Into the Wind at Leyte Gulf – Philippines history ( USS PRINCETON )

 

USS PRINCETON CVL-23 …
The Battle of Leyte Gulf …
October 24, 1944 …
This video is a tribute to my uncle, William K. Taylor, and all those who served aboard the USS Princeton during World War II. On October 24, 1944, the carrier was part of Task Force 38.3, commanded by Admiral Bull Halsey, supporting General Douglas MacArthur’s landing force on Leyte Island in the Philippine Islands. On the morning of the 24th, the Princeton was attacked by Japanese land based bombers and was hit by one 500 pound bomb on the flight deck. My uncle was one of many of the crew that was topside at their stations when this happened. As a result of the one bomb hit, the carrier was damaged beyond repair and late that same afternoon, was sunk by torpedoes fired from the USS Reno. This is my tribute to my uncle and all of his shipmates that served aboard the Princeton with him, and to those veterans that are still with us today and are men who I am glad to call my friends. Special thanks to Eugene Mitchell, whose contributions from his own personal files helped make this video possible.
My uncle’s station on the carrier was as an F6F Hellcat Fighter ‘Plane Captain’, and was topside when the ship was attacked by a land-based Japanese ‘Betty’ bomber. He watched as the plane attacked and then watched as the bomb the Betty dropped hit on the flight deck, penetrated and exploded below decks.
To my knowledge, all of the photos I used in this montage are of and from the Princeton archives in the NARA, or came directly from the files of one of my uncle’s former shipmates, Eugene V. Mitchell, who was kind enough to loan me his own photos for me to scan. The ‘Crossing The Equator’ ceremonial photos were also in his collection, of which I had never seen before. The majority of color photos are from a 1945 edition of the National Geographic entitled the "Saga of the Princeton" which chronicles the carrier’s action in the Battle of Leyte Gulf. The photos at the end of the film are courtesy of my uncle’s daughter, taken at his military funeral last September at the National Cemetary, Fort Bliss, El Paso, Texas.