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War Patrol of the PCE(R)852
by Alfred Samuels
Publishers Syndication, International, 1989, 141 pages

The crew of the PCE(R)852, a Patrol Craft Escort (Rescue), witnessed many kamikaze attacks in the Philippines and Okinawa from October 1944 to June 1945 and picked up numerous wounded men and survivors from these attacks. The ship had heavy armament for its relatively small size, making it a war ship in addition to its primary function as a rescue ship. With a sickbay of 75 berths, at times the 852 operated more like a field hospital since she picked up many casualties to be treated by the ship's doctor and nine other medical personnel. The ship had an exciting war patrol during hard-fought battles in the Philippines and Okinawa, but this book captures little of that excitement.

The author, Alfred Samuels, served aboard the PCE(R)852 as a Hospital Apprentice First Class, but the book contains almost no stories related to his personal experiences. Long lists of casualties and survivors with name, rank, and serial number fill the book, but sometimes the author does not even provide background related to these casualties. For example, pages 121 to 123 list all the names of the wounded, along with the nature of the wounds, and survivors from U.S.S. Twiggs (DD-591) who were taken aboard the 852 on June 16, 1945. However, the book does not mention what happened to Twiggs, which had been sunk by a torpedo with the aircraft then hitting the ship. The author appears to have made extensive use of official Navy records such as action reports and deck logs, but the book does not mention any sources to confirm this.

Although the 852's crewmen observed many kamikaze attacks and the devastation caused by them, this book provides no details on Japan's kamikaze operations. The author's few references to kamikazes, such as "fanatical Japanese pilots" (p. 46) and "suicide crazed Japanese pilot" (p. 79), tend to stereotype them.

Dr. Raymond Malott, medical officer on board the PCE(R)852, wrote a book entitled "If We Save But One" (2001), which also covers the ship's history. Malott's book reads much more easily than War Patrol of the PCE(R)852 and contains many of his personal wartime experiences.