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Phalanx Against the Divine Wind

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Phalanx Against the Divine Wind

Protecting the Fast Carrier Task Force During World War 2
  • by Martin Irons
  • Merriam Press World War 2 History Series
    • First Edition 2017
    • 514 6x9-inch pages
    • 292 photos and illustrations
    • 7 maps
Admiral William Halsey’s Fast Carrier Task Force was the ultimate naval armada during World War II. To protect the carriers from kamikazes, squadrons of destroyers were placed in harm’s way on the outer flanks of the formation.

The USS Haynsworth DD 700 was one of the nine sister destroyers that formed Squadron 62 in 1944. Her warrior-captain and his twenty-five year old executive officer led a mostly teenage crew through bold engagements in the South China Sea, Iwo Jima, Tokyo, and Okinawa. The destroyers battled Japanese warships, submarines, torpedoes, mines, and planes. On the road to victory in the Pacific, the young crew matured from boys to men as they endured typhoons, took prisoners on the high seas, and rescued pilots.

But, on April 6, 1945, Kikusui No.1 was initiated, the largest kamikaze attack of World War II. After months of protecting the aircraft carriers from danger, the USS Haynsworth found itself in the crosshairs when it was the first warship struck. For the Haynsworth and the Fifth Fleet, it was a fight for survival against nearly seven hundred enemy planes in an epic battle that spanned thirty hours.

The crew of the USS Haynsworth carried the weight of the attack through their lifetimes. For one young radioman, Jack McAllister, the attack defined his life in unexpected ways.

Phalanx Against the Divine Wind contains possibly the last first-hand accounts of kamikaze attacks against destroyers. It is a riveting account of young sailors and their warships’ struggle for survival during their intense battles against the Japanese in World War II.

Contents

Foreword: Robert G. Walker, Cdr., USN

Part I: THE WAR 1941-1944: The Boy; Battleship; Sunday, December 7th; Attack!; Pacific Island Hopping Campaign; Shangri-La: The Doolittle Raid; Halt: The Battle of the Coral Sea; Midway; Guadalcanal

Part II: A CREW IS FORMED: Boot; Destroyer Training: Norfolk, Virginia; Battle of the Philippine Sea: Turkey Shoot; USS Haynsworth DD-700; Sea Trials; Destroyers and Goliath: Battle off Samar Island; Plankowners: First Mission; Storm Winds Gather; Pacific Bound; Kamikaze: Divine Wind; Destination Pearl Harbor; Warrior Seaman; Departure; Ulithi Bound

Part III: FAST CARRIER TASK FORCE 38: Joining the Pacific Fleet; Task Force 38: Halsey’s Hammer; 1945; Rescue at Sea; “You will not get our alive”: The South China Sea; Replenishment at Sea; Storm: Nature’s Hammer

Part IV: FAST CARRIER TASK FORCE 58: Prepare for Battle; Operation JAMBOREE: Attacks Against Japan; Target: Tokyo; Marine Rescue; Iwo Jima; “The Destroyers Were Lifesavers”; Emergency at Sea; Reprieve

Part V: OKINAWA: Operation ICEBERG; 18 March 1945: Day 1 Against the Home Islands; “Six planes are down”; 19 March: Day 2 Against the Home Islands; Target: Kure; 20 March: Task Force 58; 21 March: A New Threat Emerges; Okinawa Gunto; Raid!; Easter Week; Leaving Pearl; Lucky Day: Invasion of Okinawa; Operation TEN-GO: Kikusui No.1

Part VI: DIVINE WIND STORM: 6 April 1945; 7 April 1945: The Storm Continues; 8 April 1945: Task Group 58.3; En route to Ulithi

Aftermath

Epilogue

APPENDICES

The Crew
The Saved
Post Script
Chapter Notes
Glossary
Task Group 38.2 Organization December 1944
Task Group 58.3 Organization February 1945
Task Group 58.3 Organization March 1945
Ships Sunk or Damaged by Kamikazes 6-7 April 1945
Casualties
Pilot and Crew Rescues
Crew Letter: Clifford Heob
Muster Roll 1944-45
Destroyer Squadron 62 Commanders
Destroyer Squadron 62 World War II Battle Stars

Bibliography: Interviews and Correspondence; Personal Journals, Letters and Published Accounts; Published Histories and Other References; Official War Diaries, Muster Rolls, and Action Reports

Index

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