Kurofune: The Black Ships – A Novel Of World War 2

Kurofune is a war story, a love story, a story of redemption and rebirth.

The Battle of Saipan saw the Pacific War’s largest Japanese Banzai attack. Over 4,000 Japanese soldiers died while about 1,000 Marines lost their lives during this harrowing nightmare of a suicide thrust by the Japanese to push the Americans back into the sea.

“Kurofune” tells the story of that tragedy against a backdrop of nationalism, military fanaticism, heroism and self sacrifice. Yet Kurofune is also a love story, a war story, a story of redemption and a story of rebirth.


 

Akira Mizutani, his wife Mariko and their 9-year old son Shoichi loved Saipan. But Akira was fearful that Japan’s vision of South East Asian expansion and Micronesian control in the 1930s and 40s was madness and would have dire consequences for the safety of his family and the people of his small island.

Ted Culp of Bremerton Washington wanted to be a Marine more than anything else. The unprovoked Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour had set a fire in his soul. He was eager to go! Yet he was torn between his sense of duty to serve his country and his faith. He ultimately decides to leave Bremerton and the love of his life for the killing beaches and jungles of the central Pacific atolls and islands.

Unbeknownst to Ted and Akira, this Pacific War would bring them together in a way that they could never have imagined. Their lives would never be the same again.

The “EBook” and / or Paperback version are now available and can be purchased through Amazon at:

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=kurofune+the+ships&dc&qid=1567990378&ref=aw_s_fkmr1

You can also purchase this book at Munro’s book store on Government Street in Victoria BC.


Of note: The character of Ruth in this book was based upon a dear friend of mine who passed away 19 August 2019 from cancer.  My sincere condolences to Pascal and his family. She will be missed.

What readers have to say about Kurofune:

John Morrison’s recent novel “Kurofune The Black Ships” is a superb first effort.

The epic story of American gallantry and victory over the brave, but totally fanatical Japanese military is well organized and researched. The cast of characters from the main protagonist Pte Ted Culp, to Pte Airie (Boo Hoo), and Pte Niles (the Reverend) are true comrades-in-arms soldiers. This particular story of the US Marines who literally fought their way through hell, in the numerous campaigns of the South Pacific, is well worth telling again. Focusing on how just one Marine Pte Culp, left his small American town to answer his country’s call to Arms. John’s novel is a joy to read and
is reminiscent of the millions of young men and women who also sacrificed their lives and health for the freedom we enjoy today! At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them. SEMPER FIDELIS.

Gord


Wow! What a great book. There is not that many authors that can put you right there with the characters as their stories unfold. This author has achieved that and more. You don’t just read this book you feel it. This book should be made into a movie so more people can get a better understanding of both sides of that horrible conflict, or better yet “read the book”.

Robin Lalonde



“Kurofune: The Black Ships is a well balanced, descriptive novel depicting both the lives of a young US marine and a family from Saipan brought together during the war in the Pacific. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this first novel by John Morrison and hope there will be more to come! BZ!”

R Cooke


“Just finished reading “Kurofune – The Black Ships” a novel of World War 11 written by John Morrison. I found it very educational as I knew nothing about the Pacific War, or even where Saipan was located. The author has gone into great detail to keep this history as accurate as possible, yet still opening up their stories, for both sides, Japanese and Americans. How life changes with war, yet still trying to find the good in people, making some sense of it all and carry on. There is the loss of friends, hope for a better day, and of course a little romance. Totally enjoyed the book, and learned a lot about that era.”

L Munro


“GREAT BOOK” John, couldn’t put it down. Loved the way you wove in the military, historical and personal aspects of this very important part of WW II. Your descriptions of the battle from a marines prospectus really made me appreciate the sacrifices these young men made. Also really enjoyed the way you interwove the personal stories of the family on Siapan and Ted Culp, showing the huge and lasting consequence of War on peoples lives. Well done, a must read and I can see a movie coming out of this. Marijke would have been very proud.”

B Dow


 

Some pictures from the Battle of Saipan

Garapan, Saipan: Picture was taken shortly after the Bombardment June 1944

Garapan’s main street after the bombardment.

A home impacted by the bombardment.


Kurofune. By the EBook or Paperback through Amazon.com

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=kurofune+the+ships&dc&qid=1567990378&ref=aw_s_fkmr1

 






And on a little lighter side, another book of mine that is available for purchase through Amazon:

“I Thought I’d Died and Gone To Heaven”

An Excerpt:

“The next day and the days after that next day at work were
gruesome. I may have been making three dollars and forty-five
cents an hour, but no amount of money could compensate the
physical pain and misery of that job. Shovelling gravel into those
inanimate buckets, hour after hour, day after day for the hottest
summer on record was pure unadulterated torture. I was
dreaming of them. My bucket list! And the only sound heard,
besides Zal’s taunts for more “fucking pitch” being the grunts
and groans from our bodies and the huffs and puffs of our
laboured breaths with every shovelful of gravel taken. Sweat just
poured down every crease and crevasse of our beings. Taking
stints up on the flat roof itself provided no relief with a hot
glaring sun beating down mercilessly on our lithe bodies. The
humidity was a killer. The hard physical work and the potential
for dehydration made it harder and harder to keep our pants
above the waist. As roofers we had the plumber’s crack in
spades. It was kind of comical watching everyone on the crew
continuously pulling up on their pants or tightening their belts as
if stricken by a nervous twitch. On top of that, by the end of the
day, our calloused hands were the worse for wear as newly
formed blisters would crack, then burst, then sting, as the flayed
skin would shed and coagulate with the pus and the blood, which
became an ugly brownish red in colour. The soles of our work
boots expanded vertically, about two to four inches, as the tar and
gravel stuck to the undersides of our boots as we walked around
by the area of the hot tar kettle, the conveyor belt, and the adjacent
pile of gravel. It would take us some time to scrape the
gooey mess off of our boots at the end of the day. But we felt so
tall in our high gravel heels!

“End of the day? Sore and bruised and filthy dirty in sweat
and dust. The long ride home on the bus and subway, lost in
thought, dead to the world, and praying hard and fast for rain on
the morrow or watching the clock, counting hard the seconds,
minutes, and hours before the whole miserable routine would
repeat itself. Please, dear God, let it rain tomorrow for when it
rained roofers didn’t work. But of course it was Murphy’s Law
and not God’s law that ran the day for it only rained on the
weekends.

“The summer finally ended. I was in great shape physically,
well-tanned, and had a few bucks saved in the bank. I helped out
at home financially, naturally, but I didn’t have to give the
majority of my earnings to my parents as I no longer went to the
Catholic private high school for boys. I thanked God for that!
And looking back on that hot and humid summer, my first real
well-paying job, I could have easily said that life was good. In
some respects that summer was Pitcher (sic) Perfect.”

My latest book. You can check this out via the Free Preview.

Thanks for any support that you may give and have a great Navy Day!

 

 

 

 

Unbelievable Violence

Check out my first novel: Kurofune: The Black Ships – A Novel of World War II. Just click on the link at the top right of this page. Getting great reviews.

Excerpt:

The sun was now getting higher and higher off the eastern horizon. The beautiful orange, yellow and reddish glow of the sunrise was tarnished however by the thick, black, brown and grayish pall and smoke plumes covering Betio and the immediate vicinity due to the high explosive nature of the Naval Gunfire Support and the air strikes. The air was becoming heavier and heavier and thick with the smell of detonation, destruction, explosions and cordite. It was the smell of death. These thick, black plumes of smoke rose out from under the coconut palms and the fields of the island then up and over the lagoon spreading out like a dark impervious blanket of terror. Rows and rows upon rows of coconut palm trees were scarred, naked and pitted; their ragged palm fronds hanging down, vertically limp, as if the life had suddenly been snuffed out of them by some horrendous outer worldly force. No tree escaped the carnage of the shelling that swept across the entire length and breadth of the island. Collectively the palm trees just stood there, motionless, ragged or naked in the light tropical breeze, as if standing upright in a desolate, mysterious landscape, like sentinels to hell itself. The landscape was pockmarked with deep and shallow craters, like the surface of the moon. And like the surface of the moon the island was lifeless. On top of all of that a light grey mist hung in the air like dust particles suspended, coagulating into and onto everything within this maelstrom of terror. Combat dust! Nature’s colour palette of tropical hues and shades of blue, green and turquoise surrendered to this monochromatic nightmare. It was an eerie sight to behold. 

The Naval Gunfire barrage continued raining death and destruction among the Japanese defenders. A 16 inch shell found its mark on one of the Vicker’s Guns ammunition dumps. The subsequent explosion of the ammo dump sent shells, debris and shockwaves from one end of Betio to the other and across the lagoon.

“Head’s down,” somebody screamed. Was Armageddon that far behind? Ted thought of this cataclysmic detonation?  It was horrendous. His whole world shook.

The naval bombardment had gone on now for almost three hours. Sooner or later it would be time for the Marines to turn to and head directly for the beach. The Marines of wave one held back in the lagoon at the departure line in their Alligators, LCT (Tanks), LCMs (Mechanized) and their Higgin’s Boats, but it would soon be time for the landing.  In the meantime they were getting anxious and sick of the tumultuous movement of the landing craft. Sea worthy they were not. Even Ted was anxious to go. Not really seasick, he was becoming nauseous watching his colleagues retch from the motion of the Higgins. The sea sickness and the dry heaving were horrific, as everything that had been in their stomachs from breakfast was now awash in the boat’s bilge. A sour, bitter and slightly acidic, pungent odor permeated the air among them. That combined with the nauseating diesel fumes and individual sweat was enough to turn anyone pale.

Ted was nervous, but not really scared, as he just wanted to go and get on with it.  Lou and the Reverend remained silent, even as they looked at one another for mutual encouragement, as if to say everything is going to be okay. The Reverend clutched his bible for his own spiritual support and emotional fortitude. Lou was a non believer yet one could see the abject fear in his eyes. Ted kissed the crucifix of his Rosary one last time. He also stole one more peak at the picture of Ruth that he had in his shirt top pocket, protected as it was from the seawater by a plastic sheath.

“Ted…I love you…stay safe…come back to me” her words to him.

Betio, Saipan? Hell on earth!

Unbelievable violence!

Song of the Day: “Hello darkness my old friend”

Have a great weekend. Read ya Monday

SJ……………………………………….Out

KUROFUNE

Something different today. An excerpt from my book: KUROFUNE: THE BLACK SHIPS – A Novel of World War II.

The sun was now getting higher and higher off of the eastern horizon. The once beautiful orange, yellow, and reddish glow of the sunrise was now tarnished by the thick, black, brown and grayish pall of the smoke plumes covering Betio and the immediate vicinity due to the highly explosive nature of the Naval gunfire support and the air strikes. The air was becoming heavier and heavier and thick with the smell of detonation, destruction, explosions, and cordite. It was the smell of death. These thick, black plumes of smoke rose out from under the coconut palms and the fields of the island, then up and over the lagoon, spreading out like a blanket of terror of biblical proportions, dark and impervious. Rows upon rows upon rows of coconut palms were scarred, naked, and pitted—their ragged palm fronds hanging down, limp, as if the life had suddenly been snuffed out of them by some horrendous otherworldly force. No tree escaped the carnage of the shelling that swept across the entire length and breadth of the island. Collectively, the palm trees just stood there, motionless, ragged in the light tropical breeze, as if standing upright in a desolate, mysterious landscape, like sentinels to hell itself. The landscape was pockmarked with both deep and shallow craters, like the surface of the moon. And, like the surface of the moon, the island was lifeless. Overlaying it all, a light gray mist hung in the air like suspended dust particles, coagulating into everything within this maelstrom of terror. Combat dust! On this island of doom, nature’s colorful palette of tropical hues—the many shades of blue, green, and turquoise—surrendered to this monochromatic nightmare. It was an eerie sight to behold.

The naval gunfire barrage continued raining death and destruction among the Japanese defenders. A sixteen-inch shell found its mark on one of the Vickers guns. The subsequent explosion of the ammo dump sent shells, debris, and shockwaves from one end of Betio to the other and across the lagoon.

“Heads down,” somebody screamed. Was Armageddon that far behind? Ted wondered, feeling the cataclysmic detonation. It was horrendous. His whole world shook.

See the source image

The naval bombardment had gone on now for almost three hours. Sooner or later, it would be time for the Marines to turn to and head directly for the beach. The Marines of the first wave held back in the lagoon at the departure line in their Alligators, landing craft tanks, and their Higgins boats, but it would soon be time for the landing. In the meantime, they were getting anxious and sick of the tumultuous movement of the landing craft. Seaworthy they were not. Even Ted was anxious to go. Not really seasick, he was becoming nauseous watching his colleagues retch from the motion of the Higgins. The seasickness and the dry heaving were horrific, as everything that had been in their stomachs from breakfast was now awash in the boat’s bilge. A sour, pungent, and slightly acidic odor permeated the air. That, combined with the nauseating diesel fumes and collective sweat of all the men, was enough to turn anyone pale.