cover image New Stories from the South: The Year's Best, 1990

New Stories from the South: The Year's Best, 1990

Shannon Ravenel, Editor Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill $9.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-945575-52-8

The men in the U.S. submarine service comprised less than 2% of the total naval personnel yet accounted for more than half the enemy ships sunk during WW II. The cost was high: 22% of American submariners were lost in battle. Mendenhall's diary reveals in vivid detail what it was like to fight the submarine war in the Pacific. Beginning his combat career as a junior ensign and rising to the rank of lieutenant commander, he served variously as navigator, torpedo officer and executive officer over the course of 11 action-packed patrols, seven aboard USS Sculpin , four aboard USS Pintado. In his low-key journal the retired rear admiral describes stalking enemy convoys, coping with unexpected engineering problems and dangerous accidents at sea, surviving air and depth-charge attacks--and not so incidentally sending some 30 Japanese warships and merchant vessels to the bottom. Photos. (Jan.)