The battle, including his funny story, was written up in a book by James D. Hornfischer, The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors (“tin can” was the nickname for a destroyer). Dad gave that book to each of us kids when it was published, in 2004. It was the only way he could tell us anything close to his true experience. If you’re ever looking for another reason to say why books should keep getting published, remember that one.
Hornfischer’s book is not a memoir, but it helped me to fill in the blanks my dad wouldn’t touch. It helped me comprehend the devastation, the enormity of war, and why my dad focused on everything but, the rest of his long life. He focused on family, on responsibility, and on enjoying his time. He created a life for his kids that helped us believe the world was a good place.