14 October 2011

A Ship With No Name

This is the story of rescue operations in the English Channel just before, during, and after the D-Day invasion aboard an ocean-going tug, "a ship with no name."

The memoir, written by the executive officer of ATR-3, tells compelling stories of the invasion, the operations of the ship, and the long trek across the Atlantic back to the US. Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of the book is the involvement of the author in the attempt to rescue men after the sinking of the troopship SS Leopoldville. In one of the lesser known incidents of the war, the Leopoldville was torpedoed by the U-486 off Cherbourg on Christmas Eve 1944, and over 750 soldiers were lost. The narrative also describes the experience of working under extreme pressure and performing to the utmost to pull blown up LSTs or Destroyers to safety from Utah and Omaha Beaches.

The author, Richard Hersey, began his navy career as an apprentice seaman and retired as Commander. He served on the USS Mizar and ATR-3 during World War II and the USS Okanagan during the Korean War. He's still married to the bride he met in New York City after the ship-with-no-name sailed across the Atlantic Ocean in 1945.

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