2018 Morison Award Announced




The Heroic Men and Ships of WWII's

Most Decorated Navy Destroyer Squadron

An epic narrative of World War II naval action that brings to life the sailors and exploits of the war's most decorated destroyer squadron When Admiral William Halsey selected DestroyerSquadron 21 (Desron 21) to lead his victorious ships into Tokyo Bay to accept the Japanese surrender, it was the most battle-hardened US naval squadron of the war. But it was not the squadron of ships that had accumulated such an inspiring resume; it was the people serving aboard them. Sailors, not metallic superstructures and hulls, had won the battles and become the stuff of legend. Men like Commander Donald MacDonald, skipper of the USS O'Bannon, who became the most decorated naval officer of the Pacific war; Lieutenant Hugh Barr Miller, who survived his ship's sinking and waged a one-man battle against the enemy while stranded on a Japanese-occupied island; and Doctor Dow "Doc" Ransom, the beloved physician of the USS La Vallette, who combined a mixture of humor and medical expertise to treat his patients at sea, epitomize the sacrifices made by all the men and women of World War II. Through diaries, personal interviews with survivors, and letters written to and by the crews during the war, preeminent historian of the Pacific theater John Wukovits brings to life the human story of the squadron and its men who bested the Japanese in the Pacific and helped take the war to Tokyo.


John Wukovits has been researching and writing about World War II for more than twenty years, focusing mainly on the Pacific theater. His books include Tin Can Titans, Hell from the Heavens (Da Capo 2015), For Crew and Country (St. Martin’s 2013), Admiral ‘Bull’ Halsey: The Life and Wars of the U.S. Navy’s Most Controversial Commander (Palgrave 2010), American Commando (NAL/Caliber, 2009), One Square Mile of Hell (NAL/Caliber 2006), Devotion to Duty (Naval Institute Press), Pacific Alamo: The Battle for Wake Island (NAL/Caliber, 2004), and Eisenhower (Palgrave), part of Gen. Wesley K. Clark’s Great Generals series. His writing has appeared in more than twenty-five magazines, including WWII History, Military Heritage, Naval History, and American History.

Official 2018 Press Release (pdf)


RADM Samuel Eliot Morison Award Dinner

Monday, 5 November 2018

Raquet and Tennis Club

370 Park Avenue

New York City

Reception 18:30                      Dinner 19:30