NEWPORT, R.I. – A newly released book written by Salve Regina doctoral student Stephen Leal Jackson tells the true stories of Navy enlisted submariners on patrol in the Pacific during World War II.
“The Men: American Enlisted Submariners in World War II” (Dog Ear Publishing) recounts the real story of these undersea warriors, told by the men who lived it. The author’s interviews with submarine veterans allow these unique and important stories to be told from first-hand reports.
Jackson, who has a master’s degree in American and European history from Providence College, is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at Salve Regina. He is a U.S. Navy veteran who served on the submarines USS Los Angeles and USS Florida. His service included several Western Pacific cruises to many of the very places described in his book.
Over 3,500 men, more than 23 percent of the American submarine force, never returned from their World War II missions. Their submarines had few crew comforts, and duty on “the boats” was one of the most statistically deadly, physically demanding and emotionally challenging assignments for those serving in the U.S. Navy.
War patrols were so exhausting that submarine sailors were often given a month of rest after each 30- to 60-day patrol. With all the hardships, one might think the Navy would have trouble finding recruits. However, the men worked long, trained hard, and used their wits to fight for a coveted place on the front line of the Pacific war.
Jackson’s account includes descriptions of depth charge attacks, crew activities and traditions, and even thrilling details of enemy capture. The book also includes never-before-published photographs and informative charts that provide a unique glimpse into the conditions faced by these brave enlisted men.