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94 pagine
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May 18, 2015


Submarines are dangerous war machines. They are dangerous to the enemy and to the crew. When one goes to the bottom of the sea, never to return, it is a national tragedy. When one is attacked, all hands are involved. When a crew of 140 is attack and one survives, it is a different story. This is the story of that one man.

May 18, 2015

Informazioni sull'autore

Born in California and raised in Arizona. Grew to love the west at a young age while growing up in a blue collar home. Never knew we were kinda poor until I was 21 and making more money than my dad. Dad and mom were still raising three of my siblings. It was a shocker. I joined the navy after high school to get out of school and promptly went to over 2 years of technical schools. Rode submarines for 20 years and retired. Went back to school and earned a D. Min. while I pastored a couple of small town churches full of great people. My big dream in life was to be a cowboy and own a ranch. Santa never brought me a horse. At 37 I bought a horse and a ranch and lived my dream. I started writing at 39 and sold a few pieces to Mother Earth News, Countryside, and Arizona Magazine, along with many others. Wrote my first book and quit mailing out that western after 47 rejections. Nobody ever read it. That western is BLOOD ON THE ZUNI which has all five star reviews to date. Got the itch and kept writing. I recommend GENTLE REBELLION. It is the story of the life I wished I could live for years. I wrote it in my head on many a mid-watch at sea. PS. Sea horses are no fun to ride.

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Sailor - Doug Ball


Smashwords Edition

Copyright 2015 Douglas H. Ball

Discover other titles by Doug at

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of the author.






The Old Westerns

Blood on the Zuni


Lone Tree

The Not So Old Westerns

Gentle Rebellion

4 X Armed

Rebellion’s New Beginnings

The State of Arizona Series

Alternative current history

State of Defense (also in audiobook)

State of Threat (also in audiobook)

State of Peril

Biblical Studies

Puzzling Theology

The Fishy Prophet

Cover art by the author

This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance between characters and persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

Any references to ships, persons, or dates are purely fiction and the creation of the author’s mind.

It has been 40 years since the author last set foot on a submarine, please excuse any mistakes as to where things are, who does what, terminology, and most of all real life on board.

This book is dedicated to

Submarine Sailors


and all those who

go down to the sea in ships


travel in harm’s way.

And of course


On 10 April 1963, one of the great tragedies within the Submarine Force of the United States Navy occurred with the loss of 129 men, real men. The USS Thresher went to the bottom with all hands. This is an article by Dr. Joyce Brothers that I found in my memories box. I have no idea who published it or where it came from other than the top of my copy (Typewritten in all caps) attributes it to the good Doctor, so I will, also.

It makes Submarine Sailors sound like heroes ready to die at a moment’s notice, when in fact we were just having more fun than everyone else.



Dr. Joyce Brothers

The tragic loss of the Submarine Thresher and 129 men had a special kind of impact on the nation….. A special kind of sadness, mixed with universal admiration for the men who choose this type of work.

One could not mention the Thresher without observing, in the same breath, how utterly final and alone the end is when a ship dies at the bottom of the sea…. And what a remarkable specimen of man it must be who accepts such risk.

What is it, then, that lures men to careers in which they spend so much of their time in cramped quarters, under great psychological stress, with danger lurking all about them?

Togetherness is an overworked term, but in no other branch of our military service is it given such full meaning as in the so-called Silent Service. In an undersea craft, each man is totally dependent upon the skill of every other man in the crew, not only for top performance, but for actual survival. Each knows that his very live depends on the others and because this is so, there is a bond among them that both challenges and comforts them. All of this gives the Submariner a special feeling of pride, because he is indeed a member of an elite corps. The risks, then, are an inspiration rather than a deterrent.

The challenge of masculinity is not pathological, as it might be in certain dare-devil pursuits, such as driving a motorcycle through a flaming hoop. There is nothing dare-devilish about the motivations of the man who decides to dedicate his life to the Submarine Service. He does, indeed, take pride in demonstrating that he is quite a man, but he does not do so to practice foolhardy brinksmanship to see how close he can get to failure and still snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

On the contrary, the aim in the Submarine Service is to battle the danger to minimize the risk, to take every measure to make certain that safety rather than danger is maintained at all times.

Are the men in Submarines braver than those in other pursuits where the possibility of sudden tragedy is not constant? The glib answer would be that they are. It is much more accurate, from a psychological point of view, to say they are not necessarily braver, but that they are men who have a little more insight into themselves and their capabilities. They know themselves a little better than the next man. This has to be so with men who have a healthy reason to volunteer for a risk. They are generally a cut healthier emotionally than others of similar age and background because of their willingness to push themselves a little bit farther and not settle for an easier kind of existence. We all have tremendous capabilities, but are rarely straining at the upper level of what we can do; these men are.

The country can be proud and grateful that so many of its sound young eager men care enough about their own status in life and the welfare of their country to pool their skills and match them collectively against the power of the sea.

Author’s note - When I mailed this to my parents in 1963, I wrote on it, We think she is off her nut. We’re just in it for the money. The bravado is better shown by the fact that on the day that Thresher died I called my mother before I checked in with my boat crew.



He strode the deck like a ship’s master, walking with his feet apart as if he were on the reeling deck in a storm at sea. The decking of the USS Bowfin was a shade of gray called by the Navy, Number 27 gray. He wore no uniform, but everything about him said, SAILOR.

I walked in his direction after saluting the flag and requesting permission to come aboard.

He returned my salute and gave me permission to board, You did that right smartly, boy.

It was said that high praise from my Grandfather was not easily come by. But, then again, I had never met him before. Neither had my father, his son.

I learned much of it from you, Gramps. The rest the Navy taught me during my short stint. I paused as I took in the man that was my Gramps whom I had never met. I got to see pictures of you and hear fantastic stories of you and your heroism. The posthumous medals hung proudly on the mantle of the home of Mom and her husband, my father, the sailor. He bragged on you without reservation. Mom cried ever year on the anniversary of your death. My father just hung the flag in the front yard at half-mast every year and I was forced to live the lie along with them.

Son, it wasn’t a lie. Your Grandfather died that day way back then for all intents and purpose. He ceased to exist as a living person in every record there could possibly be. You got to go to Annapolis because of my medals. You lived well because of my medals. Your whole family, my son, his wife, and you, lived very well because of my medals. But, I live.

How did that happen? You never came to see us. You never sent any letters.

It’s a long story. I don’t care to relive it but one more time. That’s why I called you here.

That’s why you sent me a plane ticket and $500 cash. You wanted to let me see the phony that is my father’s father, the dead man.

Yes. Only I am alive, but the other 139 men on that boat are not.

"Oh, goody, the lone survivor of a submarine that sank on the high seas. How could that even

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