Rehearsal For World War II

Life aboard the gunboat Panay was an idyl, and its crewmen were the envy of the fleet. Then, without warning, Japanese bombs started to fall.

In the fall of 1937, at the entrance of almost any first- or second-class post office in the United States, one was apt to see a Navy poster that showed a fresh-faced young sailor striding up the gangplank of a battleship. Over his shoulder were slung hammock and seabag. On his face was the bright expectation of travel and adventure. And in his pocket, presumably, was the fifty-four dollars a month that a first-class seaman could make in those days. Read more »