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Synopsis

Rear Admiral Edward Baxter Billingsley's book, The Emmons Saga, captures the deck plate routine of the Sailors aboard Emmons as she intersected with the great events of World War II and influenced the course of history. Any reader who has ever served afloat will recognize the authenticity of every detail, and will appreciate the complex relationship of an individual ship with war and diplomacy.

This is a history of brave men – members of "the greatest generation" – who operated in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters of World War II. Admiral Billingsley provides us a microcosm of World War II naval warfare, spanning the Battle of the Atlantic, the North African Campaign, the Normandy Invasion and the Battle of Okinawa. Historic facts and colorful sea-stories depict life aboard a naval combatant and illuminate the bonds of friendship and trust that developed among this group of young, inexperienced, and untested youth. As members of that "special" generation pass on at a rate of over 1,000 each day, it is important that the virtues and sacrifice that they epitomize be remembered by future generations of Americans.

USS EMMONS rose from the depths of obscurity in 2001 when her gravesite was discovered off the shores of Okinawa and charted by American recreational divers. Her rediscovery has focused renewed interest both in the United States and Japan into the character of the American youth of that generation. The Emmons Saga, originally published a decade and a half ago, has been revised and up-dated, and it deserves a place of honor on the bookshelf of every maritime historian and lover of the sea.

RADM Jacob L. Shuford, USNB
President, Naval War College

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