The U.S.Navy Hymn, Eternal Father, Strong To Save
sung by the United States Navy á capella Chorus
And so, I present a page from history -
to share with you yet another facet of my husband,
George Hay, ~ who was there and served
as an United States Navy officer aboard several active LST ships,
delivering troops and tanks to WWII combat beaches
in the South Pacific, 1944-1946.
A beachhead is a position on an enemy's shoreline captured in advance of an invasion.
It is a military term used to describe the line created when a unit (by sea)
reaches a beach, and begins to defend that area of beach, while other reinforcements (hopefully) help out, until a unit large
enough to begin advancing has arrived. Beachheads were very important in operations such as Iwo Jima in World War II, in
the Korean War at Inchon, and the Vietnam War, among many other examples.
A hero, in mythology and legend, is usually a man, often of divine ancestry, who is endowed with
great courage and strength, celebrated for his bold exploits, and favored by the gods.
This is a person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked
or sacrificed his or her life: soldiers and nurses who were heroes in an unpopular war.
Or persons noted for special achievement in a particular field.
"A person exemplifying courageous action," well describes the beachhead hero.
The "steed" for the landings at Iwo Jima and other wartime beachheads was not four-legged, though.
This was the amphibious warship called "LSTs", the acronym for "Landing Ship Tank".
So let me introduce you to George and his first LST, the 715, shown here when landing at Iwo Jima, in February, 1945, with George on the ship
there, supervising the lowering of the gate, out of which the tanks were driven onto the beach.
But to back up a bit, George was on the detail going to Jeffersonville, Indiana, sent to the shipping yard where she was built, and he shared the conn with
the ship's officers and the river captain, who steered her down the Ohio River, to the Mississippi River, and finally to the Gulf of Mexico, where her
own crew took over to sail her on to her maiden assignments in the South Pacific.
George and she literally launched into the war together!
It was to be the first of many historic beachheads each would serve on during the war.
Each performed some occupation duties immediately after the peace treaty, as well.
Later, during the Korean and the Vietnam Wars, she again would serve in wartime, with her name changed to the USS LST-715- DeKalb County,
in honor of counties by that name in numerous of the United States.
She would receive much recognition for her services:
I am a United States sailor.
I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America and I will obey the orders of those appointed over me.
I represent the fighting spirit of the Navy and those who have gone before me to defend freedom and democracy around the world.
I proudly serve my country's Navy combat team with honor, courage, and commitment.
I am committed to excellence and the fair treatment of all.
George was aboard the LST-715 during all the scenes at Iwo Jima depicted below.
She is in each of the pictures, although she is one among MANY LSDs and other ships
who were there, only a few of them in pictures. Another LST (634) which George would
later serve on, was also in the fleet at this critical battle of Iwo Jima.
Click thumbnail pictures to enlarge; click 'back' to return.|
1. LST-715 laying off the beach at Iwo Jima, Green Beach, Volcano Islands.
She is off the port bow of LST-399.
In the background an LSM(R) is laying a barrage of rockets onto the slopes of Mount Suribachi,
19 Feb. 1945.
2. LSM-140 and LST-715 beached at Iwo Jima, circa 9 February to 16 March 1945.
3. LST-715 at Iwo Jima, Green Beach, Volcano Islands, 25 February 1945
US Navy photo now in the collections
of the US National Archives.
4. Aerial view of the Iwo Jima beachhead, circa February 1945.
Ships that can be identified include LST-715, LST-790, LST-724, LST-224,
LST-784 and LST-779. LSM's include LSM-242,
LSM-140, LSM-47 and LSM-43. LCTs include LCT-892
and LCT-1029. The one lone LCI that is identifiable is LCI(L)-1077.
©2005-2006 - Page Created & Copyrighted by Nellieanna H. Hay
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