The Ghost of Ulithi anchorage

(click to big up)

(click to big up)

Task Group 38.3 enters Ulithi anchorage in column,  December 1944, while returning from strikes on targets in the Philippines. Ships are (from front): Independence-class light aircraft carrier USS Langley (CVL-27); Essex-class fleet carrier USS Ticonderoga (CV-14); fast battleship sisters USS Washington (BB-56) and  USS North Carolina (BB-55); fast battleship class leader USS South Dakota (BB-57); three Cleveland-class light cruisers USS Santa Fe (CL-60); USS Biloxi (CL-80); USS Mobile (CL-63) and the  Atlanta-class light cruiser USS Oakland (CL-95). Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-301351).

All told you are looking at 150~ aircraft and float-planes, 27 x 16-inch naval guns, 36 x 6-inch guns, at least 104 5-inch guns, and well over 700 40mm and 20mm AAA guns spread across these nine hulls. Now that‘s firepower.

Of these the mast of the USS Biloxi is in downtown Biloxi, Mississippi next to the Hard Rock Casino, the USS North Carolina is preserved as an intact museum ship in Wilmington, and the mast of the USS Oakland at the Middle Harbor Shoreline Park in Oakland, CA. As such, the ships in this picture in one form or another now stretch from the East to the Gulf to the West coasts of the United States, keeping the ghost of Task Group 38.3 very much alive.

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