A Website In Memory of Typhoon Emma Sasebo,Japan
By Clarence Baker FN
Memories of September 8-10 1956

Clarence Baker and Family

Thanks to Clarence Baker FN USS Force MSO-445 1956 for sharing these great photos with the MSO Community for future generations.

Photos of the USS Force MSO-445 in Drydock Yokosuka, Japan after Typhoon Emma September 8-10 1956.

These are some picture`s of the USS FORCE MSO 445 in dry-dock at Yokosuka Japan 1956 after Typhoon Emma Hit in Sasebo September 8-20 1956, I am now 72 years old and that night is still fresh in my memory, I hope you enjoy this account of actual first hand History as I recall it and the photos that go along with it.
Clarence Baker FN
Typhoon Emma, Sasebo, Japan 1956

We pulled in to Sasebo Harbor in the afternoon, just as you come in the jetty, on the right side along the pier, five of us , I don`t remember the name`s of the other MSO`s though. We put the line`s out to the pier , and secured watches, then we had liberty call, a few of us went to a bar for a few drink`s. This was 1700 or 1800. At 2100 ,the Captain called the crew back to the ship, because of a Typhoon coming.

The wind was 40 to 50 mph , at the time we got back to the ship, by 2250 70 mph , all this time the rough water was banging us up against the pier, by 2350 wind was over 100 mph , the line`s to the pier broke under the strain , so we ran minesweep cable out to the pier, I was watching the water crashing over the house`s on shore , they took quite a betting , well the mine sweep cable broke also , so we put the anchor chain to the pier. along the pier right beside us, was a large crane ,sitting on the rail road track`s, at 2400 the crane blew over on top of us smashing down to the pilot house , pushing us down in the water, by this time we had 6 hole`s along the side ,from the wood pilling`s, Captain told me to go down below deck`s and check for leaks. I ran down to my berthing area , was for engineer`s , just to the left ,before you get to the head , when I got down there I saw water coming in a large hole every time we hit the pier, some of us shored the hole up with plywood and 4x4`s and mattress`s , we had the bilge pump`s going, a lot of water was coming in , about 0100 the Captain ran up on the crane rigging , or boom ,with dynamite charges, he put them on all four corners of the boom` and told us to go below deck`s I was in the mess hall when it went off ,I heard something crashing through the overhead , it went through Captain quarters and fell in the hall way going to the head , it was red hot , I pored water on it and kept it as a keep sake , I still have it , it was part of the boom ,about 3 " long.
Well the anchor chain broke , and we drifted out away from the pier about 200 feet more and dropped the other anchor, we still had the rigging or boom , on top of us , causing the ship to list to port , causing the holes to raise out of the water , saving us from sinking right there . some of the crew went over the side and put plywood patches over the hole`s , in the morning we went to Yokosuka to dry docks ,we were there two months , they took the starboard side off and had to repair the rib`s in different places , I was on mess cooking detail at the time ,the Japanese dock workers were coming in all the time ,asking for scoshe coffee ,with large coffee can`s boy did they use lot`s of sugar , it was real interesting watching them splice those rib`s right there in the mess hall , also the thing that the lines go through on deck , I think cletes , well it tore loose right over the mess hall , they had to stand on the bench`s and drive large bolt`s up through the overhead in the mess hall was very interesting too watch , all of the worker`s scaffolding was made out of bamboo tied together , it worked fine , this was quite an experience for a 17 year older ,but I loved every moment of it , precious memory`s how they linger ,how they ever flood my soul . I`ve never forgotten it after all these years.

During that night one of the other MSO`s tried to go out the opening of the jetty ,to open water , they got Bashed up on the jetty smashing a large hole in there port side , they came back in and anchored by us, wow what a night . These memories are still fresh in my mind after all these years and I thought it time for my memories to be shared with the MSO Community. Joe Marturano offered to help me get my story told and here is the end result. I hope this brings back some memories for all of you Force Sailors still around.

Clarence Baker, FN
USS FORCE MSO 445 1956-57

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