Guy Griffiths - Typhoon Ruth in the Korean War

Running time
2 min 19 sec
Department of Veterans' Affairs


Well, that was quite an experience. It's not a recommended pastime to try and ride out a typhoon, not in the worst part of the eye, in the centre of the storm. You evade, you get away from typhoons.

I had to do it later in '62. It was a rough night, but we got through it. We lost some aircraft on board. I think about five or seven or something, because they start to slide around the flight deck. A very uncomfortable night altogether, because there was the smell of Avgas, oil fuel. So, of course, I have no idea.

This probably came from the aircraft which collapsed on the flight deck and was sliding around. It had some sort of dilution with water that nevertheless, the aroma of Avgas is fairly dominant. Anyway, nothing untoward happened. We lost some boats and some damage. Yes, we had damage, but it was better to leave harbour although we should have left harbour a little earlier, we might have got ourselves more sea room, but huge, huge seas.

There's times you would have thought "I wonder if we're going to get through the next one?" Because from the bridge, I had the first watch from 8:00 to 12:00 and you would see the next, when you were in trough, you would see the height of the next one and it appeared, always appeared to be at your eye level, which of course is some distance from the water.

But, she would gently go up and then go down and the navigator and the captain of course were totally handling the ship at the time, and did it superbly.


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