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January 26, 1945                     Zone description (-) 9

At 0945 got underway and proceeded to the transport anchorage off TAYTAY POINT, LEYTE. Upon arrival in the anchorage area, formed an anti-submarine screen with TASK UNIT 78.3.5, screening ships, to seaward of the transports and awaited their sortie. After the transports had completed sortie, formed a special cruising disposition with TASK GROUP 78.3 and proceeded from LEYTE GULF enroute to the assault of Southern LUZON ISLAND, P.I. in accordance with CTG 78.3 Operation Plan 1-45. PICKING in station #1 of circular anti-submarine screen, 4500 yards ahead of fleet center on the fleet axis. Disposition guide is U.S.S. HARRIS (APA-2). OTC is CTG 78.3 (Rear Admiral A.D. STRUBLE, USN) in U.S.S. MOUNT McKINLEY. There were no unidentified contacts, air or surface during the day. Army P-38’s furnished CAP during day light hours. U.S.S. WICKES acting as fighter director ship.


0800 - Latitude - 11°-06.O’ N; Longitude - 125°-03.O’ E.

1200 - Latitude - 10°-50.O’ N; Longitude - 125°-13.O’ E.

2000 - Latitude - 09°-33.O’ N; Longitude - l24°-47.O’ E.


January 27, 1945                     Zone description (-) 9

Steaming enroute LEYTE, P.I. to the assault of Southern LUZON, P.I. At 1238 contacted an unidentified aircraft bearing 200° T., distance 48 miles. The OTC ordered all ships to general quarters in preparation for enemy air attacks. Formed an anti-aircraft cruising disposition in which the screening ships closed in to 1500 yards around the transports. Twenty minutes later the aircraft was identified, visually, as a friendly B-24 type bomber. Secured from general quarters, set the normal cruising condition of readiness and formed the regular cruising disposition. Twice during the following two hours unidentified aircraft were reported approaching the disposition, and in each case, identified as friendly after closing within visual range. CAP was furnished by Army and Navy fighters directed by the WICKES.


0800 - Latitude - 09°-OO.5’ N; Longitude - 122°-45.O’ E.

1200 - Latitude - 09°-27.O’ N; Longitude - l22°-l6.O’ E.

2000 - Latitude - l0°-32.O’ N; Longitude - l21°-42.O’ E.


January 28, 1945                     Zone description (-) 9

Steaming enroute LEYTE, P. I. to the assault of Southern LUZON, P.I. At 1511 contacted TASK UNIT 78.3.4, landing craft of the assault force, bearing 300° T., 15 miles. About three hours later, over took and passed the landing craft in accordance with the Operation Plan.


0800 - Latitude - l2°-l6.O’ N; Longitude - l20°-55.6’ E.

1200 - Latitude - l2°-50.3’ N; Longitude - 120°-31.7’ E.

2000 - Latitude - l3°-49.5’ N; Longitude - 119°-27.8’ E.


January 29, 1945                     Zone description (-) 9

Steaming enroute LEYTE, P.I to the assault of Southern LUZON, P.I. Arrved in the assault area, (SAN NARCISCO BEACH) at 0515 and all ships were ordered to take assault stations. The PICKING’s task was to furnish fire support (preliminary bombardment and call fire if needed) in area between “RED” and “BLUE” landing beaches. As the ships were proceeding to their assault stations, natives came to meet them in outrigger canoes and insisted there were no Japanese in the area and that the guerrillas were in control; further investigation proved this to be true and at daylight U. S. flags were observed at several places along the beach. On order of the OTC, the bombardment was called off and the fire support ships lay to in their assault stations, the PICKING’s being 2000 yards off shore between RED and BLUE boat lanes, as the troops landed. The first waves landed at 0830. Many natives were observed congregated along the beach line as the troops landed. In the afternoon, the DENVER with two DD’s as escorts, was ordered to proceed to SUBIC BAY and bombard GRANDE ISLAND. The DENVER reported there was no sign of enemy action and bombardment was deemed unnecessary. The OTC issued an attack plan in which the APD’s of the TASK GROUP would land one battalion of troops on GRANDE ISLAND the following morning.


At 1900 the transports that had completed unloading formed TASK UNIT 78.3.20 and stood out to sea. There were no air attacks or unidentified aircraft contacts during the day. CAP was furnished by Army and Navy fighters directed by the MOUNT McKINLEY and WICKES. The ship remained at general quarters the entire day during daylight hours, securing one hour after sunset.


0800 - Latitude - 15°-OO.O’ N; Longitude - l20°-03.O’ E.

1200 - Latitude - l4°-59.6’ N; Longitude - 120°-02.8’ E.

2000 - Latitude - l4°-59.8’ N; Longitude - 120°-03.O’ E.


January 30, 1945                  Zone description (-) 9

              At 0530 the APD’s stood out, enroute to the assault of GRANDE ISLAND. At sunrise proceeded from assault station to the anti-submarine screen and commenced lying to in accordance with orders of the screen commander, CDS 49. During the afternoon, commencing at 1400, fueled from the CAPRICORNIUS (KA-59). Upon completion of fueling, returned to the screen and anchored in assigned station. At 1730, the SPROSTON, having returned from a trip to SUBIC BAY, reported that GRANDE ISLAND was under control of U. S. troops. The troops landed with no opposition and reported no Japanese on the Island.


0800 - Latitude - 14°-59.3’ N; Longitude - l20°-Ol.2’ E.

1200 - Latitude - 14°-59.3’ N; Longitude - 120°-Ol.2’ E.

2000 - Latitude - 15°-Ol.3’ N; Longitude - l20°-Ol.6’ E.


January 31, 1945                  Zone description(-)9

              Maintained station in anti-submarine screen until noon at which time proceeded to SUBIC BAY to pick up Commodore CARLSON, CTS 13, in accordance with CTG 78.3 (Rear Admiral STRUBLE) verbal orders. Arrived in SUBIC BAY at 1300 and lay to in area North of GRANDE ISLAND while the Commodore and his staff came aboard. After the Commodore was aboard, proceeded back to transport area off SAN NARCISO. At 1200 CTG 78.3 transferred his flag to the U.S.C.G.C. INGRAM. in the transport area at 1600, let the Commodore off and resumed regular station in the screen. At sunset the remainder of the transports, screened by some units of DESRON 49 and available DEs formed TASK UNIT 78.3.23 and stood out to sea. PICKING remained in area.


             0800 - Latitude  - 15°-Ol.3’  N; Longitude - l20°-Ol.6’ E.

             1200 - Latitude  - l4°-48.6’  N; Longitude - l20°-03.5’ E.

             2000 - Latitude  - 15°-04.2’  N; Longitude - l20°-O1.O’ E.


February 1, 1945                  Zone description (-) 9

              PICKING operating with SEVENTH FLEET, attached to TASK FORCE 78 under the command of VICE ADMIRAL D. BARBEY, USN, in accordance with CANF, SWPA Op. Plan 18-44. Assigned to TASK GROUP 78.3 in accordance with CTF 78 Op. Plans 1-45 and 2-45, under command of REAR ADMIRAL A.D. STRUBLE, USN, COMPHIBGR 9. Further assigned to TASK UNIT 78.3.5 in accordance with CTG 78.3 Op. Plan Commander TASK UNIT 78.3.5 is CAPTAIN B. F. BRONN, USN CDS 49, U.S.S. PICKING, flagship. Conducted anti-submarine patrol in area west of transport anchorage off SAN NARCISO. At 1530 CTG 78.3 in USCGC INGHAM, left the area and proceeded to SUBIC BAY: S.O.P.A. is CTU 78.3.5, CDS 49, in U.S.S. PICKING.


0800 - Latitude - l5°-OO.2’ N; Longitude - l20°-OO.7’ E.

1200 - Latitude - l5°-OO.0’ N; Longitude - l20°-Ol.2’ E.

2000 - Latitude - l5°-OO.0’ N; Longitude - l20°-OO.0’ E.