usf2.gif (10730 bytes) Painting of the USS SIGSBEE   usf2.gif (10730 bytes)

Commissioned by Billy Roberts, painted by Wayne Scarpaci (ArtbyWayne.com)

An attacking Kamikaze, trailing smoke and flames after numerous hits from the SIGSBEE's guns, is shown seconds before it struck the 502 on April 14, 1945. This 2009 painting was commissioned by Sigsbee veteran Billy Roberts. As a GM3/c and  pointer/firer on the starboard side 40 mm gun #43 his eyewitness account was painted by Wayne Scarpaci. Much attention was given to the exact angle and altitude of the Kamikaze as it made its attack and to the Sigsbee's guns that were trained and firing at the approaching enemy plane.

April 14 - Action II report from page 16 of Lyle Buss History of the USS SIGSBEE

Several bogeys reported immediately after the USS HUNG was hit, and friendlys were attempting to intercept.  At about 1351 CIC reported bogey at 240 degrees T, distance four miles and closing.  The main battery director was searching on this bearing with 5" guns fore and aft, when machine gun control reported and opened fire on an enemy plane probably a ZEKE, closing rapidly on the starboard bow at about 25 degrees T, distance 3200 yards altitude 100 feet, course approximately 210 degrees T, speed about 200 knots.  The forward 40 mm (#41) and midship 40 mm (#43) opened fire almost simultaneously in local control.  The Captain gave a full left rudder and emergency flank.  Both orders were executed.  As soon as they were able to bear, the midship 20 mm (#21) and (#23) opened fire followed by gun #45, director controlled (expended 16 rounds) and 1 fantail 20 mm (#25) and probably (#27) also.  Plane appeared to be strafing but no tracers were seen.  Ship's shell plating aft on starboard side however, had holes which evidently were made from the outboard side.  The enemy planes approach was too rapid and the range too short for the main battery to be effective.  Only Gun #1 (3 rounds) and Gun #2 (2 round) were able to fire, using director control, line of sight barrage.  Machine gun fire was apparently hitting, but no visible damage was observed until flames appeared from the plane about 75 yards before it crashed.  The plane banked to the right and crashed into the fantail.  A dull heavy explosion occurred, clouds of black and white smoke, accompanied the concussion and great deal of shrapnel was cast about the ship.  All engines stopped, lose of steering control.  Ammunition performance was excellent, expended 5 rounds of 5" (2 influence fuse), 96 rounds of 40 mm, about 180 rounds of 20 mm.

23 Sigsbee sailors were lost on April 14, 1945

 as the result of the kamikaze hit

Freeman, Joseph W. Jr. BM2c, burial at sea

Keller, Gerard P. S2c, burial at sea

Hart, George G. Lt. (jg), burial at sea

Cheety, Robert L. Cox. burial at sea

                               The following sailor died of his injuries May 5th, 1945 on Guam

Millirans, Sherman L. F1c

The following sailors were listed as missing and later as Killed In Action

Adams, Burton J. S1c

Cox, Carlton C. Jr. F1c

Heflin, Joseph L. S1c

Lykes, Dick M. Ensign

Mellum, Ernest P. M3c

Sox, Anthony D. S1c

 

Amburgey, Guy V. MM2c

 Gwynn, Callis C. S2c

Hudson, William O. S2c

LeBlanc, Sterling J. SC3c

Mueller, Lawrence E. EM2c

Wright, Robert F. S2c

 

Bryant, Clayton R. SF1c

Hagston, Joe S1c

Hoover, Edwin C. F1c

McGraw, Edwin F. MM3c

Musser, Clair E. S2c

Young, Rogers B. F1c

 

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