The Adventures of M. James: A Sailor’s Diary aboard the U.S.S. Monterey, CVL-26
World War II
By Michael James
This is the secret diary of a young sailor written aboard the light aircraft carrier USS Monterey during World War II. The Adventures of M. James is a rare and direct account of the Pacific War told through the eyes of a sensitive enlisted man-a pacifist who discovers an eagerness for battle; a compassion for the enemy and in the end, a confidence in his own ability. From 1943 to 1946, Michael James recorded his thoughts and unique observations as they occurred, with passion, innocence and wry humor. He chronicles both the excitement and boredom of war including eleven major battles and a massive typhoon that nearly destroyed his ship and almost swept Assistant Navigator Lt. Gerald R. Ford overboard. Through his story, the reader gains a genuine sense of James’ character, and an understanding of why it was that a fellow shipmate told him, “there’s not a man aboard this ship that wouldn’t give you the shirt off his back.”
Michael James is the grandson of American philosopher and psychologist William James, and the grandnephew of novelist Henry James. After World War II, James pursued a career as an artist and in 1946 his sculpture was featured in Life magazine. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts.