October 13, 1944


Over the years I have posted many times about the “Battle Off Formosa”, which resulted in Boston’s sister ship, Canberra, being hit by an aerial torpedo on Friday the 13th, 1944  –  about 80 miles off the coast of Formosa (Taiwan).  Her station in the task group was replaced by the light cruiser Houston in the afternoon of the 14th.  The task group was attacked again by a large group of Japanese fighters and bombers, and the unfortunate Houston was hit by a torpedo.  Boston was ordered to take her in tow, and the “Ordeal of the Crippled Cruisers” began in earnest.  The Wichita and the Boston, towing Canberra and Houston, set a course to Ulithi, 1200 miles away, travelling at less than 4 knots.

The Houston, just after Boston surrendered the tow to a fleet tug on October 16, was hit again as another swarm of enemy bombers attacked the ships.

USS Houston, CL-81, showing damage inflicted during the Formosa Air Battle, 16 October, 1944.

Damage to the ship’s aircraft hangar from a torpedo hit in her starboard quarter received off Formosa on 16 October 1944. View looks through the blown-open hangar hatch in the direction of the torpedo’s impact point, showing men working in the damaged area. Photographed circa 27 October 1944, after Houston had been towed to Ulithi Atoll. Note broken aircraft crane at right, sea free-flooding into the hangar, and greatly distorted structure.   Wikimedia Commons

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