In the light of hindsight it is easy to see how any of several measures might have prevented this catastrophe, but it was far less easy a problem at the time for the men who were out there under the heaviest of conflicting responsibilities… Chester W. Nimitz


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Down to the sea : an epic story of naval disaster and heroism in World War II  Bruce Henderson  New York : Smithsonian Books/Collins, c 2007  Hardcover. 1st ed. and printing. xiv, 368 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., map ; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. [343]-345) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

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This epic story opens at the hour the Greatest Generation went to war on December 7, 1941, and follows four U.S. Navy ships and their crews in the Pacific until their day of reckoning three years later with a far different enemy: a deadly typhoon.

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In December 1944, while supporting General MacArthur’s invasion of the Philippines, Admiral William “Bull” Halsey neglected the Law of Storms, placing the mighty U.S. Third Fleet in harm’s way.

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Drawing on extensive interviews with nearly every living survivor and rescuer, as well as many families of lost sailors, transcripts and other records from naval courts of inquiry, ships’ logs, personal letters, and diaries, Bruce Henderson finds some of the story’s truest heroes exhibiting selflessness, courage, and even defiance.

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