MID DECEMBER ABOARD THE BOSTON

1944: On Dec 9, the Boston weighed anchor after more than two weeks in drydock in Seeadler Harbor.   The ship headed north to rejoin the rest of the ships of the Task Force anchored in Ulithi Lagoon. They arrived at the lagoon on Tuesday, December 12th. The following day, they formed up off Ulithi into Task Group 38.1, joining the cruisers New Orleans, San Francisco, the Baltimore and San Diego along with the battleships Massachusetts and Alabama.   Those seven large capital ships form the screen around the four aircraft carriers of the group: the Yorktown, Wasp, Cowpens and Monterey.   Sixteen destroyers form the outer screen.   The Task Force (TF38) and the Invasion Force begin the second phase of operations to liberate the Philippines, code named Operation Love lll, the landing of invasion forces on Mindoro.   By now, the Japanese use of suicide attacks (kamikazes) against American ships was becoming commonplace.

On December 14, 15, and 16, the carriers of Task Force 38 launch deckloads of fighters and bombers against targets on Mindoro and Luzon. On December 17th, the weather stiffens and the seas grow heavy —   a typhoon is gathering — and conditions get worse and worse.   They are about to run afoul of the fiercest typhoon of the War — Typhoon Cobra.

I will do a separate post on this terrible storm.

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