Halsey's Typhoon: The True Story of a Fighting Admiral, an Epic Storm, and an Untold Rescue

Bob Drury, Author, Tom Clavin, Author . Atlantic Monthly $25 (322p) ISBN 978-0-87113-948-1

At the height of the Second World War in 1944, the U.S. Pacific Fleet was struck by a typhoon that sank three destroyers and drowned 800 sailors. Drury (The Rescue Season ) and Clavin (Dark Noon: The Final Voyage of the Fishing Boat Pelican ) draw on proceedings of a navy board of inquiry and eyewitness recollections to recreate the catastrophe. On the one hand, this is an absorbing if disjointed maritime disaster saga in which shrieking winds and monstrous waves batter warships to pieces. It's also a study in judgment under pressure, as hard-charging Adm. William "Bull" Halsey (motto: "Kill Japs") keeps his fleet positioned in the storm's path because of faulty weather reports, accusations that he improperly left his station during the earlier Battle of Leyte Gulf and general overaggressiveness. Closer to the waterline, the authors contrast the fecklessness of Capt. James Marks of the U.S.S. Hull , which sank, to the steadiness of Capt. Henry Plage of the U.S.S. Tabberer , which braved mountainous seas to rescue survivors. The trumped-up leadership parable is perhaps unfair to Halsey and Marks. Still, the authors make their account a vivid tale of tragedy and gallantry at sea. Photos. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 10/09/2006
Release date: 11/01/2006
Genre: Nonfiction
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 1 pages - 978-1-59895-797-6
Compact Disc - 9 pages - 978-1-59887-086-2
Hardcover - 320 pages - 978-1-932958-13-3
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