This compelling tale of courage, heroism, and sheer terror is told in the actual words of the young, World War II destroyer escort sailors who lived to share their experiences. They came from the farms, small towns, and large cities all across the nation, sent out on the high seas to battle the Nazis and Japanese. Facing mortal danger, this unseasoned crop of teenage recruits went to sea aboard destroyer escorts, a novel yet untested vessel, designed by a man with no formal training in ship design, and which many navy officials viewed as a waste of money.
Led by Ivy League college boys more accustomed to being aboard yachts than warships, these young men are credited with helping to turn the tide of the war in the Atlantic, single-handedly sinking some seventy U-boats, and then fighting side-by-side with Allied battleships and destroyers in every major Pacific battle. Although President Franklin Roosevelt first wanted these vessels built in 1940, navy brass convinced him to use the nation's limited resources to build more American destroyers instead, a mistake that would carry a heavy price for the Allies. The author interviewed 91 destroyer escort (DE) sailors and officers from 56 different ships, and was given access to secretly kept war diaries, and other never-before-published information and photographs to illustrate the remarkable stories of this group of heroes to whom this nation owes a very special debt.
About the Author
Robert F. Cross, author of Sailor in the White House: the Seafaring Life of FDR, is a trustee of the USS Slater, the last destroyer escort still afloat in the United States, and fully restored to its original World War II configuration. He also serves as Commissioner of the Port of Albany, New York, and is Water Commissioner for the City of Albany. He is a former award-winning newspaper correspondent. He lives in Albany, NY.
Publisher: Naval Institute Press
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 562 g
Dimensions: 228 x 156 x 25 mm
Shepherds of the Sea is an interesting book. . . .well researched and pays tribute to the brave sailors of this overlooked naval force. Furthermore, within the text Cross includes a pleasant assortment of pictures from everyday life aboard Destroyer Escorts. This book is recommended to naval historians looking for a collection of first-hand accounts from the men serving during this era, and to general readers interested in the maritime aspects of World War II. As a former U.S. Navy sailor, the reviewer also recommends it to fellow shipmates. From the greenest recruits to the saltiest veterans. * The Journal of Military History *
Shepherds of the Sea presents an interesting and often vivid look at life aboard a destroyer escort. * The Journal of America's Military Past *