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Passport Not Required: U.S. Volunteers in the Royal Navy, 1939-1941 Hardcover – October 15, 2010
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About the Author
Charlotte Hammond, a resident of Worthing, England, is a solicitor with a British law firm.
Ronald E. White served in the Royal Navy in World War II. He died in 2009.
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ERIC DIETRICH-BERRYMAN, CHARLOTTE HAMMOND, AND R.E. WHITE
NAVAL INSTITUTE PRESS, 2010
HARDCOVER, $27.95, 208 PAGES, PHOTOGRAPHS, INDEX
In another time and place, they might have been called mercenaries for they fought for profit under a foreign flag in a cause not their own. But the word "mercenary" hardly befits a single one of the 22 U.S. citizens who ventured to England to enlist in the Royal Navy during the darkest hours of World War II. They fought with distinction and bravery in the air with the Fleet Air Arm and aboard every type of Royal Navy warship from battle cruisers to Fairmile motor launches. And not a few of them died in battle under their adopted flag. But the truth is that these most unusual men didn't have to give up their American citizenship, nor taken any oath to "save the King" for the British were so in need of their services that they received special dispensation when they accepted their commissions in the Royal Navy.
This is a story of a breed of men that essentially don't exist today. Patricians all, to a man they were of the privileged class counting on schools like Yale, Dartmouth, and Harvard for their educational pedigree and their parents' estates for subsistence. A few were medical doctors, attorneys, or successful bankers. Several were professional flyers and virtually all were seasoned yachtmen with wide experience under sail or steam. Many were married. No one really knew why they made their way to England to enlist in the Royal Navy. Their motives were as varied as their backgrounds. A few frankly wanted out of bad domestic situations and others had a drinking problem. Some were violently anti-Nazi.Read more ›