Saturday, April 28, 2007

Enjoying Listening to Halsey's Typhoon

I'm almost done with an audiobook I started several months ago, Halsey's Typhoon by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin. It's a very engaging narrative about Typhoon Cobra, which hit Admiral Halsey's fleet in December, 1944. Lots of attention is given to the three ships that sunk, and also to the Destroyer Escort U.S.S. Tabberer, and its captain, a guy named Henry Plage, who defied orders (and instincts of self-preservation) and picked up dozens and dozens of survivors floating around in the middle of nowhere, usually one at a time amidst turbulent waves that still threatened his ship, potential enemy subs, and other American ships with bigger guns than his that mistook him for a Japanese vessel.

I have a feeling that there's a movie deal floating around here somewhere (no pun intended). They've had some good movies about the Army and Marines during WWII in recent years, but nothing recently that I can think of about the surface Navy, and this story has it all -- nature's fury, ship's captain as hero, ship's captain as villain, administrative screw-ups, survival against all odds, etc. etc. I wouldn't be surprised if a) Tom Hanks has already put some money behind this, and b) he's got one of the pretty boys that can act (Damon, Wahlberg, or Di Caprio) slated to play Plage.
  • Here's the (un?)official homepage of the Tabberer.
  • Here's the Tabberer page from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.
  • I'm starting a Wikipedia page for that ship. It'll be a stub, but it's a start.
  • Speaking of "Plage," I hope there wasn't any "iarism" to go with that in picking the title -- Sounds an awful lot like Halsey's Typhoons, written in 1968 by Adamson and Kosco. (Although, even if it was a little bit borrowed, I think it would still be a plus for the authors and/or owners of the 1968 content... Their book seems to have been out of print for the better part of three decades, and if there is a resurgence of interest in this topic, it might be the chance to bring that book back into print. Thus (even if someone determines that the current title was borrowed a bit too heavily from the original) the original still stands to profit from the similarity.

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