Harold Roth GM2/c - Plankowner
The history of "your ship" was compiled in accordance with a naval directive and for that reason it does not depict the entire story as
perhaps some of us know it. Volumes could be written about the loyalty, personalities, and problems encountered since commissioning. Practically the greatest lesson of experience learned by all hands during this war was, no matter how well equipped a naval vessel was for battle, that without the complete teamwork of officer and enlisted personnel any undertaking against the enemy was
fruitless. Many of us are
soon to return to normal life, detaching ourselves from a well coordinated combat team- for the greatest victory of history has been won and the sublime
peace that we so often have prayed for is now a reality. It would be well for us to stop and think how fortunate we are to be
alive - that we are of the victors. However insignificant our part has been, as a fighting unit in the United States Navy, it
is with utmost pride and thorough appreciation that this narrative is dedicated to all the officers and enlisted personnel who
served aboard during World War II.
Let us drink a toast, then to these men and all their abilities, determinations and actions, because they have conducted themselves
on the Tomich in a manner becoming to the best traditions of the naval service.
M. R. HATCH, Jr.,
HISTORY OF U.S.S. TOMICH (DE-242)
Under a drizzling rain Captain D. C. REDGRAVE, Jr., USN representing the Commandant of the Eighth Naval
District, placed the U.S.S. TOMICH (DE-242) in commission at the Texas Coal and Iron Railroad Dock, Green's Bay, Houston, Texas,
the twenty-seventh of July, 1943. Lieutenant Commander H. A. Hull, USNR, assumed command of the U.S.S. TOMICH (DE-242), a unit of Escort Division Seven of the Atlantic Fleet.
Late the same day a 80 to 100 knot hurricane swept the area and lines were quadrupled to insure that the newly christened ship would not stray from her
moorings. Standing down Houston Ship Channel on August third, the (DE-242) proceeded to Galveston Texas for dry docking facilities. Continuing
on her maiden voyage the next port of call was Algiers, Louisiana where certain critical supplies were taken aboard. The
TOMICH sortied on August 19, 1943, and set course for Bermuda, B.W.I., to undergo shakedown training. Prior
to landfall of Bermuda, a hurricane was encountered with winds up to 75 knots, causing a delay in entering St. George Harbor.
Moored alongside U.S.S. FARQUAR (DE-139) in nest with U.S.S. HAMUL (AD-20) on August 26, 1943, and numerous phases of training commenced; the emphasis of such being placed upon Anti-Submarine warfare techniques. At the conclusion of the four week shakedown
the Gunnery Department established an enviable record for ships of this class, for not only had a direct hit been scored on a dummy torpedo run but also the
surface and anti-aircraft practices were well above average. Whereupon the final inspection resulted in a "well done" from
Captain J. L. Holloway, Jr., USN, in charge of Destroyer shakedown group. Took departure September 23, from Bermuda area in
company with U.S.S. FARQUAR (DE-139) to escort U.S.S. MERRIMACK (AO-37) to Buoy X-ray Sugar outside Norfolk, Va. Having
carried out assigned task the DE-242 and DE-139 steamed to Charleston, South Carolina, the home yard for this ship, for a short
availability. During the stay in Charleston, Commander T. H. Dunstan, USNR, reported aboard as
Commander Escort Division-SEVEN and hoisted division flag.
Underway on October 9, for Guantanamo, Cuba to engage in refresher training. Arrived Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on October 12. Departed
area and proceeded to rendezvous with U.S. Army Transport "George Washington", thence steering courses to Kingston, Jamaica. In Kingston the officers of the TOMICH were entertained in festive style by the British Naval Representatives with a dance at the Britannica Club. In the forenoon of October 17, the ship sailed for Guantanamo, where, on arrival orders were
received to proceed on search for U.S.S. DORADO. Unable to locate any floating debris or sign of submarine, the TOMICH returned to Guantanamo on October 22nd. Took departure Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to rendezvous with U.S.S. Pike (SS-173)
and escort her northward to X-ray Sugar near Norfolk, Va. Arrived Norfolk, on November 5th. Underway
November 13, 1943, to act as escort in Task Force 63 of UGS convoy 24 enroute to Casablanca, French Morocco. Commander Vernon
Huber, USN, in U.S.S. Wilkes (DD-441) acted as CTF 63. No enemy activity was encountered during the entire voyage and the
"two-four-two" anchored in Casablanca Bay on December 2nd. Left Casablanca on December 7th and joined GUS 23 off
Gibralter preparatory to escorting the convoy back to the United States. All ships in the convoy were safely herded to their
respective destinations, and then this ship set course for New York, N.Y. In the forenoon of Christmas Day all lines were secured to Pier King, Brooklyn Navy
yard, N.Y. and a ten day availability had commenced. While ship underwent repairs, Lt. Brown, U.S. Naval Reserve, relieved
Lt. Comdr. H. A. Hull, U.S. Naval Reserve, as Commanding Officer.
Admiral Monroe Kelly, USN, and his aide arrived on board at noon of January 4, to present the Congressional Medal of Honor and citation dated March 4, 1942, of Peter Tomich, Chief Watertender, (PA), USN, (Deceased), who distinguished himself with his "estraordinary courage and disregard
of his own safety during the attack on the Fleet in Pearl Harbor, T.H., by the Japanese forces on December 7, 1941. Although
realizing that the ship was capsizing, as a result of the enemy bombing and torpedoing, he remained at his post in the engineering plant of the U.S.S. UTAH
until he saw that all boilers were secured and all fireroom personnel had left their stations, and by so doing he lost his own life."
Departed Brooklyn Navy Yard, January 5, 1944, for Fort Pond Bay for training in ASW and Gunnery. Left Montauk, Long Island
area on January 10, and proceeded in company with other units of CortDiv-SEVEN to Norfolk, Va. Steamed from Norfolk, Va. on
Jan. 13, as part of Task force 63, escorting U.G.S. Convoy 30 to Casablanca, French Morocco. Captain H. S. Berdine, USCG, rode aboard the U.S.S. LANSDALE (DD-426) as CTS 63. After an uneventful trip across the Atlantic the TOMICH soon left her
moorings in company with other units of CortDiv-SEVEN to journey to Gibralter Harbor, Gibralter for a one day stay. While at "Gib" the ship was berthed
alongside the HMS WARSPITE and both officers and enlisted personnel of this vessel were treated with extreme hospitality.
Rendezvous with GUS 29 was effected, and several days later on February 9, the DE-242 broke off from escort screen and steamed to Ponta Delgado, San Migual,
Azores Islands. Departed Ponta Delgado the evening of the ninth, escorting the S.S. PHEONIS BANNING and S.S. ABRAHAM BALDWIN to rejoin GUS 29. Directed by Task Force Commander on February 18, to escort U.S.S. MATTAPONI (AO-41) and S.S.
SANGARA to Bermuda, B.W.I. On completion of this task and escort of GUS 29 to destination, the U.S.S. TOMICH proceeded to Brooklyn
Navy Yard, N. Y., arriving there February 22, 1943.
With termination of yard availability, got underway March 5, for deperming at Bayonne, N.J. and thence to Fort Pond Bay off Montauk Point for training in company with U.S.S. SELLSTROM (DE-255), U.S.S. SAVAGE (DE-386), and U.S.S. RAMSDEN (DE-382). Training completed, set sail for
Norfolk arriving there March 11. Made sortie on March 13, from Hampton Roads as escort in TASK Force 64 of UGS convoy 36
enroute to Bizerte, Tunisia, Captain H. S. BERDINE, USCG at CTF 64 in U.S.S. DECATUR (DD-341). No enemy activity
was encountered up to passage through Straits of Gibraltar on March 30. On the same day Lt. H. B. Jones, USNR, Task Force 64
ASW Officer and assistent soundman were received aboard by breeches buoy from the U.S.S. DECATUR (DD-341). During the evening
watch of March 31, sonar contact was made by this ship and two 13 charge patterns of dept charges were fired, after which many personnel heard underwater explosions. While all hands stayed at General Quarters a patrol plan was instituted, which included the presence of the HMS BLACK SWAN who had accompanied this vessel on investigation of submarine contact. At the beginning of
the morning watch and as the TOMICH was returning to convoy after abandoning search in the contact area, UGS 36 was attacked by German medium and torpedo bombers in approximate position Lat. 36 - 45 (N), Longitude 01 - 59.5 (E). At time 0401, April 1, 1944, this ship sighted enemy aircraft off the port bow and subsequently opened fire with main and secondary batteries. At 0417 a flaming Dornier 217 was observed falling into the sea as a result of 40mm and 20mm fire from this vessel. Anchored in Lac du Bizerte on third of April. On April 10, Lt. H. B. Jones, USNR, was transferred to U.S.S. ALDEN (DD-211) for temporary duty as Task Force 64 ASW Officer, in accordance with CTF 64 orders of same date. Underway
from Bizerte Tunisia, April 11, to rendezvous with GUS 36 convoy outside Bizerte Harbor and thence to escort this convoy to United States ports. Detached on April 13, as escort of GUS 36 and proceeded independently to Oran, Algeria to effect investigation of possible damage to starboard propeller shaft. U.S.S. TOMICH (DE-242) departed Oran in the forenoon of April 14, and rejoined GUS 36. No activitives of importance
were experienced during the remander of the voyage to the United States. However, on Sunday, April 30, Destroyer Division 57 plus U.S.S. TOMICH
(DE-242) and U.S.S. PILOT (AM-104) were detached from GUS 36 with Chesapeake section. Relieved of escort duties by ComDesDiv-57 on May 1st and departed X-ray Sugar buoy off Norfolk, Virginia for Brooklyn Navy Yard, N.Y. The (DE-242) remained in New York for yard
availability until May 13, when she left in company with Escort Division 23, Commander F. P. Vetterick,
USCG, in U.S.S. SELLSTROM (DE-255), plus U.S.S. SLOAT (DE-245) for training activities in Casco Bay,
Maine. Steamed from Casco May 18, in company with ComCort-Div-23 and division plus U.S.S. McCORMICK (DD-223) and U.S.S. E. V. JOHNSON (DE-702) for Norfolk, Virginia. Secured all lines at NOB, Norfolk on May 20.
U.S.S.TOMICH (DE-242) left Norfolk May 22, as escort in Task Force 64 of UGS convoy 43, Captain H. S. Berdine, USCG as CTF 64 in
U.S.S. McCORMICK (DD-223). Enroute from Hampton Roads to Bizerte, Tunisia. No enemy activity
was encountered during the entire trip to Bizerte and return to United States. However, on June 11, the Tomich visited the port of Algiers, Algeria to
transfer emergency appendicitis case; and another task of interest occurred June 28, when this vessel was detached from GUS 43 at
approximate position Latitude 35 - 57.5 (N) and Longitude 21 - 02 (W) to escort U.S.S. CARIB (AT-82) towing U.S.S. MENGES (DE-320)
to Horta, Feyel, Azores. During this assignment the tug experienced difficulties in maintaining a
good catenary due to the rig employed and adverse weather conditions. Detached at Horta from further escort duties for U.S.S. CARIB (AT-82) and U.S.S. MENGES (DE-320) on July 1; therefore proceeded to rejoin GUS 43. Moored portside to Pier Dog in
Brooklyn Navy Yard upon arrival July 10.
Underway independently on July 21, from New York to Casco Bay Maine for training. Conducting test firing of four Army type single 40mm guns just
installed during availability. Departed Casco Bay, July 30, in company with ComCortDiv-54 in U.S.S. JENKS (DE-665), U.S.S. SOLAR
(DE-221), U.S.S. FOWLER (DE-222), and U.S.S. WISEMAN (DE-667) for Norfolk, Virginia, arriving there about noon August 1, 1944.
Underway August 2, from Hampton Roads as escort in Task Force 64, Captain H. S. Berdine, USCG, as CTF 64 in U.S.S. BALCH (DD-363), with UGS convoy 50,
enroute to Bizerte, Tunisia. No enemy activity was encountered on voyage and all escorts of Task Force 64 entered Bizerte Harbor to rendezvous with GUS
50 on August 29, proceeding with no enemy interference to the United States. U.S.S. TOMICH (DE-242) arrived Brooklyn Navy
Yard, September 18, 1944 for yard availability.
Departed Brooklyn Navy Yard, October 4, for Boston, Mass. via Cape Cod Canal, mooring in South Boston Navy Yard about Noon October
5. Underway from South Boston Navy Yard berth early the seventh to escort Boston Section of CU-42 in company with U.S.S.
CARTER (DE-112) to rendezvous position in Latitude 42 - 23 (N) and Longitude 70 - 42 (W). Both the TOMICH and CARTER were relieved by U.S.S. KIRKPATRICK (DE-318) and U.S.S. OSWALD (DE-767) who turned over the escort of S.S. M.V. BANTOM to these ships for return to Boston. Detached S.S. M.V. BANTOM at Massachusetts Bay and steamed in company with U.S.S. CARTER (DE-112)
to Casco Bay for training activities, arriving October 9.
Proceeded from Casco Bay, Maine on October 10, to Quonset Point Rhode Island. Upon arrival Quonset Point late the same day U.S.S. TOMICH (DE-242) reported to ComAsdevlant for special radar and anti-submarine warfare tests. Exercised for two days with U.S.S. BARRACUDA (SS-163)
and Quonset-based planes. The planes and this ship recorded maximum and minimum ranges on jury-rigged "Schnorkel" atop the U.S.S. BARACUDA (SS-163. Left Quonset Point, October13, and returned to Casco Bay, Maine in company
with Escort Division-SEVEN. ComCortDiv-SEVEN in U.S.S. Moore (DE-240), enroute to Norfolk, Va. Moored to pier 5, Naval
Operating Base, Norfolk, Virginia on November 4.
Departed Norfolk the seventh of November with all other ships of Escort Division Seven in Task Group 22.4, Captain R. S. Purvis,
USN, as CTG 22.4 in U.S.S. CORE (CVE-13), enroute to Bermuda, B.W.I. for coordinated "killer group" training. After extensive training Task Group 22.4
steamed from Bermuda to New York, N.Y., arriving at Brooklyn Navy Yard Annex, Pier at foot of 33rd St. on December 6. Departed Brooklyn, New York on
December 12, in company with Task Group 22.4 CTG 22.4 in U.S.S. CORE (CVE-13), enroute to Quonset Point, Rhode Island. Escort Division SEVEN with ComCortDiv-SEVEN in U.S.S. MOORE (DE-240) was detached from Task Group, at position off buoy Able near Quonset Point, and
proceeded to Fort Pond Bay, Montauk Point, Long Island for training exercises in anti-submarine warfare and gunnery. U.S.S.
TOMICH (DE-242) was detached from training on December 17, to proceed to New York for radar repairs, returning to Fort Pond Bay area on December 19. Journeyed from Fort Pond Bay at daybreak on December 23rd, in company with Escort Division Seven mooring
to Pier at-foot-of 33rd St., Brooklyn, N.Y. late the same day. Underway December 29 and returned to Fort Pond Bay Area for further
training. Departed Fort Pond Bay in company with U.S.S. OTTERSTETTER (DE-244) and U.S.S. SLOAT (DE-245) on January 7, 1945 and proceeded to
Brooklyn Navy Yard for availability, arriving there late that same date. During this period of availability the Tomich was
completely equipped with High Frequency Radio Direction Finder gear for utilization in killer-group work. Underway in the
afternoon of January 19, in company with Escort Division-SEVEN, ComCortDiv-SEVEN in U.S.S. MOORE (DE-240), proceeding to Norfolk, Virginia. Moored alongside Pier 5 Naval Operating Base, Norfolk, Virginia on January 20. Departed Hampton Roads, January 25, in
company with Task Group 22.4, CTG 22.4 in U.S.S. CORE (CVE-13) to conduct eastward sweep through track of a westbound German submarine, altering course to
northeastward to search for homebound submarine southeast of Flemish Cape. As no contacts were made on these sweeps, Task
Group 22.4 sailed in accordance with CinClant's orders to vicinity of Latitude 50 - 30 (N) and Longitude 29 - 30 (W) to hunt enemy weather reporter. Extreme weather conditions were encountered during patrolling operations. Although contact was
established by planes of U.S.S. Core (CVE-13) and ships of CortDiv-SEVEN, the enemy successfully evaded the killer group each time. On February 16, Task Unit 22.2.1 with ComCortDiv-FORTY-EIGHT in U.S.S. THOMAS (DE-102) joined the
escorting screen to add to the potency of this group.
During the day of February 20, 1945, winds recorded up to 115 knots halted all operations momentarily, inasmuch as headway through the
high seas was practically nil. Some damage was sustained by the U.S.S.Core (CVE-13) and her escorts. It
required the utmost in seamanship and conning to prevent this ship from capsizing. About noon the 21st of February, Task Group 22.4 detached TASK Unit
22.2.1 and steamed for the United States via Argentia, New Foundland, due to the exhaustion of fuel, planes and supplies. Arrived Naval Operating Base, Argentia, February 27, and departed after fueling late same day.
The U.S.S. CORE (CVE-13) was escorted to Norfolk, Virginia and all ships in CortDiv-SEVEN were detached and proceeded to Brooklyn Navy Yard, mooring to Pier Jig
on March 4. Upon termination of yard availability the (DE-242) sailed March 19, for New London, Connecticut via Coastal
Route, arriving there late the same day. CortDiv-SEVEN less U.S.S. MOORE (DE-240) with ComCortDiv-SEVEN in U.S.S. KEITH (DE-241) departed New London as Task Unit 22.4.1 on March 21. Made rendezvous with Task Group 22.10
in approximate position 42 - 20 (N) and 55 - 28 (W); thence proceeding to conduct hunt for westbound enemy submarine estimated in vicinity of 43 - 30 (N) and 49 - 15 (W) by Cominch.
Detached TG 22.10 and departed area on March 26, steaming to Norfolk, Virginia arriving there March 28. Task Group 22.4 steamed
from Norfolk, April 3, to Guantanamo Bay Cuba for training. Task Group 22.4 departed Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, 13 April 1945
under orders to replenish logistic requirements at Bermuda, B.W.I. The Group departed Bermuda 16 April in compliance with orders from Cinclant to
rendezvous with and report to CTG 22.3 for duty at 43 - 00 (N), 45 - 00 (W) at 211200 Zebra. Rendezvous with TU 22.7.1 and TG 22.8 was effected the
same date, CTG 22.3 designated OTC by Cinclant. In preparation for operations against westbound subs a scouting line was
formed consisting of TU 22.7.1, TG 22.8, and two DE's each from TG's 22.3 and 22.4 with CTU 22.7.1 in operational control. The U.S.S. OTTERSTETTER (DE-244) and U.S.S. KEITH (DE-241) were the escorts so designated from Task
Group 22.4. The U.S.S. TOMICH (DE-242) lost Marstellar, Howard William, TM3c, 856 77 36, V6, USNR overboard on April 16, off Bermuda, B.W.I. while enroute to rendezvous position. Search was made by all escorts and U.S.S.
CORE (CVE-13) for an hour, but man was not picked up. Apparently he was injured before striking the water and sank, for he was never sighted
A U.S.S. BOGUE (CVE-9) aircraft attacked a surfacing submarine on April 23, in position 43 - 05 - (N), 40 - 20 (W). An intensive search with the entire
scouting line was ordered by the OTC. While engaged in this search on the following day, the U.S.S.
F. C. DAVIS (DE-136) was torpedoed at 0840 (Z.D. plus 2), in position 43 - 51 (N), 40 -15 (W), and sank shortly afterwards. Later at 1840 (Z.D. plus 2) the sub surfaced due to damage sustained from countless hedgehog and depth charge attacks. The sub was sunk by surface gunfire and sank within four or five minutes. This vessel was not
in the immediate vicinity nor did she at anytime obtain positive sonar contact on an enemy submarine during the entire operation.
The U.S.S. TOMICH (DE-242) was detached from Barrier Patrol Station on 9 May by CTG 22.3 to rejoin Task Group 22.4 and depart for New York, N.Y. Moored to Pier at foot of 36th Street, Brooklyn, New York on May 11. Underway from Brooklyn on the
morning of the twelfth to moor alongside U.S.S. WILLIS (DE-395) at Navy Yard, Bayonne, N.J. After taking on ammunition at
Naval Ammunition Depot Earle, N.J., returned to Middle Berth, Pier at foot of 36th Street, Brooklyn. Steamed from Brooklyn pier on 19 May enroute to
Boston, Mass., for availability, arriving South Boston Navy Yard, May 20th. On June 12, 1945, Lt.
Comdr. C. B. Brown, U.S. Naval Reserve, was relieved of duties as Commanding Officer by Lt. Reed Whitney, U.S. Naval Reserve. During the availability the four single Army type 40mm guns were replaced with two twin Navy type 40mm guns. The
original twin 40mm was replaced with a Navy type quadruple 40mm mount. In addition a Mark 26 Radar
with Mark 52 director was installed atop the flying bridge forward of the mast to compose a fire control plot.
Underway from Boston, June 28, in company with U.S.S. J. RICHARD WARD (DE-243) and U.S.S. KEITH (DE-241) to Guantanamo Bay, CUBA for refresher training. Arrived Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on July 3, and at 2000 this date Lt. Comdr. G. R. Atterbury, U.S. Naval Reserve, ComcortDiv-SEVEN, shifted flag from U.S.S. OTTERSTETTER (DE-244) to U.S.S. TOMICH (DE-242). Departed
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, July 16, in company with U.S.S. KEITH (DE-241), U.S.S. OTTERSTETTER (DE-244), U.S.S. SLOAT (DE-245), and U.S.S. WILLIS (DE-395),
ComCortDiv-SEVEN in U.S.S. TOMICH (DE-242) for Coco Solo, Panama Canal Zone. Moored alongside pier one-baker, Coco Solo, on July 17. Underway July 18th, and commenced entering Panama Canal. The same group proceeded from the Canal Zone to San Diego, California, arriving there
late in the day on 26 July. Training exercisies were conducted enroute. On July 31, 1945 Task
Unit 06.11.15 as constituted by Commander Western Sea Frontier, with CTU 06.11.15 in U.S.S. TOMICH (DE-242) in company with U.S.S.
OTTERSTETTER (DE-244), U.S.S. KEITH (DE-241), U.S.S. SLOAT (DE-245), and U.S.S. WILLIS (DE-395), was standing out San Diego Bay
enroute to Pearl Harbor, T.H. Training exercises were conducted while underway to destination. Moored
to Buoy Dog 6 in Pearl Harbor, T.H. on 7 August. At 1600 August 8, 1945, Lt. Comdr. G. R.
Atterbury, U.S.Naval Reserve, Commander Escort Division-SEVEN transferred his flag to U.S.S. Moore (DE-240). During the stay in Pearl Harbor this
vessel participated in underway training exercises as promulgated by Commander Destroyer Pacific fleet. Departed Pearl Harbor
for Saipan, Marianas Islands, on August 20, as a part of Task Unit 12.5.1 which was constituted by Cincpac Pearl. CTU 12.5.1,
Comdr. T. S. Lank, USN, in U.S.S. HAVERFIELD (DE-393) with CortDiv-51, less U.S.S.JANSSEN (DE-396) and CortDiv-7, less U.S.S. J. RICHARD WARD (DE-243)
arrived Saipan, August 30, where the Task Unit was dissolved. Training exercises were conducted daily while enroute.
U.S.S. TOMICH (DE-242) got underway September 1, proceeding independently to Iwo Jima in accordance with ComMarianas orders of the
29th and reported to CTU 94.7.3. Departed Iwo Jima, September 4, and proceeded independently to Air Sea Rescue station (Bird Dog 61) in position 31 -
30 (N), 140 - 20 (E) in compliance with orders received from CTU 94.7.3. Relieved the U.S.S. HELM (DD-388) on station September 5.
This vessel was relieved of Air Sea Rescue duties on September 10, and proceeded independently to Iwo Jima for replenishment of logistic requirements. Anchored
in Iwo Jimas Harbor, September 11, in the afternoon. On September 15, 1945, the U.S.S. TOMICH (DE-242), having traveled a total of approximately
140,000 miles since its entry in the service of the United States Navy, remained at anchor in Iwo Jimas Harbor awaiting further orders from CTU 94.7.3. To date two commissioned officers were still serving aboard the TOMICH since the date of commissioning; namely, Lt. (jg) O. M. David, USNR and Lt. (jg) M. R. Hatch, Jr., USNR.
The following additional information was submitted by Harold Roth
From Iwo Jima U.S.S. TOMICH (DE-242) proceeded on to Okinawa for a short time in harbor. From there proceeded up Yellow Sea to Tsingtao, China, "which
is now called Qingdao". From there on to Korea up a long narrow channel that had rocky cliffs on both sides to a harbor where we anchored off shore. We were told there would be no liberty because they were fighting over there. I think it was maybe Inchon. How I remember is because I got the task as helmsman to steer this ship up a crooked channel where I had to keep changing course. After
a short stay at anchor in harbor the (DE-242) proceeded down channel and across the Yellow Sea again to Tsingtao. This is where I left it while at
anchor in harbor on a very cold day January 27, 1946, by whale boat to a converted troop transport and proceeded back to the United States via San Francisco and then by train to Great
Lakes for discharge from the Navy on February 22, 1946.
I served aboard the (DE-242) from the day of commissioning on July 27, 1943 to January 27, 1946 for over a total of 140,000 miles.
|Harold Roth GM 2/c USNR
16 Feb 2003
LAST MONTHS OF USS TOMICH DE 242
FROM THE DIARY OF CHIEF ENGINEERING OFFICER
NEAL DYSTE, LT., USNR
January 27, 1946 still in Tsingtao China awaiting orders to go to Teintsin or Shanghai.
February 2, 1946 arrived in Shanghai moored in the center of the Whangpoo River among ships extending in a single line for miles. Have heard that
the relieving ships are coming from Pearl harbor.
February 15, 1946 back from ordering spare parts from a supply ship. Are due to leave and escort the cruiser Chicago to Tsingtao. Relief now
supposed to take place in the middle of March. Everyone got spruced up for a visit from the Chinese leader Chiang Kai Sheck and his wife. She broke formality and waved at us as they
went by in their motor launch.
February 22, 1946 finished the escort assignment with the cruiser Chicago and are waiting in [Shanghai] to escort another cruiser, the Columbus.
Noted that all the US Navy ships were in full dress in honor of Washington's birthday.
February 26, 1946 just finished the escort assignment with the Columbus. The ship is laid up for a week so that the boilers and distilling plant can
March 8, 1946 written at sea. Heading for Shanghai after calling overnight in Okinawa, picking up mail and passengers for
Shanghai. Encountering rough seas causing seasickness for those not used to it.
March 12, 1946 have been to Shanghai and are escorting a transport. More trouble in Shanghai. Riots involving Chinese and American servicemen.
March 23, 1946 written from Shanghai. Ships Captain, Olin Merrill David Lieutenant, USNR, was replaced by a man from Texas, Adolphus G. Raht, Lt.
Comdr., who signed over from the Reserve to the Regular Navy. Am one of the few left that have been aboard any lenght of time without relief. Was in charge of a shore patrol
contingent last night.
March 25, 1946 again from Shanghai. Thinks they have a firm date for return to the USA. Leave China April 10, stop on way to Pearl Harbor and
SanDiego or Long Beach.
March 31, 1946 have been out and back with cruiser Chicago to Japanese Island of Kyushu. Now back in Shanghai. Weather has turned fair.
April 3, 1946 now we have it that ship will stop in San Pedro, then go through the Panama Canal to the East Coast.
April 6, 1946 the April 10 date is still firm. The ship has been detached and is waiting for other ships in the squadron to assemble.
April 21, 1946 steamed into Pearl Harbor this morning. Looks deserted compared with what it was like last August. Saw some ships destined to be part
of the atomic bomb test in July. Has been quite a struggle keeping the ships machinery going. Have to spend the whole next day ashore hunting up spare parts.
April 23, 1946 Division Commander decided to change routing. San Pedro will be bypassed.
May 1, 1946 half way from Pearl Harbor to Panama. USA destination is Charleston. Will stay in Balboa, on the Pacific side of the Canal, for two
days. There was an emergency, one of the crew had appendicitis. One of our passengers was a doctor and he was able to perform the operation. They used the wardroom as the operating
room. Expected to arrive in Balboa Wed., May 8.
May 15, 1946 limping along due to trouble with main engines. Due in Charleston tomorrow. Not getting much sleep with
attempts to do engine repair at sea.
May 16, 1946 now docked in Charleston Navy Yard as part of ComCortDiv 32. Looks like it will be 3-4 weeks before discharge.
May 21, 1946 In dry dock. The Captain is wavering and may let me go soon.
May 23, 1946 out of dry dock, newly painted. Ship will be towed to Indian River in Florida and held there with other mothballed ships.
On September 20, 1946 the U.S.S. Tomich was decommissioned and November 1, 1972 was Stricken from the Naval records, sold for scrapping January 18,
From January 1919, when he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, Austrian-born Peter Tomich worked slowly up the promotion ladder. By Dec. 7, 1941 he wore the chevrons of a chief petty officer and the hash-marks of an oldtimer. That day C.P.O. Tomich was below, where he belonged, when the Japs began their attack on the old battleship UTAH in her berth
at Pearl Harbor.
He stayed below, getting out his men and securing his boilers while the Jap airmen, apparently thinking the UTAH, a target ship,
was a carrier, gave the craft a savage working over. Tomich went down with her. For his devotion the President of the United States made the last entry in his personnel record; the posthumous award of the Medal of Honor.
Last week the Navy was still holding Peter Tomich's medal. Reason: it could find no relative of the UTAH'S hero to receive
The above is an excerpt from TIME magazine, 1943
"Peter Tomich's MOH hung in a passage way forward of the galley
and behind the small armory locker. "
View Photos of Life Aboard USS Tomich
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