Wednesday, December 18, 2019


MON 18 DEC 1944
Third Fleet (Admiral William F. Halsey Jr.) encounters a typhoon 180 miles northeast of Samar. Destroyers Hull (DD-350), Monaghan (DD-354), and Spence (DD-512) are sunk, 14°57'N, 127°58'E. Destroyer escort Tabberer (DE-418), which herself sustains storm damage, rescues 41 Hull survivors and 14 from Spence (remaining men will be rescued on 20 December). Ships that suffer varying degrees of damage include small carriers Cowpens (CVL-25), Monterey (CVL-26), Cabot (CVL-28), and San Jacinto (CVL-30); escort carriers Altamaha (CVE-18), Nehenta Bay (CVE-74), Cape Esperance (CVE-88), and Kwajalein (CVE-98); light cruiser Miami (CL-89); destroyers Dewey (DD-349), Aylwin (DD-355), Buchanan (DD-484), Dyson (DD-572), Hickox (DD-673), Maddox (DD-731), and Benham (DD-796); destroyer escorts Melvin R. Nawman (DE-416), Tabberer (DE-418), and Waterman (DE-740); oiler Nantahala (AO-60); and fleet tug Jicarilla (ATF-104).

Motor torpedo boat PT-300 is damaged by kamikaze off Mindoro, 12°19'N, 121°05'E.

Other Japanese casualties include auxiliary submarine chaser Keisho Maru sunk by aircraft, Nagoya, Japan; merchant ship No.1 Nikko Maru sunk by TF 38 aircraft, 14°48'N, 120°16'E; and merchant ship Hokko Maru is damaged by aircraft, Changchia Chow.

U.S. freighter Steel Traveller is mined in the Schelde River, and sunk; survivors are rescued by French destroyer La Combattante. There are no casualties among the 26-man Armed Guard, but two of the ship's 45-man merchant complement perish.

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