TYPHOON LOUISE HITS OKINAWA
9 OCTOBER 1945
On 4 October 1945, a typhoon was spotted developing in the Caroline Islands and tracked as it moved on a predictable course to the northwest. Although expected to pass into the East China Sea north of Formosa on 8 October, the storm unexpectedly veered north toward Okinawa. That evening the storm slowed down and, just as it approached Okinawa, began to greatly increase in intensity. The sudden shift of the storm caught many ships and small craft in the constricted waters of Buckner Bay (Nakagusuku Wan) and they were unable to escape to sea. On 9 October, when the storm passed over the island, winds of 80 knots (92 miles per hour) and 30-35 foot waves battered the ships and craft in the bay and tore into tents, Quonset huts and buildings ashore. A total of 12 ships and craft were sunk, 222 grounded, and 32 severely damaged. Personnel casualties were 36 killed, 47 missing, and 100 seriously injured. Almost all the food, medical supplies and other stores were destroyed, over 80% of all housing and buildings knocked down, and all the military installations on the island were temporarily out of action. Over 60 planes were damaged as well, though most were repairable. The devastation to the Okinawan population was equally as bad as most of them were being housed in tents and thatched roof houses.