World Battlefronts: Catastrophe

West of the U.S. naval base at St. John's, Newfoundland, a long spit of land juts southwest toward the islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon. Lieut. Commander Ralph Hickox, skipper of the elderly flush-deck destroyer Truxtun, knew he was somewhere near the end of the spit, but he could not see. The wind was blowing more than 60 miles an hour and low-flying scud dropped the visibility toward zero. The Truxtun ran aground. So did the naval supply ship Pollux. The waves, pounding in like sledgehammers to the base of a 200-ft. cliff, began...

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