USS Horace A. Bass (APD-124) - World War II Service 1944-1945

World War II Service 1944-1945

Horace A. Bass fitted out at the Boston Navy Yard, Boston, Massachusetts, and conducted shakedown training off Bermuda, after which she sailed to New York City, where she arrived 15 February 1945. Departing on 16 February 1945, Horace A. Bass escorted ammunition ship USS Firedrake (AE-14) to Panama, from where she proceeded to San Diego, California, arriving on 3 March 1945. After gunnery exercises in the area she sailed westward to join in the climactic phase of World War II.

Horace A. Bass stopped at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Eniwetok; and Ulithi Atoll, en route Okinawa, where the largest fleet assembled in the Pacific was supporting United States Army and United States Marine Corps forces in what was to be the final major land battle of the war against Japan. She arrived off Okinawa on 6 April 1945, just in time to take part in repelling one of the fiercest Japanese air assaults of the campaign. As the desperate attack was driven off, Horace A. Bass was credited with at least one plane shot down. As the battle raged ashore, she served on the vital picket line to warn of incoming Japanese air raids until 10 April 1945, when she sailed with a convoy to Guam. On the return passage she sank the Japanese submarine RO-109 with a single accurate depth charge attack south of Okinawa on 25 April 1945.

Arriving at Okinawa on 26 April 1945, Horace A. Bass resumed the hectic picket duty interspersed with convoy voyages to Saipan and Guam. Though Okinawa was secured in mid-June 1945, Japanese air attacks continued, and Horace A. Bass continued to provide antiaircraft and antisubmarine protection to the many ships off Okinawa. Early on 30 July 1945, she was on picket duty in the area when a low-flying kamikaze suicide aircraft crashed through her superstructure and fell alongside, its bomb exploding close aboard. Horace A. Bass suffered hull damage and 14 casualties, but was quickly repaired. She remained off Okinawa until sailing north toward Japan on 14 August 1945.

Horace A. Bass received two battle stars for World War II service, for:

  • Okinawa Gunto Operation: Assault and Occupation of Okinawa Gunto 6 April 1945 to 10 April 1945 and 25 April 1945 to 30 June 1945
  • Third Fleet Operations Against Japan 10 July 1945 to 15 August 1945

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