Wednesday, March 20, 2019

USS Helm (DD-338)-- Part 5: Iwo Jima, Okinawa and Atomic Testing


Task Force 38 retired to Ulithi, arriving November 2, 1944, after almost two months of continuous action.  After three days, they departed on 5 November and headed back to the Philippines.  The Helm later took part in the landings at Lingayen Gulf on Luzon.

The Japanese put up fierce resistance with their only remaining weapon, suicide kamikaze planes.  On January, 4, 1945, the escort carrier USS Ommaney Bay was struck and sunk.

Next up was Iwo Jima where she screen carriers and rescue survivors of the escort carrier USS Bismarck Sea.  After that, it was on to Okinawa where it shot down many kamikazes.

Afterwards, the Helm did mostly patrol duty and helped search for survivors of the USS Indianapolis.  After the Japanese surrender, it took part in the occupation of Japan.  It was decommissioned in 1946 and used that summer as a target ship of the Operation Crossroads atomic tests in the Pacific.  Her hulk was sold for scrapping in October 1947.

Mr. Winslow's ship was definitely involved in a lot of action.  I wonder if any other ship was involved with that much.

--GreGen

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