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Williams, Joseph A.Williams, Joseph A. | Alt 1
Williams, Joseph A.Williams, Joseph A. | Alt 1

Joseph A. Williams

Joseph A. Williams is a librarian, archivist, and historian holding master's degrees in American History and Library and Information Science from Queens College. He worked for several years as the Head of the collections and Assistant Director of the State University of New York Maritime College's Stephen B. Luce Library which specializes in nautical research. Currently, he is the Deputy Director of the Greenwich Library. Joseph has published in the fields of maritime history and librarianship including articles in scholarly journals, popular sea history magazines, trade publications, and chapters in anthologies. His work has also been presented at national and regional conferences and symposia. He has taught courses at the graduate and undergraduate level in American History and Librarianship. His first book, Four Years Before the Mast, is a history of Maritime College, the nation's oldest maritime training school. His second book, Seventeen Fathoms Deep, is a narrative history concerning... Read More
the 1927 submarine S-4 disaster.
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Seventeen Fathoms Deep
Seventeen Fathoms Deep (4 Formats) ›
By Joseph A. Williams
Cloth Price 26.95

Cloth, PDF, EPUB, Mobipocket

Published Sep 2015

This is the first full-length history of the S-4 disaster, which was the first rescue attempt made of a modern submarine The rescue divers could hear the crew tapping out a message in Morse code: "Is there any hope?" After being accidentally rammed by the Coast Guard destroyer USS Paulding on December 17, 1927, the USS S-4 submarine sank to the ocean floor off Cape Cod with all 40 crew members aboard. Only six sailors in the forward torpedo room survived the initial accident, trapped in the compartment with oxygen running out. Author and naval historian Joseph A. Williams has delved into never-revealed archival sources to tell the compelling narrative of the S-4 disaster. The book tells of the terrible diving conditions endured due to a raging winter storm; the heroic efforts of the rescue divers, including one diver who became trapped in the wreckage while trying to attach an air hose to the sunken sub. The lessons learned by the U.S. Navy improved submarine rescue technology, which resulted in subsequent successful rescues of other downed submariners.
The Sunken Gold
The Sunken Gold (4 Formats) ›
By Joseph A. Williams
Cloth Price 26.99

Cloth, PDF, EPUB, Mobipocket

Published Sep 2017

On January 25, 1917, the HMS Laurentic struck German mines off the coast of Ireland and sank. Its shipment was critical: Britain at that time was facing escalated submarine warfare, which had been sinking millions of tons of cargo and threatening the country with starvation. The Laurentic was carrying 44 tons of gold bullion to the still-neutral United States via Canada in order to finance the war effort for Britain and its allies. The salvage mission was confidential, since the British government dared not alert the Germans to the presence of the sunken treasure. Lieutenant Commander Guybon C. C. Damant was the most qualified officer to head the mission—he personally set a deep sea diving record in 1906 and had worked to establish safer deep sea diving procedures.Though Damant's salvage team was successful at first, and recovered a significant amount of gold, wild gales battered the wreck into the shape of an accordion, turning the operation into a multiyear struggle of man versus nature. Damant was called off the salvage when his skill became needed to lead a team of covert divers to investigate and search through the contents of recently sunk U-boats for ciphers, minefield schematics, and other secret documents. The information they obtained, once in the hands of British intelligence, proved critical toward Allied efforts to defeat the U-boats and win the war.At the conclusion of the war, Damant had become obsessed with completing his long-deferred mission. His team struggled for five more years as it became apparent that the work could only be accomplished by muscle, grit, and persistence. In the end, Damant and his team recovered 99 percent of the gold with no significant injuries to the men. His deed became one of the most notable exploits in the annals of undersea diving and naval operations, and the Laurentic became a model for later salvages. More than an incredible story about undersea diving adventure, The Sunken Gold is a story of human persistence, bravery, and patriotism.