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Gone Asiatic [Kindle Edition]

Gordon Martin , Lori Wilson Byers
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $12.00
Kindle Price: $6.99
You Save: $5.01 (42%)

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Book Description

This is the account of an eighteen year old boy who joined the Navy in 1957, the seventh of seven brothers who joined the military from an ex-Mennonite family. He gained an electronics education and matured over a four and one half year navy tour. During service school in San Diego, he practiced and paraded on a precision, navy drill-team throughout southern California. He describes his experiences as a Fire Control Technician for three and a half years on the destroyer tender USS Prairie AD15, including two WestPac cruises, temporary duty stripping a mothballed cruiser USS Manchester CL83 at Vallejo, California's Mare Island Naval Shipyard, his mess-cook duty as a boot on remote, beautiful San Nicolas Island off the coast of California.
He narrates his three day hitchhiking journey across the US, USS Prairie's collision with a Japanese freighter in Tokyo bay, sailors on liberty in Olongapo, Yokosuka, Hong Kong, Okinawa, Tsoying, Kaohsiung, San Francisco, and San Diego. He relates the SEATO Operation Pony Express and the Prairie travel to Jesselton, British North Borneo, now Indonesia, on the cusp of the Vietnam War. He describes almost drowning in Subic Bay, diving with the USS Prairie divers. He became a Mess-Decks-Master-At-Arms on the Prairie and carried out these duties at Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard mess-hall. He tells of hitchhiking around California and travels to Tijuana and Rosarita Beach. The book provides a picture of typical young sailors and their antics, foolishness, loneliness, frustrations, and good times on board ship, in military cities, and on navy bases.
A vignette is told of the WestPac widows, the lonely women who wait at home while their sailor husbands are overseas. He speaks of the girls left behind at home, and the attempts to hang on to relationships and keep alive the dimming past. He describes encounters with Japanese divers on a wild, dangerous liberty in Yokosuka.
The phrase “gone Asiatic," and this book's title, is a well-known term to most military men who spent time in Japan and other Far East countries, and conjures the true image of the American sailors, marines, air force, or army men who became, or almost became, expatriates, falling in love with, and marrying Japanese, Filipino, and other Asian women and spending their lives in the Far East. One needs only travel to Subic Bay, Philippines or Yokosuka, Japan and inquire around to find thousands of these men.
The book relates the experiences of his older brothers during World War II, a kamikaze hit, the one-in-a-million chance meeting of his two brothers on ships at Saipan in 1945. He informs of another brother's grim struggle as an infantryman on Luzon, and his life-altering post-traumatic-syndrome outcome, called "shell-shock" or "thousand-yard-stare."
There are insights of Cold War tension and concerns about nuclear war of the fifties and sixties,including the "war stories" of his buddy, a nuclear weaponsman on board the aircraft carrier USS Midway, and a fire set by a sailor trying to blow up the Midway, with catastrophic possibilities of starting a nuclear war.

Product Details

  • File Size: 5719 KB
  • Print Length: 334 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00C8Y1SHU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,100,046 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars navy vet May 23, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
i was in the navy about the same time and and made me remember the good times enjoyed very much
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Old Navy Man May 10, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A good quick read about one mans Navy experiences. The book tells the authors Navy story that most ship board
sailors can relate to.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great stories, important history July 10, 2014
Format:Paperback
Gordon Martin’s book Gone Asiatic is packed with entertaining stories about his life in the Navy in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. Our collective memory has forgotten what a dramatic impact military service had on the lives of young men in the era when they could expect to be drafted if they didn’t enlist and what it was like to be uprooted from their families and communities and immersed in a totally different culture and place. Martin has captured the coming-of-age experience of millions of young men of his time. His tales are hilarious and moving and leave the reader with awed respect for how effectively these young men stepped up to their responsibility to serve their country.
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Gordon Martin is my brother-in-law, and he loves to reminiscence about his time in the Navy and the western Pacific during the interim between Korea and Vietnam. I'm glad he finally decided to put it down on paper. I served in the Marines a few years later than Gordon, in Vietnam, and even for me Gone Asiatic stirs memories of a time and world so different from today that it is almost like looking at the old, fading black-and-white photographs from our youth. Gone Asiatic is great book!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Memory recall July 24, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you were in the Navy and served in WESTPAC, you will thoroughly enjoy this book. It brought back many memories of my naval service. I found myself chuckling out loud as I read parts of the book. The book is well written and an easy read.

Treat yourself. Read this book!
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More About the Author

Gordon Martin was born into a family the last of ten children in northern Ohio. His parents were Mennonites, however he was one of seven brothers who joined the military. He spent four and one half years in the Navy from 1957 to 1962. He always had an interest in aviation, and worked in Columbus, Ohio on the North American A5C Vigilante and T-28 Trainer; at that time he became a sky-diver and completed forty-four jumps. Recently, he flew right seat in a Kolb Mark III for an aerial photographer almost two years. He also skiied, snorkeled, and dove with SCUBA gear. He founded and was first president of a Big Brothers of America chapter in northern Ohio, which has been in existence almost fifty years.


After leaving the Navy, Gordon Martin received an engineering degree from DeVry University in 1972, and practiced as design engineer in analog, digital, and microprocessor projects. His wife and he spent fourteen months in Tunisia on Hospital Ship Hope in 1969 where he spoke French in teaching a counter-part electronics student. He learned some Japanese while in the Navy and is semi-fluent in Spanish. He lived in Columbus, Ohio, Lewisburg, West Virginia, and is now in western North Carolina, where he has taught for twenty-three years in engineering, mathematics, physics, and computer languages at a community college. His wife and he have two children. He plays guitar, violin, and sings. Recently, he learned to play a five-string electric violin and plays and sings with friends. He sang in church and college choirs almost forty years. He has acted in almost twenty plays, and sings shaped-notes music. He has written technical manuals, electronic magazine articles, scientific journal papers, and has published one poetry book. He holds one patent, and has held various engineering and management positions. He taught chemistry, computer languages, physics, mathematics, and electronics engineering technology courses since 1989. He received the Creative Writing Award for Poetry at the community college where he taught, two years in a row. His wife, a registered nurse, spent two years as a jungle nurse in Ecuador, went to Guatemala with a rescue team after the 1976 earthquake. She is an avid actress, and teaches public-speaking part-time. Her latest acting role is a lead part in "Steel Magnolias."



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