Next Book - The Last Paladin

 

It’s late summer in the western Pacific, 1944. The American Pacific Fleet is assembling for an amphibious assault on Saipan Island in the Marianas Group. The Japanese high command knows something is coming, but not exactly where. An Atlantic Fleet destroyer escort, USS Holland, along with five others, is moved from North Atlantic convoy duty to the Pacific. She arrives later than the other five, which draws the ire of the destroyer squadron commander at Tulagi, in the Solomons. As a result, she is sent out into an empty quarter of the Philippine Sea to ‘learn her lesson’ about how ships are expected to act in the Pacific Fleet.

While steaming independently in the middle of nowhere, she encounters a Japanese submarine and sinks it. Four days later, she sinks a second one. Her skipper believes he’s stumbled onto a Japanese submarine picket line, arrayed in the Philippine Sea to discover which way the Big Blue Fleet is headed and thus warn the Japanese fleet commander. The Tulagi squadron commander, somewhat embarrassed by his exile’s sudden success, sluffs off the DE’s captain’s theory, but then intelligence comes in from Pearl Harbor that there might indeed be a picket line, 1000 miles long, positioned to detect any large American formation moving into the Philippine Sea. The Last Paladin tells the tale of how USS Holland, all by herself, proceeds to sink a total of sixJapanese submarines, and thus open the way for Nimitz’s fleet to attack Saipan with no advance warning getting back to the Japanese commanders at Brunei. This tale is based on real events.

P.T. Deutermann