70th Anniversary of Typhoon Connie

The foredeck of the USS Bennington, collapsed in the high seas of Typhoon Connie.

The foredeck of the USS Bennington, collapsed in the high seas of Typhoon Connie.

On June 5 1945, Typhoon Connie swept over the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet southeast of Okinawa.  The fleet had been supporting the invasion of Okinawa when the Fleet Weather Center on Guam notified them of the existence of the storm to their south.  Admiral William “Bull” Halsey, who ran afoul of another typhoon just six months before, attempted to maneuver his ships to avoid the cyclone but managed to sail them into its path.  Although less severe than Typhoon “Cobra,” the 50- to 60-foot waves damaged 33 ships and cost the lives of six sailors.  125 airplanes aboard the carriers were also damaged when some broke loose from their moorings and the rolling seas smashed them into other planes still lashed down.