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http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2015/07/16/how-typhoons-at-the-end-of-world-war-ii-swamped-u-s-ships-and-nearly-saved-japan-from-defeat/

How typhoons at the end of World War II swamped U.S. ships and nearly saved Japan from defeat

Seventy years ago, two typhoons hit and seriously damaged scores of U.S. Navy ships engaged in the last battles of World War 2, killing more than 800 Americans.
The typhoons arrived as pilots of Japanese suicide airplanes, called Kamikazes, were crashing into allied ships in the western Pacific, damaging many and sinking some. "Kamikaze" means "divine winds" and originally referred to typhoons in 1274 and 1281 that scattered and sunk many of the ships in Mongolian invasion fleets under the command of Kublai Khan.
Unlike the 13th century storms, the 1944 and 1945 typhoons didn't save Japan from defeat. But an October 1945 typhoon showed what could have happened if Japan hadn't agreed to surrender on August 15, 1945 (Japanese time)
The first typhoon, informally named "Cobra," hit on December 16, 1944, as the U.S. Navy's Third Fleet, commanded by Admiral William F. "Bull" Halsey, headed east into the open Pacific to refuel and transfer supplies from tankers and cargo ships to the fleet's aircraft carriers, battleships, cruisers, and destroyers out of range of the Japanese airplanes based in the Philippines, including Kamikazes. The fleet had been supporting the successful U.S. invasion of the Philippines.
As Dr. Bob Sheets and I write in our 2001 book, Hurricane Watch, "…nothing worked out; every move that Halsey made over the next two days seemed to be the wrong one. Early on the morning of the 17th, Commander George F. Kosco, Halsey's meteorologist, advised the admiral of a storm well to the east and likely to turn north." Unfortunately, Kosco was wrong and "the Third Fleet was steaming directly toward an intensifying typhoon."
 
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Happened to run into a WWII vet on the golf course the other day. While we were talking an Asian man approached and asked him if he knew where the clubhouse was. The vet said "you had no trouble finding Pearl Harbor" and walked away. I guess some things you can never forget.
 
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