Logo by: Pat Stephens, Webmaster, DESA


This material gathered and contributed by Lew Cowden MMR2


Lew Cowden's memory of the event.
"...We were taking on supplies and got word to hurry, the convoy was waiting on us. We started to head out while still unloading the last of the supplies. The "all hands" work party had been secured, and we were headed toward the open sea where the convoy was forming, when it exploded. They tell me we were much closer when taking on supplies and went right past her on our way out. I just started up the ladder to the fantail when the blast pushed me back. I ran to the forward ladder and came up on deck amidships and saw the sight in the picture. The air was full of smoke and fine dust. I was told that we were far enough away to avoid damage from the blast and near enough that major debris blew over us. The Whitehurst is the ship in the lower right hand corner of the picture."

George Baskin, Metal Smith First Class, kept a daily log of the Whitehurst's wartime activities when she left San Francisco on 29 January 1944 until 10 May 1945 when she arrived at Pearl Harbor for major repairs and refit as a floating power station. After Georges' death in 1974, his wife Lola made the diary available to Lewis Cowden, who had it printed and bound.

"All the crew will remember George for the wonderful person he was. We will be forever indebted to George and Lola for this record." Lewis Cowden

From the Baskin Log, Nov. 10, 1944
"Arrived at Manus Island at 0600. Left at 0730 convoying 4 LSTs and 16 LCIs. On leaving, we went right past the ammunition ship, Mount Hood, that blew up. If it had happened 3 minutes earlier, everyone topside on the Whitehurst would have been killed. We were about 5000 yards from it when she exploded. I thought sure my ear drums were busted.
Guess God is with us."

Mt Hood Story
For more Excellent  Photos of the Explosion


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