Leyte, LST 626 1
"LST 626 - well up on beach - doors and ramp ready to load Dec 1944. This is the one that was so far onto the beach it could not be pulled off and had to be unloaded." From "Darkroom Soldier": "Lucky LST 626. After two months 'of heavy ground fighting..., American troops had secured parts of [Leyte] necessary for air and logistical bases..., the Army Air Forces had gained air superiority, and ...naval and air forces had stopped Japanese reinforcing operations.' Preparing to move north again, Hill records here the Navy ship and miscalculation that might have -- once more -- saved his life. Intending to load this LST, the Navy captain beached 626 so high that -- when heavily loaded -- not even a Navy tug and other LSTs could pull the ship off the sand. So, Hill and the 71st Group soldiers watched their assigned convoy sail for Mindoro, then camped on San Pedro Beach, and began to unload the ship." ("Darkroom Soldier" caption authored by George Venn)
Helten, Paula (curator)
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Tacloban, Leyte, The Philippines
From the Collection of Fred Hill