From Vietnam to the Arctic Circle

Memoir of a Naval Officer in the Cold War


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About the Book

As a U.S. Navy officer, Jack Whitehouse served aboard a World War II–era destroyer at the peak of the Vietnam War, ran special operations on a patrol gunboat out of Guantanamo Bay following the Cuban Missile Crisis and deployed with the Royal Norwegian Navy to counter Soviet threats north of the Arctic Circle. His detailed memoir recounts American efforts to win the Cold War from the perspective of a young lieutenant on the front lines 1964–1975 and the personal struggles and perseverance of sailors fighting an existential enemy at sea.

About the Author(s)

From 1968 to 1970 Jack Whitehouse served aboard the U.S.S Buck (DD-761) for two deployments to Vietnam. In 1971 he became the executive officer and then the commanding officer of the U.S.S. Chehalis (PG-94) sailing out to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Following a year of language training, Jack became the first U.S. Navy exchange officer with the Royal Norwegian Navy. From 1973 to 1975 he sailed aboard Norwegian frigates, patrol boats and a submarine north of the Arctic Circle.
In 1976 he joined the CIA, serving abroad for most of his career. In 2010, he won the first-place award from the Press Club of Long Island for his regular column in the Fire Island Tide. In 2011 the town of Islip presented him with the Carl A. Starace History Award for his research and authorship on Islip town subjects. He has written four previous books and numerous pieces for a variety of publications. He lives in Sayville, New York.

Bibliographic Details

Jack Whitehouse

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 267
Bibliographic Info: 29 photos, appendix, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8835-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4659-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Vietnam Vet by Elaine Kiesling Whitehouse xi
Preface 1
Introduction 3
1. Why Join the Navy? 5
2. A Life Changing Event 13
3. Midshipman Tough 24
4. Catastrophes of 1968 35
5. Graduate, Marry and Join the Fleet 41
6. Classmates Lost 47
7. Deployment to Westpac 51
8. Driving Ships and Yankee Station 60
9. Ensign John Norton and the Evans 67
10. DASH Ops and Bangkok 73
11. Naval Gunfire Support and the Rodent Incident 81
12. Hong Kong Mary, the China Fleet Club, and the Gulf of Tonkin Incident 87
13. A Possible Kraken and Okinawa Legacy 93
14. Wardroom Changes and Another Friend Lost 100
15. Back to Vietnam 107
16. Subic Bay and Olongapo 113
17. Saving John Wayne and the Fight 117
18. Project 100,000 and Typhoon Joan 122
19. Homeward Bound 128
20. Patrol Gunboats 130
21. East Coast Here We Come 139
22. Guantanamo Bay 148
23. The Loss of a Best Friend 159
24. Getting to Norway 165
25. Welcome to the Norwegian Navy 172
26. Deploying to the Arctic 178
27. Life in the Far North 186
28. The Lost Ship 193
29. Not Visiting Leningrad 201
30. The Shetlands, Back North, Sailing Subs 206
31. The Sami 213
32. The Turn 217
33. Riding Norwegian Gunboats 223
34. A Change of Course 231
Appendix: Soviet Socialism and Its Influences Today 233
Author’s Service Record 241
Bibliography 245
Index 247

Book Reviews & Awards

“A nicely crafted book…highly recommended”—Books in Review