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  1. I actually wasn't going to do any more of these, but I finished a book this morning that told a history that I felt needed to be remembered. That book was called The Ship That Wouldn't Die: The Saga of the USS Neosho A World War II Story of Courage and Survival at Sea by Don Keith. Admittedly I only picked up this book because I spent some years of my childhood in a quaint town called Neosho, Missouri; so my curiosity was piqued when I came across the title. This book isn't about about a warship, at least not in the common sense. The USS Neosho was a Cimarron-Class oiler that was moored between the USS California and the ships USS Maryland, USS Oklahoma at Battleship Row during the attack on Pearl Harbor. The captain and crew not only shot down one Kate dive bomber and held off others with its meager AA armament and a collection of small arms raided from a weapons locker, but got underway to remove their full load of fuel from among the battleships to prevent a potentially catastrophic explosion. USS California and USS Neosho during the attack on Battleship Row Following this attack the USS Neosho had the distinction of being the only fleet oiler in the Pacific for some time. This made her one of if not the most important ship in the Pacific. She was quickly folded into Task Force 17 and given the responsibility of maintaining the fleet which acted as America's first response to the unchecked Japanese expansion in the Pacific. Admiral Frank Fletcher knew well her value, and to safeguard the oiler he had the USS Neosho and her escort the USS Sims leave the fleet for what should've been safer waters, but when a Japanese scout plane mistook the oiler for an enemy carrier the two ships would suffer a tragedy that has sadly been almost forgotten. The initial erroneous identification of the oiler and her escort ship had been corrected by the first Japanese bombers on site, however when it became clear that the task force was not in the vicinity the order was given to attack them anyways. This may have been a strategic play on the part of Admiral Shigeyoshi Inoue, however the commitment of planes weakened the strike capabilities of the Japanese carriers when scouts from Task Force 17 and the Imperial 4th Fleet mutually spotted each other at roughly the same time as the USS Neosho and USS Sims came under attack. This gave a decided advantage to Admiral Fletcher in what would be known as the Battle of the Coral Sea. The survivors of the two stricken ships however would be adrift for four hellish days of fire, thirst, sharks and a dwindling hope of rescue. There were many instances of personal valor and many citations in recognition for the actions taken by survivors from both ships, including later ships bearing the name of at least two men whose actions during the ordeal saved the lives of many and a posthumous Medal of Honor for Chief Watertender Oscar Peterson for being one of the most hardcore badasses to have ever walked the Earth. There were also shameful instances of cowardice, dereliction of duty and questionable actions that had led to many deaths. If you guys have some free time on your hands do yourself a favor and get yourself a copy of this book. I could hardly put it down once I started.