Book Review: Shepherds of the Sea: Destroyer Escorts in World War II


by Robert F. Cross

Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2010. Pp. xxi, 294. Illus., notes, biblio., index. $34.95. ISBN: 1591141443

Shepherds of the Sea tells of the life and work of the 600-some destroyer escorts (DEs) that served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, primarily in the Pacific. 

This is a largely untold tale, as the DEs primarily performed convoy, anti-submarine, and patrol duties, rather than the glamorous missions of their elder sisters, the destroyers.  But this was important work, performed largely by reservists, in rather hastily built ships, commanded by “90 Day Wonders.”  Along the way, Cross, author of the excellen Sailor in the White House, about FDR’s seagoing adventures, touches not only upon the routine missions, but also fleet defense against kamikaze, racial integration in the Navy, the capture of U-505, the naval careers of FDR Jr., Charles Francis Adams, and a number of other typical DE officers, and much more, including some notable sea fights. 

A valuable addition to the literature of the Second World War at sea.


Reviewer: A. A. Nofi   

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