The USS Samuel B. Roberts and the Chokai

The Chokai was unleashing withering fire from her forward eight-inch batteries. But her gunners were not targeting the Roberts. They either did not see or did not care about the small ship with the low silhouette. No shells landed near her, though the shells arcing high overhead toward the carriers — or perhaps it was the blasts of the the gun muzzles themselves — buffeted the destroyer escort with their turbulence.

Time seemed to stop, yet before Copeland knew it, the Roberts was just four thousand yards from the cruiser line, a little over two miles, and his three torpedoes were waterborne . . . On the broad ocean’s surface, four thousand yards was point blank range.

TLSOTTCS, p. 254

Skipper Bob Copeland “ordered a hard left rudder, turning the Roberts back through her own smoke and toward the carriers. Down below, Lieutenant Trowbridge brought every pound of steam pressure on line . . . The ship ran past its rated limits, to twenty-eight and a half knots and possibly beyond. As time ran down on the torpedo run — three or four minutes — Copeland indulged himself with a peek astern. Through a gap in the smoke, he was treated to the sight of a streaming column of water and flame rising from below the after-mast of what he took for an Aoba-class cruiser.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Chapter Thirty

Don’t worry, dear blog readers, even though it’s taking self FOREVER to get through this book — she has seven books on hold at her local library, but the soonest she can expect any of the seven is 63 days from now, she might as well settle in with TLSOTTCS, at least it’s well-written AND set in the Philippines — this chapter is hilarious.

We’re following the fate of the USS Heermann under the command of Captain Hathaway, and it’s been tacking here and there across the Pacific like a crazy water bug. An excitable crewmember on the second torpedo mount (Each cruiser had ten torpedoes: five for first attack, another five for second attack) mistakenly released two torpedoes with the first wave, so seven went careering across the waves to its intended target. The first seven had been fired with the aid of mechanical rangefinding, but all seven apparently missed their target, the Haruna. Nevertheless, in a great stroke of luck, the torpedoes that passed the Haruna were now headed straight for the Japanese flagship, the Yamato, which happened to be the command ship of Admiral Kurita. The Yamato had her guns trained on the Heermann and was about to blow it to smithereens when someone noticed three torpedo tracks approaching to starboard. So the Yamato‘s commander ordered a hard turn to port. All of a sudden, two more torpedo tracks were spotted to port, so the Yamato turned again. By this time, there were two parallel tracks of torpedos, and the Yamato was forced to steer between them, a track which led them AWAY from the Heermann. So, uh, yay?

By the time the torpedoes “ceased their pursuit, disappearing into the four-thousand fathom depths of the Philippine Trench,” the Yamato was thirty-thousand yards from the Heermann. Double yay!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Shapes and Designs 2

This is self’s second post on the same Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Shapes and Designs. Today, she is focusing on architecture.

The London skyline is endlessly fascinating. She took these pictures the last time she was in London, November 2019:

Self has a friend who lives in Manchester. In November 2019, self went to see her, and her friend drove to nearby Liverpool. What fun to walk along the docks! The Museum of Liverpool had a very unusual design.

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