A Blue Sea of Blood by Donald M. Kehn
Deciphering the Mysterious Fate of the USS Edsall

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On the morning of March 1, 1942, the WWI-era destroyer USS Edsall--under orders to deliver some forty Army Air Force fighter crews to the beleaguered island of Java--split off from the USS Whipple and the tanker Pecos and was never seen again by Allied forces. Despite the later discovery of bodies identified as Edsall crewmembers near a remote airfield on the coast of Celebes, what happened to the ship remains a matter of mystery and, perhaps, deliberate obfuscation.


This book explores the many puzzling facets of the Edsall’s disappearance in order to finally tell the full story of the fate of the vessel and her crew. Based on exhaustive research of the historical record--including newly deciphered Japanese documents and previously unrevealed material from the crew’s family members--Upon a Blue Sea of Blood offers a painstaking reconstruction of the ship’s history. The book investigates not only the Edsall’s mysterious final action, but also her wide-ranging pre-war career and the curious uses to which her story was put--generally under false pretenses--first by the pre-war U.S. Navy and then by the Japanese wartime propaganda machine. And finally, military historian Donald Kehn considers the circumstances surrounding the curious obscurity of the Edsall’s heroic service and final battle in American histories. Redressing six decades of official indifference, Kehn’s account recovers a significant chapter missing from the history of World War II--and tells a long-overdue story of courage and tragic loss.


About Donald M. Kehn

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Donald M. Kehn Jr. is a military historian and researcher. He attended South Texas Junior College (now the University of Houston-Downtown) and the University of Texas-Austin. He is currently the official historian for the USS Houston (CA-30) Survivors Association and the official historian of the Naval Order of the United States, Texas Commandery. Kehn has contributed to works by James D. Hornfischer (Ship of Ghosts), Vincent P. O'Hara (The U.S. Navy Against the Axis), Mark Felton (The Fujita Plan), and William H. Bartsch (Every Day a Nightmare-forthcoming). A Blue Sea of Blood is Kehn's first book. Kehn lives and works in Houston, Texas, where he was born and raised.
Published January 15, 2009 by Zenith Press. 306 pages
Genres: History, War, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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