Attack by Enemy Divebombers
On October 16, McFarland was unloading cargo and embarking wounded personnel in Lunga Roads when she was attacked by 9 divebombers. While the first seven scored no hits, the eighth hit a gasoline barge in tow alongside the tender's starboard quarter. The blazing barge was cut loose as the ninth plane made its run. At least one bomb hit McFarland's stern, knocking out her rudder and steering engine. Her crew managed to splash one plane, but lost 11 of it's members in the fight - five killed, six missing. with an additional 12 critically wounded. For this action the ship was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation.