Gary Slaughter - Author of Sea Stories
WW II POWs in America and Abroad

Having served in the military for over 27 years, I’ve always been interested in the history of World War II. Gary Slaughter has pulled together stories only available as a small part of WWII history. He covers POWs capture, escape attempts-successes and failures, treatment by guards, health, activities, statistics and much more. I was interested to learn about German, Italian and Japanese treatment of Allied POWs as compared to those Axis POWs imprisoned in the United States. I was not aware, but not surprised, at how well these prisoners were treated. Many were befriended by those American civilians living near the encampments. The book was concise and quickly read with facts easily consumed and understood. Whether you are a war historian or just someone wanting to know more about how POWs survived or died, this book is for you.
CAPT James V. Hunt, USN (Ret.), Mayor City of Belle Meade, TN



Slaughter takes us to a world-wide view of the millions of WWII POWs. He details the astounding difference between Allied-run camps and those of the Axis powers. This informative document sheds light on an area of history bypassed by the conventional WW II histories.
LT Karl (Chuck) Nuechterlein, USNR (Ret.)



Gary Slaughter’s WWII POWS in America and Abroad is quite a departure from his previous works, offering a look at prisoners of war during the second world war … not only in the US, but in other countries. His five Cottonwood novels were set in a slightly fictionalized Owosso, Michigan, (his hometown) during WWII and followed the war and the capers of Jase and Danny, two local boys. His autobiographical work, Sea Stories, reflected upon his time as a Naval officer from 1956-67. Journey of an Inquiring Mind traced his transformation to a novelist.
Josh Champlin, Argus-Press Staff Writer, Owosso, MI



WW II POWs is constructed with bites of information, along with anecdotes. The book is an easy read that can be picked up and put down without fear of losing the thread of the work. Anecdote leave you with a warm feeling about Americans and their conduct, even in those difficult of times when virtually every one had someone fighting in the war.
CDR Andrew A. Bradick, USN (Ret.)



A fascinating collection of facts and narratives related to World War II incarcerations. Slaughter has researched both civilian and military camps, chronicling experiences on both the Allies’ and the Axis Powers’ sides. There is definite relevance, even so many years later. This is not necessarily a book to read straight through, but rather one to leaf through time and again for new perspectives on war captivity.
Ruth Beaumont Cook, Author of Guests Behind the Barbed Wire.



Gary Slaughter has presented a very interesting account of little-known events in the history of the Second World War. During this war, I lived in San Francisco, but I was never aware of anyone from the city leaving for internment camps. When I learned of the imprisonment of US citizens of Japanese ancestry in internment camps, I was shocked and angry. I most highly recommend WW II POWs … a most informative work.
CAPT Paul Goorjian, USN (Ret.)



Though I was born in Owosso, Michigan after WWII, I never knew about Camp Owosso until decades later. It is very difficult to understand why so little was written about this captivating topic. Slaughter brings this subject to life like a spy novel, as he weaves the stories with information and data so adeptly that it is difficult to put the book down.
Piper E. Brewer, Director Shiawassee Arts Center, Owosso, MI



Gary Slaughter’s history of the people interned during WWII shines a light on the little-known events that brought tens of thousands of enemy soldiers into America’s heartland, after the US entered the war. Interesting are the government’s efforts that led to POWs volunteering, for pay, to work on farms and in factories, thereby helping the US war efforts. Then, after the war, returning the POWs, healthy and better educated, to assist war torn Europe’s democratic restoration. Also documented is the government’s unjust internment of innocent US citizens. WWII POWs in America and Abroad is a needed examination of how and why America responded to the enemy, real and perceived, in the homeland during WWII.
LT Les Westerman, USNR (Ret.)

USS Cony

Gary Slaughter’s sharing of the details of his emerging from college and enjoying seven years as a junior officer aboard two US Navy destroyers, is amazing in his recapture of so many interesting details. I marvel at the journaling he must have done! There is so much to be learned and treasured by young men heading into a life of adventure, on the high seas and in marriage.....that I want to recommend it to young NROTC graduates and Surface Warfare Officers of the future. Revealed in his book are moments in history which could have reshaped the modern world we live in.
RADM J. C. Breast, USN (Ret.) Nashville, TN



A GREAT READ! Slaughter takes us on a cruise which starts with the evolution of a Michigan farm boy into a commissioned Naval Officer and continues into one of the most dangerous periods in U.S. history - the Cuban Missile Crisis. Slaughter as a young destroyer officer on the USS Cony must communicate with an exhausted Russian submarine commander who is on the verge of making a huge mistake, which would start the Third World War. Slaughter's many vignettes give a vivid glimpse of life at sea on a destroyer.
CAPT Paul Goorjian, USNR (Ret.) Ponte Vedra, FL



Gary Slaughters memoir is a reminder of a far simpler time when the request of a crest fallen adversary for cigarettes and bread could be fulfilled on the spot without reference to a phalanx of State Department and Pentagon lawyers.
CDR Andrew Bradick USN (Ret.) McLean, VA



One good sea story does not always lead to another. It is truly remarkable that Gary Slaughter should have managed to provide sixty good sea stories in chronological sequence describing the life of a young man from the Mid-West through his halcyon youth to that of a highly trained expert in Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW). That these events took place in a decade of change throughout the naval establishment provides the opportunity to share a multitude of situations that will be of interest not only to the military reader but to all that have an interest in history and autobiographical writing.

The task of reading such a military memoir is made easier for the non-military reader in that Gary has concisely and accurately decoded the myriad acronyms used in the Navy as well as providing interesting insights into the Traditions and Customary Usages of the United States Navy.

For the knowledgeable military reader, the stories provide accurate and cogent insights into the events surrounding the Cuban Missile Crisis and the debacle that was the Bay of Pigs invasion. More to the point, Gary has depicted with great accuracy a decade of change within the operating forces of the United States Navy with respect to recruitment, training, and afloat operations between the Korean Police action and the onset of the undeclared Vietnam War.

Gary’s entrance into the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corp. (NROTC) was through one of several Holloway Programs designed to provide high quality, long service Naval Officers to replace the many well qualified officers that left the Navy following the untimely armistice in Korea. His subsequent adventures in ASW were typical of the transition from combating diesel to nuclear powered submarines. His resignation from the Navy reflects on the quality of leadership that was emerging as we entered into an un-winnable war in Vietnam.

The sea stories, in the main, accentuate the positive, downplay the negative and provide a most interesting overview of ten years of dedicated and superior performance during a remarkable period in the history of the United States Navy.
CAPT Earl H. Russell, USN (Ret) Lead Hill, AR



By the mid-1950s, radio, movies, and the, just then available, TV, exposed small-town kids to the world beyond their parents’ lives. As Slaughter shows in his “Prologue,” the military was then the common escape route, though college was an option for those who qualified and could find a way to pay, since there were no guaranteed student loans in 1957. He and many of us found we could combine the two with NROTC (Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps), a double-barreled chance at an excitement beyond out village limits. And boy does he show how quickly those college and Navy adventures can lead to extraordinary responsibility for a young officer, as he becomes a player in an historical nuclear standoff. But the event is classified “Top Secret” so he can’t tell us about it until forty years later.

With amazing recall of people and places, he shows us life in the mid-20th Century America, spiced up with Navy sea stories. These wonderfully detailed stories show what else the Navy offers beyond “Join the Navy and See the World.” You’ll enjoy this personal history of his eleven years of Navy life beyond Owosso, MI.
LT Karl (Chuck) Nuechterlein, USN (Ret.) Naples, FL.



I wish I had read Gary Slaughter’s Sea Stories when I was in high school, contemplating military service. His memoirs are an encyclopedia of events in his naval career that are humorous, empathic, heroic, and tragic. It would have been an eye-opener on what could lay ahead, with some valuable wisdom for maneuvering in confused seas.
LT Les Westerman, USNR Pensacola, FL