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World War II Sinking of U.S.S. Sims (DD-409) Revealed for First Time

On May 7, 1942, one small destroyer went up against the bulk of the Japanese Naval air fleet in the Coral Sea. When the fight ended, 250 men went into the water. Only 13 survived. This is their story.

Washington, DC, May 29, 2006 --( Award-winning journalist and author, Dan Verton, has released a new book that explores the little-known history of an American Navy Destroyer sunk in action on May 7, 1942 during the Battle of the Coral Sea.

Verton, a 2003 recipient of the Jesse H. Neal National Business Journalism Award who is well-known for his non-fiction books on security and terrorism, has pieced together the glorious history and last moments of the U.S.S. Sims (DD-409) through interviews with three of the still-living survivors, as well as never before revealed letters from crewmembers and their families. Verton’s father, John C. Verton, served aboard the Sims and was one of the 13 sailors to survive the sinking.

“Almost every major work on the Battle of the Coral Sea has ignored the events leading up to the clash of the carrier titans,” said Verton. “Serious historians have completely failed to reveal the importance of the battle between the Sims, the U.S.S. Neosho and the bulk of the Japanese Naval air fleet – dozens of torpedo bombers and fighters. Sims and Neosho not only fixed the enemy in place while their sister ships were closing in on the Japanese carrier strike force, but took out a good number of enemy planes. Sims also made important contributions to the safety and effectiveness of future destroyer operations.”

Grace Under Fire also offers a unique look at life for destroyer sailors during the pre- and early years of World War II. The intimate thoughts of crewmembers and their families, revealed in never before published letters, tell a story of courage, hope, friendship and love undaunted by the horrors of war.

“This is a story about real people who understood the true meaning of self-sacrifice and love of country,” said Verton. “I don’t think I’ll ever be able to clear my mind of the image of those Sims sailors who were trapped in the number 1 gun mount but continued to fire at the Japanese even after the ship and the gun had slipped beneath the waves.” 

Author Contact:
Visit Dan Verton online at
Or email him at 

Publisher Contact:
Jeanine Sampson
Outskirts Press, Inc.
10940 S. Parker Rd – 515
Parker, CO 80134
888.672.6657 ext. 704 

Book Statistics:
ISBN: 1598005812 (Paperback) 1598005812 (Hardcover) 
Retail Price(s): $14.95 (Paperback) $21.95 (Hardcover)
Size and Format(s): 6x9 Paperback and Hardcover
Page Count: 140 (10 pages of photos)
Availability: Ingram, Baker & Taylor,,,

Contact Information
Outskirts Press, Inc.
Jeanine Sampson
888.672.6657 ext. 704

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