During WWII I served in land based PBY squadrons. After the war I served aboard the USS Saipan, CVL 48. We were tied up in Norfolk one time, Think it was either Friday or Saturday. Any way we had personnel inspection that morning. I had my wife and two older boys with me in Norfolk. so had only to go in stand inspection and go home for weekend. Well about the time inspection was over we got orders to weigh anchor and head for Hurricane anchorage up in Chesapeake Bay close to Philadelphia. Anyway our skipper at the time decided to go to sea and out run it (a hurricane). Well to make a long story short. He missed calculated the forward speed of the hurricane, and we ran head on into it.Man what a night we had. We lost all our life rafts and two whale boats.we were taking green water over the bow up over the flight deck. The water was so strong it bent the barrels of the forty MM AA guns on the Bow..Never again do I want a ride like we had that night.
To top it off. The hurricane missed Norfolk all together. Wife and kids thought we were lying. They had no such weather,
Ain't that the way?
----- Earl Rhoden
Biography of Earl "Chicken" Rhoden, CPO, VP24/VP12, Pearl Harbor, USS Saipan, CVL 48
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