When Duty Whispers Low
By: John J. Gobbell
Reviewed by: James Healy
Overall rating: Four stars--Highly
recommended. An excellent book.
the Pacific in World War II! A bomb damaged Fletcher-class destroyer must be
beached and then repel boarders while the survivors attempt to escape via PT
boats. It's a novel, but actual historical events form the backdrop for Lt.
Commander Todd Ingram's adventures. Linked to the story are the shooting down
of Admiral Yamamoto and the introduction of the highly secret VT proximity
fuze. As executive officer aboard the USS Howell, Ingram has already
experienced the intense and very damaging attacks by enemy aircraft. When his
skipper refuses to use the new fuzes (for specific reasons) and the Howell
is nearly sunk, Ingram resents his skipper. But there's more, Ingram
inadvertently sees secret documents and US agents are bent on taking him out.
"When Duty Whispers Low" is the (apparent) last of a trilogy written by author
John Gobbell on the World War II exploits of Todd Ingram. The first: "The Last
Lieutenant" focuses on an escape from Corregidor as it succumbs to incessant
bombardment, thus ending US organized resistance in the Philippines. There's a
German spy with information about Midway, and romance, as Ingram is concerned
over army nurse Helen Durand who might have to be left behind. The second
novel: "A Code for Tomorrow" presents perhaps less plausible situations than
the first book (and the last), and you might begin to say hey wait a minute
this is too much! One subplot revolves around the ineffectiveness of the US
torpedoes at the start of the war and the highly successful "long lance"
torpedo of the enemy. In all three books many characters are encountered. The
author's use of a "cast of characters" listing in the front of each novel will
be used-especially if you put the book down for a day or two. Some may find his
Japanese/Korean characters politically incorrect. As a former naval officer
with destroyer experience (USS Tingey, DD-539 for one), the author is
most effective describing the sea actions and weapons. As a result, navy people
will be comfortable with his details. Read all three if you can. If you can
only read one-pick "When Duty Whispers Low."
Tin Can Sailors Ship's Store.