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Sea Stories: A Memoir of a Naval Officer (1956-1967)
AT THE HEIGHT OF THE CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS, ENSIGN SLAUGHTER FOUND HIMSELF STARING EYE TO EYE WITH VITALI SAVITSKY, CAPTAIN OF A SOVIET SUBMARINE, ARMED WITH A NUCLEAR TORPEDO. On October 27, 1962 - called Black Saturday by the Kennedy White House - the USS Cony surfaced B-59, a Soviet submarine. Gary Slaughter, a 23 year-old US Navy Ensign, studied the sullen face of Captain Vitali Savitsky, his sworn enemy, at a distance of only 200 feet. Slaughter was the only officer on Cony trained to communicate with the Russian Captain. His objective was to dissuade Savitsky from launching his torpedo which - as Slaughter would learn 40 years later - was tipped with a 15 kiloton nuclear device that would have precipitated an all-out nuclear exchange that most certainly would have destroyed the world. Sea Stories: Memoir of a Naval Officer (1956-1967) brings this incredible true event vividly to life in one of the 60 vignettes comprising this book that spans Slaughter’s naval service during the Cold War. Other vignettes depict the danger of Navy life over the course of his naval career: •\tDuring a Mediterranean tour aboard a destroyer on which Slaughter was serving as Engineering Officer, a boiler explodes. Two badly burner sailors die before they can be transported by helicopter to a hospital ashore. •\tAfter too many beers, a sailor returns to the ship and jumps into the icy waters off the coast of Portland, Maine. As senior officer aboard, Slaughter must deal with this apparent suicide attempt. •\tWhile being transferred by high-line from his destroyer to an aircraft carrier, Slaughter nearly drowns when he is dropped into the rough sea while trapped in a closed metal cage. Slaughter has the unique skill to see humor and likability in the people and the situations he encountered during his Navy career. His writing skills are on full display in Sea Stories, as well as in his series of five award-winning Cottonwood novels set on the World War II home front. Midwest Book Review predicts what you can expect from Sea Stories: “Slaughter is an undeniably talented writer, a master at describing lovable characters and an engaging story-telling narrative enriched with humor and originality.” Vice Admiral John Bulkeley, Medal of Honor recipient and one of the three most highly decorated heroes of World War II, described Slaughter as follows: “Lieutenant Slaughter has served as my personal aide and the administrator of my organization, the Navy Board of Inspection and Survey, comprising over 300 naval officers and civilians. To perform this job well requires an officer having exceptional administrative and management ability. It further requires responsibility, tact, and a keen and astute mind. His military character is beyond reproach and his personal character is outstanding.”

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