The History of the USS Cassin Young Commissioned 31 December 1943.

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The History of the USS Cassin Young

The History of the USS Cassin YoungCommissioned 31 December 1943Captain Cassin Young (1894 1942)Born: Washington, DC March 6, 1942Graduated US Naval Academy: June 3, 1916First Command: USS EvansCommand on Dec. 7, 1941: USS Vestal

December 7, 1941USS Vestal damaged in initial attacksArizona explosion threw Young overboardHe swam through burning oil to save the shipHe took the ship to sea, ensuring it was not sunkYoung was awarded the Medal of Honor for valor

Youngs Medal of Honor CitationFor distinguished conduct in action, outstanding heroism and utter disregard of his own safety, above and beyond the call of duty, as Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. Vestal, during the attack on the Fleet in Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, by enemy Japanese forces on December 7, 1941. Commander Young proceeded to the bridge and later took personal command of the 3-inch antiaircraft gun. When blown overboard by the blast of the forward magazine explosion of the U.S.S. Arizona, to which the U.S.S. Vestal was moored, he swam back to his ship. The entire forward part of the U.S.S. Arizona was a blazing inferno with oil afire on the water between the two ships; as a result of several bomb hits, the U.S.S. Vestal was afire in several places, was settling and taking on a list. Despite severe enemy bombing and strafing at the time, and his shocking experience of having been blown overboard, Commander Young, with extreme coolness and calmness, moved his ship to an anchorage distant from the U.S.S. Arizona, and subsequently beached the U.S.S. Vestal upon determining that such action was required to save his ship.

Battle of GuadalcanalYoung was KIA 13 November 1942

The USS Cassin Young was commissioned 31 December 1943

Kamikaze Pilots Their Target: USS Cassin YoungMeans Divine WindKamikazes sunk 47 US ships; damaged 300Samurai culture taught death or shame defeat was not an option1096 Japanese pilots died as Kamikazes

After all I am just a human being. Sometimes, my chest pounds with excitement when I think of the day I will fly into the sky. I trained my mind and body as hard as I could and am anxious for the day I can use them to their full capacity in fighting. I think my life and death belong to the mission. Yet, at other times, I envy those science majors who remain at home [exempt from the draft]. One of my souls looks to heaven, while the other is attracted to the earth. I wish to enter the Navy as soon as possible so that I can devote myself to the task. I hope that the days when I am tormented by stupid thoughts will pass quickly.

Sasaki Hachiro

I am pleased to have the honour of having been chosen as a member of a Special Attack Force that is on its way into battle, but I cannot help crying when I think of you, Mum. When I reflect on the hopes you had for my future ... I feel so sad that I am going to die without doing anything to bring you joy.

Ichizo Hayashi, last letter home a few days before his final flight. April 1945

Sasaki Hachiro on left (18 yrs old)Yukio ArakiYukio Araki (center) pictured 26 May 1945 with squadronHe did not know he would die the next day at Okinawa age 17He remains the youngest Kamikaze in Japanese history

Araki wrote this letter on the morning of 27 May 1945I am writing my last letter. I trust you have been doing well recently. I am leaving today (May 27) on a glorious mission. I will surely achieve great success in battle. I will be waiting for the day we meet at Kudan with the cherry trees blooming. Please take care of yourselves. Please give my regards to my younger brothers and to everyone in the neighbor association. I am sending to you locks of my hair cut.Please take care of yourselves. Please excuse this hastily written note.

Sayonara Yukio

The Service of the USS Cassin YoungThe USS Cassin Young arrived at Pearl Harbor 19 March 1944She escorted carriers in the Pacific through January 1945She saw action at Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Guam, and Formosa

First hit by KamikazeThe Cassin Young shot down 9 enemy planes in the days precedingShe rescued the crew of the USS Callaghan after it was hit and sunkHer mast was struck by a Kamikaze pilot 12 April 1945, killing one.The highest mast was hit 12 April 1945.

Paul M. Jones Executive Officer: USS Cassin Young"We were stationed around like a clock. We hadmoved over to the ... 12 o'clock station... as theplanes got 10-15 miles away, we heard reports fromout talkers, saying that 'They are coming down likecandles!'...There are just so many planes coming inthat we couldn't get them all, and one of them hit theupper radar and the foremast. And he was carrying a21" shell that exploded on contact, spreadingshrapnel throughout the whole deck."30 July 1945 03:26Second HitMain Deck Starboard Side22 Dead; 45 WoundedNear Okinawa

Heath Haggerty Gunners Mate"My battle station was on this forty millimeter, it wasabout 3 or 3:30 am, there was somewhat of amoon...they picked up a bogey quite a few thousandyards out. You know we weren't too impressedbecause it was quite a ways out....We turnedeverything on and just seconds later, they told us,'Action starboard, commence firing,' ...and I thought'What the hell happened here?' First they say he was12,000 yards away, and now he's right here...."

The DamageSome of the damage is still visible today.

PandemoniumMost of the men who perished were killed by a broken steam pipe that spewed 800 degree water vapor on the men below deck."There was pandemonium on the deck, because what they were trying to do is get people out of the fire room and still secure the ship so that there wouldn't be any further extension of the damage...different areas of the ship were badly hit. George FinniganNavigator (January 1922 January 2012)

The last thing many of the crew sawA plane came directly over a hanging lifeboat It would have been between the two curl arms seen below.The plane that hit the Cassin Young was smoking as it hit

James Marrs - Quartermaster"That plane came in and hit the starboard whaleboatwhile it was rigged out. You always had one lifeboatwhen you are at sea that was rigged out on davits, soyou could get it over the side quick. And he flew intoit. So all the force was out there....If he had hit us, Ithink we would have probably sunk. And that'swhere the force went. And that's where we werelucky, in that respect.The 22 who died could not have known they would die that day.

Repairs were quickly made, and the USS Cassin Young floated back to safety

James Marrs Quartermaster"On the way back to Saipan, Ulithi, we had aceremony like burial at sea, except that we didn'tactually bury anybody. And then, when we cameback after the war was over, we had a kind ofmemorial service for the guys we had lost, and thefact that we were out of the war."

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