Lost in Typhoon
At 1149 December 18 Admiral Halsey directed Commander Task Force 38 to take most comfortable courses with wind on port quarter. Seven minutes later Admiral McCain directed TF 38 to steer course 120. ... Both were sound decisions; the storm center was then about 37 miles due north, and this southeasterly course took the Fleet away from it. But by that time the ships were strung out over some 2500 square miles of ocean and it was too late for some to escape. ... The typhoon reached its greatest violence between 1100 and 1400 December 18, depending on the position of the vessel concerned. At 1345 Admiral Halsey issued a typhoon warning, to alert Fleet Weather Central to what was going on. This was the first reference to the storm as a typhoon in any official message. ...Unknown to Commander Third Fleet, three of his destroyers, USS Hull (DD-350), USS Spence (DD-512) and USS Monaghan (DD-354) had already gone down.