Synopses & Reviews
In December 1944, Admiral William Bull Halsey was America's most popular and colorful naval hero. While supporting General Douglas MacArthur's famous I Shall Return invasion of the Philippines, he unwittingly sailed his undefeated Pacific Fleet into the teeth of the most powerful storm on earth. The typhoon left a previously invincible fleet devastated, inflicting more damage and loss of life than the Battle of Midway. Stunned Navy brass suppressed the scope of the disaster so as not to endanger the American advance on Tokyo, and Halsey never spoke about the ensuing Court of Inquiry. Only now, thanks to documents that have been declassified after sixty years and dozens of firsthand accounts from survivors--including one by former president Gerald Ford--can the tragic yet heroic story of Halsey's Typhoon finally be told. Smashed and battered by waves and wind, Halsey's Third Fleet fought desperately to stay afloat. Dozens of ships were damaged and three--the destroyers USS Hull, USS Monaghan, and USS Spence--absorbed so much punishment that they capsized. Nearly nine hundred sailors and officers were hurled into the ocean or trapped belowdecks. Most of these men, who were teenagers or in their early twenties, found themselves struggling to keep their heads above the frothing seventy-foot waves in the deepest shark-infested waters of the Pacific. Over the next sixty hours, small bands of survivors fought dehydration, exhaustion, and the elements to await rescue at the hands of the courageous Lieutenant Commander Henry Lee Plage who, defying orders, sailed his tiny destroyer escort, the USS Tabberer, through 150-mph winds to rescue drifting sailors. Halsey's Typhoon is a gripping truestory of courage and survival against impossible odds--and one of the grestest World War II sagas of our time.
Halseyand#8217;s Typhoon is the story of World War IIand#8217;s most unexpected disaster at sea. In the final days of 1944, Admiral William and#147;Bulland#8221; Halsey is the Pacific theaterand#8217;s most popular and colorful naval hero. After a string of victories, the and#147;Fighting Admiraland#8221; and his thirty-thousand-man Third Fleet are charged with protecting General MacArthurand#8217;s flank during the invasion of the Philippine island of Mindoro. But in the midst of the landings, Halsey attempts a complicated refueling maneuver and unwittingly drives his 170 ships into the teeth of a massive typhoon. Halseyand#8217;s men find themselves battling 90-foot waves and 150 mph windsand#151;amid the chaos, three ships are sunk and nearly nine hundred sailors and officers are swept into the Philippine Sea. For three days, small bands of survivors battle dehydration, exhaustion, sharks, and the elements awaiting rescue at the hands of the courageous lieutenant commander Henry Lee Plage, who, defying orders, sails his tiny destroyer escort, the USS Tabberer, back into the storm to rescue drifting sailors. Halseyand#8217;s Typhoon is a gripping true tale of courage and survival against impossible oddsand#151;and one of the finest untold World War II sagas of our time.