USS Pavlic - APD-70 A History

Surrender at Tateyama

August 31, 1945

The next morning we were moored at Yokosuka. At 10:30 am we now took aboard a US Marine landing force of 5 officers and 111 men. We immediately got underway for the Japanese Naval Air Station at Tateyama near the entrance to Tokyo Bay, arriving at 1:30 pm. We landed the marines without incident and anchored off shore.

Tateyama was a kamikaze base and several floatplanes were on the apron in front of some of the hangars on dollies, as shown in the photo below. I never have identified the particular make of these planes.

Landing U.S. Marines at Tateyama
Navel Air Station, Japan, August 30, 1945

Japanese Kamikaze float planes on dollies outside
the hangar. Tateyama Naval Air Station,
Tateyama, Japan, August 31, 1945

Closer views of the planes are shown below.
Four boatloads of Marines were put ashore, but we soon got an urgent message that they needed help. There was a whole Japanese army division that wanted to surrender, perhaps 10,000 men, and they needed a lot more manpower than 116 marines. The army told them to accept the surrender and that they would send in additional troops. We were anchored there for the next couple of days while army reinforcements were brought in.

Arranging the surrender at Tateyama Naval
Air Station. They found that a whole Army Division
(perhaps 10,000 men) wanted to surrender

Clark Clugston MM3c outside
the Kamikaze shrine at
Tateyama Naval Air Station, Japan

The reason I referred to the planes as kamikazes was because we did indeed find a kamikaze shrine there at the airbase. The individual shown in the photo (left) is Clark Clugston who took most, if not all, of the pictures on the ship’s camera.

Meanwhile, on September 2nd, the formal surrender ceremonies were taking place aboard the USS Missouri on the other side of Tokyo Bay. The next day we took the Marines back to Yokosuka and we then became a temporary communications station and barracks ship for the port director at Yokosuka. In the first picture below, USS Pavlic is the furthermost of the three destroyer escorts (APD’s) anchored in front of the white Port Director’s building. Far out in the harbor you can see the pagoda-like superstructure of the last surviving Japanese battleship, the Nagato. In the bottom photo, in the top left background is the island of Asuma Shima where we dropped off the British troops. A better look at the Nagato in Yokosuka harbor is shown in the first photo below, with the USS Missouri (BB 63) at the right.


We stayed in Japan for eight more months assisting in various ways at Yokosuka and Yokohama doing whatever the Navy needed in terms of help with the occupation. All of the Pavlic’s crew had survived the war. On our return trip to the States, when we reached Eniwetok, we found that the battleship Nagato had been positioned there to be used as one of the targets in the upcoming atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll.

From Eniwetok we sailed to Hawaii, spent a few days, then went on to Long Beach, California.

Many of the ship’s officers and senior crew members had already left the ship in Japan which meant our trip home was accomplished with only a sprinkling of experienced people. As a result, I found I was in charge of the radio shack for the trip home. I was a radioman 2nd class and nineteen years old. We lost more experienced people when we arrived at the West coast. From Long Beach, we sailed on down through the Panama Canal and up to Philadelphia where the the rest of us remaining crew left the ship.

I started out like many of the men who served on the Pavlic, a small town kid, just out of high school, who had never been very far from home. I weighted in at 125 pounds and staggered under the weight of my bedroll and sea bag. I had survived Kamikaze attacks, mine fields, torpedo attacks, a bad typhoon, and I hadn’t fallen overboard. I disembarked in Philadelphia in June 1946, 40 pounds heavier. I got on a train and headed home to Millinocket, Maine. The Pavlic was subsequently towed from Philadelphia to Green Cove Springs, Florida where it remained in the mothball fleet until it was scrapped in 1967.

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