For weeks we had been operating under high pressure. Everybody was tired. We had had many battles. There were many dry runs, too. Everybody was groggy. At night we were always under air attack or being threatened by air attack.1
At about 0400 on November 24th, we knew that we would have no chance for a surface contact that night, so we went at our usual 31 knots to Hathorn for fuel.2 While fueling we received orders from ComThirdFleet to expedite fueling and proceed to point UNCLE, a position latitude 6 degrees, 47 minutes south, longitude 154 degrees, 46 minutes east, and we were to advise ComSoPac of the time of our arrival.3 The same dispatch, or perhaps it was a previous dispatch, stated that the Japanese were going to evacuate their aviation personnel from Buka Island very shortly and that DesRon 23 was to take care of it.