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Nautical Fiction Index

Authors W - Wes

Wadelton, Tommy (Thomas Dorrington) (1926-1975)

Silver Buckles on His Knee. Coward-McCann, 1945. 167 pages

Typical WW II boater.






Wakeman, Frederic (1909-1998)

Shore Leave. Farrar & Rinehart, 1944. 310 pages

Three decorated Navy pilots finagle a four day leave in San Francisco. They procure a posh suite at the hotel and Commander Crewson, a master of procurement, arranges to populate it with party people.





Waldock, Sarah J., Mrs.

William Price and the 'Thrush'. CreateSpace, 2012. 224 pages

Inspired by Jane Austen's Mansfield Park this introduces William Price, just promoted to Lieutenant, who finds his new commission places him on a ship sailing under sealed orders and a potentially mutinous crew.





Wales, Ken (1938- ) and Poling, David

Sea of glory : a novel : based on the true WW II story of the four chaplains and the U.S.A.T. Dorchester. Broadman & Holman, 2001. 357 pages

In the early morning hours of February 3, 1943, a German submarine torpedoes the American troop ship Dorchester en route to a top-secret radar installation in Greenland. The four Army chaplains on board could scarcely be more different from each other: Methodist pastor and war veteran George Fox: intellectual and athletic Rabbi Alex Goode; scholar, poet and Dutch Reformed minister Clark Poling: baseball fan and "regular guy" Father John Washington. yet in the terror and confusion following the attack by a deadly U- boat wolfpack, the chaplains unite in a final triumphant sacrifice that transforms the life of every survivor who lives to tell of it.



Wall, Bill (William) (1955- )

Donal Long series:

  1. The Powder Monkey: A 1798 Story. Mercer, 1996. 160 pages

    Set in the troubled days of the 1798 Rebellion, The Powder Monkey is the story of a boy, Donal Long, who steals a boat to escape his violent uncle and is picked up by a British warship. He is adopted by the ship's crew and becomes the "powder monkey" whose job it is to carry powder to the guns.




  3. The Slave Coast. Mercer, 1997. 144 pages

    Taken on as cabin boy aboard an American ship, Donal makes his escape from the tragic Ireland of 1798. But the Provident of Boston is not a normal trading vessel, the ship is bound for Africa to pick up slaves.




  5. The Cove of Cork. Mercer, 1998. 144 pages

    In 1813, Donal Long and his shipmates are made prisoners of war after a sea battle with a British ship. To his surprise he is brought back to Ireland, to the Cove of Cork, close to his birthplace. Paroled as an officer, Donal's past is waiting in the wings to catch up with him.





Wallace, Willard Mosher (1911-2000)

East to Bagaduce. H. Regnery, 1963. 318 pages

Based on a true event. US Navy lays siege to Maine town during the Revolutionary War, but effort ends in humiliating disaster. Not for sunshine patriots.




Jonathan Dearborn; a novel of the War of 1812. Little, Brown, 1967. 376 pages

American privateers.




The Raiders: a novel of the Civil War at sea. Little, Brown, 1970. 470 pages

Cruise of the Confederate raider ALABAMA, as seen by Lieutenant Scott Pettigrew from Maine.






Wallenius, Kurt Martti (1893-1984)

Men from the Sea. Oxford University Press, 1955. 268 pages

Five tales of Scandinavian and Finnish Lapland, held together by a common theme -- the impact of the Arctic ruggedness on its people ... Always present is the struggle for survival, the dependence on the sea, the helplessness of these people before the elements, and their familiarity with death. Translation of Miesten meri, 1954.




Wallop, Douglass (1920-1985)

Regatta. Norton, 1981. 285 pages

A crack international yachtsman steps down in class to race his fifty-eight foot yacht against ordinary weekend sailors in a thirty mile, 150-boat sailing race on Chesapeake bay. His chief adversary, in a much smaller sloop, gives him all he can handle.





Walmsley, Leo (1892-1966)

Three Fevers. Knopf, 1932. 284 pages

The struggles of the "Lunns" and the "Fosdyks", rival inshore fisherman in North Yorkshire coastal village of "Bramblewick". The book is actually semi-autobiographical, and is based around real families who lived in the early part of this century at Robin Hood's Bay. Leo Walmsley wrote several such books, mainly based around his experiences in Robin Hood's Bay, and also the time he spent living in Fowey, Cornwall, where he eventually died. The book was adapted into the first film made by Arthur Rank, and was released as TURN OF THE TIDE.




Wambaugh, Joseph (1937- )

Floaters. Bantam, 1996. 293 pages

Set in San Diego's Mission Bay during America's Cup '95, water cops Mickey Fortney and his partner Leeds are on the trail of Cup saboteurs. This one is worth reading just for the commentary on the Cup scene. Fast paced & funny.





Wanttaja, Ron

The Key to Honor. Royal Fireworks, 1996. 188 pages

15 year old Midshipman Nate Lawton reports to USS CHESAPEAKE, blockaded in Boston by HMS SHANNON. Fatherless and seeking revenge because seven years earlier the English had impressed his father (and impoverished his family). Hiding a shameful secret and groping for truths he might have learned from his father, Nate immediately runs athwartship 2nd Lieutenant Westcott who abhors Nate's blind acceptance of natural gifts for which "others worked so hard." But it's Westcott that starts Nate on his search for honor. Of course, the CHESAPEAKE goes out and fights the SHANNON. Whether intentionally or not, the book is Patrick O'Brianish in every good sense: it demonstrates civility and honor, teaches leadership, teaches the nautical stuff along the way, is a bit better than reality, has a happy ending, and feels authentic. For young readers.

The Price of Command. Royal Fireworks, 1998. 330 pages

Midshipman Nate Lawton of The Key to Honor continues his adventures and maturing by joining Oliver Hazard Perry on Lake Erie right smack in the center of the Perry-Elliot controversy. Chance has thrown Nate into second in command and his captain moves to make him a scapegoat as well. For young adults 12 and up.





Warga, Wayne (1938-1994)

Singapore Transfer. Viking, 1991. 151 pages

A rare-book dealer gets mixed up in smuggling and a murder mystery in Singapore involving junks, an ocean liner and the wreckage of USS ARIZONA at the bottom of Pearl Harbor.





Waters, Don

Vengeance Reef. Saturday Evening Post. June 1, 1940

Shipwrecked sailor single handedly destroys the dastardly german submarine that sank his ship - c.f. Forester's Brown on Resolution.






Waters, Kenneth

Sea Officer. Blacksmith, 1996. 266 pages

Novel based on the Black River Raid, the burning of Hampton and the great Atlantic storm of 1861. Our hero, Jonathon Comstock, fights for the Union aboard the sloop of war BENNINGTON. This was intended to be the first of a series of historical novels based upon naval actions during the American Civil War.





Watkins, Paul (1964- )

Calm at Sunset, Calm at Dawn. Houghton Mifflin, 1989. 280 pages

Young man expelled from college joins the crew of a fishing boat against the wishes of his fisherman father. Takes place on the Rhode Island Shoreline.





Watson, John

The Iron Man. Warner, 1998. 488 pages

Captain Jakob Zof, disappointed by events that have reduced the Soviet Navy to a shambles, seeks to restore some of his pride by allowing himself to be persuaded to commission a WW II battleship. This is no ordinary battleship; named after Stalin, it was to have been the culmination of Russian naval design and construction. It has been hidden from the world for years in a Vladivostok backwater. The endless supply of dollar bills from Zof’s mysterious new employers puts new life into the under-motivated and unpaid Russians. It’s not long before the STALIN is committing acts of piracy in the Pacific but it soon becomes apparent that there is an even more sinister motive. Another novel where heavy armour does not readily succumb to modern weaponry.


The Final Act. Warner, 2000. 500 pages

Nineteen-year-old Otto Heine is forced to board the Hindenberg, a secret sister ship to the notorious Bismarck, on a mission both simple and extraordinary – to sail to Washington and shell the White House. But Heine has no interest in such a suicide mission, and leads a mutiny against Captain Erich Bach. There he discovers the secret consignment the ship is carrying…. Fifty-five years later, an American businessman has found the wreck of the Hindenberg on the coast of Greenland, and plans to turn it into a floating theme park. What he doesn’t know is the cargo the ship contains. Now, at last, he has a chance to retrieve it.



Webb, Alexander

Fates Anointed. Kimber, 1985. 191 pages

1805, Lt. Phillip Naseby, RN, formula period piece but readable.






Webb, Christopher (pseud. Leonard Wibberley)

Matt Tyler's Chronicle. Funk & Wagnalls, 1958. 216 pages

Boy experiences all the major events of the Revolutionary War on land and sea





Quest of the Otter. Funk & Wagnalls, 1963. 180 pages

During a whaling voyage, a teen searches for his lost father,





The Ann and Hope Mutiny. Funk & Wagnalls, 1966. 192 pages

Mystery on board a missing sailing ship. Based upon the Mary Celeste legend






Webber, Gordon (1912-1986)

The Far Shore. Little, Brown, 1954. 236 pages

1944: the Normandy Beaches.






Weber, Joe

Defcon One. Presidio, 1989. 336 pages

A worst-case scenario of the future of U.S.-Soviet relations envisions the failure of the current Soviet reform, leading to a desperate attack on the U.S. that threatens to escalate to nuclear war.





Webster, Rank V.

Two Boys of the Battleship. Cupples & Leon, 1915. 208 pages

Ned and Frank join the navy. It's off to South America aboard the battleship GEORGETOWN to deal with them furriners in the carefree days before the Big War.





Weing, Drew

Set to Sea. Fantagraphics, 2010. 1 volume

Graphic novel about a big lug and aspiring poet who runs up tabs at the local bars by day and haunts the docks by night, writing paeans to the sea-faring life. When he gets shanghaied aboard a clipper board for Hong Kong, he learns firsthand about life on the open seas-bad food, pirates, unceremonious funerals, foreign ports, and unexpected epiphanies.





Weiser, Bruce

Nicholas Chenevix Series:

  1. The French Imposter. Leisure, 1980. 278 pages

    British lieutenant Nicholas Chenevix is sent to Cadiz to spy as Admiral Nelson cruises offshore.





  3. Dispatch From Cadiz. Leisure, 1981. 283 pages

    Chenvevix allows himself to be captured by the French as part of a plan to lure the French out of Cadiz so Nelson can defeat them. Unfortunately, Chenevix, once caught, is tried as a spy, then kept aboard the BUCENTAURE during Trafalgar -- and the subsequent storm when the ship runs aground. Contains a long dream sequence about a world where Nelson loses Trafalgar.





Wellman, Manly Wade (1903-1986)

Rebel Mail Runner. Holiday House, 1954. 211 pages

Civil War adventure afloat





The River Pirates. Washburn, 1963. 143 pages

Pirates on the Mississippi in the 1820's & 1830's





Jamestown Adventure. Washburn, 1967. 194 pages

The adventures of young James Rickard, fictional cousin of Captain John Smith, and the difficulties faced by the settlers, at the time of Virginia's beginnings




Carolina Pirate. Washburn, 1968. 167 pages

So that his passengers and crew may go free, a young navigator is forced to become part of the pirate crew that captures his ship






Wenger, Susan

The Port-Wine Sea. America House, 1999. 190 pages

A rousing parody of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin series. It is a story about a British naval captain during the Napoleonic War, and his friend, a naval physician/espionage agent. They set sail once again aboard HMS AGHAST during the War of 1812 to demonstrate to the upstart Colonies the errors of their ways. The doctor/spy tries to establish liaison with the Creek Indians to create a diversion to the main British assault. Meanwhile the noble Captain is diverted by a teenaged Maryland vixen. Along the way, they encounter a skittish horse, a demure skunk, a whooping crane, and an escaped colony of termites aboard the ship.



West, Nigel

Cuban Bluff: a Documentary Novel of the Cuban Missle Crisis. Secker & Warburg, 1990. 250 pages

Feautres a last-minute scramble to find a missing Soviet submarine.






Westbrook, William

Nicholas Fallon Sea Novels:

  1. The Bermuda Privateer. McBooks, 2017. 328 pages

    It’s 1796, and Sea Dog’s owner, Ezra Somers, employs Fallon to protect his Caribbean salt trade from French privateers and pirates. Wicked Jak Clayton is especially ruthless. When the two meet just off the Bahamas, even Fallon’s cunning can’t overcome their mismatch in firepower and desertion by a cowardly ally.



  3. The Black Ring. McBooks, 2018. 328 pages

    The year is 1798. The African slave trade is in brutal flower, and the great powers are fighting for control of the Caribbean’s immensely profitable sugar plantations. Nico, meanwhile, has been trying his damnedest to become a salt merchant under Ezra Somers, father of the beautiful Elinore. But when an urgent request arrives from Admiral Davies of the Leeward Island Station, Ezra and Elinore give Nico their blessing to head off in search of plunder and adventure.



  5. Barbarians on an Ancient Sea. McBooks, 2020. 286 pages

    Captain Nicholas Fallon and his crew aboard the British privateer "Rascal" vs. the Barbary pirates.






Westcott, Jan Vlachos (1912-2011)

Captain for Elizabeth. Crown, 1948. 308 pages

Biographical novel of Thomas Cavendish





Captain Barney. Crown, 1951. 286 pages

Privateer battles British from home port of Philadelphia during the Revolutionary war.






Westergaard, Ross

Midshipman Kirk : being the adventures of a midshipman, Royal Navy, aboard the iron screw corvette HMS Calcutta, during the 1880s on the west coast of North America. Horsdal & Schubart, 1993. 167 pages

Midshipman Eric Kirk aboard HMS CALCUTTA, patrolling Pacific Coast in the 1880s.





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