Finally, a nice convoy of amphibious vessels headed out to the first group of islands we were going to take back from the enemy! Hopes were high and even the troops we had on board were anxious and unafraid. Some time later we entered the harbor at Peleliu Island, which was an important area for resupplying us.
There was much fighting going on onshore, but it was usually quiet in the harbor. Here we were given fuel and food supplies, ammo, etc. The only real worry we had was a lone Japanese plane that came over almost every day, flying back and forth, high enough so that the small guns on our ships couldn’t reach him. “WASHING MACHINE CHARLIE” as we called him, because of his noisy engine, would fly back and forth, then drop a bomb or two before his fuel ran out and he HAD to leave. He usually didn’t hit much, because he flew so high that his accuracy wasn’t great, but he was a nuisance and sometimes he got lucky.
Unfortunately he dropped a small bomb on an ammunition supply ship anchored of by itself, and it blew up with a horrendous blast. Luckily there were no ships taking on ammo at the time or it would have been worse.