Bob Liberty was a torpedo man on a Destroyer the USS Tingey 539. Bob personally saw what is called the Marianas Turkey shoot where the US Navy shot down between 550 and 650 Japanese planes and sunk three Aircraft carriers as well as two oilers. The American loss was about 123 planes lost and no ships sunk. He was very busy at his general quarters station but saw many of the planes go down.
Bob also told me of being the closest ship to the American Carrier the Franklin on March 18th 1945 when she was hit by a Kamikaze plane. Bob said he was looking right at a large group of sailors on the Franklin when she was hit killing over 700 men on board the Franklin and all of the men he was looking at either just disappeared or were a large pile of bodies. The Tingey helped pick up some of the men blown off of the Franklin and buried many of the men at sea. The Tingey then escorted the Franklin back to safety under her (the Franklins) own power.
Another very interesting thing that happened to the USS Tingey was she was caught in what history has come to know as the Halsey’s (Admiral William Halsey) typhoon. There were three destroyers like the Tingey that were lost with nearly all hands, a total of 790 men lost when they were hit by 70 ft. waves and winds as high as 140 mph. The Tingey looked for survivors but found none. There were about 90 survivors among the three ships. The ships were the USS Hull, Spence and Monahan.
One of our former Presidents was fighting fires aboard the Carrier USS Monterey during Typhoon Cobra which had a serious fire on board when a aircraft broke loose during the pummeling of the 140 MPH winds. His name was President Gerald R. Ford (R) our 38th president