Diary of Reese F. Lukei

25 October 1944

Continued Jap air attacks — enemy bombs dropped on island and in sea but with no damage. Shooting them down as they come in. Southern Forces giving Japs on island a bad fit — little resistance. US Hospital ship MERCY arrives. Japs dropped five bombs near her but missed. One of APA44’s landing boats (LCVP#l9) shot down a Jap Zero on beach while working party was gathering sand. One of ship’s mess boys hit by Jap shrapnel on left hand and leg. Carpenter Moore got his helmet hit by Jap shrapnel. US destroyer DD563 still sinking slowly, lost 26 men when she struck a mine. Admiral Halsey’s a mighty Fleet engaging Japs in huge sea battle east of SAMAR Island – just 60 miles away. One of our small Escort Carriers hit by Jap torpedoes and had to be sunk by our ships. Total of 56 Jap Planes lost today.