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Lt. T. Curby

A. Scheidt SK 3/c

W. McElyea  S2/c
There are many stories to tell of the Daly crew and her past.
None are as profound as the loss of life during battle.
Here are two accounts of the Kamikaze attack in April of 1945 during the Okinawa invasion as was experienced
and recalled by an Officer and an enlisted  man of  the Daly.


For the many years that Martin Jablon (now living in Florida) has received the “Daly News”, he always notes the outlined section on the back page that pays tribute to the three men killed during the Kamikaze attacks of April 28, 1945. He says, “it dawned on me a few weeks ago that I was probably the last person to have spoken to these three men”.

The day was April 28, 1945
This is his story.  – We had been at “Okie” (Okinawa) since April 1st which was D Day, lobbing 5 inch shells from about 4000 yards offshore to support our ground troops during the invasion landing.

 We had previously spent about 45 days at the Iwo Jima invasion area where among other things, we had picked up eleven survivors from a CVE,  the Bismark Sea, that was damaged and sunk after a Kamikaze struck it in the main stack.

On April 28, the Daly was assigned radar picket duty, known as “roger peter five” about 60 miles NE of Ie Shima Island (on the northern tip of Okinawa). We were losing destroyer “roger peters” at the rate of one a day; due to the “avalanche” of Kamikazes attacking the destroyers en-masse (20 –30 planes to a group). On this day about 30 “Kazes” attacked us. The Daly 5 inch and twin 40mm guns accounted for six hits.

We were already at General Quarters when the next attack came. I was the officer in charge of the 40mm guns…. I saw Dr. Curby, the ship’s Doctor, standing at the rail in front of our gun near frame 32-port side… I said, “Hey Doc, get your butt into the wardroom where you belong at GQ … It’s your battle station.” He answered, “Jablon, this is such an exciting time that I don’t want to miss it by being indoors – ‘cause it is probably something I’ll never see again”.

The doctor did not retreat to the wardroom and remained where he was, observing the action.

I was yelling to McElyea an ammo feeder to encourage him to work faster.  Scheidt was on the next deck above me  “manning” a 20-mm gun and I kept encouraging him to get the “bastards”.

At this moment a “Kaze” was almost upon us, diving in a direction from starboard to port. It then struck the 20-mm gun position directly above me, decapitating Scheidt. As the plane wreckage descended I touched the bottom of the fuselage. In the next split second a 500 pound bomb, released from the plane as it crashed, exploded in the water about 100 feet to the port side raining shrapnel on everyone that was exposed to the force of the blast.  Both the Doc and McElyea were killed instantly.

I didn’t realize it then, but I was also wounded. I had received a piece of shrapnel in my right thigh, which I carry to this day.

Three men died, 16 were wounded that day. There is much more to the story - about heroism of the crew and the officers and how well they performed in battle. The ship, also damaged was repaired at Buckner Bay on Okinawa.

This incident is still vivid in my mind 54 years later and the miracle is that I am still alive to tell the story. Talk about being scared?

I am proud to have served on the Daly and helped to defend my country.               Martin Jablon,  Florida


Part II

Five Long Minutes in 1945…
This story tells of five minutes aboard the destroyer, USS Daly and was the last minutes of life for three shipmates during a kamikaze attack off Okinawa.

It was the 28th of April 1945. The Daly was on radar picket duty. The weather was perfect with the ever-present danger of an air attack.

During the late afternoon a large group of enemy planes dropped from the sky in a suicidal attack on the Daly. So began the most exciting five minutes of my life.

Our port guns (40mm’s) and the main battery (5” 38’s) splashed two attacking planes, a minute later the starboard guns splashed yet another. The fourth plane attacking from starboard was on fire and vertical as it dove toward the ship. It came through the rigging amidships, its wing hit the superstructure and it’s large 500 pound bomb blew up on the port side waterline.

The explosive force of the bomb caused both death and destruction to the 519. Shrapnel from the bomb tore and ripped into the ship killing 3 men and wounding 16.  Immediately following this a fifth suicide aircraft came in from astern but was splashed at some distance by the fantail guns.

Five minutes of intense furious action – one enemy plane a minute shot down. Our casualties of 3 dead included the ship’s’ doctor.  Our wounded were without immediate medical attention.

Forced to retire because of the damage, the Daly was relieved by another destroyer.  Another ship in the company of the Daly scored one splash before she was severely damaged with a suicide hit to her bow.  (This ship was later sunk by another suicide hit near the end of the Okinawa campaign).

The two damaged destroyers made their way back to the base under their own power. During the entire trip, tracers lighted the sky, but the Daly and her companion were no longer under attack.

John W. Drake,    Los Alamos


In Tribute       Let Us Remember       April 28, 1945

Lt. Theodore Curby    Ship’s Doctor

August Scheidt SK 3/c

Wallace R. McElyea  S2/c


Eighty-eight destroyers and thirty destroyer – escorts were damaged in the Battle for Okinawa. Those figures sum up to nearly a third of the total for all the warship types damaged in the “iceberg” operation. From March 26 to May 29, 735 deaths were recorded, with over a thousand more wounded

Not all the wounded DD’s and DE’s were damaged by Kamikazes. Several were struck by “ Baka” rockets. Several were hit by suicide boats. A number were raked by friendly fire; a few were struck by shore batteries. But overall the Kamikaze were responsible for the a majority of the most damaging effects. 

Source: Naval Institute Press

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