[Another big storm hit Okinawa, much stronger than the previous. It was not to be the last, nor the worst.]
Many tents were either torn from their rope anchors or simply ripped apart in place. The reader should note, the tent stakes in use here are not like what a civilian hiker has in his or her backpack. These are serious steel posts, driven into the earth with two-fisted hammers. Also the canvas of the tents is a heavy weave, and doped with sealant. The tents are tied down with taut ropes as thick as an adult finger. These are not trivial shelters. Still, the wind made them seem little better than a child’s couch cushion fort.
A check in the base hospital shows that there were injuries, some of them serious. Two dozen or so beds are freshly occupied, in a facility serving about 10,000 men, and I have reports of similar results elsewhere. There is no word yet on fatalities, but it is still early and there are piles of debris to sort through.
I didn’t have to go anywhere to observe damage to the fleet. From our battered tent camp (my particular shelter was one of the lucky ones), one can look directly down on Buckner Bay. Multiple transport and service ships are beached on the shore. A few have damage apparent even from this distance. I did go down to the bay to get better word. A tug captain tells me they’re going to start surveying the damaged ships and pulling the relatively healthy ones back out in the water. He won’t be the one doing it as his boat was smashed against a pier before being tossed ashore upside down.