December 1944 — April 1945
December 1944. Attacked by Japanese aircraft shortly after we arrived, but no damage. A supply ship about a half mile from us was hit by a kamikaze Japanese. I saw it disappear into an open hatch midship. I heard more than 70 sailors were killed.
The battalion commander assembled his soldiers near the beach and said he had been ordered to make one half of his men available for a secret mission. I was one of those selected. The mission was to put ammunition and supplies on the island of Mindoro to support an invasion of that island at a later date. The first day our convoy was attacked by Japanese aircraft and the lead ship, a cruiser, was hit with a reported big loss of life. The convoy was made up of LSTs (Landing Ship Tank) carrying ammunition and other items. I was on the one loaded with ammunition. Arriving at Mindoro, a line of men was formed who entered the open front hatch, picked up an ammunition box, and deposited it on the beach. Our LST was hit by an aircraft during the unloading phase, taking life boats and doing some damage but not serious enough to adversely affect the operation. When the LST was unloaded, it pulled away from the beach taking the personnel who unloaded it, except for myself and four or five others. It was getting dusk. We were alone on the island. We all frantically yelled and waved to the outgoing ship but to no avail. Eventually an LC8 came by who saw us, took us aboard, and ran full speed to catch our LST. When we came along side our ship, the Japanese began a bombing attack. During the attack, we were scrambling up the rope nettings to get on deck, swaying like clock pendulums.-Harold Moss