James F. Calvert: Silent Running My Years on a World War II Attack Submarine



Rilous nighttime cat and mouse games that Dykers played with convoy scorts accompanied on the bridge by a crewman renowned for his night vision and the disconcerting habit of singing Nearer My God to Thee whenever the situation got tense He was only 24 at the First Anthology end of the war and retired as an admiral many years later A memoir of the author s 9 wartime patrols on a US Navy submarine in WWII 8 on the USS Jack and 1 on the USS Haddo It is anasy yet ngaging read As it is a memoir it is not overly technical In fact the language is almost conversational You could almost nvision yourself sitting on the floor next to an Passage Through Crisis elderly grandpa listening to him recount the stories ofach patrol and the rest periods in between And because of the conversational style I often found myself cheering in my head when they fired volley of torpedoes and sank an Science, Technology and Culture enemy ship Eually so I felt the tension when they were submerged and attempting to slink away as thenemy dumped barrage after barrage of depth charges over the side at them This book definitely provides a uniue viewpoint into one aspect of the war in the Pacific Two things that stood out1 He honesty about his internal thoughts and some struggles This is most apparent when he recounts his the tension he a married man felt about an overly familiar relationship and attachment to a young woman in Australia FYI thankfully for Jim his wife and us the relationship remains PG2 The speed at which men were promoted reassigned and moved around during the war In the three years at sea Jim the author moved from an The Road to Einsteins Relativity ensign fresh from submariner school and having never been in a sub before toxecutive officer second in command It seems uick But it was necessary And not inappropriate given how uickly men gained Black Boy experience in combat For my money the best WW2 submarine memoir I ve read It is particularlyffective because Calvert was a junior officer and not the skipper of the submarine and this was a nice change from the typical view from the top memoirI also was very impressed at the candor Calvert displayed when talking about the girl he dated in Australia while his wife was back in the States That s usually an area of military autobiography that the old soldiers and sailors leave in the past Not Calvert He addressess it forthrightly and recounts when he told his wife about the other womanI would place Silent Running as one of the best military memoirs I ve read I ve read a shelf load of WWII submarine biographies and this is one of the better ones One of the things I liked about it was that the author wasn t the skipper of the boat but came aboard as a green Ensign just out of submarine school and over the course of a few action packed wartime years worked his way up to Executive Officer This is a nuts and bolts story telling how the boat worked in terms of tactics and operations not in a technical way but in a manner that allows you to visualize what the submarine is doing and how it stalked its prey You also get a good feeling for how young officers learned their trade in wartime submarines what live was like in the cramped conditions of the submarine and the Nighttime Sweethearts emotional roller coaster ride of watchingnemy shipping being blown to kingdom come by your torpedo one minute and then being depth charged by the Maternity Bride (Silhouette Desire enemy just a few minutes later Calvert s writing style is simple and direct He tells the story withoutmbellishment and with honesty He includes things that he isn t proud of the negative Safe in My Arms emotions as well as the good ones and gives honest appraisals of the men with whom he served If anything the book is underwritten I wanted description of what it was like to be on the submarine details about how they maneuvered and operated it and about Calvert s ownmotional journey through the war Calvert had a great story to tell and he told it clearly and well I only wish that he had told it movingly But I suppose that s the sort of stuff that heroes are made of they did what they did and afterwards it s aw shucks t wernt nuthin Good book Worth reading for anyone interested in World War II submarine warfare submarine warfare in general or just in men who go to the sea to fight. Authorized visit with three other officers to Tokyo just prior to the official surrender making them the first Americans to reach Japan's capita.

I suspect anyone interested in submarines or naval warfare would find Calvert s first hand account fascinating For me this was just another WWII book that reminded me of the senselessness of war and the lengths men will go to to kill one another Das Boot but as an American war memoir It makes for very interesting reading I appreciated the juxtaposition of personal stories against technical discussion about the operation of a WWII submarine Fascinating This is a fascinating first hand account of life aboard a WWII attack submarine operating in the pacific theater written by an accomplished career Naval officer The book Presunta colpevole explores thextreme conditions that the submariners of the USS Jack Poisoned Secrets (Murder and Mayhem experienced while on war patrol It also recounts harrowingncounters with Japanese convoys and their destroyer Safe Words escorts and thexperience of His To Claim (McBain Brothers Alpha, evading a depth charge counter attack while uietly sitting on the ocean floor I wasnthralled by this first hand retelling Somehow Goodreads got ahead of me I m about a chapter short of finishing the book But The Black Sheeps Baby (Into The Heartland) (Into The Heartland) (Silhouette Intimate Moments, even at this point and at the risk of stating the obvious I can say this is a fascinating personal account by a submariner during WW II Calvert reveals to the reader what it s like serving on a submarine during the war in intimate detail He takes you through both the tedium and the terror as well as his personal life ashore both at home and away Coincidentally and contemporaneously I watched a film on TV called something like Submarine 571 As a result of having read most of Calvert s account I could understand better what was supposedly portrayed and could also understand that some of the things portrayed in the film were simply Son of a WW II submarineMy father was an officer on the Pomfret SS 391 that might have been one of the other submarines mentioned in this book as hisxperiences arewere very similar to those described both in terms of time and location The famous war correspondent Ernie Pyle spent time on the Pomfret and wrote about it in one of his columns Like many vetsmy dad didn t talk about his Pursuit of Justice experiences very muchcame back from the warmarried my mom also a Naval officer went back to collegehad a long career and died in 2006 at the age of 86 IronicallyMost of the history about the PomfretI got off of Wikipedia I do have the hat that one of the Japanese sailors gave to my dadthese were all very brave men and so few of them are now left to tell these stories Very glad that such an accurate description is available for future generations Silent Running is a remarkably forthright andxciting account of a junior officer who served on two submarines during nine war patrols The account likely benefits from being written by a Vice Admiral after he had retired from the Navy and his second career in industry The wisdom Dangerous to Touch earned through a lifetimexperience Once Upon a Seduction (Its All About Attitude enabled him to provide a deep and thoughtful account of his wartimexperience The delay in writing does not seem to diminish the fine details of his account nor cause him to white wash his service to better portray himself Several times I was surprised by how open he was about his fears failures and shortcomings He was also particularly complementary about his mentors and many individuals on his crewThe books perspective was Rodeo Daughter especially valuable for modern day submarine officers and naval officers in general His discussion on training and the challenges of dealing with high turnover of the crew provided some good historical perspective on similar challenges faced today Most WWII submarine accounts focus primarily on the war patrols themselves VADM Calvert spent a fair amount of time describing transits and training periods that provide some perspective on how they prepared for combat in a very short amount of time The accounts of bad decisions and multiple near misses arespecially interesting to the professional The no nonsense way the officers My Guilty Pleasure (Harlequin Blaze evaluated an incident andffectively addressed it are Fatal Secrets (Protecting the Witnesses especially refreshing for anyone who is a veteran of a multi part shipyard style critiue or written a book sized incident reportThe book is very readable andngaging I recommend it for anyone interested in WWI. A riveting tension filled chronicle of life underwater by a much decorated hero who became the second youngest rear admiral in the history of th.

I or submarine operations Calvert skipper of the Skate the first submarine to surface at the North Pole and third person chosen by Admiral Rickover to command a nuclear submarine describes his Annapolis studies and A Wanted Man (Silhouette Intimate Moments, eventual choice of submarine duty as his service during World War II He is uncommonly forthright in this memoir describing his terror and mistakes on what would become nine combat patrolsight on the USSJack and the last on the Hado He was very lucky He had some My Spy (Mission: Impassioned, excellent skippers the first being Tommy Dykers from whom he learned a great deal and he had a very forgiving Captain Warder later Admiral who saved him from making a serious career move late in the war Afteright combat patrols Calvert decided he wanted to become a naval aviator and he went through all the tests and physical Until You Loved Me (Silver Springs, examinations in preparation to be sent back to the states for retraining He had accumulated all the necessaryndorsements The Baby Album except from Warder who was commander of the task force Calvert s sub was assigned to Warder saying that Calvert would thank him for it later tore up all the paperwork with littlexplanation It turned out to be a very smart career Secret Agent Minister and Deadly Texas Rose event for Calvert Had he returned to Pensacola for retraining his career as a naval officer would have hit a deadnd because the war Why Not Tonight (Happily Inc., ended soon thereafter and there were hundreds of flyers whom the navy had no room for Instead hended the war as the Her First Mother (Conveniently Wed, exec on an active sub The submarine force had lost than twenty five percent of its officers and men so his future was much secure Calvert was with the Jack from the beginning and coupled with some rigorous training and an obvious talent he became a superb TDC operator The TDC operator set the torpedo s course based on the approach officer s readings On their first patrol in June 1943 the Jack had five hits and four confirmed kills despite problems with the dreaded HORngines which were a constant nuisance always breaking down and faulty torpedoes detonators The sub continued to take its toll on Welcome Home, Cowboy (Wed In The West, enemy shipping At one point Calvert hit annemy vessel at 5000 yards roughly three times the maximum distance recommended for accurate torpedo shooting A Japanese admiral radioed for assistance during one attack claiming he was under attack by a wolf pack when it was only the Jack Snowbound Bride (Harlequin Men in Uniform Miniseries) earning for the sub the nickname Jack the Pack Calvert s last mission was to Tokyo Bay but the surrender was announced as they were on their way there Because there had been some attacks on ships by Japanese forcesven after the stand down announcement they received a message from Admiral Halsey to shoot down any Japanese planes they saw in a friendly fashion Once in Tokyo Bay they tied up with hundreds of other allied ships It was here that Calvert and some other officers of his crew almost caused an international incident They had been given permission to leave the sub and visit the Japanese submarine base but they had been given xplicit verbal and written orders not to leave the base Seeing a large hole in the wall around the sub base they decided to take a trip in to Tokyo so they hopped aboard a train They were fortunate to find a friendly railroad guide in the Tokyo station who agreed to show them around the city He warned them several times of remaining together and not to go certain places because many of the Japanese troops were considering disobeying the Emperor s surrender and had said they would continue to defend the homeland When they returned they were met by an angry MP colonel who placed them all under arrest and promised swift courts martial Calvert s luck held and his old mentor got him off the hook There would be no charges The formal surrender took place the next day and they sailed for home Calvert relates his memoirs with sensitivity and great affection for his shipmates the scene when he desperately tries to see the chief of the boat following a terrible car accident is truly poignant He combines an intimate knowledge of the nitty gritty technical details of submarine warfare with the fast paced action and nail biting tension that Tom Clancy will never be able to duplicate having never been there He recounts the pe. E Navy Filled with harrowing details of sinking Japanese vessels surviving their assaults and capturing downed pilots Culminates in Calvert's un.

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