On the evening of March 31, 1945, hours before the invasion of Okinawa, Max Stripe, Billy Thornhill, and five other crewmen manned the forward twin 40 mm mount of LST 791. Riley was stationed up in the Conn, tracking enemy planes from bogey reports that came in over the radio. An increase in air attacks could be expected at sunset and dawn becausefor a brief timeaircraft could see the ships clearly, but it was difficult for the ships to see the planes. Suddenly, a group of transports astern of the 791 came under attacktracers could be seen across the expanse of water and air.
The job of the LST crew was to deliver the troops, tanks, and supplies to hostile beaches and, if necessary, defend those assets with their lives. All were ordinary men; they knew they had a job to do, and they did it. Succeeding so that they could return home to their families was their goal.
In Pacific LST 791, Stephen C. Stripe, author and son of LST crewman Max Stripe, brings us the incredible true story of the vital actions of LST 791 and her crew in the Pacific Theater of WWII. Our admiration and thanks belong to this hardworking, gallant breed, for their heroic courage and sacrifice brought us hope, victory, and ultimately peace.