Crossing the Line: A Bluejacket's World War II Odyssey

Overview

A gritty, humorous, and knowing account of an enlisted man's life aboard World War II aircraft carriers, this memoir captures the tedium of a seaman's routine and the terror of the war's great battles, from Pearl Harbor to Hiroshima. Kernan, a longtime humanities professor at Yale and Princeton universities and now a senior adviser at the Andrew W.Mellon Foundation Introduces his memoir on this-time recording by recounting some of his shipmates' responses to Crossing the Line. ...
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Overview

A gritty, humorous, and knowing account of an enlisted man's life aboard World War II aircraft carriers, this memoir captures the tedium of a seaman's routine and the terror of the war's great battles, from Pearl Harbor to Hiroshima. Kernan, a longtime humanities professor at Yale and Princeton universities and now a senior adviser at the Andrew W.Mellon Foundation Introduces his memoir on this-time recording by recounting some of his shipmates' responses to Crossing the Line.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This unpretentious memoir is a significant contribution to the growing body of literature on life as an enlistee in the U.S. armed forces of WWII. Kernan joined the Navy in 1940 at 17 to escape Depression-era Wyoming. He spent most of the war on aircraft carriers: the Hornet at Midway; the Lexington, one of the first carriers to operate night fighters; and finally the escort carrier Sewanee. Kernan's pride in serving on them is evident. His description of boot camp and shipboard routines suggest that, for him, the Navy's often scoffed-at routines were a system that made sense, particularly in combat. (Nov.)
Booknews
Kernan (Andrew W. Mellon Foundation) relates his experiences in the US Navy during WWII. He fought in the battles of Midway and Okinawa, survived the sinking of the carrier USS Hornet at Guadalcanal in 1942, and was involved as an aerial gunner in the first night-fighter action off carriers in 1943. Includes numerous b&w photos. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Roland Green
This worthwhile World War II autobiography is the memoirs of a Wyoming ranch boy who joined the navy in 1941 to get away from rural poverty. He began the war aboard the carrier "Enterprise" on the day Pearl Harbor was attacked and ended it aboard an escort carrier off Japan. His experiences in between included many demanding missions as an aerial gunner, having to abandon the sinking U.S.S. "Hornet", and other episodes with different flavors, such as shore patrol duty, visits to prostitutes, and winning a grubstake for college after the war in a poker game. In spite of his subsequent distinguished academic career at Yale and Princeton, Kernan does not strive for profundities, and as a result, his book is vivid and readable, recalling Theodore Mason's now-classic "Battleship Sailor" (1982).
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557504555
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1994
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 6.25 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.84 (d)

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