                                        
 (11) and column 12.                                                     
 GMT-3 Hrs - 1415 - At 1415 another                                      
 came by between these columns. The                                      
 last two were upset. All three                                          
 boats appeared to be small, double-                                     
 ended metal boats, painted a very                                       
 light gray with a black stripe                                          
 painted across their bottoms about                                      
 one-quarter way from either end.                                        
 All boats appeared to be in good                                        
 condition and were probably swept                                       
 off the decks of some ship during                                       
 the recent gale.                                                        
 GMT-3 Hrs - 1830-1915 - General                                         
 Quarters.                                                               
 GMT-3 Hrs - Clocks retarded one                                         
 hour.                                                                   
                                                                         
 


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

 Mag Temp:  Fwd:  39   Aft:  38      Mag Temp:  Fwd:  38   Aft:  37      
 Tuesday, February 8, 1944           Wednesday, February 9, 1944         

 GMT-4 Hrs - 0615-0655 - General     EWT - 0630-0700 - General Quarters. 
 Quarters.                           EWT - 0900 - About 8 depth charges  
 GMT-4 Hrs - 1530 - Chief Mate       were dropped by escort about 3/4    
 McCann informed Ensign McCarthy     mile off starboard bow. Occasion not
 that the towing spar (fog buoy) was determined.                         
 lost during the night with about    EWT - 1800-1840 - General Quarters. 
 200 feet of line. It had been                                           
 streamed during the fog of last                                         
 night.                                                                  
 GMT-4 Hrs - 1800-1835 - General                                         
 Quarters.                                                               
 GMT-4 Hrs - 1815 - Three white                                          
 flares - probably snowflakes - were                                     
 shot into the air about three                                           
 columns off our port bow followed                                       
 at 1823 by five more in groups of                                       
 2-2-1. Significance of these was                                        
 not learned.                                                            
                                                                         
 


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

 Mag Temp:  Fwd:  35   Aft:  36      Mag Temp:  Fwd:  33   Aft:  35      
 Thursday, February 10, 1944         Friday, February 11, 1944           

 EWT - 0645-0715 General Quarters.   EWT - 1055 - Passed Channel Buoy "C"
 EWT - 1200 - Two 90 degree course   (New York).                         
 changes to starboard. 180 degrees   EWT - 1250 - Officially arrived at  
 in all. Reason unknown.             Port of New York.                   
 EWT - 1620 - 90 degrees turn to     EWT - 1307 - Dropped anchor about   
 port.                               1 1/2 miles outside Ambrose Light-  
 EWT - 1630 - 90 degrees turn to     ship. Driving snow and sleet.       
 port.                               EWT - 2400 - Still at anchor.       
 EWT - 1810-1855 - General Quarters.                                     
                                                                         
                                                                         
 


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

 Mag Temp:  Fwd:  32   Aft:  31      Mag Temp:  Fwd:  31   Aft:  31      
 Saturday, February 12, 1944         Sunday, February 13, 1944           

 EWT - 1000 - Weighed anchor and     EWT - 0315 - Submitted Port Watch   
 proceeded into Harbor.              list to Lt. Bennett at Port         
 EWT - 2325 - Came alongside pier at Director's Office, New York.        
 foot of 31st Street, Brooklyn, N.Y.                                     
                                                                         
                                                                         
 


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

 Mag Temp:  Fwd:  30   Aft:  31      Mag Temp:  Fwd:  36   Aft:  37      
 Monday, February 14, 1944           Tuesday, February 15, 1944          

 EWT - Port Routine Followed.        EWT - Port routine followed.        
                                                                         
                                                                         
 


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

 Mag Temp:  Fwd:  41   Aft:  40      Mag Temp:  Fwd:  40   Aft:  40      
 Wednesday, February 16, 1944        Thursday, February 17, 1944         

 EWT - Port Routine Followed.        EWT - Port routine followed.        
                                                                         
                                     EWT - 1815 - Kirksey, Oliver C.,    
                                     SM3c, 641-14 87, detached for leave.
                                     Gee, Raymond H., Sea1c, Seaman      
                                     Signalman, assigned to unit to      
                                     replace Kirksey. Gee's Serial       
                                     number is 917 49 39.                
                                                                         
                                                                         
 


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

 Mag Temp:  Fwd:  33   Aft:  32      Mag Temp:  Fwd:  35   Aft:  35      
 Friday, February 18, 1944           Saturday, February 19, 1944         

 EWT - Port Routine Followed.        EWT - Port routine followed.        
                                                                         
                                                                         
 


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

 Mag Temp:  Fwd:  34   Aft:  34      Mag Temp:  Fwd:  37   Aft:  37      
 Sunday, February 20, 1944           Monday, February 21, 1944           

 EWT - Port Routine Followed.        EWT - Port routine followed.        
                                                                         
                                                                         
 


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

 Mag Temp:  Fwd:  35   Aft:  36      Mag Temp:  Fwd:  36   Aft:  35      
 Tuesday, February 22, 1944          Wednesday, February 23, 1944        

 EWT - Port Routine Followed.        EWT - Port routine followed.        
                                                                         
                                                                         
 


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

 Mag Temp:  Fwd:  38   Aft:  42      Mag Temp:  Fwd:  39   Aft:  43      
 Thursday, February 24, 1944         Friday, February 25, 1944           

 EWT - Port Routine Followed.        EWT - Port routine followed.        
                                     EWT - 1830 - Supplies received      
                                     today.                              
                                                                         
                                                                         
 


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

 Mag Temp:  Fwd:  40   Aft:  44      Mag Temp:  Fwd:  39   Aft:  44      
 Saturday, February 26, 1944         Sunday, February 27, 1944           

 EWT - Port Routine Followed.        EWT - Port routine followed.        
                                                                         
 


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

 Mag Temp:  Fwd:  41   Aft:  46      Mag Temp:  Fwd:  40   Aft:  40      
 Monday, February 28, 1944           Tuesday, February 29, 1944          

 EWT - Port Routine Followed.        EWT - Port routine followed.        
                                                                         


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

 Mag Temp:  Fwd:  37   Aft:  42      Mag Temp:  Fwd:  36   Aft:  41      
 Wednesday, March 1, 1944            Thursday, March 2, 1944             

 EWT - Port Routine Followed.        EWT - Port routine followed.        
                                                                         
                                                                         
 


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

 Mag Temp:  Fwd:  38   Aft:  43      Mag Temp:  Fwd:  44   Aft:  45      
 Friday, March 3, 1944               Saturday, March 4, 1944             

 EWT - Port Routine Followed. Expect EWT - Port routine followed.        
 to receive ammunition tomorrow.     EWT - 1000 - Ens. McCarthy with T.R.
 EWT - 1800 - Gunners Mate Bowerman  Bowerman, G.M. 2c, D.M. Lesesne,    
 informed Ensign McCarthy that it    Sea1c, R.H. Williams, Sea1c, went to
 would be necessary for him to go to Port Director's Legal Office to     
 court next Monday, March 6, 1944,   attend Board of Inquiry in the      
 to press charges against a man who  matter of Talaska's shooting. All   
 had bothered him in an indecent     four and W.D. Wade, Sea1c are to be 
 manner last night and whom he had   detached from the ship on 6 March,  
 had arrested. More details will be  1944, as witnesses.                 
 secured and entered later.          EWT - 1600 - Received two lots of   
 EWT - 1830 - Gunner's Mate Bowerman ammunition aboard:                  
 informed me that he had just found  1. A) 49 cases 20 MM ammunition     
 E.J. Talaska, Sea1c, the aft port      B) 2 cases small arms            
 watch, lying wounded in the aft gun    C) 5 units of pyrotechnics       
 tub with the service pistol beside  These were delivered aboard by Lt.  
 him, one shell having been dis-     (J.G.) Breitman of the Port Direct- 
 charged. Ambulance was sent for and or's Office for delivery with and   
 Port Director's Office notified. My for the use of LCT (6) 645 which is 
 investigation would indicate that   part of this ship's cargo.          
 the wound was self-inflicted in an  2. A) 10 rounds 5"51 Com.           
 attempt at suicide because of          B) 25 rounds 5"51 H.C.           
 domestic troubles. Talaska was         C) 25 45-sec (5"51) fuzes        
 examined by a Dr. Montecans of Holy    D) 25 nose-det.(5"51) fuzes      
 Family Hospital and was taken in an    E) 1 fuze removal wrench         
 ambulance of that hospital to the      F) 35 rounds 5"51 powder (bags)  
 U.S. Naval Hospital, Brooklyn, N.Y.    G) 76 " 3"50 AA-fuzed Mark 22-4  
                                        H) 2  "  " short cartridges      
 The bullet penetrated the left side    I) 3960 rounds 20MM HET          
 below the ribs, travelled upward,      J) 8100  "      "   HEI          
 and apparently emerged through his     K) 240   "      " BL&P (Target)  
 back beneath the shoulder blade.       L) 120   "      " Dummy Drill    
 EWT - 2000 - Lt.(J.G.) Palmer B.       M) 1 box of 3"50 & 5"51 powder   
 Kern, of the Operations Office,           samples.                      
 Armed Guard Center, Brooklyn, NY,   Items A to M are for use on this    
 arrived and questioned Ensign       ship.                               
 McCarthy, Gunner's Mate Bowerman,   All ammunition received today was   
 and R.H. Williams, Sea1c, whom      stowed in the two ships' magazines. 
 Talaska relieved. Mr Kern asked for                                     
 and was given the gun (S & W - .38                                      
 cal., V-52955), belt, holster, and                                      
 shells, for which he signed a                                           
 receipt.                                                                
                                                                         


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

 Mag Temp:  Fwd:  43  Aft:  44       Mag Temp:  Fwd:  43   Aft:  44      
 Sunday, March 5, 1944               Monday, March 6, 1944               

 EWT - 0900 - Ensign Rohde, who is   EWT - 1200 - Wilderman, Robert      
 the relieving Armed Guard Commander Irwin, Sea1c, developed a rash over 
 came aboard for inspection. He was  his face. Was sent to the Armed     
 shown the guns, magazines, gear     Guard Center Sick Bay for examinat- 
 lockers, and other Navy equipment.  ion.                                
 EWT - 1530 - Ensign Rohde went      EWT - 1600 - Ensign M.E. Rohde, USNR
 ashore. Will take over tomorrow     came aboard with five enlisted      
 about 1300 with five enlisted       replacements to relieve Ensign      
 replacements.                       C.G. McCarthy and enlisted men      
                                     noted in entry of 1000, 4 March,    
                                     1944.                               
                                     EWT - 1615 - Arrangements for relief
                                     of command and Ensign Rohde and his 
                                     crew took over. Relieved officer and
                                     men left ship.                      
                                                                         
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