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CV's command centre vs kamikaze

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CV's command centre vs kamikaze - 10/16/2012 9:29:39 PM   

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How disruptive would a direct hit by kamikaze be if the suicide pilot hit the centrally-located command island on a carrier? Provided the hangars and deck weren't damaged, would there be a long pause in air operations? Can the command centre be reconstituted at another place on the ship?
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RE: CV's command centre vs kamikaze - 10/16/2012 9:58:43 PM   


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The destruction of the Combat Information Center and radars would be extremely disruptive to fighter direction although Damage Control Central was located elsewhere down below and would be unlikely to be effected. Fighting the resulting fires from a kamikaze hit (anywhere) would almost certainly become the number one immediate priority. Reconstitution of command and control of the ship would be secondary but would certainly proceed rapidly. I am not familiar with carrier organization specifically but in general USN/USCG shipboard organization and doctrine duplicate capabilities to ameliorate, in particular, any degradation of combat functions.

(in reply to Yaab)
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RE: CV's command centre vs kamikaze - 10/16/2012 10:12:38 PM   

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I imagine that the nature of the damage from the 'direct hit' would dictate the CIC's ability to respond in a timely fashion. A wayward Nate might not knock over coffee cups. A B6N1 with fused 800kg bomb may gut the entire superstructure with fire and explosions.

I harken back to a very sad image of the pilot ready room in the Bunker Hill. Fire and smoke from a kamikaze hit killed many in this sensitive area.


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RE: CV's command centre vs kamikaze - 10/17/2012 5:49:31 AM   

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Found the following at

"Then, a short 30 seconds later, a second Zero, piloted by Ensign Kiyoshi Ogawa, plunged into its suicide dive. The Zero went through the antiaircraft fire, dropped a 550-pound bomb, and then crashed into the flight deck near the carrier's "island", as kamikazes were trained to aim for the island superstructure".

I have never heard they were trained to aim for the island. There is no footnote supporting the claim.

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RE: CV's command centre vs kamikaze - 10/17/2012 11:49:53 AM   


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Dont think he trained for island since most vulnerable area is aft lift. But much easier hit ship on vertical staying island when your plane "jump" after realease bomb.

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RE: CV's command centre vs kamikaze - 10/17/2012 6:20:00 PM   

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"CIC"s were in their infancy back then and very unsophisticated by today's standards. Much of their command and control features were replicated in a secondary "conning" position where the XO's battle station is (usually in the bow of the ship for a CV). So a hit there is not as disruptive as one might think (although still a very real problem). I'm not sure about WWII CVs (I'm not THAT old) but flight ops are NOT controlled in CIC, but from the flight "boss" in the aft end of the island while deck flight ops are controlled from the ground floor of the island. To take out all three places with one hit would be difficult but not impossible as there is fuel and ordnance everywhere on a carrier. It would be a very unlucky CV to have this happen.... As was indicated above, redundancy is the name of the game for almost everything in the USN.... which was not the case in the IJN (read Shattered Sword). Hal

< Message edited by dr.hal -- 10/17/2012 6:21:47 PM >


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RE: CV's command centre vs kamikaze - 10/25/2012 8:27:15 PM   

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This happened atleast twice.

Take note of Admiral Mitscher in command of Bunker Hill and Enterprise respectively.

Hindsight being 20/20 there should have been more engineers on Okinawa to assist with airfields under that scenario TF58 or any other fleet wouldn't have had to hold station for two months plus of succesive kamikaze attacks. Admiral Mitscher testified to this in 1946.

During the Bunker Hill attack in which three kamikazes made successful dives the Admiral (which killed 13 of his staff) relinquished command to Admiral Sherman flying his flag aboard Essex by signal. It was stated in The Magnificent Mitscher that he gave broad instructions to the task force and escaping kamikazes was almost a job for each individual capitan.

Not long after while aboard Enterprise Admiral Mitscher had a near escape again in flag plot with a kamikazee hitting nearby. The USN had integrity of chain of command to deal with blows such as these as I believe is in the historical record.

< Message edited by SuluSea -- 10/25/2012 8:49:13 PM >


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