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Charles Lawrence Class High Speed Transport
1,400 Tons (light)
1,740 Tons (standard)
306' x 37' x 9' 6"
3 x 3" guns
1 x 1.1" gun
8 x 20mm
3 x 21" torpedo tubes
1 x hedgehog mortar
8 x K-gun depth charge
2 x depth charge tracks
USN May 3, 1944
Built by Charleston Navy Yard in Charleston, SC. Laid down on June 8, 1943. Launched August 9, 1943. Commissioned December 6, 1943 at the Charleston Navy Yard into the U. S. Navy (USN) as USS Liddle under the command of Lt. Commander R. M. Hinckley, Jr. Named in honor of Pharmacist's Mate, Third Class, William P. Liddle, Jr., USN, while serving with the 1st Marine Division who was Killed In Action (KIA) on August 19, 1942 at Guadalcanal and was awarded the Silver Star, posthumously.
Between February 11, 1944 until June 29, 1944 Liddle escorted convoys on three round trips across the North Atlantic from New York to Wales, Gibraltar and Tunisia. Returning to New York, she was converted to a Charles Lawrence class high speed transport. On July 5, 1944 reclassified as APD-60. On September 22, 1944 departed New York and steamed to the Pacific.
On November 4, 1944 arrived at Hollandia and joined the 7th Fleet, departing on November 17 to screen a supply convoy bound for Leyte Gulf, arriving on November 24 and immediately began more escort duty, escorting an LST formation to Palau then returned to Leyte on November 29, 1944.
On December 6, 1944 at Leyte Liddle embarked 141 U. S. Army soldiers from the 77th Division and departed Leyte Gulf bound for Ormoc Bay. On December 7, 1944 landed her troops at Ormoc Bay then in the middle morning during the Battle of Ormoc Bay, came under attack by Japanese kamikaze aircraft. Gunners aboard Liddle claimed five shot down. At 9:45am kamikaze aircraft hit USS Ward APD-16 and USS Mahan DD-364.
At 11:30am, Liddle was hit by a kamikaze aircraft that hit the bridge killing thirty-eight (eight officers including the captain plus 26 enlisted men including Ens Nathan Q. F. Piccirilli). Despite the damage, Liddle was able to maintain speed and stayed in the destroyer formation. That evening, other destroyers in the formation aided Liddle with lights to navigate to Leyte Gulf.
Afterwards, temporary repairs were made by salvage layer Silver Bell at Leyte Gulf then Liddle departed for San Francisco arriving January 16, 1945. While she was being refitted, a sign on her quarterdeck read: "This Ship Lost 38 officers and men. She is Anxious to Get Back Into Action." By February 22, 1945 Liddle was repaired and returned to the Pacific to rejoined her destroyer division.
Between March 29, 1945 until June 5, 1945 Liddle escorted convoys and conducted training. On July 1, 1945 she then transported Australian Army soldiers to Borneo. On June 10, 1945 landed her troops at Balikpapan. On July 1, 1945 landed troops at Brunei Bay.
Afterwards, Liddle trained for the proposed invasion of Japan. After the Japanese surrender. Liddle transported equipment to Korea through mine-infested waters of the East China Sea and Yellow Sea. On October 5, 1945 evacuated prisoners of war (POWs) from Dairen. On October 25, 1945 arrived at Taku near Tientsin (Tianjin) and became the port director ship.
On November 23, departed Taku for the United States arriving in New York on January 1, 1946. Two days later departed for Green Cove Springs, Florida, where she was decommissioned on June 18, 1946 and entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet.
Decommissioned June 18, 1946. Recommissioned October 27, 1950. Decommissioned February 2, 1959, Recommissioned November 29, 1961. Decommissioned March 18, 1967. Stricken April 5, 1967. On June 25, 1967 sold to North American Smelting Company and scraped.
The crew members Killed In Action (KIA) on December 7, 1944 were returned to the United States for burial.
Ens Nathan Q. F. Piccirilli is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in Bronx, NY at Myosotis Plot, section 83. Next to his grave is a statue of a man in grief with an inscription that reads: "n Memory of Our Only Beloved Son Ensign Nathan Q. F. Piccirilli Who Made The Supreme Sacrifice For His County at The Battle Of Ormac Bay, Philippines Islands On December 7, 1944".
Navy History and Heritage Command - Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil page 268
"Shortly afterward another high-speed transport, the Liddle, was struck by a plane which crashed the bridge, killing 8 officers, including the captain, and 26 enlisted men. The Liddle was able to maintain full power and stayed in the formation, though the rescue tug ATR-31, with salvage and firefighting teams aboard, was ordered to stand by. Next victim was the destroyer Lamson. A single-engine fighter came in low and fast, crashed her superstructure just below the bridge, and killed 2 officers and 19 men. After her fires were controlled, she was towed to port by the ATR-31. By nightfall the attacks had ceased and the formation proceeded toward Leyte Gulf, the Liddle assisted by neighboring ships with hooded lights to help her control; the Lamson, towed by ATR-31, followed astern. The net layer Silver Bell was able to make temporary repairs to the Liddle, while the fleet tug Quapaw and the salvage vessel Cable aided the Lamson. Both ships eventually went to west-coast ports for completion of repairs."
Navy History and Heritage Command - Antiaircraft Action Summary COMINCH P-009 pages 2-7, 5-5
NavSource - USS Liddle (APD-60) / USS Liddle (DE-206)
FindAGrave - Nathan Piccirilli buried at Woodlawn Cemetery (grave photos)
Freeing the Angel from the Stone a Guide to Piccirilli Sculpture in New York City (2008) by Jerry Koffler and Eleanor Koffler pages related to Nathan Piccirilli grave at Woodlawn Cemetery
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