Rescued in the Pacific after his utility tug is sunk north of Guadalcanal, a 20-day convalescent leave in Urbana, Illinois, first throws Ensign Hal Goff into a binding relationship with Bea Colombo before the war once again sends him to serve as executive officer aboard a U.S. Navy Rescue Tug, the ATR-3X, not long after the German surrender in North Africa. Aboard the 3X, serving with four other officers, the war swiftly draws the ship into the Allied invasion of Sicily and then, with the capture of Palermo, into General Patton’s drive toward Messina, the 3X fighting off air and U-boat attacks while towing stricken ships from the invasion beaches. Within weeks of capturing Sicily, Hal and his brother officers next participate in the invasion of the Italian mainland, shepherding navy ships to and from the bitter fighting for Salerno as the Allies drive toward Naples.
With the Allied advance finally stopped cold along the German Winter Line beneath Monte Cassino, Hal and his ship become part of the grueling invasion of Anzio and the seemingly endless stalemate which takes place across Anzio’s bloody beaches. There, after months of dangerous convoy duty, escorting supply ships to and from Anzio while fighting off the continual air attacks that threaten them, a trio of Focke-Wulfs finally succeed in strafing the ship, Hal’s wounds in battle sending him back to the States for recovery and honorable discharge before he reunites with the woman whose love has kept him going. Phillip Parotti’s new novel treats his readers to gripping World War II naval action in the Mediterranean Sea.