Rendezvous with Destiny: A Sailor's War
Mason looks back on his career in the Navy over the entire course of the war. Written from the perspective of a young enlisted man, the book begins ... Show synopsis Mason looks back on his career in the Navy over the entire course of the war. Written from the perspective of a young enlisted man, the book begins with his decision to joint the service in 1939, continues through his baptism of fire at Pearl Harbor, and ends with V-J Day and some additional thoughts on the changes he has seen in the country and its navy since the war's end. Mason is an astute observer of life belowdecks, and his candid and engaging style sweeps readers back in time and place to fight alongside him in the Pacific. His language is colorful, often eloquent, and he has phenomenal recall of detail. To be certain that he got his facts right, Mason tested action reports and deck logs against war diaries and interviews with eyewitnesses. He has a keen eye for injustice and is often critical of the harsh treatment of enlisted men. For example, he faults senior officers for awarding other officers medals not fully earned while ignoring the valor of such men as Chief Quartermaster Robert Sedberry in the Nevada. He condemns the inequality of the Navy's liquor policy and the hypocrisy of its rules against fraternization with nurses. Several revealing pages of the book are devoted to the story of an Army doctor in New Caledonia who was ordered to open a bordello, the now-famous Pink House of Noumea. This book is filled with tales that deserve to be told for the rare insights they offer into the views, reactions, opinions, and philosophies of the World War II sailor.