USS Neshanic (AO-71)

My Dad, Paul J. McCarthy has been gone since 1977, he kept a diary (against naval regs). Paul was a radio man and a turret gun captain.

He always respected the skipper, Captain Allen. The crew was composed mostly of Southerners and New Yorkers who got along remarkably well. My dad and the Captain were both Bostonians.

His diary entry for June 18, 1944 reads "Commenced refueling as usual - GQ sounded 4:30 PM - Jap planes on way in. Our convoy - 3 tankers, 1 DD and 1 DE under attack. All hell opened up - Planes dropped bombs - 7 in all, all around us, one struck our cargo deck hitting 600 oil drums and setting us afire. A Jap sub sent a tinfish across our bow while this was going on. Ten planes in all - Zeros carrying bombs + medium bombers. Saranac had bomb sent down her stack wrecking her sick bay and stopped her motors - six men killed, several wounded. Saugatuck was badly strafed and one man killed. We downed two Jap bastards. The 5" blew him out of the sky and #3 and #5 20 mm got other. We secured from GQ at 7:35 PM when our planes came in and got the others. June 17, '44 midnight; we came alongside of Saranac in pitch black, a truly marvelous piece of seamanship by Capt. and took off her wounded. The landing was made by radar. Saranac was towed to Saipan Harbor by a tug shortly after."

[Tokyo Rose broadcasted that the Neshanic was sunk, Paul said the whole crew laughed a good one as they limped back for repairs.]

They once had an air raid drill at Pearl Harbor on Sept 29th, 1944 where they were supposed to simulate fire. My Dad gave the command to commence firing and the gunner sent a 5" round over Ford Island and nearly hit the carrier Saratoga (no casualties luckily). Suffice to say Com Pac Fleet was greatly disturbed over that incident. They were getting ready to deploy the next day to the New Hebrides Islands so they got a pass on the firing incident.

"Aug. 10, '45 rec'd news at 10 PM that Japan offered surrender. We were in compartment (Rollie, Eddie, Me, Pete Martin and Joe the Barber). Big celebration in mess hall, up all night."

"Aug. 21, '45 4:30 AM rev - began fueling Missouri (BB-63) (She was to leave the following day for the signing) - saw Adm. Halsey during the operation with Adm Sir Bruce Fraser (limey navy) - Old man sent special chow over to Halsey."

"Sept 21, '45 - arrived Sagami Way (entrance to Tokyo Bay. Saw Mt. Fujiyama. Arrived Tokyo Bay near Yokahama side about 1 PM."

My Dad was very fond of the Neshanic it got him home from the war. He took me to see it when it was the Gulfoil and it was anchored on Chelsea Creek at the tank farm in Boston.

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