Combat Loaded: Across the Pacific on the USS Tate

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The first authoritative history of any of the more than 350 attack transports or attack cargo ships of World War II, Combat Loaded: Across the Pacific on the USS Tate contains gripping combat narratives alongside the sometimes heartwarming, sometimes tragic details of daily life on board the ships of Transport Squadron 17 during the waning days of World War II.

Author Thomas E. Crew interviewed over fifty veterans of the Tate, including all her surviving officers. Crew weaves a rich tapestry of voices, combining it with extensive analysis of the Tate’s daily action reports and ship’s logs, accented by lively letters of the period from private collections—including previously unpublished accounts of the last days of famed war correspondent Ernie Pyle.

Crew also presents a rare unit-level perspective of joint operations involving the infantry fighting ashore and the navy transports that sustained them with their vital combat cargo. The resulting richly illustrated work presents perhaps the most comprehensive account to date of the experiences and courageous contributions of those who served on amphibious transports during World War II.

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Editorial Reviews

Journal of Military History
With superb maps and photographs throughout the text, Combat Loaded is a fascinating read. It is a rare combination of a ship's history, the recollections of her crew, and an analysis of the joint army-navy operations visible from her decks.
Nautical Research Journal
. . . an interesting and welcome addition to the literature of the United States Navy during World War II in the Pacific. It is the personal interjections, along with the historical backdrop, and technical nature of the narrative that makes Combat Loaded such an enjoyable read for any audience.
East Texas Historical Journal
What makes Combat Loaded successful is emphasis on context and the personal side of war, including reflections of the author's father, who served on the Tate. It contains ample detail for students of military history but tempers the technical with the range of human emotions, from tragedy and depression to humor and pride. And throughout, the narrative flows effectively and dramatically. The book is the first for Thomas E. Crew, longtime staff member of the Naval Oceanographic Office, but given his talent for weaving details of history with complexities of humanity, it should not be his last.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

THOMAS E. CREW has worked for the Naval Oceanographic Office for almost twenty years. He lives in Long Beach, Mississippi. This is his first book.
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2007

    A fine tribute to those who served in our Amphibious Forces

    This is a very well researched book about the men who served on our Amphibious Ships during WWII. The detail can't be found in any other source. It's not just the story of one ship, it's the story of all the ships that helped win the war. In addition to being incredibly well researched it is very readable and a must read of those who served, their families and those who want to learn about this part of our history.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 1, 2009

    "Combat Loaded" Across the Pacific on the USS Tate (AKA-70)

    I was among the 215 amphibious landing craft crew (SLCU 28) that was picked up on Kauai, Hawaii, by the USS Tate 1/28/45. We proceeded on to Eniwetok in the Marshall Islands, then to Ulithi in the Caroline Islands, and finally on to Leyte/Samar, Philippines, arriving 2/15/45. Our mission was to establish an Amphibious and PT Boat base (this was at the same time as the Iwo Jima campaign). I found it amazing how the writer, Thomas E. Crew, was able to recreate all the accurate details of every happening aboard the USS Tate at that time. I have thought many, many times about that time in my life as an 18 year old, and I just happened to find this book while browsing the internet. It brought the entire experience alive for me again. Thank you, Mr. Crew.
    Bill J. Bogard, Dallas, Texas,

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