The mission of the U.S. Navy's fast attack submarines during the Cold War was a closely guarded secret for many years, but this look back at the period and the part played by those submarines in winning the war gives readers a close-up view of life in one of those subs, USS Sturgeon (SSN637). McHale's memoir covers the years from 1967 to 1970, when as a teenager he was assigned to the nuclear submarine. Readers come to understand how those years profoundly affected the way he lived the rest of his life. The book focuses on McHale's experiences and those of other men with whom he served who have remained his lifelong friends.
Gannon McHale is a New York-based character actor who has appeared on Broadway and in regional theatres across North America, Europe, and Asia during a thirty-year career.
“2010 Branson Stars and Flags Book Award” 3rd Place – Memoirs other than Vietnam based
“Reading the book proved to be a real joy…Reading STEALTH BOAT, I got the feeling of being there. Anyone reading the book, I feel will have that same feeling. Most non-submariners would get a good sense of what submarines and riding the boats is really about.”
— American Submariner
"Stealth Boat is an elegant and unflinching memoir of life inside one of America's most accomplished Cold War fast attack subs. Energized with delicious details and smile-provoking humor, Stealth Boat explains the crucial symbiosis between sailors and their complex machine. Gannon McHale's book also reveals that the oft-overlooked human factor is as essential in the unforgiving world of submarine operations as high technology. Anyone fascinated with the story behind the story will find McHale's book irresistible."
—Stephen Johnson, author of Silent Steel: The Mysterious Death of the Nuclear Attack Sub USS Scorpion
"Gannon McHale delivers with this highly enjoyable memoir of an enlisted man on a fast-attack submarine during the Cold War. The author's first-person narrative mixes laugh-out-loud humor in ports of call with high suspense chasing Soviet missile submarines at breathtakingly close quarters in the North Atlantic during the late 1960s. The incredible fetes of the Navy's stealth boat USS Sturgeon (SSN637) come to life in this insightful chronicle of the three years McHale spent in the Silent Service."
"Stealth Boat indeed! This boat and indeed the entire Sturgeon-class of 29 boats from the Sturgeon to the Silversides were the hot rods of the ocean and were the test beds for the later Los Angeles boats. The stories in this book are the stuff that is bantered about at SubVet meetings and conventions. They are what I remember of the 60's when I rode a boomer for 5 years. I even recognized two names in the book which surprised me. A handbook for Sturgeon sailors and an education for those that didn't ride these boats. It was a pleasure to see an important book written from the enlisted side of the spectrum. Thanks Gannon!"
—Ron Martini, author of The Submariner's Dictionary
"To naval personnel the term 'shipmate' is sacred. McHale's spirited descriptions put the reader on board the nuclear submarine Sturgeon with him and his shipmates. They worked hard when on duty and squeezed every drop of pleasure out of their time off duty. He skillfully evokes the flavor of the late-1960s era when the United States was fighting a hot war in Vietnam and a Cold War at sea against the Soviets. His account is timely in that regard and timeless in showing us how submariners live and work."
"Stealth Boat is a unique book in that the author, Gannon McHale, offers the reader an enlisted man's perspective of life aboard a U.S. Navy nuclear-powered fast-attack submarine, the USS Sturgeon (SSN637) during the Cold War. He writes an absorbing story using a most appealing conversational style. One is captured almost immediately by his detailed account of life aboard the attack boat, his association and lasting friendships with shipmates, underway operations, and 'Goin North' patrols into hostile waters to conduct underwater espionage against the Soviet Union."
"Set against a backdrop of cultural anecdotes, music of the day, and world events delivered in a staccato style, the reality of life beneath the waves unfolds. Although others have done a more meticulous job of documenting the broader role of submarines in fighting the Cold War, as well as the role of Admiral Hyman G. Rickover's naval nuclear power program in revolutionizing the technology of submarines, Stealth Boat is unsurpassed in showing the impact on the thoughts and actions of the submariners involved."
— Timothy J. Galpin, Journal of Cold War Studies