Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday, April 05, 2009

A Sailors Story

A story from the diaries of one sailor who served aboard the USS Laws during World War II is now linked here from this site.

Friday, June 17, 2005

USS LAWS RETURNS HOME AFTER WW II





DESTROYER USS LAWS DD 558 BACK FROM 20 MONTHS FIGHT IN PACIFIC
(This is slightly edited by Chuck Woodcock) Copy of what appeared in a Seattle Washington newspaper with a dateline of 10/14/45)
BREMERTON, October 14. The destroyer USS Laws has returned to Puget Sound Navy Yard after 20 months of hitting the Japanese hard from Saipan to Tokyo.
In continuous command of the 2,000-ton destroyer was Cmdr. Lester O. Wood, USN, of the State of Washington who brought his ship safely to port with the enviable record of never having lost a man. The Laws first drew enemy blood off Saipan, where she downed two enemy planes, and assisted in the destruction of several others. One of the Japanese airmen was picked up and held aboard ship as a prisoner for eight days. None of the crew thought it strange to play checkers with this captured enemy when they weren’t busy shooting more of his comrades out of the sky. Although a major portion of her wartime career was spent in the fast moving company of Task Forces 38 and 58, the Laws was a task force all her own off Okinawa. For more than four months she roamed the enemy held coastline. Her guns, which supported our troops ashore with 20,000 rounds of fire power, also brought down three kamikaze attackers and caused several others to swerve into the sea. Throughout this action, the Laws seemed to lead a charmed life. Several times she narrowly escaped destruction while her squadron mates blew up close enough to shower her decks with debris. The efforts of the Laws’ officer and men were responsible for the rescue of more than a hundred survivors. In all, the Laws earned 10 battle stars for action in the Marianas, Western Carolinas, New Guinea, the Philippines, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and in the waters 45 miles off the coast of Japan. Her guns have roared against the Japanese on the sea and in the air, but the sentiments of her crew were best expressed on V_J Day. To them, it meant “V-W Day (WE GO HOME) day.”




  • #ASIATIC PACIFIC AREA SERVICE RIBBON: (one star*)
  • #PALAU, ULITHI, WOLEAI STRIKES 30 MARCH TO 01 APRIL 1944 (one star*)
  • #NEW GUINEA OPERATIONS, (HOLLANDIA LANDING) 18 TO 29 APRIL; (one star*)
  • #CAPTURE AD OCCUPATION OF SAIPAN, TINIAN AND GUAM IN THE MARIANAS GROUP 11 JUNE TO 15 AUGUST 1944; (one star*)
  • #CAPTURE AND OCCUPATION OF SOUTHERN PALAU ISLANDS 06 SEPTEMBER TO 14 OCTOBER 1944, FIRST STRIKES ON PHILIPPINES 09 TO 24 SEPTEMBER 1944; (one star*)
    #
    BATTLE OF LEYTE GULF 24 TO 26 OCTOBER 1944, THIRD FLEET SUPPORTING OPERATIONS FIRST OKINAWA STRIKE 10 OCTOBER 1944, NORTHERN LUZON AND FORMOSO STRIKES 11 TO 14 OCTOBER, LUZON STRIKES 15, 17 TO 18 OCTOBER, 5 TO 6, 13 TO 14, 19 TO 25, NOEMBER, 14 TO 16 DECEMBER 1944, VISAYAS STRIKES 20 TO 21 OCTOBER, 11 NOVEMBER 1944, ORNOC BAY LANDINGS 7 TO 13 DECEMBER 1944; (one star*)
  • #MINDORA LANDINGS 12 TO 18 DECEMBER 1944, LINGAYEN GULF LANDINGS 4 TO 18 JANUARY 1945, THIRD FLEET SUPPORTING OPERATIONS, LUZON STRIKES 06 TO 07 JANUARY 1945, FORMOSA STRIKES 3, 4, 9, 15, 21 JANUARY 1945, CHINA COAST STRIKES (HONG KONG, SAIGON, CAMRAHN BAY) (one star*)
  • #ASSAULT AND OCCUPATION OF IWO JIMA 15 FEBRUARY TO 16 MARCH, FIFTH FLEET STRIKES BY CARRIER BASED PLANES ON TOKYO 16, 17, FEBRUARY 1945; (one star*)
  • #CAPTURE AND OCCUPATON OF OKINAWA AND NEAR ISLANDS IESHIMA AND ERAMA RETTO 24 MARCH TO 30 JULY 1945;
    PHILIPPINES LIBERATION RIBBON (two stars*)


USS Laws#13

USS Laws #12



USS Laws#2


USS Laws#4


USS Laws#3


USS Laws#6


USS Laws#8


USS Laws#7


USS Laws#5

40 Miles South of Vladavostok, Russia


USS Laws#9

Port Side View, North Korean Coastal Waters, South of Russia


USS Laws#10

Korean Children Begging Alongside

From The USS Laws To The Moon!!!

John W. Young Served As Fire Control Officer During The Korean Conflict


Korean Conflict

Fire Control "Plot" Gang
Back row left to right:
John Starek, Tom Burdette, Glen Herman
Middle row: Dennis Koenig, Ed Champagne
Front row: Joe LaMantia, John Taussing, Jim Holman, Bill Strickland

Korean Conflict Shipmates, Reunion Fall 2005