Diary of Reese F. Lukei

24 October 1944

A bad day – Five Jap air attacks. Shrapnel hits Flagbridge wounding 7 men. One Army Sargent and one Chief Signalman and 5 sailors. US Destroyer DD-563 struck a mine — sinking very slowly. One Jap bomber shot down crashing into a US LCI-1065 causing heavy damage and ship burned until she sank. One officer and six men killed, five men missing. Nine severly burned survivors brought aboard APA44, one later died from burns. US Navy tug ATO-12 hit by part or same Jap bomber but fire was extinguished and no casualties. One Jap bomber shot down and crashed into a US liberty ship, plane exploded and caused ship to be beached. Same Jap. bomber hit a navy tug which was tied alongside, the tug sank causing three casualties. Australian Cruiser hit amidships, killing one officer, the Captain and a Commodore. APA44 shot down two Jap bombers. Secured from General Quarters at 2000 — 16 hours straight. All US PT’s left for sea in search of Jap Fleet reported to be heading in. Total of approximately 27 Jap planes shot down in two days. Very little land opposition on northern group. southern group making heavy sea bombardment.