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Battle Surface!: Lawson P. "Red" Ramage and the War Patrols of the USS Parcheby Stephen L. Moore
Synopses & Reviews
Cmdr. Lawson Paterson "Red" Ramage was among an elite group of just seven U.S. submariners who were awarded the Medal of Honor during World War II and the first not to die in the course of his heroic exploits. He was honored for his actions in the Pacific on the night of 31 July 1944 when he kept his submarine, USS Parche, on the surface and defiantly charged into the midst of a large Japanese convoy. Ramage's close-in, furious surface rampage became the talk of the submarine force, both in terms of its boldness and its destruction of the enemy shipping. Remarkably, Parche's crew had managed to reload their torpedo tubes while their skipper twisted and turned the boat through the chaos of machine gun bullets, exploding heavy shells, and Japanese ships trying to ram them. To tell Parche's dramatic story, author Stephen Moore draws on recently discovered wartime diaries and interviews with dozens of veterans, who add rich details to the official record. Readers learn what it was like on patrol in the Pacific to endure the terrors of torpedo attacks and depth charges, as well as learn how they relieved the stress of combat on liberty. The only book to focus exclusively on Parche and the incredible "Red" Ramage, it offers a rare, up-close look at the actions of the legendary World War II submarine, whose conning tower and periscopes are on permanent display in Pearl Harbor.
"Only seven U.S. submariners were awarded the Medal of Honor for their exploits during World War II; Red Ramage was the first to get his in person from Franklin D. Roosevelt, as the previous winners had not survived their travails of battle. Ramage commanded the Parche during its most dangerous engagement with the Japanese when it attacked Convoy MI-11 south of Formosa early in the morning of July 31, 1944.Â The convoy included oil tankers, hospital ships, and freighters — eleven merchant vessels in all, plus six armed escorts. Ramage ordered a charge into the middle of the convoy.Â In less than 45 minutes, the Parche along with another U.S. sub, the Steelhead, sank six of the Japanese merchant vessels and damaged another. Stephen L. Moore, author of several other books of WWII submarine campaigns, offers an in-depth look at the people and events of the Parche's war history. Unfortunately, nearly all excitement is lost amid the welter of details — instances such as the numerous scrapes sailors got into while on shore leave only convolute the story. The rest of the war is only dimly heard, but the reader does get an intimate view of what life was like on a submarine at that time. (May)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Book News Annotation:
Moore, who has written numerous books on World War II and Texas history, tells the story of Lawson P. "Red" Ramage and the USS Parche, the submarine he commanded in the Pacific theater of World War II. The author interviewed former crew members and used American and Japanese sources as the basis for his account. Extremely detailed and "in the moment," the author gives a particularly riveting narrative of Ramage's singlehanded attack on a Japanese convoy. Readers interested in the history of the war would enjoy the book. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
About the Author
Stephen L. Moore has written a number of books on World War II and Texas history, including Presumed Lost: The Incredible Ordeal of America's Submarine Veteran POWs of World War II; War of the Wolf: Texas' Memorial Submarine, World War II's Famous USS Seawolf; and Spadefish: On Patrol With a Top-Scoring World War II Submarine. A sixth generation Texan, Moore is a frequent speaker at Texas historical conferences and writes for local magazines and historical journals. He lives in Lantana, TX.
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