The early morning hours of July 6, 1943, found the USS Helena off the Solomon Islands in what would later be known as the Battle of Kula Gulf. But the ship’s participation in the battle came to a swift end when three Japanese torpedoes suddenly struck. One hundred and sixty-eight sailors went down with the ship, many never surviving the initial torpedo hits. As the last of the Helena disappeared below the ocean’s surface, the remaining crewmen’s struggle for survival had only just begun. Sunk in Kula Gulf tells the epic story of the Helena’s survivors. Two destroyers plucked more than seven hundred from the sea in a night rescue operation as the battle continued to rage. A second group of eighty-eight sailors --clustered into three lifeboats--made it to a nearby island and was rescued the next day. A third group of survivors, spread over a wide area, was missed entirely. Clinging to life rafts or debris, the weary men were pushed away from the area of the sinking by a strong current. After enduring days at sea under the hot tropical sun, they finally found land. It was, however, the Japanese-held island of Vella Lavella and deep behind the front lines. The survivors organized and disappeared into the island’s interior jungle. Living a meager existence, the group evaded the Japanese for eight days until the Marines and U.S. Navy evacuated the shipwrecked sailors in a daring rescue operation. Using a wide variety of sources, including previously unpublished firsthand accounts, John J. Domagalski brings to life this amazing, little-known story from World War II.
Named as the North American Book Exchanges winner of the 2008 Pinnacle Book Achievement Award in the Reference catagory, this book is laid out like a calendar containing information pertaining to World War II. In going to a specific date, you will find it divided by area (i.e. Western Europe, North America etc.). Those areas are further divided by year. What makes it unique is that those years range from the 1800s to the present day. The information includes everything from actual battles, to the final fate of a favorite ship, to the activities of movie stars during the war. It covers the first six months of the year. Volume Two takes care of the last six months.
Shipwrecked on a South Pacific island, a young US Navy lieutenant waged a one-man war against the Japanese In the early hours of July 5, 1943, the destroyer USS Strong was hit by a Japanese torpedo. The powerful weapon broke the destroyer's back, killed dozens of sailors, and sparked raging fires. While accompanying ships were able to take off most of Strong's surviving crewmembers, scores went into the ocean as the once-proud warship sank beneath the waves--and a young officer's harrowing story of survival began. Lieutenant Hugh Barr Miller, a pre-war football star at the University of Alabama, went into the water as the vessel sank. Severely injured, Miller and several others survived three days at sea and eventually landed on a Japanese-occupied island. The survivors found fresh water and a few coconuts, but Miller, suffering from internal injuries and believing he was on the verge of death, ordered the others to go on without him. They reluctantly did do, believing, as Miller did, that he would be dead within hours. But Miller didn't die, and his health improved enough for him to begin searching for food. He also found the enemy--Japanese forces patrolling the island. Miller was determined to survive, and so launched a one-man war against the island's occupiers. Based on official American and Japanese histories, personal memoirs, and the author's exclusive interviews with many of the story's key participants, The Castaway's War is a rousing story of naval combat, bravery, and determination.
Not much larger than a few city blocks (219 acres, plus 72 acres of water), the Brooklyn Navy Yard is one of the most historically significant sites in America. It was one of the U.S. Navy’s major shipbuilding and repair yards from 1801 to 1966. It produced more than 80 warships and hundreds of smaller vessels. At its height during World War II, it worked around the clock, employing some 70,000 people. The yard built the Monitor, the world’s first modern warship; the Maine, whose destruction set off the Spanish-American War; the Arizona, whose sinking launched America into World War II; and the Missouri, on whose deck World War II ended. On June 25, 1966, the flag at the Brooklyn Navy Yard was lowered for the last time and the 165-year-old institution ceased to exist. Sold to the City of New York for $22.4 million, the yard became a site for storage of vehicles, some light industry, and a modest amount of civilian ship repair.
Abandon Ship is a fascinating account of enlisted life onboard U.S. naval warships in the Pacific Theater during WW2. Bill Jim Davis, the author, provides a riveting account of what it was like for him as a young seaman during those hazardous times. Amazingly, his individual experiences took him from the attack on Pearl Harbor to Okinawa, to the Japanese mainland, and from a new recruit to a commissioned officer by wars end. The reader gets a vivid, blow by blow account of the war in the Pacific. Anyone who wishes to see the war in the Pacific from the well trained eyes of a young sailor will find great value in this book. We, as a nation, are forever indebted to the young Davis and countless others like him who answered the call to duty and performed with valor. Such accounts are an invaluable reminder to future generations of the sacrifice, courage, and vigilance required to maintain the liberty and freedom we all enjoy in our great nation. Those young men and women who aspire to service in the United States Navy would be well served by reading this book.
Originally printed in 1946 at the order of Vice Admiral Lockwood, Commander of Submarines, Pacific Fleet, United States Submarine Losses memorializes the 374 officers and 3131 men lost at sea between 1941 and 1945. It also chronicles the gallantry and persistence of these men, who under the most difficult conditions possible, performed critical missions and almost single-handedly decimated Japan¿s merchant fleet. ¿To those whose contribution meant the loss of sons, brothers or husbands in this war,¿ Admiral Lockwood noted in a speech given on Navy Day, 1945, ¿ I can assure you that they went down fighting and that their brothers who survived them took a grim toll of our savage enemy to avenge their deaths. May God rest their gallant souls.¿ This book is a testament to all those, living and dead, who served in the Silent Service in WWII. This enhanced, softbound edition features the entire original text and includes an official appendix of Axis submarine losses.