Reservist

ISS1 2017

Reservist Magazine is the award-winning official publication of the United States Coast Guard Reserve. Quarterly issues include news and feature articles about the men and women who comprise America's premier national maritime safety and security

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The Coast Guard Reservist That Saved the Day in WWII Story by Logan Nye The Coast Guard's USS GLENDALE served in the Pacific in World War II, and it was commanded by a reservist who earned the Bronze Star for his actions during a Japanese sneak attack on Dec. 5, 1944. Coast Guard Reserve Lt. Cmdr. Harold J. Doebler was commanding the GLENDALE in a convoy of 35 Army, Navy, and merchant ships on their way to Leyte Gulf in the Philippines. The GLENDALE was assigned to anti-submarine and anti-air operations for the convoy. On Dec. 5, friendly flights of C-47s began passing over the convoy. At first, this wasn't of great concern, but Japanese pilots saw the situation and decided to exploit it. They flew their planes into the C-47 formations until they were close to the convoy, and then swooped down to attack the ships. Doebler maneuvered the GLENDALE and other ships of the convoy to form a screen that attempted to pick off the Japanese attackers before they could reach the rest of the convoy. But the problems of target identification continued as gunners had to be confident that they weren't firing at friendly planes before they pulled the trigger. During the battle multiple torpedo bombers hit the SS ANTONE SAUGRAIN and a bomb hit the SS MARCUS DALY, but no other ships in the convoy were damaged thanks to the screen led by the GLENDALE. In the late afternoon, just after the MARCUS DALY was hit, the convoy was joined by four new destroyers. With this greater firepower, the convoy was able to drive off the rest of the Japanese attacks and the rest of the ships were able to continue safely. The ANTONE SAUGRAIN later sank from the damage inflicted by the torpedo bombers, but the safe zone established by the destroyer and frigate screen allowed other vessels to rescue 413 crewmembers safely before the ship went down. The MARCUS DALY was able to continue with the convoy despite severe damage and the loss of 72 of its crew. Doebler was later promoted to Rear Admiral and received the Bronze Star for his actions leading the convoy screen. � Logan Nye is a former Fort Bragg paratrooper who deployed with the 82nd Airborne Division's 4th Brigade Combat Team. This article originally appeared at We Are the Mighty. Photograph of the USS GL en DAL e . (U.S. Coast Guard photo) The USS South Dakota fired on an incoming Japanese bomber. (U.S. n avy photo) 38 RESERVIST � Issue 1 • 2017

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