WELCH, Clifford, S1c

Deceased
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Seaman 1st Class
Last Primary NEC
SN-0000-Seaman
Last Rating/NEC Group
Seaman
Primary Unit
1943-1946, 00-0000, USS New Orleans (CA-32)
Service Years
1943 - 1946
Official/Unofficial US Navy Certificates
Order of the Golden Dragon
Iwo Jima
Panama Canal
SN-Seaman
One Hash Mark
Seaman 1st Class

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

1535 kb

Home State
Arkansas
Arkansas
Year of Birth
1925
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by the Site Administrator to remember WELCH, Clifford (Cliff), S1c.
 
Contact Info
Home Town
Duncan, OK
Last Address
Not Specified

Date of Passing
Dec 28, 2013
 
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

WW II Honorable Discharge Pin


 Unofficial Badges 

Order of the Shellback Order of the Golden Dragon Blue Star




 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

WWII American Campaign Banner

WWII Asiatic/Pacific Campaign Battle Streamers

CLIFFORD ALLEN WELCH

Seaman First Class, U.S. Navy
1943 - 1946
U.S.S. New Orleans


I was 17 when I volunteered for duty in the Navy back in February 1943, at the height of the Second World War. I served until 1946 on the heavy cruiser U.S.S. New Orleans CA-32. The New Orleans received 17 battle stars for World War II service, placing her among the highest decorated ships of the second world war. I participated in the majority of those battles.

Navy Tradition, Shellback Initiation
I crossed the equator for the first time, on the USS New Orleans, on 25 August 1944 - in the Pacific Ocean.
   
Other Comments:
At the close of the war

The USS New Orleans sailed on 28 August 1945 with a cruiser-destroyer force to ports of China and Korea. She covered the internment of Japanese ships at Tsingtao, the evacuation of liberated Allied prisoners-of-war, and the landing of troops in Korea and China, until sailing 17 November from the mouth of the Peking River (Hai He), carrying veterans homeward bound. More returning troops came aboard at the Sasebo U.S. Fleet Activities base, and all were disembarked at San Francisco 8 December. After similar duty took her to Guam in January 1946, she sailed through the Panama Canal for a 10-day visit to her namesake city, then steamed to Philadelphia Navy Yard, arriving on 12 March.
   
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Mariana and Palau Islands Campaign (1944)/Battle of Philippine Sea
Start Year
1944
End Year
1944

Description
The Battle of the Philippine Sea (June 19–20, 1944) was a major naval battle of World War II that eliminated the Imperial Japanese Navy's ability to conduct large-scale carrier actions. It took place during the United States' amphibious invasion of the Mariana Islands during the Pacific War. The battle was the last of five major "carrier-versus-carrier" engagements between American and Japanese naval forces, and pitted elements of the United States Navy's Fifth Fleet against ships and aircraft of the Imperial Japanese Navy's Mobile Fleet and nearby island garrisons.

The aerial part of the battle was nicknamed the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot by American aviators for the severely disproportional loss ratio inflicted upon Japanese aircraft by American pilots and anti-aircraft gunners. During a debriefing after the first two air battles a pilot from USS Lexington remarked "Why, hell, it was just like an old-time turkey shoot down home!" The outcome is generally attributed to American improvements in pilot and crew training and tactics, technology (including the top-secret anti-aircraft proximity fuze), and ship and aircraft design. Although at the time the battle appeared to be a missed opportunity to destroy the Japanese fleet, the Imperial Japanese Navy had lost the bulk of its carrier air strength and would never recover. During the course of the battle, American submarines torpedoed and sank two of the largest Japanese fleet carriers taking part in the battle.

This was the largest carrier-to-carrier battle in history.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
1944
To Year
1944
 
Last Updated:
Mar 27, 2012
   
Personal Memories

Memories
1944

From 29 January 1944, New Orleans fired on targets in the Marshalls, hitting air installations and shipping as the Navy took Kwajalein. She fueled at Majuro, then sailed 11 February to join the fast carriers in a raid on Truk, Japanese bastion in the Carolines on 17-18 February. While air strikes were flown, New Orleans, with other warships circled the atoll to catch escaping ships; the task force's combined gunfire sank a light cruiser, a destroyer, a trawler, and a submarine chaser. The force sailed on to hit the Marianas, then returned to Majuro and Pearl Harbor.

The carriers, with New Orleans in escort, again heaped destruction on targets in the Carolines late in March, then in April, sailed south to support Allied landings at Hollandia (currently known as Jayapura), New Guinea. There on 22 April, a disabled Yorktown plane flew into New Orleans' mainmast, hitting gun mounts as it fell into the sea. The ship was sprayed with gas as the plane exploded on hitting the water, one crew member was lost, another badly injured, but New Orleans continued in action, patrolling and plane guarding off New Guinea, then joining in further raids on Truk and Satawan, which she bombarded on 30 April. She returned to Majuro on 4 May.

Preparations were made in the Marshalls for the invasion of the Marianas, for which New Orleans sortied from Kwajalein on 10 June. She bombarded Saipan on 15-16 June, then joined the screen protecting carriers as they prepared to meet the Japanese Mobile Fleet in the Battle of the Philippine Sea. In this last major carrier combat the Japanese were able to mount, American naval aviators and submariners sank three enemy carriers and destroyed almost every aircraft launched against them, 395 in all. The few enemy planes which penetrated to the American carriers were shot down by New Orleans and other escorts. The Marianas operation continued, and Japanese naval aviation was virtually nonexistent after this great victory of 19-20 June.

New Orleans made patrols and bombardments on Saipan and Tinian into August, returned to Eniwetok on the 13th, and sailed the 28th for carrier raids on the Bonins, bombardments of Iwo Jima on 1-2 September, and direct air support for the invasion of the Palaus. After re-provisioning at Manus, the task force assaulted Okinawa, Formosa, and Northern Luzon, destroying Japanese land-based aviation which otherwise would have threatened the landings on Leyte on 20 October. The carriers continued to send raids, aiding troops ashore, as they prepared to meet the Japanese, who were sending almost every surface ship left afloat in one great effort to break up the Philippines operation. New Orleans guarded her carriers as they joined in the great Battle for Leyte Gulf, first attacking the Japanese Southern Force on 24 October, then raiding the Center Force in the Sibuyan Sea, and next destroying the Japanese Northern Force of decoy carriers in the Battle off Cape Engano. The carriers then sped south to aid the gallant escort carriers holding off the powerful Japanese battleship-cruiser force in the Battle off Samar. A stunning American victory was followed by strikes against the retreating Japanese remnant.

   
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  195 Also There at This Battle:
  • Block, Charles John, CPO, (1938-1945)
  • Breaux, Calvin, SN, (1944-1946)
  • Carter, Loyd, PO3, (1941-1945)
  • Cote, Arthur, S1c, (1943-1946)
  • Crowell, Marshall Medford, F1c, (1943-1945)
  • Dikel, Samuel, PO2, (1942-1946)
  • Earnest, Albert, CAPT, (1941-1972)
  • Freeman, Harold, CMC, (1943-1975)
  • Fuller, Leroy, PO1, (1941-1945)
  • Greer, Howard E., VADM, (1941-1978)
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