by CDR John F.V. Cupschalk, USN (Ret.)
The New York Commandery awarded the 2018 RADM Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature to John Wukovits, author of Tin Can Titans: The Heroic Men and Ships of WWII's Most Decorated Destroyer Squadron on Monday, 5 November at a black-tie dinner held at the famed Racquet & Tennis Club on Park Avenue in New York City.
Tin Can Titans, based on a collection of diaries, letters, and personal interviews with survivors tells the story of the ships and sailors of Destroyer Squadron 21 which took the Pacific War home to Japan.
Commander Norm Keller presented the award and Commander General Paul Crissy presented Naval Order membership to Mr. Wukovits.
The evening also featured the Naval Order Singers who led the attendees with singing the National Anthem and hummed the Navy Hymn during the remembrance of the missing sailor/soldier. They also sang the various service tunes of the Armed Forces and concluded with tunes from Hollywood and Broadway. They were a hit.
The RADM Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature is given to an American author who by their published writings made a substantial contribution to the preservation of the history and traditions of the United States Sea Services – the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and U.S. Flag Merchant Marine. Past recipients have included CAPT Edward L. Beach, USN for Salt and Steel; Lt Gen Victor H. Krulak for First to Fight; James D. Hornfischer for Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors; James M. Scott for Attack on the USS Liberty; Ian W. Toll for Six Frigates; Jack Cheevers for Act of War: Lyndon Johnson, North Korea, and the Capture of the Spy Ship Pueblo. Former Secretary of the Navy John F. Lehman has been honored twice for Command of the Seas and On Seas of Glory.