LST 794 in Japan during the Occupation
Following the cessation of hostilities, the '794 transported men and material to various destinations on the Pacific rim. One of her missions involved repatriating Japanese prisoners of war. In October and November of 1945, she carried Japanese POW's from Saishu To (also known as Quelpart Island - off the Southern tip of the Korean peninsula) and Taku, China to Sasebo, on the Island of Kyushu. On one trip she carried 999 POW's and their guard detail.
|POW's muster on deck with their gear.|
|Cooking rice. The crew ran a steam line to a (new) 50 gal trash can to cook rice for the prisoners. It ran almost constantly. Each man was allowed two cups of rice per day.|
|Looking forward to home ?|
|Relaxing under shelter|
|Standing on deck
|In formation. Even though the war was lost and their army was being disbanded, the Japanese prisoners kept military discipline.|
Sasebo was a a major Japanese naval base.
Here the crew of the '794 encountered Japanese warships up close and personal for the first time
The following photos from my Dad's album show some of the remnants of the Japanese fleet at anchor in Sasebo.
(A note of thanks to the United States Naval & Shipbuilding Museum for help in identifying the aircraft carriers).
|SUMIRE, or "Manchurian Violet." A Tachibana (Matsu) class destroyer built late in the war.|
|A Japanese aircraft carrier. By the end of the war, the Japanese fleet had been reduced to two aircraft carriers that could still steam and several incomplete hulks. This is the incomplete hulk of the Kasagi, an Unryu class carrier. The Kasagi was launched in 1944 but never completed. It was scrapped in 1947. (I'm pretty sure that this photo was mirror-imaged somehow during development, so I flipped it).|
|This one is the JUNYO, or "Peregrine Falcon." JUNYO was an auxillary fleet aircraft carrier converted from a merchant ship, the Kashiwara Maru. She took part in the Aleutian campaign, the battle of Santa Cruz, and the battle off Guadalcanal. She was damaged in the Phillippine sea in June 1944. In December 1944 she was torpedoed by the submarine Redfish off Nagasaki. She was laid up for the remainder of the war and the hulk was scrapped in 1947.|
|A third carrier. This one is the Ibuki, a light fleet aircraft carrier that started life as a cruiser. It was converted during construction, but was never completed. Note - In this photo there are four Imperial Japanese Navy submarines tied alongside the Ibuki.|
Ashore at Sasebo, the crew got a look at some of the people and at some of the destruction that occurred in Japan.
Woman walking past destroyed buildings.
Destroyed government building ?
When the '794 left Sasebo for the last time in November of 1945, bound for Taku, China, she carried over 1000 Chinese citizens being repatriated from Japan.
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