Friday, June 6, 2008

My Ship: The U.S.S Intrepid

Raymond Stone just sent me a copy of this memoir. I won’t get the chance to read and review it before Father’s Day, but I want to mention it now because it should make a great present. I met Ray last month at the National Arts Club during our final Dutch Treat Club luncheon of the season. I thought his book sounded fascinating, so he kindly sent me a copy.

“Stoney” was a 18-year-old “hung-over ‘Boot’” who developed into a “battle-tested 20-year-old ‘Old Salt.’’ The book chronicles his life aboard the U.S.S. Intrepid, the Navy’s most frequently hit carrier, from 1943 to 1945. Drawn from his World War II diary, the account captures the drama of history as seen by one who lived it.

One of the Intrepid’s 3,000-man original crew, Stone served as a radar man in the ship’s brain center, the Combat Information Center, where the main responsibility was to detect enemy planes with radar and direct fighter pilots to intercept and shoot them down.

Stone was lucky; he survived without even a scratch from first a torpedo, and then the five kamikaze hits on his ship. Twenty-six of his fellow radar men were among the 69 men killed on the day two kamikazes crashed into the Intrepid while it was supporting the invasion of the Philippines.

A percentage of the profits will be donated by the author to The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum and The Intrepid Association of Former Crew members.

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