Posted 10 years ago
I recently started researching the LST 339 from WWII. My grandfather was aboard her from 1943 to 1945. He was involved in the consolidation of the Southern Solomon Islands in June '43, the New Georgia-Rendova-Vangunu occupation June-July '43, the Vella Lavella occupation in August '43, the occupation and defense of Cape Torokina, November '43, the Hollandia operation April '44, Biak Island Operation June-July '44 and the Morotai landings September '44.
He was mainly a signalman but found himself at the gun one night and had to defend the ship against a Japanese fighter plane. He shot her down and was awarded a confirmed kill during the Vella Lavella occupation.
The pictures above were not taken by him, I found them online. It is crazy to me to think that somwhere in these pics, could be my grandfather, a 18-19 year old kid, who voluntarily threw himself in the middle of the war.
The first photo is the LST 339 beached at Empress Augusta Bay, Bougainville Island, 6 November 1943. The second and third photos are from the same day and location, from a different angle. The fourth photo is the LST-339 beached at the mainland staging point on Wakde Island, Dutch New Guinea, circa June 1944, prior to the Allied landing on Noemfoor Island, 2 July 1944. The last photo was when she came home after the war in 1946 and was decomissioned. By the time this last photo was taken, my grandfather had returned home and married his bride.