DURING WW-2 AT ULITHI IN THE PACIFIC
name is John Ray Partin, I was a signalman aboard the USS Carmita,
IX-152, attached to ComServRon 10. Below are some of the highlights
during my time aboard this vessel.
20 1944: USS Mississinewa AO-59 was sunk by a Kaiten at Ulithi,
berth # 121, home of 20 Officers and 278 Men. Sixty-three men were lost.
We were near this ship for a little while before it was sunk and I had a
chat with one of the signalmen, but we had just moved to the South
anchorage when it all happened, I had just got into my topside bunk when
the explosion sounded, the blast got my attention fast! We could see
the huge column of smoke rising from the Mississinewa; the ship sank not
12 1945: LCI-600 (Landing Craft Infantry) sank in the South
anchorage of Ulithi. It was underway, when suddenly there was an
explosion, it even bucked up in the middle; I tried to contact the ship
by visual flashing light but no response. Some of the men from our ship
went to it in a LCVP and got everyone off it. The information that I got
was that these men were in pretty bad shape. It sank not long after
that. I was told by a Mr. Davis a crew member off the USS Dewey that
some of the men were taken to their ship for medical attention. The
LCI-600 was struck by a Kaiten launched from the Japanese submarine
I-36. A Kaiten is a one man operated suicide submarine, that is launched
by a much larger submarine.
January 12 1945: USS Mazama AE-9 (ammo ship) was rammed by a
Japanese Kaiten but did not sink. The ship was docked in Ulithi at Berth
# 528. One man was killed and eight men were seriously injured. I was
told about it shortly afterwards, but I never witnessed it.
January 12 1945:
A Plane dropped charges outside harbor, it was said that it sunk one of
the Kaiten's. I saw the plane drop the charges, I saw the explosion, but
that is all I saw.
March 11 1945:
USS Randolph was damaged by a Kamikaze; the plane killed 25 men and
wounded 106. I was on the signal bridge of the USS Carmita; it was movie
time just after dark. I heard a plane going over, it somehow attracted
my attention. I really don't know why. There had been no alarms, no
CONDITION RED, but as I continued to read a signal light coming from the
Randolph, the light just seemed to turned into a huge ball of fire with
an explosion. The plane that I heard had struck the Randolph, which was
not very far from us.
in a short time, another Kamikaze dived downward into an Island that was
on the other side of the Carmita. I always thought that he must have
mistaken it for another large ship or Aircraft Carrier. The Japanese
seldom ever risked night air attacks, because the potential for flight
and targeting error was to high.
March 11 1945:
“The Jap Kamikaze that hit the island went through my tent and the next
tent to mine, killing two of my friends.” Frank V. Briganti MM 3/c
attached to SLCU # 34 .
12 1945: A Sea Plane explodes in flames, "pretty sure it was a PBM."
Survivors were picked up by small boats. I was an eyewitness, I saw it
explode and burn, it didn’t last long.
this is as I remember it sixty years ago
John R Partin
February 20, 2004