My daughter described the book as "Dad's 'coming of age' statement" and I suppose that's a fairly accurate observation. Its an attempt to describe the successes and failures experienced by individuals who were totally innocent of the standards of military life. With few exceptions, the men - both officers and NCO's - who dominated my tour of duty during World War II, had little or no military background. We were all learning on the go. The average age in our Air Group must have been somewhere in the twenties, at the most, since there were so very many of us just entering our third decade of life. That fact alone supported the notion that our view of the world was based on something other than experience. In my case, in spite of "being on my own" during my senior year in high school and at the post high school Summer session with the Little Theatre of the Rockies at Colorado State, followed by the two or three months working in the Kaiser shipyards in Richmond, California, decisions made during that time weren't all that responsible or independent. Someone was always nearby to monitor, or more accurately, to mentor most of the things I did. And before that there was little or no independent thought or behavior that wasn't shaped or colored by the poverty and pressures of life during the great depression that frustrated any attempt at individual action. On the contrary, effort was concentrated on the well-being and survival of the family as a viable unit. It was selfish and irresponsible to go off on one's own. Even though the Navy provided considerable shelter for its young recruits, and certainly didn't encourage individual behavior over that of the group, it expected responsible compliance with its rules and regulations whether individually or otherwise. And so it was at the age of eighteen years, three months, I entered the maze of activities designed not only to produce an able seaman, but would most certainly turn "boy" into a "man." The events and accompanying experiences that occurred during the several levels of training and more than seven months of combat duty contributed to the growth of technical as well as social skills, which in the long view, might have been of much greater importance. It was the interaction with other people that created the most memorable events that are described here. The military deeds were necessary, but it was the men who supported my efforts to do my share who remain forever on the shadows of my memory.