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Typhoons and Hurricanes: Pacific Typhoon June 1945

Related Resources:

Typhoons and Hurricanes: The Effects of Cyclonic Winds on U.S. Naval Operations
US Navy Ships lost in selected storm-related incidents

On 3 June 1945, the ships of Task Group (TG) 38.1, built around aircraft carriers USS Hornet (CV-12) and USS Bennington (CV-20), and the oilers in Task Group 30.8 were operating east of Okinawa, having just completed two weeks of air attacks against Japanese airfields on Okinawa and Kyushu. Although a tropical disturbance had been reported forming east of the Philippines, confused sighting reports and communications delays deprived Third Fleet of timely and accurate location information. Contradictory weather reports did not help the situation. On 5 June, the small and tight typhoon overtook TG 38.1, which passed through the eye of the storm at 0700 that morning. Hurricane force winds of 70 knots (80.5 miles per hour), with gusts up to 100 knots (115 miles per hour), damaged almost every ship in TG 38.1 and TG 30.8. In the former, heavy cruiser USS Pittsburgh (CA-72) lost her bow and two other cruisers suffered frame damage. All the fleet carriers suffered flight deck damage, while USS Belleau Wood (CV-24) also lost an elevator. The destroyers rode out the storm rather well, only USS Samuel N. Moore (DD-747) suffering major superstructure damage. In the refueling group, escort carriers USS Windham Bay (CVE-92) and USS Salamaua (CVE-96) lost part of their flight decks and tanker USS Millicoma (AO-73) suffered severe topside damage. One officer and five men were lost or killed, with another four seriously injured. Storm damage wrecked 43 planes and another 33 were washed overboard. After continued strong recommendations, the Pacific Fleet established uncoded plain language typhoon advisory dispatch procedures on 10 June and, two days later, began flying B-29 aircraft on storm reconnaissance missions.

Extract on the typhoon from Third Fleet report Serial 0028 of 14 July 1945
Extract on the typhoon from Task Group THIRTY-EIGHT POINT ONE report Serial 0080 of 14 June 1945
Extract on the typhoon from Carrier Division SIX report of 0525 of 2 July 1945

10 April 2000