USS Callaway at anchor in the Pacific theater of operations on Sept. 18, 1943. Photo courtesy of the National Archives.

The Long Blue Line: Bloody Callaway—the Coast Guard’s Silver Star Ship

On Jan. 8, 1945, Coast Guard-manned USS Callaway found itself the target of Japanese kamikaze attacks about 35 miles from the beaches of Lingayen Gulf in the Philippines. Considered one of the service’s worst combat losses in World War II, 23 Coast Guard heroes lost their lives


Coast Guard Heroes: Rollin A. Fritch

The transport ship USS Callaway was off the Coast of Luzon, in the Philippine Islands on Jan. 8, 1945, when desperate Japanese kamikaze attacks were launched in a determined effort to break up the landings. Eventually a suicide plane broke through heavy antiaircraft fire to crash on the starboard wing of Callaway ‘s bridge. Cool and skillful work against resulting fires kept material damage to a minimum and one of the men who sprung into action that day was Seaman First Class Rollin A. Fritch.

USS Callaway

Baptism by fire: Veterans reflect on their service in WWII

It was baptism by fire for USS Callaway as she landed troops at Kwajalein on Jan. 31, 1944. Just months before, Callaway had set sail from her homeport of Norfolk, Va. After embarking Marines in San Diego the ship left for the Pacific and performed their first of several assault landings.