The ships of the new APA series are named in honor of the outstanding counties of thee country. Our ship has a triple distinction taking its name from LOWNDES county, ALABAMA; LOWNDES county, GEORGIA; and LOWNDES county, MISSISSIPPI. All of these counties were named after a distinguished SOUTH CAROLINA sttatesman, WILLIAM LOWNDES. The fact that he was born in South Carolina and served his country as a representative of that state and yet has three neighboring states honor him with the name of one of their counties testifies to the esteem in which he is held by all of his countrymen. The reason that these three States named their counties LOWNDES was not only because of the greatness of the man but also because so many of the early settlers in these counties were from South Carolina.


William Lowndes was born in Saint Barthomeu's Colleton, South Carolina, February 7, 1782. He graduated from Charleston College, studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1804. In 1806 Mr. Lowndes was elected to the lower House of the General Assembly of South Carolina retaining his seat until 1810 when he was chosen as a member of Congress and elected five times successively serving from 1811 to 1822. Failing health compelled his resignation. His friends regarded him as a suitable candidate for the Presidency and he was nominated by the legislature of South Carolina. Believing a trip to England would be beneficial to his health he embarked with his family from Philadelphia but did not live to complete the voyage. He died at sea October 27, 1822. It is said chaat Henry Clay expressed the opinion that Lowndes was, "the wisest man he had ever known in Congress".


In a letter receive from LOWNDES County, Mississippi, it was expressed: "The citiizens are proud for one of our ships to bear the name 'LOWNDES'. May its record be covered with glory." We, too, are proud of the U. S. S. LOWNDES and will endeavor by our very best to make and maintain an enviable record.







Assembly of Crew Music by Band

The Commanding Officer, Naval Station, Astoria, is received at the gangway

Prayer by Chaplain H. L. Oberstad, USNR

Commissioning  Orders and  remarks by Captain A. H. Ponto, USN

The National Anthem

The Colors are hoisted for the first time

The Command is transferred to Commander Charles H. Perdue, USNR

Orders to Command and message by Commander Charles H. Perdue, USNR

The watch is posted by Lt. Commander A. Merritt T. Berner, USNR

The sounding of retreat Refreshments for guests will be served

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ** *** * * * * * * * * * *


APA-154: displacement, 6,873 tons; length 455'; beam 62'; draft 24'; speed 17 knots; compliment, 56 officers; 480 enlisted (ship's company) and 86 officers, 1,475 enlisted (troops); armament (as of Aug 1945} one 5'/38 gun, one 40mm quad mount, four 40mm twin mounts, ten 20mm single mounts; USS  HASKELL class.


LOWNDES (APA 154) was launched under a Maritime Commission contract by Oregon Shipbuilding Co., Portland, Oregon, 18 July 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Fred J. Lundberg; acquired by the Navy 14 September 1944; and commissioned the same day,  Commander  Charles  H.  Perdue in command.


After shakedown, LOWNDES departed San Pedro 23 October for amphibious training in the Hawaiian Islands. She continued  landing  rehearsals for the rest of the year in preparation for the Iwo Jima and Okinawa operations.>







The U.S.S LOWNDES (APA 154), an attack transport, was commissioned at 0900 on 14 September, at the U.S. Naval Station, Astoria, Oregon. The commissioning program of that date, due to security was not published and parts are included. The Commanding Officer of the US Naval station, Astoria, Oregon, Captain  A. R. PONTO, U.S.N., read the commissioning borders and transferred command of the ship to the Commanding Officer, Commander Charles H. Perdue, U.S.N.R., who ordered the watch set by the Executive Officer, Lieutenant Commander A. Merritt BERNER, U.S.N.R. The U.S.S. LOWNDES, then "in commission", was embarked on a service which will long be remembered by those who have been attached to her for duty.


The Chaplain, Lieutenant Harold L. Oberstad, CHC, U.S.N.R., gave the following impressive prayer at the commissioning.


"Almighty God and Heavenly Father, by whose word were gathered the waters of the sea, Who fashioned man in thine own image and gave into his care Thy Works and creatures upon earth; We, Thy children, unworthy of Thy patience and continuing love, turn to Thee at this hour in search of a blessing upon that which we do. We render unto Thee our humble thanks and pray that Thou wilt look with favor upon our assembly today. Bless our ship in the grim but righteous task in which our Nation is engaged. Guard and preserve the precious lives of those who sail therein, through the dangers of the night, and storm and battle, and be pleased that no harm may come nigh to hurt their souls. Thou who dost guide the destinies of  Nations and men, we ask Thy special protection upon the Captain, Officers, and crew of this Ship that our hands may be fortified by love of freedom and justice, with hearts ever groping  toward worthiness to be called Thy Children.


To this petition we add our supplications for the President of the United States and all here assembled and for all Thy Children everywhere, that they may always incline to Thy will and walk in Thy way. Be mindful of our parents, relatives and loved ones, give them strength and courage and fortitude, that with patience, they may hold fast and endure, we pray that in due season each of us may return to our homes with a thankful rememberance of all Thy mercies. For these things we humbly pray and for forgiveness, light and strength along the way. In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."


The Commanding Officer's message, which follows, was an inspiration to all who heard it.


"We are gathered here to place in commission another ship of the United States Fleet. This ship, which is being entrusted to us, is an attack transport, which, for our Navy, represents a new kind of warfare developed during this war. Starting from nothing' at the beginning of this war, the amphibious forces have grown until now they are among the largest units of our Navy, and are engaged in a method of warfare equal in importance to any other method being employed at the present time. We can well be proud to have been chosen to serve aboard this ship and in the amphibious forces. The people of our country have done their part in buying war bonds to pay for her; BuShips, The Oregon Shipbuilding Co., and the workers who built her, have done their part in delivering to us a good ship; the APA Pre-Commissioning• School and the Commissioning Detail have certainly done their part in getting us ready to come aboard and start on our assigned duties here; and now it is up to us to do our part in carrying out the mission for which she was built, and for which we were ordered to her. This mission is to transport troops and their equipment and cargo, to any assigned destination, to land them under any and all conditions which may be encountered, and to evacuate troops, casualties, and prisoners as directed, with the maximum possible safety to all personnel and material. In order that we may be able to fulfill the obligation we are assuming,




Mileage since commissioning (conservative estimate).


Date                                  From                                  To

            Astoria, OR Seattle, WA          Seattle, WA San Francisco, CA                 265


                                      San Francisco, CA         CA San Pedro, CA                    365     

10-23-44 to   10-29-44 San Pedro, CA               Pearl Harbor, T.H.                     2229    

10-29-44 to   1-18-44   Daily runs in                    the Hawaiian Area                      8416   

1-28-45   to   2- 5-45    Pearl Harbor                   Eniwetok                                   2343    

2- 7-45    to   2-10-45   Eniwetok                        Saipan                                       1025   

2-16-45   to   2-19-45   Saipan                            Iwo Jima                                    727     

3- 1-45    to   3- 3-45    Iwo Jima                         Saipan                                       630     

                                      Saipan                            Guam                                         125     

                                      Guam                             Saipan                                       125     

3-27-45   to   3-31-45   Saipan                            Okinawa                                    1352   

                                      Daily runs off                  Okinawa                                    1176   

4-14-45   to   4-18-45   Okinawa                         Saipan                                       1352   

6- 5-45    to   6-11-45   Saipan                            Tulagi                                         2303   

6-16-45   to   6-17-45   Tulagi                             Espiritu Santo                             636     

6-26-45   to   7- 4-45    Espititu Santo                  Guam                                         2750   

7-12-45   to   7-27-45   Guam                             SAN FRANCISCO                  5366   

8-21-45   to   9- 1-45    San Francisco                 Eniwetok                                   4293   

9- 3-45    to   9- 7-45    Eniwetok                        Ulithi                                          1347    

9- 7-45    to   9-11-45   Ulithi                               Batangus, P.I.                            1072   

9-13-45   to   9-15-45   Batangus                         Leyte                                         356     

9-18-45   to   9-25-45   Leyte                              Aomori , Japan                          2295   

9-29-45   to   10- 4-45  Aomori, Japan                Saipan                                       1757   

10- 6-45  to   10-18-45 Saipan                            SEATTLE                                 5094   

11- 4-45   to   11-21-45 Seattle                            Manila                                       6643   

11-26-45 to   12-13-45 Manila                            SAN FRANCISCO                  6518   

                                                                                                   Total           61,391.5

P.   MaC   CURRACH,    LT.COMDR.,   USNR     '


and to carry out our mission properly, it is my hope that every officer & man aboard this ship will not only apply himself to the tasks ahead, but will soon become an expert at his particular job, and will teach his job to the next in line, it-has been said that the difference between an expert and just an ordinary man is a very little bit, but very few people are willing to put forth that little bit of extra effort. It means hard work and discipline. In war however, it is absolutely necessary. We must be superior ttoo our enemies, for on the battlefield the ancient law of the survival of the fittest works mighty fast.


To the officers and crew: I would like to say that I am very much pleased with what I have seen of you so far. I am convinced that it will be a pleasure and a privilege to serve with you on this ship, and that our mission will be properly carried out."


The Commanding Officer, Capt. C. H. Perdue, whom we have all learned to know and respect as a fine gentleman, was born in Barnesville, Georgia, is a graduate of the US Naval Academy, Class of 1921. A'tour of duty aboard Battleships followed after graduation. He resigned from the Navy to enter private business and joined the Naval Reserve; he served as Commanding Officer of the SECOND Division of the US Naval Reserve in San Diego, CA., for a period of 10 years before the outbreak of present hostilities. He was called back to active duty in May 1940, He has served as Commander, Inshore Patrol, Atlantic, in the Panama Sea Frontier; Commanding Officer, Section Base, Cristobol, Canal Zone; Convoy and Routing Officer, 15th Naval District; and Assistant Chief of Staff for Readiness, Panama Sea Frontier. In addition he served at San Diego, CA., as Assistant District Personnel Officer, 11th Naval District.


The Captain is married and has made his residence in San Diego, CA., since 1926, where his wife and daughter Patricia make their home. One son, Charles, is a Radio Technician 2nd Class, US Naval Reserve, serving on a destroyer.


The ships of this class are named in honor of outstanding counties of the country. The U.S.S. LOWNDES has a triple distinction, taking its name from LOWNDES County, AL; LOWNDES County, GA; & LOWNDES County, MS..All of these counties were named after a distinguished South Carolina statesman, WILLIAM LOWNDES.


After commissioning 14 September 1944, the U.S.S. LOWNDES spent 10 days loading stores, provisions, parts, & supplies at Astoria. She stood out from Astoria on the morning of 25 September bound for Seattle, WA. On the trip to Seattle & during the 2 days in Puget Sound, tests of equipment were conducted & more supplies taken aboard.


On 29 September 1944 the U.S.S. LOWNDES set out on her 1st real cruise, down the West Coast to Long Beach Naval Station, Long Beach, CA. From 5 October to 22 October tests were conducted on all parts of equipment & the crew & ship went through a very strenuous shakedown period. The last 4 days were spent at Terminal Island, San Pedro, CA; about 24 hours spent in dry dock & the remainder of the time at Pier 3, Berth 32, where provisions, pparts, & supplies were brought aboard & repairs & adjustments to the ship were made.


Due to the need for ships, the shakedown period was suddenly terminated; the period of availability shortened; & the ship considered ready for sea & foreign duty. This termination of shakedown exercises & abbreviation of the availability time resulted in something of a turmoil in getting all provisions, supplies, & parts aboard.


On 23 October 1944, less than 6 weeks after commissioning, the U.S.S. LOWNDES got underway from Pier 3, Berth 32, Terminal Island, San Pedro, CA., enroute to Pearl Harbor, Oahu, T.H. The ship was in company with the U.S.S. HENDRY, U.S.S. PICKENS, & U.S.S. BARROW. During this cruise from San Pedro to Pearl Harbor the officers & men of the ship began to realize & appreciate the significance of all regulations, schedules, & drills which are so necessary for a smoothly operating unit.


During the shakedown period many of the crew learned for the 1st time what "General Quarters" & "Condition 1 Able" meant, to many "starboard", "port", "foc'sle", "fantail", & many other terms were entirely foreign as yet. It is a tribute to the vigilance, energy & alertness of the officers & petty officers who were charged with instructing the crew that none were injured & no serious damage done during those early days. Hoisting out 26 boats & taking them back aboard in a wind & sea is in itself an operation fraught with danger.


Enroute to Pearl Harbor drills & training were continued even more strenuously than during the shakedown period. The Deck Watch Officers learned what "tactical maneuvers" mean, what it means to "Zig-Zag" at night with no lights; & the gun crews had opportunities to test their skills at firing all guns.


On 28 October 1944 at 1200 the U.S.S. LOWNDES moored in Berth X-7, East Lock, Pearl Harbor, T.H. Diamond Head, Waikiki Beach, Honolulu. Ford island, & the Naval Station, were new sights to almost all of the crew. All had heard about these places but they were no more than pictures, paragraphs in a book or magazine, or exaggerated descriptions by shipmates & friends.


On 30 October 1944, Capt. A. C. J. SABALOT, USN, Commander Transport Division 45, hoisted his flag aboard the LOWNDES as Commander Task Unit 13.10.16. The LOWNDES, in company with the HENDRY, PICKENS, & BARROW, left Pearl Harbor at 1530, 30 October 1944, enroute to Kauai, T.H., for more amphibious training. Upon arrival at Waimea Beach, Kauai, T.H., Ship-to-shore movements were conducted without troops. This consisted of hoisting out all landing craft, having them proceed in regular formation to the beach, return & be taken aboard. Upon completion of the exercise during the day the task unit went into night retirement.


On 1 November 1944 at 0700, the unit anchored in Hauapopo Bay, off Port Allen, Kauai, T.H., & embarked personnel & equipment of units of the 398th Regimental Combat Team, 98th Infantry Division, for the purpose of training the embarked troops & ship's personnel in amphibious operations. That was a memorable morning. The ship had been hurried out of that part of training before leaving the West Coast & as a result had its initiation with troops who were as "green" as the crew. The troops were loaded in the boats at Port Allen, rode about 4 miles out to the ship, & then spent some time circling around near the ship. By the time they were ready to come aboard most of them had been in boats all of 2^ hours & for most of them it was their 1st ride in a landing craft. The water in the bay was rough, the troops were tired, wet, & many were seasick. When told to climb the embarkation nets they must have had many kinds of uncomfortable feelings {the ship's company did just watching them). It is something of an accomplishment to be able to climb up the nets from a boat that is not rocking S bumping & with no load on your back; but with a heavy pack, rifle, & equipment, & from a boat in a seaway it is far from easy. Those who were too weak & exhausted ffrom seasickness were brought up in stretchers.


Again it is to the credit of all concerned that those 1st troops were embarked with their equipment with no accidents involving any of them.

The units of the 398th Regimental Combat team, 98th Infantry, were aboard until 5 November 1944 during which time amphibious landing operation exercises were conducted daily. The troops were left ashore at Waianae Beach, Makua, Oahu.


An excerpt from the Executive Officer's memoranda which appeared on the Plan of the Day is revealing:


"It is suggested that taps be observed. The days to come will require a lot from all of us. Get sleep while you can, you will need it. You might be rugged but you're not that rugged."


The period from 5 November to 31 December 1944 was spent in amphibious landing operations off Malea Bay, Maul, T.H., training with units of the 98th Army infantry 6 units of the 4th Marine Divisionn.. While the operations became more familiar & were accomplished more smoothly, they were, nevertheless, strenuous & intensive.


At the beginning of this training period the commander of the unit said he intended to make the training "so strenuous & intensive that an actual operation would seem like a picnic". Later experience taught us that he meant what he said.


The Medical Officers on several occasions during that time made rounds through the berthing compartments in the evening. He found many of the crew rolled into their bunks too tired to even undress.


Excerpts from the Executive Officer's memoranda which were in the "Plan of the Day" bear out the fact that the ship did 'not profit by the training. November 8th; "The a rather difficult & heavy cargo was handled by the hatch crews of this ship is considered by this officer & other observers as being fine work." On November 13th: "Today's exercises weere definitely successful. All hands are to be complimented in their performance. The Commanding Officer & I join in saying a very hearty 'Well Done' & sincere "Thank You." On November 25th the Commanding officer's memorandum said, "There has been a marked improvement lately in handling boats, troops, & cargo. Keep up the good work. Every minute saved is a help when the big day comes."


Though none knew when the "big day" was to come or to what part of the Pacific the ship might be sent, all were aware that it would not be long before the "pay. load" would be taken aboard.


On 29 December 1944 the LOWNDES moored at Pier #2, Kahului, Maui, T.H., & began embarking troops & equipment of Regimental Combat Team #23 of the 4th Marine Division. It was fairly certain that this was the outfit to be taken into action. And Tokyo Rose on 30 December 1944 broadcast a statement to the effect that the 4th Marines had better stay at their camp on Maui, for if they attempted to invade Iwo Jima they would be able to muster in a telephone booth when they returned.


On 31 December 1944 the loading was completed, the ship provisioned, & all was in readiness. That New Year's Eve was a memorable one. It was the 1st time on the Hawaiian Islands when the 10 o'clock curfew had not been enforced.


From 1 January 1945 to 11 January 1945 training exercises with the 23rd Regimental Combat Team were conducted,


From 12 January to 19 January the LOWNDES was attached to Task Group 51.11, under the watchful observation of the man who was later to lead the assault landing which turned out to be the toughest encounter of the 160. years of the US Marines: Rear Admiral Richmond K. TURNER, USN He must have been satisfied with the performance because he made few comments, criticisms, or changes.


The period 19-26 January 1945 was spent moored in Berth X-11, East Lock, Pearl Harbor, T.H., For rehabilitation & logistics. Knowing that it would be the last liberty for a while, the crew & the troops made the best of it. Due to the strenuous training period liberties had been few & far between in the Pearl Harbor area, & few had been fortunate enough to be able to visit Honolulu before this week. Many of the men saw this much-talked-about city for the 1st time. To many it was their 1st liberty outside the continental limits of the United States.


On 27 January 1945 the LOWNDES departed from Pear Harbor as a unit of Task Force 51 enroute to Eniwetok Atoll, Marshall Islands. This 1st leg of the journey into the Southwest Pacific took until 5 February 1945 & the time was used by all hands ' to improve in every way the functions of their part of the ship. About 48 hours was spent at Eniwetok; the ship proceeded on its way 7 February 1945 enroute to Saipan, Mariannas Islands, arriving there 11 February 1945. February 12 & 13 were spent in a final dress rehearsal off Tinian Island, & the 14th & 15th at anchor in Saipan Harbor.


On 16 February 1945 Task Force 51 got underway from Saipan Harbor enroute to Iwo Jima. The ship's Intelligence Officer then instituted daily instruction periods for officers & crew on subjects pertaining to the Iwo Jima invasion.


On the trip to Iwo Jima tactical exercises & drills were held as a final check on the readiness of the ship for action. The Task Force arrived on time & each ship was on station in the transport area at the designated time on 19 February 1945. In the early morning, 2 or 3 hours before arriving in the transport area, it was possible to seethe light from flares & rockets over the island. As this was the 1st time most of the crew had taken part in any engagement it goes without saying that most of them did little sleeping after midnight. The lights & rocket bursts, at a distance, resembled an enormous Fourth of July celebration back home. To the troops, who were veterans of Tarawa, Saipan, & other engagements, they resembled anything but a peaceful celebration. During that entire night men were either on deck standing quietly or sitting quietly on their bunks cleaning a rifle or sharpening a knife. None wanted to interrupt the thought of those individuals & none attempted to intrude.


Shortly after arriving in the transport area the boats were hoisted out & the troops debarked to land on YELLOW Beach TWO.


The crews of the landing craft bore the brunt of the actual work performed by the personnel of this ship. Early on the morning of 19 February conditions of the surf at the beach were ideal for the landing craft, however the intense & accurate mortar fire by the Japanese caused many casualties. Shortly after noon on D-Day, the beach became so clogged with damaged landing craft, amphibious vehicles & land equipment that the small boats could not approach. The boat crews learned what it meant to "live" in a landing boat. It was not unusual for the ship to hoist out a boat in the morning, load it wwith cargo, dispatch it to the beach, & hear nothing from it until the next morning when it returned, loaded with the same cargo, for fuel. The ship would usually hoist the boat & crew aboard, fill the tank with fuel, put on a relief crew, & send them back to report to the control boat just off the beach. On several occasions the same cargo stayed in a boat 3 days.


A few of the many incidents which happened to members of the Boat Crew are:


The Boat Group Commander, Lt. Arthur H. GAGER, D(L), U.S.N.R., .301 Segwich St., Philadelphia, PA., spent most of all the days & nights off Iwo Jima in the "Gig". His station as a boat guide officer was on a line in front of the beach less than a 1000 yards from shore. The nights patrolling that part of the ocean were long and not uneventful. He & the crews of the "Gig" soon learned that the area which kept them on station was their safest position. Some of the coxswains who served in the "Gig" would gradually let the boat ease out to sea a few 100 yards & would be made aware of that fact by having mortar & artillery shells land in the water near by. Then Lt. GAGER would steer them back on station. A little later they would be in the midst of more fire only to learn that they had eased out to sea again.


Bob Elvin KEIME, Coxswain, U.S.N.R., 309 East 10th St., Pawahuska, OK., was coxswain of 1 of the davit boats. He was very proud of his boat. "Pop", as he was known, was rated 1 of the best coxswains, & kept his boat in as nearly perfect condition as possible. He & the crew of his boat were dispatched to the beach with a load of cargo on D-day plus 3. They reached the beach, unloaded the cargo & were pulling away when a mortar shell hit the boat. About that time the Beachmaster asked him to transport 3 casualties to the LST, Hospital Ship, "pop" loaded the casualties, wondering whether the boat would sink before he could go far. Shortly after leaving the beach it became apparent that the boat was filling with water so rapidly that it would not be possible to go far. An LSM came along then & "Pop" & his crew transferred the injured men to that craft & lashed their boat alongside the ISM. Then it became apparent that any further effort to save the boat was useless so "Pop" salvaged what equipment he could & cast the boat off to sink. It must have caused KEIMI as much anguish in losing that boat as it has some of our commanding officers of large ships when they are sunk. When "Pop" returned to the ship that night it was apparent that he had been through an ordeal which he would remember a long time.


Leonard Roy LeMAITRE, S1c, U.S.N.R., 13^ Greenfield Ave., West Los Angeles, CA.,, another coxswain, did not lose his boat but brought it back to the ship so full of water that it could not be hoisted aboard. He & the crew had stuffed life jackets & rags in a big hole just above the waterline on the port side.


Many other coxswains & boat crews accomplished feats as noteworthy as those related above.


It is to the credit of the Boat Group Commander & his constant & ever lasting training of the Boat Officers, coxswains, & crews, that only 8 LCVP's from the LOWNDES were lost in the operation. 1 due to gunfire, 3 to flooded & sunk at the beach, & 4 broached & abandoned.


The members of the Beach Party deserve special mention for their work on the beach at Iwo Jima. YELLOW Beach TWO, to which they were assigned, was under such heavy mortar & artillery fire that the Beach Party was landed on BLUE Beach ONE from where they transferred all their equipment & set up station on their own beach. In spite of almost constant intense action, they stayed from D-day plus 1 until D-day plus 5 attending & evacuating casualties, salvaging broached boats, & attempting to clear the beach so that small boats could land. Due to the surf conditions & nature of the terrain, little progress could be effected in clearing the beach. By the 4th day clearing had been effected to permit a slow flow of cargo to be landed. The Beachmaster, Lt. Stuyvesant A. PINNELL, D<L), U.S.N.R., of New York City, a member of the New York City Police Force before coming to duty in the Navy, maintained his group of 43 men on the beach in spite of the enemy action & after 16 of their number had become casualties. 2 were killed, 13 wounded, & 1 was reported missing. His report of that period shows that it was practically impossible to keep close contact with troops because assembling of 2 or more at 1 place only invited disaster to all of them by the accurate enemy mortar fire.


The medical section of the Beach Party headed by Lt. (jg) Gerald Martin EASTHAM, (MC), U.S.N.R., 2838 Madison St., Omaha, NE, continued to treat & evacuate casualties after 5 of the hospital corpsmen had become casualties. Lt. EASTHAM was awarded the Bronze Star Medal & a citation for his services on the beach.


Donald William BOWMAN, PhM1c, U.S.N.R., 1327 East 5th St., Pueblo, CO; and Norman Robert RICHARDS, HA1c, U.S.N.R., 1303 6th Corso St., Nebraska City, NE, were killed.


Three hospital corpsmen were wounded and evacuated from the beach.

They Were:


James Leslie PIERCE, HAIc, U.S.N.R., Lyndonville, Vermont.


Gordon Ferris BUCK, PhM3c, U.S.N.R., 1861 Cambridge Blvd., Columbus, Ohio.


James Lloyd ANDERSON, HA1c, U.S.N.R., 2322 Porsa Street, Houston, Texas.


The three corpsmen were on the beach all the time and who continued to assist with the care of the injured received citations for their services:


Fred Potter BRINKMAN, PhM2c, U.S.N.R., 2805 Annapolis Avenue, Overland, Missouri.


Wesley Eugene FOLLETT, PhM3c, U.S.N.R., 528 2nd St., Oconto, Wisconsin.


Jerome Robert FRIEDER, PhM3c, U.S.N.R., 1808 Coventry Road, Cleveland Heights, Ohio.


FOLLETT and FRIEDER were promoted for meritorious service over and above the line of duty.

Their citations are as follows:


"For excellent service in the line of his profession as a member of the medical section of a beach party from 20 February to 23 February 1945, during the assault and capture of Iwo Jima. Although the beach was under enemy mortar and gunfire, ably per­formed his duty in administrating first aid and assisting in the evacuation of casualties. His skill and courage contributed to the saving of many lives. His conduct gives evidence of his great value to the Naval Service.


Commendation Ribbon authorized


/s/ H.A. SPRUANCE, Admiral, US Navy


The U.S.S LOWNDES received and treated 365 wounded from the beach at Iwo Jima It was the first experience for all hands of the medical department in handling casualties, and proved to be a revelation which will long be remembered.


The first boat load of casualties arrived at the ship at 1157 on D-day The second patient had a small wound over his left temple and was almost exsanguinated. He appeared dead, was ashen grey, pale and did not move. He received two pints of plasma, a quart of glucose, and two pints of blood within an hour after being brought aboard. On the second day aboard he was up. The medical officers and corpmen spent most of the time the ship was in the transport area in sick bay and at the dressing stations, it was a credit to all concerned that so many patients, so severely wounded, could be cared for with so little confusion. Six of the 365 died, which kept the mortality below the average of 2% reported by most activities which cared for war casualties.


It is to the credit of Chief Boatswain R. 0. BANKS, USN, that the patients were brought aboard so smoothly and without confusion. The small single litter, hand operated hoists, rigged on port and starboard sides under the wings of the navigation bridge, proved efficient, safe, and satisfactory, in every respect. These hoists had caused some interesting comments as they were being installed. The medical officer-had asked for them only to be told by Chief Carpenter W. E. Dalton, USN, that they were not practical. After some discussion and a bit of encouragement the carpenter installed the booms. Then the boatswain declared them too light and not, safe, and said he did not have eenough blocks and lines to rig them. However, the morning after this discussion took place one outfit was reinforced and rigged. The carpenter remodeled the originals to conform with the ideas of the boatswain and both were rigged completely before arriving at Iwo Jima. The boatswain detailed enough men to operate the hoists and one afternoon 125 patients were brought aboard, one at a time, at a rate of about one a minute.


On 28 February 1945 the LOWNDES was allowed to anchor near the beach to facilitate unloading cargo. When told to get underway for night retirement at about 1700 it was found that the anchor winch was broken. This resulted in the ship staying in the transport area all night, which proved to be a fortunate accident altho, during the night, shells from enemy mortars on the island fell within 600 yards of the ship. At about 2300 the EExecutive Officer, Lieutenant Commander Harrison GARDNER, D(L), U.S.N.R., was topside when an LSM came near. He asked the Commanding Officer of the LSM to come alongside and take the remainder of the LOWNDES cargo and stated that if the LSM needded supplies and fresh water, they could be furnished. The LSM did come alongside and the rest of the cargo was loaded into it before morning.


The next day, 29 February 1945, the anchor winch having been repaired during the night, the LOWNDES in company with other ships which had completed unloading, departed the area enroute to Saipan.


Arriving at Saipan on 3 March 1945, it was found that hospital facilities in that area were taxed to the limit & the ship was sent to Guam, arriving there on 4 March 1945. On 5 March 1945 the patients were unloaded for transfer to Fleet Hospital #111.


It was gratifying to be told that the patients were debarked in a very orderly fashion & in good condition. The credit for that goes to all hands, not only to the medical department, but to all departments of the ship; everyone helped & cooperated.


After discharging the patients, taking on a full load of provisions & fuel at Guam, the LOWNDES returned to Saipan, arriving on 7 March 1945, & on 8 March went alongside Pier 7 & embarked part of the 2nd Marine Division & attached units. This was a very short time to "lick one's wounds" & "catch one's breath" before taking on another capacity load of troops.


However, the time from 8 March to 27 March was spent in training the embarked units in preparation for their mission & part of that time was used for recreation ashore & rehabilitation. 0 27 March 1945 the LOWNDES departed from Saipan enroute to Okinawa Jima as a unit of Task Force 51.2.


On the trip to Okinawa, as on that to Iwo Jima, tactical exercises S drills were held, & a final check made on the readiness of the ships for action. The ships arrived on schedule in the transport area off the coast of that island at daybreak on 1 April 1945.


On D-day, one of the APA' s in Squadron 15 was hit by a suicide bomber & put out of operation as the ships were moving into the transport area. A few minutes after that the LOWNDES' gun crews had their first taste of firing at an enemy plane. A Japanese plane flew over at about 3,000 feet altitude & managed to evade fire from all ships.


The period from 3 April to 11 April was spent in a retirement area some distance from the island. On the morning of 11 April the LOWNDES was ordered to proceed to the transport area off Hagushi Beach on the west coast of Okinawa, & arrived there the next morning to be greeted by the worst air raid of the invasion. The ship was at General Quarters almost all the time that was spent in the area. On 13 April several units of the troops debarked, a part of the cargo was unloaded, & on 14 April the LOWNDES with other ships which were ready, departed from Okinawa enroute to Saipan.


It arrived at Saipan on 13 April 1945 & remained there in the harbor until 4 June 1945 when it departed enroute to the Southwest Pacific, in company with Transport Squadron FIFTEEN. On that trip 3 days were spent at Tulagi Harbor, & about a week at Espiritu Santos. A load of cargo was taken aboard at Espiritu Santos & carried to Guam, arriving there on 4 July 1945.


On 10 June 1945 the squadron crossed the equator with due form & ceremony. Prior to arrival at the line the following dispatch was sent out by Commander Transport Squadron FIFTEEN to all ships in the squadron:

























At four o'clock in the afternoon of 9 June 1945 Davy Jones Appeared on the foc'sle of the LOWNDES and proceeded to the bridge where he delivered his message from King Neptune to the Captain.


Promptly at 0800 the following morning as the squadron crossed the line. King Neptune and all his court appeared on the foc'sle, proceeded around the ship topside, and set up court on No. 2 hatch. The jolly Roger was broken at the masthead where it flew until all polywogs had been duly initiated, the court completed, and King Neptune and his party had returned to the depths from which they came. It was quite a sight to see a squadron of APA's steaming along with the Jolly Roger flying from the masthead of each ship.








D.J. Weintraub

Captain, U. S. Navy

Commanding Office.


20 March 1946


The LOWNDES was ordered to return to San Francisco, California but enroute a change of orders was received, and on 18 October 1945 put in to Seattle, Washington, where all passengers were debarked at Pier #90 for separation. The following morning mooring was shifted to Pier #2, Kirkland Shipyard in Lake Washington, Seattle Washington, transfer being made via the Lake Washington Canal.


The compliment of all US Navy ships was being decreased due to the cessation of hostilities with all enemy forces. During this period the members of the boat group and beach party were detached. All regretted the loss of these men and their officers, many very dear and permanent friendships having been welded during the difficult days spent together.


On 27 October 1945 the LOWNDES dressed ship for the Annual Navy Day observances and extended invitations to the public to visit the ship, this practice being observed by the Navy to acquaint the people of the United States with the quality and make-up of the fleet.


Orders were received on 1 November 1945 to proceed to Pier #91, Seattle, Washington to provision and make ready for sea. On 3 November 1945 orders were received transferring the LOWNDES to "Magic Carpet" duty and to proceed to Samar, Philippine Islands. On 15 November 1945, instructions were received modifying the routing to proceed to Manila, P.I., via the San Bernadino Straights.


The anchor was dropped in Manila Harbor, P.I. on 21 November 1945, & officers & crew were granted liberty to visit the historic city of Manila. The joy of liberty was somewhat clouded as the suffering created by the Japanese in their destruction of the city was witnessed.


On 23 November 1945, the LOWNDES departed from Manila Harbor, P.I. For the west coast of the U. S. A. with a capacity load of Army officers & enlisted personnel eligible for release from the service under the U. S. Army terms of demobilization. The following morning, however, a dispatch directed immediate return to Manila to avoid an approaching typhoon. A two day lay-over resulted, & on 26 November 1945 the ship headed for sea & the 0. S. A.


The return voyage was uneventful & on 13 December 1945 the LOWNDES arrived at San Francisco, California. Mooring was made at Pier #15 & immediately all passengers were debarked to report to separation centers. The-officers & crew were extremely happy as word was received that the ship had been directed to remain over the Christmas Holidays. During the afternoon the ship shifted to anchorage #12, berth #9.


To celebrate the holiday spirit the chaplain decorated the Wardroom & the crew's mess hall. This was deeply appreciated by the officers & men. For many this was their first Christmas in the United States in a number of years. Leaves were granted to those living nearby in order that they might spend Christmas with their families. Others were permitted to bring guests aboard. A special treat was offered as the ship provided gifts for all hands.


On 29 December 1945 the LOWNDES again put to sea with her destination Manila, P.I. The weather was dark & cloudy & the sea extremely rough as she departed on what turned out to be her last "Magic Carpet" run. New Year' s Eve was observed silently at sea. But in the hearts of all was a prayer of thanksgiving that the New Year was a year of peace.


The following morning, 2 January 1946, the captain, being ill, requested to divert his course to Pearl Harbor, Oahu, T.H., For the purpose of hospitalization. On 3 January 1946 mooring was made at the Navy Yard docks, Berth A12, Pearl Harbor, Oahu, T.H. Captain C. H. PERDUE relinquished his command of this ship as all officers mustered at the quarter deck to bid him farewell. At 1130, 3 January 1946, the captain was piped over the side. Many hearts were heavy due to his loss. Since the LOWNDES had received her commissioning orders, Captain PERDUE had served faithfully & honorably & all who served under him had come ttoo love& respect him.


Lieutenant Commander L. A. JUDIN, the Executive Officer, became Officer-in-Charge, as all hands awaited the arrival of the new captain. During this period opportunities were granted to see the beauty & grandeur of the island of Oahu.


On 11 January 1946, Captain D. J. WEINTRAUB, U. S. N., reported aboard for duty as Commanding Officer. Captain WEINTRAUB graduated from the U. S. Naval Academy in the class of 1927. He is a qualified Naval Aviator (airship). His recent tour of sea duty commenced in February 1944 when he assumed the duties as Commander of LSM Flotilla Two. It was under his command that LSM's were first used in combat as they took part in the initial assault on Leyte, P.I. On 20 October 1944. On 15 July 1945 he was assigned as Commander of LSM Flotilla Six where he served until assuming the command of the LOWNDES.


On 15 January 1946 orders were received to return to San Francisco, California carrying a capacity load of naval officers S enlisted personnel eligible for discharge under the U. S. Navy's demobilization program. On 21 January 1946, the LOWNDES moored at Pier 45D, San Francisco, California, where all troops were debarked. The following morning the ship shifted to anchorage 9 berth 18.


Word was received that the Naval Service of the LOWNDES was nearly completed. On 7 February 1946, the Commander of the Western Sea Frontier dispatched orders to get underway again, this to be her last run. The destination was set as Norfolk, Virginia & decommissioning.


Traveling independently & with no passengers the ship arrived on 16 February 1946 at Balboa, the Pacific port of the Panama Canal. At 0952 the pilot came aboard & at 1056 the ship entered the channel to the Panama Canal.


This was the first opportunity that many of the officers & crew had had to see the Panama Canal. In order that they might enjoy the sights & points of interest the chaplain prepared an article & distributed it to all hands. Permission was granted by the captain for the chaplain to describe the journey to all hands over the ship's address system. This was especially appreciated by the engineers who had no visible way of viewing the canal. At 1901, 16 February 1946 the anchor was dropped in berth #23, Linen Bay, Canal Zone, Panama, passage completed.


The captain obtained permission to lay over at Panama for four days, providing the opportunity for the officers & crew to visit the Canal Zone Port of Cristobal & the city of Colon in the Republic of Panama.


On 21 February 1946 the LOWNDES again put to sea on the last leg of her last run, her destination being Norfolk, Virginia. On 24 February 1946 heavy seas were encountered off the coast of Florida & delayed the "estimated time of arrival" approximately twenty-four hours. On 27 February 1946 her destination was reached & at 1231 the anchor was dropped in anchorage "F", Hampton Roads, Virginia.


The officers & crew turned toward the difficult task of decommissioning the LOWNDES with a spirited will. On 17 April 1946 the commission pennant was hauled down, their last job being completed. This was a day of mixed emotions. There was a great happiness for it meant that many would see their families for the first time in many months. But a touch of sadness was evidenced for the LOWNDES had ended a long & honorable career in the naval service of a great country, the United States of America.






On 17 September 1983, U.S.S. LOWNDES, then located in the James River Reserve Fleet off Fort Eustis, Virginia, was traded, pursuant to Public Law 95-177, by the Maritime Administration to Connecticut Transport, Inc., New York, NY, together with nine other vessels, in exchange for the tanker CONNECTICUT. The 10 traded-out ships were all considered surplus to the needs of the Government, and therefore available for scrapping. The LOWNDES was immediately sold a"^ transferred by Connecticut Transport, Inc., to S. A. Desbar, a Spanish corporation, for scrapping in Spain. This scrapping was complete as of 16 January 1984, in Spain.


The U.S.S. LOWNDES received two battle stars for World War II service.





WAR DIARY February 1945


18 February 1945

       0500 Changed course to 048 (t). 0410 Changed course to 010 (t). 0435 Changed course to 340 (t). 0600 Commenced zig-zagging. 0827 Ceased zigzagging and resumed base course. 0835 Changed course to 351 (t). Commenced zigzagging,. 0906 Possible submarine contact, commenced emergency maneuvers. 0939 Increased speed to 14 knots. 1001 Contact evaluated as non-sub, resumed zigzagging 1515 Commenced approach to Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, in accordance with ComPhibsPac's Operation Order A25-44. 1622 Ceased zigzagging, resumed base course. 1635 Changed course to 006 (t). 1641 Commenced zigzagging. 2100 Ceased zigzagging and resumed base course. Position: 0800 20° 28' N 142° 38' E


19         February 1945 (D-day)

0031 Changed course to 330 (t) .' 0245 Ships left to course 320 (t) . 0335 Ships right to Course 330 (t). 0408 Changed course to 285 {t). 0457 Increased speed to 14.5 knots. 0604 Formed cruising disposition DOG Form ONE. 0612 Changed course to 325 (t). 0622 Changed course to 315 (t). 0637 Arrived in transport area of Southeast coast of Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands. Task Group designation changed to 53.2. ComTaskGroup 53.2, Commodore H. C. FLANAGAN in USS BAYFIELD. Commenced lowering boats and debarking troops. At HOW-Hour minus 25 {HOW-Hour 0900), six waves consisting of Reserves of the 23rd RCT, 4th Marines, were dispatched to the line of departure. 1157 Received aboard the first group of casualties from the beach. 1555 LSM 48 came alongside to receive cargo. 1720 LSM away from alongside, hoist all boats aboard. 1836 Underway with Task Group 53.2 on night retirement to the east to arrive in the transport area the following morning.


20-28 February 1945

The Beach Party of this ship was landed on BLUE Beach ONE on the morning of DOG day plus one for services on YELLOW Beach TWO. Upon arrival relieved the Beach Party of the USS MIFFLIN. The Beach Party remained on YELLOW Beach TWO for a period of four days and nights attending and evacuating casualties, salvaging broached boats and attempting to clear the beach for the landing of boats. Due to the surf conditions and nature of the terrain, little progress could be effected in clearing the beach for use by landing boats. The beach at the water's edge was almost completely blocked with bogged down amphibious tanks, LVT's, vehicles, and broached boats. By the fourth day clearing had been effected to permit a slow flow of cargo to be landed. The entire four days on the beach were spent under enemy mortar and artillery fire, resulting in 1/3 (16) of the beach party becoming casualties (13 wounded, 2 dead, 1 missing).


During the operation twenty-two LCVP's, two LCM's. one LCP(R) equipped as a salvage boat, and one LCP (L) equipped as boat group commander and control boat, were used. Ship's boats which were loaded with cargo were not allowed to land. This was high priority cargo and cargo called for from the beach as being urgently needed. Some of the boats were in the water with a load of urgently needed cargo for four days before finally being permitted to land.


During this time they returned to the ship each morning for fuel and a change of crew and went immediately back to the beach. Three LCT's and one LSM were employed at various times after DOG plus four in unloading general cargo. In this connection, it is recommended that a sufficient number of LCT's and LSM's be provided to unload all cargo. Twelve LCVP's were launched from Welin davits, all other boats were lowered by cargo booms. As much cargo as possible was preloaded. All davit boats were loaded at the rail, main deck, with debarking troops. All boat engines were Gray marine and operated without failure. The LCM(3) ramp winches failed frequently, necessitating time out for repairs. Eight LCVP's were lost, one due to gun fire, three were flooded and sunk at the beach and four broached.


Of the seven beaches, the right flank marker of RED Beach TWO was the only beach limit marker visible for ten days. This caused unnecessary confusion among boat coxswains, and resulted in some cargo being landed on the wrong beaches. BLUE Beach ONE had cargo unloading point markers until DOG plus nine.


Preparation for handling casualties consisted of the following {1 ) A reception center was set up in the troop officer's berthing compartment with facilities for cleansing and minor surgery. (2) The wardroom was used as a cleansing and shock treatment center. (3) The main sick bay was used for maj or surgery and major dressings where anesthetics were required. The majority of bed patients were cared for in the troop officer's berthing compartment, the more serious cases in sick bay, and the ambulatory in the forward troop berthing compartment on the main and third decks. Casualties were brought aboard one at a time by a six foot boom rigged amidships main deck. This method proved highly satisfactory both from a standpoint of speed and of causing least discomfort to casualties. Of the 365 casualties treated, 6 died, 27 were transferred to hospital ships, and 12 were returned to duty. The remainder were transferred to US Naval Hospital No. 111 at Guam.


With the exception of two nights spent at the objective, the LOWNDES took part in night retirement to the east, returning to the transport area each morning. At about 2130 on the night of 27 February 1945, while anchored near the beach to unload cargo, about eight bursts of mortar fire from the island fell about 25% off the starboard bow at about 600 yards distant, but the ship was not hit.


29 February 1945

1846 In accordance with orders received from ComTaskForce 51 , the USS LOWNDES with Task Unit 51.16.10 departed Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, for Saipan, Marianas Islands, on base course 204 (t}, steaming at standard speed 12 knots. ComTaskUnit 51 .1,6.10 (Commodore MC GOVERN) in USS CECIL. 2141 Changed course to 174 (t). 2201 Changed speed to 13 knots.






Donald William BOWMAN  (Iwo Jima Campaign)

Norman Robert  RICHARDS (Iwo Jima Campaign)


Benn. L.                      BAILEY                        Claude W.              MEADOWS, Jr.

Oscar Tyson               BRACEY                      Carl Conrad           MILLER

James E.                     BRISCOE                     George Bernard      MILLER

Elmer Carrell               BROWN                       Leon                       MONDAY

Domer Slater              BURK                           Richard LeBarron   MOORE

Sam                            CAROTHERS               Charles Francis       MURRAY

John F.                       GARY                           Erie                        NIEMI

Wendell H.                 CBILDREY                   N. B.                      NAGEL

Slater Frank                CHRISTIAN                 Curtis Garland        NERISON

Owen Cavanaugh        COLLINS                     Howard L.              NIELSEN

Roy D.                        COLLINS                     Erie                        NIEMI

Arthur Bejamin            CORBETT                    Alex R.                   O'NEAL

George Maynard         DAHHS                        Charles H.              PERDUE (Capt.)

Floyd Joseph              DETIVEAU                   C. H.                      PASCHAL

Arthur                         DEVERAUX                 C. L.                      PERKS

George L.                   DREHNAN                   Billy H.                   PIERCY

Robert Earl                 DUNN                          Stuyvesant A.         PINNELL

Eugene H.                   ENGLE                         William H.              POLLOCK

Bertil                           ERLING                        Leo A.                    POTHAST

Wesley E.                   FOLLETT                     Hubert Wesley        RAVENSCRAFT

Jerome Robert            FRIEDER                      Albert P.                 RESETAR

Raymond Henry          GOLEMBOWSKI        Martin Joseph         REZZA

Fred Irwin                   GUNNELL                   John Milton             RICE

Fred E.                       GROH                           David T.                 RICHARDSON

Raymond Louis           GOIHONT                    Bernard                  ROGERS

Marvin Robert            GUNDERSON             George S .                ROTH

James W.                    HALL                            Harley O. "Red"      SARTEN

Fred Wayne                BATTEN                       Ernest 0.                 SCOTT

Albert Franklin            HERRINGTON            George A.              SKELLY

Edgar L.                     HINTON                      Joseph McKinzie    SONNIER

Gordon Russell           HOLLEY                      Harvey Glenn          STEVENSON

Leonard A.                 JOHNSON                   Robert H.               STONER

Robert Elvin                KIEME                         Frederick G.           TIMMS

Lee Cruse                   KING                            Wesley                   VLCEK

Samuel J.                    KRAOSE                      Steve Thomas         VALASK

Roland Edward           KRUEL                         WalterB                  VROBLE

Russell                        LaPONUKE                 Elvin                      WAHLBERG

William B.                   LAWRENCE                Harold F.                WARD

B.                               LHIELE                         L. V.                      WEBB

Edward John               LIPCZYNSKI               Lawrence Clinton    WELCOME

Stanley Ambrose         HATZ                            Harold C.               WIDDOWS

Thurman Elmer            HcFARLAND               Leo . J .                    WINTER

                                                                         Joseph G.               YOUNG

                                                                         Joseph                    ZINKGRAF



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