There were two other similar groups-- Taffy 1 and Taffy 2-- in the region, but only the aircraft on their escort carriers were within range of the upcoming battle, leaving Taffy 3's small ships to face the enemy. As the trailing ship in the escort carrier van after the turn to the south, Kalinin Bay came under intense enemy fire. "When can their glory fade? Lo, to kamikaze attack. [16] Minutes later, at 07:33, Kongō was narrowly missed by four torpedoes. Three cruisers closed to point-blank range, as destroyers such as Johnston were unsuccessful in drawing fire away from the doomed carrier. At 08:03, believing that one of the torpedoes had hit the battleship, Hathaway set course for the carrier formation, zigzagging and under the cover of smoke. At 08:00, Sprague ordered the carriers to "open fire with pea-shooters when the range is clear." Honolulu also survived Pearl Harbor. The main U.S. force, Admiral Halsey's Third fleet, with its battleships and large fleet aircraft carriers, had been decoyed away to the north. Without hesitation, Kintberger ordered Hoel in. WW2: U.S. destroyers and destroyer escorts laying a smoke screen during the Battle of Samar, 25 October 1944. Convinced he was facing a much larger force because of the ferocity of the American resistance, Kurita gave a "cease action" order at 09:00, with instructions to rendezvous north. In the Combat Information Center, Executive Officer Fred Green quickly suggested a course that would put Hoel in a position to attack the leading "battleship", either Kongō or possibly the heavy cruiser Haguro. No consideration was given to the fact that the course would put the small ship in the middle of the charging Center Force.[38]. Three 8 in (200 mm) armor-piercing projectiles struck her within minutes. Rather than a carefully orchestrated effort, each division in his task force was to attack separately. [58] At 09:11, Kurita ordered his ships to regroup to the North and at 09:22 Yamato slowed to 20 knots and came round to course 040, finally setting course 000 (due north) at 09:25. His ship slowing to 17 knots under hand steering, Kintberger realized he would have to fire his remaining torpedoes quickly before his ship was shot out from under him. What Halsey had unwittingly left behind still packed the air power of 4 carriers even if they were inexpensive, slow, lightly armed, and equipped with older-type combat aircraft. It was a great experience. Graham Lee from Lancashire. [17][16][22] Since neither of the targets could be observed visually, they could not be positively identified but Johnston's presumed "cruiser" was most likely the battleship Haruna. She capsized at 09:07 and disappeared beneath the waves at 09:11. At 12,000 yards (11 km), Heermann engaged Chikuma as her guns cleared Gambier Bay. The Imperial Japanese Navy never again sailed into battle in such force; most ships returned to bases in Japan and remained largely inactive for the rest of the war. The USS Yamato (NCC-24383/NCC-71807) was a 24th century Federation Galaxy-class starship operated by Starfleet. Another struck the water near White Plains alongside her flight deck, wounding 11 sailors and causing minor damage. Fires raged through the riddled escort carrier. The survivors formed associations which still meet annually, and raised funds to build memorials in San Diego near the current location of the USS Midway (CV-41) Museum, which contains a model of Gambier Bay. class cruiser. McCain, by contrast, had monitored Sprague's messages and turned TG 38.1 to aid Sprague even before Halsey's orders arrived (after prodding from Nimitz), putting Halsey's defense in question. The bridge of Chikuma was devastated, fires could be seen along her superstructure, and her number three gun mount was no longer in action. [citation needed], The 1962 novel Harm's Way bears many similarities to the battle. I wonder how much can be attributed to the fact that the situation that put Taffy 3 in harm's way was not America's shining moment. [76], Halsey was criticized for his decision to take TF 34 north in pursuit of Ozawa and for failing to detach it when Kinkaid first appealed for help. Soon shells of all calibers were straddling the attacking destroyer. After one hour, the Japanese had closed the chase to within 10 miles (16 km) of the carriers. My father Jim O'Gorek (my dad and I have the same name) was on the USS Johnston when it was sunk, he survived and lived to be almost 74 years old. Terrifying moment for the USS Johnston. The fast destroyer Hoel, captained by Commander Leon S. Kintberger, was the flagship of the small destroyer and destroyer escort screen of Taffy 3. The effect of Johnston's attack was to generate confusion in the minds of the Japanese commanders, who thought they were being engaged by American cruisers. At 07:15, Hagen concentrated his fire on the leading cruiser squadron's flagship, the heavy cruiser Kumano. As he retreated north and then west through the San Bernardino Strait, the smaller and heavily-damaged American force continued to press the battle. Only the Type 1 AP projectiles of the battleships carried dye loads: Nagato used a brilliant pink, Haruna used a greenish yellow variously described as green or yellow by the Americans, and Kongō used a blood red dye which could appear red, purple, or even blue in some circumstances.

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