Recent release “An American Destroyer: USS Hamner (DD-718),” from Page Publishing author Kenneth Ericksen, is a fascinating look at the valiant role played by the USS Hammer destroyer ship during its active duty in the U.S. Navy. Drawing from his own experiences and information collected over thirty years, Erickson revives the former warship for readers to witness its magnificent glory.
Kenneth Ericksen, who was enlisted in the U.S. Navy from 1952 to 1956 and served in the Aleutian Islands before being transferred to the USS Hamner, was unable to complete his book before his death in 2021. But his work was not lost as Kenneth Ericksen bequeathed his manuscript to the USS Hamner DD-718 Association enabling the editor (and secretary of the association) to complete his new book, “An American Destroyer: USS Hamner (DD-718)”: a captivating overview of the titular Gearing-class destroyer naval ship and its incredible service to the U.S. Navy during its operation.
“I have asked myself many times over, what drives one in an endless effort to write this book? I never came up with an answer other than pride,” writes Ericksen. “In the beginning, I had no idea it would take so long, for had I realized how long, I may never have attempted to write the book. In essence, this book is the culmination of nearly thirty years of collecting information from her crew, Naval logs stored at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland, and documents and letters from Henry R. Hamner’s family. Without these, the book would not have been possible.
“Unlike the writing of most books which have a beginning, middle, and end, this book was compiled incrementally over numerous years as the data and photographs were made available to me. I created brochures with this information that were given out each year at reunions held by USS Hamner DD-718 Association since 1992.
“Naval combat ships such as Hamner were in essence weapon platforms employing a crew of young sailors, mostly under the age of twenty-two. During the Hamner’s life, thousands of sailors crossed her decks, but not one was killed during combat. However, some eleven sailors lost their lives in accidents.
“All that being said, this is the story of an American destroyer, USS Hamner (DD-718), and her service in major wars and as a training vessel during peacetime. It’s also the story of the men who served aboard and knew her well. I dedicate this book to those brave sailors.”
Published by Page Publishing, Kenneth Ericksen’s thrilling tale is inspired by the author’s time serving aboard the USS Hamner (DD-178) and is accessible to readers of all backgrounds who may know only little of day-to-day naval operations. Edited by Patricia Hathaway, who served the American Legion and Auxiliary for many years and has been an officer of the USS Hamner DD-718 Association for thirteen years, “An American Destroyer” helps to bring a vital piece of US Naval history to life to preserve her lasting legacy and the memories of her crews.
Readers who wish to experience this riveting work can purchase “An American Destroyer: USS Hamner (DD-718)” at bookstores everywhere, or online at the Apple iTunes Store, Amazon, Google Play, or Barnes and Noble.