First attack of cruise. About 15 suicide planes came in with simulated IFF while we were fueling. Cast off all lines and formed a huge circle at flank speed with big and small boys alternating. Eleven were exploded or disabled before completing their dives. COLORADO and ST. LOUIS were hit. Before the explosion, the fantail of ST. LOUIS was irregular with numerous guns, etc. When the smoke cleared, the profile of the fantail appeared as flat as a Carrier.

After it was all over, someone said to me, “Why are you leaning against the pilot house laughing?” I replied, “I thought being weak in the knees was just an expression.”

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