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WWII Veteran Tells How He Survived Kamikaze Attack

In October 1944, the Battle of Leyte Gulf in the Philippines became infamous for being the first time the Japanese air force used kamikaze tactics in a desperate effort to swing the war back in their favor. Using their planes as guided bombs, Japanese suicide pilots crashed into Allied ships in a ruthless attempt to try to sink them, and U.S. Navy veteran Philip Hollywood was aboard the USS Melvin when these attacks were taking place.

As an element of the United States 7th Fleet Support force, the USS Melvin was involved in the Battle of Surigao Strait, one of the four major actions of the Leyte Gulf encounter. Tasked with stopping a fleet of Japanese battleships from running the 47-mile Surigao Strait to reach the Allied landing at Leyte Gulf, the force became the target of kamikaze attacks. Philip recounts how close the Melvin came to being hit by one of these suicide runs and how the Melvin sank a Japanese battleship during the course of the battle.

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