Kamikaze Attack near Formosa
Ticonderoga, along with other carriers of TF 38 transited to a suitable launch site for striking the airfields January 22, 1945 on Formosa, in the Pescadores, and at Sakishima Gunto. ... Just after noon, a single-engined Japanese plane scored a hit on USS Langley with a glide-bombing attack. Seconds later, a kamikaze emerged from the clouds and plunged into Ticonderoga, crashing through her flight deck with his bomb exploding just above the hangar deck. Several planes erupted into flames. Death and destruction abounded, but the ship's company fought valiantly to save the threatened carrier. ... Taking advantage of the damaged condition of Ticonderoga, other kamikazes quickly pounced on the stricken carrier. Her antiaircraft gunners struck back with methodical, ferocity and quickly swatted three tormentors into the sea. A fourth plane slipped through AA barrage and smashed into the carrier's starboard side near the island. ... His bomb set more planes on fire, riddled the flight deck, and injured or killed another 100 sailors-including the CO. ... Smart shiphandling enabled the ship to keep the wind from fanning the blaze. The magazines and other compartments were flooded to prevent further explosions and to correct a 10-degree starboard list. Finally, the damage control party was directed to induce a ten degree port list by flooding compartments on Ticonderoga's port side which dumped the fire overboard! Fire-fighters and plane handlers completed the job by dousing the flames and jettisoning burning aircraft.