Nicholas J. Forlano

Gunners-Mate 2ndClass U.S.N.

USS Independence CVL-22-CTG-38-2

June 27th. thru October 17th. 1944 !

June 27th.

Shoved off from Frisco at 1400. Have a flight deck load of Ventura Bombers. Also 35 million dollars in currency under guard.
As soon as we left from Alameda we ran aground about 100 yds. from the dock. Took about 15 tugs over four hours to pull us free.
Have 800 passangers for Pearl harboor. Saw Golden Gate for the last time this year. Sure looked good.

August 03rd.

Arrived Pearl Harbor, hardly any capital ships in. Not like it used to that respect.
Went out on gunnery practice and night landing practice. About a week at a time, quiet few crack ups. Supposed to be 1st. night carrier. Another first for the Indy.
In and out of Pearl for a month and a half. Every time we leave it's supposed to be the one.

August 16th.

Finally leaving Pearl Harbor. Hear the Palau Isles are to be invaded. Heading for the Marshalls. Quiet hot now.
Traveling leisurely avoiding islands of the Marshalls. Today was pay day. Smooth sailing so far.
Ever watchful though. Going to join 3rd fleet under Halsey and Spruance real fighting-he-men.

August 24th.

Arrived Eniwetok this AM. Many ships in hear.
Main island doesen't have any thing but a few palms. Other parts of the atoll have vegetation.
Really is blistering hot . Estimate nearly 500 ships. Going out for gunnery practice for a couple of days.

August 29th.

Left Eniwetok for Palau.
Directly south to the equator and just below the line evestand above the Adminalty Isles, then south again towards them for about a day and then north directly, to kill a little time, and coordinate our strike, till about 6th of Sept.
Before we get there and attack the Japs. Supposed to have a Poly-Wog Initiation, but had a Sub contact and the festivities were immediately called off .

September 05 & 06th.

Wave after Wave of our planes begin to soften up Palau for the Marines.
Don't know if there is any air opposition here, but proves negative. Meager anti-aircraft reported by returning pilots.
This is the air support for the invasion force.

September 09 & 11th.

Hit Mindanao and Dorra. Expect big things here in the next 6 days.
Water is peaceful and have smooth sailing during this time, we destroyed 501 Jap planes of all types.
Lost about 25 planes and 37 men altogether, Japs never got out of here. Halsey says this is a death blow to there set up.
We caught a small fishing boat and they have 44 Jap prisoners on the forecastle of a destroyer.
For Sale, Cheap !

September 21st & 22nd.

Struck Luzon and Manila area today. Sent a 96 plane fighter sweep in lead by CDR Caldwell of the Mighty Indy.
Destroyed planes in the air and on the ground, also ground installations and shipping in the harbor and bay. First wave went over in the morning .herd Manila go off the air due to the raid.
After launching CTG-38.2 was attached by enemy torpedo planes on port side. I shot down a few Bettys and Vals.
Beautiful sea day, milk pond, the lull before the storm. The Morning of the 22nd we had to call back our planes because of another typhoon coming up.
We destroyed over "400" Jap planes altogether for this raid and the ones on Dorra we got over "978" destroyed and damaged. Besides all the shipping.destroyed.

September 24th.

his morning we returned to the Philippines to hit Coron, small island southwest of the Luzon.
We caught and destroyed Torpedo and Dive bombers, very much Shipping ( many cargo ships ).One of our pilots shot down a plane off a Cruiser. No enemy oppsition sent out to us., light anti-aircraft opposition to our planes.
Today we picked up a pilot and crew men adrift for 11 days since the Mindanao raid. Lucky guys.
Refueled today right under their noses. One of own pilots got a tanker.
Comparatively calm day.

September 28th.

Arrived Saipan this morning. Looks mighty tough from here.
A very large island with steep hills and high cliffs. Island is covered with vegetation.
Mighty Indy with her 5 BattleShips pulled in to the break-waters and we joined 3 other Carriers. No mail today because they said it went to Ulithi.
There are still over 2000 thousand Japs in those hills, hiding out. Our Marines kill or capture about 40 of them a day , when they come down for water or food.
Quiet a few Jap prisoners and they are a sorry looking lot.

September 29th.

Some of the fellows got to go ashore here in Saipan.I have the watch, so no soap.
Tomorrow I get to go, Boys tell me of the wreckage many Jap Ships, shell holes and junk Tanks lying around. Told we are leaving tonight.
Such a land as this looks, to peaceful to have 10.000 of men buried there. Starting to rain.
They say it rains everyday here. Now we are on our way to Ulithi, which we are supposed to reach 0600 tomorrow,Oct.1 ft, average 11/2 months now, that I haven't been on terra firma.

October 01st.

Arrived Ulithi, busy day taking on supplies and stores. This atoll is like te rest of them, just a large sandbar with a few natives and coconut trees.
This is supoosed to br a good anchorage. When we first occuried this island a few weeks ago, our Marines found only a single Jap flag.
Payday, Today.

October 02nd.

Left Ulithi, because of a typhoon coming up. Fourteen of our planes damaged during this storm.
Hanger deck looks like a junk yard. Someday soon someone will catch hell for this.
Worse storm I've been in yet. one plane even went over the side.
Bigger mess then the Japs ever made.

October 04th.

Back in Ulithi, Still quite choppy but the enormous winds have died down.
All about us the wreckage caused by the typhoon. Now it's holding up operations. all over the island there are LCI's up on the beach, also one PBY completely wrecked. men missing from nearly every ship.
Still looking for one LCT with 23 men aboard.
We need many replacements.

October 07th.

Heading East. Destination islands to the south of Japan. Off for one month strike against Formosa.
Again in a typhoon. Same one we rode out last week off Manila, really a honey.. This AM we took on our own replacements and new planes. Let's tie em down this time.
Our 104th day out. Refueling in prep for a strike. Really a beautiful site, all these ships one on each side of tanker. Hancock has joined us . Now have 5 carriers in this group. Scheduled to strike AM 10th.
Very cloudy and overcast day, tanker fuelling us is bobbing around like a cork.
Take our plates of yet ?

October 09th.

Day before we hit again. Shimo Shoto is the one this time.
Two mail calls today. our planes ran into a Jap picket, but they slipped away.
Mitscher's orders shoot first then investigate.
Tomorrow is the day !

October 10th. !

We are hitting them now, within 2 hours of flying time to Japan. 160 miles from Formosa and 150 to 200 miles from China.
I wonder if Milt knows I'm just about 200 miles from China? Dope has it so far we sunk 1 heavy cruiser , damaged 6 subs and 1 destroyer, 2 betty's shot down.
Calm and sunny day. They really got a surprise today.

October 1th.

Had G.Q. four times last night, Bettys looking for us. A/F radio announced our raid on the Ryuker Islands. Said we got 89 planes and destroyed or damaged 38 ships.
While fuelling, Enterprise planes shot down a Betty 22 miles away. You could see it smoking as spiralled to it's watery grave.
Also got another one this evening. Great job our boys are doing. Last night we launched nite fighters to meet the Japs and on the landing one crashed, cost us 6 planes and loss of another pilot. Tomorrow we hit Formosa. Our pilots are going in and they should do ok.

October 12th.

Hit Formosa today, only more so then the way Columbus hit America 452 years ago.
Very quiet and calm, sunny. Aux planes found many ships and planes on the ground. At 1830 G.Q. sounded, had to leave my ice cream, That Hump, 2 Bettys on the screen.
Our CAP went after them and got them. Stayed at G.Q. shot 3 planes down a total of 8 brought down around us. One only 200 yards from our bow.
Bad time, dropping flares all about us, but attacks aren't synchronized and flares burn out just in time. Can read a newspaper on the flight deck.