In his autobiography, E.J. Jernigan recreates life during the war as seen through his eyes and those of young sailors aboard the USS Saufley, one of the most highly decorated destroyers of the war. The author takes the reader on a first-person tour of duty in the "Old Navy" - from enlistment in Florida, to "boot camp" in Norfolk, to a first tour aboard the battleship USS Washington, through the early months of the sea war in the Atlantic, to the Saufley, to the Pacific, to the end of the war.
Tin Can Man is the rarely told story of the tens-of-thousands of young enlisted Navy men who fought the war from boiler rooms, after-steering spaces, radio shacks, and all the other gritty spaces necessary to keep a warship fighting. It is a story of close quarters, dirty work, combat, liberty, boring food, emotions, fights, fear, and victory.
Tin Can Man offers the reader a fascinating glimpse of life as an enlisted man in the"Old Navy," and a view of war all too often overlooked in books by generals, admirals, and historians. It was a life of rules, duty, honour, and a highly defined sense of right and wrong. It was a world of strong emotions and quick reactions, where men had to adapt and grow if they were to survive.
With its unusual perspective on history and colourful view of men at war, Tin Can Man is an impressive contribution to World War II literature. Complete with maps and photographs, it is a must for historians, World War II veterans, and naval enthusiasts.
About the Author
Emory J. Jernigan was born in 1923. On December 2, 1940, at the age of 17, he joined the Navy. In addition to Tin Can Man he wrote Hard Times at Hardaway and Letters to Ann.