Typhoon Cobra

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Typhoon Cobra From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search Typhoon Cobra Unknown strength typhoon (SSHS)

Eye structure captured on radar


Formed December 17, 1944 Dissipated December 18, 1944 Highest winds 220 km/h (140 mph) (gusts)

Lowest pressure ≤ 907 hPa (mbar) Fatalities 790 U.S., unknown elsewhere Damage Unknown Areas affected Philippine Sea Part of the 1940-1944 Pacific typhoon seasons Typhoon Cobra, also known as the Typhoon of 1944, was the United States Navy designation for a tropical cyclone which struck the United States Pacific Fleet in December 1944, during World War II.

On December 17, Task Force 38 (TF 38) was operating about 300 miles east of Luzon in the Philippine Sea. TF 38 consisted of seven fleet carriers, six light carriers, eight battleships, 15 cruisers and about 50 destroyers. The carriers had been conducting raids against Japanese airfields in the Philippines and ships were being refueled, especially many destroyers running low on fuel. However, due to worsening weather, attempts to refuel generally failed.

Contents [hide] 1 Storm history 2 Impact 3 Other 4 See also 5 References 5.1 Printed Media 5.2 World Wide Web 6 External Links


[edit] Storm history On December 17, the typhoon was first observed, surprising a fleet of ships in the open western Pacific Ocean. Barometric pressures as low as 26.8 inHg (907 mbar) and wind speeds up to 120 knots in gusts were reported by some ships. The storm was last seen on the 18th.


[edit] Impact Some ships experienced rolls up to 70 degrees and damage suffered by the fleet was severe. A number of warships had been refueling from tankers as the storm grew in intensity, and the procedure had to be aborted. Three destroyers, Spence, Hull and Monaghan had empty fuel stores, lacked the stabilizing effect of the extra weight and thus they were relatively unstable. They were sunk either by capsizing or as a result of water downflooded through their smokestacks and disabling their engines, leaving them at the mercy of the wind and seas.

Many other ships of Task Force 38 suffered various degrees of damage, especially on radar and radio equipment which severely compromised communications within the fleet. Several carriers suffered fires on their hangars and 146 aircraft were wrecked or blown overboard. A total of 790 lives were lost. Nine ships — including one light cruiser, three light carriers and two escort carriers — suffered severe damage and had to be sent for repairs. In the words of Admiral Chester Nimitz, the typhoon's impact "represented a more crippling blow to the 3rd Fleet than it might be expected to suffer in anything less than a major action". After the storm passed, the fleet was scattered. Over the next three days, ships and aircraft conducted search and rescue missions. Ninety-two survivors from the lost destroyers were picked up, many by the Tabberer.


[edit] Other This storm is sometimes confused with Typhoon Louise, which hit the U.S. fleet off Okinawa in 1945.

Lieutenant Gerald Ford served on the light aircraft carrier Monterey (CVL-26), which was damaged during the storm. Ford later recalled nearly going overboard as the ship rolled 25 degrees.[1]


[edit] See also

Tropical cyclones Portal 

List of Pacific typhoon seasons

[edit] References

[edit] Printed Media [1] "How Lieutenant Ford Saved His Ship," New York Times Op-Ed about Typhoon Cobra in December 1944, by Robert Drury and Tom Clavin, authors of "Halsey's Typhoon," December 28, 2006. Calhoun, C. Raymond. Typhoon, The Other Enemy: The Third Fleet and the Pacific Storm of December, 1944. ©1981. Adamson, Hans Christian., and George Francis Kosco. Halsey's Typhoons: A Firsthand Account of How Two Typhoons, More Powerful than the Japanese, Dealt Death and Destruction to Admiral Halsey's Third Fleet. New York: Crown Publishers, 1967. Hoyt, Edwin Palmer. The Typhoon that Stopped a War. New York: D. McKay Co., 1968.

[edit] World Wide Web ^ U.S. Department of the Navy. Frequently Asked Questions: Lieutenant Commander Gerald Ford, USNR. Retrieved on 2007-01-10.

[edit] External Links DESA webpage describing the disaster

Original Source

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