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The Honda Point disaster

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  • The Honda Point disaster

    This is something that I doubt many of the readers here, historically informed as you are, have heard about.

    The worst peacetime disaster the US Navy ever suffered was the night they lost seven destroyers in less than five minutes. I think it also shows part of how Americans became so enamored of high-tech gadgets and turned away from more "traditional" ways of doing things.

    And this guys does some really nice work with his historical lessons;



  • #2
    I remember that one. They all followed the squadron leader onto the rocks.
    Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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    • #3
      Some more info:

      https://www.usni.org/magazines/naval...s-chain-errors

      This next link is excellent as it provides access to primary sources and the aftermath

      https://www.history.navy.mil/researc...mber-1923.html

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Phaing View Post
        The worst peacetime disaster the US Navy ever suffered was the night they lost seven destroyers in less than five minutes. I think it also shows part of how Americans became so enamored of high-tech gadgets and turned away from more "traditional" ways of doing things.
        An hour later, the destroyers turned east to enter what was thought to be the Santa Barbara Channel, though it could not be seen owing to thick fog. Unfortunately, a combination of abnormally strong currents (caused by the extremely severe earthquake in Japan on 2 September which destroyed much of Tokyo and Yokohama) and navigational complacency led the squadron onto the rocks off Pedernales Point, near Honda, just north of Point Arguello.
        …..Chauncey ran in close aboard Young. Alarm sirens slowed Somers and Farragut enough so they just touched ground before backing off while the five other destroyers steered completely clear.
        In this case, simply leaving enough space between the leader and the rest of the squadron, and reduce speed,

        presumably there are established procedures for such a thing ?
        Last edited by Snowygerry; 26 Nov 19, 05:19.
        Major Atticus Finch - ACW Rainbow Game.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Snowygerry View Post





          In this case, simply leaving enough space between the leader and the rest of the squadron, and reduce speed,

          presumably there are established procedures for such a thing ?
          What I meant was, dead-reckoning obviously wetn wrong here, and the skippers that trusted the radio beacons (I didn't know they even had that kind of thing 100 years ago) managed to avoid crashing.
          I think this was one of the events that lead to the rise of HIgh Tech. It does not get invented unless somebody is wanting it.


          And the speed was unusual. For years they had been going 15 because of budget cuts. So this was like a joy-ride in a way.

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