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The Silent Service’s First Hero (Hardback)

The First Submariner to Receive the Medal of Honor

Maritime > Naval World History

By Ryan C Walker
Imprint: Pen & Sword Maritime
Pages: 224
Illustrations: 15 mono illustrations
ISBN: 9781036100414
Published: 30th July 2024


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Celebrating 100 years since the first submariner received the Congressional Medal of Honor, dive into pre-World War II submarine history through the first comprehensive, analytical, investigation into the life and times of Henry Breault. From 1900-41, Breault's life is reconstructed as lived through his Official Military Personnel File, census records, newspaper clippings, and connecting previous research. Breault's childhood, his enlistments in the Royal Navy Canadian Volunteer Reserve and the United States Navy are carefully reconstructed. From there, the conditions aboard the submarines he served on, his relationship with friends and family, his relationship to the women in his life, and his concept of masculinity and material identity allow us to better understand his life in the context he likely understood them. This book provides a new template for microhistorical observations into subjects whose primary sources are official military documentation to help better understand enlisted submariners.

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About Ryan C Walker

Ryan C Walker served as a submariner in the USN from 2014-19. After being honorably discharged, he works full time in the defense industry while attending Southern New Hampshire University and University of Portsmouth, receiving in the former his BA in History and in the latter his MA in Naval History. Ryan is currently a PhD researcher at the University of Portsmouth and has published several articles and chapters in edited collections on American submariners, American Naval-Capital towns, and British Private-Men-of-War.

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