HELLCATS OF THE PACIFIC
Navy people help us out on this. We believe – we believe that this photo dates from 1945. Hellcat fighters are seen lashed to the deck of an aircraft carrier during a storm. Most probably during a typhoon off the coast of Okinawa during the Battle of Okinawa. That is our assessment with a high degree of probability. The remaining question is to identify the carrier. Thirty-nine carriers took part in the invasion, 35 American and 4 British. We do not conclude that the photo shows the deck of one of the British carriers. Of the 39 total only 19 were assigned Hellcats. Other aircraft included Avengers and Corsairs. We further argue that the photo does not show one of the fleet carriers, the Enterprise, Yorktown or Hornet. that leaves us with 15 possible carriers, the support carriers. On some of these ships the superstructure was toward the bow not amidship, and we eliminated those from consideration. All we can say is that we are looking at the deck of one of the support carriers during a typhoon. If you really want to hazard a guess as to which carrier this is try the USS Santee.
“Hellcats“; in the Pacific off the coast of Okinawa (April 1945)