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Warships that foundered

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Has there been a number of warships that foundered due to storms or just disappeared without a trace not caused by battle. I'm referring to a time frame between 1880-1953

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Sau Paulo. Disappeared without a trace during a massive storm while being towed to the scrapyard. The wreck has never been found even though there have been several dedicated expeditions to find her. Many believe she was abducted by aliens.

 

There was a typhoon during WWII that sank a whole bunch of American destroyers. I believe Iowa and New Jersey were in it as well.

Edited by dseehafer

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My grandfather was in at least one of those typhoons.  He was on the Pittsburgh when it's bow was ripped off.

 

There were three DD's lost due to their fuel condition and improper ballasting. 

Edited by crzyhawk

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The Tomozuru Incident is one of the most prominent storm-related incidents relating to the IJN. This incident proved the suspicions of many naval engineers around the world that Japanese ship designs (especially those designed by Yuzuru Hiraga) were dangerously top-heavy. This resulted in the rebuilding of such ships as the Hatsuharu-class Destroyers and the single light aircraft carrier Ryuujou. 

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There was a typhoon during WWII that sank a whole bunch of American destroyers. I believe Iowa and New Jersey were in it as well.

 

That has some times been called Halsey's hurricane, more ships and sailors in that fleet were lost to the storm than to enemy action.

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Has there been a number of warships that foundered due to storms or just disappeared without a trace not caused by battle. I'm referring to a time frame between 1880-1953

Maaany submarines disappeared without trace. Including auxiliaries there would be three out of four Proteus class colliers: Cyclops, Nereus and Proteus.

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Although she didn't sink as a result - USS New Orleans had a helicopter break loose in the hangar bay while riding out a typhoon in 1997 - the loose helicopter ended up playing pinball inside the hangar and went on to wreak havoc on other aircraft also struck down below.  Most of the aircraft were struck below for heavy weather - So most of the aircraft that didn't sustain any damage were topside on the flight deck during the typhoon.

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Maaany submarines disappeared without trace. Including auxiliaries there would be three out of four Proteus class colliers: Cyclops, Nereus and Proteus.

 

BTW, the one that didn't vanish mysteriously (2 out of 3 in the "Bermuda triangle" even) was Jupiter, which was converted to USS Langley.

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Sau Paulo. Disappeared without a trace during a massive storm while being towed to the scrapyard. The wreck has never been found even though there have been several dedicated expeditions to find her. Many believe she was abducted by aliens.

 

There was a typhoon during WWII that sank a whole bunch of American destroyers. I believe Iowa and New Jersey were in it as well.

 

Admiral Halsey, as great as his contributions were to the US Navy's effort in the Pacific (especially early on), had the brilliance on getting his mighty task force caught in a typhoon.  TWICE.  Causing more damage to his fleet than what the Japanese inflicted in combat.  That and his decision-making at Leyte Gulf tarnishes what was a great fighting career, especially early on in the war when the issue was still in doubt and brought an aggressive spirit.
Edited by HazeGrayUnderway

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Has there been a number of warships that foundered due to storms or just disappeared without a trace not caused by battle. I'm referring to a time frame between 1880-1953

 

Quite a few submarines; the operate in an intensely hostile environment and their silence is their shield. So when or if something goes wrong, they often just disappear.

 

Major warships not so much. People knew a lot about how to cope with heavy weather by 1880, and a warship has to be damaged or suffering from a broken engine to be seriously under threat. Consider that since 1900 the standard response to a hurricane predicted to hit Norfolk is for the ships docked at the Norfolk Navy Yard to stand out to sea; they fear being bashed against the quay more than they fear being at sea in a hurricane. The only navy in the interwar period that had any real dangerous situation aboard a heavy ship develop was Japan, with the damage to to ships during the Fourth Fleet Incident or Nagato's 15-degree list during a hurricane when her casemates flooded. Halsey only lost a few destroyers during his typhoons, and they were older pre-war ships with cranky engines. None of the bigger, more modern ships were ever in danger.

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Halsey only lost a few destroyers during his typhoons, and they were older pre-war ships with cranky engines. None of the bigger, more modern ships were ever in danger.

 Hull», «Monaghan» (Farragut class) Spens(Flethcer class) - abovementioned typhoon.

Wasmuth(Clemson class) - depth charged thrown from their locks&detonated under ship upon reaching preset depth by storm.

+2 italian and +1 soviet modern destroyers.

[only ships actually sunk in open sea; at least 3 more old US DDs + several british and one french were thrown on rocks & lost)

The only navy in the interwar period that had any real dangerous situation aboard a heavy ship develop was Japan, with the damage to to ships during the Fourth Fleet Incident or Nagato's 15-degree list during a hurricane when her casemates flooded.

 Parizhskaya Kommuna nearly foundered in Biskay due to design of recently added clipper bow, which ended up shipping nearly 500 tons of water at extreme bow in conditions of heavy storm.

Ship was saved when this improvement broke off.

 

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Quite a few submarines; the operate in an intensely hostile environment and their silence is their shield. So when or if something goes wrong, they often just disappear.

 

Major warships not so much. People knew a lot about how to cope with heavy weather by 1880, and a warship has to be damaged or suffering from a broken engine to be seriously under threat. Consider that since 1900 the standard response to a hurricane predicted to hit Norfolk is for the ships docked at the Norfolk Navy Yard to stand out to sea; they fear being bashed against the quay more than they fear being at sea in a hurricane. The only navy in the interwar period that had any real dangerous situation aboard a heavy ship develop was Japan, with the damage to to ships during the Fourth Fleet Incident or Nagato's 15-degree list during a hurricane when her casemates flooded. Halsey only lost a few destroyers during his typhoons, and they were older pre-war ships with cranky engines. None of the bigger, more modern ships were ever in danger.

 

If I remember correctly, The USN destroyers in question had pumped their ballast tanks out in anticipation of refueling. They were literally caught at the worst possible time, an hour or two later and they would have had enough fuel on board to ballast them properly. In a different typhoon, the USS Pittsburgh (CA-72) Lost her bow, and suffered a lot of other damage. Kinda rough being in the ocean and not being able to see weather coming at you till it's already there.

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Admiral Halsey, as great as his contributions were to the US Navy's effort in the Pacific (especially early on), had the brilliance on getting his mighty task force caught in a typhoon.  TWICE.  Causing more damage to his fleet than what the Japanese inflicted in combat.  That and his decision-making at Leyte Gulf tarnishes what was a great fighting career, especially early on in the war when the issue was still in doubt and brought an aggressive spirit.

 

I think Halsey was out of his element as a fleet commander.  He was an impressive task force commander, but as a fleet commander...I think he left a lot to be desired.  Halsey required some oversight, someone to tug his leash a bit.

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I have gone through the eye of three typhoons, two of them regarded as super-typhoons.  You couldn't believe some of the destruction they could pull.  

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Halsey's Typhoon was also known as Typhoon Cobra and occurred on December 17th 1944. The waves reported were higher than a DD's mast. Out of around 100 ships in TF38, (including 15 CV's and CVL's, 8 BB's, 15 CA's and CL's, and 50 DD's), 3 DD's sank due to flooding or capsizing (USS Hull, USS Monaghan, and USS Spence), and  about 27 ships were damaged including USS Iowa with a bent propeller shaft and USS Baltimore which required extensive repair. Future President Gerald R. Ford was a lieutenant on board  the CVL USS Monterey when the planes on the hangar deck crashed into each other due to excessive rolling causing a major fire which nearly consumed the ship. The DE USS Taberer disregarded fleet orders and stayed on station to rescue survivors. For her actions Captain Plage received the Legion of Merit and every crewmember was awarded a Navy Unit Commendation ribbon,  the first time for this happening. A court of inquiry later found that Admiral Halsey had committed an error in judgement by sailing into the heart of a typhoon but fell short of recommending any action be taken against him. Halsey was probably expunged because he was a war hero and the Navy did not want to tarnish his reputation at the time. For a good and quick read on the subject see "Halsey's Typhoon: The True Story of a Fighting Sailor, an Epic Storm, and an Untold Rescue"  by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin. As a side note this was the typhoon featured in the movie "The Caine Mutiny".

Edited by Lt_Maryk

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Another couple of cases

Maestrale class Scirocco and Soldati class Lanciere, both foundered in a storm while returning to base after the Second Battle of Sirte, 23 March 1942.

 

Gnevny class Sokrushitelny, sunk after losing her stern in a storm while she was escorting Convoy QP 15, 22 November 1942.

 

But they certainly don't fit in the "disappeared without trace" category.

 

EDIT: Ah, they were already mentioned en passant by Ainen

Edited by RedBear87

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Has there been a number of warships that foundered due to storms or just disappeared without a trace not caused by battle. I'm referring to a time frame between 1880-1953

 

You mean 'Floundered'

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