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4 Comments | Vintage
>The smoke trails are left by fragments ejected by the explosion. The cause of the explosion could not be determined.
>*Mount Hood*, anchored in about 35 feet of water, exploded with an estimated 3,800 tons of ordnance material on board. The initial explosion caused flame and smoke to shoot up from amidships to more than masthead height. Within seconds, the bulk of her cargo detonated with a more intense explosion. Mushrooming smoke rose to 7,000 feet, obscuring the ship and the surrounding area for a radius of approximately 500 yards. *Mount Hood’s* former position was revealed by a trench in the ocean floor 1,000 feet long, 200 feet wide, and 30 to 40 feet deep. The largest remaining piece of the hull was found in the trench and measured no bigger than 16 by 10 feet. No other remains of *Mount Hood* were found except fragments of metal which had struck other ships in the harbor and a few tattered pages of a signal notebook found floating in the water several hundred yards away. No human remains were recovered of the 350 men aboard *Mount Hood* or small boats loading alongside at the time of the explosion. The only other survivors from the *Mount Hood* crew were a junior officer and five enlisted men who had left the ship a short time before the explosion. Two of the crew were being transferred to the base brig for trial by court martial; and the remainder of the party were picking up mail at the base post office. Charges against the prisoners were dropped following the explosion.
>The concussion and metal fragments hurled from the ship also caused casualties and damage to ships and small craft within 2,000 yards. The repair ship *Mindanao*, which was broadside-on to the blast, was the most seriously damaged. All personnel topside on *Mindanao* were killed outright, and dozens of men were killed or wounded below decks as numerous heavy fragments from *Mount Hood* penetrated the side plating. Eighty-two of *Mindanao’s* crew died. The damage to other vessels required more than 100,000 man-hours to repair, while 22 small boats and landing craft were sunk, destroyed, or damaged beyond repair; 371 sailors were injured from all ships in the harbor.
Source: Gile, Chester A. (February 1963). “The Mount Hood Explosion”. Proceedings. United States Naval Institute.
[Reminds me of SS John Burke after she was hit by a kamikaze](https://gfycat.com/SerpentineMadeupBluemorphobutterfly). Those ships are packed with ammunition.
Here’s what the Mindanao looked like after the blast
Named after a volcano. Sort of dark humor, both by the guys who named it and for the ones who had to man it, knowing that just this sort of thing could happen.