I served aboard this ship from Jan. 1945 thru Nov. 1945... Hauled 1st marine div. in on Okinawa 4/1/45...
Was later torpedoed while at anchor in Buckner Bay in July
7 of us met in Branson Mo. during Vets week (Nov. 6th thru
11)..1st time since 1945...
Is there anyplace I can get an exact itinerary for my ship, USS Marathon, APA 200? I have printed out what DANFS had on it and on APA 124. I saw the kamikaze hit that ship. It almost went down the smoke stack but hit the radio shack. I was with George Montgomery (EMT 2/c) and Lt. Day (our communication officer) when we went aboard with spare parts and equipment to help reestablish commutations.
Things I remember while on our ship include the equator crossing; going ashore in New Hebrides where we brought coconuts and bananas back onboard. We cruised the Pacific for 30 days without seeing land. One week after invasion we headed to states with wounded and to pickup supplies. We saw the Indianapolis going west and waved to the crew.
I believe we got hit the 1st. night back in Buckner Bay...I had gone ashore with movies I picked up in states and got fresh ones...Captain (not McElroy) who was ready for retirement and wanted one more sea trip ask me to show movies top side as Buckner Bay was supposed to be secured...A baby carrier had just moved out of anchor spot we were in....We think the min sub took a final siting on the movie screen on #2 hold ...If we had not been flag ship for the task force and overstaffed I would have bunked up forward instead of troop compartment in the back..(We had 5 bunks per tier there).
Since our Captain hadn't been to sea since 1935 he ordered abandon ship. The other tech and I had to start destroying radar manuals...One hour later the Flag officer sent the captain to his cabin and reversed his order and started rescue operations. (which was already underway).
The next thing I am clear on; was riding out TWO typhoons around there...The 1st. was shortly after repairs were done (must have been around Sept. 1st.) and ground radar went down because of bad antenna motor. At first we refused to repair until Captain almost hit another ship and crew came begging so George, Lt. Day and I removed the motor to radio room to be repaired and reinstalled.
There were 100-foot waves and we were doing 31 to 33 degree lists. (Rolling). Antenna on mast forward of #2 hold was damn high when on top. George and Lt. Day and I had to tie their shelves to the deck to keep from being washed over.
We then took, Army occupation forces to Nagoya, Japan. We then went to Nagasaki to return POW's to Okinawa. We then took our ship and a damaged Merchant ship (that hadn't been repaired) to Hiro Wan Bay for minesweeping. I left the ship Thanksgiving Day for San Diego aboard a minelayer.
I pulled in home Xmas day as dinner was starting.
If you can lead me to any firm dates I will always be grateful. Granddaughter is writing my history.
I hope to make it to the WW II memorial dedication, as I am a charter member.
Keep up the good work...Best wishes....
John Wayne Mohney ETM2/c
1448 Zinnia Dr.
Bloomington, In. 47401