Captain Black Mark

Captain Black Mark

by Theodore I. Armstrong


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A true story told through the eyes of an Officer who
served 22 months aboard the LST. The ship was
scheduled for a six months tour in the Mediterranean.
On Jan. 7th 1952 the ship sailed into a devastating
storm, and six hours later they were losing cargo

In addition to the loss of cargo the ship is plagued
with a navigator threatened with failure to carry out a
direct order; in Malta the LST hits two water barges
and one British LCM; two crewmen were fighting in
Naples return to the ship where one stabs the other;
the LST collides with the refueling tanker; two
crewmen fighting aboard ship and one threatens the
Exec; 40 crewmen end up fighting on the main deck
and a duty officers nearly falls overboard; finally the
ship is beached in Terceria with a large hole in
bottom of the hull. As it that's not enough, the
Captain & Exec bring lady friends aboard the ship;
the crew attempts to sail without the Captain and
Exec and end up sailing into a force 3 hurricane.

Captain Black Mark is the story of all these things.
As incredible as it sounds, is it any wonder that the
captain develops irrational fixations that his superiors
were aware of everything that was happening and
that it was these things preventing him from being

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781441599155
Publisher: Xlibris Corporation
Publication date: 12/30/2009
Pages: 294
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.66(d)

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Captain Black Mark 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
AliceSC More than 1 year ago
Mr. Armstrong brings the Navy life right into your living room with his vivid details about life aboard this LST. You will find yourself rooting for the junior officers and hoping the captan and exec in command get caught and punished. Beautifully written details that at times make you feel as if you too are aboard this LST experiencing its miserable conditions.
MPG More than 1 year ago
I knew very little about the Navy or its ships. I had never heard of an LST. It was the story behind CAPTAIN BLACK MARK that drew me in. Written in a documentary style that at times feels like a journal entry, this book is captivating, exciting - at times funny - and always interesting. I highly recommend it!
PAScott More than 1 year ago
Theodore Armstrong has filled "Captain Black Mark" with such vivid details that you can feel the ship rolling under your own feet and feel the tension among the crew. I know nothing about navigation and ship terminology, but the details in this true account transport the reader aboard the USS LST-001. Along with the nautical narrative, this tale is full of drama from the human side: a drunk captain and exec, a near mutiny, and too few seasoned officers who knew how to sail the ship in hurricane winds and other dangerous situations. This excerpt demonstrates the power of this story: "We passed Fort Story at about 1930, and the ship was heading into large swells at about a 45-degree angle on our port bow and rolling very heavily. The swells were causing the ship to roll 20-30 degrees. The rain was blowing against against the front of the wheelhouse to the point where you could see nothing, and the radar was not much help. . . . "At about 2215, the captain passed the word for all hands off watch to lay up on the main deck and secure some drums [on the deck] that have broken loose. "I couldn't believe what I had just heard. It was a pitch-black night. Pouring rain, accompanied with 40-50 mph wind gusts, causing the ship to roll about 30 degrees and pitching heavily. To think that anybody would go out on the main deck to try to secure the loose rolling drums would be ridiculous. You would be standing on a deck covered with at least a foot of water with the deck rolling back and forth about 30 degrees and green waves breaking over the ship. Yet he [the captain] expected those young sailors to grab a rolling loose drum and secure it. If any of the crew tried to restore those drums, they could be seriously injured or, even worst, lost overboard." Navy LTJG Theodore Armstrong writes a compelling story. I don't know that I would want to be his boss, but I would want him leading others on a ship I was on.
famgr More than 1 year ago
I was thrilled with the story about interaction between officers and enlisted men. The story is well written and entertaining. Life on a LSD was hard in general but with officers that acted as described by the book, should have ben reprimanded. It's amazing that an officer like Captain Black Mark managed to survive without being exposed for his incompetence. I hope B & N publishes more books like this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Captain Black Mark is a captivating true story that gives a great perspective into surviving on a ship that is guided by a flawed, inadequate captain. This is a highly entertaining book.
RonSC More than 1 year ago
This is a true story, very well written by a central figure. Life aboard a U.S. Navy ship is very difficult to describe to anyone who has never experienced it; however, Ted Armstrong makes one feel like they are on board ship. There is also a special ambiance about life aboard a small ship (crew of less than 150) where everyone, officers and enlisted alike know each other well and friendships are close while large differences in personalities have to be tolerated. As a former member of the U. S. Navy who served 33 months aboard a small ship during the same time period, I can attest to the accuracy with which Ted captures the ambiance of this small world. In addition to being well written and accurate in details of environment, this is a captivating story. I gave it to my wife to read and was not surprised that she finished it posthaste then passed it on to a friend of hers to enjoy.
donhm3 More than 1 year ago
Ted Armstrong was able to bring back memories of the Navy after WWII and at the start of the Korean War. It tuched on the officers and men who stayed in the Navy at a time when Rank had its privilages. I recomend that any Navy vet will enjoy this book.