The Second Pearl Harbor: The West Loch Disaster, May 21, 1944 Hardcover – Aug 20 2014
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'A frequently gripping account of one of the most devastating yet least reported accidents to American forces in the Second World War, the explosion of several ammunition-laden LSTs in Pearl Harbor that killed over 150 servicemen and wounded nearly 400 more. Although he opens with several short chapters to set the stage for the West Loch disaster, covering preparations of the invasion of the Marianas and a look at the LST, Salecker, author of several books on the Pacific War, focuses tightly on May 20-22, 1944. He goes into particular detail for these days, and particularly the 21st: 15 of his 24 chapters deal with that date, often literally on a minute-by-minute basis, cutting back and forth among several ships or land installations, to recount the experiences of quite a number of sailors, marines, and coastguardsmen as the disaster unfolded. Salecker’s final chapters deal with salvage operations, the heroic death of Navy diver Owen Hammerberg, the last man awarded a Medal of Honor for non-combat heroism, the court of inquiry, which led to some important changes in ammunition handling procedures, the imposition of censorship, and why the incident is still barely known, despite the passage of 70 years. A gripping tale, The Second Pearl Harbor will prove rewarding for anyone interested in the Pacific War or military history in general.'
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