A report on Kamikaze and USS St. Lo

USS Bunker Hill (CV-17), an aircraft carrier, was hit by two kamikazes on 11 May 1945, resulting in 389 personnel dead or missing and 264 wounded.
A kamikaze strikes St. Lo
The Mongol fleet destroyed in a typhoon, by Kikuchi Yōsai, 1847
Lt. Yoshinori Yamaguchi's Yokosuka D4Y3 (Type 33 Suisei) "Judy" in a suicide dive against USS Essex (CV-9) on 25 November 1944. The attack left 15 killed and 44 wounded. The dive brakes are extended and the non-self-sealing port wing tank trails fuel vapor and/or smoke.
Model 52c Zeros ready to take part in a kamikaze attack (early 1945)
A kamikaze aircraft explodes after crashing into Essex flight deck amidships 25 November 1944.
Rear Admiral Masafumi Arima
26 May 1945. Corporal Yukio Araki, holding a puppy, with four other pilots of the 72nd Shinbu Squadron at Bansei, Kagoshima. Araki died the following day, at the age of 17, in a suicide attack on ships near Okinawa.
St Lo attacked by kamikazes, 25 October 1944
Starboard horizontal stabilizer from the tail of a "Judy" on the deck of USS Kitkun Bay (CVE-71). The "Judy" made a run on the ship approaching from dead astern; it was met by effective fire and the aircraft passed over the island and exploded. Parts of the aircraft and the pilot were scattered over the flight deck and the forecastle.
An A6M Zero (A6M2 Model 21) towards the end of its run at the escort carrier USS White Plains (CVE-66) on 25 October 1944. The aircraft exploded in mid-air moments after the picture was taken, scattering debris across the deck.
An A6M5 "Zero" diving towards American ships in the Philippines in early 1945
USS Louisville (CA-28) is struck by a Mitsubishi Ki-51 kamikaze at the Battle of Lingayen Gulf, 6 January 1945.
USS Missouri (BB-63) shortly before being hit by a Mitsubishi A6M Zero (visible top left), 11 April 1945
Aircraft carrier after being struck by a kamikaze off the Sakishima Islands. The kamikaze made a dent 3 m long and 0.6 m wide and deep in the armored flight deck. Eight crew members were killed, forty-seven were wounded, and 11 aircraft were destroyed.
Ugaki, shortly before taking off in a Yokosuka D4Y3 to participate in one of the final kamikaze strikes, 15 August 1945
A crewman in an AA gun aboard the battleship USS New Jersey (BB-62) watches a kamikaze aircraft dive at USS Intrepid (CV-11) 25 November 1944. Over 75 men were killed or missing and 100 wounded.
Japanese Yokosuka MXY-7 Ohka ("cherry blossom"), a specially built rocket-powered kamikaze aircraft used towards the end of the war. The U.S. called them Baka Bombs ("idiot bombs").
First recruits for Japanese Kamikaze suicide pilots in 1944
Chiran high school girls wave farewell with cherry blossom branches to departing kamikaze pilot in a Nakajima Ki-43-IIIa Hayabusa.
Kamikaze damage to the destroyer USS Newcomb (DD-586) following action off Okinawa, Newcomb was damaged beyond economical repair and scrapped after the war.

On 25 October 1944, St. Lo became the first major warship to sink as the result of a kamikaze attack.

- USS St. Lo

One, under heavy fire and trailing smoke, aborted the attempt on White Plains and instead banked toward USS St. Lo (CVE-63), diving into the flight deck, where its bomb caused fires that resulted in the bomb magazine exploding, sinking the carrier.

- Kamikaze
USS Bunker Hill (CV-17), an aircraft carrier, was hit by two kamikazes on 11 May 1945, resulting in 389 personnel dead or missing and 264 wounded.

5 related topics with Alpha

Overall

A profile of the design of USS Takanis Bay (CVE-89), which was shared by all Casablanca-class escort carriers.

USS Fanshaw Bay

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Of the United States Navy.

Of the United States Navy.

A profile of the design of USS Takanis Bay (CVE-89), which was shared by all Casablanca-class escort carriers.
Fanshaw Bay moored at Brisbane, Australia, on 10 February 1944, following a transport mission. Note that there are still Republic P-47 Thunderbolt fighters stored on-board her flight deck.
Sailors inspect the damage created from the 250 lb bomb which smashed through Fanshaw Bays aft aircraft elevator.
Photographed from the escort carrier Kitkun Bay, Fanshaw Bay is shown surrounded by shell splashes from a Japanese battleship, likely the IJN or . In the foreground, three FM-2 Wildcat fighters are preparing for launching.
Rear Admiral Sprague photographed on the bridge of Fanshaw Bay, as the Okinawa landings proceeded, circa April 1945.

One 5 in/38 caliber dual-purpose gun was mounted on the stern. Anti-aircraft defense was provided by eight Bofors 40 mm anti-aircraft guns in single mounts, as well as twelve Oerlikon 20 mm cannons, which were mounted around the perimeter of the deck. By the end of the war, Casablanca-class carriers had been modified to carry thirty 20 mm cannons, and the amount of Bofors 40 mm guns had been doubled to sixteen, by putting them into twin mounts. These modifications were in response to increasing casualties due to kamikaze attacks. Casablanca-class escort carriers were designed to carry 27 aircraft, but the hangar deck could accommodate more. During the Mariana and Palau Islands campaign, the beginning of the Philippines campaign, and the Battle off Samar, she carried 16 FM-2 Wildcat fighters, and 12 TBM-1C Avenger torpedo bombers, for a total of 28 aircraft.

On 3 October, the majority of the escort carriers had already retired, leaving only Fanshaw Bay and USS St. Lo (CVE-63) to continue operations.

USS Kalinin Bay

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Of the United States Navy.

Of the United States Navy.

A Grumman TBF Avenger from USS St. Lo (CVE-63) strafed and exploded two torpedoes in Kalinin Bay's wake about 100 yards astern, and a shell from the latter's 5 inch gun deflected a third from a collision course with her stern.

During the 40-minute battle, the first attack from a Kamikaze unit in World War II, all except USS Fanshaw Bay (CVE-70) were damaged.

The light aircraft carrier USS Princeton (CVL-23) on fire, east of Luzon, on 24 October 1944

Battle of Leyte Gulf

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The largest naval battle of World War II and, by some criteria, the largest naval battle in history, with over 200,000 naval personnel involved.

The largest naval battle of World War II and, by some criteria, the largest naval battle in history, with over 200,000 naval personnel involved.

The light aircraft carrier USS Princeton (CVL-23) on fire, east of Luzon, on 24 October 1944
The four main actions in the Battle of Leyte Gulf: 1 Battle of the Sibuyan Sea 2 Battle of Surigao Strait 3 Battle off Cape Engaño 4 Battle off Samar. Leyte Gulf is north of 2 and west of 4. The island of Leyte is west of the gulf.
departing Brunei in October 1944 for the Battle of Leyte Gulf
hit by a bomb near her forward gun turret in the Sibuyan Sea, 24 October 1944
USS Princeton (CVL-23) explodes at 15:23
Musashi under aerial bombardment
The Battle of Surigao Strait
USS West Virginia (BB-48) firing on the Japanese fleet
The Battle off Samar
USS St. Lo (CVE-63) exploding after a kamikaze strike.
The Japanese aircraft carriers, left, and (probably) come under attack by dive bombers early in the Battle off Cape Engaño.
The crew of salute as the flag is lowered on the listing carrier after an airstrike. She was the last carrier participating in the attack on Pearl Harbor to be sunk.
Admiral William F. "Bull" Halsey – Commander U.S. Third Fleet at Leyte Gulf
A 60th-anniversary memorial ceremony in Palo, Leyte, Philippines, on 20 October 2004
The Battle of Surigao Strait Memorial in Surigao City, Philippines.

This was the first battle in which Japanese aircraft carried out organized kamikaze attacks, and the last naval battle between battleships in history.

The escort carrier USS St. Lo (CVE-63) of Taffy 3 was hit by a kamikaze aircraft and sank after a series of internal explosions.

Lt. Seki in flightgear

Yukio Seki

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Japanese naval aviator of the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II.

Japanese naval aviator of the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II.

Lt. Seki in flightgear
Yukio Seki in 1939
The men of the first kamikaze unit to make an attack on a US ship are offered a ceremonial toast of water as a farewell. Yukio Seki, the leader of the unit, is shown with a cup in his hands, and Vice Admiral Takijirō Ōnishi, who organized the first kamikaze unit, is in the middle of the photo facing the five men of the Shikishima Unit. The man offering the cup is likely Seki's officer, Asaichi Tamai
Near miss on USS White Plains.
St. Lo's magazine detonates after Seki's attack

As a kamikaze pilot, Lieutenant Seki led one of the three fighter groups of the second official kamikaze attack in World War II (the first official attack was an unsuccessful attempt led by Yoshiyasu Kunō on October 21, 1944).

He led a unit of five bomb-armed Mitsubishi Zero fighters, crash-diving his plane deliberately into the USS St. Lo's flight deck, being the first kamikazes to sink an enemy ship.

White Plains under attack by Tokkotai unit 25 October 1944. The aircraft in the photograph missed the carrier and struck the water.

USS White Plains (CVE-66)

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Casablanca-class escort carrier of the United States Navy.

Casablanca-class escort carrier of the United States Navy.

White Plains under attack by Tokkotai unit 25 October 1944. The aircraft in the photograph missed the carrier and struck the water.

At 1050 hours, a formation of nine Japanese Navy Zeke fighters appeared and began simultaneous kamikaze attacks.

Her antiaircraft gunners responded, hitting one of the intruders, which immediately changed course and crashed into USS St. Lo (CVE-63), which eventually sank.