Sunday, October 24, 2004

On this day in military history....in 1944

On this day in military history….in 1944. The light aircraft carrier, Princeton, was sunk during the Leyte Gulf invasion of the Philippines. A lone Japanese dive bomber managed to elude the carrier’s combat air patrol and strike the carrier with one 550 lb. bomb. Normally, this would not have caused much in the way of damage, however, just like what happened to the Japanese aircraft carriers during the Battle of Midway island, the bomb struck while the carrier in the midst of fueled and armed airplanes on her deck. The resulting fires and explosions did not completely doom the carrier as it was not until a large store of bombs exploded which blew off part of the stern of the carrier that the Navy finally decided that she was lost. While the fires were raging on board the Princeton, the light cruiser Birmingham pulled up along side to help fight the fires. She was still along side of the Princeton when the bomb store blew up, killing 229 and wounding 420, more than were killed and wounded on the Princeton.

The Great El-ahrairah and Captain Holly’s Sainted Father was on board the Birmingham during World War II. He has told us many times that he was above decks, not having anything special to do at the time, watching the Birmingham fight the fires, like many of the other members of his crew. He saw the fires raging on the deck of the Princeton and how firefighters were spraying water on bombs to keep them cool. Something told him that it would be better that he went below decks instead of watching the crew fight the fires, which he did and which saved his life, since he was below decks when the Princeton blew up. Because of his actions, both the Cap’n and I are here on this earth today. Some may think it was luck, but we prefer to think it was divine providence.

1 Comments:

At 7:09 AM, Blogger LiberalAvenger said...

My father's Uncle Mario wasn't as lucky as Cap'n Holly's father... he served aboard the Princeton, and met his end that day.

I'm in the process of putting together a website for the Princeton. Captain Holly will probably let ya know when it's online.


Calm seas and clear skies,

Joe Mirando

 

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