Skip to comments.How Lieutenant Ford Saved His Ship
Posted on 12/28/2006 9:33:44 AM PST by neverdem
FOR Americans under a certain age, Gerald Ford is best remembered for his contribution to Bartletts Our long national nightmare is over or, more likely, for the comedian Chevy Chases stumbling, bumbling impersonations of him on Saturday Night Live. But theres a different label we can attach to this former president, one that has been overlooked for 62 years: war hero.
In 1944, Lt. j.g. Jerry Ford a lawyer from Grand Rapids, Mich., blond and broad-shouldered, with the lantern jaw of a young Johnny Weissmuller was a 31-year-old gunnery officer on the aircraft carrier Monterey. The Monterey was a member of Adm. William Halseys Third Fleet, and in mid-December, Lieutenant Ford was sailing off the Philippines as Admiral Halseys ships provided air cover for the second phase of Gen. Douglas MacArthurs I shall return Philippine invasions.
The Monterey had earned more than half a dozen battle stars for actions in World War II; during the battle of Leyte Gulf, Lieutenant Ford, in charge of a 40-millimeter antiaircraft gun crew on the fantail deck, had watched as a torpedo narrowly missed the Monterey and tore out the hull of the nearby Australian cruiser Canberra. Two months later, in the early morning hours of Dec. 18, the Japanese were the least of the Montereys worries, as it found itself trapped in a vicious Pacific cyclone later designated Typhoon Cobra.
Lieutenant Ford had served as the Montereys officer of the deck on the ships midnight-to-4-a.m. watch, and had witnessed the lashing rains and 60-knot winds whip the ocean into waves that resembled liquid mountain ranges. The waves reeled in from starboard, gigantic sets of dark water that appeared to defy gravity, cresting at 40 to 70 feet. In his 18 months at sea, Lieutenant Ford had never seen waves...
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Sounds suspiciously like "Mission accomplished" to me.
He was part of the "Greatest Generation" which included the likes of Jimmy Stewart, Clark Gable, Capatin Kangaroo, and Scotty from Star Trek!
One of the local talk show pundits who fashions himself a conservative says that the Ford defining handle is "Mediocre".
"Like his fellow World War II veterans, Mr. Ford returned home and resumed his life, rarely speaking publicly of his heroism."
John Forbes Kerry, take note of this
Now Mr. Ford is a hero? These stories seem suspicious in lieu
of the press coverage given Ford.
Quite right. The NYT hated Mr. Ford's guts. So did most of the press. Period.
But, as someone said earlier today, "Mr. Ford finally did something that the liberals liked. He died."
God Bless Gerald Ford
Aside from Gerald Ford, that's an interesting sentence. The author calls this the Navy's "worst 'defeat'"? Uh, what about Pearl Harbor (over 2000 sailors and soldiers killed) or even the Battle of Savo Island in '42 (over 1000 allied sailors lost). This guy needs to do a little research before saying something like that.
Frankly, abandoning ship didn't seem like too good an option for the crew of the Monterey.
I have a bad habit of putting a's where "e's should be.
Agreed. Three destroyers ran out of fuel in that typhoon and sank with heavy loss of life, something like 360 of 450 men involved.
I agree. Abandoning ship in a storm would NOT be something that I would want to do. DC training is never a waste of time.
Yes, the Australians, like us, adopted the practice of naming the new ships after ones lost earlier in the war.
My mistake. The ship referred to in the article was USS Canberra (CA-70), not HMAS Canberra. USS Canberra was named for the Australian cruiser which went down at Savo Island.
Don't think that was the same storm as, to the best of my knowledge, no WWII flattop had catapults.
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