Little Ship, Big War

The Saga of DE343
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Published:April 15, 2012
By Edward P. Stafford (Author)

Manned almost entirely by reservists, the USS Abercrombie (DE343) and her sister ships did the dirty work of the Pacific War. They escorted convoys, chased submarines, picked up downed pilots, and led the landing craft to the invasion beaches, yet they received little credit and less glory. This book is a stirring tribute to their heroic efforts, written by a naval officer who served in the Abercrombie during the war and later became a best-selling author. First published in 1984, it has long been acclaimed for presenting a view of the navy as the sailors actually saw it--the joys and pains, the humor and gravity, the successes and defeats.

Ed Stafford provides an authentic, day-by-day account of life on board DE343, from the Battle of Leyte Gulf and picket duty against kamikazes at Okinawa to the signing of the peace treaty in Tokyo Harbor. To create an accurate picture he consulted ship logs and after-action reports and interviewed members of the crew. Although the book focuses on events in a particular warship, it tells the story of every small ship and their valiant crews that rose to the challenge and fought with everything they had until the war was won.

List Price: $21.95
Member Price: $17.56
Product Details
  • Subject: World War II
  • Paperback : 336 pages
  • Illustrations: 11 b/w photos; 1 illustration
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press (April 15, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 1557508909
  • ISBN-13: 9781557508904
  • Product Dimensions: 6 X 9 in
  • Shipping Weight: 16 oz

CDR. Edward Peary Stafford, USN (Ret.) (1918–2013) was a naval aviator. He wrote for Naval History and Proceedings, as well as for National Geographic. He is best known for The Big E and four other books on naval history: Subchaser; Little Ship, Big War; The Saga of DE-343, and The Far and the Deep.

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Customer Reviews

1 Review
Average Customer Reviews
5.00 Stars
Following an Epic Journey
Saturday, May 2, 2009
By: todd samuelson
I first heard of this book while reading "Subchaser"--an outstanding book of its own. I was curious to see how Mr. Stafford was able to transition from the small coastal operations of the Mediterranean and command of a subchaser to the position of XO of a DE on deep ocean operations of the pacific. I found the writing to be first rate,compelling and, at times, impossible to put down. The story of small ship operations is a microcosm of the war as a whole and Mr Stafford's firsthand account of it translates well to the lay person and is identifiable to veterans of all branches. I would whole heartedly recommend this book to all but would suggest reading "Subchaser" first so the reader can follow the evolution of the man from the start and truly understand his view point from serving on those "little" ships.


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