... his writing style is easygoing...highly readable. An enjoyable account of Navy life. -Kirkus
During the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, U.S. Navy Ensign Gary Slaughter helped defuse a possible confrontation between his destroyer and a Soviet submarine armed with a nuclear-tipped torpedo. The Owosso native's skillful handling of what could have prompted World War III was featured in two documentary films, including The Man Who Saved the World by the PBS and The Silent War by BBC. -Argus-Press
The book is made up of ... vignettes recounting episodes from his life serving on destroyers during the Cold War. All these encounters are given equal billing to an extraordinary event during the Cuban missile crisis when our hero had to face up to an emotional captain of a Soviet submarine armed with nuclear weapons. This is heady stuff and one of those lost stories of the Cold War well worth knowing. These vignettes add up to a very real story that is neither gung-ho or shallow. The book has comedy, tragedy, and drama in equal measure. -War History Online, Mark Barnes
One good sea story does not always lead to another. It is truly remarkable that Gary Slaughter should have managed to provide 60 good sea stories in chronological sequence describing the life of a young man from the Mid-West through his halcyon youth to that of a highly trained expert in Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW). That these events took place in a decade of change throughout the naval establishment provides the opportunity to share a multitude of situations that will be of interest not only to the military reader but to all that have an interest in history and autobiographical writing. -CAPT Earl H. Russell, USN (Ret.)
Foreword Review Sea Stories A Memoir of a Naval Officer (1956-1967) Reviewed by Pallas Gates McCorquodale August 5, 2016 Anyone with ties to the navy or an interest in the Cold War will want to experience Sea Stories. Shedding light on some of the most infamous conflicts in United States history during the Cold War, Gary Slaughter shares his recollections of his direct involvement in Sea Stories: A Memoir of a Naval Officer (1956-1967), a gripping collection of vignettes fusing the optimism, morality, and patriotism of the era with hard facts and grim realities of naval warfare. From his early years as an NROTC student at the University of Michigan, thankful for a monthly stipend of fifty dollars, through to an eventful rise to lieutenant with tours in Caribbean and Mediterranean waters, Slaughter details the highs and lows of life aboard naval destroyers, stateside and abroad, revealing formerly classified information while upholding the values and tradition of an officer and a gentlemen. Compiled somewhat chronologically, with a few all-encompassing topical forays that jump backward and forward, each chapter paints a complete picture or slice of life during Slaughter's twelve years of naval service. Subjects range from idyllic convertible drives along the west coast to up-close encounters with the severe poverty of the Azores in the 1960s. Using dry humor and tact, Slaughter recounts with equal aplomb tales of stumbling into a Mexican red-light district and playing a round of golf at the Guantanamo Bay Country Club, complete with sand trap land mines. Reminiscent of the times, the language and tone are occasionally dated with phrases such as "whale of a time" and "ye gads" peppering the dialogue. A few black-and-white pictures, including of the submarines, warships, and a young Ensign Slaughter's commissioning photo, are featured, although the colorful nature of the characters begs the inclusion of more. Gaining notoriety, through recent publications and documentaries, is Slaughter's role in preventing a nuclear launch during an exchange with a Russian submarine while aboard the USS Cony, which he describes in dramatic detail. The controversy surrounding the Bay of Pigs, as well as hot topics such as desegregation and Kennedy's assassination, are explored from a unique perspective while maintaining an emphasis on respect, honor, duty, and friendship. Anyone with ties to the navy or an interest in the Cold War will want to experience Sea Stories, particularly those familiar with the documentaries The Man Who Saved the World and The Silent War, both mentioned along with Peter Huchthausen's October Fury as relevant and relating to Slaughter's account. Taken as a collection of short stories or altogether, Sea Stories is sure to capture the attention of historians everywhere.