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Battle of Leyte Gulf: October 23–26, 1944

Fold3 Image - Battle of Leyte Gulf (Oct. 25)
From October 23–26, 1944, the Japanese navy unsuccessfully went up against the American navy off the coast of the Philippines in one of the largest naval battles in history. The Japanese loss at Leyte Gulf effectively finished off their navy and gave the Americans unchallenged dominance in the Pacific for the rest of World War II.

The Philippines were crucial to the Japanese war effort in Southeast Asia. So when Douglas MacArthur‘s troops invaded the Philippine island of Leyte in mid-October 1944, the Japanese sent their dwindling navy—with its now limited air power—to attack the American ships of the Third and Seventh fleets off the east shore of the island, hoping to cut off support to MacArthur’s invasion force. The Japanese planned to send a northern decoy force to draw away Bull Halsey‘s Third Fleet, while a central force (sailing through the San Bernardino Strait) and a southern force (sailing through the Surigao Strait) would cut through the Philippines to attack Thomas Kinkaid‘s Seventh Fleet simultaneously from north and south.

However, very few things went according to plan for the Japanese. The central force was discovered and attacked by American submarines on October 23 and then later pounded by American naval air power on October 24 while still in the Sibuyan Sea, causing the central force to temporarily turn around. However, because the Americans assumed the central force had permanently withdrawn, the Japanese force was eventually able to double back and continue its journey through the San Bernardino Strait unobserved.

Meanwhile, the southern Japanese force met its destruction on the night of the 24th–25th, when it attempted to pass through the Surigao Strait. Alerted to the presence of the Japanese in the strait, Rear Admiral Jesse B. Oldendorf was able to deploy his ships perpendicular to the oncoming Japanese vessels and “cross the T,” allowing his ships to fire full broadsides, while the Japanese were only able to use their forward guns.

Fold3 Image - plane lays smoke screen during Battle of Leyte Gulf when Japanese central force attacks Taffy 3
When the central Japanese force exited the San Bernardino Strait on the 25th, it discovered that the plan to draw Halsey’s Third Fleet away had been successful during the night, and it appeared that the Japanese would be able to attack the Seventh Fleet from the north without much trouble. But they soon encountered Taffy 3, the Seventh Fleet’s northernmost escort carrier group. Although it initially seemed that the small American task force stood no chance, the ships and planes of Taffy 3 (eventually aided by Taffy 2) surprised the Japanese with the pugnacity of their attacks, and the Japanese unexpectedly withdrew.

Overall, the casualties for the battle were high, though Japanese casualties far outnumbered the Americans’: 10,000 Japanese casualties versus 3,000 American. The Japanese also lost more ships than the Americans, spelling the end of effective Japanese naval power during the war. The battle was also significant for the use of a new Japanese tactic: kamikaze attacks—which would prove a significant challenge to American naval forces in the Pacific going forward.

Do you have family members who fought in the Battle of Leyte Gulf? Tell us about them! Or learn more about the battle by searching on Fold3.


  1. Mary Ann Kotara (Formerly McDonald) Schirmer says:

    My first late husband, Royce Claude McDonald was a storekeeper on the USS Halsey Powell during the battle of Leyte Gulf. He sustained injuries when thrown backward out of a gun turret when the ship took a skip bomb from a Japanese plane. For 50 years after the war, he would act out in his sleep screaming orders to close water tight doors and hatches as he would fight fire. The ship was badly damaged and did not have communication ability as the conning tower had been taken out by a suicide plane. They were listed as missing in action for several weeks until they lumped into a protected harbor for repairs.

    • Coral Lee Chase Prickett says:

      My father Kenneth Chase was on the Halsey Powell at that time also. Do you have any information of just what went on at that time.

  2. My father landed on Leyte with the 17th Infantry and left letters of this campaign. See

  3. Dennis L. Carpenter says:

    My Dad was with the Army’s 96th Division, 3rd Battalion, 382st Infantry, as part of the land invasion force. His unit was involved with securing Catmon Hill to protect the landing zone of the 6th Division.

    • Diane Walters Fila says:

      My Dad was also with the 96th Infantry, but Signal Corp, landing on Leyte Oct 20th. My Dad never discussed the war until he started attending the 96th Infantry Reunions, after he retired. Then it was those very men, he had served with years earlier, that became his closest friends, until the day he died. Oh what they must have gone through, that nobody but them, really knew! I was so proud of my Dad!!!

    • Ann Mayfield says:

      My dad was in the 24th Division, 19th Infantry Regiment and landed on Red Beach in the Leyte Invasion on Oct. 20, 1944. I write about it in Through the Eyes of Bruce Price, My Father, available on Amazon. They took hill 522.

  4. Rose Pyle Earley says:

    According to Chester Lee Williams’ death certificate he was killed on Leyte Island, Philippines November 15, 1944 and was buried September 28, 1948 in Mineola, Texas. He was a Private in the Army 21st Infantry.

    Chester Williams’ birth certificate and death certificate indicate year of birth as 29 JUL 1924. The U.S. headstone applications for Military Veterans, indicates birth as 1925. May have lied about his age to get into the army.

  5. Ron Witcosky says:

    One of my uncles (Sgt. Robert Witcosky) was killed on Leyte

  6. Kristi says:

    My grandfather, Robert Bonewitz, was in the 503rd, 161st paratrooper – and also was at Corregidor. I would appreciate any information or pictures he might be in. Thank you so much!

  7. Rosana Whittlesey says:

    I just finished reading an account of this battle. It was riveting, and gave one more understanding of how fierce the fight was. The book is”The Last Stand of the Tin Can Soldiers” by James D Hornfischer. My father-in-law served on the Cape Esperance in the South Pacific, and his stories gave me a feel for what had happened. This book gave me a lot more insight. A wonderful read!

    • Mary Jurgaitis says:

      I will have to read this book. Thanks for posting it.

    • Ann Mayfield says:

      I wrote about my dad experiences in Through the Eyes of Bruce Price, My Father available on Amazon. He was in the Oct. 20. 1944 Leyte Invasion with the 24th Division, 19th Infantry.

  8. Pauline Kucharik says:

    My Father, Ralph W Huber was in the Army, Part of the famous Rainbow Divisoin. He was on Leyte. He once told me, it was the hardest campaign, he was involved with.

  9. NCraig says:

    My uncle, Dick Thompson was on the USS Wasatch, McArthur’s command ship during the battle. Like many he never talked about it.

    • Ray Mulrooney says:

      My father was on the flag ship USS Wasatch of the 7th fleet and can be seen in the famous photo of MacAruther landing in Leyte.

    • Ray Mulrooney says:

      I have photos of the Wasatch that I will share my email is [email protected]. I also have the Wasatch voyage book. My father can be seen in the photo of MacArthur that is in most history books.

  10. Dawn Dale says:

    My cousin Philip L. Kostyal was a navy ensign, and flew a Wildcat off the USS Fanshaw Bay. He was credited with sinking a Japanese destroyer, but he also went down. Philip was 21 years old and his mother was given his award, the DFC later.

  11. Sharon Rone Self says:

    My dad, Loyd George Rone, from Ethel, Attala County, Mississippi was in the Leyte Gulf. He was in the Navy and served aboard the destroyer USS Converse. He was a Pharmacist’s Mate.

  12. PJ Cahoon says:

    My husband John E Cahoon was aboard the USS Essex during the Battle of Leyte

  13. Christine Dover says:

    My husband’s uncle, John J Healy, was a member of the 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry at Leyte. I just received and read through the daily reports from Oct 20, when they landed on the beach, through October 31 when they were cleaning things up. The went without food for a few days. There are comments on the reports on Oct 29 about first meal from the kitchen since start of campaign and two hot meals on the 30th. It sounds like it was quite a fight.

    • Ann Mayfield says:

      My dad was with the 24th Division, 19th Infantry and participated in the Leyte Invasion on Oct 20. I’m guessing that is different from the 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry, but not sure.

  14. Robert L. Loomis says:

    Richard William “Dick” Roby (1920 – 2009), my wife’s father, was a Navy lieutenant and fighter pilot assigned to VC-10 aboard U.S.S. Gambier Bay (CVE-73). The ship was an escort carrier assigned to Task Unit 77.4.3 (“Taffy 3”), commanded by Rear Admiral Clifton Sprague. Dick was aboard the morning of October 25, 1944 when his group of small escort carriers, destroyers and destroyer escorts came under attack from a vastly superior surface force of Japanese which included battleships and cruisers in what would become known as “The Battle off Samar”.
    Dick put it this way: “At 0655, the squawk box came on and Elmo Waring, asst. air officer, said to man all planes – ‘Japs were 20 miles away’ There was a real scramble to man the planes – I ended up with the 3rd FM-2 (Version of F4F Wildcat). Seitz was the lead, he had been catapulted. The rest of the VF free run launched. There were 6 of us & we intercepted 3 DD’s (Destroyers). After 2 runs they turned around & took off NW – away from Taffy III.
    Our VT (TBM Avenger torpedo bombers) launched 7 planes in short order. Many had no bombs. Burt Bassett had 2 depth charges. Some had only rockets & 2 50’s. At about 0715 they glide bombed Japanese BB’s (Battleships), CA’s (Heavy Cruisers) from 1500′ or less. No one was shot down but several were badly hit.
    At about 0720, Bill Gallagher took off with a torpedo – but had only 45 gallons of gas. If he dropped it, and with what results – no one knows – he was heard to call about a forced landing, was seen with his crewman in the water – but they were never picked up.
    During this period I lost everyone & joined up on Cdr. Fowler & VC-5 planes (from Kitkun BAY CVE-71, another escort carrier with the group). At 0740 we attacked the Japanese BB’s, CA – CL & DD’s. The attack was well executed but there were few hits.” I made a great number of strafing runs whenever I saw a VT making a bombing run. I made at least 3 runs on the Yamato from stern to bow but only had ammo on the 1st run.
    At about 9:30 – 9:45 I took off for Tacloban. I had no ammo nor much gas. Our orders were to go to Tacloban to rearm & refuel.
    (This transcript is from “The Story” by Dick Roby, consisting of his notes, after action debriefings and scrapbook, edited by Bob & Jan Loomis, and published for his family in 2009)
    While Dick was in action, his ship, Gambier Bay, had been hit multiple times and sunk by Japanese naval gunfire; the only carrier to meet that fate in World War II.
    The ship and VC-10 received the Presidential Unit Citation and Dick was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his part in the action.
    Dick retired from the Navy as a commander, USNR, in October 1959. He died in Austin, Texas, February 10, 2009.

  15. Cheryl Bratten says:

    My Dad, Ed Mertens, was aboard the Gambier Bay when it sank. He was rescued several days later. The only time he talked about it to his family was when a shipmate called to tell him about the Gambier Bay ship reunion in St. Louis, MO.

    • Robert L. Loomis says:

      Dick Roby enjoyed those reunions as well. They had 2-3 in San Diego, the last being October, 2014. He had left us by then but, his grandson was among a group of Naval Academy First Class Midshipmen who attended and spoke with the survivors. He now serves on a carrier several times larger than the Gambier Bay.

  16. Thomas L Walker, former YN2, USNR says:

    My late father, Thomas A Walker, BM2, USNR, served aboard the USS AULICK DD-569 and saw action during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. His battle station, Gun 1 or forward 5 inch 38 caliber single barreled enclosed gun mount, was disabled by one of two Japanese Kamikazi’s that hit his ship causing catastrophic damage to crew and weapon. All crew members, approx. 13 crew men, in this gun mount lost their lives except my dad and the gun captain who receive a severe hand injury. Upon finding his battle station to be non-functioning he assisted the gun captain receive medical attention and transfer to hospital ship. Then he helped Corpsman attend to wounded and dying fellow crew members. He suffered from visions of the carnage of these events until his death in 2013 at the age of 91.

  17. Cliff Jensen says:

    My father-in-law, Joseph Zahn served in the Merchant Marines during WWII. One of the ships he served on was the SS Robert Yates. A partial listing of the Yate’s deployments shows the ship went to Leyte Gulf immediately after the Battle of Leyte Gulf.
    11/29/1944 Hollandia, New Guinea Departed
    11/29/1944 CTF-79 Secret despatch #280856 and
    CTU-76.4.7 secret movement
    order No. 2-44 In company with USS Gilliam DD-366 enroute to Leyte Gulf, Philippine Islands
    12/1/1944 Enroute to Leyte Gulf, Philippines In company with USS Gilliam DD-366 enroute to Leyte Gulf, Philippine Islands
    12/6/1944 Arrived Leyte Gulf, San Pedro Bay. Air alerts every day in December

    As reported, all ships in the Gulf endured daily air raids.

    His entire Merchant Marine career can be viewed at

  18. My mother’s fiance’ was killed by a kamikaze on the USS Belleaux Wood five days after the battle as the ship was coming home on October 31st. He was below decks when the plane hit right above him. His body was never found. His name was Preston Bunch.

  19. Anne Schuyler Zucca says:

    My father, Norman Schuyler (1918 – 2010) was aboard the USS. Princeton when it was sunk in the battle of Leyte Gulf. He wrote some memories about it several years before his death. I was born while he was deployed. I didn’t meet my father until I was eleven months old.He lost some good friends when that ship went down. He was fortunate to be among the 700 survivors that the destroyer, USS Irwin rescued. He requested active duty when the Korean War broke out in 1950. He served aboard the USS Antietam CV36. He retired with the rank of Commander and is buried at Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside, California.

  20. Wayne Pribble says:

    My father, Harry A Pribble Jr. was a signalman on the Fanshaw Bay during the Battle off Samar. The battle was a few days after his 19th birthday.

  21. Skip Slone says:

    My wife’s uncle, George William “Bill” Shoemaker died aboard the USS St. Louis in this battle, barely three weeks after his 18th birthday. He had only been in the Navy a few weeks at the time of his death.

  22. Steve Tucker says:

    PFC Virgil Ray Tucker, 127th Infantry, 32nd Division, Company K, United States Army, was killed in action on the island of Leyte on 3 December, 1944, as he was stringing communication lines. He was born 6 April 1925 in Chillicothe, Hardeman County, Texas to Joseph and Dora Lee Lynch Tucker. Predeceased by his father, he was survived by his Mother and his eight older brothers and sisters and their families. He was interred on the island of Leyte and then moved to the family plot in Chillicothe Cemetery. Like many other brave American soldiers, he rests in his native soil in Texas. He is always remembered and always loved.

  23. Maria Flieth says:

    My dad, Carl J. Burmeister, joined the Navy in August 1943 (17 yrs old), and served in the Philippines from 19 October 1944 through 23 June 1945. During this time, he was on the USS LCI (G) 558. He was at the Battle of Leyte, and in that area (Samar) from 19 Oct – 4 Dec 1944. In Nov 1944, he was part of three unescorted missions up the east coast of Samar Island (14 Nov near Napla Bay; 22 & 25 Nov to Llorente, Samar). He was also at Lingayen, Luzon (6 Jan-18 Jan 1945), and Nasugbu, Luzon (31 Jan 1945). He then was in the campaign for Okinawa from 26 March 1945 (Kerama Retto) – 23 June 1945. After my dad left the Navy, he joined the Army Air Corps. When that became the USAF, he stayed until his retirement in January 1968. He passed away in 1984. While in the USAF, I know that he went to Korea twice. I don’t know (yet) all of his other “activities” because those records are still classified.

  24. R Dickson says:

    My father, Hiram B. Dickson, UDT team 9, was a full and exposed participant, awarded the Silver Star. A good friend was killed at his side by a strafing kamikaze attack, I am uncertain as to his ship on that date but I think it was the USS Belknap. My father and I were close, lifelong friends as well as father and son, yet I never heard his stories until I was in my mid twenties.
    He continued in the Navy Reserve, retired as Commander.
    He has been gone five and a half years now and he is still missed by his family.

  25. Linda Abbott Candreva says:

    My father William B. Abbott was aboard the USS Kalinin Bay, one of the smaller aircraft carriers.

  26. Kay Lawson says:

    This is my daddy, Charlie F. Manuel’s account of his service in Leyte. “Leaving Guam we sailed the Pacific and crossed the equator. After being aboard ship 40 days, we finally landed in the Philippines on the Island of Leyte. Combat was already progressing there, so we remained in a secured area and awaited orders. In about 4 weeks, we boarded another ship taking our howitzers, weaponry and equipment. We skirted Leyte to the opposite side, landing at the town of Ormoc to cut off the retreat of the Japanese. They were being pushed toward the sea by our troops who had been attacking for several weeks. On Dec 7th, 1944 we began the assaut, when we ourselves came under heavy attack. We encountered many bombing and strafing raids by enemy aircraft and artillery plus almost continual sniper fire. You can bet we were constantly in fear. We accomplished all of our missions. We saw only Japanese aircraft the first 3 days of this battle. Finally on the 4th day our planes began to come over to help protect us. I witnessed many dozen enemy bombs fall and each one looked as if it would make me a casualty. Shortly after Leyte was secured we began getting ready for our next mission in Okinawa.” Daddy was a member of the Statue of Liberty Division, Battery A, 902 Field Artillery Battalion, 77th Army Division 1942-1946

  27. Inger Orr says:

    I remember my dad talking about “Lady Gulf” (that’s how I heard it as a kid). He was a radio tech on the minesweeper USS Sentry. I just looked up the activities of the USS Sentry during Leyte Gulf and they, indeed, swept the gulf prior to the invasion! He appears on the muster rolls for the Sentry before and after the invasion. It’s so interesting to have a context to put my dad’s service into. Thanks for sharing this article!

    Inger Orr

    • Christina Lewis says:

      My grandfather was in the army signal corps I think it was called. He never talked about his involvement but I have photos he had. If anyone had someone in that area of service, I would love for you to contact me.

  28. Bob Deckwa says:

    My father, Henry Deckwa was on the U.S.S. Alabama BB-60 at Leyte Gulf. The Alabama was attached to Halsey’s fleet.

  29. Beth Lockridge says:

    On October 20th, the USS Princeton was part of the task Group 38.3. She cruised off Luzon and sent her planes against the airfields at Dulag and San Pedro Bay, Leyte to prevent Japanese land based aircraft from attacking Allied Ships massed in Leyte Gulf. On October 24th the task group was found by enemy planes from Clark and Nichols airfields and they retaliated with heavy air strikes. Most of the attacking Japanese planes were shot down or driven off by Hellcats. However, a lone Japanese dive bomber slipped through the defenses and at 9:38 am, hit the light carrier USS Princeton with an armor piercing bomb between her elevators sending it crashing through the flight decks and hanger before exploding.She is the only light carrier that was lost in WWII. My Dad (Jess Eagle) was on the Princeton and was blown off the ship. He was picked up by another carrier and survived. He never liked to talk about what happened that day as he lost a lot of his shipmates. He was a brave man and had a good life. He passed away 8 years ago.

  30. Ray Mulrooney says:

    My father was on the flag ship USS Wasatch of the 7th fleet and can be seen in the famous photo of MacAruther landing in Leyte.

  31. Mary Jane Bernard nee Robicheaux says:

    My cousin was at the Battle of Leyte Gulf and was killed in action on 21 October 1944.

    “ROBICHAUX–Killed in action on Leyte Island, Phillippines on October 21, 1944. T-3 ROY PASCAL ROBICHAUX
    383rd Medical Detachment. 95th Division, U.S. Army. Beloved son of Mr. and Mrs. Alcide P. Robichaux;
    brother of Earl, Major Alcide J., U.S. Army serving in Italy; Private Charles D. U.S. Army serving in
    Holland; Mrs. O. Brunet, Beatrice and Daniel Robichaux. He is also survived by four nieces.
    Relatives and friends of the family, Members of Santa Maria Council No. 1724, employees of the sewerage
    and water board are invited to attend requiem high mass on Tuesday, March 13 1945 at 8:30 a.m. at St.
    Joseph chapel, Lower Coast, Algiers, La.”

  32. William R. Bauer says:

    My father, Rudolph Charles Bauer, (USN 1930), a naval aviator was assigned to duty on the USS Kalinin Bay (CVE68) at Vancouver, Washington and served as Executive Officer from commissioning, November 27, 1943, until February 28, 1945. During the battle of Leyte Gulf, Phillipines, he supervised and directed department heads of the ship, assisting them in overcoming many casualties in keeping the ship afloat, for which he was awarded the Silver Star Medal. In March 1945, he reported to Newport News, Virginia to assist in fitting out the USS Midway (CVB41) and becoming the Executive Officer upon the ship’s commissioning on September 10, 1945. The Midway was the largest warship built to that date.
    The Taffy 3 Memorial is located in San Diego, CA and directly across from the memorial is the USS Midway (CBV41), now a floating museum.

  33. Katherine Kuckens says:

    My father, Paul O. Klein, enlisted in the Navy in the spring of 1941, right after graduating from UCLA. After completing Officers Training he was commissioned to the Battleship Pennsylvania. He was in Honolulu on December 7 and rushed to his ship when the attack started. The Pennsy was in drydock. My Dad was a gunnery officer, and he led his men to load the big guns , where they were anong the firsdt to return fire. He stayed with the ship for the entire war, the only serviceman to do so.

    The Pennsylvania was heavily involved with the Leyte Gulf campaign. She was one of the first battleships to enter the gulf, and on November 25 was the last to leave.

    Like so many of the heroes described in these replies, Dad did not speak of his war experiences until the late 1960s when I pressed him. I didn’t even know he’d been in the war. His military records describing his heroic actions at Pearl Harbor are stunning. “You were a hero!” I would say. “No — not at all,” he always answered. “The real heroes are those who gave their lives for their country.”

    While aboard ship Dad formed a barbershop quartet to pass the time. They entertained their shipmates and became so popular that other ships captains — even admirals — would request that the quartet be ferried over to their ships for concerts. During leaves, they managed to get to recording studios at San Francisco and Australia and produce three records, which I have. What a treasure!

    Dad passed away in 2009 at the age of 93. I would love to correspond with any other family members of USS Pennsylvania crew.

    • Marlin Griffith says:

      I would be happy to convert your vinyl albums to a CD if you would like – for free.
      My Dad served in the Navy in the South Pacific – my brother served 4 years in the Navy, joining the day after turning 16>
      My other brother flew P-38s, was an ace, shot down and killed over Europe.
      M. D. Griffith Cypress, TX
      [email protected]
      Hope to hear from you.

    • Katherine Kuckens says:

      Thank you for your kind offer. I converted them to .wav, .mpg., and now .mp3 long ago. The originals still sound pretty good on my Victrola too!

      The songs encompass quite a range, from slightly naughty to very sentimental. “We Meet Again Tonight Boys” is heartbreaking, as the four singers seem to be bringing hope to their audience of sailors and soldiers, who could be facing death at any moment:

      We meet again tonight, boys, with mirth and song;
      Let melody flow wherever we go.
      We dwell in friendship ever so true and strong,
      And sorrow never know.
      Refrain: We’ll laugh and sing and merry be tonight,
      Where hand to hand its greeting so kindly gives,
      let melody flow wherever we go.
      Where hope is never dying and friendship lives,
      true hearts will ever know. (Refrain)
      With never a sorrow near, boys, never a falling tear.
      We’ll laugh and sing and merry be tonight,
      With never a sorrow near, boys, and merry be.
      Welcome the time, my boys, we meet again!

  34. Walter C Dorsey says:

    I joined the US Navy in June 1945, After 10 weeks of training, I shipped out from San Francisco on Troop Ship Mormac Dove with 2,000 other troops. We landed on the island of Samar in the Philippines in late August 1945 shortly after the atomic bombs were dropped on Japan on Aug 10th and 14th. I was assigned to PT Boat Base 17 located on Bobon Bay back in the deep country. Spent 8 years in Naval Reserve following war. I am now 89 and healthy as a horse ! ! God is Good! ! !
    Walter Cullars Dorsey, Opelika, AL

  35. c fratz says:

    My Great Uncle, Henry Hartley, was the commander of the USS Chester, CA 27, during the battle of Leyte Gulf. They were part of Halsey’s fleet. Prior to that, he was the commander of the USS Susan B. Anthony, AP 72, during the landings in North Africa. The Susan B. Anthony’s crew shot down the most aircraft during the landing. (The Susan B. Anthony was sunk by a mine in the Normandy Landings). Henry Hartley is credited with the means&raising of the submarines S-2, S-4, and the Squalus SS-192. Henry Hartley started his career in the navy on a sail/steemer ship as a seaman 01 Feb 1901, and ended as a Rear Admiral 1948. My family Tree is public.

    • c fratz says:

      Post Script: The USS Hartley, DE 1029, a Dealey Destroyer Escort was named after Henry Hartley. I had the honor of attending the launch of the USS Hartley at New York Ship, Camden, NJ.
      Charles Hartley Fratz.

  36. Mary Kallinen says:

    My brother-in-law Melvin Kallinen of NY Mills, MN. was in WWII from the start.
    He said: They knew something was going to happen before Pearl Harbor. Anyone living outside of Calif. wasn’t given leave after basic training. He was shipped to Alaska, and came down the Islands all the way to Layte, with out a leave. By time they got to Layte, he was totally exhausted.
    The first wave was completely wiped out. He went in on the second wave, and wounded as soon as he hit the beach. He laid there for 24 hrs. before they were able to move him to a hospital ship. Shrap nail blew a hole through his thigh and damaged his leg and nerves. When they got him ready for surgery, he had a heart attack. He told the doctor’s not to tell his family. I found it in his medical records. It said: He was injured OCT. 24th, 1944.
    When I looked at his leave record, it showed SOMEONE took his leaves for him and they had various signatures.

  37. Steve Keogh says:

    My dad was in the 32nd Division, Sixth Army, first fighting to take New Guinea from January 1944 and on to landing on Leyte November 1944, with the 126th Field Artillery assigned to 128th Infantry, with heavy shelling and hand to hand, secured Breakneck Ridge, and Corkscrew Ridge, destroyed the Limon Bridge and advanced securing the Ormac and Leyte Valley’s by Christmas that year. They moved on to Luzon and secured the Imugan mountains with over 62,000 rounds poured on Yamashita’s command through May 1944. The 32nd had the record for longest continuous enemy engagement of over 13,000 hours, surpassed by a unit in Vietnam.

  38. Samuel Shannon Blain, Jr. says:

    My father, Samuel Shannon Blain served on the USS Abner Read (DD-526), which was hit and sunk by a kamikaze on 1 November 1944 in the Battle of Leyte. He was thrown into the water by the force of the blast when the kamikazi hit the ship’s magazine; and, was in the water for a long time before rescue crews found him. When time came to prepare the casualty reports, he assisted the Captain in their preparation. At that time, he memorized the names of each of his shipmates who were killed and injured, thinking someone better remember them all. He lost many of his closest shipmates and never spoke of the war, really, until some 50 years later when USS Abner Read survivors got together for annual reunions throughout the country. After a few reunions, the number of attendees dwindled due to deaths and illnesses of the survivors and/or their spouses As I understand it, if one of the shipmates was unable to attend, the attendees kept in-touch with that survivor and his family by exchanging letters and photographs. My parents always looked forward to attending those reunions and meeting-up with survivors and their families until 2004, when my mother became to ill to travel. After many of the Navy records were declassified, dad was contacted by the Navy and advised his ship was the first sunk by a kamikaze. He remembered the names and hometowns of each and every shipmate he lost on the USS Abner Read when it was sunk, until the day he died in 2008. I’d love to hear from any other children and family members of dad’s shipmates.

  39. John Toler says:

    3 Oct. 2016
    My father, Lester Toler, was a naval pilot who fought in the Battle of Leyte Gulf. As a teenager he told me that his plane, an SC2B, was ordered along with many others, to clear the deck, as the aircraft carrier (he said he was on the Hornet and Enterprise at different stages of the war) was under attack. In the air, he said there was a lot of shooting down of planes, some by friendly fire, as it was very chaotic. His plane ran out of gas, which was not uncommon, so he landed in a field in the Philippines with his co-pilot. All they had to defend themselves with was a pistol. Luckily they were picked up by some marines who took them to their base. He never talked too much about his missions with my mom; he told her that war is hell. I remember him saying that the Battle of Leyte Gulf was very chaotic. It wasn’t until many years later that he understood what had happened after reading a book I gave him about it. I would like to know more about the details of my father’s role in the war, and I have been consulting various documents on Fold and So far I have only found muster rolls; none dealing with Leyte Gulf. I liked reading your article. When reading about war and battles, I always think of those who didn’t make it back. Sincerely, John Toler

  40. Mary A (Demangone) Maher says:

    My father did not like to talk about his WWII experiences in the Pacific. Can anyone share information about the infantry, 77th re-instated, 307, C.P. Demangone’s experiences?

  41. William Austin Hunt says:

    My older brother, John Arden Hunt, enlisted in the Navy in Fall 1940 at age 16 (by falsifying his age). On 9 March 1941 he was assigned to duty on the cruiser Louisville where he served in all areas of the Pacific for the duration of the war.
    In January 1944 the Louisville became the flagship of Rear Admiral J. B. Oldendorf. John Hunt was aboard the Louisville in the great Battle of Leyte Gulf as the Japanese southern force attempted to enter the Leyte Gulf through Sruigao Strait. The American battle line, drawn across the strait by Admiral Oldendorf virtually destroyed the Japanese force in that narrow body of water.
    John Hunt was “Commended for excellent performance of duty during the Battle of Surigao Straits, October 25, 1944 resulting in the destruction of many Japanese warships.”
    In subsequent actions the Louisville took additional hits from kamikazes, one of which killed Rear Admiral Theodore Chandler.
    At the end of the war John Hunt was assigned shore duty, assumed a new rating, and eventually had reserve duty for the completion of 30 years. The Louisville was decommissioned 17 June 1946

    • Katherine L. Rankin says:

      My father was also on the Louisville and was in that battle. His name was John P. Rankin.

  42. Jim Cagney says:

    My brother, [email protected] Joseph Philip Cagney was in the 381st, 3rd
    battalion. He was wound twice while attacking a Japanese pillbox. He was evacuated to the field hospital at the Palo Cathedral where he was operated on but did not survive his wounds. He died the next day Oct 30 1944. He was awarded a bronze star for meritorious achievement in ground operations against the enemy.

    • William D Taylor says:

      My father-in-law Ralph Farmer was on the USS Ingersoll. He never talked much about it. But, did say that they were later in Tokyo Bay for the surrender.

  43. Pam Evans says:

    Thank you for posting this article! My father served on the destroyer USS McDermot for three years. This is the one battle that he talked to us about (he didn’t share a lot of his WWII experiences). He was extremely proud of being a part of this event and how the Navy executed the plan. He passed away in December 2015, but he would have been thrilled to see that this had been written.

  44. Patricia LaCroix says:

    Wonderful information!
    My father-in-law, Paul E. LaCroix was a seaman 1st class on the USS Iowa during the battle of Leyte Gulf. He never talked much about his war experiences with his children, as I am sure it was traumatic. He lied about his age to even join the Navy! He was just shy of his 18th birthday and felt the call to join. His older brothers, Dennis and Jim had already joined and were serving in different services.
    Just a few short years ago, he read the memoirs of one of my cousins who was taken a POW during WWII and felt it was time to tell what he could of his time on the USS Iowa. I was amazed at the places that ship traveled through during the war.
    He attended one of the reunions for the USS Iowa and was glad to have the memories. He is now 90 and says he would still do it all over again, if he had the chance!
    Thanks to these brave young men for their service to our country!

  45. Travis Hawley says:

    My grandfather was serving on board the U.S.S. West Virginia during the Leyte opperations.He started out @ Pearl Harbor being pronounced dead after His ship the U.S.S. California was attacked, ,went on board the U.S.S. Astoria, that sank the following year on the night of August 8,morning of August 9,..In total my grandfather was pronounced dead 3 times during WWII in his service with the United States Navy. He is the primary reason I founded A Minute of World Peace Project.I am erecting a 16 ft tall 4 sided clock in the admiral district of West Seattle on California Ave S.W. ( the namesake of his ship during the attacks on Pearl Harbor). This year will mark the 75th year since the attacks took place.The Pearl Harbor memorial refuses to give me a reason in writing as to why they will not accept the gift of the clock from me.Either way life is a gift of time that I am so very grateful to be experiencing. Neverminding the fact we have been through 2 world wars together ( all ethnicities ),the populous chooses to focus on slavory that once happened?The current state of affairs in western societies tremendously undermines these men’s services for our freedom and peace.I guess everyone forgot about Jesus as well ..I refuse to apologize to anyone for things that did not happen to them,that I had nothing to do with,,,,especially after what my grandfather and his fellow Americans endured so that we could simply live in relative peace.
    God Bless America

    • Katherine Kuckens says:

      Dear Travis, my dad was at Pearl Harbor and saw the attack begin on his way back to his ship after attending church. From his vantage point aboard the USS Pennsylvania, which was in drydock, he saw the entire attack from start to finish. All the while commanding his men in the big guns. I liked reading about your Seattle connection. Dad went there at least once during the war. He got some sort of training but also a chance to see his bride, from San Francisco, for the first time in two years.
      Dad’s barbershop quartet, the Pennsy Four, recorded some records there too.

    • Mark Johnson says:

      Get a grip.

  46. Lynn Spreyer says:

    My father was a pharmacist mate on board the Uss Warren which transported men and equiptment to the gulf of Leyte in preparation of the battle. They returned to the area after the battle with Red Cross nurses, and came under heavy attack.

  47. Mary Jurgaitis says:

    My godfather, Thomas Edmund Heal, was a radarman 2nd class on the U.S.S. Suwanee. I was born in 1943, so I never knew him, but I have some pictures of him. I learned a lot about him from Fold3 when they offered a 10-day free trial. I am so grateful for the things I discovered at that time. He was below deck when a kamikaze hit his ship. The report (I think it was called a diary) said they found him with a CO2 cartridge beside him. It was October 26, 1944. He was buried at sea. His name is on the wall of the American cemetery in the Philippines. Oh, how I would love to go there, find his name and touch it.

    I have looked at all the comments here and have not found any mention of the USS Suwanee. If anyone has a connection, I would love to hear from you.

    Thank you, Fold3 for making all this information available!

  48. Howland Davis says:

    I have not read all of the comments but to those asking about the Halsey Powell, put U.S.S. Halsey Powell into your search engine and click on the Wikipedia and other articles.

  49. G. Norman Crump Sr. says:

    The Battle of Leyte Gulf was indeed an important and decisive battle. One area that has not been touched upon was the role of the Philippine Guerrillas some of whom were led by William (Bill) Harding after he had finished the Alaskan Highway. As a reward for the success of the road build, Bill was given a choice of his next assignment. This might also have been due to Bill’s brother being a colonel in the Army. Bill chose to go to that area to organize and train the various guerrilla groups and to obtain supplies. His criteria was 22 long rifle ammo with rifles and pistols, Indian moccasins instead of combat boots, no scented soaps or aftershave lotion, no smoking, and use of stealthy hit and run attacks. These filipinos became very bloodthirsty after they witnessed the many Japanese atrocities against the civilian women, children and elderly. Eventually, no prisoners were taken by the filipinos to the point that the Japanese troops became very fearful to travel into the jungle on search missions which explains why the initial landing zone where McArthur landed had so few Japanese troops initially. Their opposition troops had to travel a distance to oppose the landing.Bill Harding lived to become a welding sales person for Westinghouse Electric and other companies primarily around Ft. Wayne IN. HIs most serious injury was from robbers in IN who left him partially paralyzed on his left side. I was one of his friends with whom he shared his stories.

  50. Gary Urbanowicz says:

    My father was at the Battle of Leyte Gulf aboard LSM-203

  51. Stephen Brooks says:

    Woops, forgot the mention the Australian heavy cruiser, destroyers etc involved in the battle (HMAS Shropshire took out the Yamashiro…….).

    • That’s interesting. What is your source? The Shropshire is not listed in the order of battle that I have. The Yamashiro was initially damaged by 5 US Destroyers and sunk by 5 old US Battles Ships plus 8 cruisers which crossed the “T” of the approaching Japanese (Last time in history). Perhaps the Shropshire was in the line of Cruisers?

    • The HMAS Shropshire was part of the 8 ship Cruiser Force and scored a number of hits on the Yamashiro who blew up after the Battle Ships opened up.

  52. Ken Jones says:

    See my book The Jones Boys Off to War ,
    My Uncle Art Jones with the 7th Infantry Division mentioned the Japanese abused the natives and they found a corrugated metal church with skeletal remains including babies where a mass execution had taken place

  53. D Hayes says:

    Father-in-law was there on the Leonard Wood.

  54. George Finholt says:

    In reading all of the above, many , many memories appear that have not been thought of for many years. LST696 was our name and number. Many of the troops and their equipment was brought in by this and many other of the little known “Amphibious Navy” (of which there were many). We made the first landing on the 20th and ran south for another load. Got back up in the the zone and went in to the Luzon Island with a load of trucks heavy equipment. I had the forward gun tub and used to kid the GI’s that my gun crew got there before they did! That was a long time ago.
    Gary Urbanowicz, When we loaded out in preparation to leave gulfport Mississippi, we were loaded with an LSM on top deck. Not positive, but I think that we carried that LSM 203 to Holandia, New Guinea. No crew, just the boat.

    • debra long says:

      would love to hear more. My father was on LST608 and he didn’t say much about what they did.

    • Christina Lewis says:

      My grandfather was in layte, Luzon and New Guinea–I have LOTS of photos and a map of the route the ship he was on and a photo of him standing under the wing of a jap plane that went down. His name was Harold Shepard–if any of you knew him, please contact me at [email protected]

    • Katherine Kuckens says:

      What ship was he on?

  55. Sandi Lotter says:

    My dad was a torpedo man on the USS Natoma Bay. They took casualties at Leyte Gulf, but also took out many Japanese ships and planes.

  56. Mort Eagleston says:

    My father was in the Surigao Strait part of the battle on the USS Monsen DD 798.
    He told me they did torpedo runs on much larger Jap ships than his Destroyer. It was done at night and we had the advantage of Radar to plot the solutions.

  57. Douglas Millar says:

    My Dad, John Millar, was Fire Control in Forward Battery Plot on the West Virginia during the battle. I have a notebook which he kept during the battle listing the ordnance expended by the Forward Battery during the engagement. I wish he was still around to answer all the questions I still have about his time on the Crosby (DD164/APD17) and then the West Virginia.

    • The Crosby was a WWI 4-stacker–that is old navy.

    • Mark Johnson says:

      Mt dad was on the Crosby as well. We may have already been in touch but, if not we should be.

    • Douglas Millar says:

      Will Gorenfeld; Yup, the Crosby was launched in 1918, decommissioned 1922, recommissioned 1939. She was a four-piper until refitted as an APD in San Francisco in ’43. My dad served on her from 1941-43, then went to the West Virginia. My Uncle, John Pomeroy was a radio operator on her until the end of the war. He said that the voyage home was the most frightening as she was so full of holes that the pumps could barely keep up!

  58. Mark Humphrey says:

    Ray Rhodes was a cook aboard the Gambier Bay at Leyte Gulf. His battle station was with the 40mm guns. These guns had multiple barrels and as the barrels started to overheat, they would be removed and replaced by a barrel from the tub of water kept nearby to cool the used barrels. With the Gambier Bay sinking beneath them, the gunners kept up their fire until the last barrels melted and then swam out of the gun tubs.

    My father, Herman Humphrey, wasn’t with the Kadishan Bay at Leyte. He came aboard after the battle as chief of the radio room. The radio room was directly hit by a kamikaze during the battle and the entire radio crew killed, as I think were the radar and sonar crews. My father’s first job was to get this area back into service. He was with the ship through the end of the war and decommission.

    Frank Peabody was a lieutenant aboard the Fanshaw Bay. As watch officer shortly before or after the battle (I don’t remember which) he avoided a Japanese torpedo by “skipping” the ship as he’d learned to do with small vessels while hauling lobster pots on the coast of Maine.

  59. Norma Carter says:

    My uncle Melvin Sanders was on LST220 in the Leyte Gulf, he was a gunner on a troop carrier.

  60. Paula Grafton Meehan says:

    My father Paul B. Grafton was a First Sergeant of the Birmingham’s Marine detachment. He and everyone else on the ship were trying to save the Princeton after it was hit by Kamikaze attacks by fighting fires and defending against ongoing attacks. He went below deck for a coffee break just before the fatal Princeton explosion. All he would ever say was that he was “saved by a cup of coffee”.

  61. Marlin Griffith says:

    My interest in your old records of Barbershop is two-fold: I am a 55 year member of the Barbershop Quartet Society. My quartet won the world-wide Senior’s Quartets in 1989 (had to go all the way to Hawaii to compete). I’m not active now, but am a collector of Barbershop trivia. As a hobby, I have the equipment to convert reel-to-reel tapes, vinyl discs, 8-track to CDs. I would like to have your albums copied to CDs to add to my collection – and share with others.
    Marlin Griffith
    [email protected]

    • Mark Johnson says:

      What doe this have to to with Leyte?

    • Katherine Kuckens says:

      Only that I wrote about my dad, Paul Klein, who was an officer on the USS Pennsylvania, from Dec 7 1941 to after the end of the war, and was at the battle for Leyte gulf. I have his original Orders of the Day for some of those days. I mentioned that he started s barbershop quartet while on board, and they became very popular. Captains and Admirals on other ships would request that the quartet visit their ship to perform.

    • Katherine Kuckens says:

      I am glad for your interest in the records. However, I cannot let them leave my possession. I do have CDs of them, but would like to get them copyrighted before sharing.

  62. Patsy wood says:

    Hurrah for the US Navy. I’m not sure I was clever enough to learn to write Japanese.

  63. Ruth Prol says:

    My deceased husband, Joseph Prol, served aboard the USS Currituck, a seaplane tender, in this battle.

  64. Ruth Prol says:

    My deceased husband, Joseph Prol, served aboard the USS Currituck, a seaplane tender, during this battle.

  65. Mark Johnson says:

    The Crosby was a converted four piper and was an APD during the bulk of WW2. Her deck logs and war diary are on Fold3. I went to the Navy History Center in Maryland and copied them before they were digitized.

    • Valerie says:

      My dad had polio and couldn’t be a soldier, but he was a sheet metal cutter and fitter for ships working in the shipyards out of San Francisco during 42-45. Would love to know all the ships he worked on, but know it was many. He knows of one torpedoed before it got out of the Bay area. (sorry if its not specific to Leyte, but he saw lots of damage from Pacific war)

  66. ro slather says:

    my dad was on the USS California , BB 44 , during the battle .
    3rd class electricians mate .

  67. John Beaman says:

    Hurrah for all your posts.

    Halsey was lured away from Leyte by the prospect of Japanese carriers. They had no planes so they were a decoy and it worked perfectly to lure away Halsey who was looking for glory to hit the Jap carriers.

    All those USN destroyers and “jeep” carriers fought one hell of a battle and sacrificed themselves to scare away Japanese Adm. Kurita from really whacking the invasion forces.

    Thanks to all of your relatives who were there. They did their job!

  68. Mark Johnson says:

    Katherine Kuckens

    I see, these comments are not in order but I now see what you were talking about and why Mr Griffin replied. Also, I wonder about copyrighting US Navy records?

  69. Anita York says:

    My uncle, Norman Osborne, was on the U.S.S. Princeton. He was in the water for 8 hours before being rescued. He lost many friends and saw things he still cannot talk about today.

  70. j. McMillan says:

    Our neighbor, Ellsworth Welch, was an officer on the small destroyer USS Johnston serving under Lt. Commander Ernest Evans. During the Battle off Samar, the USS Johnston was the first to engage Kurita’s Center Force, damaging the heavy cruiser Kumano and continuing to attack the Japanese fleet to protect the Taffy 3 carriers until the Johnston went down. Ellsworth survived the battle and 50 hours in the water before being picked up.

  71. greg says:

    Not mentioned is the courageous attack on the Japanese Middle Force at Leyte by the U.S. 7th fleet’s few on-the-scene destroyers and destroyer escorts. How could Fold3 leave that out? It’s one of the most famous naval actions of the war. These little boys, as they were called, went up against Japanese cruisers and battleships, including the super-battleship Yamato, in order to give the Taffy 3 escort carriers and other U.S. ships time to escape. All of the little boys were sunk. The skipper of one of the attacking destroyers, was later awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously.

  72. My father in law (John E. Carter, jr) was an Army Captain who went ashore early to call in Naval gunfire.
    He had never talked to his wife or 2 daughters about his Pacific service, but did open up a little to this Army Vet (68-71). His words were with wet eyes as he said “son, you can only do your best when calling in guns – sometime you or the gunners are off ”
    Miss him – a fine man (retired as a Maj. In reserves after WWII).

  73. CORINNE B. GILBERT says:

    My childrens father was Signalman on USS Marshall DD676 at Leyte, Eugene V Copeland.

  74. Chris Adams says:

    My Father was on the USS Knox – APA-4,6 during the battle, only to find out years later that my father in law, who was born in Dulag, was hiding in a river by their farmhouse as the Japanese were retreating, during these attacks (miles apart during the battle, only to meet and be friends years later). The atrocities the Japanese inflicted on the Dulagians were horrible.
    The untold story is how the Japanese infiltrated the Filipino Gorillas as the Americans wanted them to spread the word to the Dulag citizens to get out of the city. This word never came, as the Japanese already began their retreat while thousands of its citizens were killed in the bombings of Dulag, including several of my wife’s relatives. When MacArthur landed, he was so distraught by the devastation, he went north to Palo, where there was much fanfare of his return.

    My wife’s Aunt describes the American’s as big, tall men with muscles, coming to save them. They remember riding on the tanks back to the city as the Americans
    held them on their laps.

    Just a little tidbit not in the history books.

    • A letter home from Leyte:
      The next morning a number of kids came to greet me with gifts of eggs, bananas, camotes and green onions. One little fellow of 15 is a particularly good friend of mine now. His name is Acquilino and when I gave him and his buddies some candy he said, in a very precise English – “I am so sorry sir, I have nothing to give you.” I put my hand on his shoulder and said, “Acquilino, you have very much to give me—and that is your friendship.” He was visibly touched—a lump came into his throat and then he smiled. The next morning he was back very early with a little sack of camotes—It is the only food the family has and I was not so sure he could spare it, but to refuse was impossible as I looked into that bright eager face. So I took the camotes and gave him an armful of things that would be very useful at home.
      Acquilino wants to be a doctor but his family is too poor, so he will be a farmer like his father. His brother was a school teacher in a very small barrio (village), but when the Japs came in he was pointed out by spies as the leader of the underground movement. He was brutally beaten & then taken away and has not been heard of since.
      I showed Acquilino the pictures of you and William he thought you were really beautiful. Now you know he is a smart kid. He finished 7 grades of school until they were closed by the war. When I showed him the pictures, he asked how long I had been away from home! When I told him [over two years] his face saddened and with touching sympathy he said—“That is a very long time. You must be very lonely.”
      One day he was standing nearby when I was examining a prisoner. He noticed that we gave the Japs a cigarette and he questioned me about it later. He could not understand why we did not kill the prisoners. I explained but I don’t think he was convinced. He has promised to write you a letter

    • Douglas Millar says:

      Thank you for sharing that, it is important that first hand remembrances are preserved and shared.

    • My Dad, who was in the landing, had a soft spot for the Filipinos and wrote many letters of his experiences with them during the Leyte campaign.

      “I am now a Guerrilla chieftain. A member of guerrillas have been attached to the I&R Platoon and are under our control. They help us spot the Japs who put on native clothes and attempt to infiltrate through our lines. They also pick up Filipino 5th columnists who have aided the enemy.

    • Chris Adams says:

      Wow – What great stories. Thank you for sharing those stories that may have been hidden forever.

    • Chris Adams says:

      My father-in-law tells the stories of the Japanese and how brutal they were. His father was the Principal of the school in Dulag and they took over their home, and did not treat them well. He hated reciting the Japanese National Anthem every morning. If it wasnt for his uncle seeing the ships in the distance, they may never have gotten out of the city.
      Up North in Tacloban, my mother-in-laws family was preparing their home for MacArthur. They lived in the home of Walter Price, as her father was a politician who was friends with Price. Her mother had taken ill and her Grand Aunt, who was married to Walter, took them in during the war. The family had to leave town as the fighting was very close as the Americans arrived.
      My father also had a soft spot in his heart for the fiiipinos, which i never knew until I brought my girlfriend, at the time, home to meet them.
      My father in law, ironically became a doctor, where he settled in Ohio.

  75. Garrol Tackett says:

    My father, Denzil Tackett, served on the destroyer Albert W Grant (DD649) in the Battle of Surigao Straits. The Grant was hit by US and Japanese ships as it was turning after delivering all of its torpedoes. The first hit happened about 4:00 am and by 4:20 the ship was dead in the water with severe damage. In all, 28 crewmembers were killed immediately. Nine more died from their wounds. another 47 were wounded and one man reported missing. Numerous unexploded shells were later found in the ship from US and Japanese fire. In 1992 I was privileged to attend their 12th ships reunion. It was an amazing experience to hear it all first hand.

  76. Glenn Funaiock says:

    My father EM3 Henry Funaiock was a plank owner on the USS St Lo and fought in the battle of Leyte Gulf. The St Lo was sunk the morning of October 25th by a kamikaze attack. The St Lo was the first ship sunk in WWII by a kamikaze. Originally commissioned the USS Midway. The ship was renamed St Lo shortly before the battle in order to release the Midway name for a full size carrier. I am sure any Navy personell reading this will tell you that renaming a ship after it is commissioned is bad luck. God bless all those who served in the past and who serve today.

  77. Susan Roberge says:

    Yes, my dad was on the USS Nevada.

  78. Vicky says:

    My grandfather was also on the USS Nevada, George Lee Stewart. He was a photographer, and left many of his photos of various sizes and some cartoon work to me. He captured MacArthur’s infamous return as well as hundreds of other moments.

    • Christina Lewis says:

      I would LOVE to see those. I have many photos my grandfather had that were passed down to me.

    • Marcia Arn says:

      I would appreciate seeing an attachment of when MacArthur first waded on shore. Dad said he was about 20 feet away from him and I would love to spot him in a picture.

    • Vicky says:

      Christina Lewis and Maria Arn – attachments don’t seem to be an option on this thread. If you know how I can do that, please let me know! Christina, where was your grandfather stationed?

  79. Marcia Arn says:

    My father, Donald Bell, also served as a forward observer and radio operator in the 24th Inf. Div., Battery A, 63rd Field Artillery Btn. Was in Good Enough Island, Dutch New Guinea where they had their first amphib landing under fire, Hollandia where they were marooned for about a month when the corduroy road (made from logs side by side) broke down, and the Philippines where he fought in the battle of Leyte. He was one of four from his outfit in a party who made a landing at Corregidor Pass and pushed through to liberate prisoners. He was wounded in May 1945 at Mindoro Island. I too have a picture of dad standing in front of a Japanese airplane wing sticking up from the ground.

  80. Dennis Hall says:

    My uncle Johnny Bragg was on the USS Dennis DE 405 in the Leyte Gulf battle. I was named after this ship. My dad retired from the Navy and I also retired with 27 years of Army and Naval service. My uncle never talked of the war except one time he mentioned the kamakazi attacts. My mom told me that after he came back from the war he stutered and shook. He drank so much he had liver problems and died at the age of 32. He had what they called shell shock but the va did not recognize this as a condition, but now is called PTSD. I am glad that the V A has recognized the effects of agent orange which I have diabetis from. I would like to hear from anyone who served on the Dennis.

    • Dennis Hall
      Thank you for your service in Vietnam. I was there in 1966 at Binh Thuy in the Delta. 22nd TASS. I hope that you are using the healthevet website.
      I also was exposed to Agent Orange, but my records say it was not service connected, very weird comment.
      Ron Gonshorowski
      [email protected]

  81. William Meyer Sr says:

    My Uncle, Torpedoman’s Mate Third Class served in P.T. Ron #37 on P.T. #537 during the Surigao Straits Action. He was 18 years old, Very PROUD iuf You, Uncle Bill.

    • William Meyer Sr says:

      He was Torpediman’s Mate Third Class, William F. Weinrich. There was a history of Ron 37 put together which I have and it shows Uncle Bill and his Shipmates on their Boat.


    My grandfather fought in this war.

  83. PAMALA says:

    The cost of freedom has and is a high price that is being paid everyday for each and every one of us. The cost of which can never be fully repaid.

  84. RobertM. Austin says:

    My father-in-law, CDR Ernest Allen, was Air Intelligence Officer aboard the Intrepid. He said they were initially confused by the kamikaze attacks, but soon realized the carrier fighters would have to adopt new tactics to deal with them. The relative lack of experienced Japanese fighter pilots who could have served as escorts for the kamikazes enabled the Navy fighters to shoot down a goodly number, but many still made it through.

  85. Billie Nolle says:

    My deceased husband, James E. Nolley, was in Leyte, the Phillipines and New Guinea during WW II. He was in the 11th Airborne. He was in the first group of the 11th Airborne to be formed. He talked very little about the war–just a bit here and there. However, he often talked about the friendships he made during his time in service, and kept in contact with some of the men in his division. The sacrifices that our men made during WWII were great. Those of us not old enough to serve or at home serving also made sacrifices, but nothing compared to those who served. Our country was united. We supported our troops. We respected our flag. I would love to see our country united again, showing respect not only to our flag, but also to one another. I wonder if it will ever happen. . .

  86. Richard Dickson says:

    The comments from this blog are amazing and wonderful to read. I posted very early on, but have not read any additional input regarding the UDT Teams.
    My father, a Lt jg at the time, was a member of Underwater Demolition Team 9; entered the water early, fought their way back to pick up point off shore, resumed battle on board ship.
    Anyone know more of these teams, men or relatives/survivors? My father’s name was Hiram B. Dickson, has been gone five years now, passing away at age 91 in Topeka KS.

  87. Judy Cravens says:

    My uncle, my father’s brother, whom I never met was killed in battle on October 22 in Leyte. I wish I could find out more details.

  88. Jo Lawton says:

    In response to Catherine Kuckens, my late Father was a member of the Pennsy Barbershop Quartet and I do have the original record they made, in Honolulu, I think, and have had it transposed to cassette tape sometime in the past. He was Lt. JG John Ducey, a Communications officer. I remember hearing the name Klein, and I believe the ship’s doctor was also a member of the quartet? They had a great sound…used hte Yale Whiffenpoof songbook, as I recall.

  89. Roni McFadden says:

    My Uncle Richard M. Kidd was a gunner attached to the USS Manilla Bay. His plane was shot down and his best friend died in his arms. He was rescued and lived a wonderful life until he died in 2002

  90. Mike Shaffer says:

    My Uncle served on the destroyer, USS Franks DD-554 which participated in the Battle of Leyte Gulf and also participated in a number of engagements during the war which included:
    Invasion of the Gilbert Islands,
    Provided air cover for the Tarawa landings.
    Invasion of Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands.
    Convoy and patrol duty in the Solomon Islands.
    Reconnaissance and bombardment missions in 1944 at Mussau, north of New Ireland; Kapingamaringi; Bougainville and screening minelayers in Buka Passage,
    Pre-invasion bombardment for the landing at Guam.
    Pre-invasion strikes on Leyte Gulf and subsequent Naval battle of Leyte Gulf
    Invasion of the Palaus known as Operation Stalemate
    Took part in strikes on the Japanese home islands on 16 and 17 February 1945 on the eve of the invasion of Iwo Jima.
    Participated in the pre-invasion of Okinawa.

    The USS Franks was credited along with the USS Haggard (DD-555) of attacking, and sanking a Japanese submarine 1-176 on 16 May 1944.

    • Bill Wright says:

      My father was chief engineering officer on the USS Dashiell, DD659 a Fletcher class destroyer that participated in much action around Leyte as well as Tarawa and many others. At Tarawa the Dashiell with the Ringgold DD500, also a Fletcher class, moved inside the lagoon within range of Japanese shore batteries to lay down a barrage. The Dashiell was present with other Tin Cans” mostly on picket duty throughout the Pacific theater. Because of this they engaged kamikazes and submarines often.

  91. Dan Cwiak says:

    My father was in the Phillipine assault, but he passes away in ’71, so I never had the chance to speak with him about his experiences. I only know that he was a Tech Sargent and was with a 40 mm gun crew upon landing.
    He was Army, but all records and pictures we had are lost. His name was Aloysius Cwiak. If anyone has any info about him or his outfit, please contact me at [email protected].
    Ps. I also had an uncle who was Navy and killed in the war. However, I have no knowledge of how to trace him.
    His name was Oscar Nowosielski, and any help would be appreciated.

  92. Ann Mayfield says:

    My dad Bruce Price from SC was in the Invasion of Leyte On Oct. 20, 1944. He was in the 24th Division, 19th Infantry Regiment. When they landed, they took Hill 522. He was in Australia, Goodenough Island, New Guinea, and then The Philippines. He went back for the 40th Anniversary of the invasion and McArthur’s landing in 1984. In the book I wrote there are stories he told about leading up to the invasion, about Halsey, Kamikazes, LSTs and LCVs, and air support. It’s called Through the Eyes of Bruce Price, My Father and is available on Amazon.

    • Valerie says:

      Thank you for honoring your father with a book which will keep him living on and on. I hope to get the book.

  93. Don Herion says:

    My Friend Tom Mitsos was in the army when the Japanese bombed and invaded the Philipines, Tom managed to avoid being captured and spent the entire war as a guerilla. He saw Gen MacArthur arrive by PT boat with his family. Tom and other s became coast watchers and after fixing a broken radio sent messages to Australia reporting the movements of the Jap fleet all the time hiding from the Japanese army that were hunting them evry day. Etc. Etc.

  94. Valerie says:

    My step dad was a Marine there and in several other island battles. I have some old cassette tapes he told me stories on. Hope still good. He was also a jeep driver for Pappy Boynton (sp), Was in a plane shot down, he saved the pilot who had broken bones and swam, pulling pilot a mile to shore of infected island, but was rescued!

    • Valerie says:

      As I read some of these posts, I recalled my step dad, Bob Wooten, talking about other places besides Leyte: Bougainville, Guadalcanal, Mindanao, Tarawa, still others. Dont know how he survived all of those!
      He worked in an office he started upon wars end, until 1997, never missing but a few days in all those years. He was always upbeat, ready to swim or golf, and I believe celebrating every day he survived after the war, being thankful .

  95. Deborah says:

    My father was part of the 718th Amphibious Tractor Co. B. On Leyte. He was a tractor driver 732 and was thrown from his Tractor in explosion some time after landing on Leyte. He never spoke to us about his experience except for one night when he discussed it with my older brother. Would like to hear from anyone who knows more about the amphibious action.

    Debbie S

  96. Julie says:

    My grandfather, William Robert Wallace, PHM1, was on USS Hoel. He did not survive the battle.

  97. Patricia Jones says:

    My father, Carl G. Jones, was a metal smith on the USS Gambier Bay. At 94 he still tells the story as if it were yesterday. The alarm rang out just as he was headed for breakfast. His carrier was one of the closest to the Japanese. They were commanded to put up a smoke screen and zig-zag in the water to allude the enemy. Soon they were hit multiple times and ordered to abandon ship. He caught a shrapnel wound to his hand and then coming down the rope to the water, the sailor coming after him had wrapped his feet around my dad’s hands. They slid down the rope and still had to fall free the last 20-30 feet as the ship was listing. He was able to swim to a raft but there were so many the water came up to his chest while in the raft. The corks in the water canisters on the life rafts did not secure the water so they had none. Soon a Japanese destroyer came close to them and they feared they would shoot them or throw depth charges at them. But to their surprise the enemy saluted them, took pictures and left them to die. Those who drank the sea water went crazy and would swim off to be eaten by the sharks that were ever surrounding the rafts. After 48 hours they were rescued. My father recounts the many blessings he received and especially to the shipmates who rescued them. They gave up their own bunks to these valiant survivors then fed and clothed them. They docked in Guam where my father’s wound was surgically repaired and the gang green was treated. To this day he has had full use of his hands. Another blessing to be sure. This summer I honored my father for his service by having a memorial plaque placed on the walls of the National Pacific War Museum in Fredricksburg, Texas. He was thrilled to see the museum. It has displays of the battles fought in the pacific not just during WWII but all battles. I highly recommend seeing it.

  98. Patricia Jones says:

    Corrected email address

  99. Leverett Archer says:

    My Dad, Lloyd Paul Archer, 1st Cavalry, fought on Leyte and Luzon. He had a book issued by the Army, that I now treasure, covering the Pacific campaign. I remember him talking about being on New Guinea, and Leyte, and Luzon where he had a pet monkey that would go hide when the fighting started. He never went into much detail, but we could tell he saw things that were traumatic. He was on a hospital ship in the Pacific when we dropped the bomb.

    • Ann Carr says:

      My dad, Melvin L. Czapanskiy, Army, served in the exact places that you mentioned. He kept in touch with several of his buddies for years. One of the stories I remember him telling was when they first got to the Phillipines, most of the women were topless. He and a bunch of guys got lots of their friends to donate one t-shirt and they gave them to the women. The next day they noticed the women had cut holes in the shirts so they could more easily nurse their babies. I would love to make contact with any of the guys (or their families) in his company that knew him. He was from Kansas. He died in 1994.

    • Thomas (Tom) L Walker says:

      Dear Ms Carr,
      My late dad told the same story about the T-shirt episode. Thank you for telling the same story and confirming the validity of the same facts.
      Thomas L Walker, USNR, YN2 son of
      Thomas A. Walker,USNR, BM2

  100. Joy Fortune says:

    My father, Robert Slagle, served on the USS Princeton (CVL-23) as a hospital corpsman. This ship was sunk by one Japanese bomb that hit close to the center of the ship. Dad survived but spent many hours in the water. He seldom ever talked of his experience in the gulf of Leyte

  101. John R. says:

    My Fathers “CB” battalion was aboard the U.S.S, Zaurak, left “Bougainville” September 28, 1944, entered San Pedro bay, between Leyte and Samar on October 29, 1944.Three days after the “Leyte Gulf Battle” which was fine by them.Lived on the ship for ten days while unloading other ships..Early November experienced several Kamikaze attacks on the Zaurak and other ships in the bay.One Kamikaze just missed the Zaurak and crashed into the S.S. Mathew P. Deady. Before the attacks were over, the Zaurak was credited with Downing two Japanese planes..An approaching typhoon led them to go ashore on November 10, 1944, where they commenced stevedoring operations two days later, handling cargo on both ship and shore. The ships in the harbor they worked were targets of many an enemy bomber.

    • Estela Perez says:

      My husband served aboard the USS SHERIDAN APA 51in the Pacific during WWll. Tarawa, Saipan and Leyte. The Sheridan was a transport often used as a hospital ship. He remembered the incident of a woman laying on the beach experiencing labor pains with her husband standing next to her. The medics aboard the ship thought these two people were Japaneses so they took them on board. The caption was very angry; no woman should be there. However, doctors delivered a baby boy
      and returned the parents next day to the shore. The baby was named Sheridan.

  102. Rhonda Springer says:

    My father, Donald Springer, was aboard the USS Independence during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. He served in the Pacific Theater throughout the war and was aboard two carriers torpedoed by the Japanese – the USS Lexington (Battle of the Coral Sea), the USS Independence at Rabaul/Tarawa. His father served during the Spanish American War in Manila in 1898-99 – both were 22 years of age when called to service to the Phillipines.

  103. James C. Hardwick says:

    I was a crew member on USS Honolulu for over 5 years–1941-46 . Honolulu accompanied USS Nashville ( with Gen. MacArthur aboard) to Leyte Gulf on October 20,1944 and supported the army landing that day. At about 1600 hours that day Honolulu received an aerial torpedo hit on port side forward which caused about 80 deaths and much damage which took us out of action. Honolulu was damaged twice before– once on Dec 7,1941 at Pearl Harbor and on July 13, 1943 at the 2nd battle of Kula Gulf. Eight battle stars.

    • Valerie says:

      Thank you for your service and you are blessed to be around to tell your story! Hope you have written most of your stories down, or video taped them. Thank you.

    • Gail McSorley says:

      Thank you for your service and for sharing your memories. I had not heard about the USS Honolulu before, she really went through a lot, along with her crew members.

    • Danica says:

      Please let the WWII museum in New Orleans interview you

  104. Linda says:

    My dad was a seabee on USA Carina/AK 74. Was in battles at Tarawa, pElileu, and more. Ship Got hit by Kamikazee.
    If anyone has info, I’d love some. My dad died when I was 16 so I never got to ask much.

    • John R. says:

      If you know what Seabee battalion he was in? I could provide information..

    • linda Brown says:

      john- email me at [email protected] plz. I will be away this week but then will look for the number of his seabee unit. i believe it is 1060 or 80. He was with Edward Farrell. and many more. Just cant remember the other names right now- i carefully packed the photo of them away cause of the hurricane coming-havent had time to find it yet.
      ps- his name was Robert Bruce Erdmann
      dob 10 18 23

    • Gail McSorley says:

      I can well sympathize with your situation since my father died when i was 14 before i could really ask him more about his Army service on Leyte. My father’s records were burned in a big fire at the Army Records Center, but perhaps since your father was a seabee, there may be a Navy type records center where you could hopefully learn more information. And i’m so sorry for your loss, i truly understand what it is like losing a parent at so young an age.

    • His records are at the NPRC in St. Louis and you can get copies of them. I recommend you do this and ask for the medical records (if any exist.) Only the veteran or next of kin can get those medical records. There are articles on my website which tell you how to do the research and request the OMPF (service file and medical records).

      Once you have his timeline of service and know what units he was in and where he was throughout service (never assume the final unit was the only one as it often is not), you can dig into more records on and other unit level records.

  105. Jack M Baskin says:

    I wish to thank all who were engaged in that battle. My father was in the Army on Leyte and those gallant sailors probably saved his life.

  106. Diane Rapier says:

    My father James Groves was on the USS White Plains during that battle. He is still living and is 96 now. He does not like to talk about it. He said it was the most aweful battle he was ever in.

  107. Carleton Flynn says:

    My uncle Alfred Soukup died in the Phillipines from Drowning as he grew up
    on a farm in Nebraska an never learned to swim. His body was returned to
    Nebraska in 1948 . His Mother died at the same time so we had a double

  108. Dorsey Moore says:

    My husband, Dorsey Moore, fought on Leyte. He is now 94 years old. He’s questioning the dates. He says the Japanese s
    urrendered on Sept. 2nd. He landed in Japan on Sept 4th. He says they fought on Leyte the end of August. Before he went to Japan.

    • Gail McSorley says:

      Please thank your husband for me about his service to our country. I hope he got to see the WWII Memorial in Washington. My father, Jerry Serkin, also served with the Army on Leyte as a medic, but that’s about all that i know. His records burned in that St. Louis fire way back in the 60’s at the Army Records Center.

    • Charlene Moore says:

      Yes, we were fortunate enough to get to go to the memorial dedication. He is doing good .

    • Charlene Moore says:

      Dorsey, was in army 1943 to 1946. He was in the 81st div, 321st reg, 2nd battalion, CO G, 2nd platoon, 3 squad leader. Anybody relate to this?

    • Gail McSorley says:

      Your husband wouldn’t have happened to have known my father, Jerry Serkin, does he? I believe my father was a medic. So glad you both got to see the Memorial dedication.

    • Charlene Moore says:

      He says he doesn’t recognize that name bit there was Srgt Belcher that helped him deliver a baby behind enemy lines on Leyte.

    • Gail McSorley says:

      oh my goodness, i wonder if Sgt. Belcher ever thought that would be one of his duties overseas, delivering a baby! I’m amazed that my father was a medic, since he would almost pass out if i even got a tiny cut that he would have to band-aid. Thanks for asking your husband if he knew him.

    • Gail there are other records if your dad’s file burned in 1973 (although they have recovered burned files so it is worth trying again.) You can retrace service. There are articles on my website which teach you how. You are better of working with a researcher though to pull the records and stay on top of the request. It is faster and more reliable than asking NPRC to look for the file. They won’t search other available records for you.

  109. Bill Munroe says:

    In the1950s I worked at the Leesona Corp in R.I. The company president was Rob Leeson and he commanded the PT boat “8-Ball” that attacked the Japs in the Surigao traits. He won the Navy Cross and the Silver Star.

  110. Paula Mackey says:

    My dad, Paul Austin, was with the Army’s 24th Division that landed on Leyte October 20, 1944.

    • Gail McSorley says:

      My father, PFC Jerry Serkin, was also on Leyte, but i don’t have any idea what division or anything he was in. He died in 1964 when i was 14 and i had never asked him too much about his service and he would not talk about it. I found out a few years ago that he was a medic on Leyte. I hope that your father went on to enjoy a long life after the War.

  111. My Dad served on CL-8 Detroit that was part of the fight.

  112. My husband, now deceased, was in Merchant Marines, he was 16 years old. He was on the Merchant ship Minnetonka, it was a troop carrier. They were the first ship into the Layte Gulf. The island was covered with Japanese. They were under fire and hit by a Kamikaze plane on their deck. Many died and wounded. His ship received a Medal from General McArthur. My husband had two older brothers both enlisted. 1 Army and 1 Navy. Bill was too young and he was the surviving son. So He begged his mother to sign for him and the Merchant Marines took him. He was the cooks helper and bragged that he cooked the Captains Turkey for Thanksgiving. He was too young to get his allotment of beer. But he was willing to die for his Country.

    • Gail McSorley says:

      I am grateful to your husband for being so patriotic and wanting to fight for his country at such a young age and even though his two brothers were also in service. I can only imagine what his mother went through during that time. I always felt bad that the Merchant Marines did not get the honors and benefits that the other Services did. Ironic that he could not even get a beer while he was helping his country!

    • Ann Anderson says:

      My father was also Merchant Marine, A Chief Radio Officer on many tankers during WWII, mostly in the South Pacific. He was shipwrecked somewhere near the Solomon Islands for three months, lost forty pounds and came home, thankfully, after the Navy rescued them just as the rationed food was about gone. He had just gotten off the USS Williamsburg and assigned to another ship when he heard it had been torpedoed and all hands lost.
      What really irritates me is that the Merchant Marine was NOT considered a “service” back then, it is now. I cannot obtain any of his service records for that reason. No one has filmed them yet the last time I inquired. He did receive commendations from President Truman for his weather reporting of sea conditions to planes flying the opposite direction so they could pass it down to the next ship miles behind my father’s ship. He had many service bars, now my son has them. But it still rankles me that all the men that were Mechant Marines were not recognized as the other sevces were, and still aren’t. How many were killed on the Williamsburg? How many others in service of their country? He also had three brothers that were Navy, Army and Air Force during this time. All were born in Sweden but were naturalized citizens, arriving here mostly as teens. All returned safely and I’m proud of all of them.
      Who I really felt sorry for was the Sullivan family who lost all five sons when their Navy ship was torpedoed. They insisted on staying together, in life and death. I can’t even imagine….

  113. Kate in Berkeley says:

    Thanks to God for all the servicemen who fought for the Allies, and especially for those who lost their lives or were wounded. The world is grateful for the better future you gave us all.

    • Gail McSorley says:

      I feel the same way that you do. I was so glad they finally built the WWII Memorial in Washington. This is a great website to read of what some of those servicemen and women did.

  114. Clara says:

    My husband’s uncle Troy Stoneburner was killed during that battle.

  115. Clara says:

    I made a mistake. Troy Stoneburner was killed by a sniper on Leyte in Jan. 1945.

    • Gail McSorley says:

      I’m so sorry for your loss. He was a brave man, as were all our troops over there.

  116. My father-in-law. Charles Bowers, was in the Army Cargo Handling Battalion unloading ships when it was hit with a kamikazee and he suffered burns over 45% of his body. Was awarded the Purple Heart. He will celebrate his 94 birthday in February.
    Kevin Flood
    [email protected]

  117. William J Foster says:

    My Brother in law was an officer on LST 460 involved in Leyte invasion. The ship was then hit and then sunk by a suicide plane on December 21.His name was J B Mcclendon. He received the Silver Star for his actions that day. He survived the war and returned to coaching in Alabama. He made the following Hall of Fames. Alabama Sports, Birmingham Southern, Fayette County. He was quite a man!

  118. Jim Boven says:

    My father, Thomas H. Boven, was on the USS Bennion. Here is a link to a youtube video about the Surigao Strait…

  119. Craig Emmick says:

    Thank you all for sharing.
    My dad Franklin R. Emmick was proud to be a 17 year old sailor on the BB38
    USS Pennsylvania battleship… He told the stories of this great battle…
    He lived to be 86.. He did not get to go to DC to see his memorial…
    my mom and him went to many ot the battleships reunions.. NOw it is said 89% of our WWII veterans are gone. Thank you for our NW National
    Cemetery. Tahoma…..
    Baby boomer (greatful) for the greatest generation…. Craig Emmick

    • Gail McSorley says:

      Yes, your Dad and all the other brave men were certainly named correctly, the Greatest Generation and thank goodness they protected us all. Wish that Memorial had been built much sooner so that your Dad and many other veterans would have been able to go see it.

  120. Teresa Barth says:

    My uncle Clyde Van Patten was on the aircraft carrier Gambier Bay that was sunk during the battle. He survived three days clinging to the side of a life boat. He was among those rescued and sent to Australia to recover. Later he was shipped stateside to the naval hospital in San Diego California. After the war, like so many other servicemen, he and my Aunt Kay moved to California. No more New York winters for them!

  121. Jack Yandell says:

    My Dad served with the 6th Army , 24th Inf. Div. and invaded Leyte on Oct. 20, 1944. The 6th Army served more continuous days of combat than any other Army at that time. Close to 290 days. My Dad was Jack T. Yandell TSgt. May he rest in peace.

    • James Ross says:

      The 24th took quite a beating those first days, the enemy turned their guns on them and pounded them. The 1st cav Division went into Tacloben and Catacloben in record time because the 24th took it so hard. The 1st Cav didn’t get hit hard untill they pushed into the mountains in the North. Roger the continuous days at the front, I do believe it is a record for infantry and dismounted cavalry. Eugene D. Ross TSgt 1st Cav Recon Platoon 7th Regiment.

    • Jack Yandell says:

      Thank you Eugene, my Dad only spoke of the campaign a couple of times. He silently suffered from his combat tour until the day he passed. I don’t think if the VA was in place as it is today to handle the PTSD, those men of that great generation wouldn’t par take in the care. A totally different time and a totally different kind of brave men.

  122. Bill Martin says:

    I am the son of William “Curtis” Martin. Dad was a farmer from Huddleston, VA.

    In his box of letters I have original letter for NUC for 9 Oct 46 action during Okinawa and an original shipboard letter for 15 Aug 45. It goes into details about fighting the Jap planes and it states 6 splashed. One mid-air off port side that splashed gas.

    To any and all of you know that you are America’s true Heros.

    Respectfully, Wm. Martin

  123. Mary Wood says:

    My thanks to all who involved in The Battle of Leyte Gulf–My father was a Japanese POW after Battle for Bataan, Death March & 3 1/2 yrs in POW camps in the Philippines. He was awaiting rescue from Bilibid Prison in Manila. Those men in that battle made the 1945 invasion & rescue possible. God Bless Them All! Mary Wood

    • Gail McSorley says:

      And God bless your father for all that he went through. I’m so glad he was rescued.

    • James Ross says:

      What a guy Mary. Eugene Ross was part of the “Flying Column” that MacArthur sent into Manila. They first met the enemy at the Papanga River as they were trying to make a return strike on the 6th Army Rangers who had rescued the 511 at Cabanatuan, The “Column” rolled on, my father Eugene personally participated in the Liberation of those imprisoned at Santo Tomas. Those at Bilibid I believe were rescued by the 148th infantry regiment that came from the southwest! Hope this helps!

  124. Dale Thompson says:

    My father, Earl Thompson, was a radioman on the staff of DESRON 5. One of his favorite stories was this one (told in his own words):

    One of my favorite stories of World War II was Smitty and his 20mm gun. This day 2 planes dropped their bombs on the air strip at Leyte Gulf as we watched and one of them suicided into a transport loaded with troops. This plane crash right into the middle of the men. The other plane started across the harbor picking out a target. All ships in the harbor were firing at this plane, so when he got even with us he peeled off and here he come. I guess we were getting hot on his tail. We did have some good gunners for they had plenty of practice.

    We had an executive officer that was about 6 1/2 feet tall, and when he looked at you through his glasses, his eyes looked like baseballs. He was standing behind Smith and told him to start firing. Smitty was very quiet and always had a cigarette in the corner of his mouth. The Exec got excited and said “Dammit Smitty, I said fire.” Smitty just kept sighting his gun. The exec said, “ (blank blank) Smitty, when this is over. I’m going to court martial you.” When that plane came in range, Smitty put every bullet into him. When he hit the water, Smitty unloaded his gun into the plane and churned him. Then Smith turned to the Exec and told them that if he had followed his orders, he would’ve expended all his ammo and the plane would’ve crashed into our bridge. The Exec walked off and said, “To hell with you Smith.”

    • Gail McSorley says:

      What a great story! So typical unfortunately of how some officers (or bosses at our jobs) hate to be proven wrong, even if, like in this case, Smitty saved that officer’s life as well as everyone else on that ship. Your father and Smitty and all the other crew are all heroes.

    • Dale Thompson: (October 9, 2016 at 7:50 am): Yes, even during my 1952-1953) Tour-of-Duty in Taegu, Korea, Eglin AFB, FL, Sondrestrom AB, Greenland, (S/Sgt, during the Cold War)…& four years in the United Kingdom, I’ve known several not-so bright Officers, as well as some Non-Commissioned Officers…but Most All of my acquaintances with the United States Air Force’s long Proud Ten Years with the USAF (1951-1961) were happy ones, from which helped me learn to be successful in the Civilian workforce, (from 1961 to 1996), Retired 34+ years with the Maryland State government, (also in the Telecommunications Field)! (84+ Yr. Old Mr. Dana R. Daffin) [email protected] 1:31AM 10-16-2016

  125. Dave lizer says:

    Anyone remember a solider named Eugene Lizer ? He was on Leyte, I believe in 1944. He was buried in Manilla in December of 1944.

    I never meet my Uncle, he died before I was born.

    I would love to know more about him. My father, Charles and other
    Uncle, Ralph, have passed away. No one every talked much about their service. I believe Eugene was a Buck Sargent.

  126. Robert Warren says:

    My dad, Walter “Bud” Warren served aboard the USS Mugford (DD 389) from 1941-1945. He was with Halsey’s fleet both times when they got caught in typhoons. His ship was hit by a downed Val dive bomber at Leyte Gulf, killing eight men, and major damage. His ship was part of the task force that sailed into Nagasaki Harbor, 11 Sep 1945, to repatriate American POW’s held there.

  127. Gary Sanders says:

    My dad, Howard Sanders server aboard the Kalinin Bay an aircraft carrier during the battle of Leyte Gulf.

  128. Susanne Bonham Judd says:

    My father missed all the action. He was a prisoner of the Japanese from May 1942 until August 1945. Then he was on active duty with claims service until November 1945. Then he was sent to Letterman General Hospital to recover.

  129. jane willis says:

    My father was on the USS Bridget. and was a deep see diver. and I know very little about his time in the Navy. Does any know about the ship? Later on he was duck .

  130. James Ross says:

    My father had a front row seat for the Battle of Leyte Gulf. He had just stormed the beach as part of the 7th Cav Regiment which had taken Tacloben and Catacloben when orders were every man for hi,self take to the mountains. He said the noise was crazy;Taking the rest of the Island was more costly. Eugene D. Ross was an NCO in a recon platoon, 7th Cav Walter Finnagen Col.

    • Jim Dee says:

      I assume this order was given when they found out that the Japanese fleet had entered the bay.

    • Mary says:

      James Ross, thanks for your reply. I wrote a book abt Dad, for my children– He was an MD 12th Med Reg.& served behind front line at abacu In Jan 1942, set up a “mash” situation in Balanga Church until the retreat. I researched all war info since when came home didn’t say much & died later. So-o lots of interesting searching & speaking w/ so many great xPOWs I did get the correct facts. (A POW archivist asked permission to use some of my facts for speeches–he confirmed it/s accuracy…that my goal) Dad had been at Cabanatuan abt 3yrs & missed Ranger rescue cause taken to Bilibid for a hell ship ride. Sailing time in Dec /44 (Oryoko Maru); he was in zero ward. .thank God he was alive at liberation. I appreciate your story abt your Dad, Eugene. He & group are my heros! We knew folks in Santo Tomas. I didn’t know which Infantry led into Bilibid, thanks for info. I appreciate your writing. Mary Wood in Texas

  131. Jim Dee says:

    My father, Bob Dee, landed on Red Beach on Oct. 20. He was with the 97th AAA Group. He witnessed Gen. MacArthur historic return to the Philippines. He was sent for supplies and when he arrived at the “base” he couldn’t find anyone. He noticed a crowd of people standing down at the beach and went to find out what was going on. When he got down there and asked someone, they told him that MacArthur was arriving. He watched as MacArthur waded ashore and walked up into the jungle.

  132. A good friend of mine, J. W. Watson, was aboard the Battleship Tennessee during the battle of Surigao Straight. He told me the story and I reported it for a local newspaper.
    At 0302 radar picked up the lead ship. The California fired first and missed. Tennessee fired a three gun salvo. Two shells hit the lead ship and the third shell went wild and hit a different ship. The Big T fired 69 14-inch bullets in 12 minuets, from 0356 to 0408. He said the effect of a nighttime battle was spectacular to see. When those big guns fired there was a big whirling fireball of golden flame shooting across the sea, followed by the loudest thunder and then you could see the shells ascend the sky, then over and down. If they hit a ship there would be a large shower of sparks, then maybe an explosion. Those ships were about 11 miles away, over the horizon. So all you could see was the glow from burning ships.

  133. Rex Finley 125 th radio intelligent co. 35594956 says:

    I w. as in a radio intelligent company . WE landed a few days after the invasion..we set up in the school house in Taclobon. We were there for a few months. We took Japanese code messages. About twenty five men 24 hou s a day I was a teletype operator. I would like to hear from anyone who was there.we were right by the coast and saw the planes attach the ships. In fact hat of outfit was on a ship next to one of the that was hit.

  134. William R Massey says:

    I always wondered where we were.I was in a torpedo squadron

    • Jim Dee says:

      Were on a PT boat or a destroyer?

    • Walter C Dorsey says:

      Hi Jim,
      The PT Boat Base 17 was the largest PT Base in the world. It was located in a location named Bobon Bay on the island of Samar. I arrived there in 1945 just after the atomic bombs were dropped on Japan. My duties there as a Navy Fireman 1st were to maintain LCM’s and keep them operational in case we were going to have to invade Japan proper. Google “Operation Olympic” and you can find out that the US was planning two invasions larger than the D-Day strike on Normandy.
      Kindest regards,
      Walter Dorsey, now 89 and proud of it!

  135. Ervin Adams says:

    My father, Elvin Adams was a Coxswain on board the USS Princeton, a light carrier. The Princeton was sunk on the 24th of October at the Battle of Leyte Gulf. A single Japanese “Betty” bomber got through and dropped a single bomb which ignited gasoline below decks. This caused a huge explosion, lifting the airplane elevator into the air. As it came down, it was falling on top of my father’s AA gun position on the side of the ship. He and his fellow gun crew members were forced to jump overboard, or die. He was later picked up by a destroyer, and survived the war.

  136. Kimberly Holt says:

    My Grandpa Hugh Lankford (NC) fought at Leyte Island. I would like more information on his unit or other service members he served with. I believe his army records burned also. I transcribed this from my grandpa’s paperwork that came with his Bronze Star : Private First Class Hugh H. Lankford, 7 081 010, Infantry, United States Army. For heroic service in connection with military operations against the enemy on Leyte, Philippine Island on 28 October 1944. Crawling forward directly into heavy machine gun and grenade fire from several enemy pillboxes, Private First Class Lankford raised himself into a fully exposed position and fired his bazooka into one of the emplacements. With complete disregard for his personal safety Private First Class Lankford fired his bazooka 5 times, although enemy directed a heavy concentration of fire at him after the first shot. His accurate fire succeeded in completely destroying the position and enabled the battalion to organize a defensive position with little enemy fire.’

    He was first in the CC camps and helped to dig the Appalachian trail through North Carolina. He passed in 2008 and I was very close to him. He never would talk about the war, but one day about a year before he passed he told me some things. He said that when he was trying to get on the beach he looked up through the haze and saw McArthur walking near him on the beach and that made him get up and fight. He also told me of getting ‘jungle rot’ on his feet as they were on the island awhile fighting. He also told me that about 10 years after the war he had to get help at the VA for what he called a nervous breakdown – I guess now known as PTSD- I guess when that happened he told my grandmother about the day he earned his Bronze Star (which stayed in the bottom of his closet in a box) – he said him and his best friend volunteered to go up the hill as they were very outnumbered. As soon as they got up the hill the enemy had ‘shot my best friends head off’ and ‘I just lost it and don’t remember what happened’. Word was that my grandfather unloaded with such accuracy and ferocity the Japanese retreated as they thought there were more Americans behind my grandfather’s line. He was a loving and good man who taught me a lot of country wisdom and how to hang tight through difficult times. I miss him dearly.

  137. My step-dad was an Army Medic at Leyte. On board a ship then to land. he didn’t talk much about it. His name was Charles Jr. Davis, deceased since 1997-98.

  138. Donna Tower says:

    My father served in the entire WW11 as well. He was on a air craft carrier, the US Oriskiney. I’m not sure if he was in that battle. I never asked. He’s now gone,but I sure like to know more about the men and women who all was in it. I thank you for your service from the bottom of my heart. My dad is my hero as your mom’s and dads are yours. God bless you all!

  139. My grandfather was on the u.s.s.wasp torpedoed after Guadalcanal his name was frank ohmes I’m a military history buff but can’t ever find much on the their anyone out their that can tell me more about the wasp

  140. Carrie Lindeman says:

    Hello. Can u please take me off the mail list? Thanks. Appreciated.

  141. Tom Mapes says:

    My father, Jack Mapes, served aboard the USS Robinson in the Surgeo Strait, during the battle. He never talked much about his service during WWII except this time on the Robinson and the fact that her “sister ship” was very badly damaged.

    He passed away in 1986 and I have his dress blues and battle ribbons from when he mustered out in 1945, its a wonderful thing to have.

  142. John Jardine says:

    My father, the late John Robert Jardine, from Paso Robles, California dropped out of High School at the start of his Junior year to join the US Navy. He was a Gunners Mate manning a 20 mm anti-aircraft machine gun aboard the merchant ship Edward R. Squibb. He was in this epic battle. He said he has never been as scared in his entire life as he was during that battle. He related that he was crying while laying flat on his back shooting straight up at Japanese kamikazie planes diving towards his ship. He related that everyone on deck who had any kind of weapon was shooting at the planes. He remembered one plane came so close he could see the pilot when he was shot, falling forward apparently moving the stick enough that the plane missed the ship, hit the ocean exploding close enough that the concussion knocked him out and blew his clothes off. He rarely talked about his time in the Navy. He only opened up to me after I joined the Navy in 1968 and shared with him my experiences working on the flight deck of the USS Kitty Hawk in the Gulf of Tonkin during the Viet Nam war. He passed away in January from prostate cancer.

  143. Jennifer Wonser says:

    My grandfather was an army paratrooper during WWII, all of his brothers (my great uncles) also served in various branches of the military at that time. I know for certain my gpa fought at Leyte. I will get back with details as I don’t have them off top of my head. Until then may I suggest a good read anyone can pull up on the web tited “No one smiled on Leyte”.

    My gpa & everyone from that era is TRULY THE GREATEST GENERATION.

  144. Kathy Royall says:

    My father, Marvin K. Chandler’ served aboard the USS Nassau during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, in addition to the other battles of the Pacific.

  145. My Uncle Ted Amos Carter was aboard the USS Suwannee (CVE-27) during the battle of gulf of Leyte. He was on the hanger deck as airplane mechanic when first kamikaze planes hit. The plane was overhead when it dived down and crashed on the main deck into the hanger deck and then a bomb from the plane exploded. My uncle was badly burned and cut across his middle section from schrapnel. He was alive for a while. Medic marked him as unable to be saved and told him he would send help. He died and was buried at sea. His name is on the monument in Manilla, Phillipines. His memorial marker was placed beside my grandfather, his dad, and my father, his brother in Robinsonville, Alabama.

  146. Pat Poyle says:

    Great article!!!
    Our father, James H Henry served in the Philippine theatre during this time. All We know is that he was a marine, “imbedded” with the Navy as a radio operator aboard the USS Mt. Olympus which, we understand was involved in the Leyte Gulf conflict and we would appreciate any information about the involvement of the USS Mt Olympus.

    It is also our understanding that he was somehow involved with attempting to intercept Japanese radio communications. He told us about having a giant keyboard with Japanese characters that he had to use.

    Appreciate any further information anyone may have. This is all very fascinating for us.

    Patricia Henry Poyle
    Jim Henry II
    Marees Henry Choppin

  147. Trena Ballew Sullivan says:

    I believe my Dad was in the Battle of Leyte aboard the USS St.Louis a light cruiser .He was a radio operator. I also believe his ship sustained damage at Leyte. He talked about a Kamakazi attack also that severely damage his ship and others. I have a book about the USS St. Louis packed away. This makes me want to find it and go through it again.

  148. SY Napier says:

    My father (who is 99) served in the C.B’s 61st Battalion and survived the bombing of his ship during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, being one of the last to get off the ship. While watching for snipers and bombers and jumping in foxholes, he helped construct Headquarters for the US Naval Fleet on Leyte. He said they bulldozed land, hauled dirt and dynamite, cut and sawed timber, and controlled mosquitoes to build the roads, bridges, barracks, buildings, airstrips and radar stations. During the typhoon, he and his roommate slept in a small, wet tent. He remembers Adm. Halsey visiting his camp and commending the battalion with a citation for efficiency and speed. After the war, he returned to the family farm in Georgia where he continues to live.

  149. SY Napier says:

    My father’s name is Richard Harry Whiddon. He was in the US Navy 61st Construction Battalion when he survived the Battle of Leyte Gulf and helped build Headquarters for the Naval fleet.

  150. Mark Humphrey says:

    Sixto Arasada was an elderly man when I knew him in the 1970’s, Small and bowlegged, he liked to be around young people. His grasp of English depended on who he was speaking with. He had come to the U.S. from Luzon, probably in the 1920’s, as a welter weight boxing contender and it was obvious from observation that he was proficient in martial arts and with knives. He sometimes reminded me of Sessue Hayakawa. Sixto never spoke of the war but according to our mutual employer, a former Navy officer, himself a veteran of WWII, Sixto had been a Sergeant in the Philippine Commandos and had personally made the Japanese fear the dark! Where he was during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, I have no idea, other than that he was somewhere in the Philippines, but he’s still part of the story.

  151. Chris says:

    My uncle Pete from San Antonio Texas served in that battle.
    I’m trying to find out more about his unit etc, but haven’t had any success.
    I know his back was injured from a fall off a cliff or something like that.

  152. Mary Hill Erickson says:

    My father fought at the Battle of Leyte. He was not in the Navy nor was he a marine. He was in the Army and had trained to be a tank commander. However, he ended up commanding an amphibious tractor during the Battle of Leyte. I remember him saying kind of out loud that he was wondering what the Navy ships were thinking and doing at the time of the invasion. Their cover fire was too far inland. The place they needed protection was on the beach itself. The Japanese had dug in, found little holes, etc. Americans could not see them, but they could see the Americans as they landed. My dad said it was a blood bath. It was a miracle that we took Leyte.

    My father’s name was Norman Hill. I have a letter of commendation concerning his active service at Leyte.

    • Sir,
      According to what I have read (and it’s been extensive on WW2), the landing on Leyte were unopposed.

      Was your father speaking of another landing in the Philippines?

  153. David Rice says:

    My father John S Rice was in this battle, hitting the beach as a combat medic, listened to him all thru my youth talking about this battle, was on the beach when McArthur came ashore. Funny part is many years later when my sister married I found out that her husbands Uncle by marriage was on a navy ship during that same battle!

    • There were about 500,000 men involved, between the Army, Navy and Marines. Much like the Battle of the Bulge, involving about the same number of men, or the fighting in Italy, it almost seems probable that someone you know either was there (or at least involved as support) or someone you know is related to someone who was there.

      My Dad was in the 11th Armored Division, 3rd Army under General Patton, on the way to relieve Bastonge. (Note: The airborne did not need relief by anyone, according to the 101. As General “Nuts” McAuliffe supposedly said, “We’re surrounded. We’ve got them just where we want them.”) Bastonge was not relieved by the 3rd Army, despite what the movies portray, though my Dad claimed to have entered the city in relief of the airborne, but on Dec 29th, three days after the siege had lifted, thanks to US airpower.

  154. Louis Pomplun says:

    My uncle, Lester Pomplun, died at the battle of Leyte Gulf when his ship was hit by a torpedo.

  155. Bill Martin says:

    A note to anyone that remembers Curtis Martin gunner USS Bradford DD-545.

    • I will thank him for his service. Many men lost their lives to defend the landing, bravely attacking a much stronger force and driving them back. Had the Japanese realized what they were up against, they would have driven right through Taffy 3 and destroyed the landing support fleet, leaving the American forces on Leyte without reinforcements or supplies, and vulnerable to a planned Japanese land attack. The whole nature of the Philippines campaign would have changed.


    The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the NAVY UNIT COMMENDATION to the


    for service as set forth in the following CITATION:
    “For outstanding heroism in action as a Fighter Direction ship on Radar Picket duty during the Okinawa Campaign, May 14 to June 16, 1945. A natural and frequent target of the heavy Japanese aerial attack while occupying advanced and isolated stations, the U.S.S. BRADFORD defeated all efforts of enemy Kamikaze and dive-bombing planes to destroy her. Vigilant and ready for battle, she sent out early air warnings, provided fighter direction and, with her own gunfire downed five hostile planes, routed many more and rendered valiant service in preventing the Japanese from striking in force the Naval Forces off the Okinawa beachhead. A gallant fighting ship, the BRADFORD, her officers and her men withstood the stress and perils of vital Radar Picket duty, achieving a distinctive combat record which attests the teamwork, courage and skill of her entire company and enhances the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service”
    /s/ James Forrestal
    Secretary of the Navy

  157. Charlie says:

    My father, Edwin J.C. Pajor, was part of Taffy 3 serving as an Electrician’s Mate on the USS Kalinin Bay, one of the escort carriers. He passed away in 2010.

    The job done by the ships planes and men of Taffy # has been overlooked in most histories of WWII and I’m surprised a movie was never made about the action and their heroism.