This book describes the early exploits around the globe of a young naval officer who would become a World War II hero.After touring the U. S. S. Pittsburgh in 1926, James Thurber described it as the ""Playship of the World,"" where the daily lives of officers were akin to ""living in the sort of Utopia in which old romantic plays used to drop their curtain and old romantic books close their final page."" Indicative of this adventurous, carefree, and relatively risk-free period between the world wars was the early career of a young naval officer, Dan Gallery, who would eventually achieve the rank of admiral and garner international fame for capturing the German submarine U-505 during World War II. These recently discovered diaries chronicle Gallery's shipboard tours on the Pittsburgh and four other vessels as they steamed to exotic ports in South America, northern Europe, and the Mediterranean during an era when the U.S. Navy's mission was to be highly visible and an officer might expect, as the recruitment motto promised, to see the world.Gallery's diaries are a travelogue through foreign ports, bars, and nightclubs and record a variety of sports competitions - ranging from Gallery's participation as a wrestler in the 1920 Antwerp Olympic Games, to baseball games with a ship's crew in ports from Cairo to Constantinople, to fleetwide athletic contests sponsored by the navy in Panama and Guantanamo Bay. The diaries also recount the coming of age of a naval legend as Gallery describes grappling with shipboard difficulties and contemplating the various directions his career might lead. He also recalls romances with young women across the globe and attempts to maintain his moral and religious principles against temptations of lust and liquor. Throughout Gallery's spirits are high, his friendships numerous, and his outlook clear and unpretentious. Peppered with companionable wit and burgeoning literary talent, the diaries illustrate the humble beginnings of an inspirational figure in military lore.
Publisher: University of South Carolina Press
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 694 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 28 mm