Shepherds of the Sea: Destroyer Escorts in World War II

Shepherds of the Sea: Destroyer Escorts in World War II

by Robert F. Cross

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Shepherds of the Sea: Destroyer Escorts in World War II by Robert F. Cross

This compelling tale of courage, heroism, and terror is told in the words of ninety-one sailors and officers interviewed by the author about their World War II service aboard fifty-six destroyer escorts. They reveal many never-before-told details of life at sea during wartime and, along with information found in secretly kept war diaries and previously unpublished personal photographs, add important dimensions to the official record. Unseasoned teenage recruits when they first went to sea, these sailors were led by inexperienced college boys more accustomed to yachts than warships. Their ships were untested vessels, designed by a man with no formal training in ship design, and which many viewed as a waste of money. Yet, as Cross points out, these men are credited with helping turn the tide of the war in the Atlantic as they singlehandedly sank some seventy U-boats and captured U-505, the only German submarine taken during the war and the first enemy vessel captured by Americans at sea since the War of 1812. In the Pacific, the destroyer escorts fought in every major battle, side-by-side with Allied battleships and destroyers. But this story is not just about battles. It is also about American genius, hard work, honor and growing up in the Great Depression. The author provides eyewitness details about the historic first step taken to end racial discrimination in the military as African-Americans stepped aboard the destroyer escort USS Mason as full-fledged sailors for the first time and earned a Navy commendation of heroism in the Battle of the Atlantic presented to the surviving crewmen fifty-one years later. Readers also learn about an ingenious invention when a sailor breaks his silence about a secret weapon tested aboard his destroyer escort that rendered a new German radio-controlled glide bomb useless.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781612512723
Publisher: Naval Institute Press
Publication date: 03/18/2013
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Robert F. Cross, author of the presidential biography, Sailor in the White House: The Seafaring Life of FDR, and Shepherds of the Sea: Destroyer Escorts in WW II, is a trustee of the USS Slater, the last destroyer escort still afloat in the United States. The museum ship is fully restored to its original WW II configuration and is moored on the Hudson River in Albany, New York. Cross currently serves as Commissioner of the Port of Albany, New York and is Water Commissioner for the City of Albany. He previously was an assistant environmental commissioner for New York State.

A former award-winning newspaper correspondent, Cross' articles have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Conservationist, Historic Nantucket, Offshore and Seaport magazines among other publications. He has been involved in environmental and historic preservation affairs for many years. Cross, a native of Port Jervis, New York, received his bachelor of science degree from the State University of New York at Albany and his master of arts degree from the State University College at New Paltz. He lives in Albany, NY and Nantucket, MA with his wife, Sheila, a physician, and Fala, their West Highland White Terrier.

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