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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World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Iwo Jima Operation
Start Year
1945
End Year
1945

Description
The Battle of Iwo Jima (19 February – 26 March 1945), or Operation Detachment, was a major battle in which the United States Armed Forces fought for and captured the island of Iwo Jima from the Japanese Empire. The American invasion had the goal of capturing the entire island, including its three airfields (including South Field and Central Field), to provide a staging area for attacks on the Japanese main islands. This five-week battle comprised some of the fiercest and bloodiest fighting of the War in the Pacific of World War II.

After the heavy losses incurred in the battle, the strategic value of the island became controversial. It was useless to the U.S. Army as a staging base and useless to the U.S. Navy as a fleet base. However, Navy SEABEES rebuilt the landing strips, which were used as emergency landing strips for USAAF B-29s. 

The Imperial Japanese Army positions on the island were heavily fortified, with a dense network of bunkers, hidden artillery positions, and 18 km (11 mi) of underground tunnels. The Americans on the ground were supported by extensive naval artillery and complete air supremacy over Iwo Jima from the beginning of the battle by U.S. Navy and Marine Corps aviators.

Iwo Jima was the only battle by the U.S. Marine Corps in which the Japanese combat deaths were thrice those of the Americans throughout the battle. Of the 22,000 Japanese soldiers on Iwo Jima at the beginning of the battle, only 216 were taken prisoner, some of whom were captured because they had been knocked unconscious or otherwise disabled. The majority of the remainder were killed in action, although it has been estimated that as many as 3,000 continued to resist within the various cave systems for many days afterwards, eventually succumbing to their injuries or surrendering weeks later.

Despite the bloody fighting and severe casualties on both sides, the Japanese defeat was assured from the start. Overwhelming American superiority in arms and numbers as well as complete control of air power — coupled with the impossibility of Japanese retreat or reinforcement — permitted no plausible circumstance in which the Americans could have lost the battle.

The battle was immortalized by Joe Rosenthal's photograph of the raising of the U.S. flag on top of the 166 m (545 ft) Mount Suribachi by five U.S. Marines and one U.S. Navy battlefield Hospital Corpsman. The photograph records the second flag-raising on the mountain, both of which took place on the fifth day of the 35-day battle. Rosenthal's photograph promptly became an indelible icon — of that battle, of that war in the Pacific, and of the Marine Corps itself — and has been widely reproduced.
 
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
1945
To Year
1945
 
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.

   
Units Participated in Operation

VF-46 Men-O-War

USS Bismarck Sea (CVE-95)

 
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  294 Also There at This Battle:
  • Alseike, Leslie, PO3, (1944-1946)
  • Arenberg, Julius (Ted), LTJG, (1943-1946)
  • Bagby, Henry Lawton, CAPT, (1941-1970)
  • Baker, Cecil, Cox, (1941-1946)
  • Barr, John Andrew, PO3, (1943-1946)
  • Baylor, Warner, LCDR, (1942-1963)
  • Bergin, Patrick
  • Block, Charles John, CPO, (1938-1945)
  • Brewster, Donald, PO3, (1943-1946)
  • Carter, Loyd, PO3, (1941-1945)
  • Crookshank, Irvin, PO2, (1942-1946)
  • Crowell, Marshall Medford, F1c, (1943-1945)
  • DeGeus, Robert, PO3, (1943-1946)
  • Deschenes, Roland Clarence, S1c, (1944-1946)
  • Dobratz, Arthur, PO3, (1943-1945)
  • Eamigh, Charles, SN, (1943-1945)
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