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Pacific Typhoon, June 1945: Extract from Report of Task Group THIRTY-EIGHT POINT ONE of 14 June 1945

[information not related to the typhoon deleted]

4. Principal events are set forth chronologically with all dates East Longitude and all times Zone Minus Nine (Item)

4 June 1945      
0439 After gaining voice contact with CTG 30.8, CTU 38.1.2 recommended a fueling course of 110° due to reports of a storm approaching from the southwest and the oilers were deployed to fuel on that course.    
0550 Task Group formed Fueling Disposition 5 Fox on Course 110°, Speed 10 knots. Task Group commenced replenishment from 5 AO's, 2 AE's, 2 CVE's and 2 AK's of TG 30.8.    
0813 CTU 38.1.2 instructed the Task Group to secure for heavy weather as a tropical storm was reported to the south moving northwestward.    
0936 ComTHIRDFlt, by despatch, instructed both Task Groups 38.1 and 30.8 to discontinue fueling and replenishment operations immediately, both groups to proceed at best speed on course of 110°.    
0945 Discontinued fueling, formed Cruising Disposition 5 Roger, Axis 160°, Speed 12 knots and proceeded on Course 110° in company with TG 30.8.    
1117 Ships of the Task Group again instructed to prepare for heavy weather.    
1200 Both Task Groups increased speed to 14 knots.    
1630 On improvement of weather, requested and received permission from ComTHIRDFlt to resume replenishing.    
1700 Ships commenced refueling and replenishing. Weather continued improvement.    
1735 Informed CTG 30.8 that two storm centers were moving northward, one bearing 215° distance 270 miles and the other 285° distance 175 miles, that present course of 110° seemed best to avoid storm and at request of ComTHIRDFlt recommended to ComTHIRDFlt a rendezvous at 0550 5 June at Lat. 22-00 N. Long. 133-20 E.    
1745 Carriers instructed to spot and secure planes for heavy weather.    
1928 Task Group 38.4 contacted bearing 013° distance 27 miles on course 180°.    
1930 Completed fueling    
2004 CTF 38 assumed Tactical Command of Task Force 38.    
2005 ComCarDiv FIVE assumed Tactical Command of Task Group 38.1    
2009 CTF 38 informed TG 30.8 that the Task Force would continue on Course 110° speed 12 knots, zigzagging and that ComTHIRDFlt desired TG 30.8 stay in company.    
2014 Task Group 38.1 rejoined Task Force 38 on Course 110°, Speed 12 knots and took Station #2 south of Task Group 38.4 in Fleet Formation 5 William, on Fleet Axis 290° both Task Groups zigzagging.    
2017 Stationed 6 DD pickets in pairs as a storm precaution.    
2234 ComTHIRDFlt to CTF 38: "Believe course 150° will be better. Do you concur?"    
5 June 1945      
0010 CTF 38 recommended to ComTHIRDFleet that "analysis of present weather indicates best solution is increasing speed to the East". ComTHIRDFlt replied at 0050 to CTF 38's recommendation, "Do not approve going East which will only keep us in front of storm area. I recommend a course of about 300 until weather improves, then West. Foregoing based on Ancon report".    
0114 CTF 38 instructed all CTG's to change course to 300° and ComTHIRDFleet ordered CTG 38.1 to instruct CTG 30/8 cruising to the southwestward to conform to the Task Force movements.    
0120 T.G. 38.4 steadied on ZigZag leg of 140°.    
0126 T.G. 38.4 changed course to 220°.    
0131 T.G. 38.4 changed course to 300° and ceased zigzagging.    
0134 Changed course to 300°.    
0223 Speed increased to 16 knots on orders of CTF 38.    
0230 Seas commenced growing with high swells.    
0240 Distant weather indications picked up by SM radar bearing 233° distance 63 miles and 259° distance 60 miles.    
0246 CTG 38.8 informed CTF 38 "Believe this course (300°) is running us back into the storm". At 0248, CTF 38 ordered course changed to 000° with Task Group 38.4 executing at 0250 and Task Group 38.1 waiting till 0320 to gain position and sea room before executing.    
0308 CTG 30.8 informed CTF 38 that his CVE's were riding very heavy on present course (000°) and that he was changing course to previous one of 300°. Service group further changed course to 290°, speed 10 knots at 0353 and CVE's reported much easier riding.    
0336 John Rodgers reported loss of steering control with one engine stopping due to taking too much water but regained steerage at 0343 at standard speed on both engines. Harrison was dispatched by ComScreen to assist if necessary as one of her generators was also reported flooded. At 0359 John Rodgers again reported operating on only one engine.    
0400 Reduced speed to 12 knots to stay with John Rodgers. Winds increasing in intensity.    
0401 CTF 38 informed by CTG 38.1 that the center of the storm as shown by radar was bearing 245° distance 40 miles from the Task Group moving on course 030° and that speed had been reduced to 12 knots due to John Rodgers steering casualty.    
0419 Speed increased to 16 knots on report from John Rodgers that that speed was possible.    
0420 CTG 38.1 informed CTF 38 that "I can get clear of the center of the storm quicker by heading 120°. Please advise." CTF 38 answered by stating, "We having nothing on our scope to indicate storm center." To this CTG 38.1 replied, "We very definitely have. We have had one for 1½ hours."    
0435 CTF 38 requested that CTG 38.1 give him bearing and distance of storm center and was told that storm now had bearing 240° distance 30 miles.    
0440 CTF 38 sent following to CTG 38.1, "We intend holding present course (000°). Use your own judgment."    
0500 Barometer reading now 28.98 inches with gusts of wind to 90 knots.    
0507 Course changed to 330° to avoid heavy rolling of CVL's.    
0515 Changed course to 270° directing all ships to make turn slowly.    
0517 Informed CTF 38, "We are maneuvering to find best course, should be out soon. The wind in now 80 knots."    
0518 Maddox and Mansfield on Southern Picket Station directed to maneuver independently to get best course.    
0518 Maddox reported that present course was very bad and that she had just rolled 60 degrees.    
0520 Slowed to 10 knots. Bennington reported unable to maintain steerage way at this speed on this course.    
0528 Changed course to 240° and Massachusetts designated guide as Hornet continued to swing to the left and could not hold the previous course.    
0535 Instructed all ships of the Task Group to maneuver independently to avoid collision and changed course to 200°.    
0538 Changed course to 190°.    
0550 Changed course to 180°.    
0556 Changed course to 160° which was first course CV's could hold.    
0626 Instructed all ships to keep careful watch on 3000 kcs. if they became separated and to watch for rendezvous position later by radio dispatch on the Fox schedule.    
0636 Pittsburgh reported bow broken off with clean vertical break at Frame 26 with boundary established at bulkhead Frame 33. Ship was still able to proceed under own power by backing down.    
0636 All ships of the Task Group ordered to stop engines and lie to at discretion, maneuvering independently to keep best possible position into the sea.    
0639 Baltimore instructed to stay with the Pittsburgh as broken bow was reported floating down on the port side of the ship.    
0648 Belleau Wood reported man overboard - the only personnel fatality resulting from the typhoon. Attempts to rescue the man failed.    
0704 CTG 38.1 informed the Task Group that "we are now in center of storm and expect heavy weather and high wind later. All ships make minimum speed, keeping into the sea".    
0713 Indiana reported difficulty in steering and stated she had no rudder control temporarily. Control was regained at 0730.    
00728 Ships of the Task Group instructed to rendezvous after getting out of the typhoon on track bearing 160° from Lat. 22-45 N., Long. 132-10 E.    
0735 Ships of the Task Group now generally on a southerly course at speed 05 to 07 knots as seas began to decrease with the barometer slowly rising.    
0917 ComCruDiv 10 reported that the Pittsburgh was riding comfortably, non-steering a course of about 015°.    
1154 John Rodgers reported her main generator aft non-operational.    
1240 Task Group instructed to form on Hornet as soon as sea subsided on Course 260° Speed 6 knots, Axis 270° with Hornet guide.    
1241 Mansfield and Baltimore instructed to remain with the Pittsburgh and CTG 38.1 advised that Task Group would stay in the general vicinity.    
1345 Pittsburgh and Stockham instructed to proceed at best possible speed to GUAM on orders of ComTHIRDFleet.    
1430 ComScreen reported that all DD's were operational except the Blue with both steering motors non-operational and steering by hand and the Stockham which had a damaged reduction gear.    
1516 Captain Gingrich in Pittsburgh, designated CTU 38.1.9, ordered by ComTHIRDFLeet to rendezvous with Munsede ATF 107 and two DE's from Task Group 30.8 and together with Stockham to proceed via direct route to GUAM for repairs.    
1517 Duluth reported being able to make only 15 knots due to damage to bow.    
1522 Task Group formed Cruising Disposition 5 Roger, Axis 270° on Course 020° Speed 10 knots. AK Luxembourg Victory which had become separated from TG 30.8 and which had rendezvoused with scattered units of this group approached the formation and was assigned station.    
1735 CTF 38 directed that TG 38.1 rejoin Task Force 38 at dawn rendezvous at Lat. 24-30 N, Long. 129-00 E.    
1830 Pittsburgh's bow was sighted visually bearing 235° distance 6 miles by Blue and Brush was ordered to stand by until Munsee could place the bow in tow.    
1849 Designated Captain Osborne, Commanding Officer, Duluth, as CTU 38.1.9 to proceed with Pittsburgh, Stockham, Blue, Munsee and 2 DE's of TG 30.8 and the Pittsburgh bow to GUAM for repairs.    
2050 Proceeded on course to assigned rendezvous with Task Force 38.    
2112 ComDesDiv 50 in Dashiell with Maddox detached to escort Luxembourg Victory to rendezvous with TG 30.8 and return to the task group at morning fueling rendezvous.
Continued during night on Northwesterly course toward fueling rendezvous.
   
6 June 1945      
0240 Contacted Task Group 38.4 bearing 285° distance 24 miles from the formation.
 0435  Contacted the service group bearing 312° distance 22 miles.    
0520 Launched the first of series of DCAP's from CVL's.    
0553 Gave tactical command to CTU 38.1.2. ComCarDiv FIVE proceeded via McKee for conference with CTF 38 aboard Shangri La and with ComTHIRDFleet aboard Missouri.    
0630-1830 Fueled and replenished all ships and conducted gunnery exercises for ships not engaged.    
0851 ComDesDiv 50 with Luxembourg Victory reported to CTG 30.8 and he and his ships were detached to return to TG 38.1.    
0900 On orders of CTF 38, launched an 8 plane search team from San Jacinto to look for SC 1349 lost during typhoon and last reported at Lat. 24-24 N, Long. 133-00 E.    
1225 ComCarDiv FIVE returned to Hornet from conferences with ComTHIRDFleet and CTF 38.    
1313 Hornet launched DCAP over damaged bow.    
1414 Hornet commenced launching search planes to locate LST's lost during typhoon. First plane off, a Shangri La Corsair, spun in on take-off as a result of shifting air currents caused by the damaged flight deck overhang and launching was stopped due to the accident.    
1450 Bennington with similar flight deck damage instructed not to launch DCAP until speed was increased and tests conducted to determine air flow as damaged bows were found to cause unusual turbulence on launching. Tests on Hornet showed a variation of 5 knots between deck edge and center line with similar results reported by Bennington.    
1521 Hornet began launching search planes from the stern, backing down at 18 knots to get necessary wind across the deck. Launching was completed successfully.    
1545 Informed CTF 38 that all SM and SK radars in task group were operative except the Belleau Wood SP which could only be used for surface search.    
1736 Ordered holes cut in the overhanging forward part of Hornet and Bennington flight decks leaving structural members intact in order to improve the air flow during launching operations.    
1800 ComCarDiv FIVE in Hornet assumed tactical command of the task group.    
1848 Informed ComTHIRDFleet and CTF 38 that search planes had contacted the lost ships, LST 866 and LST 823, both with an LCT in tow at 1720 in Lat. 23-02 N. Long. 131-33 E.    
1900 ComCruDiv 18, Rear Admiral Holden in Topeka with Bon Homme Richard, Oklahoma City and Ringgold reported for duty.    
2208 Rendezvoused with TG 38.4 and took Station #2 in Fleet Formation 5 William, bearing 270° distance 12 miles from the guide, TG 38.4.    
2310 Proceeded on a Northerly course toward OKINAWA supporting position.    

ENCLOSURE "C" to CTG 38.1 Secret letter
Serial 0080 dated 14 June 1945
AEROLOGICAL REPORT OF THE TYPHOON OF 1-7 JUNE 1945

During the early morning of 5 June Task Group 38.1 passed through the center of in intense although small typhoon then located near Latitude 22°55'N, Longitude 132°10'E. This storm was first reported on 1 June by Weather Central Guam as forming in the vicinity of 12°N - 135°E, moving on a west northwesterly trajectory at 12 knots. A steady southwesterly circulation had prevailed over the operating area during the latter part of May, the southwest monsoon having become well developed by that time. On 3 June the winds were observed to back from southwesterly to southeasterly, this being the first indication of a cyclonic circulation to the south of the ship. There follows a summary of the observed weather conditions from 3 June through 7 June at which time the storm had passed from the operating area.

3 June: The storm center during the early morning was located 360 miles east of Manila, moving to the north at 15 knots. A stagnant cold front, oriented northeast-southwest, lay to the northwest between the ship and Okinawa. The ship passed through this frontal zone at 0500I accompanied by a wind shift from the south southwest to the east at 8-12 knots. Intermittent light rain, showers and thunderstorms were observed during the afternoon which reduced the ceiling and visibility to zero at times. Flying conditions were average during the morning but became bad in the afternoon.

4 June: At dawn the typhoon, now deepening rapidly and recurving to the northeast, was centered 360 miles to the south southwest of the ship. Broken (7/10) altostratus above 20,000 feet with scattered (3.10) cumulus based at 2000 feet were observed throughout the morning. At 0950I this task group, on orders from ComTHIRDFleet, discontinued operations and steamed at 12 knots on course 110°(T) in company with T.G. 30.8 in order to avoid the storm center then located to the south. During the morning and early afternoon, scattered light showers fell from the cumulus clouds. Late in the afternoon the low clouds increased to broken to overcast (8/10) and a light intermittent rain began to fall. Visibility was 3-6 miles in the rain areas but was otherwise unrestricted. The surface wind was from the south southeast 15-20 knots with gusts to 30 knots increasing steadily. Flying conditions were good in the morning but became undesirable after 1500I.

5 June: At 0134I the Task Group on orders from ComTHIRDFleet changed course to 300°(T). The winds increased steadily from the southeast reaching a maximum of 80-100 knots with instantaneous gusts to 120 knots and the barometer fell precipitously reaching a minimum of 958.3 millibars on board Hornet at 0545I with the ship located near the edge of the eye of the storm. The rain increased from light continuous to moderate continuous with occasional very heavy showers. The visibility varied from 0-1 mile and the ceiling between 0-1000 feet. Shortly after 0600I, the winds dropped abruptly to 24 knots as the eye of the storm was penetrated and backed from the southeast through the north into the west. The seas were extremely heavy near the edge of the eye with long parallel swells of a short period and 50-60 feet from crest to trough moving out from the storm center. Within the eye, the seas moderated markedly becoming 20-25 feet from crest to trough and of a confused pyramidal nature. As the storm center was crossed, the rain ceased and the outline of the sun became visible through a misty stratiform overcast based at about 800 feet. The temperature rose from 75°F at the edge of the eye to 78°F in the center falling again to 76°F as the opposite side was entered. The Task Group crossed the typhoon from its right to left side, passing through the eye southeast of the center. Consequently the wind and sea conditions observed after passing the center were not as violent as those previously experienced. Winds of 55-60 knots from the West with little gustiness and overcast low clouds based at 500-1000 feet giving light continuous rain were observed as the group moved out of the storm's center. Conditions improved gradually and the winds had become West 5 knots by 1500I.

6 June: The typhoon having moved off to the Northeast at 20 knots was centered at 27°30'N - 137°30' E at dawn. Broken to overcast (8/10) altoform clouds above 20,000 feet and widely scattered (1/10) cumulus of fair weather based at 2000 feet were observed throughout the day. A drier air mass particularly aloft was observed over the area having been displaced from the North by the typhoon's passage. Ceiling and visibility were unlimited. The surface wind continued Westerly 10-15 knots. Flying conditions were good.

7 June: The typhoon continuing on to the Northeast had begun to fill and had developed a frontal system through the storm center during the previous 12 hours. Continued fair weather with sky conditions similar to those observed on 6 June prevailed throughout the day. The surface winds veered into the North Northwest 8-013 knots the typhoon having ceased to dominate the circulation. Flying conditions were good to excellent.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

A surface synoptic chart showing the typhoon's trajectory as reconstructed from map analyses and radar observations and the Task Group track, a sequence of surface observations taken for the period from 3-7 June, a collection of all pilot-balloon soundings taken during the above interval, and a reproduction of the true wind and barometric trace are annexed hereto.

At about 0245I on 5 June a series of diffuse, concentric, crescent-shaped images were first noted on the SM radar screen. Their outline was indistinct and varied with time but always retained a spiral or circular characteristic. A few minutes later it became apparent that this image (or series of images) was moving toward the Northeast and not in the direction of other shower areas on the screen at that time. These other showers were moving toward the North Northwest, that is with the wind which was then from the Southeast. At 0330I a more definite crescent-shaped image became visible at the Southwesterly edge of the screen -- this was presumed to be the storm center as was later demonstrated.

Several of the photographs of the SM radar screen taken at intervals during the ship's passage through the storm center together with a chart of the storm's track are annexed hereto. This trajectory was determined from the radar bearing and distance recorded at the time each exposure was made. Although considerable dispersion in the plotted positions will be noted, a rather definite average track can be drawn -- this average track shows the typhoon to have been moving to the Northeast (043.5°T) at 18 knots and accelerating. Due to the high brilliance necessary in exposing the pictures, a large area of "grass" around the ship will be seen in each photograph.

Now that radar observations of two different typhoons (the other being that of 18 December 1944) have been made at close range by the same observers on Hornet, a comparison of the two can be made. A drawing of the storm center of 18 December 1944 together with a drawing of the recent storm center (drawn to the same scale) are annexed so that the characteristics of both storms can be compared. The most marked difference is in the distribution of precipitation about the center. The earlier storm carrying the heaviest rain over the left read quadrant whereas the recent storm shows the greatest rainfall over the right front quadrant. Both storms are of approximately the same size in over-all dimensions, the greatest difference being that the eye of the recent storm is approximately three times as large as that of the preceding storm. Many of the suggestions made in the Hornet report of the December storm as to typhoon construction have been substantiated by the observations of this storm -- bands of relatively clear air (descending air) have been observed surrounding the central rain patterns of both storms. The distribution of precipitation is apparently dependent upon the past history and present state of each particular storm -- the earlier storm was traveling Northwestward and was decelerating whereas the recent one was traveling Northeastward and was accelerating -- both were apparently deepening at the time of observation.

The radar images of typhoons and other cyclonic tropical storms should be familiar to all radar operators -- they are distinct from other weather images and once seen can be identified almost at once. A useful criterion in this connection is that typhoon images in the Northern hemisphere will appear to be moving in a direction between 60 and 90 degrees to the right of the surface wind direction whereas most shower patterns will be moving with the wind or very near to it.

Note: Principal events are set forth chronologically with all dates East Longitude and all times Zone Minus Nine.


 



Extract from Task Group Thirty-Eight Point One report serial 0080 of 14 June 1945. Original held by Modern Military Branch, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, MD.


10 April 2001