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Cruise of the Lanikai: Incitement to War

Tolley, Kemp

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ISBN 10: 0870211323 / ISBN 13: 9780870211324
Published by Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD, 1973
Condition: Very good Hardcover
From Ground Zero Books, Ltd. (Silver Spring, MD, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

xiii, [1], 345, [1] pages. Illustrations. Front endpaper map. Source notes. Bibliography. Appendix. Index. DJ is price clipped. DJ has slight wear and soiling. Nice inscription, signed by Charles Adair, formerly commanding officer of the U.S.S. Lanikai on half title, written at Annapolis on Christmas Day 1973. Adair later achieved the rank of Rear Admiral. It was inscribed to a United States Army Colonel and noted that the Lanikai was the only commissioned ship in the United States Navy to operate under sail in the combat zone! When World War II broke out, he was serving with the Asiatic Fleet based in the Philippines. Eventually, he led three officers and 18 sailors in an escape from Corregidor aboard an 80-foot schooner. The story of the escape was told in the book "The Cruise of the Lanikai," written by fellow officer Kemp Tolley, who later retired from the Navy as a rear admiral. The book detailed the schooner's 4,000-mile trip to Java, then the final 900-mile leg to Allied lines in Australia. The author was commanding officer of the Lanikai, which was commissioned as a U.S. navy ship on 5 December 1941; her real mission was to provoke the Japanese to sink her, thus triggering U.S. entry into World War II. Rear Admiral Kemp Tolley (29 April 1908 - 28 October 2000) was an officer in the U.S. Navy and is the author of three books and numerous articles on U.S. Navy activities in the Pacific, China, and the Soviet Union. On 5 December 1941 Tolley was given command of the sailing schooner Lanikai, and given orders to sail in waters off the Philippines and report any sightings of Japanese warships. The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor before Tolley could embark on this mission and the Lanikai was assigned to the Inshore Patrol. Lanikai was detached on 26 December 1941 and ordered to attempt to escape to friendly waters. This was the start of a two-month odyssey during which Lanikai sailed from Manila in the Philippine Islands, to Surabaya on Java in the then Netherlands East Indies. Lanikai participated briefly in the doomed defense of Java and was strafed by Japanese aircraft on at least one occasion. Just prior to the fall of Java, Tolley took Lanikai to Tjilatjap on the south coast of Java where she evacuated allied stragglers. Lanikai departed Java 26 February 1942 just prior to the Dutch surrender and arrived at Fremantle, Australia on 18 March 1942. After suitable recovery and refitting Lanikai was engaged in patrol work along the northern coast of Western Australia until April 27, 1942.USS Lanikai, was a schooner-rigged diesel powered yacht commissioned into the United States Navy during both World War I and World War II, before being transferred to the Royal Australian Navy. The ship was built as MY Hermes by W. F. Stone of Oakland, California, in 1914, for the Williams-Diamond Company, agents for the trading company Jaluit-Gesellschaft of Hamburg, Germany. Lanikai was taken into the United States Navy at Cavite Navy Yard, Philippine Islands, under charter from Luzon Stevedoring Co., on 5 December 1941, and commissioned the same day with Lieutenant (and future admiral) Kemp Tolley in command. On 2 December, President Roosevelt ordered, through Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Harold R. Stark, that the Commander in Chief, Asiatic Fleet, Admiral Thomas C. Hart "charter three small vessels to form a defensive information patrol. to observe and report by radio Japanese movements in the west China Sea and Gulf of Siam." Lanikai was one of the small ships chartered to learn of Japan's intentions. Fitted out at Cavite, the schooner lay at the entrance of Manila Bay in the early hours of 8 December (7 December east of the International Date Line) awaiting daylight. Tolley's orders read: "Patrol off the entrance of Cam Ranh Bay and report the direction taken by the Japanese Fleet when it emerges." However, at 0300 word of Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor arrived with orders to return to Manila. In ensuing weeks, the schooner patrol. Bookseller Inventory # 72786

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Cruise of the Lanikai: Incitement to War

Publisher: Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD

Publication Date: 1973

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Very good

Dust Jacket Condition: good

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: Presumed First Edition/First Printing.

About this title


In early December 1941 in the Philippines, a young Navy ensign named Kemp Tolley was given his first ship command, an old 76-foot schooner that had once served as a movie prop in John Ford's "The Hurricane." Crewed mostly by Filipinos who did not speak English and armed with a cannon that had last seen service in the Spanish-American War, the Lanikai was under top-secret presidential orders to sail south into waters where the Japanese fleet was thought to be. Ostensibly the crew was to spy on Japanese naval movements, but to Tolley it was clear that their mission was to create an incident that would provoke war.

Events overtook the plan, however, when Pearl Harbor was bombed before the Lanikai could get underway. When Bataan and Corregidor fell, she was ordered to set sail for Australia and became one of the few U.S. naval vessels to escape the Philippines. In this book Tolley tells the saga of her great adventure during these grim, early days of the war and makes history come alive as he regales the reader with details of the operation and an explanation of President Roosevelt's order. Tolley's description of their escape in Japanese warship-infested waters ranks with the best of sea tales, and few will be able to forget the Lanikai's 4,000-mile, three-month odyssey.

About the Author:

The late Kemp Tolley, also the author of Cruise of the Lanikai and Yangtze Patrol enjoyed a long naval career before retiring from the U.S. Navy at the rank of Rear Admiral.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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