Summary

Birth:
04 Apr 1912 1
Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan 1
Death:
24 Jul 1944 1
Near Tinian Island, South Pacific 1
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Holiday, Robert B
Holiday, Robert B

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Personal Details

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Full Name:
Robert Begg Holiday 1
Birth:
04 Apr 1912 1
Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan 1
Male 1
Death:
24 Jul 1944 1
Near Tinian Island, South Pacific 1
Cause: Killed In Action; WW II, onboard USS COLORADO 1
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Birth:
Mother: Bess Beggs Holiday 1
Father: Frank E. Holiday 1
Marriage:
Joyce Mitchell Holiday 1
Spouse Death Date: 21 Dec 1993 1
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Occupation:
Communications Officer~U.S. NAVY 1
Religion:
Protestant 1

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Robert Begg Holiday~Biography

Detroit, Wayne Co., Michigan

3_RobertBHoliday_TransferOrders_2.jpg
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Robert Begg Holiday was born on 04 April 1912, in Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, the eldest child and only son of Frank E. and Bess (Nee Beggs) Holiday.  He had two younger sisters, Frances, and Helen.  His parents, Frank and Bess Holiday were born and raised and married in Huron County, OHIO.  Robert Begg Holiday married Joyce Mitchell sometime prior to his enlistment in the U.S. NAVY.

Robert Begg Holiday began his Military Service in the U.S. NAVY on 15 August 1943, as a Commissioned Officer.  Ensign Robert Begg Holiday was a communications officer on board the Flagship (Battleship), USS MARYLAND.  ENSIGN is the most junior commissioned officer in the Navy.  It ranks below lieutenant junior grade and is also equivalent to a second lieutenant in the Army, Marine Corps, and the Air Force.

Depending upon the warfare community, an ensign may go directly to a ship after commissioning to serve as a division officer or receive one to two years of specialty training prior to reporting to an operational unit. Ensigns who become division officers are responsible for leading a group of petty officers and enlisted personnel in one of the ship's division (for example, engineering, communications, or navigation) while at the same time receiving on-the-job training in leadership, naval systems, programs, and policies from enlisted sailors and other officers.

Navy and Coast Guard ensigns wear collar insignia of a single gold bar and because of this share the nickname "butterbars" with Army, Air Force, and Marine second lieutenants, who wear similar insignia.

Day to Day Work of a Radioman
The work of a radioman naturally varied depending on whether on ship or shore, or even what kind of ship.  As an example, I'll use a battleship, whose radio system is set up much like a carrier or cruiser as well.  On smaller vessels, some of these duties were combined, or eliminated.
 
Radio Central (Radio I)
Radio central was the location where most radio traffic occurred.  A number of operating positions, consisting of two receivers and a typewriter(mill), were manned at the same time by rated men.  Their job for a 4-hour watch was to copy the signals heard on the receiver using the mill.  Most of the time, the messages were the Fox broadcasts sent by a network of powerful shore stations.  It was not possible to interrupt these broadcasts to ask for fills if fading or interference caused the radioman to miss something, so usually the broadcasts were monitored on more than one frequency or more than one station at a time.
 
The messages came in 5-character groups of numbers and letters.  The radioman had no idea what he was receiving.  His transcriptions would be passed to the supervisor, usually a Chief Radioman.  He would pass the messages to the adjacent code room for decoding and distribution.
 
Strikers, or apprentice radiomen, were usually responsible for keeping the coffee flowing, passing the messages, and cleaning up.  Listening in and copying messages would give them on-the-air practice.
 
As radio silence was important, the radiomen rarely used the keys at their operating positions.
 
Radio II (Transmitter Room)
Radio II had most of the ships transmitters, and a full set of receivers to cover VLF, LF, MF, and HF for monitoring or casualty use.  Stan Bryn, Seaman 1st Class/Radioman Striker on battleship ALABAMA, reported that he shared Radio II duty with one other man, and they both bunked right there to facilitate manning it 24 hours a day.  His daily job was to set the transmitters on frequency. Norm Dalling, CWO on escort carrier KITKUN BAY reported that he gave informal classes for strikers in Radio II.
 
Radio III (Casualty)
Battleship Massachusetts has enough equipment in Radio III to provide back-up communications in case of failures in Radio I or II.  It is also arranged for Morse code classes for strikers.
 
Combat Information Center (CIC)
CIC was the site of most tactical communications, especially voice circuits to other ships and aircraft.  A radioman here spent most of his time transcribing the voice communications on the various channels.  This must have taken some very good typing skills.

RADIOTELEGRAPH PROCEDURES
Radio silence was the name of the game, as all transmissions by ships carried the risk of giving away the ship's position.  For this reason, the dominant method of radio communications was the "F" or "Fox" broadcast by shore stations.  These were sent by the giant shore stations like NAA, NSS, NPG on VLF, MF, and HF frequencies.  Much of an RMs watch in Radio Central was spent copying these messages which were sent in unintelligible 5-letter groups.  These groups are harder to copy than plain text, because you cannot fill in missing letters by recognizing a word.  A special typewriter, referred to as a "mill" was used to copy these messages.  The communications typewriter, known to Radiomen as a "mill" has special features to facilitate the work of Radiomen and other communications personnel.
 
In plain language, context would help distinguish between similar characters such as 0 and O.  The mill has a slashed zero to differentiate zero from capital O, because most traffic was enciphered and letters and numerals were mixed together in groups.   The mill also has a 1 key, whereas on other typewriters of the era, you typed a small l to represent the numeral 1.  The 1 key eliminated the necessity of using the shift key to make a 1.  The punctuation symbols correspond to different numerals on the mill because of the numeral 1 taking the normal location of the numeral 2.
 
Message headers were encrypted using one system, and message content(body) using another more complex one.  The RMs passed all the messages they copied to the Communications Officer, who would decode the header to see if the message was for that ship, and if so, decode the body of the message.

==================================

WW II History of the USS MARYLAND
On December 7, 1941, when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, USS Maryland (BB-46) was moored inboard of USS Oklahoma (BB-37), and was thus protected by her when Japanese torpedo planes struck. The unfortunate Oklahoma, an older ship with much less adequate protection against underwater damage, was hit by up to nine torpedoes. Her hull's port side was opened almost completely from below the forward gun turret back to the third turret, a distance of over 250 feet. She listed quickly, her port bilge struck the harbor bottom, and she then rolled almost completely over. Oklahoma came to rest less than twenty minutes after she was first hit. Some of her starboard underwater hull and the starboard propeller were now all that showed above the surface of Pearl Harbor.

The USS Maryland, on the other hand, was able to open fire against the enemy and send teams of its sailors on rescue missions to retrieve those stranded on the other battleships. The ship was eventually struck by two bombs, one of which exploded in the ship’s hull and caused serious flooding.  The seven battleships, Moored that Morning at Pearl Harbor, ranged in age from eighteen to twenty-five years, and represented all but two of those available to the Pacific Fleet. The Fleet flagship, Pennsylvania, was also in Pearl Harbor, drydocked at the nearby Navy Yard. The ninth, USS Colorado, was undergoing overhaul on the west coast.

The USS MARYLAND was sent to the Puget Sound Navy Yard in Washington State for repairs on December 30, 1941. Two months later a newly-repaired and modernized USS Maryland emerged to re-join the war efforts in the Pacific. After assisting in the back-up fleet of the Battle of Midway, it ran fleet exercises for six months in the South Pacific. From November 1942 to February 1943, the battleship operated out of the Fiji Islands and then returned to Hawaii for a further upgrade of its armor and ammunition.

Ensign Holiday was assigned to the USS MARYLAND in August of 1943, and was a Communications Officer.

The USS Maryland played key roles in many of the battles in the South Pacific: In October 1943, it served as the flagship in the invasion of the Gilbert Islands; in January 1944, it participated in the bombardment campaign in the Marshall Islands; and in May 1944, it delivered a devastating attack against the Japanese in the significant Saipan campaign, during which it sustained significant damage and had return to Pearl Harbor for repairs.

On 23 JUNE 1944, Ensign Holiday, along with Nine other Crew Members received transfer Orders to report for duty on board the USS COLORADO, a sister Battleship of the MARYLAND.  They were transported from the MARYLAND to the COLORADO via the USS Saufley, (DD-465), and officially listed on the Muster Roll of the COLORADO on 30 June 1944.

U.S. World War II Navy Muster Rolls, 1938-1949
Name: Robert Begg Holiday
Ship, Station or Activity: Saufley
Ship Number or Designation: DD 465
Muster Date: 29 Jun 1944

U.S. World War II Navy Muster Rolls, 1938-1949
Name: R B  Holiday
Ship, Station or Activity: Colorado
Ship Number or Designation: BB-45
Muster Date: 30 Jun 1944

On 24 July 1944, during the U.S. invasion of the sister Marianas Isles of Guam and Tinian,  the veteran COLORADO nosed in alongside Tinian to pound the shore installations and  unexpectedly received a pounding herself. Her first battle damage came as a result of accurate fire from the Tinian batteries opposing her, 22 shells in all ripping into the COLORADO.  Ensign Robert Begg Holiday was among the 47 Men, of the COLORADO who were Killed In Action that day.  Continuing her cannonading despite heavy damage, the COLORADO tenaciously held her covering position to rip apart enemy forts within the invasion area as 35,000 troops began taking over at 0740. Limping away from the Tinian area on  August 3, the COLORADO sailed home via Pearl Harbor, was berthed in the Bremerton Navy Yard undergoing repairs by August 21, 1944.

====================

http://www.maritimequest.com/warship_directory/us_navy_pages/uss_colorado_bb45_tinian_casualties.htm
USS COLORADO~BATTLESHIP
USS Colorado BB-45
47 Men killed in action at Tinian July 24, 1944
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http://usscolorado.org/wordpress/?page_id=41
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WW II Memorial
Robert Begg Holiday  MI   U.S. Navy     ABMC Cemeteries     
http://www.wwiimemorial.com/registry/cemetery/search/pframe.asp?HonoreeID=796756&popcount=3&tcount=3
Robert Begg Holiday  ID: 0-281057
Entered the Service From: Michigan
Rank: Ensign
Service: U.S. Navy, United States Navy
Died: Monday, July 24, 1944
Buried at: Honolulu Memorial
Location: Honolulu, HI, USA
Plot: F Grave: 517
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Robert Begg Holiday   Detroit, MI  U.S. Navy   National Archives     
http://www.wwiimemorial.com/registry/wardept/pframe.asp?HonoreeID=1140637&popcount=2&tcount=3
Ensign Robert Begg Holiday
Branch of Service: U.S. Navy
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Status: KIA
--
U.S. NAVY LOG
ROBERT B. HOLIDAY
Rate/Rank: ENS
Service Branch: USN  0000 - 1944
Born: UNK
MICHIGAN
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WWI, WWII, and Korean War Casualty Listings
Name: Robert Begg Holiday
State Registered: Hawaii    
Death Date: 24 Jul 1944
Cemetery: Honolulu Memorial
Cemetery Burial Plot: Plot F Row 0 Grave 517
Cemetery City: Honolulu
Cemetery Country: Hawaii    
War: World War II
Title: Ensign
Rank: Ensign
Service: U.S. Navy
Service ID: 0-281057
Division: United States Navy
Data Source: World War II Honor Roll
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World War II and Korean Conflict Veterans Interred Overseas
Name: Robert B Holiday
Inducted From: Michigan
Rank: Ensign
Combat Organization: United States Navy
Death Date: 24 Jul 1944
Monument: Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Last Known Status: Buried
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U.S. Rosters of World War II Dead, 1939-1945
Name: Robert B Holiday
Gender: Male
Race: White
Religion: Protestant
Cemetery Name: National Memorial Cemetery of Pacific, Territory of Hawaii (Honolulu)
Grave number: f 517
Disposition: According to next of kin    
Service Branch: Navy
Rank: Ensign
Service Number: 281057
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World War II Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Casualties, 1941-1945
Name: Robert Begg Holiday
Relative Name: Mrs. Joyce Mitchell Holiday
Relative Relationship: Wife
State: Michigan
Country: United States
Type of Casualty: Killed In Action
Roll: ww2c_27
--
http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=holiday&GSfn=robert&GSmn=b&GSbyrel=all&GSdyrel=all&GSob=n&GRid=799421&df=all&
Robert Begg Holiday
Birth:  Apr. 4, 1912
Death:  Jul. 24, 1944
ENSIGN, US NAVY
 
Burial: National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific
Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaii, USA
Plot: F, 0, 517
 
Imported from: US Veteran's Affairs
Record added: Feb 25, 2000
Find A Grave Memorial# 799421
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Ancestry.com
Robert Begg Holiday
Birth:  04 Apr 1912 (4 Apr 1912)
Death:  24 July 1944 (24 Jul 1944) - Hawaii
Parents:  Frank E Holiday, Bess Beggs
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U.S. Veterans Gravesites, ca.1775-2006
Name: Robert Begg Holiday
Service Info.: ENSIGN US NAVY WORLD WAR II
Birth Date: 4 Apr 1912
Death Date: 24 Jul 1944
Service Start Date: 15 Aug 1943
Interment Date: 18 Mar 1949
Cemetery: National Memorial Cemetery of The Pacific
Cemetery Address: 2177 Puowaina Drive Honolulu, HI 96813
Buried At: Section F Site 517
--
U.S. Veterans Gravesites, ca.1775-2006 about Joyce M Holiday
Name: Joyce M Holiday
Service Info.: ENSIGN US NAVY
Birth Date: 3 Mar 1913
Death Date: 21 Dec 1993
Relation:     Wife of Holiday, Robert Begg
Interment Date: 27 Nov 1998
Cemetery: National Memorial Cemetery of The Pacific
Cemetery Address: 2177 Puowaina Drive Honolulu, HI 96813
Buried At: Section F Site 517

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U.S. Navy Cruise Books Index, 1918-2009
Name: Rb Holiday
Ship Name: USS Colorado
Ship Classification: BB-45
Year Range: 1946
IN MEMORY OF THOSE WHO DIED ON THE USS COLORADO
==
08 April 1930 Census/Detroit/Wayne Co./Michigan/Roll: 1043/ED-304/Page: 10A
Household Members: Name     Age Family #: 5-7
Frank E Holiday/Head of Household/45/1st Married at 26/OHx3/Health Inspector/Board of Health
Bess B Holiday/Wife/46/1st Married at 27/OHx3/Teacher/Board of Education
Robert B Holiday/Son/18/MICH/OHx2
Frances E Holiday/Daughter/15/MICH/OHx2
Helen H Holiday/Daughter/12/MICH/OHx2
    
Living at 4670 Ferry Park Avenue
--
05 January 1920 Census/Detroit Ward 10/Wayne Co./Michigan/Roll: 809/ED-321/Page: 3A
Household Members: Name     Age Family#: 28-54
Frank E Hollday/Head of Household/35/Married/OHx3/Motor Cartage
Besse B Hollday/Wife/36/Married/OHx3
Robert B Hollday/Son/7/MICH/OHx2
Frances E Hollday/Daughter/4yrs-10months/MICH/OHx2
Helen H Hollday/Daughter/2yrs-7months//MICH/OHx2

Living at 828 Ferry Park Avenue

=================================================

BB-45 USS COLORADO~BATTLESHIP
Displacement: 32,600 tons (normal) / 34,946 tons (full load)
Length: 624'
Beam: 108'1"-114'
Draft: 33'7"-34'8"
Speed: 21 knots
Armament: 4x2 16"/45, 8x1 5"/51, 8x1 5"/25, 8x4 40mm, 1x4 20mm, 8x2 20mm, 39x1 20mm, 2 21" tt; 3 planes
Complement: 1968-2182 (CREW MEMBERS)
Propulsion: Turbo-electric, 8 285 psi boilers, 4 shafts, 28,900 hp
Built at New York S.B. Corp. and commissioned 30 Aug 1923
(BB-45: displacement. 32,600; length. 624'6"; beam. 97'6"; draft. 30'6"; speed. 21 k.; complement. 1,080; armament 8 16", 12 5", 8 3", 2 21" tt.; class. Colorado)

The third Colorado (BB-45) was launched 22 March 1921 by New York Shipbuilding Co., Camden, N.J., sponsored by Mrs. M. Melville; and commissioned 30 August 1923, Captain R. R. Belknap in command.

Forces for the projected Marshall Islands invasion were assembled on the Pacific Coast and in the Hawaiian Islands with a few elements brought from the Ellice and Samoan areas. Battleship COLORADO departed Lahaina Roads in the Hawaiians on January 22, and proceeded to the attack area off the northern sector of Kwajalein Atoll shortly before the troops landed on D-Day, January 31, 1944.

The COLORADO’s mission was to destroy fortifications along the beaches and support assault  waves by pounding the enemy troop areas immediately adjacent to the landing points. Fire and large columns of smoke on her target areas indicated that the damage caused by the battleship barrage was extensive. In company with other vessels, the COLORADO shelled strategic objectives throughout the day as the troops swarmed ashore, resumed fire shortly before dawn the following day. By February 4, it was all over on Kwajalein.

An assault force and necessary supporting forces for the now familiar pattern of amphibious attack were rapidly organized at Kwajalein and sortied for Eniwetok in the Marshalls on February 15. A coordinating aerial blow at nearby Truk accounted for the almost complete lack of enemy aerial opposition at Eniwetok. Again on hand to assure the success of the invasion was USS COLORADO; her big guns swept the beaches clear of landing obstacles on the 17th (D-Day at Eniwetok) and provided an umbrella of fire for the assault forces as they fanned out from their beachheads. Skipper Granat took his mighty battleship back to the United States with the completion of the Eniwetok job on February 23, for a much-needed period of relaxation prior to the next amphibious operation. Sailing with a 2-day stop-over at Pearl Harbor, the COLORADO entered Washington’s Puget Sound on March 13, 1944.

As the COLORADO rode at anchor in Puget Sound, a series of carrier air strikes were being carried out with ever increasing intensity against the Jap-held Southern Marianas, the build-up period for “Operation Forager.”  On April 30, the COLORADO left the safety of Puget Sound and went south to join other “Operation Forager” units at San Francisco, then sped to aid the landings in the Southern Marianas.

Moving in close to Saipan on June 14, the COLORADO hammered away at the beaches and on the 15th, Yank troops moved in to gain their foothold. The battleship was in as dangerous a position as she had been in all the previous landings which she had covered. Enemy shore installations stood a good chance of knocking one of the prides of the U. S. Fleet out of the war with a well aimed shell. This was close-range exchange of heavy explosives. Yet, those in charge of Pacific invasions felt that it was worth risking such famed battle heavies as USS COLORADO, the risk being counter-balanced by the effectiveness of the barrage they were able to lay down.

Resistance encountered on Saipan was strong, so strong that the planned invasion of the sister Marianas isles of Guam and Tinian had to be postponed. Throughout the month of June and well into July the COLORADO delivered call fire on targets of opportunity at Saipan. By mid-July the tempo of aerial activity was stepped up around Guam, the low-level dive-bombing and strafing attacks serving to demolish practically all Jap artillery there.

For two hours on July 21, COLORADO and other surface units stood off-shore to complete the ruination of Japanese defenses. Then, rocket salvos pouring from plucky LCIs heralded the first wave of landing forces. Into the crumbling enemy lines the COLORADO continued hurling 16-inch projectiles for the next three days in collaboration with the advancing troops. Tinian was next.

On July 24, the veteran COLORADO nosed in alongside Tinian to pound the shore installations and  unexpectedly received a pounding herself. Her first battle damage came as a result of accurate fire from the Tinian batteries opposing her, 22 shells in all ripping into the COLORADO.  (47 of the COLORADO'S Men were Killed In Action)  Continuing her cannonading despite heavy damage, the COLORADO tenaciously held her covering position to rip apart enemy forts within the invasion area as 35,000 troops began taking over at 0740. Limping away from the Tinian area on  August 3, the COLORADO sailed home via Pearl Harbor, was berthed in the Bremerton Navy Yard undergoing repairs by August 21.

On the day of her arrival at Bremerton, Washington, Navy Cross recipient Captain Granat (awarded for his “superb ship-handling and unrelenting aggressiveness” in evidence at Tinian) relinquished his command to Captain Walter S. Macaulay, USN.

With the enormous man-of-war reestablished at her peak of fighting trim at Bremerton and her crew rejuvenated after long leaves, the COLORADO proceeded to San Pedro, California, on October 9, 1944, for a 2-week refresher training prior to her next test.

By the early fall of 1944, the steady advance of United States forces across the Pacific had brought Japan to a position of grave peril. The loss of the Marianas had been recognized by those in responsible position as a mortal blow, and any further advance to the westward would clearly end all hope for success or even prolonged resistance. A trickle of Nipponese commerce which still crept behind the Philippine-Fromosa-Ryukyu Island screen would only last as long as the screen remained unpierced. At U. S. Pacific bases in the forward area, the salient sword was being sharpened.

Out of Bremerton to Pearl Harbor went the COLORADO, then on to Ulithi in the western Carolines. By the time she weighed anchor in Ulithi on November 17, 1944, and proceeded to Leyte in the Central Philippines, the conquest of the Archipelago was in full swing. However, Japanese reinforcements had been successfully landed on Luzon by the thousands and the Nipponese High Command’s Operations Sho. No. 1 (Defense of the Philippines) was meeting with frequent success. In company with the destroyers SAUFLEY and RENSHAW, the COLORADO sped to Leyte Gulf to lend her assistance to the American invaders on Leyte Island.

A week after her arrival in Leyte Gulf, the COLORADO was struck by one of the myriad of suicide aircraft that roamed the skies over the Philippines; incurred heavy casualties and moderate damage. Through the efforts of her repair crews, the COLORADO was able to remain operational, her 5-inch guns roaring out in challenge to other planes hovering above. Determined aerial attacks characterized this period in Leyte Gulf.

In early December the COLORADO moved to the China Sea side of the Philippines for the invasion of Mindoro, key island in the planned Lingayen Gulf incursion. Her guns liberally shelled Mindoro’s beaches on the 12th of December and kept up the bombardment as a cover for the troops until the 18th. Five days later she was safely anchored at Manus Island undergoing needed battle damage repairs.

Final operation of consequence in the Southwest Pacific was the invasion of Lingayen Gulf, an indentation of the west coast of the Philippine jackpot – Luzon. Sailing from Manus to participate in the Luzon landings, the COLORADO levelled her guns on Luzon on January 2, in the softening-up period.

A week later, January 9, she moved in on a determined inland shore battery and opened up an all-out artillery assault. However, a heavy caliber shell from one of the shore guns rocked the COLORADO as it detonated on her superstructure causing severe casualties among those on the navigation bridge and in sky control.  

Suicide planes played havoc with the surface forces throughout the Luzon Campaign, but despite them the COLORADO rendered fire support service to the Army units on Luzon until February 14, 1945. On that date she returned to Ulithi, Western Caroline Islands, to await further assignment. By January 1945, Japan was being considered a defeated nation. In her home islands of the Empire, the situation was being realized and mutterings of a negotiated conditional peace arose even within her own armed services.

The neutralization and occupation of Okinawa was one of the most difficult operations of the Pacific war by United States forces and was considered the largest Pacific amphibious operation — wherein some 1,213 ships participated.

On the 21st of March, 1945, the USS COLORADO began firing the first of two million pounds of high explosives, which were to be her donation to the destruction of the Okinawa stronghold. With recently seized Kerama Retto as her fuel and ammunition base, the COLORADO struck again and again at beleaguered Okinawa Gunto, with the battlewagon’s plotting jammed with anxious officers scanning their charts and maps for locations of enemy gun emplacements, pillboxes, and troop concentrations.

D-Day at Okinawa was scheduled for April 1, 1945, so the job had to be done thoroughly and quickly. The COLORADO’s 16-inch guns blasted Okinawa’s sea wall, reduced railroad junctions to rubble, and knocked out many of the guns which would have poured fire on U. S. troops as they hit the beaches.

Her Kingfisher observation planes winged into the air over Okinawa to transmit target positions to eager COLORADO gunners. And the suicide attacks began.  Low over the water they came, dozens of them, and the antiaircraft fire was like a storm in the sky. In seconds a small dot on the horizon would loom as a suicider loaded with bombs and on a one-way trip. Shrapnel continuously clattered on the mighty vessel’s decks, on one occasion causing injury to thirteen of the ship’s company. At 0830, April 1, 1945, the amphibious assault on Okinawa began. See Album Page 3.

Previous suicide assaults were almost paltry in comparison to the deluge that ensued. Starting on April 6, the Japanese Air Force struck with a fury never before encountered, the majority of the strikes being against surface ships. For 63 days and night the COLORADO endured the hell of Okinawa to deliver the necessary support fire for the troops pushing their way inland. On May 22, she arrived in Leyte Gulf to await further assignment in the relentless campaign being waged to bring the enemy to capitulation.

The COLORADO left her Leyte Gulf anchorage to return to fully-occupied Okinawa on August 3, 1945. It was while she was anchored in Okinawa’s Buckner Bay that the Japanese made the August 15 decision to accept the provisions of the Potsdam Ultimatum.

 On August 27, the COLORADO was among the first group of Allied warships to enter Japanese homeland waters, dropping anchor in Sagami Bay to help cover initial airborne landings at Atsugi Airfield (Tokyo Area) in preparation for General MacArthur’s arrival in Japan.

From Sagami Bay where stately snow-capped Fujiyama made a fine background for the ships of the THIRD Fleet all brilliantly illuminated at night, it was just a five hour trip into Tokyo Bay past the devastated Yokosuka Naval base where the pagoda mast of Japan’s last battleship, the NAGATO, could be plainly seen.

September 1, saw the COLORADO in Tokyo Bay supporting occupation forces in that area. On September 2, 1945, the official instrument of surrender was signed aboard our battleship MISSOURI. Also on September 2, 1945, Captain Augustus J. Wellings became the COLORADO’s new commanding officer. Together with many other war-weary THIRD Fleet units, the COLORADO got underway on September 20, for Okinawa, then Oahu, then home!

Those who manned her take just pride in the COLORADO’s war record. As America went to war, the USS COLORADO remained the only major active fleet unit in the Pacific standing  between our country and a Jap naval attack. In the 10 major invasions and occupation support actions in which she participated, a total of more than 5,802 tons of antipersonnel, armor piercing, and illuminating projectiles have been expended from her heavy batteries in support of ground troops. Adorning the bulkhead of the COLORADO pilot house are 11 Japanese flags, each representing an enemy plane which her guns have accounted for. Since the outbreak of the war the COLORADO has cruised over 150,000 miles and has lost 77 of her complement in enemy action (6 missing, 388 wounded, also.)

After several days in San Francisco, the COLORADO proceeded to Seattle for the 1945 Navy Day observances there (October 27th); received a heart-warming welcome. One newspaper generously dubbed her the “friendly COLORADO” because youngsters were free to train her antiaircraft guns and visitors were welcome early and late. The ship saw the rest of 1945 out making three runs to Pearl Harbor to transport a total of 6,457 high point veterans home.

Colorado received seven battle stars for World War II service.

In January of 1946, the USS COLORADO reported to Bremerton, Washington, to be deactivated. Through a lengthy process the giant ship was made weatherproof and rustproof and placed out of commission on January 7, 1947.

By Directive dated January, 1947, the USS COLORADO(BB-45) was to be placed out of commission, in reserve, attached to the U. S. Pacific Reserve Fleet.

On June 23, 1959 the USS COLORADO was sold for scrap for a total of $611,777.77 but the ship will live forever in the hearts and minds of her crew.

The ship was dismantled in Seattle, Washington at Todd Shipyards.  Some of her teakwood decking is featured in walls of buildings around Seattle, including a Boeing cafeteria, a University of Washington building, and the Washington Athletic Club.  One of her 5 guns stands at the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle.

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NEVER FORGET Ensign Robert Begg Holiday's Service and Sacifice.

 

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