To War in a Tin Can

A Memoir of World War II Aboard a Destroyer


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SKU: 9780786417803 Categories: , , , ,

About the Book

During World War II, James Patric served for two years aboard the destroyer USS George E. Badger. The ship, launched in 1918, was one of several hundred “mothballed” World War I four-pipers. As American involvement in World War II drew closer, most of them were re-activated for service in the US Navy; four-pipers such as the Badger were involved in reporting and tracking ships and aircraft approaching American shores, seizing Axis ships in American ports, occupying Greenland, and relieving the British from the defense of Iceland. The Badger was involved in every stage of the conflict, from pre-war Neutrality Patrol, escorting convoys, anti-submarine warfare (a pioneer hunter/killer), carrying Underwater Demolition Team 8, and pre-invasion (Frogmen) reconnaissance of South Pacific invasion beaches.
This memoir weaves together the oral and written memories of James Patric, a Connecticut farmboy who was drafted in early 1943, with those of his shipmates on the Badger, supporting them with documents and historical records. The book records the ship’s role in worldwide conflict and traces the author’s evolution from raw peacetime civilian to veteran wartime sailor. Appendices list the muster rolls of the crew and commissioned officers.

About the Author(s)

The late James H. Patric was a writer and retired forest hydrology researcher. He lived in Greeneville, Tennessee.

Bibliographic Details

James H. Patric
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 231
Bibliographic Info: 67 photos, appendices, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2004
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1780-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

Introduction      3

1. Distant Rumbles of War      7

2. The Ship’s Path      13

3. The Boy’s Path      41

4. Navy Ways      49

5. Hunter-killer      76

6. Same War, Different Duties      95

7. The Frogmen      117

8. Leyte      131

9. Lingayen Gulf      144

10. The Last Battle      156

11. Stateside!      179

12. Long Beach      190

Epilogue      204

Military History of James H. Patric      207

Apendix A: Muster Rolls of the Crew (1941–1945)      209

Appendix B: Commissioned Offcers (1941–1945)      217

Bibliography      219

Index      221

Book Reviews & Awards

“well written and informative”—Tin Can Sailors.