Monday, March 18, 2019
USS Helm (DD-388)-- Part 3: The Marianas Turkey Shoot
After Savo Island, the Helm remained in the dangerous waters off Guadalcanal before leaving in September to escort transports between Australia and New Guinea. On 15 May 1943, the ship assisted in the search for survivors from the Australian hospital ship Centaur which had been torpedoed by the Japanese submarine I-177. Some 268 of 332 aboard died.
The Helm later that year participated in Woodlark Island, Milne Bay, Cape Gloucester and Saidor.
In 1944, the Helm escorted the battleship USS Maryland to Mare Island.
In June, she was involved in the invasion of the Marianas Islands, which turned into the biggest carrier battle of the war, helping provide anti-aircraft protection. With the help of American submarines, two Japanese carriers were sunk and there were such staggering losses to the Japanese naval air power that it was dubbed the "Marianas Turkey Shoot."