The sinking of the USS Guam by the Philippine Imperial Navy destroyer PIHD Corregidor (ex-Madake) sparked the short-lived Philippine Sea War between the United States and the Philippine Empire, a war that lasted from 1962 to 1963, and also served to eventually bring the US into the then-ongoing Second Indochina War. The incident occurred in the Philippine Sea, two-hundred thirty-eight miles west-northwest of the Marianas the afternoon of April 18, 1962. The US Navy's Alaska-class large cruiser Guam (CB-2) was on a joint exercise with Japanese (JMSDF) destroyers at the time, and was when one of Guam's escorts, the destroyer Mahan (DDG-42) sighted Corregidor and immediately identified it as a modified IJN Matsu-class destroyer. Corregidor was captained by a radical anti-American, who believed the Marianas - specifically, Guam - to be the rightful possessions of the Empire. Using a prototype missile guidance system developed with help from the USSR, Corregidor's crew reluctantly launched their ship's pair of P-15 'Termit' anti-ship missiles (imported from the USSR as well) in the direction of Guam and her taskforce. Incredibly, and unluckily, both of the Termit missiles struck topside, the first directly atop the No.1 secondary 5", and the second just aft of the main funnel. The near-simultaneous impacts of shaped warheads easily pierced the ship's deck armor and the subsequent detonations blew out large sections of Guam's keel. She ground to a halt and quickly settled low in the water, engines crippled. For a time, as Mahan and the rest of the taskforce took off as much of the crew as possible, secondary explosions from aviation fuel and 5" ammunition wracked the ship. At 5:47 p.m. WPST (West Pacific Standard Time), twenty minutes after she was struck, Guam rolled onto her port side and sank in 22,000 feet of water at 14°22' N 141°25' E.

Sequence of events


The incident


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