|CLASSIC DIVE BOOKS
U.S.A. Military Operations, and Navy Diving
Please note: The books are listed for interest only, and not offered for sale.
|See also authors: Peter
Keeble. See also (General, and British, European) Military
See also US NAVY DIVING MANUAL
|AMERICA'S FIRST FROGMAN :
THE DRAPER KAUFFMAN STORY
Elizabeth K Bush
Publisher:Annapolis, Md. : Naval Institute Press, 2004.
Pearl Harbour, 1941: A Navy Diver's Memoir. Commander Edward C. Raymer.
Published 1996, by Presidio Press, California, USA. Hardcover, dustjacket, 214 pages, mono prints.
Not a classic in terms of age but certainly in content. The author has had plenty of time to think about it. I havn't read the book yet but it looks fascinating. On December 7, 1941, as the great battleships Arizona, Oklahoma, Utah, and several others lie paralyzed and burning in the aftermath of the Japanese attack of Pearl Harbor, a crack team of Navy slavage divers is hurriedly flown to the island of Oahu. The divers have been given a Hurculean task: rescue the ailors and marines trapped below, and resurrect the pride of the Pacific fleet. In the book, the author tells the whole story of the desparate attempts to save crewmembers caught inside their sinking ships. The book is the only one available that describes the raising and salvage operations of sunken battleships following the December 7th attack. Though many of these divers were killed or seriously wounded during the slavage operations, on the whole they had great success performing what seemed to be impossible jobs. Among their credits, the author's crew raised the sunken battleships Wst Virginia, Nevada, and california. After Pearl Harbor they moved on to other crucial salvage work off Guadalcanal and the sites of other greats sea battles. From a booksellers decription: For the first time, the chief diver of Pearl Harbor's salvage operations, Cmdr. Edward C. Raymer, USN (ret.), tells the whole story of the desperate attempts to save the ships and those caught inside after that fateful day in 1941. In spite of what seemed like an impossible mission, Raymer and his crew managed to raise the sunken battleships West Virginia, Nevada, California, and many others. 25 illustrations. 10 maps.
Note: It appears that the publishers do not indicate if a book is a later printing. The first edition is 225 x 150 mm whilst later reprints are very slightly smaller, 215 x 143 mm. The later reprints have a slightly lighter red background colour - the first edition is a 'richer' red. The paper quality of the first edition is slightly better than later reprints thus giving the phoitograohs a higher sharpness. [ps]
Training, Equipment and Operations of Our Navy's Undersea Fighters. C.B. Colby
Publisher: Coward-McCann, Inc, 1954. (US publication). Hardcover, 48 pages, size 7.5 x 10.75 inches, forty-seven b/w photographic illustrations. Each page has approximately 1/4 to 1/3 page of text, and a mono photograph above, the text describing the photograph, and places it's significance within the arena of the Navy ‘frogmen'.
Photographic volume about the navy frogmen of the WW2 era. The UDT frogmen are the forerunners of the (US) Navy Seals.
From the Foreword: Our first use in modern times of these underseas demolition teams was during the early amphibious operations of WWII. It was suddenly obvious that some sort of missions would have to be undertaken to clear proposed invasion beach areas, and their offshore waters, of both natural and man-made obstructions, mines, and entanglements. The first underwater demolition team was composed of Seabees from the NCB Training Center at Camp Peary, Virginia. These men were chosen mainly because of their knowledge of blasting with high explosives. The first volunteers answered the call on May 6, 1943, to form the original UDT. Since then, the Frogmen, as they were promptly nicknamed because of their tight rubber suits and long froglike rubber flippers, have learned a bagful of tricks to confound our enemies in waters around the world. And they are stuffing these bags with new ones every year.
Training, Equipment & Operations of Our Navy's Underseas Fighters.
(The Navy being that of the USA).
Published in 1954 by Coward-McCann Inc., New York.
48 pp (?), hard/soft cover ? "One of the first pictorial of the US Navy's Underwater Demolition Team frogmen forerunner to the famous US Navy SEALs."
See also Frogman by C.B.Colby, above. No doubt same book.
A Navy Diver's Story of Photography, Salvage and Combat.
Steven L. Waterman.
Ballantine Publishing Group, (a division of Random House), New York etc, 2000.
Edition here is softcover paperback, 280 pages, mono prints. No idea if a hardcover edition was printed.
From the blurb: "When Steve Waterman left home in 1964, he was looking for the most exciting job the U.S. Navy had to offer. So Waterman became an underwater photographer, joining an elite group that numbered only fifteen men in the entire navy - men always on call for unusual and interesting assignments. Yet it was the time Waterman spent inVietnam with Underwater Demolition Team-13 that deserves special respect. Existing in a state of adrenaline driven alertness, UDT-13 men carried out their harrowing missions. Stealthily, silently, they crept through Vietnam's waterways, never knowing if the next bend in the river concealed VC patiently waiting to spring a fiery, murderous ambush. Employing the wit and unvarnished honesty that got him into trouble more than once during his thirteen years in the navy, Waterman unfolds a compelling tale of an ordinary sailor who chose to serve his country during one of the most controversial, challenging times in its history."
The author, in his Preface, writes: "This is my first book. There may be more". I'm not too sure of that. He may have achived a lot and had a few 'harrowing missions', but his style is pretty matter-of-fact. After a dozen 'and then we...." starts to a sentence, there is a tendency to give up, but again, what he writes about is of interest. If I can't get into a book within the first two pages I give up - and as I don't want to read about a seventeen-year old get thowing up on the pavement, I nearly did give up. In fact, I could not read the whole book, and just skimmed through reading sections that appeared to be interesting. Well, as writer, he is a bloody good diver. I cannot help wonder if he is related to Stan Waterman, the famed underwater photographer and film maker. It's interesting that the author mentions his father but not by name - not that I could see anyway - and after all, I just skipped through it. [ps]
by Joseph Sidney Karneke with Victor Boesen.
Robert C Sheats (U S Navy Master Diver).
Subtitle: Diving as a Guest of the Emperor 1942
Published by: Best Publishing, USA in 1998.
Illustrated card covers with 94 printed pages. Dimensions: 23 cms tall by 15 cms wide.
This is the author’s story of his wartime experiences in the US Navy from 1941 until the end of the war. He was a “Guest of the Emperor” when he was captured by the Japanese in the Philippines in 1942 and spent 3 years and 4 months as a prisoner. The contents of the book is based on his diary done at the time and the experiences of the diving group he was involved with. Written in 7 chapters, it starts on USS Canponus AS-9 (the Old Lady) and concludes in chapter 7 in August 1945. [pt]
Further comment: Sheats is a US Navy Master Diver captured in the Philippinesin 1942 in the early years of World War 2. He was forced by the Japaneseto dive for silver worth $8 million, dumped by the US forces off Corregidorwhen Japanese capture was inevitable. His experience as a diver attemptingto survive and yet to sabotage the Japanese war effort shows the desperationthat man has in clinging to life. The author also provides a valuable insight into the Vietnam war. A great read. [ps]
BOYS - The U.S. Salvage Navy and Navy Deep Sea Diving in the Hawaiian Islands.
Christopher P. LaVoie
Published by Authorhouse, Bloomington, Illinois, USA. 2006
Softcover, 154 pages, no index, mono photographs.
From the blurb: Deep diving operations, rescues at sea and tearing up every port pulled into - this was the life of the young and ready navy divers stationed on the USS Reclaimer in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii during the early 1990's. The Reclaimer was the navy's go anywhere and do anything vessel in the Pacific. In charge of directing and supervising the roughshod deep sea divers on board was master diver Ed Starkey. Starkey was a leather-skinned and gruff voiced hard hat diver from the Vietnam era who pushed his men to get the job done regardless of danger and uncertainty. Master diver Starkey led the Reclaimer into salvage operations and open ocean rescues for many years. Starkey's Boys is a sailor's true story of the navy's toughest training, deep sea dive school, and most arduous duty, two years on the salvage/rescue ship USS Reclaimer. From the dangerous streets of Panama to the bomb covered landscape of Kahoolawe, the divers of the Reclaimer followed master diver Ed Starkey across the oceans and back. Starkey's Boys is the true story of navy diving in the Hawaiian Islands.
Okay - having read the book I can only say the following:
There is no doubt that the young men trained for navy diving and salvage work for the US Navy were a tough lot, and you have to admire how they survived the initial training; I wonder if any of the astronauts of the day could have lasted that first day on ‘the ginder'. There is also no doubt that this is a pretty ordinary book. The first half describes in somewhat interesting detail the disciplined training of navy divers at Great Lakes near Chicago, and later at the navy diving school in Hawaii; and the extraordinary undiciplined shenanigans that the trainee divers got up to off duty. It would appear that if you did not have a penchant for beer and a fast fist you just would not fit in. It is subtlely argued that this macho attitude through a demonstration that one had balls was a right of passage into the tough world of navy diving. Not having experienced the Navy myself, I have no idea if this is what is expected within the Australian Navy, but many aspiring divers reading Starkey's Boys would surely be put of from following such a career if they had at least half a brain in their head. We don't get to meet Master Diver Starkey until half way through the book when the qualified second-class diver/author is posted to the dive and salvage vessel Reclaimer based in Hawaii. I was hoping from this point on that I would learn a bit more about salvage diving, but I was disappointed. I did learn that the Mark V hard hat was used only in training, and that the Mark 12 helmet, or the Superlight 17 scuba rig, was used, predominantly for shallow water operations. And I have a fairly good idea that the Reclaimer was an ancient rust bucket and a hell-hole to bunk in. But there is nothing in the latter part of the book to excite the reader, with much of the text describing the on-shore boozing of the boys, which, frankly, I have no interest in . Add to this the naieve writing, lack of editing, and poor photo reproductions and you have a pretty ordinary book that only someone ‘who was there at the time' would appreciate - a mind-jogger for a personal trip down memory lane. [ps]
Commander Douglas Fane, U.S.N.R., and Don Moore.
U.S.FROGMEN OF WORLD WAR 2.
Published by Random House, New York, in 1964.
Hardcover, dustjacket, 178 pages, maps and photographs.
Describes the daring WWII exploits of the Underwater Demolition Teams- The U.S. Navy Frogmen. Most of the photographs in the book are from the U.S. Navy.
(Cannot conform if it did have a dust jacket, but the front board is is printed as shown.)
WEBFOOT WARRIORS; THE STORY OF UDT, THE U.S. NAVY's UNDERWATER DEMOLITION
John Day Co. New York, 1962.
STATES NAVY DIVER
Performance Under Pressure
Full colour throughout, large A4 format, hard laminted cover, 344 pages. .
This is diving at its most extreme, conducted by men (as they all are) who are throughly trained, disciplined and skilled in all aspects of underwater work. The lrge format hardcover book does justice to their training and achivements - it is quite an eye-opener. Contents includes the evolution of nvy diving, salvage and diving, equipment, the exprimental diving unit, mobile diving, underwater construction, special clearance teams, naval warfare - underater demolition and SEAL teams.
NAVY SEALS IN ACTION.
Softcover, 144 pages.
SEALs are tough and if you survive the training, youjoin an elite group of fighting men, familiar with underwater, sea andland assault tactics. This large format book shows the training, weaponsand equipment, techniques and specialist skills such as explosives. Manycolour photographs showing the SEALS in training.
WARRIORS;: A STORY OF A "FROGMAN" IN THE NAVY DURING WORLD WAR II
Edward T Higgins.
Exposition Press; 1st edition 1955.
Hardcover, 172 pages.