Poseidon and the PC

The Letters of Lt. Paul W. Neidhardt

by Gary W. Neidhardt



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 5/17/2013

Format : Hardcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 368
ISBN : 9781481740449
Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 368
ISBN : 9781481740456
Format : E-Book
Dimensions : N/A
Page Count : 368
ISBN : 9781481740432

About the Book

Poseidon and the PC documents the adventures of Lt. Paul W. Neidhardt (USNR) through one hundred and fifteen of his letters written to his wife during World War II. Long before ‘PC’ became equated with a “personal computer” or “politically correct,” the two letters were associated with “Patrol Craft.” These World War II ships had the mission of performing convoy escort duty and antisubmarine warfare. The PCs were meant to relieve the larger, far more valuable ships from the often monotonous duties of sailing at the speed of the slowest ship in a convoy. The 174 foot long PCs were so small that they were considered safe duty as more worthy targets were always available. In high seas PCs floated as light as a cork in a bottle and as rough as riding a bull. A PC could entirely disappear from view in the trough of a large wave. The seasickness that resulted from the pitching and rolling of the PC was truly gut wrenching. If you didn’t get sick on a PC, you were seaworthy on any other Navy ship in the fleet. Had the war not ended when it did, Poseidon’s typhoons might have substantially prolonged the war in the Pacific. A great typhoon sunk, beached or damaged more than two hundred American ships at Okinawa after the war had ended that were to be used for the invasion of Japan. Paul was the executive officer on one of the many PCs destroyed by this great storm, which struck on October 9, 1945. When Poseidon showed his power, Paul knew his PC needed all the help and good fortune there was to be found if they were to survive the fury of what Americans came to call Typhoon Louise.

About the Author

As early as the 1950’s, Gary W. Neidhardt can remember his father Paul speaking in the highest terms about America’s naval victories during World War II. Many of Paul’s books had a particular emphasis on the great naval battles of World War II, and when he talked of that time, he spoke with reverence and authority. But with regards to his own activities during his three and a half years in the Navy, he said very little, and only a large family barometer kept in the living room provided a visible clue to some of his memories. Only after Paul’s death in 1997 did Gary start to explore his parent’s house in Chagrin Falls, Ohio to see what memories there might be remaining. Hundreds of letters written by family members in the 30’s and 40’s were discovered. Of the hundreds of letters, one hundred and fifteen were written by Gary’s ocean-sailing, naval-officer father to his wife Phyllis beginning from the Great Lakes in September of 1943, the Atlantic soon thereafter, and ending from the Pacific in November of 1945. Poseidon and the PC is the result, which contains so much more than just family history. Gary W. Neidhardt is a retired software executive and long-time American history lover living in Lilburn, Georgia. Gary is the youngest of three children. Sister Carol Neidhardt, born in 1941 and the toddler of this book, lives in Mission, Kansas. Brother Paul, born at the end of this book in 1945 and known herein as “Little Two,” lives in Chagrin Falls. Gary is grateful to be married to his lovely second wife Mary, and is the father of three children. Lt. Paul W. Neidhardt (USNR) is revealed by these letters to be a man his children never knew while he lived. By the publication of Paul’s letters, his children, their descendants, and friends and acquaintances can get to know him in a way none of us ever imagined.