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A sailor's extraordinary experiences on board an American submarine in the Pacific are candidly reported in this eyewitness account of war from a torpedoman's perspective. Robert Hunt managed to survive twelve consecutive war patrols in the submarine USS Tambor. During the course of the war, Hunt was everywhere that mattered in the Pacific. He stood on the bow of the Tambor as it cruised into Pearl Harbor just days after the devastation of the Japanese air raid, peered through binoculars as his boat shadowed Japanese cruisers at the Battle of Midway, ferried guns and supplies to American guerrilla fighters in the Philippines, fired torpedoes that sank vital Japanese shipping, and survived a near-fatal, seventeen-hour depth-charge attack. For "exceptional skill and proficiency at his battle station" Hunt received a commendation from Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz. This WWII torpedoman's account of the war offers the rare perspective of an enlisted seaman that is not available in the more common officer accounts.
To capture and recount the progress of the Pacific War through Hunt's eyes coauthors Robert Schultz and James Shell examined the young submariner's war diary, as well as crew letters, photographs, and captains' reports, and they also conducted hours of interviews. Their vivid descriptions of the ways in which sailors dealt with the stress of war while at sea or on liberty show a side of the war that is rarely reported. The fact that Hunt's submarine was the first of a new fleet of World War II boats and the namesake of a significant class adds further value to his remarkable story.
Robert Schultz is the Fishwick Professor of English at Roanoke College in Virginia. His books include a novel, The Madhouse Nudes, and two collections of poetry. He has received a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Award in Fiction, Cornell University's Corson Bishop Poetry Prize, and from The Virginia Quarterly Review, the Emily Clark Balch Prize for Poetry. Online at: http://www.robertschultz.us/
James Shell has had fiction, nonfiction, and poetry published in The Roanoke Times, Jazz, College Poetry Review, Single Living, Ideas at Work, Artemis, Raconteur, GlennGould, and the University of Toronto Quarterly. A resident of Salem, VA, this is his first published full-length work.
Praise for We Were Pirates
“An absorbing depiction of a submariner’s life both afloat and ashore.”
— The Ensign, Fall 2011
"We Were Pirates in its honesty along has a compelling ring of authenticity that sets it apart from many wartime reminiscences. No, this isn't how Hollywood recorded the submarine war in Destination Tokyo, but it is a remarkable story told from a rare perspective that adds luster to the heroic record of American submariners in the Pacific War."
— Sea Classics