Sailors aboard the USS Yorktown (CV 10) enjoy Christmas in their own way at sea, December 22, 1944. Department of Defense. U.S. Naval Institute Photo Archives
A reason to celebrate:
On November 7, the aircraft carrier changed operational control to TG 38.1 and, for the next two weeks, launched air strikes on targets in the Philippines in support of the Leyte invasion. Detached from the task force on November 23, Yorktown arrived back in Ulithi on November 24. She remained there until December 10, at which time she put to sea to rejoin TF 38. She rendezvoused with the other carriers on December 13 and began launching air strikes on targets on the island of Luzon in preparation for the invasion of that island scheduled for the second week in January.
On December 17, the task force began its retirement from the Luzon strikes. During that retirement, TF 38 steamed through the center of the famous typhoon of December 1944. That storm sank three destroyers – Spence, Hull, and Monaghan – and Yorktown participated in some of the rescue operations for the survivors of those three destroyers. The warship arrived back in Ulithi on December 24.