Cumberland Goes To War
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Cumberland Goes To War is a community heritage project coordinated and promoted by Allegany County Tourism in partnership with the Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority, the City of Cumberland, Western Maryland Scenic Railroad and the Allegany County Chamber of Commerce. Funded in part by the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, the Allegany County Commissioners and the City of Cumberland. More information about the project and/or the images in the archive can be obtained by emailing info@cumberlandgoestowar.com.


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Registered: August 2008
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TM 3/C Albert Rosley, 20, was assigned to the destroyer, USS Spence when it was capsized on December 18, 1944 south of Luzon during a typhoon.


On December 17, pence prepared to refuel and pumped out all of the salt water ballast from her tanks; but rough seas caused the fueling operations to be canceled. The next day, the weather worsened and the storm turned into a major typhoon. As the ships wallowed in canyon-like troughs of brine, Spence's electrical equipment got wet from great quantities of sea water taken on board. After a 72 degree roll to port, all of the lights went out and the pumps stopped. The rudder jammed; and, after a deep roll to port about 1100, Spence capsized and sank. Two other destroyers, Hull (DD-350) and Monaghan (DD-354) were also sunk in the typhoon.


Rosley was one of only 24 survivors of a crew of 347 men. He and 18 other men clung to a floater net of rope while winds of more than 110 miles an hour and waves over 70 feet high beat against him. When they were rescued two days and nights later, only Rosley and five other men had survived.

The story of the USS Spence and the other ships of the Third Fleet can be found in the book, "Typhoon: The Other Enemy, The Third Fleet and the Pacific Store of December 1944" written by Captain C. Raymond Calhoun, U.S. Navy (retired).


The USS Spence was laid down on May 18, 1942 from the Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine and launched on October 27, 1942.
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