Treseder, Keith William

Keith William Treseder
Born: January 20, 1921
Hometown: Magna, UT
Class: 1944
Service: Merchant Marine
Position / Rank: Third Mate
Date / Place of death: April 6, 1945 / Kerama Retto,
Okinawa
Date / Place of burial: April 6, 1945 / Kerama Retto,
Okinawa – Lost at Sea
Age: 24

 

 

Keith W. Treseder, a 1944 graduate of Kings Point signed on as Third Mate aboard the SS Logan Victory before it sailed from San Francisco, CA on February 18, 1945. Also on board were Cadet-Midshipmen William W. Lau (Engine) and John R. Hawken (Deck). Treseder had previously sailed as Junior Third Mate aboard the SS Guatemala Victory on a voyage to the South Pacific from September to December 1944. Cadet- Midshipman Treseder began his Sea Year aboard the SS President Tyler in February 1943. He subsequently served aboard the SS Jane Adams and then signed on as Deck Cadet aboard the SS John G. Brady on October 12, 1943 for the ship’s maiden voyage to the South Pacific. He signed off in June 1944 to return to Kings Point and the completion of his training.

The SS Logan Victory sailed from San Francisco without escort to bases at Eniwetok and Ulithi delivering Army ammunition. From Ulithi the Logan Victory sailed in a convoy to Kerama Retto, the logistics base for the invasion of Okinawa. At 0100 on April 6, 1945, shortly after arriving at Kerama Retto the Logan Victory was ordered to shift to an explosives anchorage which had been established between Hokaji Shima and Koba Shima. At 0700 the SS Logan Victory anchored between the SS Hobbs Victory and the SS Pierre Victory in a triangular formation with the Logan Victory at the northern apex.The Logan Victory’s crew and Armed Guard detachment had been at “battle stations” off and on since 0330.

According to eye-witness accounts and after action reports, an attack by approximately eight kamikaze aircraft began at 1640 with an attack by a single engine plane on the SS Pierre Victory. According to Cadet-Midshipman Hawken’s report on the loss of the ship, the Master, Chief Mate and Second Mate were all on the bridge when the attacks began. It is unknown where Third Mate Keith Treseder was. Gun crews from the three ships in the explosives anchorage, and other ships in the vicinity, began firing at the attacking planes. The Commanding Officer of the Logan Victory’s Armed Guard unit claimed that the aircraft was destroyed by the Logan Victory’s 5″ gun. Immediately afterward (1645), a second kamikaze was sighted coming in from north end of Koba Shima. Although the kamikaze was seen to be hit numerous times by the Logan Victory’s machine guns they failed to disable the airplane. The kamikaze struck the ship on the port side, just aft of the deckhouse, at 1647.

Gasoline and incendiaries aboard the kamikaze caused the Logan Victory to burst into fire. Spread by exploding ammunition, the fire was soon out of control. As a result, the ship was abandoned at 1657 in the one surviving lifeboat and several rafts. The ship sank at 1902, about 2 ½ hours after being hit. The survivors were picked up by the USS Strategy (AM 308), YMS 86 and other small naval craft.

Cadet-Midshipman William A. Lau, the ship’s Engine Cadet recounted the attack in his report on the loss of the SS Logan Victory,

“The writer’s watch was from four to eight in the engine room. About 1615, the Chief Engineer came down and told those in the engine room that a Japanese suicide plane had crashed into an LST . The guns of subject vessel were firing continuously. About 1645, a loud explosion aft of the deck house was heard. The writer was standing by the throttle. Flames and large pieces of white hot metal came tumbling down on top of the turbines. The lights went out immediately. The only light came from the flames.

The fireman was first up the ladder, then the Second Assistant Engineer shut off the throttle and the writer followed him up the ladder and came out on the main deck passageway on the port side. The entire after part of the deck house was a mass of flames so the writer ran through the passageway to the forward part of the house and up the ladder to the boat deck. On the ladder were all types of wood and debris that had been blown through the passageway. The writer was trying to get to his room but as the flames were coming down the passageway it was apparent that he could not, so he ran to the port side of the boat deck. Both lifeboats were on fire. The Second Mate was seen to jump over the side and many more were doing the same. The writer followed and was soon swimming faster than he ever had before. His first thoughts were that the ship would blow up any minute and to get away as far as possible.

Keith Treseder was one of twelve members of the Logan Victory’s 56 man crew killed in the attack along with three members of the Naval Armed Guard and an Army Officer.

For his merchant marine service Keith W. Treseder was posthumously awarded the Mariners Medal, Combat bar with star, the Pacific War Zone Bar, the Victory Medal and the Presidential Testimonial Letter.

According to records of Utah Servicemen in World War II, Julie Treseder Cadogan, and U.S. Census data, Keith W. Treseder was the fourth of William Q. Treseder and Julia Worthen Treseder’s six sons. Keith’s father was a Deputy U.S. Marshall.Quillian. Ernest and Rex were Keith’s older brothers. His little brothers were Glen and Gordon. Keith entered the San Mateo Basic School on January 18, 1943 and graduated from Kings Point in 1944.

7 thoughts on “Treseder, Keith William

  1. Thank you for publishing this history of my uncle Keith. I have a correction for your article; Keith was one of 6 sons of William and Julia Treseder. He was the 4th of 6. FYI the Brothers names in order were: Quillian, Earnest, Rex, Keith, Glen, Gordon. I am a daughter of Glen.

    • Thank you for your comments about your relative whose memory is honored in the book Braving the Wartime Seas. The book has been published. Through the generosity of Kings Point graduates, we have funds to send a copy of the book to members of the families of these men. Send me your postal address and you will get a copy in a few weeks. george@ryansinbay.com George Ryan

  2. Wow! It is great to read this account of the last day of my uncle Keith.
    My dad, Gordon, always said Keith was the looker of the family.
    His name is on Julia and William’s headstone.

  3. My Father James Dalton Whelan served on the SS Pierre Victory during this attack. If anyone knows of an eyewitness account from the Pierre Victory please forward it to me.

    Thanks,
    Peter Whelan

    • Thank you for your diligent search for information regarding the time your father served our country. If our primary researcher has any information that may help you, he will be in touch with you.George

    • I was a USN 20 MM loader on the Pierre Victory. Starboard side. I witnessed the Logan Victory getting hit. In my mind I can still see it very well.

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