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#1
Old 07-18-2009, 04:33 PM
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Admiral Halsey, psoriasis and midway

Following a comment on Family Guy (S07E14), I googled and discovered that Halsey missed the Battle of Midway because he was hospitalized due to a severe case of psoriasis. Does anyone know any more about this?
#2
Old 07-18-2009, 08:16 PM
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Warning: DO NOT RELY ON FAMILY GUY FOR ACCURATE HISTORICAL INFORMATION!

Halsey was suffering from an attack of shingles. From personal experience I can tell you that's a good deal more disabling than psoriasis.
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Old 07-18-2009, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by kunilou View Post
Warning: DO NOT RELY ON FAMILY GUY FOR ACCURATE HISTORICAL INFORMATION!

Halsey was suffering from an attack of shingles. From personal experience I can tell you that's a good deal more disabling than psoriasis.

I thought it was psoriasis
#4
Old 07-18-2009, 10:01 PM
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Psoriasis can be bloody disabling, ask Dennis Potter

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In 1962 Potter began to suffer from an acute form of psoriasis known as psoriatic arthropathy, a rare hereditary condition that affected his skin and caused arthritis in his joints. For the rest of his life, Potter was frequently in hospitals, sometimes completely unable to move and in great pain. The disease eventually ruined his hands, reducing them to what he called "clubs". He had to learn to write by strapping a pen to his hand. Potter kept working between bouts of pain, nausea, and diarrhoea, clutching a pen in his clawed fist and writing in surprisingly neat longhand. ‘I can't use a typewriter’, he said, ‘because my trailing fingers would hit more than one key at once’[8]. The script of Son of Man (1969), mostly written in hospital, was delivered with drops of blood and cortisone grease splashed on it.
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Old 07-18-2009, 10:14 PM
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The consensus at this point in time seems to be shingles rather than psoriasis, but absent the relevant medical records it will probably remain unresolved.

Whatever it was that beached Halsey just before Midway, I consider it serendipitous in the extreme: unlike Spruance, who retired (temporarily) to the east after concluding air operations on the 4th, Halsey would most likely have driven full speed to the west — and perhaps into the big guns of Kondo and Yamamoto's surface forces, just in time for a night gun battle.

Or perhaps not. The situation in the Japanese fleet was pretty fluid, and everybody had to be aware of their air cover situation (i.e., they had none). But in retrospect, Spruance seems to have made precisely the right call: the USN had accomplished its main objectives, and the prospect of future gains didn't justify hanging around.

Last edited by OttoDaFe; 07-18-2009 at 10:15 PM. Reason: Atrocious grammar.
#6
Old 07-18-2009, 10:16 PM
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I think in the movie "Midway," they said he was suffering from poison ivy. I guess they thought shingles would have been over people's heads.
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Old 07-18-2009, 10:27 PM
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Admiral Halsey notified me he had to have a berth or he couldn't get to sea.
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Old 07-19-2009, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Johnny L.A. View Post
Admiral Halsey notified me he had to have a berth or he couldn't get to sea.
Live a little, be a gypsy, get around....

(it had been nearly 10 and a half hours)
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Old 07-19-2009, 03:18 PM
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He also missed the Battle of Leyte Gulf. He fell vcitim to a Japanese ploy to keep him away from the his assignment in the Gulf.
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Old 07-19-2009, 08:09 PM
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@kunilu == I did google and the sites that I found said psoriasis.

Shingles sounds sufficiently debilitating for me. Thanks for the help.
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Old 07-19-2009, 08:21 PM
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I have psoriatic arthritis, and let me tell you, it can be quite debilitating. It's not just a bit of dry skin, i get inflammation in virtually every joint in my body -- knuckles, knees, elbows, feet, shoulders, you name it. Sometimes it extends to tendons. I've never been crippled to the point of hospitalization, but I have to stay on inflammatories all the time, and I still usually feel like I've been picking rocks for 8 hours in the back 40.

I've had shingles too. It sucked, but psoriatic arthritis is worse.
#12
Old 07-19-2009, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Earl Snake-Hips Tucker View Post
I think in the movie "Midway," they said he was suffering from poison ivy. I guess they thought shingles would have been over people's heads.
I read this three times before I caught the pun. Well played!
#13
Old 07-19-2009, 08:45 PM
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General Chuikov, the Soviet commander of the 62nd Army which held Stalingrad and slugged it out with the German 6th, developed severe eczema on his hands from the stress of that battle. It was so bad that he wore white gloves to conceal them.

I guess what I'm saying is that WWII was not good for the skin.
#14
Old 07-20-2009, 01:13 AM
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Point being, "Psoriasis" (if, in fact, that's what Halsey had) can be seriously debilitating- it's NOT as if Halsey was malingering, or sitting out the war with a case of dandruff.
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Old 07-20-2009, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by astorian View Post
Point being, "Psoriasis" (if, in fact, that's what Halsey had) can be seriously debilitating- it's NOT as if Halsey was malingering, or sitting out the war with a case of dandruff.
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Originally Posted by Diogenes the Cynic View Post
I have psoriatic arthritis, and let me tell you, it can be quite debilitating. It's not just a bit of dry skin, i get inflammation in virtually every joint in my body -- knuckles, knees, elbows, feet, shoulders, you name it. Sometimes it extends to tendons. I've never been crippled to the point of hospitalization, but I have to stay on inflammatories all the time, and I still usually feel like I've been picking rocks for 8 hours in the back 40.

I've had shingles too. It sucked, but psoriatic arthritis is worse.
I have psoriasis... and it can get pretty bad. I could see someone getting severely sidlined (at least sidlined enough that they couldn't actively fight) with it.
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Old 07-20-2009, 06:33 PM
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As long as we're discussing Halsey and documentary filmmaking, what was Captain Ramius talking about when he said "Halsey acted stupidly" in Hunt for Red October?
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Old 07-20-2009, 06:45 PM
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The relevant text from the book:

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Hunt for Red October
"Tell me your books,” Ramius ordered.
Options and Decisions, Doomed Eagles, and a new one coming out this year, Fighting Sailor, a biography of Admiral Halsey. My first one was about the Battle of Leyte Gulf. It was reviewd in Morskoi Sbornik, I understand. It dealt with the nature of tactical decisions made under combat situations. There’s supposed to be a dozen copies at the Frunze Library.”
Ramius was quiet for a moment. “Ah, I know this book. Yes, I read parts of it. You were wrong, Ryan. Halsey acted stupidly.”
I have nothing further to offer on it, though.
#18
Old 07-20-2009, 07:39 PM
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It was my psoriasis that prompted the search. Mine is severe, in terms of real estate, but no debilitating problems. I was wondering if he tripped over flakes and broke a leg or something.

For those of you with Psoriasic arthritis, you have my sympathy. What I have is not severe and limited to my hands and feet.
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Old 07-20-2009, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by KneadToKnow View Post
As long as we're discussing Halsey and documentary filmmaking, what was Captain Ramius talking about when he said "Halsey acted stupidly" in Hunt for Red October?
Presumably for Halsey's actions at Leyte Gulf.

Halsey's job was to protect the landing beaches, the supply ships, the support ships etc. Instead he went sailing off to try and catch some carriers. He had more than sufficient forces to do both, and he even managed to leave everyone (including his boss back in Pearl Harbor) with the impression that he had left a powerful force to screen the Leyte landings. Despite plenty of evidence that the carrier forces were bait to draw off US warships, and that there were significant forces trying to sneak into the gulf, off he went. In fact Halsey reacted in exactly the fashion the Japanese had hoped.

The fact that the landing force wasn't destroyed was due only to Japanese mistakes and some absurdly courageous actions by the first US ships they ran into.

I always liked Leahy's (Chief of Staff at the time) quote regarding the affair, "We didn't lose the war for that but I don't know why we didn't."
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Old 07-20-2009, 08:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OttoDaFe View Post
The consensus at this point in time seems to be shingles rather than psoriasis, but absent the relevant medical records it will probably remain unresolved.

Whatever it was that beached Halsey just before Midway, I consider it serendipitous in the extreme: unlike Spruance, who retired (temporarily) to the east after concluding air operations on the 4th, Halsey would most likely have driven full speed to the west — and perhaps into the big guns of Kondo and Yamamoto's surface forces, just in time for a night gun battle.

Or perhaps not. The situation in the Japanese fleet was pretty fluid, and everybody had to be aware of their air cover situation (i.e., they had none). But in retrospect, Spruance seems to have made precisely the right call: the USN had accomplished its main objectives, and the prospect of future gains didn't justify hanging around.
In terms of Halsey vs Spruance, we can all agree that the right Admiral was in charge at Midway. However, at both the battles of Philippine Sea and Leyte Gulf, the wrong admiral was in charge.

At Philippine Sea, the cautious Spruance failed to pursue the Japanese carriers positioned to the northwest of the Marianas because he feared that a non-existent Japanese battle group might approach the Saipan landings from around the southwest.

At Leyte Gulf, the aggressive Halsey set out after the now-decoy Japanese carrier force while a real Japanese battleship group slipped through the Philippines to threaten the thinly defended landings on Leyte.
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Old 07-20-2009, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Bartman View Post
Presumably for Halsey's actions at Leyte Gulf.

Halsey's job was to protect the landing beaches, the supply ships, the support ships etc. Instead he went sailing off to try and catch some carriers. He had more than sufficient forces to do both, and he even managed to leave everyone (including his boss back in Pearl Harbor) with the impression that he had left a powerful force to screen the Leyte landings. Despite plenty of evidence that the carrier forces were bait to draw off US warships, and that there were significant forces trying to sneak into the gulf, off he went. In fact Halsey reacted in exactly the fashion the Japanese had hoped.

The fact that the landing force wasn't destroyed was due only to Japanese mistakes and some absurdly courageous actions by the first US ships they ran into.

I always liked Leahy's (Chief of Staff at the time) quote regarding the affair, "We didn't lose the war for that but I don't know why we didn't."
Cool. Thanks!
#22
Old 07-20-2009, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bartman View Post
Presumably for Halsey's actions at Leyte Gulf.

Halsey's job was to protect the landing beaches, the supply ships, the support ships etc.

[etc]

I always liked Leahy's (Chief of Staff at the time) quote regarding the affair, "We didn't lose the war for that but I don't know why we didn't."
Uh...

It was Spruance who, at Saipan, interpreted his orders to mean that his primary duty was to protect the landings. After this led to a missed opportunity, Halsey demanded and got orders that allowed him to go after and destroy the enemy fleet as his primary mission.

The last he had seen of the "Central" force, it was retreating to the west, away from Leyte. He assumed that the loss of a cruiser (to a submarine) and the superbattleship Musashi (to air strikes) had driven off the Japanese. To Halsey, as to most admirals, carriers were the prime targets, and the Central force had no carriers.

What he knew or didn't know is hard to say. What he was willing to pay attention to was even harder. He doesn't seem to have been much of a thinker on these matters.

He was unluck, though. He didn't need Lee's battleship group to go after the carriers. He already knew that the Central force didn't have any carriers, so he could have left Lee to deal with it and taken his own carriers to destroy the Northern force. Of course, he would have discovered that the Northern force was a decoy, and Lee would have gotten the credit for the victory.

Or, he could have split up his group (he had plenty of ships to attack both Japanese forces at once).

But instead, he insisted on being "in at the kill", and he guessed wrong. Commanders who guess right get promoted and famous. Commanders who guess wrong get killed or get others killed.

Unfortunately, most of war is mostly guesswork. In hindsight we see everything clearly, but in the moment the commander has no idea what to believe or discredit.

Halsey was also a bit lackadasical. He set out the famous "three groups" signal and so left everyone thinking he had the situation in hand. No excuse is possible; commanders are taught to be crystal-clear about their intentions.

If you want to call someone stupid, though, how about Admiral Kurita, head of the Central Force? You arrive in Leyte in what is obviously a complete surprise. Instead of a coordinated attack, you let everyone rush off willy-nilly. And then, when it's obvious that you're facing forces that are far inferior to yours, you break off the attack! I can't figure out what he thought he was saving his fleet for.

Leahy is, of course, exaggerating. Most of these admirals didn't get along with each other. Leahy wasn't there. To his credit, Nimitz never said anything.

Also (as has been said here), let's not forget the amazing story of Taffy 3, and how a bunch of second-tier ships designed for little more than shore support successfully fought off a Japanese battle fleet.
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Old 07-20-2009, 11:10 PM
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This is venturing a bit off topic. And your points are well taken 633squadron. I was trying to just give the 5¢ tour of the complaints.

But I really don't think Halsey has a leg to stand on here. He had all but certain knowledge that Kurita had turned back once darkness fell. Reconnaissance planes had seen the fleet turn. And the Japanese had turned on the land based navigation lights in the San Bernardino Strait. Center force was on its way. Halsey's command staff was warned separately by Admiral Lee, Admiral Bogan, Commodore Burke, and Commander Flatley. All of whom were told basically to shut up and follow orders, as Halsey already knew this.

As to orders, this is the most complete set I have in any of my references:
"...cover and support forces of Southwest Pacific in order to assist the seizure and occupation of objectives in the Central Philippines... and destroy enemy naval and air forces in or threatening the Philippines Area... In case opportunity for destruction of major portion of the enemy fleet offers or can be created, such destruction becomes the primary task." (I wish I had a book with the full wording)

That seems to exonerate Halsey. But you must remember that the day before all this he had proposed to chase any Japanese units spotted through the San Bernardino or Surigao straits into the inland Philippine waters. Nimitz slapped him down hard and after reminding him that his responsibility was to protect the landing units and told him "...movements of major units of the Third Fleet through Surigao and San Bernardino straits will not be initiated without further orders from CINC-PAC."

Nimitz of course did not cover orders for every other approach. But leaving the northern flank completely unguarded seems to be in disregard to his orders and came as a surprise to all the other ranking Naval officers.
#24
Old 09-14-2017, 02:52 PM
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Adm Halsey Dermititus

Guys-anyone with an answer. Adm Halsey had dermatitis after the Battle of the Coral Sea, that was caused by wartime stress, smoking and coffee. I don't think poison ivy is the problem and he was young for shingles.

The ship surgeon had him taking Oatmeal Baths!!!! When he got to Pearl, Nimitz took one look and put him in the hospital. Now the question. I have seen three answers on wiki, a book, and and quora on his location and treatment.

1) He was flown (on Nimitz's plane) to Vancouver Washington (nice and cool) and the best dermatologist in the US, a Dr Vaughn (?) was flown in to treat him.

2) He was send by destroyer to SF and treated there.

3) He was sent to Washington and Dr Vaughn treated him there.

Any help?

Al
#25
Old 09-14-2017, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by bigun6605 View Post
The ship surgeon had him taking Oatmeal Baths!!!!

The world wonders.

I vaguely remember that from the film, In Harm's Way.
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#26
Old 09-14-2017, 05:00 PM
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Halsey was a very aggressive commander (something that the US Navy needed), but this made him susceptible to being decoyed into ambush situations. And the wily Japanese commander recognized this, and took advantage of it when possible. The Japanese plan for Midway included an ambush operation just for this. The Japanese carriers were to damage Midway defenses, especially air cover, to make the troop landing easy. Then the carriers would retreat back toward Japan, while the Japanese battleships & cruisers & submarines would be there to destroy Halsey & the US carriers that would be hurrying there from Hawaii.

Spruance was a more typical USN commander, less aggressive than Halsey, might even say timid. But he did the right things at Midway.

The real hero of Midway was Captain Joseph Rochefort and his team of codebreakers at Pearl Harbor, who had provided the information on the Japanese plan to the US Admirals. He argued with the Washington DC Intelligence group, who were quite fooled by the Japanese misinformation, and thought the Midway attack would come a month later. Luckily Nimitz, CiC Pacific, believed him. (But the Washington bureaucrats got even with Rochefort afterwards; he never again got promoted,never got a sea command, never got any recognition or medals, and was eventually transferred to a minor job elsewhere.)

But I don't think it made much difference which admiral was in charge at Midway, because of the detailed intelligence they had. Because of this, they were in attack position before the Japanese expected, and they knew the strength of the Japanese battleship force was too much for them to take on (and not really very important, strategically).

Last edited by [email protected]; 09-14-2017 at 05:02 PM.
#27
Old 09-14-2017, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Earl Snake-Hips Tucker View Post
I think in the movie "Midway," they said he was suffering from poison ivy. I guess they thought shingles would have been over people's heads.
Actually, they just said skin disease.

Quote:
But a skin disease! Of all the stupid, useless things to get laid up with!

It's driving me nuts. I can't even think! We don't have much time.
Wiki just calls it a skin condition.

Quote:
A debilitating chronic skin condition covered a great deal of his body and caused unbearable itching, making it nearly impossible for him to sleep. Gaunt and having lost twenty pounds, he was medically ordered to the Hospital in Hawaii.
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Old 09-14-2017, 06:20 PM
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SHINGLES OR PSORIASIS? THE WORLD WONDERS.

(I wonder if anyone will get that.)
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Old 09-14-2017, 08:15 PM
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Poem "the Charge of the Light Brigade"

It was used when Halsey was chasing the Japanese carriers north from San Bernadino strait during the battle off Samar. When Kurita's task force reversed course (second time) through the strait and hit Taffy One. Nimitiz was really upset and asked for Halsey location. Some coder had been reading the poem and used it as filler at the end of the message. Halsey saw it and exploded even though it was prefaced by a "R' to describe this as message filler.

Lets get our battles right.
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Old 09-14-2017, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by bigun6605 View Post
he was young for shingles.
I have no information on whether Halsey had shingles or psoriasis, but youth does not confer immunity to shingles. I've known 2 young people who suffered from bad cases of shingles; one was 19 and another was 20. The one who had it at age 20 is 57 now and still has recurring pain from it, since he had it before acyclovir came along.
#31
Old 09-14-2017, 08:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derleth View Post
SHINGLES OR PSORIASIS? THE WORLD WONDERS.

(I wonder if anyone will get that.)
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Originally Posted by carnivorousplant View Post
The world wonders.

I vaguely remember that from the film, In Harm's Way.
Yeah. I get it.
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Old 09-14-2017, 09:30 PM
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Yeah. I get it.
Well, hell, turkey trots to water.
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#33
Old 09-14-2017, 09:48 PM
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Call it what you will, Halsey's worst blunder was attempting to refuel his fleet in a typhoon. Cost three destroyers and several hundred lives. Nimitz covered for him in both this incident as well as his decision to bite on the useless carriers the Japanese used to pull him away from Leyte. Good thing for him the American public considered him a hero.
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Old 09-15-2017, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by 633squadron View Post
Uh...

It was Spruance who, at Saipan, interpreted his orders to mean that his primary duty was to protect the landings. After this led to a missed opportunity, Halsey demanded and got orders that allowed him to go after and destroy the enemy fleet as his primary mission.
You are being much more kind to Halsey than virtually all historical analysis has been.

Halsey was charged with covering and supporting the invasion. But of course Halsey would rather have been chasing Japanese aircraft carriers and shooting down Japanese planes. The Japanese believed that they could entice Halsey to come chasing them causing him to leave the invasion force and supporting ships in danger - and they were right.

Further, he issued conflicting, or at the very least confusing orders for his commanders, VADM Lee and Commodore Burke.

As has been noted above, if not for a combination of truly heroic efforts of the DDs and DEs, combined with the confusion of Admiral Kurita's fleet, this would have been an unmitigated disaster.

No history has judged Halsey and found him to be negligent at Leyte Gulf, and correctly so.

Last edited by spifflog; 09-15-2017 at 08:43 AM.
#35
Old 09-15-2017, 08:46 AM
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Call it what you will, Halsey's worst blunder was attempting to refuel his fleet in a typhoon. Cost three destroyers and several hundred lives. Nimitz covered for him in both this incident as well as his decision to bite on the useless carriers the Japanese used to pull him away from Leyte. Good thing for him the American public considered him a hero.
It appears that they were refueling when the typhoon hit and broke of because of the weather. Empty fuel tanks caused one of the destroyers that capsized to be top heavy. Halsey did appear to have a problem with typhoons, and Nimitz did go to bat for him.

"This typhoon also led to the establishment of weather infrastructure of the US Navy"
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Old 09-15-2017, 11:00 AM
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SHINGLES OR PSORIASIS? THE WORLD WONDERS.

(I wonder if anyone will get that.)
I did. I laughed out loud here in the office
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Old 09-15-2017, 07:44 PM
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I did. I laughed out loud here in the office
Funnier than "turkey trots to water".
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#38
Old 09-15-2017, 07:58 PM
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A debilitating chronic skin condition covering a large area of his body makes shingles sound unlikely, leaving psoriasis in the ballpark along with a host of other things (primary skin disorders largely falling into allergic, infectious or autoimmune categories). Interestingly, chronic pruritus tends to be more of a problem as one ages.
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Originally Posted by spifflog View Post
No history has judged Halsey and found him to be negligent at Leyte Gulf, and correctly so.
I'm assuming there should be a comma between "no" and "history".
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Old 09-15-2017, 09:23 PM
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I'm assuming there should be a comma between "no" and "history".
Meh. His prophecy did not become true, but the USA won the Second World War.
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#40
Old 09-15-2017, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Johnny L.A. View Post
Admiral Halsey notified me he had to have a berth or he couldn't get to sea.
Jesus! Always thought it was surf... Berth makes more sense. Thankyaveramuch.
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#41
Old 09-17-2017, 07:52 AM
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psoriasis is more likely to be always present. Its inate in the genes, or immune system configuration, of the person..


Shingles is caused by a virus, which bides its time hiding insides neurons and breaks out at times, eg when the persons immune system is lowered and it escapes from neuron to skin ..
Also, being a navy guy in close quarters with elderly people.. if an elderly person there had an outbreak of shingles, its possible that the other personnel on board also got shingles.

So there's another clue.. why can't he do his duties with a bit of sick skin ? because he has a highly infectious disease that could spread to the rest of the crew ?
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Old 09-17-2017, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Isilder View Post
Also, being a navy guy in close quarters with elderly people.. if an elderly person there had an outbreak of shingles, its possible that the other personnel on board also got shingles.

So there's another clue.. why can't he do his duties with a bit of sick skin ? because he has a highly infectious disease that could spread to the rest of the crew ?
Shingles could be contagious in that someone with oozing blisters could infect someone with the varicella zoster virus on direct contact, causing chickenpox if they've never been infected before. But you can't directly catch shingles from someone else. I never heard that Halsey was sidelined because of oozing, dripping blisters or that he was prone to hugging other crew members and thus risking disease spread.

Widespread chronic skin diseases can cause misery in other ways than pain (i.e. severe itching).
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Old 09-17-2017, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Jackmannii View Post
I never heard that Halsey was sidelined because of oozing, dripping blisters or that he was prone to hugging other crew members and thus risking disease spread.
Maybe the guy who had to pick up his hat.
#44
Old 09-17-2017, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
The real hero of Midway was Captain Joseph Rochefort and his team of codebreakers at Pearl Harbor, who had provided the information on the Japanese plan to the US Admirals. He argued with the Washington DC Intelligence group, who were quite fooled by the Japanese misinformation, and thought the Midway attack would come a month later. Luckily Nimitz, CiC Pacific, believed him. (But the Washington bureaucrats got even with Rochefort afterwards; he never again got promoted,never got a sea command, never got any recognition or medals, and was eventually transferred to a minor job elsewhere.)
He did, indeed, get screwed over medal-wise but partially at his request. When Nimitz put him up for a DSM, Rochefort demurred saying that it would only make trouble. He was awarded the Legion of Merit, no small potatoes, before the end of the war and posthumously awarded the DSM and Presidential Medal of Freedom as well as induction into the NSA's Central Security Service's Hall of Fame.

OP-20-G was understandably embarrassed by Rochefort's intelligence coup. Not only did it insist the Japanese attack would take place much later in June, their bet was that it would be in the Aleutians or New Guinea or even the west coast of the US -- anywhere but Midway. As an ex-navy spook (direction finding, not sigint) Rochefort is one of my heroes.
#45
Old 09-18-2017, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by OttoDaFe View Post
Whatever it was that beached Halsey just before Midway, I consider it serendipitous in the extreme: unlike Spruance, who retired (temporarily) to the east after concluding air operations on the 4th, Halsey would most likely have driven full speed to the west — and perhaps into the big guns of Kondo and Yamamoto's surface forces, just in time for a night gun battle.
This is exactly what I was going to say, only to be ninja'd by 8 years.

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Originally Posted by 633squadron View Post
Uh...

It was Spruance who, at Saipan, interpreted his orders to mean that his primary duty was to protect the landings. After this led to a missed opportunity, Halsey demanded and got orders that allowed him to go after and destroy the enemy fleet as his primary mission.
Spruance didn't 'interpret' his orders to mean that his primary duty was to protect the landings. Those were his orders and that was his primary duty. There was no missed opportunity, Japanese carrier-based naval aviation was irrevocably destroyed as any kind of meaningful force at the Battle of the Philippine Sea. Three of their fleet carriers were sunk, and the loss of carrier trained pilots was so severe that they couldn't even come up with enough (poorly) carrier trained pilots to fill the remaining 1 fleet and 3 light carriers in October 1944 at Leyte Gulf.

Halsey also most certainly did not demand or get orders allowing him to vaingloriously abandon the landing force at Leyte Gulf without leaving so much as a picket destroyer guarding San Bernardino Strait, much less not bother to inform anyone that he was leaving San Bernardino Strait unguarded and unwatched.
#46
Old 10-26-2017, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by DesertDog View Post
He did, indeed, get screwed over medal-wise but partially at his request. When Nimitz put him up for a DSM, Rochefort demurred saying that it would only make trouble. He was awarded the Legion of Merit, no small potatoes, before the end of the war and posthumously awarded the DSM and Presidential Medal of Freedom as well as induction into the NSA's Central Security Service's Hall of Fame.

OP-20-G was understandably embarrassed by Rochefort's intelligence coup. Not only did it insist the Japanese attack would take place much later in June, their bet was that it would be in the Aleutians or New Guinea or even the west coast of the US -- anywhere but Midway. As an ex-navy spook (direction finding, not sigint) Rochefort is one of my heroes.
DesertDog, many thanks for this information. I was depressed at reading about Rochefort's treatment but cheered by your follow up.
#47
Old 10-26-2017, 10:09 PM
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Shingles is most often a painful nuisance and usually affects the midsection--hence the name which is derived from some old word for belt. However, it can be dangerous in elderly people, especially if it strikes in an unexpected place. I had an outbreak on my face--the sores developed very quickly. My girlfriend at the time took one look at me and demanded I go to the ER. In the cab on the way, she blurted out, "my grandmother died of shingles." Way to handle the crisis...her grandma had the sores in her throat and it essentially choked her. The outbreak on my face was serious and rare, though. For a little while the doctors were afraid I'd lose sight in one eye. And, as I went to a university hospital, they asked to take my picture to show med students what facial shingles look like. They said I wouldn't be identifiable, but this was before digital cameras so I don't know what the picture actually showed.
#48
Old 10-27-2017, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by TSBG View Post
In the cab on the way, she blurted out, "my grandmother died of shingles." Way to handle the crisis.
A minister I know visited people in the hospital, as Ministers do.
He was in the hospital and was in turn visited by one of the little old church ladies. Upon finding out what Eddie had, she said, "My cousin had the same thing", snapping her fingers, "Went like that!"
#49
Old 10-27-2017, 08:45 AM
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On a related note, there's a new, more effective shingles vaccine.

I'm getting on that bandwagon ASAP.
#50
Old 10-27-2017, 02:53 PM
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While Halsey shouldn't have let himself be lured off at Leyte, the real fault lies wit the people in the Navy who expressed dissatisfaction with Spruance and those who put Halsey back in the saddle. There was considerable criticism of Spruance at the time by aggressive officers, and essentially Halsey being put in charge sent the message: next time go after them instead fighting defensively.

I have a hard time blaming someone for doing what he was appointed to do. it was a mistake, but as much a mistake by his superiors (Nimitz?) as by Halsey.
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