Ozawa transfers his flag

11:00 AM,  the mortally wounded ZUIKAKU lists at 6 degrees.  Knowing the extent of the damage, Admiral Ozawa transfers his flag to the light cruiser Oyodo.

View aft from the carrier's island a few moments before capsizing


About 2:00 PM, three hours after Admiral Ozawa debarked, ZUIKAKU lists 30 degrees.  A delayed order to abandon ship caused a heavy loss of life.  This astonishing photograph shows the crew raising their arms to the Rising Sun while shouting "Banzai! Long Live the Emperor!" three times.  Moments later, the last of the carriers that attacked Pearl Harbor capsized and half of them perished.

SIDEBAR:  Just two and one-half hours after his scathing chastisement by Nimitz, Admiral Halsey had destroyed all four enemy aircraft carriers he had gone after.  With all of them at the bottom, everyone understood the Japanese Navy could never again threaten the combined U.S. Fleets.

Thankful for the miracle to the south, a relieved Halsey sent the following message to Nimitz, Kinkaid and Gen. Douglas MacArthur at 12:26 PM:

"It can be announced with assurance that the Japanese Navy has been beaten, routed and broken by the Third and Seventh Fleets."

His reputation a bit tarnished, Halsey continued to be the most aggressive Admiral in the U.S. Navy.  That trait would sometimes get him in trouble, as it did two months later in Typhoon Cobra.  But in the end, things worked out because boldness and victory are usually handmaidens.

An Avenger, possibly flown by Lambert himself, heads for the heavy carrier ZUIKAKU The monster carrier's eight-inch thick concrete deck didn't help when it came to torpedoes.  Twice as heavy as the Titanic, she's underway, but listing and down by the stern.  Lambert reported a hit during the third attack wave of the day when this photo was taken.

ZUIKAKU sinking

Cape Engano:   Here's what V.G. Lambert was doing, hundreds of miles north of Kinkaid's beleaguered Seventh Fleet, on the morning of Oct. 25, 1944:




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