Aboard American destroyer off Leyte
This can got the opportunity today that every Pacific destroyer man hopes for. --A surface slugfest with a Japanese submarine, and in 15 minutes of blasting action, reduced the Niponese Navy of one undersea craft.
I was aboard during the battle, the first of the Layte campaign between a destroyer and an enemy sub. The destroyer charged straight at the submarine, her guns blazing in the teeth of enemy fire. At the end there was only an oil slicked sea with a handful of Japanese in the water. It was the prettiest sight I ever saw, commented our skipper, Commander Harry L Thompson Jr., of Reading, PA.
Not a single casualty occurred on the destroyer. The battle was fought at the lower end of Ormoc Bay. The destroyer and the other ships had plastered the Ormac area with 1,200 rounds of five inch shells. Then Captain Robert Hall Smith of Macon, GA commanding the naval unit, ordered the forces westward for a prowl.
At 12:30 A.M. we got a radio message from Lieut. John Muri of Cal. pilot of a seaplane, that he had spotted a submarine off Pacijan Island. We sighted the sub, off the north tip of Ponson I.S. and established contact at 10,000 yds. quickly closing to 6,000. Then we opened up. The first salvo landed right in the target area, great splashes of water rose around the submarine but it did not attempt to dive, apparently because it was disabled.
Other warships commanded by Com. Dale Cochran of Neb., Com. George Chimnes of ND and Com. John Kelly of Mass. fired at longer range. At 500 Yds the Japanese began spraying our destroyer with machine gun bullets. The submarine's three inch gun fired only three shots before it was silenced. By this time our 40 and 20 milemeter guns were cracking and the deck of the sub was clean.
Submitted by Bob Scott