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Died with a flawless gesture of self immolation and others died as the result of injuries sustained in falling through a privy But thought Roberts if they did not ive as the result of injuries sustained in falling through a privy But thought Roberts if they did not The Joy of Tax live they are evey one eually dead and you could say this affirmative thing of all that in a war of terrifying conseuence and overwhelming agony they participated one hundred per cent That was the only true thing you could say for all but it was enough The was demanded the shortening of how many two million five hundred and sixty thousand twho hundred and fourteenives and these men were chosen So pile them high at Austerlitz and Waterloo and Ypres and Verdun and and add a few places Aachen and Dunkerue and Anzio only do not talk Cryers Hill lies about the deadThis passage astonished me as weive today in a world of military hero worship Will anyone have the guts to write something My Education like this about today s wars and in turn have it be so popularly embraced as this book was Mister Roberts was an interesting book about a study ofeaders and their style of Heiresses leadership during WWII in the wide Pacific The author Thomas Heggen a young naval officer served on various ships and one of them was a shipike the USS Reluctant as described in the book I felt a kinship since I too served in the US Navy but after WWII and my ships were destroyers or as they are referred to in this book tin cans Mr Thomas Heggen description of the routine on a ship I am very familiar with even after having been retired now years than I can remember One tradition that is constant after a ship is commission is the coming to ife of a ship as the crew goes aboard From that moment on until the ship is decommissioned the watch is set There are all kinds of watches and stations of every evolution of a is decommissioned the watch is set There are all kinds of watches and stations of every evolution of a while hazy gray and underway or while in port Another constant is that the ship reuires replenishment of fuel munitions ordinances supplies food etc All of these reuire working parties to ay to Of course there are also reuest for emergency 006 and a Bit leave reuest for transfers and such but all are in accordance of the US Navy and most important the needs of the US Navy A chit is used to reuest any action by a crew member That chit goes up the chain of command and theast person to sign it approved or disapprove is the Captain of the ship After it is forward on to the Bureau for their action This book shows without a doubt that poor The Night Calls leaders makeousy decisions this in affect has not changed In my day the best Navy tradition is iberty Now there are so many other Navy traditions that makes you feel proud to put on your Cracker Jacks this is your Dress Uniform and strut your stuff down the pier Oh yeah this book covers uite a few but then again it only touches the tip of the iceberg also many passages tip of the iceberg Also many passages those who have been there and done that will bring a smile of the time you served with your Uncle Sam and visited countless places around this blue planet that as a youngster only dreamed of while study geography in elementary school Always thinking that someday you will do it but if you for whatever reason missed this opportunity I recommend reading this book Then for a few hours you can ive what the sailors on the United States Ship USS Reluctant during WWII as told to you by the author Thomas Heggen who served in the US Navy during that period of World History Loved the movie The Fate of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, loved the play and now Iove this book which everything else was based on Obviously there is much detail in here than in the other two sources And it was those details that made this so incredible of a read This book was written by my father s first cousin so I have always had an attachment to the story and the film The author s wry sense of humor is still amusing in many instancesThe book consists of a series of Charming the Highlander (Highlander, loosely connected short stories The title character only appears in a few of them which I found disappointing Despite this the book is a pleasant readThe setting is a navy cargo It is early spring 1945 and World War Two rages onsomewhere else Here in the backwaters of the Pacific Ocean the Reluctant an auxiliary cargo vessel of the United States Navy sails from miserable coral island to miserable jungle island deliveringoads of non urgent supplies This old tub has never seen action and it s probably never see action something that s a The Substitute Bridegroom lo. Ific during WWII Irreverent hilarious the book shows readers what a realeader is in the guise of Mr Rober. Mister Roberts

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57 Mister Roberts by Thomas Heggen Joshua Logan Physical Play 4 This play takes place during WWII on a cargo ship in the Pacific Theater just prior to V E day The war by the time this play was written was over and so it s a some what ight hearted comedy to a war weary nation Most of the play is staged on the deck of the ship with a few scenes in the cabin shared by Lt AJG Roberts and Ensign Pulver Mister Roberts is basically Lt AJG Roberts and Ensign Pulver Mister Roberts is basically serious naval officer who wants nothing than to be transferred to a ship that s In The Thick Of The Battle Where the thick of the battle where rest of the personal are bored but glad to be assigned where they are Ensign Pulver is the main character that is full of shenanigans and he gives the play most of the fun and aughter I enjoyed it up until the end of the playseriously writers why not just dump my popcorn in my Painful Inheritance lap and pour soda over my head Checked out a bunch of books in preparation for the show I m in currently and one of them is this book I finished itate Succubus Nights (Georgina Kincaid, last night when I had insomnia and I was so sad afterwards that I couldn t sleep I kept thinking about the book and how it relates to the play I m inwhich is going into tech this week and I guess I just had one of those tech week insomnia nights Though I have to say not a good way to start aong week Sothe book jacket probably has the best descriptions of the bookI m not going to try and improve upon their 1946 publishers they will always do a better job than I ever willBack cover Thomas Heggen s story Night Watch was an Atlantic Monthl The book is a A Metropolitan Murder (Inspector Webb, lotess ight hearted than the movie adaptation The story is rather dated and not terribly interesting The captain isn t as over the top as Cagney portrayed him in the movie and in the book Doug Roberts is in his mid 20 s Hollywood wanted star power and cast Henry Fonda who was 50 at that time to portray Doug Roberts Probably all of us have seen the classic Mister Roberts play or movie The book is better It captures the mind numbing tedium much better and the humor is scorched with irony and paradoxical pain The hero Mr Roberts spends his time on board trying to eave the safety of his cargo transport s milk runs filing one transfer reuest after another seeking the action of a war ship The author Thomas Heggens was discovered drowned in his bathroom in 1949 an apparent suicide despite or perhaps because of the huge financial success of the book and play The Reluctant was a cargo ship engaged to carry trucks and toothpaste on a regular run from Ted Mister Roberts by Thomas Heggen is a terrific example of Classic Naval Literature THERE ARE NUMEROUS PUBLISHED VERSIONS OF THIS NOVEL I are numerous published versions of this novel I one published by the Naval Institute Press a great organization and a wonderful protector of Naval tradition I had a Naval Postgraduate School Professor who once told me that progressing through a Naval career was A Sign Of The Times like sliding down aong pipe At the beginning each of us has our own uniue edges and shapes and uirks but by the time we progress through the end of the pipe each of those edges and burrs and individual anomalies are smoothed off by the friction and constraints of the pipe Perhaps it is for that reason the Navy that I ve always Company Commander loved isn t that of the steely eyed warrior standing nobly at the conn while making calm decisions in the midst of chaos that s certainly great stuff and reuires personnel made of in the words of Tom Wolfe the Right Stuff But the Navy I prefer is the skeevier one the Navy where the best part of the day is experiencing theunacy and randomness that results in a doozy of a sea story told ater preferably in an overseas bar slightly exaggerated to an appreciative raucous rabid responsive crowd of shipmates friends neer do wells and just met hangers on The two cruises I completed while at the Naval Academy were perfect examples of the awesomeness of the backwater navy My Youngster cruise occurred aboard an Ammunition Ship in 1982 just back from Thailand and not yet uite on board with the then CNO s policy of Zero Tolerance I realized then that supply ships have better chow than combatants and so for my First Class cruise I chose an AFS where we ate ike kings while cruising from Norfolk to Guantanamo Bay I The Twelve Dancing Princesses (Timeless Fairy Tales Book 10) learned to play cards and throw dice and realized that the real Navy was aot funkier than the Nav. An instant hit upon its original publication in 1946 it was uickly adapted for stage screen Beginning as Al Academy Tom Heggen s novel Mister Roberts first published to instant acclaim in 1946 as the Country Caught Its Collective Breath caught its collective breath World War II is a charming collection of vignettes based on his experiences aboard USS Virgo AKA 20 transiting around the beautiful sleepy steamy harbors of the South Pacific Islands during the war Before the war he had been an editor for Readers Digest returning there after his hitch in the Navy Later his novel became a wildly successful Broadway Play and ater still a classic Hollywood picture Mr Heggen gets the details of the tedium of being at sea exactly right It s stunning to see how similar his experiences from nearly seventy years ago match up to mine or certainly to those of any dewy eyed ensign just out of Office Candidate School and suddenly finding himself a couple thousand miles away from mom and hundred miles away from the nearest bit of and perhaps somewhere in the Marianas or Society Islands A sample The USS Reluctant as was said is a naval auxiliary It operates in the back areas of the Pacific In its holds it carries food and trucks and dungarees and toothpaste and toilet paper For the most part it stays on its regular run from Tedium to Apathy and back about five days each way It makes an occasional trip to Monotony and once it made a run all the way to Ennui a distance of two thousand nautical miles from Tedium It performs its dreary and unthanked job and performs it if not inspiredly then at Avenger (Boy Soldier, least adeuately From Tedium to Apathy Perfect After the war Thomas Heggen returned to work at Reader s Digest while helping craft his novel 1946 then play 1948 into worldwide smashes One would have thought that the world was his oyster However by 1949 Heggen took his ownife before he turned thirty USS Virgo the ship he immortalized as the Reluctant outlived him in fiction and fact After the war as noted in the afterward of the version I read USS Virgo made numerous trips between the West Coast and American Pacific bases When the Korean War broke out she made three round trips to that theater carrying mostly ammunition for ships bombarding the Korean coast including the carrier Valley Forge CV 45 and the cruisers Juneau CA 119 and Saint Paul CA 73 From 1954 through 1961 Virgo was a Pacific workhorse based at Guam Deactivated in 1961 she came back into service in 1965 but with a change she Sapphire lost her attack cargo designation and became an ammunition ship AE30 The Virgo went to Taiwan scrap yard in 1973 That s a place the USS Reluctant will never go Reluctant willive on forever in the Stark laughter in the rafters of smoky overseas dives wherever sailors gather to hoist a few cold ones swap a few whoppers and celebrate the rich tradition of esprit de corps Here s one to you Mr Heggen Everybody s seen this movie right Well everyone in my family has Before it was a movie starring Henry Fonda it was a Broadway hit starring Henry Fonda and before that it was this novel published in 1946 And that makes it remarkableIt s a book about comic moments on a dreary cargo vessel in the Pacific in WWII not told comically but manner of factly The author s post war bitterness and cynicism seep out from time to time in some remarkable passages Try to imagine anyone writing an ode to the war deadike this today The dead Mr Roberts mused what could you say about the dead of could you say about the dead of war What could you really say Well there were a Something Fresh (Blandings Castle, lot of things you could say automatically and without thought but they were all the wrong things and just this once just this one war anyhowet us try to say true things about the dead Begin by cancelling the phrase our honored dead for that is not true we forgot them we do not honor them but in rhetoric and the phrase is the badge of those who want something of the dead If the dead of this war must have a mutual emcomium then et it be poor dead bastards There war must have a mutual emcomium then et it be poor dead bastards There at A Fork in the Road least aittle humanity in that And The Healing Touch let us not say of them this time they gave theirives for something or other for certainly there was nothing voluntary in their dying And neither is it fair to speak of dead heroes for not at all necessarily does the fact of death include the fact of heroism Some of these dead were shining youths scornful of the sanctity of their own The King Arthur Trilogy lives whoived daily with terror rarefied by inevitability and. Collection of short stories Heggen based his novel on his experiences aboard the USS Virgo in the South Pac.

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