BOOK REVIEW – Sunk in Kula Gulf: The Final Voyage of USS Helena and the Incredible Story of Her Survivors in World War II

By John J. Domagalski, Potomac Books, Washington, DC (2012) Reviewed by John Grady The greatest strength of John Domagalski’s Sunk in Kula Gulf lies in the interviews he conducted with survivors of the cruiser Helena’s sinking after it was torpedoed early 6 July 1943. While I found the first few chapters’ routine, the story picks

BOOK REVIEW – Deadly PT Boat Patrols, A History: Task Group 50.1 New Guinea 1942-43

By Allan L. Lawrence, Self-Published with assistance from the Ellington Printery, Ellington, CT (2014) Reviewed by Nathan D. Wells The strategic impact that the U.S. Navy exercised during the Second World War, especially in the Pacific Theater of Operations, is well known. The combination of aircraft carrier battle groups and amphibious task forces proved a

BOOK REVIEW – Silent Strength: Remembering the Men of Genius and Adventure Lost in the World’s Worst Submarine Disaster

By D. Allen Kerr, Jetty House, Portsmouth, NH (2014) Reviewed by Greg Stitz Silent Strength: Remembering the Men of Genius and Adventure Lost in the World’s Worst Submarine Disaster can best be summed up using the title of one of its own chapters – “One Disaster, 129 Stories.” Silent Strength is the story of USS

BOOK REVIEW – MacArthur and Halsey’s “Pacific Island Hoppers”: The Forgotten Fleet of World War II

By David D. Bruhn, Heritage Books, Inc., Berwyn Heights, MD (2014) Reviewed By Christopher B. Havern Through well-executed strikes by its land and naval forces, the Japanese Empire conquered vast stretches of Southeast Asia, the Southwest Pacific, and the Central Pacific in the six months after the attack on Pearl Harbor. In the process they

BOOK REVIEW – Axis Midget Submarines: 1939 – 1945

By Mark Stille and Jamie Prenatt, Osprey Press, Great Britain (2014) Reviewed by James H. McClelland Sr.          Senior Defense Department analyst Jamie E. Prenatt collaborated with retired Navy Commander and frequent Osprey author Mark E. Stille to research and write Axis Midget Submarines. Prenatt, who has taught military history, war gaming,

Bats Against the Axis PART IV: 11 Days in September

A Four-Part Blog Series By Matthew T. Eng Baseball in Norfolk radically changed the lives of the countless sailors stationed there during World War II. As a means of diversion, sailors at NTS Norfolk created their own private baseball utopia amidst the horrors of war waiting for them in the European and Pacific Theaters. The

Bats Against the Axis PART III: The Beginning of a Rivalry

A Four-Part Blog Series By Matthew T. Eng  Baseball in Norfolk radically changed the lives of the countless sailors stationed there during World War II. As a means of diversion, sailors at NTS Norfolk created their own private baseball utopia amidst the horrors of war waiting for them in the European and Pacific Theaters. Part

Bats Against the Axis PART II: King McClure and His Loyal Subjects

Baseball in Norfolk radically changed the lives of the countless sailors stationed there during World War II. As a means of diversion, sailors at NTS Norfolk created their own private baseball utopia amidst the horrors of war waiting for them in the European and Pacific Theaters. Part two of the four part series. READ PART

Bats Against the Axis: Diversion, Community, and Heritage at the 1943 Navy World Series (PART I)

A Four-Part Blog Series By Matthew T. Eng In the summer of 1943, the best baseball in the United States was played in Norfolk, VA. Unfortunately, you couldn’t just buy any ticket to see diamond stars like Fred Hutchinson, Dom DiMaggio, and Phil Rizzuto play that year – you had to enlist. This four part

The Anchored Roots of Naval History: American Export Explores Storied Family Past at Navy Department Library

By Matthew T. Eng “Every family has a history. Every family has a story. This helps explain why you are the way you are.” It’s fall here in Washington, D.C. The hot summer heat and brown grass are finally giving way to cooler temperatures and changing leaves. For some, this pleasant change in weather can

BOOK REVIEW – Q Ship VS U-Boat: 1914-18

By David Greentree, Osprey Publishing, New York, NY (2014) Reviewed by Sam Craghead With its dependency on merchant ship deliveries, the success of German U-Boats caused grave danger to Great Britain’s lifeline of food and supplies. Created as a countermeasure to the German submarines during World War I, service on a Q Ship became one of

BOOK REVIEW – Into the Dark Water: The Story of the Officers of PT 109

By John J. Domagalski, Casemate Publishers, Havertown, PA 2014 Reviewed by: Tim McGrath Mention PT 109 to the “Greatest Generation” and “Baby Boomers” and you will conjure up a slew of memories: the tie-clips worn by men working for John F. Kennedy in the White House, the bestselling book by Robert J. Donovan, and the

Going Ashore: Naval Operations in Casco Bay During World War II (Part IV)

By George Stewart (This is the fourth and final installment in a series of blog posts covering the various operations conducted in Maine during WWII. Click to read Parts I, II, and III of George Stewart’s blog series about Casco Bay during WWII. To read all other post by George, go HERE.)  PART IV This post