What Others Are Saying
Naval History Magazine December 2020:
"Gay's writing style and use of primary sources brings to life the war for LST-479's crews. The hastily designed and built LSTs were mechanically problematic ships that consistently broke down, lost power, and straggled behind in convoys. Nevertheless, their cargo capacity and low draft made them indispensable for transporting soldiers, Marines, supplies, and equipment onto recently seized beachheads. As the Navy plans to return to a 355-ship fleet, senior planners would be well served to read histories such as Unseen Body Blows to be reminded that naval power projection means more than just aircraft carriers, cruisers, and submarines."
Jeff Bacon, Captain, USN, Retired and creator of "Broadside" and "Greenside:"
"Just got my brand new book about LST 479 - one of the unsung heroes of the Pacific Campaign in WWII. ... What a tremendous read!"
Ross Dickerson, Commander, USN., Retired:
"This is a great read and highly recommended. Most of us big-deck Navy types "poo-poo" the Gator Navy, but without them we don't win in WWII. Period! It details the crews commonly manning MOST naval ships at the time: young, greener than green, fresh off the farm and operating a brand new, untested ship class. You think your 15-year old has growing pains? Compare that to the LST!!"
Stephen Gilford, Author of Build 'Em by the Mile, Cut 'Em off by the Yard: How Henry J. Kaiser and the Rosies Helped Win World War Two:
"In exhaustive research of ships logs, personal papers, official Navy documents in archives across the country -- and in records of shipyards, some of which have been closed for generations -- William Gay has shone a light on these almost forgotten vessels."
Carol Lutken, Daughter of Neil Blanton, LST 479 Commanding Officer 1944-45:
"Bill Gay's book is the tale of a diverse and geographically disparate group of youngsters called together to become a team capable of doing things for which they were not especially well prepared, to play whatever part they were assigned to get the job done. That job was to turn the tide of the war."