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Subject: Re: LST-448

John R.
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Date Posted: 10/ 1/15 01:25:39
In reply to: Rita Reiman 's message, "Re: LST-448" on 12/22/14 01:55:10

October 1, 1943, LST 448 pulled into the harbor at Vella Lavella around 0730. We were going to use the island to stage our raid on Choiseul. We were bringing in ammo and supplies that would last for the 7 day raid, plus supplies for when we came back.

The LST dropped it's ramp and we started to disembark. I was on the ramp when a lone Japenese zero flew toward the ship coming in just over the coconut trees. He dropped two bombs. The first went right into the ships cargo area and the other ht the forward part of the ship, the explosion threw me into the water. i don't remember anything until two Seabees pulled me out of the water and dragged me to shore. The ship was roaring in flames as the first bomb hit a fuel tank. Sailors, Seabees and Marines were pulling wounded and dead out of the water and off the ship. Everyone thought it was going to blow up because of all the fuel and ammo on it. All the wounded were taken to a makeshift field hospital in a cave. My ears were ringing and the Doctor pulled a bunch of shrapnel out of my side. He stitched me up and sent me to a hospital tent for a few days to recuperate.

Joe Aiello

U.S.M.C., 2nd Parachute Battalion,

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Re: LST-448John R.10/ 1/15 01:26:54

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