Gerald Ford is nearly killed in World War II, December 18, 1944
While he is serving aboard the light aircraft carrier USS Monterey, the ship is struck by Typhoon Cobra near the Philippines. The storm is so severe that it sinks several destroyers, killing nearly eight hundred US sailors. The pitching Monterey is buffeted by screaming winds and seventy-foot waves. Young Lieutenant Ford ventures onto the exposed flight deck to climb a ladder to the ship’s wheelhouse. Suddenly, a wave taller than the Monterey itself breaks over the side of the ship, sending Ford toward the Pacific Ocean. At the very last minute, he grabs a small metal catwalk, and pulls himself to safety.