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(LST-887: dp. 1,625; l. 328'; b. 50'; dr. 14'1"; s. 12 k.; cpl-. 119; a.- 8 40mm., 12 20mm.; cl. LST-511)

LST-887 was laid down by Dravo Corporation, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 27 August 1944; launched 7 October 1944; and commissioned at New Orleans, Louisiana, 7 November 1944, Lt. Loring 0. Chandler, USCGR, in command.

After shakedown out of St. Andrew's Bay, Florida, LST-887 departed New Orleans 10 December and steamed to San Diego, California, where she arrived the 31st to unload bulk cargo. Thence she reached Seattle, Washington, 13 January 1945; and, after embarking Army engineers and support equipment, she sailed in convoy for Pearl Harbor 10 February. There she embarked Seabees following her arrival 22 February, and on 4 March she joined a convoy bound for the western Pacific.

After touching at Eniwetok and Saipan, LST-887 departed the Marianas 26 March for the invasion of Okinawa. Assigned to the Southern Defense Group of the Southern Attack Force, she closed beach Orange I on 2 April and began discharging troops and equipment.. During the next 2 weeks she operated in Okinawan waters making a cargo shuttle run to Kerama Retto and back 9 to 10 April and providing smoke cover for American ships during Japanese air attacks.

Between 12 and 15 April, LST-887 took part in repelling three enemy air strikes. While laying smoke 12 April she splashed an enemy dive bomber. As the plane dove for SS Minot Victory, her 40mm. and 20mrn. guns repeatedly hit the kamikaze which splashed close board the merchantman.

Sailing in convoy 16 April, LST-887 reached Ulithi, Carolines, the 23rd. Between 10 May and 9 June, she steamed via the Admiralties and the Russell Islands to Guadalcanal and transported troops and equipment via Eniwetok to Guam. Thence, after loading 4,400 drums of gasoline at Saipan, she returned to Okinawa 26 June and exchanged her cargo of fuel for one of tanks and amphibious vehicles. On the Fourth of July, she sailed once again for the Marianas, arriving Guam 6 days later.

During the closing days of the war in the Pacific and over the next 2 months, LST-887 continued supply and ferry runs among and out of the Marianas. In addition to cruises between Guam and Saipan, she steamed to Peleliu, Palaus and back between 27 August and 6 September. Thence, with occupation troops embarked, she reached Saipan in convoy 17 September and steamed to Japan, arriving Nagasaki, Kyushu, the 24th. Between 28 September and 25 October, she steamed to the Philippines and carried additional troops to Matsuahama, Shikoku. The LST returned to Manila Bay 6 November and during the next month transported troops and equipment from Mangarin Bay, Mindono to Batangas, Luzon.

LST-887 returned to Manila 9 December; and, after embarking troops for passage to the United States, she sailed 14 December. Steaming via Guam and Pearl Harbor, she reached San Francisco 30 January 1946. On 2 April she moved to Portland, then on to Vancouver. LST-887 decommissioned 23 July 1946.

From: "Miles Bosworth" <milesboz@charter.net>
Subject: RE: LST 887 History

Boltons Story. (Not for Publication)

For two weeks beginning Monday, April 2, 1945 through Sunday, April 15,
1945, the officers and men of the Coast Guard manned LST 887 took part
in the assault and invasion of Okinawa Jima, Nansei Shoto. This footnote
to history takes on added significance when it is realized that Okinawa
is an actual part of the Japanese Empire, a few hundred miles from Tokio
Itself and its invasion and conquest is the beginning of the final
attack on Japan. Thus the Coast Guardsmen who shared with the Navy, the
Army and the Marine Corps In this exploit have added one more campaign
to the battle honors of their service and have fulfilled the heritage
that is the tradition of the nation’s oldest maritime service.

Dawn broke bright and fair on the second day of April as the 887 in
convoy with other Coast Guard and Navy ships forged steadily in from the
Southeast on their run from the advance base at Saipan. It was a day
like late spring back in the States and the crew, together with their
"passengers", men of the Army and Seabees, could hear the distant mutter
of big guns like the far off thunder of a summer storm. Overhead the
planes of the Army and Navy wheeled in protective watchfulness and all
about were craft of every description, from the battlewagons to darting
picket boats. It was D Day plus one. Ashore our landing forces had
already forged some distance inland and the original landing areas had
been widened and consolidated.

Through a mighty armada of American shipping, the 887 moved steadily to
her destination, a coral reefed strip on the curving foreshore North of
the Naha peninsula. Big naval guns tossed shells shoreward into Jap
positions. The battle for Naha town was already in progress and at spots
along the beach we could see our own units probing shattered pill boxes
and gun emplacements for "holdout" Jap snipers and guerrillas. A flame
thrower seared a building on the beach and a demolition charge sent
coral, sand and water skyward in a vast geyser as Seabees blasted a
channel in the reefs along the beach North of us. Gun crews stood
watchfully at their stations and all hands scanned the skies, a Jap air
raid could come at any moment. Then suddenly, quietly and without
dramatics the 887 had slipped through the thronging invasion anchorage
and, as neatly as it was ever done during state-side maneuvers, the LST
slid up on the beach and the long journey that had started at
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania last October, came to a close. It was an end of
a chapter in our service lives. As a crew and ship, it was our first
contact with the enemy, and now we lay, hard and fast on a Japanese
beach.... without a shot fired from our guns.

There was only time for a moment’s thought to this as our bow doors
swung open, the landing ramp dropped down and the vehicles and men we
had brought all the way from the States started moving off the ship. All
up and down the beach other LST’s were unloading and ahead lay the road
that ran up the undulating farm land to Kadena airport two miles away,
Troops and machinery rolled Eastward along the dusty road to the
airstrip that was already in American hands. To a degree our job was
done and theirs was just beginning, for they were to start immediate
reconstruction so that American planes could, in a few hours, use the
airfield for our own operations.

#2 Boltons Story

Still the gun crews stood steady at their stations and throughout the
bright afternoon the unloading went on. The short twilight of the
semi-tropics merged into darkness and flares and gun flashes lit the
night sky as the naval and air bombardment went on. Stevadoring crews
worked in the harsh brilliance of huge spot­lights and the pontoons we
had carried slung to the hull of the ship all the way from California
were dropped Into the water and, fastened together, were made into a
causeway so that even at high tide the job could go on.

Air alerts filled the night, brief interruptions that darkened the beach
as lights went out and smoke screens covered the massed shipping in a
white, shifting pall. It was our turn to use the causeway now and as the
crew stood by to back the ship off the beach to come in again directly
on the causeway, word was passed to get all hands below. A demolition
charge was to be set off nearby. We waited for the Seabees to set off
the blast that would open another passage through the coral. Suddenly it
went off, in a shattering, close-by roar that sent some of us sprawling
and fanned us all with the breath of the concussion. It seemed minutes
later that the debris from the blast hit us in a steady shower of water
and sand, coral rock and marine vegetation. It was a prolonged, man made
cloudburst and when It was over, it was found that the LST had
accomplished by itself the job the crew was preparing to do, The tidal
wave set up by the explosion had floated the 887 off the beach and
driven it straight South about seventy-five feet, depositing it neatly
and directly in front of the causeway. The mighty detonation had done in
seconds the job that might have taken us three-quarters of an hour. Next
day we pulled off the beach and lay quietly at anchorage awaiting
further orders. Throughout the day several Jap planes appeared, vainly
seeking to get through the curtain of anti-air­craft fire, to dive on
the shipping. All were shot down.

A day or two later, another alert was sounded. We rushed to gun stations
and stood ready......then it was there..... A Nip plane coming across
the low hills, headed for the anchorage in a long, low run on the
shipping. He came in over the beach and as he passed the surfline we
opened up. Our guns slammed shells at him as he dove almost directly at
us, shifting suddenly to race at a huge freight ship moored astern of us
but a little further out. He passed behind us at close range while our
after gun crews poured a deadly hail of fire at him. The plane staggered
but kept on. Then a wing tipped a boom of the freighter, flames
enveloped the plane and it crashed harmlessly on the seaward side of the
ship. Cheers ran along the deck of our BST. We knew we had knocked the
plane out, possibly killing the pilot before it cracked up, definitely
spoiling the dive on the target. The plane was credited to LST 887. We
had shot down our first plane.

Today a Jap flag and plane is painted on our bridge- a symbol of our
first victory.

More air attacks broke our sleep at night we got tired from the inaction
of staying there, watching the air and sea bombardment of Jap positions
and wearied of the everlasting watchfulness against the enemy planes,
but ship's work went on. Stores were taken aboard from a supply ship,
routine tasks were carried out.., and we longed mightily for mail from

#3 Bolton’s Story

Thus we were at sunset on the evening of Sunday, April 15, 1945. It had
been a quiet, tranquil day. In the morning we had held services in honor
of our late Commander In Chief, President Roose­velt, whose untimely
death had been a blow to us all. Only one alert disturbed the morning
and the day wore on in a serenity of bright blue sky and sparkling
water. Even the fighting ashore seemed to have been diminished as our
forces had thrust rapidly inland, further from the beach.

We watched the naval bombardment of one Jap stronghold on the South
beach of the curving bay. It was the last immediate evidence of Japanese
strength but further South the battle for Naha still raged and from
Kadena and Youtan airfields our planes shot skyward to bomb and strafe
the enemy.

Sunset found us loafing on deck, watching the activity of the beach and
wondering how much longer we would stay at anchorage. The alarm to
General quarters was a rude jolt and as the siren screamed throughout
the ship, we went pelting along decks and up ladders to our battle
stations. A lone Jap plane appeared out of the Northern sky and started
that long, gliding death approach. It went down in a burst of flames
under a barrage of fire that was hell shot heavenward. Then there was
another and still another and as the darkness same, every ship in the
harbor was slamming ammo up against the stars. Huge searchlights probed
the sky and red tracers etched searing criss crosses in the night.
Flares briefly silhouetted ships in stark, pallid light and from all the
ships and shore batteries came spurts of livid flame as guns of every
caliber sought out the enemy planes.

From six- thirty until ten-thirty it went on in sporadic bursts. Falling
flak shattered like Fourth of July rockets on our decks as the jagged
pellets of metal rattled a hail of death. There was a brief respite
after midnight but until dawn broke, there were constant alerts and time
after time our guns poured fire at the diving planes, black shapes
against the stars. It was a night of stars and a soft fresh wind and a
savage, brilliant hell that flamed along the beach and in the sky and on
the decks of the ships. Star shells and flares, tracers and searchlights
and flaming fires from gasoline dumps ashore lit the night £s the Jap
air force vainly sought to stem the tide of conquest. In the morning we
had prayed for a president who had died. That night we fought as Japan

That night Japan made its great desperate thrust to wreck the vast
invasion fleet off Okinawa. For weeks on sea and land and in the air it
had been losing the battle for Okinawa, for the China Sea and for the
air lanes that lead to Tokio. There will be many more weeks of fighting,
more landings and Invasions, but the end draws nearer every day, for
Japan in losing Okinawa will not lose a remote point of occupation, she
will lose a portion of the homeland, the door yard. So we were there at
Okinawa when the long march up the Pacific ended and the savage drive to
the heart of the Japanese Empire began.

#4 Bolton’s Story

On the morning of April 16, 1945, after that night of hell, our ship
formed up in convoy and left Okinawa with the flagships “Well Done”, a
warming goodby.

We are now steaming quietly through the Pacific to one of our advance

The sea is calm and the days are golden while the nights are filled with

On our bridge we have painted our self chosen insignia, a comically
ferocious bear in the Walt Disney manner and our unoffical name “Grizzly

What the future holds we cannot say but each of us is seasoned now. We
have met the enemy and taken his measure.

He is savage and implacable and he dies hard, very hard, but in the end
there will be victory. Until then we will carry on. To you at home we
send love and assurances of our health and good spirits. We miss you all
and your letters are our greatest sources of happiness. Write often,

Goodnight, God bless you all.