Diary of 1949 Typhoon Allyn: Part 4 – The end
If you missed it, read the introduction to this article and part 1 and part 2 and part 3.
Typhoon Allyn was one of the most destructive to pass Guam. Although the eye passes some distance to the South, damage was severe over most of the island. the following is the conclusion of a diary of events during the 10 hours of the storm’s passage over the island.
“1705K: The eye of the typhoon passed approximately 45 miles to the south of the station between 1615 and 1630K. Our pressure has risen two millibars now and should continue to rise as the storm moves on.
“1720K: An item of interest might be that when the air freight terminal went to pieces, there were several cars wrecked. One in particular, a Ford, is folded up just like an accordion and is one complete wreck. Several other cars are almost as bad. The front end of the terminal building here is beginning to sag and the operations sections has a large hole in it. Doesn’t look good if these winds continue as they are.
“1800K: Forecast diminishing winds and eye passage given to radio at 1715K to be relayed to [other bases]. Courier from Harmon arrived 1730K and was given forecast. Wind at this timeis definitely swinging to south presently southeast at 70 knots with gusts to 85 knots.
“1915K: Forecast given … that winds would be 30 knots by [midnight], present winds SE at 50 knots with gusts to 60 knots.
“2200K: The winds are slowly dying down, but still holding steady around 40 knots with gusts in the 50s. Our pressure is on the rise still and by 6 hours everything should be well under control. Light rain is continuing to fall with intermittent heavy showers.”
So in the time span from noon until 10 p.m., the conditions went from showers to dangerous winds back to rain showers. The result was catastrophic. Nearly $20 million (1949 dollars, about $200 million in 2012 dollars) was done to military installations. The economy of Guam was also severely impacted. Most – if not all – of several important crops were destroyed: breadfruits (100% lost), vegetables (90%), banana (75%) and so on.
I don’t know if you will see this. I just looked up the typhoon of 1949 on Guam because I was a child of 10 years old riding out the storm in my uncles restaurant on Harmon field. We had concrete walls, no damage. Not much rot remember but the high winds, roofs being blown off or total buildings being lifted and disappeared. Most remembered was the bending of the the coconut trees. What was ?the comparison of the winds in 1949 to the current typhoon in the Philippines.
Interesting article on typhoon Alyn. I was stationed with the First Marine Brigade at Camp Witek, which was near the village of Yona. This was on the other side
of the island from Harmon AFB and it seems like the winds and tidal surge were
much higher than what you are reporting. We had all sorts of debris-lumber, palm fronds corrugated metal roofing, etc. etc. flying horizontally through the
air for several hours at the peak storm. Pictures of a car that was washed 1/2
mile+/- up a river. Quite a storm!
Followed by another in Japan in September
1950 in the port of Kobe, which lifted our transport ship midway through the
docks! Fantastic energy in these type storms.
I was stationed at the Guam Memorial Hospital during this storm. We were in a Butler Hut and a steel pipe went though the bulkhead and barely missed hitting us. I was in a couple more while stationed on Guam in the USN.
If you’re interested in more pictures I have several. My father was serving in the US Navy when theTyphoon hit and took several pictures after it passed. He has just passed away and I’ve been going through pictures for his funeral DVD. It was a very destructive storm.
I am very interested in seeing your photos. I am a resident and native of Guam and do a lot of historical writing and research. Eric Forbes
When Typhoon Allyn struck the island, I was a 12 year-old living at the Coast Guard station situated at that time about 200 yards north of the Naval Communications Station on the road between the Army’s Marianas/Bonins Command HQ at Wettengel Junction and North Field–forerunner of Anderson AFB. My father commanded Coast Guard operations (mostly a network of 15 LORAN bases) scattered west of Hawaii to Japan. We rode out the typhoon in the jumbo Quonset that served as the radio shack and warehouse. That building survived, but the standard Quonset that served as our home did not–the cables snapped like string and the remains of the hut were deposited at the edge of the boondocks about 50 yards away. The radio station at Cocos Island was completely destroyed, but had been evacuated before the storm hit. For a kid with no responsibilities, it was a great adventure with an after-typhoon benefit–the school at Hilaan Point was reduced to rubble in some areas and school did not resume for about six weeks, leaving us with nothing to do except spend every day at the beach at Tumon Bay.