Donald M. Nichols, USS Ringgold
During March 2000 Janis Frid sent me a portion of her unlce's diary during the Gilbert Islands operations. His name was Donald M. Nichols and was a sailor on the USS Ringgold. The entries are brief and to the point. Janis writes, "Sadly, Donald was "shell-shocked" and lived out his days at a VA hospital in Rapid City, South Dakota.
For more information contact Janis Frid
August 20, 1943 Hurahah! Underway to blast Tojo. Probably the Marcus Island.
August 25 Crossed the international date line. Time advaces 24 hours. I have $302.00 on the books. In the far far east.
August 31 Raided Marcus with our aircraft carriers. We raided them for 24 hours. We were within 900 miles from Toyko. No resistance.
Sept. 12 Underway to blast the Japs again. Destination unknown.
Sept 16 Battle stations started at 0400.
Sept 17 Crossed the equator at 1305. At battle all that day. We also attacked Tarawa Island northern Gilbert group.
Sept. 21 Pollywogs are shooting salt water on all shellbacks. Initiation tomorrow. Oh boy! I think I am in for it.
Oct. 5 Bomb Wake Island Ringgold leads way into silence Jap shore batteries. We fired 800 rounds. Japs resist.
Oct 6 Bomb Wake Island A total of 800 ton of bombs were drop and fired from ship. Battle stations for 48 hours.
Nov. 14 Underway for Gilberts,Tarawa, we are suppose to be the honor ship.
Nov. 20 Attacked Gilbert Islands at midnight. Went into Lagoon with mine sweep fired two fish, credited with a sink.
Nov 21 All day we bambarded the island. Marine had plenty of trouble getting beached. We were hit in aft Engine Room, and sick bay. had to leave scene of battle.
Nov 22 Underway to Ellis Island to get fixed up 640 miles. Underway with one screw. An aircraft carriers also went there.
Nov. 24 Pulled up along side Cascade to get patch up.
Nov. 29 Back at Gilbert Islands with task force.
The diary ends with this entry. Later, Mr. Nichols was honorably discharged from the Navy.
Thanks for providing the diary Janis!
copyright 2000 Wheaton, Illinois
Created September 14, 2000
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