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Pacific Typhoon: June 1945 - Extract from Third Fleet Report, 14 July 1945

[first 17 items do not mention the typhoon]

       18. On 3 June 1945 a tropical disturbance was reported East of the Philippines and there began a most unfortunate series of events which culminated in extensive storm damage to many ships of the THIRD Fleet. Initial reports varied widely as to the character, locale, course, and speed of the reported disturbance. The different position reports covered an area of about 34,000 miles; with dangerous water and enemy territory to the North and West, Commander THIRD Fleet was compelled to move TF 38 and TG 30.8 to the eastward to gain sea room in which he could later maneuver to safety. Confused reports and serious communication delays deprived Commander THIRD Fleet and other commanders of accurate and timely information, and the aerologists, including the Weather Central, Guam, were at odds with each other and much confused. Although Commander THIRD Fleet extricated TG 38.4 without damage, the ships of TG 38.1 and 30.8 took a severe buffeting with resulting storm damage as listed in Enclosure (E).

       19. Commander THIRD Fleet has made strong representations in the past, including recommendation in his top secret serial 0085 of 26 January 1945, for the establishment of aircraft weather reconnaissance squadrons composed of long-range aircraft. He again emphasized the absolute necessity of improved typhoon warning communications and typhoon reconnaissance and tracking by long-range aircraft, preferably B-29's. Those recommendations are repeated here and Commander THIRD Fleet will continue to repeat them until a satisfactory typhoon warning service is established; and until then the Fleet will be in constant jeopardy from these vicious and unpredictable storms. On 10 June CinCPac instituted typhoon advisory dispatches, transmitting in plain language with "URGENT" precedence, and on 12 June 1945 word was received that B-29's were to be used for reconnaissance. These two steps will do much to reduce typhoon hazards inasmuch as B-29's can actually fly over the storm center, track and make "eye" witness reports. One further step is needed and recommended: The amalgamation of POA and SWPA weather services into a single Western Pacific Weather Service.

       20. After passage of the storm, Commander THIRD Fleet reported to CinCPac that in spite of damage all forces were ready to carry out assigned tasks, and planes were immediately made to resume attacks against Kyushu to test the newly-devised attack plan and to support the Okinawa operations. On 8 June 1945 from a position about 250 miles South, Southeast of Kyushu, TG's 38.1 and 38.4 launched about 200 fighters and fighter bombers for a concentrated attack against the Kanoya fields where previous visual and photographic reconnaissance had shown a big concentration.

[pages do not mention the typhoon]

Enclosure E

5 June -- Typhoon Damage
Name
Damage Sustained
Attu (CVE 102) Minor damage flight deck. Major and minor damage to 20MM and 40MM.
Salamaua (CVE 96) Flight deck out. Catapult supports ruptured. Considerable minor damage.
Windham Bay (CVE 92) Fwd 20 ft. flight deck collapsed on forecastle. Catapult damaged. 2 40MM mounts lost. Fwd elevator temporarily out.
Bougainville (CVE 100) Flight deck supports dam. Considerable superficial damage.
Millicoma (AO 73) Extensive damage to masts and booms.
Lackawana (AO 40) Damage to booms.
Sebec (AO 87) Two AvGas pumps out.
Caliente (AO 53) Two winches out.
Donaldson (DE 44) Gyro out.
Hilbert (DE 742) Small crack in hull.
Pittsburgh (CA 72) Lost Bow frame #26.
Hornet (CV 12) 25 ft. flight deck carried away. 25 ft. too weak to support aircraft. Catapult inoperational.
Bennington (CV 20) 25 ft. flight deck carried away. 25 ft. too weak to support aircraft. Catapult inoperational.
Belleau Wood (CVL 24) Extensive superficial damage.
Duluth (CL 87) Bow buckled upward at frame #21. Shell plating & several 2nd deck longitudinal stringers ruptured. Maximum calm sea speed 25 knots.
John Rodgers (DD 574) After main generator out.
Blue (DD 744) Both steering engines out of order.
Conklin (DE 439) Heavy damage one engine and one boiler available. No communications, no chronometers.
Indiana (BB 58) Minor damage to 40MM mounts.
Alabama (BB 60) 1 40MM damaged, 1 catapult out.
Baltimore (CA 68) Bow structure damaged.
Quincy (CA 71) Superficial damage to guns and electrical circuits.
Atlanta (CL 104) Minor electrical damage.
San Juan (CL 54) Minor electrical damage, minor cracks in deck plating.
De Haven (DD 727) Stbd. 40MM Quad power train out.
Stockham (DD 683) Bad knock in Stbd. reduction gear.
Maddox (DD 731) Break in shell plating.
McKee (DD 575) Twist in bow between frame 29 & 30 and wrinkle port side main deck between frames 38 & 39. Damage to Antennas.
Schroeder (DD 501) Slight buckle main deck from #30. 3 radio antennas carried away.
Brush (DD 745) Port bulwark main deck between frames 81 & 100 carried away.
Taussig (DD 746) Electrical damage.
Twining (DD 540) One receiving antenna carried away.
Moore, S.M. (DD 747) Extensive superficial damage.


Extract from Third Fleet report serial 00228 of 14 July 1945. Original held by Modern Military Branch, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, MD.


10 April 2001