USS PICKING WORLD WAR II LOG
April 28, 1945. Zone description (-) 9
The air raids
which commenced last evening continued through the night intermittently. PICKING
did not fire, in accordance with SOPAs instructions.
No targets were sighted through the smoke, rendering the AA automatic weapons
ineffective. At 0255 a BETTY was reported shot down, and at 0330 another
plane was observed falling in flames.
At 0400 the
area was clear of enemy planes. It 0615, in accordance with CTF 51s
instructions, proceeded with the LEARY and the MOBILE to NAKAGUSUKU
WAN; arrived in the bay at 0900 and reported to CTG 51.19. Assigned to work
with a S.F.C. party and air borne spotter at 1015, and commenced call fire at 1050 on Southeast OKINAWA. Targets
included crossroads, a pillbox and enemy positions: 100 rounds of AA Common
were expended. At 1603 a flash red condition was established in
the bay. Went to general quarters, got underway and stood by the heavy units to
render AA fire support. No enemy planes came within
range or sight, although there were several to the north and west. Anchored at
dusk in assigned berth in western
part of the bay, and at 1950 commenced firing night illumination for 24TH CORPS.
Firing was interrupted at 1950, 2126, and 2217 when enemy aircraft
were in the OKINAWA area. One of these approached to 12,000 yards, but PICKING
did not fire, the target being too close to the limits of effective
range. Resumed night illumination at 2308, plus harassing
fire in five target areas.
0800 - Latitude - 26°-02.7 N; Longitude - 127°-5l.5 E.
1200 - Latitude - 26°-13.1 N; Longitude - l27°-50.2 E.
2000 - Latitude - 26°-l3.7 N; Longitude - l27°-5l.O E.
April 29, 1945. Zone description (-) 9
Ceased firing night illumination and harassing fire at 0540 having expended 140 rounds of 5 AA Common and 63 rounds of starshells. Weighed anchor at 0550 and, in accordance with orders of CTG 51.19, escorted the TUSCALOOSA to the area on the western side of OKINAWA which is protected by an anti-submarine screen. PICKING and BARTON formed screen on TUSCALOOSA, accompanied her to a point off the south end of OKINAWA from where the TUSCALOOSA continued on up the western side of the island. BARTON and PICKING joined the ARKANSAS and NEW ORLEAWS to screen those ships enroute to NAKAGUSUKU WAN. The BARTON broke off in Fire Support Sector Three (Southeastern OKINAWA,) to carry on firing missions in that area. On return to NAKAGUSUKU WAN, anchored and commenced answering call fires. Results of the mornings firing were reported excellent by the shore fire control party. Enemy mortar and machine gun positions which were harassing the advance of our troops were neutralized. Bombardment was resumed in the afternoon. Caves, a hut, and a square building were blasted. Received no night firing assignment. Enemy planes were in the OKINAWA area during the night. None attacked in the area. Ships were anchored and kept hidden in a smoke screen made by LCIs.
0800 - Latitude - 26°-Ol.8 N; Longitude - 127°-39.5 E.
1200 - Latitude - 26°-13.5 N; Longitude - 127°-50.6 E.
2000 - Latitude - 26°-l4.2 N; Longitude - 127°-5l.O E.
April 30, 1945. Zone description (-) 9
firing bombardment at 0655 in target areas selected by S.F.C. party.
An air borne spotter arrived on station at 0837. Fire was shifted
from a pillbox to an area containing caves, entrenchments and enemy troop
movements. The area was well covered; ceased firing at 0936. Resumed
firing, at 1205 into a reported blockhouse, caves.
Expended 96 Rounds AA Common. Underway for HAGUSHI at
1311 in company with the BIRMINGHAM
and the LEARY
to report to C.T.G. 54.2 in accordance with orders received from C.T.F. 52.
T.G. 54.2 is the covering group prepared to meet any
enemy surface force threatening transports. Anchored at 1700
in berth assigned by C.T.G. 54.2 at HAGUSHI. Went to general quarters at
2227, as an enemy
plane approached from the northwest; plane orbited to seaward of the anchorage
area then retired from the area. Received a message today stating a
POW reported that our naval gunfire was the weapon most feared by the enemy
0800 - Latitude - 26°-13.2 N; Longitude - 127°-49.5 E.
1200 - Latitude - 26°-13.2 N; Longitude - 127°-49.5 E.
2000 - Latitude - 26°-21.1 N; Longitude - 127°-41.9 E.
May 1, 1945 Zone description (-)9
as a unit of the forces assaulting OKINAWA SHIMA, under the command of Vice
Admiral TURNER, ComPhibsPac and C.T.F. 51. PICKING
GROUP 54, the gun fire support and covering force. These Ships are further
assigned to task groups: TASK GROUP 54.1, the western fire
0800 - Latitude - 26°-l3.2 N; Longitude - 127°-20.5 E.
1200 - Latitude - 26°-11.9 N; Longitude - l27°-20.1 E.
2000 - Latitude - 26°-19.5 N; Longitude - 127°-40.9 E.
May 2, 1945 Zone description (-)9
At 0035, splashes were sighted 200 yards off the port beam. Weighed anchor with approval of C.T.G. 54.2 and manned the main battery for counter battery fire, (night firing mission was being carried out with two guns). Another salvo landed 200 yards off the starboard bow a few minutes after the first. Commenced counter battery firing according to a prearranged plan of C.T.G. 51.22 commander of the western fire support group, who had assigned ships under his command target areas to be covered. These areas included the most likely and the known locations of enemy gun positions. Expended 76 rounds of 5 AA Common in counter battery firing. Ceased this firing at 0123 by orders of CTG 51.22 and resumed scheduled night assignment. No further enemy firing was encountered during the night. Night harassing and illumination firing was completed at 0456, having expended 126 rounds of AA Common and 15 starshells. Communications having been established with a shore fire control party, commenced call fire mission at 0850. Target area was on the shore line and contained Japanese infantry. The area was thoroughly covered with 439 rounds of AA Common and 11 rounds of white phosphorous; shore fire control party reported results as being exceedingly satisfactory.
Rain and fog
prevented operation of spotting planes all during the day. Maintained slow
deliberate fire in areas in and around NAHA until 1735, 102 rounds were
expended in the afternoons bombardment. At 1800, the PICKING and BIRMINGHAM
were assigned to a special night mission: to impede the operations
of enemy suicide boats, the western coast of OKINAWA from NAHA to ITOMAN was to
be illuminated by starshells and harassing fire was
to be delivered in areas which formed probable bases for these boats. In
addition the enemy held air strips at NAHA and ITOMAN were to be harassed to
prevent any possible operations of these air field
during the night. PICKING commenced operations at 1915, taking NAHA
airport under bombardment. At 2010
0800 - Latitude - 26°-l8.8 N; Longitude - l27°-42.O E.
1200 - Latitude - 26°-2l.O N; Longitude - l27°-40.5 E.
2000 - Latitude - 26°-ll.O N; Longitude - 127°-34.O E.