Into the mouth of hell they rode….

I stop each October and remember my father’s service to our country.DADDY Navy

He served during WWII on board an aircraft carrier in the South Pacific called the USS White Plains.

It was on October 25, 1944 that he and his shipmates faced off against over-whelming odds the Japanese Navy.

He found himself square in the middle of what would become the largest Naval battle in the history of the world.

His ship that day came under brutal attack and was the closest ship to the Japanese Navy as they opened fire.

At the very top of this photo shown below, the USS White Plains can be seen as shots and shells from enemy fire are splashing around his ship.

uss white

In the photo below, a Kamikaze Pilot in a Mitsubishi Zero takes aim at his ship as men aboard the White Plains return fire. The plane was shot down and caused 11 casualties on board the White Plains. 

The USS White Plains became the first ship attacked during the war by Kamikaze pilots.


Dad survived, earning a Presidential citation for his role in this battle and returned home.  

He married his sweetheart he had met during the war, and quietly began raising his family.

He can be seen here in this photo after the war, standing tall with my mother…in much calmer waters.


About jeb610

Taking one day at a time, and enjoying life in the heart of Dixie. People create their own questions because they are afraid to look straight. All you have to do is look straight and see the road, and when you see it, don’t sit looking at it – walk. There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil.
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9 Responses to Into the mouth of hell they rode….

  1. Anonymous says:

    He Truely was a hero, from that great generation….how proud you must be!! What a brave man he was!! Thank you for sharing this story. 🙂

  2. gpcox says:

    A nice tribute for your dad. You must be very proud.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Your dad was real hero in World War II and in your eyes and you honor him well. He was a great looking man.

  4. John says:

    My father also served aboard the USS White Plains, but earlier than you father. My father enlisted in September 1941 and mustered out in September 1945 as a Chief Petty Officer. From 1942 to 1944 he was at CASU-1 and CASU-2 in Hawaii. He was an aviation machinist mate and passed away in 1993. He mentioned the USS White Plains and I would welcome an opportunity to share photos and information of what he told me. I have a number of photos of Hawaii that he took while there. What a wonderful tribute you have written.

    • jeb610 says:

      Good to hear from YOU AND someone with a connection to the USS White Plains.

      Over the years, I have had the opportunity to attend several reunions with members who served on the White Plains. Before heading over to Leyete Gulf, my Dad was in Hawaii as well. Would love to see/share any photos info with you..

      Not a day goes by that I don’t remember the sacrifices made by those who fought and died for our freedom.

      Glad those memories are still alive in others.



      • John Hughes says:

        Jeb – My apologies for not seeing your reply post until today. I attended the 75th Anniversary of the commissioning of the USS South Dakota (BB-57) at the memorial located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. This event has prompted me to research my dad’s navy service. I located the War Diaries of CASU-1 and CASU-2 which amazingly were first declassified on December 31, 2012. I upgraded my subscription to Fold3 and searched and located these. I also have downloaded the entire USS White Plains History CVE-66 which I am happy to e-mail to you. I also have photographs and would love to hear back from you. Thank you. John

      • jeb610 says:

        Thanks for sending the info on the USS White,Plains and am enjoying reading it. Would love to see any no you could mail on the White Plains. My email address is



  5. Today is D-Day and I am thinking of my father, Curtis M. Ludwig. He served on USS White Plains during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. He too received the Presidential Citation for his unit which shot down a Kamikaze moments before it was about to crash in the aircraft carrier. I believe your father and mine might have been in the same unit. I’d like to share his photo with you. Let me know how I can send it to you. Are you aware of any organizations of the last remaining veterans of the USS White Plains? My father passed away four years ago, but I woud like to participate in any groups honoring their service. Thank you for your post. Best, Mary Ann Ludwig Van Sickle

    • jeb610 says:

      Good to hear from you and sorry so long in replying. There is a group of White Plains survivors that meet yearly. My father passed away at one of their get together soon in Milwaukee Wisconsin.

      Yes, if your father served on the White Plains during the battle of Leyete Gulf, he and my father were shipmates.
      Would love to see a photo of your father, I have one to send as well if your interested.
      My email is



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