Monday, May 30, 2016

Long Ago and Far Away: Reminiscences of Robert Sams of his 27 months aboard the USS Cambria APA-36 during the Pacific Campaign of World War II






Long Ago and Far Away: Reminiscences of Robert Sams of his 27 months aboard the USS Cambria APA-36 during the Pacific Campaign of World War II

Sadly, it is a little-known fact that the men of the U.S. Coast Guard served bravely alongside the more-oft thought of branches of the US Military during a time of great turmoil in our country’s history. If you were to ask 100 random people to tell you what role the U.S. Coast Guard played in World War II, it is likely that many of them would talk about defending our own coastal areas. It is unlikely, however, that most of those queried would be able to tell you that on September 17, 1945 the Coast Guard vessel USS Cambria APA-36, designated as flagship of Temporary Squadron 12, led her squadron into Japan after the bomb was dropped. It is also doubtful that those questioned would know that once the Cambria arrived, a Japanese delegation boarded the vessel and the Japanese Governor of Nagasaki Prefective and the Acting Mayor of Nagasaki received instructions from Major General LeRoy B. Hunt, USMC, Commanding General of the 2nd Marine Division Occupational Forces regarding the signing of surrender papers. Author Robert Sams was one of the brave men serving on the Cambria at that time. His memoir not only gives insight into the day-to-day life of a sailor in wartime, but is a valuable historical chronicle as well. More than just a “history book”, Long Ago and Far Away beckons the reader to step back into time and experience what Sams experienced. So grab this book, find a comfy place to relax and prepare to experience history in a way that you may never have experienced it before.

About the Author

Robert Sams was born in Seebert, WV in 1925. After graduating from high school in Covington, VA in the summer of 1943 he worked briefly at Firestone Tire Company before enlisting in the Coast Guard on September 4, 1943. After serving on the USS Cambria, Sams received his honorable discharge in October 1946. Following his Coast Guard service Sams was hired by the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad where he served the company in several capacities including that of a Fireman, Train Engineer, Trainmaster and Supervisor of Locomotive Operations for the entire C&O Railroad. Mr. Sams World War II photos and documents have been on display at Virginia Military Institute and the History Museum in Roanoke, VA. He and his wife, Nancy, have 2 sons, 3 grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren. The Sams have enjoyed their retirement living in the Roanoke Valley

MY REVIEW:  "Long Ago and Far Away: Reminiscences of Robert Sams of His 27 Months aboard the USS Cambria APA-36 During the Pacific Campaign of World War II" is written in a personable, informative style as if the author were speaking directly to the reader. A fascinating mix of historical facts and personal memories, the book features many photos which add depth to the author's remembrances. Veterans such as Mr. Sams are truly a national treasure, and without their sacrifices, none of us would have the free life which we enjoy here in the United States. Mr. Sams, who is from my home area here in Virginia, served aboard the Coast Guard-manned US Navy vessel USS Cambria in the Pacific Battle Theatre of WWII. Another gentleman from my home area--a very dear friend of mine--served aboard the US Navy vessel, the USS Mustin, also in the Pacific Battle Theatre. Reading the words written by Mr. Sams, and hearing similar stories from my friend first-hand have given me a greater appreciation for my freedoms here in America. "Long Ago and Far Away" is history at its most fascinating--told by the person who lived it, and told in a readable and involving manner. A highly-recommended up-close-and-personal look at World War II, and a keen observer's insight into a very momentous and poignant time in history.

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