I thoroughly enjoyed reading Stump by Larry Allen Lindsey. Stump is a fascinating account of the World War II experiences of the late Lee Kelley. An avid swimmer, Lee Kelley joined the fight against the Japanese shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and volunteered to become a Navy frogman. I was surprised to learn the frogmen in WWII weren't equipped with oxygen tanks. They were snorkelers whose mission was to swim in close to the shore and with the use of demolitions, destroy any obstacles that the Japanese may have placed underwater to prevent the landing crafts that would be bringing in the marines from reaching shore. Author Lindsey had the wonderful opportunity to get to know Lee Kelley, and in this book I got the sense I was hearing Kelley's first hand accounts of what happened. Facing Japanese snipers on shore, sharks in the water, and handling explosives on every mission, the life expectancy of the frogmen wasn't very high. The story of one of the survivors fascinated me and will fascinate you. Read this book!
Reviewed by: Bob Doerr (Oct 2015)
Motivated by the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, champion swimmer Lee "Stump" Kelley is hell bent on becoming a Marine. Waylaid by a silver-tongued Navy recruiter he becomes a frogman instead. After blowing up under water obstructions all over the Pacific, at Tacloban he loses the first of his best friends in a gruesome explosion. A month later he loses the second in a freak encounter with a giant hammerhead shark at Manila Bay. Moving on to Okinawa with what's left of his frogman team, he suffers serious burns during the largest kamikaze attack of the war. At Guam a three star admiral asks his opinion on a prospective landing site for the invasion of Japan. As always, Stump tells it like it is. "Admiral... trying to march into Tokyo will cost a million American lives. And one of those lives is gonna be mine."