This engaging autobiography relives Gary Penley’s childhood on a remote cattle ranch in Colorado, the personal struggles he endures after his grandfather passes away, and his decision to enlist in the U.S. Navy. After completing the rigid demands of boot camp and one of the navy’s toughest programs—the Nuclear Power School—Penley embarks on an underwater adventure across the world.
During his years in the navy, Penley and his crew encounter such frightening situations as striking an object while underwater, which results in a enormous gash on the forward ballast tank, and riding out a ferocious storm in the Arctic Circle. After the warship springs a leak and accumulates water, worried sailors begin to fear the worst—the submarine may sink. Another frightening experience occurs while Penley is involved in a top secret mission during the outbreak of the Six Day War. When enemies discover and attack the submarine in the Mediterranean Sea, the sailors barely escape unscathed.
In addition to detailing the mechanics of submarines and how these aquatic machines operate, Penley describes daily life within the confined warship and his crewmates’ hilarious efforts to preserve their sense of humor and sanity. Written in a candid tone, this engaging memoir allows readers to experience the epic adventure.
About the Author
Gary Penley grew up in rural Colorado. Following his service in the military, he earned his BS and MS in geology from Weber State University and the University of Kansas, respectively. Penley worked as a petroleum geologist for more than thirty years, which included searching for oil in the Gulf of Mexico. He is a member of Toastmasters International and Pikes Peak Writers. He is the author of Pelican’s Della Raye: A Girl Who Grew Up in Hell and Emerged Whole, Jubal, and Rivers of Wind: A Western Boyhood Remembered. Penley lives in Divide, Colorado.
A Sailor’s Story of Cold War Ships and Submarines
By Gary Penley
BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Military
HISTORY / Military / Naval
368 pp. 6 x 9