Retired Navy Captain, and NANP Life Member, S. Martin Shelton (aka Marty Shelton) recently released another book. Below is a short except from that book. All of his books are available on Amazon.
The Panay Incident
(A roman à clef)
It’s a lazy Sunday afternoon on this twelfth of December, 1937. The American gunboat USS Panay plows the slow-moving waters of the Yangtze off Nanking—China’s capital. Chief Radioman Matthew Marne is transmitting his ship’s movement message to Commander Asiatic Fleet. The Panay patrols China’s rivers to protect American interests in the chaos that engulfs the Middle Kingdom. Today, the Japanese army has fought to the gates of Nanking.
The Japanese bomb explodes dead center atop the wheelhouse. Fire, shrapnel, and wood splinters rip into the commanding officer and all others on watch. The second bomb smashes into the quarterdeck. A dozen men drop. The Japanese aircraft press their assault with additional dive-bombing runs and strafing attacks. Forty-five minutes later, the Panay’s bow dips under the Yangtze’s surface and slowly settles on the riverbed.
Though seriously wounded, Chief Radioman Marne survives and earns the Navy Cross for his exceptional heroism under fire. As known only by a few, Chief Marne is a naval intelligence agent.
Naval officer Matthew Marne relays his now unclassified special intelligence assignments across the Far East in the Japanese aggression before and during World War II; his action in several Pacific sea-battles; his love for a Chinese woman and for a Navy nurse with an attitude; and his trysts with Oriental femme fatales.