|Elmira - Steele Memorial Library||1||BM214S||Adult NonFiction Book|
The mighty battle action fought between an American destroyer and a German U-boat north of the Azores Islands in late October, 1943, has been called the most spectacular surface battle since the days of John Paul Jones. Robert A. Maher was a young sailor who served on the Navy destroyer USS Borie DD215 in that battle, and his personal account of the war culminates in this decisive battle.
As leading fire-controlman and gun director pointer, Maher was stationed immediately above the bridge, where he had a clear view of events throughout the battle. In this nighttime action, the Borie rammed the German U-boat and became lodged across it. The crews of both ships opened fire at point-blank range with small arms and machine guns. The Americans were victorious, but the Borie was badly damaged and had to be abandoned.
Sailors' Journey into War is also the story of young men taken from the comfort of their families and hometowns and cast into a war of unimaginable proportions. Like other young servicemen, they learned their jobs and went into combat with determination and often great courage. The book opens a window into the daily lives of Navy enlisted men and accurately reflects their attitudes both as raw recruits and as seasoned sailors at the end of the war.
Maher and Wise tell a fairly common story, that of the U.S. citizen-sailor in World War II, exceptionally well, with dry wit, great frankness about the limitations of Maher (its subject), his shipmates, and his officers, and much invaluable detail about the pains and pleasures of wartime navy shipboard life. They also tell the story of the U.S. destroyer Borie, one of scores of antique World War I vintage "four-pipers" that were pressed into service to battle U-boats up and down the coast of the Americas, from New England to Brazil. With Maher part of her fire-control party, Borie eventually joined the Battle of the Atlantic and fought desperately with a U-boat. She sank the sub, in the process suffering fatal damage and losing 27 of the crew. A modest but exceptionally valuable World War II naval memoir. --Roland Green
|Epilogue: The Navy and Afterward||p. 179|