This is an action filled World War Two historical fiction novel about Jacob Scott Williams, the assistant gun director on the battleship Oklahoma when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.
The story begins with a news reporter for a radio station getting the assignment to interview a retired Navy admiral who is celebrating his one hundredth birthday. The conversation rapidly turns to the memories of William’s participation in WW2, when he accepted the surrender of a Japanese submarine at the end of the war. From there he continues to relate the major events in his experience which led him to that point.
The action starts with LCDR Williams having a meeting with the junior officers under his command in the officer’s wardroom on the morning of December 7th, when the first torpedo strikes the ship. Ten minutes later he is swimming for his life in Pearl Harbor as the battleship Arizona blows up and his own ship rolls over and dies.
Consumed by thoughts of revenge, his deepest desire is to kill as many Japanese as he can before the war is over. He accepts a transfer to the battleship North Carolina taking the position as the Air Defense Officer. Several years after that he receives command of a light cruiser called the Buffalo. During his tours of duty on each of these ships he witnesses several torpedo attacks, air attacks, a submarine attack and one of the first organized Kamikaze attacks of the war. Each battle he faces he loses more of his shipmates and several times faces the possibility of his own death.
But his one-on-one confrontation with the deadliest of his enemies proves more shocking and life-changing than all his battles and tragedies combined. This man’s journey from hatred to honor is one that will strike directly at the heart of any human being.