Battleship Sailor by Theodore Mason

Ensuring one’s safety is a task we ought to do for ourselves. However, serving in battle for one’s country is not very common to all. In this way, we can say that military officers are real heroes. Being in the service, they promise to do their best not only to defend lives in danger, but guard the nation’s security. In his book, Theodore Mason details the war he witnessed as a navy officer during the bombing of the Pearl Harbor. Set in 1941, the author provides details on the struggles of being in the navy—the challenges and boredom, success and fears.

Unlike other accounts of wars, this book takes a different angle in that the author is not a colored officer, rather a low-rank radio operator who was not well-trained in ammunitions. At first, the book is a bit monotonous, as it talks about the usual everyday life of the members of the navy. Mason’s use of acronyms and his namecalling could almost make the ordinary reader sleep for difficulty of relating with the characters and things he mentioned. Nevertheless, he is good at describing virtually the environment and the people around him.

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He wrote about the drinking sprees they had in Honolulu, San Francisco and Seattle when they went on shore. Just like the usual navy officers, they had fun drinking, dancing, and watching girls. The main part of the book is the Japanese plot on the ships, which is made intense by the fact that the navy officials that time were on shore, thus the ammunitions were all locked up. To worsen the situation, Mason states that crews did not have much knowledge of defense, and were not trained to hold ammunitions.
When the Japanese attacked on the Pearl Harbor, Mason was sent to USS California’s maintop, which allowed him a bird’s eyeview of everything happening, including the sinking of their ship and the devastation caused by the enemies. At the end of the book, the author gives his reflections about the war. From what he witnessed, he expressed sadness from the ruins of war to a nation so beautiful and great. Work Cited Mason, Theodore. “Battleship Sailor. ” Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1994.

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