Our ship returned to Sasebo from shore fire-support missions on 8 September. There we learned (1) there was going to be an invasion of Inchon, (2) we were in it, and (3) we would sail in four days. We left Sasebo on 12 September.
In the forenoon of the 13th (D-2 Day) the destroyers in column, led by the MANSFIELD, steamed up the Flying Fish Channel with mud flats all around us.
We stood into the harbor and anchored -- some of us less than a half-mile from Wolmi-do -- and at 1:00 PM commenced a one-hour bombardment of observed and suspected enemy gun positions.
The enemy took the destroyers under fire with 3" (75-mm) guns. Each gun flash disclosed a target which received immediate counterbattery fire. It turned out to be quite a slugfest against targets on Wolmi-do and in Inchon.
The COLLETT took 9 hits, one of them putting her MK-l main battery fire-control computer out of commission. She continued to fire in local control. The GURKE was hit three times. During retirement, after passing to seaward of Wolmi-do, the SWENSON was again taken under fire. A fragment from a near miss killed LTJG David Swenson (not related to Captain Lyman K. Swenson) and wounded ENS John Noonan.
D-1 Day we went into Inchon again as on the day before, but this time there was not much opposition.
On D-Day we needed to secure Wolmi-do before the main landings. High tides were at 7:00 AM and 7:20 PM. High-enough tide lasted only three hours. So the Marines would land on Wolmi-do at 6:30 AM on the morning high tide, and then make the main landings in Inchon at 5:30 PM on the evening high tide. Our destroyers would support the landings.
The MANSFIELD's captain, Commander Harvey Headland, again led the way up Flying Fish Channel this time between 2:00 AM and 5:00 AM on a dark, moonless night. A masterful feat!
At 5:45 the destroyers commenced preparation fire. At 6.30 the first assault wave landed on Wolmi-do. By 6:00 AM the Stars and Stripes were flying atop the island.
As the afternoon h-hour approached we conducted preparation fire causing lots of fires and lots of smoke as landing craft assembled for the assault. The Marines landed, took the city, and reached their D-Day objectives during the night.
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