A co-worker and friend lost her father last Friday. Although his memory was failing him, I’m told he seemed to recall his days as a sailor in World War II. He served on the USS MOBILE (CL-63), a CLEVELAND-class light cruiser.
He’s likely somewhere in this 1943 picture of the MOBILE.
Mobile first took part in combat operations during August-October 1943 raids on isolated Japanese-held islands. In November she participated in the invasions of Bougainville and Tarawa, then joined the Fast Carrier Task Forces for attacks on the Marshall Islands. She returned to the Marshalls in late January 1944 to begin two weeks’ work supporting the conquest of Kwajalein Atoll.
From mid-February through May 1944, Mobile operated with the aircraft carriers during strikes through the Central Pacific and along the north shore of New Guinea. This duty continued during the Marianas campaign in June and July, and included participation in the mid-June Battle of the Philippine Sea. In early August, Mobile made a surface sweep through the area of the Bonin and Volcano Islands, helping to sink two enemy ships. She again screened carriers during the Palaus campaign in September, the subsequent raids against targets in the Western Pacific, and the October assault on Leyte. On 25 October she took part in the Battle off Cape Engaño, the northern component of the epic Battle of Leyte Gulf, using her guns to assist in sinking the enemy aircraft carrier Chiyoda and destroyer Hatsuzuki.
Mobile continued to serve with the carriers until late December 1944, as they covered the ongoing effort to recover the Philippines. Following a West Coast overhaul, she came back to the war zone in late March 1945 and spent April and May providing gunfire support to U.S. ground forces fighting on Okinawa. In late August, after Japan had agreed to surrender, the cruiser began began more than two months of assistance to occupation efforts. She made two “Magic Carpet” voyages in late 1946, transporting service personnel home from the former Pacific combat area, then went to the Puget Sound Navy Yard, at Bremerton, Washington, to prepare for inactivation. –from Naval Historical Center
Although “the MOBILE” did all these things, it was the men who crewed her who made them happen.
My friend’s father was one of those men. That is a record to be proud of.
My condolences to my friend and her family.