Daily Event for January 22, 2015

On a mission to destroy Japanese suicide boats on the northern coast of Mindoro, Philippines two U.S. Navy PT boats, USS PT-80 and USS PT-81 were assisted two U.S.A.A.F. B-25 Mitchell bombers and four P-38 Lightning fighters of the 5th Air Force. The rendezvous between the PT boats and the aircraft took place at 0700 on January 22, 1945 off the Santiago River. By 0815 they began to shell the beach and the aircraft made a bombing and strafing run on the target. From the meager information I have there is no indication of how much damage was done to the enemy, but there was damage done to the PT boats.

Apparently the Marines were unaware of the operation and two F4U Corsair's from Leyte attacked the PT boats at 0830. Damage to the boats was not bad, but two men on PT-80 were gravely wounded. PT-80 returned to her base and the men were transferred to the U.S. Army hospital at San Jose for treatment. The pilots of the P-38's chased down the Corsairs and managed to obtain their tail numbers, which identified the unit they belonged to. I have not been able to learn which unit the planes came from or the names of the pilots. This was not the first time such an incident had occurred and in war sometimes mistakes happen. This is one of a pilots worst fears, but if he has no information on the position of friendly forces and has orders to attack, the heat of the moment sometimes overrides sound judgment.

Both men from PT-81 died of their wounds, one later in the day and the other several days later. They were originally buried on Mindoro, but were later moved to the Manila American Cemetery at Fort Bonifacio, Manila, Philippines.
© 2015 Michael W. Pocock

Roll of Honor
In memory of those who lost their lives in
"As long as we embrace them in our memory, their spirit will always be with us"

Archibald, Robert J.
Seaman 1st Class (USNR)
Died of wounds Jan. 27
Frantz, William S.
Motor Machinist's Mate 3rd Class (USNR)

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