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Image of We Were PiratesWe Were Pirates: A Torpedoman's Pacific War

Mary Pickford Theater, Library of Congress (August 10, 2010)

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We Were Pirates: A Torpedoman's Pacific War chronicles the service of Robert Hunt, a U.S. Navy submariner who served on 12 consecutive missions aboard the Tambor. The Tambor was present at the Japanese attack on Wake Island, at the Battle of Midway, and it survived 16 hours submerged by a depth charge onslaught.

Published by the Naval Institute Press, the book was authored by Robert Schultz and James Shell, drawn from a diary Hunt secretly kept, from a memoir he worked on for many years, and from interviews they did with Hunt and many of his shipmates.

Hunt, Schultz, and Shell came to the Library of Congress on August 10, 2010 to talk about how the book came to be written. Hunt tells first-hand accounts of his life underwater and on land, including a harrowing story of his encounter with a mob of celebrating San Francisco citizens on August 15, 1945, V-J Day.

Hunt is featured on VHP's Experiencing War story, Submarines: The Silent Service.

Panel Participant Biographies

ROBERT HUNT was born in 1919 in Mason City, Iowa. In 1939, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, in which he served until 1946. He is the retired Director of Parks and Recreation in Decorah, Iowa, where he has lived since 1950.

ROBERT SCHULTZ is the Fishwick Professor of English at Roanoke College in Virginia.  His books include a novel, The Madhouse Nudes, and two collections of poetry.  He has received a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Award in Fiction, Cornell University's Corson Bishop Poetry Prize and, the Emily Clark Balch Prize for Poetry from The Virginia Quarterly Review.

JAMES SHELL has had fiction, nonfiction, and poetry published in The Roanoke Times, Jazz, College Poetry Review, Single Living, Ideas at Work, Artemis, Raconteur, GlennGould,and the University of Toronto Quarterly. A resident of Salem, Virginia, this is his first published full-length work.

For information on ordering copies of We Were Pirates, go to the Naval Institute Press web site. www.nip.org External Link
You may listen to a sound recording of the book event on this podcast.

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