Action Report: Army Coastal Tanker Y-14

May 6, 2013 

Hello Mr. Gregory,

I am a retired Navy commander and author. While researching a book I am currently working on, I came across the inquires at your website from both a lady and a gentleman regarding the loss of crewmen aboard the Army Coastal Tanker Y-14 on 16 December 1944.

"Uncles death on the army tanker Y-14 during the Phillipines battle in December 1944?"

"Y14 Coast Guard, William Cowan"

I have a copy of the Action Report written by the Task Unit Commander. If you could provide me their email addresses or forward mine to them, I believe I could assist them with their inquiry.

If you wish, you may review my work at my author's website:

David D. Bruhn
Cdr. USN (Ret.)


I do not have the email address for the couple who were looking for those who died in Y-14.

If you send me the detail, we will add it to AHOY, and they visit my site again and thus see your Action Report,

Best wishes,

Hi Mac,

The U.S. Army coastal tanker Y-14 was a part of the so-called Slow Tow to Mindoro. While in transit from Dulag in the northern Leyte Gulf the convoy suffered a series of air attacks from both Kamikaze and conventional Japanese aircraft. The worse attack occurred the morning of 16 December, when at 0824 a fighter aircraft crashed near the port side of the Y-14. Two crewmen were lost over the side and the tanker was slowed by the damage sustained to a maximum speed of five knots. The aircraft had appeared at a range of 6,000 yards headed apparently in a suicide run at the destroyer escort USS Holt, since it was the closest ship in the formation and beam on to the fighter closing rapidly at a speed of about 300 knots. Sensing this, the destroyer changed course radically to the right, and the aircraft, finding the Holt’s target angle unfavorable, chose instead to crash the tanker.

The plane was hit heavily by 40mm and 20mm fire from the Holt, starting a fire in the cockpit and producing smoke.
Thereafter it lost altitude gradually and fell into the water short of the Y-14 exploding as it hit. Additional information may be obtained from Comdr. David Bruhn, USN (Ret.) by contacting him at: www.davidbruhn.com.

David Bruhn


Hello Mac,

I have taken a better look at your website, which is very impressive and reflects your extensive knowledge and interest in naval and maritime matters

Perhaps you can point me towards more information about one of the RAN's greatest naval officers of WWII, Lt. Comdr. Leonard Goldsworthy.

I have written a book about the U.S. Navy's patrol yachts (PY), coastal patrol yachts (PYc) and patrol vessels (YP) of World War II, which is currently undergoing publisher's review. If such information exists, I would like to know more about the period that Goldsworthy was embarked aboard the YP-421 and how the ship supported his mine rendering safe activities.

Following are a couple of paragraphs from my manuscript related to the subject: 

Scant information exists about the duties of the former Massachusetts beam trawler at Balikpapan.  The YP-421’s commanding officer, Walter E. Baker, USN, did not keep a war diary, nor did most junior officers in command of such ships.  We know, however, that the YP-421 was assigned to support the Navy’s Mobile Explosives  Investigation Unit (MEIU) One, based in Australia on the southern side of the Brisbane River.  Its duties included supplying mine and bomb disposal teams for the Southwest Pacific Area, collecting captured Japanese explosive ordnance in order to disassemble and analyze it, and furnishing the intelligence information to the disposal personnel in forward areas.  The MEIU worked with Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Rendering Safe Mines officers in addition to U.S. Navy EOD personnel. 2

The Royal Australian Navy’s premiere mine disposal expert, Lt. Comdr. Leonard Goldsworthy, RAN, boarded the YP-421 at Nalunga on 9 May 1945.  He was transported to the small Philippine island, across the Sulu Sea from Borneo, by the PT-138, which then returned to its base at Ormoc, an area captured by American forces only a few months earlier.  Goldsworthy was the RAN’s most highly decorated officer, having been awarded the George Medal, the George Cross, and the Distinguished Service Cross, as well as a “Mention in Despatches” for the incredible courage and proficiency he had displayed in carrying out an extremely dangerous vocation.  A “mention in despatches” signified that one’s name had appeared in an official report written by a superior officer and sent to the high command,  describing gallant or meritorious action in the face of the enemy.  In World War II, honored recipients were authorized to affix a small oak leaf device to their War Medal ribbon.  Following his service in Europe defusing German mines of various types, Goldsworthy had been posted to the Southwest Pacific for duty with the MEIU.  His work there involved rendering safe Japanese mines and booby-traps in the Philippines and in connection with the landings in the Borneo area.3
David Bruhn


Leonard Verdi Goldsworthy, GC, DSC, GM (19 January 1909 – 7 August 1994),



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