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USS PICKING WORLD WAR II LOG

March 30, 1945.                      Zone description (-) 9

Released from the transport screen on return to the assault area in the morning and assigned to patrol station R—3 north of ZAMAMI-SHIMA. Continued on this patrol during the day and night.

Positions:

             0800 - Latitude - 26°-17.5’ N;  Longitude - l27°-18.O’ E.

             1200 - Latitude - 26°-17.3’ N;  Longitude - l27°-l8.l’ E.

             2000 - Latitude - 26°-17.5’ N;  Longitude - 127°-l8.l’ E.

 

March 31, 1945.                      Zone description (-) 9

Left patrol station R-3 at noon to investigate a floating derelict reported to be ten miles northeast of us. The wreck was a wooden sailing vessel

Positions:

0800 - Latitude - 26°-16.O’ N; Longitude - 127°-lO.l’ E.

1200 - Latitude - 26°-20.O’ N; Longitude - 127°-28.O’ E.

2000 - Latitude - 26°-20.2’ N; Longitude - 127°-38.l’ E.

 

April 1, 1945.                       Zone description (-) 9

Provided information to ships standing in for the main assault on OKINAWA to prevent their colliding with the derelict. About daybreak, observed U.S.S. PURDY firing at friendly TBF’s, so informed her. The derelict was taken in tow by a YMS and removed late in the morning. At 1200, PICKING was detached from TASK FORCE 51 to become a unit of T.F. 54. T.F. 54 is the fire support unit for the OKINAWA operation and commanded by Rear Admiral DEYO. First assignment was to relieve U.S.S. BRYANT, DD665, which was screening the U.S.S. ARKANSAS, BB33, in fire support sector 4. This sector The PICKING was assigned to screen for the ESTES and the TUSCALOOSA. The original plans called for a night bombardment of southeastern OKINAWA. These orders were cancelled and a night retirement was made to the northeast. At sundown, an enemy aircraft approached and our surface

          Positions:

             0800 - Latitude - 26°-20.4’ N;  Longitude - 127°-27.0’  E.

             1200 - Latitude - 26°—18.9’ N;  Longitude - 127°-27.0’  E.

             2000 - Latitude - 26°-04.8’ N;  Longitude - 127°-47.1’  E.

 

April 2, 1945.                       Zone description (-) 9

          At 0430, while returning to southern OKINAWA, an unidentified aircraft was reported in the area. Some AA fire observed but this ship saw noa “VAL” was suddenly reported over the transports which were returning from their night retirement. Several transports opened fire. The CAP was sent to investigate; no further reports were received. At 0730 the U.S.S. ARKAWSAS approached, and the PICKING joined her as screen as she proceeded southward around OKINAWA. PICKING set up an anti-submarine patrol to seaward of the ARKANSAS while the latter was lying-to off the demonstration “beaches” on the southeastern coast of OKINAWA while T.G. 51.2 conducted a “demonstration” landing feint. Early in the afternoon the PICKING was ordered to join a screen for the TUSCALOOSA, proceed to fire support sector 5 off the southern beachheads on the west coast of OKINAWA and reported to C.T.F. 54.

 

          Picking was released by the TUSCALOOSA upon arrival in Fire Support Sector 5 and joined the U.S.S. TENNESSEE, flagship of Rear Admiral DEYO, C.T.F. 54.

          Positions:

             0800 - Latitude - 25°-58.5’ N;    Longitude - l27°-40.O’ E.

             1200 - Latitude - 25°-59.5’ N;    Longitude - l27°-4l.5’ E.

             2000 - Latitude - 26°-38.5’ N;    Longitude - l27°-30.5’ E.

 

April 3, 1945.                       Zone description (—) 9

At 0200, when the force was 30 miles northwest of IHEYA RETTO and about to turn south towards OKINAWA, C.I.C. reported an air target at 17 miles closing from the northeast. This aircraft soon turned away, flew over to the west of the formation and then made another approach from Ships on the starboard bow opened fire. It was now determined that there were three planes in the attack. They dropped flares and C.I.C. reported the radar had contact on “window” . A lookout reported that he observed a balloon. The aircraft opened the range to the northeast and one closed again. PICKING opened fire at 10,000 yards. It continued to close directly at PICKING, made a strafing run at very low altitude, dropped a torpedo, and passed overhead. No hits were made on the PICKING by the plane’s gun fire. The torpedo was observed to hit the water. Flank speed was rang up and the rudder was put over hard right, the torpedo passed close but clear astern. About five minutes later an underwater explosion was heard and felt. 55 rounds of 5”, 13 rounds of 40mm, and 60 rounds of 20 mm were expended without any visible results. Another one of the attacking planes was shot down by DDs ahead. The O.T.C. ordered the PICKING to investigate the vicinity of the wreckage of the latter plane for a possible surviving pilot. No evidence of one could be found and the PICKING rejoined the formation. On return to OKINAWA in the morning, PICKING screened the IDAHO, NEW MEXICO and TUSCALOOSA to KERAMA RETTO. These ships entered the anchorage and the PICKING proceeded to eastern OKINAWA to report to C.T.F. 51.19 in the ESTES. Joined and escorted the PENSACOLA which was also reporting to C.T.F. 51.19. Screened the ESTES off the southeast coast of OKINAWA during the morning.

 

At noon the PICKING was verbally ordered by C.T.F. 51.19 to relieve the ISHERWOOD in Fire Support Sector 3, and fire on targets of opportunity within a designated area on the west coast of OKINAWA. The purpose of this bombardment was to hamper Japanese movement to the north. However, due to a change in plans, the TEXAS could not furnish a plane for observation and spotting; so the bombardment was cancelled. Instead, PICKING, was ordered to relieve the ISHERWOOD which was screening the ESTES; 15 miles to the northeast. Escorted the ESTES to southern OKINAWA, and then released to carry out night assignment. PICKING was assigned to Fire Support Sector 4. A night harassing bombardment was conducted on road junctions and barracks in the towns of ITOMAN and ZAWA, southwestern OKINAWA. Firing commenced at dark and was to continue until daylight. Since the allowance was 100 rounds of AA common, it was decided to expend eleven rounds per hour. Orders were to keep way on, so a figure eight patrol track was laid out 10,000 yards off the beach. Firing was done by condition watches. C.I.C. gave ranges, bearings and target heights to plot. Firing intervals were irregular.

Positions:

             0800 - Latitude - 26°-l5.3’ N; Longitude - 127°-30.2’ E.

             1200 - Latitude - 26°-00.O’ N; Longitude - l27°-45.l’ E.

              2000 - Latitude - 26°-07.O’ N; Longitude - 127°-05.O’ E.

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