Next Book - The Hooligans


PT boats in the southwest Pacific, known condescendingly as the Hooligan Navy by their shipboard counterparts, were a bit of a wild bunch. This book relates their many adventures amidst the chaos of the Guadalcanal invasion and the bloody struggle to drive Japan out of the Solomons Islands. It stars a young surgeon who runs afoul of the Navy Medical Corps bureaucracy and gets banished to a squadron of the torpedo boats as their squadron doc. The story runs from the invasion all the way to the battle of Leyte Gulf, where the Hooligans were often the first ones in at the opening of a sea fight, slogging it out at fifty knots with Japanese battleships, cruisers, destroyers and even heavily armed motorized barges in blazing and terrifying night battles. The Japanese called them Devil Boats and hunted them ferociously. When not fighting, the Hooligans had to fend for themselves to acquire spare parts, ammo, food, and medical supplies from a disdainful Navy, which they managed to do by sending a highly professional gang of midnight requisitioners up over the sides of any anchored Navy ship that wasn't minding the store. Part seaborne fighter pilots, part destroyer bait, part pirates, the life of the Hooligans was never boring.