HISTORICAL ACCOUNT OF THE U.S. LIBERATION FORCES LANDING IN LORETO, FEATURING “GALLUP”, “ROSS”, AND SIXTH RANGER INFANTRY BATTALION
Desolation Point on the northern tip of Dinagat Island was where American troops first landed on October 17, 1944 to liberate the Philippines from the Japanese. On 20 October 1944, MacArthur’s forces began the invasion of the Philippines. The principal target was Leyte. The actual push began when the Sixth Ranger Division overran the nearby islands of Suluan, Dinagat and Homonhon near the entrance of Leyte Gulf. Three days of heavy air, land and sea combat took place as Allied forces made the landing on Leyte. The Japanese lost a fleet carrier, three light carriers, three battleships, six heavy and four light cruisers as well as eleven destroyers. The US Navy lost a light carrier, two escort carriers, two destroyers and a destroyer escort.
Departing Hollandia 12 October 1944, Gallup was part of the screen for the vast task force, which returned General MacArthur to the Philippines. On the 17th she shelled the beach area in the island of Dinagat, and the next day she swept the channel into Leyte Gulf, P.I., as U.S. forces poised for the invasion. She then began antisubmarine and anti-mine patrol near Black Beach, screening vessels engaged in landing operations Stationed most of the time off Desolation Point, she collected tide and hydrographic information, served as dispatch boat and as escort through the cleared channel in Leyte Gulf, guided incoming ships and convoys through the channel, and served as harbor entrance control vessel during landing operations. She performed these duties, most of the time in gusty, stormy weather, with Bisbee (PF-46), LCI(L)-343, and LCI(L)-344, before being sent on an escort mission to Humbolt Bay on 28 November, touching San Pedro Bay and Kossol Roads, Manus, en route. On 3 December she left for the West Coast stopping to drop men at Seeadler Harbor, Admiralty Islands, and Pearl Harbor. She arrived in San Francisco on Christmas Day 1944.
On 12 October, Ross departed the Admiralties. Five days later she arrived off Dinagat Island. On the morning of the 18th, she covered landings there, on Black Beach 2, and then joined TU 77.2.6 to provide cover for that minesweeping and hydrography unit. Her duty, however, ended abruptly less than 15 hours later.