[amazon 1940192978 full]
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Stump by Larry Allen Lindsey. Stump is a fascinating account of the World War II experiences of the late Lee Kelley. An avid swimmer, Lee Kelley joined the fight against the Japanese shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and voluteered to become a Navy frogman. I was surprised to learn the frogmen in WWII weren't equipped with oxygen tanks. They were snorklers whose mission was to swim in close to the shore and with the use of demolitions, destroy any obstacles that the Japanese may have placed underwater to prevent the landing crafts that would be bringing in the marines from reaching shore. Author Lindsey had the wonderful opportunity to get to know Lee Kelley, and in this book I got the sense I was hearing Kelley's first hand acounts of what happened. Facing Japanese snipers on shore, sharks in the water, and handling explosives on every mission, the life expectancy of the frogmen wasn't very high. The story of one of the survivors fascinated me and will fascinate you. Read this book!
Reviewed by: Bob Doerr (Oct 2015)
Motivated by the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, champion swimmer Lee “Stump” Kelley is hell bent on becoming a Marine. His all consuming goal: To kill as many of the hated enemy as possible. Waylaid by a silver tongued Navy recruiter, he becomes a frogman instead. Lee and his team of frogmen are the first to hit the beach all over the Pacific, blowing up obstructions on a string of tropical islands. At Tacloban he receives a rude awakening. War may seem glorious and patriotic when sitting back home on your comfortable living room couch, but up close and personal it’s blood and dying. And when he loses his two best friends in gruesome encounters, his whole belief system is challenged. Shaken to his very core and wanting to end it all, Lee has to suck it up and move on to Okinawa with what’s left of his frogman team. There he becomes entangled in the Navy’s costliest operation of the entire war. Barely surviving a fleet decimating typhoon, he is burned during the most frenzied kamikaze attack Japan ever musters. Shell-shocked and swaddled in gauze, Lee is sent to Guam to recuperate and prepare for the invasion of mainland Japan, a landing everyone has been dreading for months. When an admiral and his staff asks for his opinion on the impending operation, even though he’s only a second class petty officer who has never seen a three-star before, “Stump” doesn’t pull any punches. After taking a deep breath, he tells it like it is. Frankly, Admiral… Can we really allow the Japs to take a million of us with them Cause that’s how many American lives it will cost us to march into Tokyo. And I know damn well, one of those lives is gonna be mine.”