Home' Work Boat World : July 2009 Contents RAMPANT RAIDER
An A4 Skyhawk Pilot in Vietnam
By STEPHEN R. GRAY
Flying from the aircraft carrier USS 'Bon
Homme Richard' during the busiest air
combat period of the Vietnam War, indeed,
in American history, the author tells his
story of a civilian turned naval fighter pilot.
Earning his wings in 1966, by 1969 he had flown 250 combat
missions on two cruises to Vietnam. He was a key participant in
the Rolling Thunder operations.
This is a record of his training and his first "cruise". The
triumphs, fear and frustrations (mainly with American politicians)
of a naval aviator in wartime. The combat casualties and the
accident casualties occurred in almost equal measure.
A very good personal history by a steadfast, careful and
Available from the Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, USA.
A River Guide
By ROD HEIKELL
It's hard to believe now that the old Soviet
bloc ever existed. This 1991 publication,
however, brings it all back.
Although published at the time of the
collapse of the Soviet Union, it still contains much that is redolent
of that era. In that sense, it is probably not now a very accurate
guide to this most important of rivers.
It was also published prior to the completion of the Rhine -- Main
-- Danube Canal and, obviously, well before the collapse of the
Yugoslav Federation. So it is a most interesting historical document.
As such it still provides a very useful guide to the current
Danube. The author is a great enthusiast for the river and the
countries through which it runs. That enthusiasm is contagious.
This Pilot may be outdated but it is still both fascinating
Available from Imray, Laurie, Norie & Wilson. St Ives, UK.
THE ROYAL NAVY OFFICER'S
POCKET BOOK 1944
Compiled and introduced
by BRIAN LAVERY
Essentially a reprinted and updated version
of a once "top secret" guide to being an
officer in the wartime Royal Navy.
"Naval Officers", we are advised, "are
extraordinarily polite." This, to modern eyes is one of the more
bizarre sections of what is otherwise a very useful general treatise
on leadership and organisation.
This book effectively distils generations, if not centuries, of
naval experience, tradition, structure and operations. While dated,
it is still remarkably relevant.
An anachronism, perhaps, but still filled with gems of good
advice for anyone involved with managing others in every
imaginable situation, not just at sea.
Available from Conway Maritime, London, UK.
Web: www.anovabooks.com and from Capricorn Link, Windsor,
Australia. Web: www.capricornlink.com.au
HOME IS THE SAILOR,
HOME FROM THE SEA
By URSULA McCAFFERTY
A self-published book by an American great-
grandmother, this biography of her father is
a really great read.
Fortunately for the author her father was a
good and prolific letter writer. He had a great
and fascinating life. Born in Germany in 1882, he went to sea at
16 and by 1914 was Chief Mate (First Officer) on a German cargo
ship which was captured in the Philippines by a British destroyer.
He and his ship spent the First World War interned in Australia.
Tough for a young, ambitious and energetic father of two.
At the end of 1919 he returned to Germany having lost 40
percent of his body weight. His family had suffered badly also and
the German merchant marine was largely destroyed.
By 1925 the family had emigrated to the United States. His trials
continued as his German master mariner's qualification was not
recognised. It took another five years for that problem to be rectified.
Then followed some amazing adventures including
commanding a warship in the Colombian Navy. By the outbreak
of World War II he and the family were all naturalised American
citizens. After some early unpleasantness he served with
distinction as an officer, then master, of a series of merchant
ships in the north Atlantic on convoys. His competence was
tested when his ship was torpedoed but he brought it home.
Much decorated he was, ironically, commissioned finally as a
Commander in the US Navy Reserve.
Tragically, his life was cut short in 1947 thanks to a
A very personal but very inspiring story of a good man who
never gave up.
Available from amazon.com, USA or the author
The West Coast of France
-- Brest to Bordeaux
By MIKE AND GILL BARRON
In terms of local wine, food, scenery and
nautical activity, Brittany, The Vendée and
Charente are some of the most attractive
parts of France, indeed, of the world.
Still, despite recent French Government and EU depredations, a
thriving fishing industry area, it has also long been a favourite
yacht cruising locale. More recently a variety of ferries, cruise and
other tourist vessels have frequented the coast.
Dotted with delightful large and small harbours, access to them
is often complicated. What with strong tides and significant
weather changes, it is an area where local knowledge pays.
Visitors, without such local knowledge, must rely on guides and
pilots to supply that local knowledge. This fine joint effort of the
Royal Cruising Club Pilotage Foundation and the Imray Laurie
Norie group provides just that information in a very clear and
Available from Imray Laurie Norie & Wilson, St Ives, UK.
For all the latest in maritime books, museums and art, visit www.bairdmaritime.com
WORK BOAT WORLD July 2009 53
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