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      USS PICKING WORLD WAR II LOG      

May_25, 1945.                            Zone description (-)9

Enemy planes in moderate force attacked at midnight and were in the area until 0300. Nine groups of planes made the raid. The airfields were reported bombed. Ceased night firing mission at 0445 having expended 152 rounds of 5” AA Common. Relieved the BARTON at 0600 northwest of NAHA in answering call fires. During day’s firing, scored three direct hits on gun positions in caves, and destroyed building used as observation post by the Japs. Expended 189 rounds of 5” AA Common and 4 rounds of white phosphorous. Remained underway in an assigned station while conducting night harassing fire. Continued unfavorable weather curtailed enemy air operations.

Positions:

              0800 - Latitude - 26°-16.O’  N; Longitude - 127°-38.3’ E.

             1200 - Latitude - 26°-16.8’  N; Longitude - 127°-39.6’ E.

             2000 - Latitude - 26°-15.4’  N; Longitude - 127°-38.8’ E.

 

May 26, 1945                         Zone description (-) 9

Completed night firing at 0500 having expended 159 rounds of AA Common. Remained in area northwest of NAHA to continue fire support during day. At 0815 took area containing enemy artillery pieces under a harassing fire of 8 rounds per hour. Weather remained foggy throughout day hindering air and shore spotting of gun fire. At 1500 bombarded areas in which enemy troop movements were observed. Ceased bombardment at 1615; 111 rounds of 5”/38 AA Common expended. At 1850 proceeded to anchor at HAGUSHI as a unit of TASK GROUP 54.2. There were no enemy air raids.

Positions:

0800 - Latitude - 26°-17.7’ N; Longitude - 127°-39.3’ E.

1200 - Latitude - 26°-l6.7’ N; Longitude - 127°-40.2’ E.

2000 - Latitude - 26°-19.6’ N; Longitude - l27°-43.5’ E.

 

May 27, 1945                         Zone description (-) 9

Underway at 0540 proceeding with TASK GROUP 51.3 from HAGUSHI ANCHORAGE to KERAMA RETTO for logistics. Departed KERAMA RETTO at 1700 having fueled and replenished ammunition. Assigned to TASK GROUP 54.2, anchored in HAGUSHI ANCHORAGE. There were many enemy air raids during the

Positions:

0800 - Latitude - 26°-12.5’ N; Longitude - 127°-20.4’ E.

1200 - Latitude - 26°-11.8’ N; Longitude - l27°-19.9’ E.

2000 - Latitude - 26°-2l.4’ N; Longitude - l27°-42.4’ E.

 

May 28, 1945                         Zone description (-) 9

As of midnight, Fifth Fleet designated Third Fleet under command of Admiral Halsey. The following changes in task organization now in effect:

 

Anchored in HAGUSHI ANCHORAGE with TASK GROUP 54.2. At general quarters at 0730; ships warned to be alert for low flying planes over land. Weather foggy. At 0810 a plane identified as a TONY made a suicide attack on An LCI bearing 310° T, 5000 yards; missed, and exploded in the water. All clear at 0858. Underway at 1715 for fire support group, southwestern OKINAWA, to conduct “flycatcher”, or anti-small boat operations, during the night. At 1817, when the PICKING had made the turn south, west of NAHA AIRFIELD, an enemy shore battery took the ship under fire. A shell, estimated to 4” in calibre, exploded 100 yards off the starboard side even with bridge. The commanding officer immediately went to flank speed and commenced maneuvering radically. A second salvo splashed in the wake 100 yards astern. The enemy gun flashes were seen in a direction of and above the airfield. Commenced a rapid counter-battery fire in that area. All enemy fire had ceased by 1827 . PICKING ceased firing at 1835 having expended 245 rounds of 5”/38 AA Common. Continued southward to southern end of OKINAWA to conduct harassing fire from that area. The surface search radar was inoperative until 2015. It became necessary to anchor after dark in order to repair the antenna and to avoid the danger of collision or going aground on the shoals off southern OKINAWA. The radar back in, a patrol was established, and night bombardment commenced.

Positions:

0800 - Latitude - 26°-21.4’ N; Longitude - l27°-42.4’ E.

1200 - Latitude - 26°-21.4’ N; Longitude - 127°-42.4’ E.

2000 - Latitude - 26°-05.O’ N; Longitude - 127°-37.O’ E.

 

May  29, 1945                        Zone description ((-) 9

             Continued bombardment while patrolling southwest of OKINAWA until 0510. 275 rounds of 5”/38 AA Common were expended on harassing fire; 3 starshells on an unidentified LCI. Proceeded to a station three miles northwest of NAHA to answer call fires as requested by the shore fire control party. However, the latter had no targets to take under fire. The ground forces (1st MARDIV) were not anxious to have close fire support since the lines were in a fluid state, and friendly patrols were operating in enemy territory. A spotting plane reported on station but a low haze and fog prevented the spotter from observing from altitudes greater than 500 feet. The BARTON reported a 6 enemy coast defense gun south of NAHA east of the airport. Our plane took a look at it when the haze lifted momentarily. The observer verified the position and reported it was an open mount. One round of 5”/38 AA Common was fired.

 

             Fire was not resumed on the gun due to the continued haze and the evaluation by another air spotter in the afternoon that the gun was not operational. Fired into enemy troop locations during the afternoon. Results reported as excellent by the shore spotter; the JAP troops were forced to retreat from their position. Expended 135 rounds of 5”/38 AA Common. At 1800 joined TASK GROUP 32.11 in a dusk AA formation. Released at 1900 to take station two miles west of NAHA airfield for night assignment. Commenced harassing and illumination fire at 2000. At 2200 accompanied the VINCENNES to a new fire support station 3½ miles northwest of NAHA TOWN. Continued night firing from there.

Positions:

             0800 - Latitude - 26°-l6.6’ N;   Longitude - l27°-38.3’ E.

             1200 - Latitude - 26°-l4.8’ N;   Longitude - 127°-38.l’ E.

             2000 - Latitude - 26°-l2.5’ N;   Longitude - 127°-36.0’ E.

 

May 30, 1945.                        Zone description (-) 9

Expended 192 rounds of 5/38 AA Common during night’s harassing fire. Visibility poor during the day; remained in vicinity of U.S.S. IDAHO for

mutual air support. Commenced night harassing and illumination fire at 1900.

Positions:

0800 - Latitude - 26°-l3.2’ N; Longitude - l27°-34.5’ E.

1200 - Latitude - 26°-15.2’ N; Longitude - l27°-37.5’ E.

2000 - Latitude - 26°-05.8’ N; Longitude - 127°-22.9’ E.

 

June 1, 1945                         Zone description (-) 9

             PICKING operating with TASK FORCE 32, the GUNFIRE and COVERING FORCE at OKINAWA, Rear Admiral Mc CORMICK in the IDAHO. Further assigned to TASK GROUP 32.11, the WESTERN FIRE SUPPORT GROUP, commanded by senior officer in the group. Supporting Army and Marine ground forces on southwestern OKINAWA SHIMA. Present night mission is to harass assigned target areas at irregular intervals and to guard against enemy “suicide boats” and barges by illuminating the southwestern coast of OKINAWA. Conducting operations with the VICKSBURG. Ceased firing at 0452 having expended 107 rounds of 5”/38 AA common and 73 starshells. Weather fogy in the morning. Joined LOUISVILLE and later the VICKSBURG for mutual AA Support in accordance C.T.G 32.11 verbal dispatch. Exercised at depth charge attack drills during the day. Reassigned with the VICKSBURG to “flycatcher” or anti-small boat patrol for the night. Commenced harassing and illumination fire at 2015.

Positions:

             0800 - Latitude - 26°-l2.7’ N;   Longitude - l27°-33.2’ E.

             1200 - Latitude - 26°-l8.2’ N;   Longitude - l27°-39.2’ E.

             2000 - Latitude - 26°-08.2’ N;   Longitude - l27°-34.6’ E.

 

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