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Late Finds. The study of history never ends as we continue to learn new things about the past.


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Condition Red: Destroyer action in the south Pacific

Frederick Jackson Bell

As we passed Hutchinson Reef the loud-speaker in the pilot house blared forth with “Condition Red over Guadalcanal. Condition Red. Many planes.” What was it like to be trapped upon a ship and constantly under threat of attack from Japanese forces?

Frederick J. Bell, commander of the USS Grayson during World War Two, dramatically exposes the mental and physical strain that his crew and ship underwent through the course of the first few years of conflict.

No stone is left unturned in Bell’s account, as he explains how he and his crew survived strafing by Japanese planes, navigated the treacherous waters of the South Pacific, assisted fellow ships in peril and overcame the tedious moments of boredom.

Admiral Bell takes the reader to the heart of the action which he witnessed first-hand and explains the vital role that destroyers played in the Pacific War.

They fulfilled a variety of roles, from escorting convoys and guarding Task Forces, to bombing enemy shorelines and providing much needed supplies to the army and marines fighting on the islands.

There are few accounts that better document naval warfare during the Second World War.

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Shipmates: The Men of LSC 52 In World War II

Gary Burns

In late 1944, 78 U.S. Navy sailors and officers climbed aboard a ship just 150 feet long and 23 feet wide, and headed toward the sound of gunfire. One of a class of gunboats known as "mighty midgets," LCS 52 carried an arsenal equal to ships twice its size. Yet its shallow draft enabled it to maneuver to within a few hundred feet of any beach. Packed inside the tiny craft, the diverse crew were farmers, students, cooks and teachers. They ranged from age 17 to middle-aged—a few had seen combat in the Atlantic and the Pacific. This book tells the story of the ship’s extensive service in World War II’s Pacific Theater. Most of the crew survived the war, as did LCS 52 itself, serving in the U.S. Navy and Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force until 1958, when it was decommissioned and used for artillery practice. A roll call of crew members is included, with biographical information when available

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The Fall of Japan: The Final Weeks of World War II in the Pacific

William Craig

William Craig, author of Enemy at the Gates (made into a motion picture in 2001), provides a riveting account of all the players behind Japan's inevitable confrontation with the West. His compelling narrative follows the driving ambition of General Hideki Tojo, the Army strongman who rose to Minister of War and then to Japanese Premier, and Isoroku Yamamoto, mastermind of the attack on Pearl Harbor. After the Japanese suffered their defeat at Midway in 1942, they no longer ruled the Pacific. By 1944, they knew any possibility of victory was remote. From their daring plans to regain control of the sea to the nightmare that followed the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, this fascinating chronicle captures all the tension of a nation at war.


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