On 24 October 1944, the light carrier USS Princeton (CVL-23) had recovered 12 aircraft when her lookouts spotted a “Judy” coming straight for the ship. Batteries of 20- and 40-mm antiaircraft guns immediately opened up, but the Japanese bomber continued in, undeterred, releasing a single 550-pound armor-piercing bomb. Plummeting straight and true, the bomb landed almost dead-center on the flight deck, just forward of the after elevator. A series of explosions ripped great gaping holes in the flight deck, and one of the ship’s massive aircraft elevators was lifted completely out of its pit and came to rest at an odd angle on the flight deck.
‘Heights of Courage and Forgetfulness of Self’
By Lieutenant Commander Thomas J. Cutler, U.S. Navy (Retired)