Kamikaze Damage to Suwanee, 25th October 1944

In the course of her operations with the 7th Fleet off Leyte Gulf, as part of Taffy 1, commanded by Rear-Admiral Thomas L. Sprague, Suwanee and her consorts came under attack by planes of the Special Attack Corps. These kamikazes, A6M5 "Zeke" fighter-bombers from Davao, six machines of the Asahi squadron. They arrived over the Taffy one early on October 25th. One of the planes approached Santee, crashing her at the after elevator. Another approached the Suwanee, diving towards her, but was deflected by the ship's fire and chose to head for Sangamon instead. It was destroyed by a 127mm L/38 shell before it could reach its target. A few minutes later, a submarine torpedo slammed into Santee, shortly distracting from the attackers above. At 0804, only eight minutes after the torpedoeing of Santee, another Kamikaze appeared above, this time heading straight for Suwanee. It has hit on the way down and attracted interceptors, but did not waver from its dive and plunged directly into the escort carrier. Although her damage seemed grave, her damage was far less severe than thought. Her after elevator remained useless, but her flight deck was quickly patched up.

Below the sequence of attack. Clicking on the images will bring up larger versions of the image. Beware, though, some of these may get you long down-load times (Picture size up to 30KB).