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World War II interrupted Ray Mann’s college career in political economy and journalism. At midshipman school he chose service in the amphibious corps and was given command of a LCT (a 120 foot vessel.) As a green ensign , learned to lead a crew of a dozen men. Soon they were shipped to the South Pacifi c. The 22-year-old offi cer encountered unusual situations: being lost among fi shing nets in Chesapeake Bay, leading a shore patrol into a rowdy Panama barroom, swimming under the ship to dislodge hawsers , almost losing a sinking ship, fi ghting a vicious typhoon, being run over in a row boat, landing in Luzon close to enemy lines, dangling on a line over two ships clashing together in rough weather. In Manila the skipper turned his hand at practicing journalism by investigating the political situation. He interviewed businessmen, senators , labor leaders, guerillas , and journalists. He uncovered corrupt ion and the powerful forces at work in a postwar political culture . He met a world-famous journalist and traveled with him to the mountain town of Baguio to fi nd out how a former collaborationist to be turned into a “patriot” so he could be groomed to become president of the Philippines . Life aboard ship was always lively with a scheming cook, an antagonistic exec, an ambitious quartermaster, a sympathetic bo’sun, an emotional gunners mate, and some crew members concerned with alcohol , sex, and liberty. The events actually happened and the characters are real people.

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