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The United States Navy Memorial

Navy Memorial Honoring the Men & Women of the Sea Services



Monday, December 18, 1944
Lost in Typhoon Cobra
While preparing to refuel from a fleet oiler and having pumped sea water ballast out of fuel tanks, rough seas caused fueling to be canceled. Ship commenced taking in water from main engineering spaces which shorted out electrical equipment. After taking a 72 degree roll to port all shipboard electrical power was lost and ship’s engines failed. Without any propulsion to turn into the sea, Spence found herself in the wave trough and soon capsized and sank. ... There were 300 that perished in the incident. There were 24 survivors.

Lost At Sea Log

Number of sailors in this log: 22

Name Service Branchsort descending
Sea 1c Frank Filannino USN
Sk 3c Charles Bean USN
WT 3c Edward Buczek USN
BM 1c Samuel Rosen USN
CY Harold Bryant USN
SC 2c William Kleckley USN
SM 2c Muriel Owens USN
SK 1c John Polhemus USN
LCdr James Andrea USN
TM 2c Alexander Sepanski USN
RDM 2c Willard Vinal USN
RDM 2c Daniel Dommeleers USN
MM 2c Robert Strand USN
Lt(jg) John Gaffney USN
Sea 2c Richard Bowman USN
Ens Robert Brightman USN
SF 3c Peter Broch USN
Lt(jg) David Collins USN
Lt(jg) Lawrence Sundin USN
FC 2c Carl Smith USN