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Triumph Over Fear

Thomas E. Lightburn

After witnessing the sinking of his ship HMS Watchful, and seeing the officers and men he knew so well dead and dying, Commander John Hammond suffers a nervous breakdown and is admitted to hospital. Following extensive psychiatric treatment, he is finally considered fit to return to duty. However, doubts remain in his mind if he will ever really recover from the past. This is soon put to the test when, after being appointed commanding officer of HMS Simba, a Tribal Class destroyer, he is faced with a life or death decision while on convoy duty in the Mediterranean. Luckily, date intervenes to solve the problem; but when his ship is sent on convoy duty to Russia, facing the hazards of icebergs, U-boats and the Luftwaffe, Hammond has to decide on a daring course of action which, if successful, could save his ship and the lives of his crew.

While the action in the story is based on actual events, as a counterpoint to death and destruction, the author describes raunchy runs ashore, matrimonial difficulties, romantic involvements and the humour and comradeship of the lower deck, which still prevails in today's navy.

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Thomas E. Lightburn served twenty-two years in the medical branch of the Royal Navy, reaching the rank of Chief Petty Officer. He left the service in 1974 and obtained a Bachelors (Hons) degree at Liverpool University. After teaching for sixteen years, he volunteered for early retirement. He then began writing for The Wirral Journal and The Sea Breezes, a worldwide nautical magazine. He interviewed the late Ian Fraser, VC, ex-Lieutenant RN, and wrote an account of how he and his crew crippled the Japanese cruiser, Takao, in Singapore.

Thomas is a widower and lives in Mersyside pursuing his favourite hobbies of soccer, naval and military history, the theatre, art and travel.