Faith and the Battle of Leyte
When the small task force in charge of protecting Gen. MacArthur‘s rearguard found itself surprised by the Japanese Center Force in Leyte Gulf on Oct. 23, 1944, they didn’t expect to win. Twenty-seven Japanese warships — including the largest battleship ever made, the fearsome Yamato — bore down on Taffy 3 U.S. Task Force to blast landed U.S. troop like sitting ducks.
The U.S., who didn’t expect the enemy to appear on the horizon, left land forces protected only by planes with depth charges and destroyers so light they were called “tin cans.”
First they set up smoke screens to mask the retreat of U.S. aircraft carriers. While these light destroyers were doing this, Capt. Evans of the U.S.S. Johnston, without orders, broke ranks and charged the approaching ships on a torpedo run. Other ships watched incredulous what would surely be a suicide mission.
But the Johnston miraculously
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