September 15, 2010

Cradle Cruise Review

My grandfather, who lived in Uptown in the 1950s/1960s, wrote a book on his experiences during WWII. It recently received a very nice review on Amazon that I have to share:

Cradle Cruise: A Navy Bluejacket Remembers Life Aboard the USS Trever During World War II (Paperback)
Very well written memoir from an author who joined the pre-war navy to escape the difficult environment of depression era Chicago. After training he is assigned to the destroyer escort USS Trevor. Dawson's prose makes even his training, which is often times kind of dry in some memoirs, interesting and then he progresses to his experiences in Hawaii just before the attack on PH. After the war begins his destroyers spends time escorting troop transports and other convoys during the Guadalcanal campaign. Overall there is not a lot of combat in this book although there are several compelling passages such as the time his DE and another are chased by a larger Japanese naval force off New Georgia, surviving Typhoon Cobra and an action in which his DE attacks a Japanese submarine which took out one of the ships they are escorting at the time... What makes the book a strong buy is that the author, who has written a few other books, writes very well and concentrates his writing primarily on the more personal side of serving on a wartime escort. Many chapters deal with subjects such as the animosities between lifers and new boots, a cat who becomes ship mascot, and an incident when the crew who are bathing nude on the fantail are spotted and reported to higher authorities by well to do people who are cruising around in their yachts in a foreign port of call for example. There is very little "bigger picture" attention given here yet in this type of book and I really didn't mind. I personally like war memoirs in which the author spends the time to flesh out the characters and tell the smaller, less dramatic stories too. If your like me who reads naval books serially I would rate this a strong buy and one to put on your list! — M. Casale
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