John Domagalski Copyright 2022
The eerie silence of the South Pacific night of August 2, 1943 was shattered when a Japanese destroyer suddenly emerged from the blackness to slice the small wooden PT-109 in half. The surviving crewmen and their boat captain – a young John F. Kennedy – began a desperate struggle for survival. The sinking marked the final episode of what would become one of the most famous warships in American history. Behind the well-documented account of the future president and the boat’s sinking, is the little-known story of the two officers who first commanded PT-109. The book brings to life a riveting World War II story of combat and survival.
"John Domagalski demonstrates in this thoroughly researched narrative, there was far more to the boat's achievements in the South Pacific than the terrifying night when a Japanese destroyer cut her in two. This account crackles with intensity."
- Paul Stillwell, author of Battleship Arizona
The early morning hours of July 6, 1943, brought the sinking of USS Helena off the Solomon Islands in what would later be known as the Battle of Kula Gulf. As the last of the light cruiser disappeared below the ocean’s surface, her remaining crewmen’s struggle for survival had only just begun. The book tells the epic little-known story of Helena’s survivors, including a group of sailors trapped on a Japanese-held island behind the front lines.
“Sunk in Kula Gulf is a thrilling account of one of World War II’s most dramatic episodes.”
- Alex Kershaw, author of The First Wave: The D-Day Warriors Who Led the Way to Victory in World War II
The dramatic account of two American warships in the South Pacific, the book follows the last days of USS Astoria and USS Chicago when both warships participated in the critical battle for Guadalcanal during World War II. Readers are transported inside the gun turrets, behind the lookout binoculars, and below deck as the battle rages. Individual stories of heroism, sacrifice and survival unfold as lives become intertwined and both vessels meet their fates in the South Pacific.
"An absorbing and poignant narrative."
- Nautical Research Journal
A small group of American sailors in the Philippines were propelled into the forefront of the fighting during the opening days of World War II in the Pacific. They were armed with six small wooden torpedo boats and led by a courageous larger than life character in Lieutenant John Bulkeley. The men of Torpedo Boat Squadron Three faced insurmountable odds as they conducted a series of heroic operations against Japanese naval forces, including the evacuation of General Douglas MacArthur. The book tells their story through the intertwined accounts of Bulkeley, his second in command Robert Kelly, and young naval reserve officer Iliff Richardson. It is a saga of courage under fire and of brave men making the most of a desperate situation.
“Author John Domagalski has taken the opportunity to rekindle interest in MTB-3’s amazing feats, and he has retold their story in compelling detail. This volume draws from earlier and largely forgotten sources to provide a complete and exciting narrative that seems unbelievable.”
- Naval Historical Foundation