USS LCI(L) 337
Report on Rescue Search Mission

From the personal collection of Tony Potochniak


USS LCI(L) 337
Fleet Post Office
San Francisco, Calif.

2 November 1944

FROM:               Commanding Officer, USS LCI(G) 337
TO:                    Commander Task Group 78.12

SUBJECT:          Report on Rescue Search Mission of 25 October through 27 October.

REFERENCE:    (a) Commander Task Group 7.12 Visual Message of 25 October 1944.

ENCLOSURE:   (A) Summary of Survivors Rescued by this Vessel.

1. In compliance with radio orders from Commander LCI(L) Flotillas, this vessel got underway at 17:16 on 25 October from alongside USS ARL 41, anchored near Dio Island, San Pedro Bay, Leyte Gulf, Philippines, and proceeded to rendezvous near USS Blue Ridge, anchored in San Pedro Bay. Upon receipt of written orders, we became a part of Task Group 78.12 consisting of 2 PC's and 4 other LCI (G's) and departed with them at 19:00 enroute to a point Lat. 11 Degrees 15 minutes N., Long. 125 Degrees 30 minutes E., there to conduct search for survivors of a US CVE and DD's sunk earlier in that area

2. Search was continued under direction of Commander Task Group 78.12 until 00:55 of 27 October at which time this vessel sighted and brought aboard the first of its Survivors. During the day and night of 26 October debris and oil slicks had been noted from time to time. Subsequent to time of picking up first survivors and until about 09:40 of 27 October a total of 172 living and 1 dead were picked up by this vessel. Of this total, approximately 25 were stretcher cases from battle wounds, approximately an additional 60 had sustained battle wounds of minor to major character and all were suffering from shock and exposure.

3. At about 0940 of 27 October and with no additional survivors in sight, an order was received to take station in cruising formation for return to Leyte Gulf. Aside from a single enemy SALLY or BETTY type two engine bomber which was observed to closely approach the LCI (G) 34 as she was preparing to assume cruising station at about 09:45, the return trip to Leyte was accomplished without incident. A medical officer from a DE on patrol near Dinagat Island was embarked for a period of about one hour upon arrival at mouth of Leyte Gulf to render emergency treatment to 2 survivors.

4. Upon arrival San Pedro Bay, survivors were transferred to USS LST 464 Hospital Ship and USS Piedmont.

5. Enclosure (A), containing as much and as accurate information as circumstances allowed, is forwarded herewith.

6. The dog tags and very limited personal effects of 2 additional men who were buried at sea by the survivors prior to being picked up, and which were left aboard this vessel, are retained by this command and awaiting proper disposition.

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