- ISBN/SKU: 9781591145325
- Binding: Hardcover & eBook
- Era: World War II
- Number of Pages: 360
- Subject: History
- Date Available: May 2011
Cmdr. Lawson Paterson "Red" Ramage was among an elite group of just seven U.S. submariners who were awarded the Medal of Honor during World War II and the first not to die in the course of his heroic exploits. He was honored for his actions in the Pacific on the night of 31 July 1944 when he kept his submarine, USS Parche, on the surface and defiantly charged into the midst of a large Japanese convoy. Ramage's close-in, furious surface rampage became the talk of the submarine force, both in terms of its boldness and its destruction of the enemy shipping. Remarkably, Parche's crew had managed to reload their torpedo tubes while their skipper twisted and turned the boat through the chaos of machine gun bullets, exploding heavy shells, and Japanese ships trying to ram them.
To tell Parche's dramatic story, author Stephen Moore draws on recently discovered wartime diaries and interviews with dozens of veterans, who add rich details to the official record. Readers learn what it was like on patrol in the Pacific to endure the terrors of torpedo attacks and depth charges, as well as learn how they relieved the stress of combat on liberty. The only book to focus exclusively on Parche and the incredible "Red" Ramage, it offers a rare, up-close look at the actions of the legendary World War II submarine, whose conning tower and periscopes are on permanent display in Pearl Harbor.
Stephen L. Moore has written a number of books on World War II and Texas history, including Presumed Lost: The Incredible Ordeal of America's Submarine Veteran POWs of World War II ; War of the Wolf: Texas' Memorial Submarine, World War II's Famous USS Seawolf; and Spadefish: On Patrol With a Top-Scoring World War II Submarine.A sixth generation Texan, Moore is a frequent speaker at Texas historical conferences and writes for local magazines and historical journals. He lives in Lantana, TX.
Praise for Battle Surface!
“Battle Surface! is a detailed examination of the six war patrols and commissioned and enlisted crewmen of Parche. Written in a concise, easy to read format, the short chapters, firsthand accounts, and numerous photographs and illustrations make the text a valuable resource for scholars and armchair historians alike. The addition of multiple appendixes, extensive endnotes, chapter summaries, and an organized reference section increase the usefulness of the text for those readers looking for additional sources or documentation.”
— Nautical Research Journal, Autumn 2012
“Battle Surface! presents a lively, chatty look at the wartime service of an American submarine. Moore makes extensive use of interviews with former crewmen to construct his narrative, and this material gives the reader an intimate look into a submarine sailor’s life, both afloat and ashore. Indeed, these vivid accounts of the crew’s experiences are the book’s strength.”
— The Journal of America’s Military Past, Winter 2012
“Battle Surface! is readable and eloquent in depicting the officers and men and their achievements that helped make Parche one of the most famous and successful American submarines of World War II.”
— Marine Technology, October 2011
“[Moore’s] latest [book] blends superb research and a writing style that rivals good fiction.”
— Dallas Morning News, October 16, 2011
“Well-written, often riveting account of the war patrols of the USS Parche during and following World War II. It gives fascinating insights into the history of U.S. submarine warfare in the Pacific. The prose is easy to follow and interesting, as is the format of the book. Reading this work was a pleasure.”
— Undersea Quarterly, Fall Quarter 2011
“…Fascinating chronicle…Author Moore writes well about the submarine warfare he knows so intimately. This is his fourth book on the topic and by far is the best. A very enjoyable nail-biting read from cover to cover.”
— Sea Classics, October 2011
". . . .[a]n intimate view of what life was like on a submarine at that time."
— Publishers Weekly
“To tell the story of the USS Parche, Stephen Moore has interviewed living crewmembers and consulted sources, both American and Japanese, to recover, it seems, virtually every move on board this important boat. The effect is to take us below for some of the crucial patrols of the Pacific War and let us witness how American submarines starved the Imperial Japanese military into submission. And when Battle Surface! treats the famous ‘Ramage’s Rampage,’ in which Commander Lawson ‘Red’ Ramage maneuvered the Parche inside a Japanese convoy, sinking ships and dodging escorts, the detailed account is beyond impressive—it’s thrilling.”
—Robert Schultz, author of We Were Pirates: A Torpedoman’s Pacific War
“Author Stephen Moore's account of submarine skipper Lawson ‘Red’ Ramage’s wild, singlehanded attack on a Japanese convoy in World War II, which earned him the Medal of Honor, is not to be missed. Likewise, a coordinated attack by Japanese escorts that nearly doomed the USS Parche late in the war keeps readers on the edge. Attack. Counterattack. Monotony on long war patrols interrupted by moments of sheer terror. The author takes you inside the Parche to meet crewmen who put their lives on the line and earned a Presidential Unit Citation for what they accomplished in the Pacific War.”
—Carl LaVO, author of Galloping Ghost: The Extraordinary Life of Submarine Captain Eugene Fluckey
"I was lucky to have known Red Ramage and many of his crew members. . . . Battle Surface! is a must read for all who want to understand what the 'Greatest Generation' gave us in World War II."
—Vice Adm. Albert H. Konetzni Jr., USN (Ret.), former Commander, U.S. Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet
“A fantastic telling of a great submarine's exploits and the stirring tale of a truly extraordinary commander. I can't recommend it highly enough.”
—Alex Kershaw, author of The Bedford Boys and Escape from the Deep