Dec. 19 & 20, 1944


(Cobra track, 12-18-44, USS Yorktown.  Retrieved from USS Boston folders, National Archives, by Bill Kelly.)

December 19, 1944:  This morning we met with the tankers and refueled, a couple of DE’s are also missing.  After fueling we started looking for survivors.  The smaller ships are picking up survivors.

December 20, 1944:  This morning we are back in the area where the ships were lost.  The carriers are launching planes for an extensive search of the area.  This morning one of the planes from the Yorktown reported sighting three destroyers about 80 miles south of us.  Two of the destroyers are dead in the water and the other is making about 5 knots.  Another destroyer has been reported lost, the Monaghan.  Planes continue to search the area. Tonight we are heading back to Luzon for a one day strike, before going back to portDuring the night, orders were cancelled, on account of bad weather, the typhoon is just ahead of us.  We are heading back to Ulithi, we will be in port for Christmas.   Frank Studenski.

On December 18, the USS Spence (DD-512), took a 72° roll, capsized and sank.  Only 24 men survived.  The USS Hull (DD-350), took a 70° roll and sank.  Seven officers and 55 bluejackets survived.  The USS Monaghan (DD-354), took roll after roll to starboard and sank.  Only six men survived.   In all, 790 men of the Fleet lost their lives in that typhoon, mostly men aboard the three ill-fated destroyers.


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