I have been working on a book project now for about five years. My first go at publishing was put on hold when the publisher asked me to include some stories and ideas that were in line with the publishers needs.
Last November, I was doing a web based presentation for the McKeesport Heritage and History Center. Circumstances allowed family members and others that were interested in the subject to actually be participants. As luck would have it, they liked the presentation and I have been in communications with the grandson of the subject of the book.
LCDR Cassin Young, USN (Retired) (grandson) and I have been talking with others and I will be traveling to his town in a few weeks to share my story and add the family inputs that the publisher recommended. This is a pretty exciting step for me as a writer and I am confident that we will be able to move to the next level once I have completed this task.
One of the pivotal stories from the book is centered around the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Eighty years ago, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Commander Cassin Young was the commanding officer of the repair ship USS Vestal (AR-4), which was badly damaged by Japanese bombs and the explosion of the battleship USS Arizona (BB-39). Commander Young rapidly organized offensive action, personally taking charge of one of Vestal‘s anti-aircraft guns. When Arizona‘s forward magazine exploded, the blast blew Young overboard. Although stunned, he was determined to save his ship by getting her away from the blazing Arizona. Swimming through burning oil back to Vestal, which was already damaged and about to be further damaged, Young got her underway and beached her, thus ensuring her later salvage. His heroism was recognized with the Medal of Honor.
His Medal of Honor was presented to him on April 18, 1942 by Admiral Chester Nimitz.
My goal is to finish the book by the summer and hopefully get it published by December 7th.