Access your Project MUSE content using one of the login options below Close(X)
Browse Results For:
USS Queens, SS Excambion, and USTS Texas Clipper
Starting its life as an attack transport in World War II—and one of the last five left afloat by war’s end—the USS Queens saw action at Iwo Jima and other hot spots in the Pacific theater. After the war, the ship became the SS Excambion, one of the “Four Aces” of American Export Lines: the only fully air-conditioned ships in the world at the time. In 1965, the versatile Excambion underwent yet another transformation—into a floating classroom. Recommissioned as the USTS Texas Clipper, the ship began a third life as a merchant marine training vessel with its home port in Galveston. For the next three decades the Texas Clipper would be home to merchant marine cadets, and by the time it was retired in 1996, it was the oldest active ship in the U.S. merchant marine fleet. Finally, the Texas Clipper, after protracted bureaucratic wrangling, was designated to be sunk in the Gulf of Mexico as an artificial reef to provide habitat for marine life. In 2009, the ship was towed to its final resting place, seventeen nautical miles off the coast of South Padre Island. Now, 136 feet below the surface, the venerable Texas Clipper lives on as the home to a wide variety of underwater species. Filled not only with meticulously researched technical and historical data about the ship’s construction, service record, crew procedures, and voyages, The Ship That Would Not Die also features lively anecdotes from crew members, passengers, and officers. More than 140 color and black-and-white photos illustrate the ship’s construction, its wide variety of shipboard life, the exacting process of making the Texas Clipper ready to become an artificial reef, and its final sinking in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Submarine Gun War in the Pacific
World War II submariners rarely experienced anything as exhilarating or horrifying as the surface gun attack. Between the ocean floor and the rolling whitecaps above, submarines patrolled a dark abyss in a fusion of silence, shadows, and steel, firing around eleven thousand torpedoes, sinking Japanese men-of-war and more than one thousand merchant ships. But the anonymity and simplicity of the stealthy torpedo attack hid the savagery of warfare—a stark difference from the brutality of the surface gun maneuver. As the submarine shot through the surface of the water, confined sailors scrambled through the hatches armed with large-caliber guns and met the enemy face-to-face. Surface and Destroy: The Submarine Gun War in the Pacific reveals the nature of submarine warfare in the Pacific Ocean during World War II and investigates the challenges of facing the enemy on the surface. The surface battle amplified the realities of war, bringing submariners into close contact with survivors and potential prisoners of war. As Japan’s larger ships disappeared from the Pacific theater, American submarines turned their attention to smaller craft such as patrol boats, schooners, sampans, and junks. Some officers refused to attack enemy vessels of questionable value, while others attacked reluctantly and tried to minimize casualties. Michael Sturma focuses on the submariners’ reactions and attitudes toward their victims, exploring the sailors’ personal standards of morality and their ability to wage total war. Surface and Destroy is a thorough analysis of the submariner experience and the effects of surface attacks on the war in the Pacific, offering a compelling study of the battles that became “intolerably personal.”
A History of USS Portland
"Few ships in American history have had as illustrious a history as the heavy cruiser USS Portland (CA-33), affectionately known by her crew as 'Sweet Pea.' With the destructionof most of the U.S. battleship fleet at Pearl Harbor, cruisers such as Sweet Pea carried the biggest guns the Navy possessed for nearly a year after the start of World War II. Sweet Pea at War describes in harrowing detail how Portland and her sisters protected the precious carriers and held the line against overwhelming Japanese naval strength. Portland was instrumental in the dramatic American victories at the Battle of the Coral Sea, the Battle of Midway, and the naval battle of Guadalcanal--conflicts that historians regard as turning points in the Pacific war. She rescued nearly three thousand sailors from sunken ships, some of them while she herself was badly damaged. Only a colossal hurricane ended her career, but she sailed home from that, too. Based on extensive research in official documents and interviews with members of the ship's crew, Sweet Pea at War recounts from launching to scrapping the history of USS Portland, demonstrating that she deserves to be remembered as one of the most important ships in U.S. naval history.
With the 11th Armored from the Battle of the Bulge to VE Day
"We followed the acting company commander as his tank started up the narrow road [into Noville]. There were destroyed buildings and disabled German tanks and vehicles everywhere we looked. I was the driver of the fourth tank in the column. It was getting dark and hard to see, so I was driving with my head partway out of the hatch. There was a church on our right and a small crossroads just beyond it. As we passed the crossroads, I saw the burning phosphorus of an armored piercing shell go over my head. Were we in enemy territory? All of a sudden, someone on the radio said, 'The tank of the third platoon leader's been hit.'... I closed my hatch and turned the periscope to look back toward town. I saw many German soldiers filing out of buildings." -- from the book
Tank Driver is the story of a young man's combat initiation in World War II. Based on letters home, the sparse narrative has the immediacy of on-the-spot reporting. Ted Hartman was a teenager when he was sent overseas to drive a Sherman tank into combat to face the desperate German counterattack known as the Battle of the Bulge. Hartman gives a riveting account of the shifting tides of battle and the final Allied breakout. He tells about the concentration camps, the spectacle of the defeated Germans, and the dramatic encounter with Russian soldiers in Austria that marked combat's end. This is a vivid, personal account of some of the most dramatic fighting of World War II.
U.S. Navy Strategic Exercises, 1923–1940
The Pacific Theater in World War II depended on American sea power. This power was refined between 1923 and 1940, when the U.S. Navy held twenty-one major fleet exercises designed to develop strategy and allow officers to enact plans in an operational setting. Prior to 1923, naval officers relied heavily on the theories of Capt. Alfred Thayer Mahan, who argued that sea control was vital to military victory, best attained through use of the battleship. Fleet exercises, however, allowed valuable practice with other military resources and theories. As a direct result of these exercises, the navy incorporated different technologies and updated its own outdated strategies. Although World War II brought unforeseen challenges and the disadvantages of simulation exercises quickly became apparent, fleet "problems" may have opened the door to different ideas that allowed the U.S Navy ultimately to succeed. Testing American Sea Power challenges the conventional wisdom that Mahanian theory held the American Navy in a steel grip. Felker's research and analysis, the first to concentrate on the navy's interwar exercises, will make a valuable contribution to naval history for historians, military professionals, and naval instructors.
The Battle for Air Superiority Over Germany, 1942-1944
To Command the Sky is a scholarly record of the fight for domination of the skies over western Europe during World War II. It also explains the technical details of the tactics used to defeat the Luftwaffe. This book is important for serious students of World War II or military aviation.
The Story of the Only African-American WACS Stationed Overseas During World War II
I would have climbed up a mountain to get on the list [to serve overseas]. We were going to do our duty. Despite all the bad things that happened, America was our home. This is where I was born. It was where my mother and father were. There was a feeling of wanting to do your part.
--Gladys Carter, member of the 6888th
To Serve My Country, to Serve my Race is the story of the historic 6888th, the first United States Women's Army Corps unit composed of African-American women to serve overseas.
While African-American men and white women were invited, if belatedly, to serve their country abroad, African-American women were excluded for overseas duty throughout most of WWII. Under political pressure from legislators like Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., the NAACP, the black press, and even President Roosevelt, the U.S. War Department was forced to deploy African-American women to the European theater in 1945.
African-American women, having succeeded, through their own activism and political ties, in their quest to shape their own lives, answered the call from all over the country, from every socioeconomic stratum. Stationed in France and England at the end of World War II, the 6888th brought together women like Mary Daniel Williams, a cook in the 6888th who signed up for the Army to escape the slums of Cleveland and to improve her ninth-grade education, and Margaret Barnes Jones, a public relations officer of the 6888th, who grew up in a comfortable household with a politically active mother who encouraged her to challenge the system.
Despite the social, political, and economic restrictions imposed upon these African-American women in their own country, they were eager to serve, not only out of patriotism but out of a desire to uplift their race and dispell bigoted preconceptions about their abilities. Elaine Bennett, a First Sergeant in the 6888th, joined because "I wanted to prove to myself and maybe to the world that we would give what we had back to the United States as a confirmation that we were full- fledged citizens."
Filled with compelling personal testimony based on extensive interviews, To Serve My Country is the first book to document the lives of these courageous pioneers. It reveals how their Army experience affected them for the rest of their lives and how they, in turn, transformed the U.S. military forever.
The Final Voyage of the Escort Carrier USS Liscome Bay
A GI's Story of World War II
<p class="red">Thirty riveting months in the life of a common infantryman, one among the "citizen soldiers" who took the Allies to victory
When drafted into the army in 1943, A. Cleveland Harrison was a reluctant eighteen-year-old Arkansas student sure that he would not make a good soldier. But inside thirty months he manfully bore arms and more. This book is his memoir about becoming a soldier, a common infantryman among the ranks of those who truly won the war.
After the Allied victory in 1945, books by and about the major statesmen, generals, and heroes of World War II appeared regularly. Yet millions of American soldiers who helped achieve and secure victory slipped silently into civilian life, trying to forget the war and what they had done. Most remain unsung, for virtually none thought of themselves as exceptional. During the war ordinary soldiers had only done what they believed their country expected.
Harrison's firsthand account is the full history of what happened to him in three units from 1943 to 1946, disclosing the sensibilities, the conflicting emotions, and the humor that coalesced within the naive draftee. He details the induction and basic training procedures, his student experiences in Army pre-engineering school, his infantry training and overseas combat, battle wounds and the complete medical pipeline of hospitalization and recovery, the waits in replacement depots, life in the Army of Occupation, and his discharge.
Wrenched from college and denied the Army Specialized Training Program's promise of individual choice in assignment, students were thrust into the infantry. Harrison's memoir describes training in the Ninety-fourth Infantry Division in the U.S., their first combat holding action at Lorient, France, and the division's race to join Patton's Third Army, where Harrison's company was decimated and he was wounded while attacking the Siegfried Line. Reassigned to the U.S. Group Control Council, he had a unique opportunity to observe both the highest echelons in military government and the ordinary soldiers as Allied troops occupied Berlin.
This veteran's memoir reveals all aspects of military life and sings of those valorous but ordinary soldiers who achieved the victory.
A. Cleveland Harrison is an emeritus professor of theatre at Auburn University.