Robert F.X. Drury: Halsey's Typhoon: The True Story of a Fighting Admiral, an Epic Storm and an Untold Rescue
Author Bob Drury shares his reflections on an amazing naval story of World War II when men and ship battled, not with other men, but with nature. In December 1944, Admiral Will iam "Bull" Halsey's Pacific Fleet faced a typhoon of unprecedented strength and scope. Halsey is caught ill-prepared after leading his fleet into a complicated refueling maneuver, taking 170 ships into the path of the oncoming massive typhoon. The results are tragic. Massive battleships were tossed in steel grey seas, battling 90-foot waves and 150-mph winds. The storm destroys fighter planes off the decks of carriers while smaller ships were capsized with a great loss of crew.
In what became one of World War II's most damaging actions, learn how American Sailors faced this disaster, and survived the devastating tragedies. In the midst of ongoing combat operations and requirements, the Navy launched daring rescue missions seeking to rescue some nine hundred of the fleet's sailors and officers from the shark-infested Philippine Sea.
For three days, the survivors had to battle the elements, dehydration, exhaustion, and predatory sharks while waiting for rescue, too often with tragic results. The typhoon ultimately inflicts twice as much destruction and loss of life to the American forces as were lost at the Battle of Midway. Thanks to declassified documents, firsthand accounts from survivors, this story is finally coming to light.
A contributing editor and foreign correspondent for Men's Health magazine, Bob Drury has reported from Iraq, Darfur, Afghanistan, Liberia, Belfast, Haiti, and Sarajevo. He has written for all four New York City newspapers as well as a variety of national publications. A Pulitzer Prize nominee and the recipient of several national journalism awards, Drury is the author, coauthor, and editor of seven previous nonfiction books whose subjects range from the Cosa Nostra to the National Football League. His last book, the adventure saga The Rescue Season, was made into a documentary by the History Channel.