In the bestselling tradition of Indianapolis and In Harm’s Way comes a thrilling and vividly told account of the USS Plunkett—the US Navy destroyer made famous by John Ford and Herman Wouk that saw major action and carnage in all five Allied invasions in Europe during World War II.
During World War II, a small group of men were stationed on a US Navy destroyer from the time of its commissioning in 1940 to its defining moment at Anzio, Italy, in January 1944, when Allied forces invaded a German-held landscape, and then on into the shallows of Omaha Beach on D-Day. The USS Plunkett (DD-431) was in on every major invasion during World War II: Casablanca, Sicily, Salerno, Anzio, Normandy, and Southern France. Dubbed the “fightin’st ship” in the Navy, it sustained in Anzio an attack so savage, so prolonged, and so deadly that one Navy commander was hard-pressed to think of another destroyer that had endured what Plunkett had.
Based on Navy archives, action reports, and dozens of interviews with the men who were on the ship, the dramatic story plays out on the decks of the Plunkett as the battle plays out on the stage of the Mediterranean. Featuring five incredibly brave men on the Plunkett—the indomitable skipper, who’ll win the Navy Cross; the rebellious gunnery officer; a motivated first lieutenant; and a water tender who manned a 20mm gun when under attack—Unsinkable transcends historical appreciation of a single military ship to become a timeless evocation of young men stepping up to the defining experience of their lives.
James Sullivan was born and raised in Quincy, Massachusetts, and has an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He has written for TheNew York Times and National Geographic Traveler, the magazine. He lives with his family outside Portland, Maine, 3.4 miles from the birthplace of film director John Ford, who steamed into Omaha Beach on Plunkett.