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In Remembrance
- dedicated to the memory of -
Evan Fenn and Chuck Smith
RIP Tin Can Sailors!
Your service will never be forgotten!


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NEW USS MONAGHAN PHOTOS

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For those who may have missed the Oliver North tribute to Tin Can Sailors
Click here for more on the War Stories episode

The survivor's conference call.


 


Chuck Smith
USS BROWN


Evan Fenn
USS MONAGHAN

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Three men, joined by events of history, speak with one another for the first time in sixty years. Evan Fenn, the last living survivor of the USS Monaghan clung to the life raft with thirteen other crew members. Of those, only six would survive the days ahead until saved by the USS Brown. Chuck Smith aboard the rescue ship relives the experience of weathering Typhoon Cobra that made it possible to save the lives of 13 survivors of the Hull (DD-350) and six survivors of the Monaghan (DD-354). PDN's Webmaster, whose father did not survive long enough to be rescued, facilitated the reunion.

 

18 December 1944 – Typhoon Cobra takes 790 lives  
21 December 1944 – The Last Survivors Rescued
21 December 2004 - Two sons of two wars - Three generations apart share the 60th anniversary experience with men who lived through the worst disaster in Naval history.
 

Sacramento, California:  One son waits for his dad (a Marine gunny sergeant) to return from Iraq.  The other, three generations removed, pays tribute to the shipmates who survived the Pacific typhoon that took his dad's life.  They each share a love of military history because they have been a part of it in some way.

Michael is twelve and Dave will soon be sixty years old.  Together they will watch a History Channel documentary of Typhoon Cobra.  Michael will listen in on the conference calls between rescuers and survivor.  Sixty years to the date, the last of the rescued sailors were picked up after the the storm that took their ships: the USS HULL, USS MONAGHAN and USS SPENCE.

Evan Fenn, the last living survivor of the USS Monaghan clung to a life raft with thirteen other crew members. Of them six survived and were saved by the USS Brown. Chuck Smith aboard the rescue ship has chronicled the experience of weathering Typhoon Cobra that made it possible to save the lives of  (On 21 December 1944) 13 survivors of the Hull (DD-350) and six survivors of the Monaghan (DD-354). Other calls were made today. Patrick Douhan survived shark infested waters until being rescued by the USS Brown and is featured in the History Channel documentary.

Described by the Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet Admiral Nimitz: "It was the greatest loss that we have taken in the Pacific…”  Admiral William Halsey's WWII Third Fleet, operating in support of General MacArthur's invasion of the Philippines, encountered a typhoon more powerful than any western Pacific encounter with the Japanese. The result was the loss of the three destroyers with 790 men lost, 26 other vessels seriously damaged, and 146 aircraft destroyed. Also dubbed Halsey’s Storm by naval historians, Halsey himself described it best. "No one who has not been through a typhoon can conceive its fury," he wrote in his autobiography. "The 70 foot seas smash you. The rain blinds you."

Letters home, taped interviews and photo make up this tribute to the Tin Can Sailors of World War II at patriotwatch.com.


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