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'Uncommon Warriors' by Ken Sayers - anyone read it?

Firebee

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I came across the book "Uncommon Warriors: 200 Years of the Most Unusual American Naval Vessels" by Ken W. Sayers. Has anyone seen it? I don't know much about any kind of sea vessel, aircraft being my main interest. But I thought this book looked interesting.
Available here:
http://www.usni.org/store/books/catalog-spring-2012/uncommon-warriors
 

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gatoraptor

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I had never even heard of this book until it was mentioned here, but I read the description of the book on Amazon and decided to invest, and I'm glad I did, because I like it very much, even though, like Firebee, ships are a relatively minor interest to me.

The book describes the ships numbered as AG (miscellaneous auxiliary) or IX (unclassified miscellaneous) by the U.S. Navy, and as a result it includes a lot of varied and interesting types: museum ships (Constitution, Olympia), spy ships (Liberty), old battleships used for other purposes (Utah, Wyoming, Mississippi). Admiral Farragut's Hartford is here, as is the former Spanish cruiser Reina Mercedes that was a receiving ship at Annapolis for many years. The presidential yachts Sequoia and Potomac, the sidewheel carriers Wolverine and Sable, the sub recovery ship Glomar Explorer and even the yacht America, which gave its name to a famous cup, are all here. Of course, the Lockheed Sea Shadow is on the cover.

And then there's USS Hewell, AG-145. You'll know her better as USS Reluctant, the name she carried in a certain movie where her officers included a certain Lt. Roberts and Ens. Pulver! (And a bombastic captain with his own palm tree.)

Approximately 60% of the book consists of 34 chapters describing 46 of the more notable ships, in order by numerical designation, including all of the ships listed above. There is at least one b&w photo of each along with a specification table. The chapters run about 4 pages each.

Then there is a long directory section listing every ship ever to receive either an AG or IX designation, listed alphabetically this time, listing pertinent facts about each one. The ships listed in the previous chapters just get a mere mention, but some ships get over a full column.

Appendices then list all of the AG ships numerically, then all of the IX ships similarly, then a list of "miscellaneous related vessels" such as icebreakers, oceanographic research ships, survey ships and auxiliary submarines. Finally, an index lists all ships by name.

With all of that cross-referencing, this should be a good reference book for those who need that sort of information; for everyone else, it should be just fun to read about a very interesting and diverse collection of unusual ships. I recommend it (and so does Norman Polmar).
 

Firebee

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Thanks for the info on the book. I think I'll be picking it up as well. I have a hard time resisting books about nearly any sort of unusual machinery.
 
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