Naval Order of the United States
        New York Commandery

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2016 RADM Samuel Eliot Morison Book Award

Tim McGrath

Give Me A Fast Ship

The Continental Navy and

America's Revolution at Sea

Tim McGrath, winner of the 2016 RADM Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature, will be received by the New York Commandery and speak at our Annual Book Award dinner, to be held at the Racquet & Tennis Club in New York City on Monday evening, 7 November 2016.

Tim McGrath is President of Health and Science Health Center executive search firm and has served on the Board of Directors of the Kearsley Retirement Community (founded by Benjamin Franklin’s physician), Christ Church Hospital, the Philadelphia Senior Center, Fort Mifflin on the Delaware, and the Independence Seaport Museum.  He is a graduate of Temple University and the author of numerous articles on management, healthcare and US history. His first book, John Barry: an American Hero in the Age of Sail, won the Navy League’s first Commodore John Barry Book Award in 2010, and the American Revolutionary Roundtable Book of the Year Award.  His latest book Give Me a Fast Ship has received strong reviews from the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer and Naval History, Sea History and Military History magazines. It was also awarded the Navy League of the United States, New York Council's John Barry Book Award.

2015 RADM Samuel Eliot Morison Book Award

Craig L. Symonds


The Allied Invasion of Europe

and the D-Day Landings

Dr. Craig L. Symonds is Professor of History Emeritus at the United States Naval Academy. The first person to win both the Naval Academy’s “Excellence in Teaching” award (1988) and its “Excellence in Research” award (1998), he also served as History Department chair from 1988 to 1992, and received the Department of the Navy’s Superior Civilian Service medal three times.  He was Professor of Strategy at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island (1971-74) and at the Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, England (1994-95).  After retirement in 2005, he returned to the Naval Academy for one year in 2011-12 to serve as “The Class of 1957 Distinguished Professor of American Naval History.” 

Symonds is the author or editor of twenty-six books, including prize-winning biographies of Joseph E. Johnston (1992), Patrick Cleburne (1997), and Franklin Buchanan (1999), as well as The American Heritage History of the Battle of Gettysburg (2001).  Decision at Sea: Five Naval Battles that Shaped American History (2005), won the Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt Prize for Naval History.  His 2008 book, Lincoln and His Admirals: Abraham Lincoln, the U.S. Navy, and the Civil War, won the Barondess Prize, the Laney Prize, the Lyman Prize, the Lincoln Prize, and the Abraham Lincoln Institute Book Award. His book on the Battle of Midway was published in 2011, and his newest book is NEPTUNE: The Allied Invasion of Europe and the D-Day Landings(2014).  He won the Nevins-Freeman Prize in 2009, the Dudley Knox Medal for Lifetime Achievement from the Naval Historical Foundation in 2014, and the RADM Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature from the Naval Order of the United States, New York Commandery, in 2015..

2014 RADM Samuel Eliot Morison Book Award

Jack Cheevers

Act of War

  Lyndon Johnson, North Korea,

    and the Capture of the Spy Ship Pueblo

Jack Cheevers is a former Los Angeles Times reporter. He grew up in Massachusetts and New Hampshire and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a degree in political science. For 27 years he was a newspaper reporter and editor in California. He began researching "Act of War" in 2000 by interviewing the Pueblo's charismatic ex-captain, Lloyd M. (Pete) Bucher. He subsequently interviewed other crewmen and former members of President Lyndon Johnson's administration who were involved with the Pueblo drama. Using the Freedom of Information Act, he obtained thousands of pages of previously secret documents from the State Department, Navy, Central Intelligence Agency, and National Security Agency. He also relied on archival material from South Korea, the Soviet Union, and Eastern bloc nations. Jack and his wife, Kat Matz, live in Oakland, California. 

2013 RADM Samuel Eliot Morison Book Award

Walter R. Borneman

The Admirals

Nimitz, Halsey, Leahy, and King —

The Five-Star Admirals Who Won the War at Sea

Walter R. Borneman’s latest book on American history is American Spring: Lexington, Concord, and the Road to Revolution (Little, Brown, 2014). Others include Alaska: Saga of a Bold Land (HarperCollins, 2003); 1812: The War That Forged a Nation (HarperCollins, 2004); 14,000 Feet: A Celebration of Colorado’s Highest Mountains (with Todd Caudle; Skyline Press, 2005); The French and Indian War: Deciding the Fate of North America (HarperCollins, 2006);Polk: The Man Who Transformed the Presidency and America (Random House, 2008); and The Admirals: Nimitz, Halsey, Leahy, and King. (Little, Brown, 2012).

Borneman is known in Colorado’s mountains as the co-author of A Climbing Guide to Colorado’s Fourteeners, the history and standard routes of Colorado’s 54 peaks above 14,000 feet, which was in-print for twenty-five years. 

Walt has undergraduate and graduate degrees in history from Western State College of Colorado (1974, 1975) and wrote his master’s thesis on a town characteristic of the western mining frontier. Borneman received his law degree from the University of Denver (1981). 

He has won awards from the Society of Colonial Wars in the State of New York, the Tennessee Library Association and Historical Commission, and the Colorado Humanities Program, and the Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature. His commentary has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal,,, and San Francisco Chronicle. 

2012 RADM Samuel Eliot Morison Book Award

Elliot Carlson

Joe Rochefort's War

The Odyssey of the Codebreaker Who Outwitted Yamamoto at Midway

Elliot Carlson is a longtime journalist who has worked for such newspapers and magazines as the Honolulu Advertiser and the Wall Street Journal. His biography of Joe Rochefort won the 2012 Samuel Eliot Morison award for naval literature and the 2011 Roosevelt history prize. He lives in Silver Spring, MD, with his wife Norma. 

2011 RADM Samuel Eliot Morison Book Award

Robert Gandt

Twilight Warriors


Robert Gandt was born in Springfield, Missouri, and raised in nearby Coffeyville, Kansas. At age twenty he was the youngest aviator and officer then on active duty in the U. S. Navy. After accumulating over 300 carrier landings and nearly 2000 hours in the A-4 Skyhawk,[1] he joined Pan American World Airways as an airline pilot in 1965. With the sale of Pan Am's Atlantic routes in 1991, he transferred to Delta Airlines as a captain and check airman. In 1985, Gandt was a founder and team member of the Redhawk Formation Aerobatic Team, flying SIAI-Marchetti SF.260 military trainers in precision formation aerobatic routines. Gandt's writing career began in the mid-1970s when he was based in Hong Kong. Season of Storms: The Siege of Hong Kong 1941, was drawn from the newspaper series he produced for the South China Morning Post.[2] His subsequent works were derived from his own experience and connections to military and aviation figures. Gandt’s naval aviation chronicle Bogeys and Bandits (Viking, 1997) was adapted for the CBS seriesPensacola: Wings of Gold, for which Gandt worked as a writer and technical consultant.[3] The first of his novels, With Hostile Intent, was published by Penguin Group in 2001.[4] With co-author Bill White and with a foreword by Senator John McCain, Gandt wrote Intrepid: The Epic Story of America's Most Legendary Warship (Random House, 2009), which won the Admiral Farragut Book Award.[5] His multi-viewpoint account of the World War II battle for Okinawa, The Twilight Warriors (Random house, 2010) was the winner of the Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature.[6] He is a graduate of Charter Oak State College with a B.A in History. He is a member and contributor to The Tailhook Association, the The Authors Guild, Mensa International, the Experimental Aircraft Association, Quiet Birdmen and the Naval Order of the United States.

2010 RADM Samuel Eliot Morison Book Award

James Scott

Attack on the USS Liberty

James Scott is an award-winning writer and former reporter and investigative journalist with the Charleston, S.C., Post and Courier. Scott has reported from Afghanistan, Iraq and tsunami-devastated Indonesia as well as worked in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is a recipient of the McClatchy Company President’s Award and was named the 2003 Journalist of the Year by the South Carolina Press Association. Wofford College honored Scott as its 2005 Young Alumnus of the Year. From 2006-2007 he was a Nieman Fellow for Journalism at Harvard University. Scott currently is at work on a book on the perils of submarine warfare in the Pacific during World War II, also for Simon & Schuster. He lives with his wife and two children in Charleston, S.C.

In 1967 the spy ship U.S.S. Liberty was attacked by Israeli fighter jets and torpedo boats in international waters during the Six-Day War. Thirty four sailors were killed and 171 wounded, many critically. Israel claimed mistaken identity, which a U.S. naval court of inquiry confirmed, but that explanation is contradicted by the facts of the case.

James Scott has conducted hundreds of interviews with Liberty survivors, senior administration and intelligence officials and examined newly declassified documents in Israel and the United States to write this comprehensive, dramatic account. Some of his sources have never spoken publicly about the Liberty until now. Scott reveals the outrage felt by many inside the Pentagon, State Department, NSA and Navy and shows that some officers inside Israel’s chain of command were aware of the Liberty’s real identity. He also documents through interviews how events in Vietnam prompted the American government to de-emphasize the attack despite widespread disbelief of Israel’s story.

Journalist and son of an attack survivor: Scott’s father, John, was an officer and damage control engineer aboard the Liberty who was awarded the Silver Star for helping to save the ship from sinking.

2009 RADM Samuel Eliot Morison Book Award

James L. Nelson

Washington's Secret Navy

How the American Revolution

Went to Sea

James L. Nelson was born and grew up in Lewiston, Maine, and after working in the television industry for two years he ran away to sea, sailing aboard reproductions of three famous ships of the age of sail: Golden Hind, Lady Washington and HMS Rose. In 1994, he finished By Force of Arms, his first book, and married former shipmate Lisa Page. They now live with their four children in Harpswell, Maine, where occasionally he also sails and rigs ships.

Jim has written fifteen books, both fiction and nonfiction, including Benedict Arnold’s Navy. He has written two series of novels about the age of sail, and his novel Glory in the Name was the 2004 winner of the American Library Association/William Young Boyd Award for best Military Fiction.

Jim is a graduate of UCLA Film School. Noted author Patrick O’Brian described him as “a master of both his period and the English language.”
2008 RADM Samuel Eliot Morison Book Award
George C. Daughan
If By Sea

The Forging of the American Navy From

The Revolution to the War of 1812

George C. Daughan holds a Ph.D. in American History and Government from Harvard University. He spent three years in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War. He taught at the Air Force Academy and was also director of the MA program of international affairs there.  Subsequently, he held a professorship at Connecticut College, and also taught at the University of Colorado, the University of New Hampshire, and Wesleyan University.

2007 RADM Samuel Eliot Morison Book Award

Ian W. Toll

Six Frigates

The Epic Story of

the Founding of the US Navy

Ian W. Toll has been a Wall Street analyst, a Federal Reserve financial analyst, and a political aide and speechwriter. Six Frigates is his first book.

Ian's previous career adventures included stints at Credit Suisse First Boston's technology group, covering enterprise software and e-commerce. He worked in similar positions at Alex Brown and Thomas Weisel Partners, covering wireless communications, e-commerce, and software. Earlier, as a Financial Analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Ian published numerous reports and articles, including the influential 1996 article "Bad Debt Rising," published in Current Issues (co-authored with Donald Morgan), on the factors behind the increasing rate of credit card loan defaults. He served as a legislative staff assistant to U.S. Senator Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) and a policy analyst for Lieutenant Governor Stan Lundine of New York State during the Cuomo Administration.

Ian received his undergraduate degree in American History at Georgetown University (1989) and his Masters in Public Policy from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government (1995).

Ian has pursued an interest in the "age of fighting sail" since reading Patrick O'Brian's series of historical novels in the early 1990's. Since that time, and in the course of researching Six Frigates, Ian has read hundreds of books on the subject and has delved deeply into the original documentary history of the early American navy.

A lifelong sailor, Ian has raced Solings, J-24's, Swans, and other designs; and he has skippered cruising yachts of various kinds throughout the coastal waters of New England and the Caribbean.

2006 RADM Samuel Eliot Morison Award

Joseph Callo

John Paul Jones

America's First Sea Warrior

In addition to the new Jones biography, RADM Callo has written three books about British Admiral Lord Nelson, was U.S. editor for Who’s Who in Naval History, which includes brief biographies of more than 600 individuals who have had major impact on their country’s navy, and numerous magazine and newspaper articles. He is a former Naval History magazine “Author of the Year” and has won many creative awards in the advertising and television industries.

RADM Callo received his commission via Yale University NROTC, and served at sea in the Atlantic Amphibious Forces. Upon leaving active duty, he commanded three Reserve Public Affairs units, as well as other commands. In civilian life, he was a senior executive with major advertising agencies, and was a freelance TV producer for NBC and PBS.

RADM Callo is a companion to the New York Commandery, as well as other notable naval and maritime organizations. He and his wife Sally McElwreath Callo, a retired Naval Reserve Captain and former corporate executive, reside in New York City.

2005 RADM Samuel Eliot Morison Book Award

Mike Walling

Bloodstained Sea

The U.S. Coast Guard in the Battle of the Atlantic, 1941-1944

After graduating from Montclair State College with a BA in Biology, Mike served in the U.S. Coast Guard for six years as a commissioned officer and a senior petty officer. Most of his sea-going experience was in the North Atlantic and include 2 trips to the Arctic.

His assignments included buoy tending, search and rescue missions, drug and fisheries law enforcement, and oceanographic operations. As part of the Boarding Party and Prize Crew on two cutters he participated in the seizures of a Panamanian drug-runner and a Cuban fishing boat. His decorations include the U.S. Coast Guard Achievement Medal (Operational) for counter-drug operations, Arctic Service Medal, Sea Service Medal, the National Defense Medal, and USCG Cutterman's Insignia.

Mike's first book, Bloodstained Sea: The U.S. Coast Guard in the Battle of the Atlantic 1941-1944, was published by International Marine, a division of McGraw-Hill, and received critical acclaim by reviewers and veterans. The Naval Order of the United States honored him with its 2005 Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature. Bloodstained Sea is now available through Cutter Publishing

2004 RADM Samuel Eliot Morison Book Award

Jim Hornfischer

The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors

The Extraordinary World War II Story of the U.S. Navy’s Finest Hour

Hornfischer is the author of two other acclaimed works of World War II naval history: The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors: The Extraordinary World War II Story of the U.S. Navy’s Finest Hour and Ship of Ghosts: The Story of the USS Houston, FDR’s Legendary Lost Cruiser, and the Epic Saga of Her Survivors, both published by Bantam. 

Hornfischer’s writing career has grown out of a lifelong interest in the Pacific war. He has appeared on television on The History Channel, Fox News Channel’s “War Stories with Oliver North” and C-SPAN’s “BookTV.” A frequent speaker on the subject of the war in the Pacific, the U.S. Navy, and the experience of America’s sailors in World War II, he frequently addresses veterans organizations, youth and civic groups, and professional naval organizations on the inspiring stories found in his books. 

A native of Massachusetts, and a graduate of Colgate University and the University of Texas School of Law, Hornfischer is a member of the Naval Order of the United States, the Navy League, and was appointed by Texas Governor Rick Perry as an “Admiral in the Texas Navy.” A former New York book editor, Hornfischer is president of the literary agency Hornfischer Literary Management, located in Austin, Texas, where he lives with his wife and their three children. 

2003 RADM Samuel Eliot Morison Book Award

Hon. John F. Lehman, PhD

On Seas of Glory

John F. Lehman, an American investment banker and writer who served as Secretary of the Navy in the Reagan administration where he promoted the creation of a 600-ship Navy.  From 2003 to 2004 he was a member of the 9/11 Commission.

Lehman currently serves on the National Security Advisory Council for the Center for Security Policy (CSP), and on the board of trustees for the think tank Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI). Lehman is also a member of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States and has signed some policy letters produced by the Project for the New American Century

Dr. Lehman has written numerous books, including On Seas of Glory, winner of the Naval Order of the United States New York Commandery's RADM Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature.

2002 RADM Samuel Eliot Morison Award
Norm Friedman
Seapower as Strategy
Navies and National Interests

Norm Friedman is a noted defense analyst and naval weapons expert lays out the roles of navies and naval strategy in the twenty-first century. Drawing upon historical examples, Norman Friedman first explains how and why naval strategy differs from other kinds of military strategy and then provides a sense of the special flavor of a maritime or naval approach to national security problems. The various uses of navies are described and illustrated by extended case studies covering the last quarter-millennium. Friedman presents these observations in the context of U.S. post-Cold War security concerns and concepts. He explains how and why the United States currently espouses a maritime strategy and argues that navies are likely to regain a dominant position due to changes both in their own technology and in air and ground forces. He urges countries with the appropriate geographical and economic advantages, namely the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Australia, to use their inherent maritime leverage.Rare among books on naval strategy, this work combines an examination of the vital role of coalition partners, especially those with significant ground forces, with a comprehensive survey of relevant technology and the way that strategy can be reflected in the design of an evolving fleet. The author is known for his ability to explain modern technology to lay audiences, and his book is suitable for all those interested in public policy questions as well as national security professionals and students of strategy. The book's publication at a time of potential change in U.S. national strategy only reinforces its value as a document worthy of study.  

2001 RADM Samuel Eliot Morison Book Award

Donald Chislom

Waiting For Dean Men's Shoes

Origins and Development of the U.S. Navy's Officer 

Personnel System, 1793-1941

Donald Chisholm is Associate Professor of Public Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is the author of Coordination Without Hierarchy: Informal Structures in Multiorganizational Systems. 

This monumental study provides an innovative and powerful means for understanding institutions by applying problem solving theory to the creation and elaboration of formal organizational rules and procedures. Based on a meticulously researched historical analysis of the U.S. Navy’s officer personnel system from its beginnings to 1941, the book is informed by developments in cognitive psychology, cognitive science, operations research, and management science. It also offers important insights into the development of the American administrative state, highlighting broader societal conflicts over equity, efficiency, and economy. 

2000 RADM Samuel Eliot Morison Book Award

Edmund H. Simmons

Dog Company Six

Edwin H. Simmons was a United States Marine Corps brigadier general. He was a career officer who served in combat during three wars — including landing at Inchon and fighting at the Chosin Reservoir in the Korean War. He was renowned as the Marine Corps historian, being called "the collective memory of the Marine Corps". His 1974 book The United States Marines: A History is a seminal reference text. 

He was a fellow, governor, and treasurer of the Company of Military Historians and a member of the boards of trustees of the American Military Institute, the Marine Corps War Memorial Foundation, and the United States Commission on Military History. He also served as president of the 1st Marine Division Association, president of the American Society of Military Comptrollers, and vice-president of the National War College Alumni Association. In 1970, he received a Centennial Distinguished Graduate Medallion from Ohio State University. 

Brigadier General Simmons died on May 5, 2007 at his home in Alexandria, Virginia. 

1999 RADM Samuel Eliot Morison Books Award

Edward L. Beach, Jr.

Salt and Steel

Reflections of a Submariner

Edward Latimer Beach, Jr. (April 20, 1918 – December 1, 2002) was a highly decorated United States Navy submarine officer and best-selling author.

During World War II, he participated in the Battle of Midway and 12 combat patrols, earning 10 decorations for gallantry, including the Navy Cross. After the war, he served as the naval aide to the President of the United States and commanded the first submerged circumnavigation.

Beach's best-selling novel, Run Silent, Run Deep, was made into the 1958 movie by the same name. The son of Captain Edward L. Beach, Sr., and Alice Fouché Beach, E. L. Beach, Jr., was born in New York City and raised in Palo Alto, California.

After World War II, Beach wrote extensively in his spare time following in the footsteps of his father, who was also a career naval officer and author. His first book Submarine! (1952) was a compilation of accounts of several wartime patrols made by his own as well as other submarines, which TIME magazine called "the liveliest and most authentic account of underseas combat to come out of World War II."

In all, Beach published thirteen books, but is best known for his first novel, Run Silent, Run Deep (1955), which appeared on The New York Times Book Review bestseller list for several months. A movie of the same name, based loosely on the novel and starring Clark Gable and Burt Lancaster, was released by United Artists in 1958. Beach penned two sequels to Run Silent, Run Deep: Dust on the Sea (1972), relating in detail a war patrol by Eel leading a wolfpack, and Cold is the Sea (1978), set in 1961 aboard a nuclear submarine.

In addition to Submarine!, Beach wrote several more books on naval history, including The Wreck of the Memphis (1966); United States Navy: 200 Years (1986), a general history of the Navy; Scapegoats: A Defense of Kimmel and Short at Pearl Harbor (1995); and Salt and Steel: Reflections of a Submariner (1999). Keepers of the Sea (1983) is a pictorial record of the modern navy with photography by Fred J. Maroon. For a number of years Beach was co-editor of Naval Terms Dictionary as that standard reference work passed through several editions. His last work, completed shortly before his death, was to prepare for publication his father's manuscript of his own distinguished service in the navy. That book, From Annapolis to Scapa Flow: The Autobiography of Edward L. Beach, Sr (2003), is Captain Beach, Sr.'s personal account of the navy from the age of sail to the age of steam.

In addition to his books, Beach was a prolific author of articles and book reviews for periodicals ranging from Blue Book Magazine to National Geographic, and Naval History to American Heritage.

1997 RADM Samuel Eliot Morison Book Award

Eugene B. Fluckey

Thunder Below

Eugene B. Fluckey, Rear Admiral, USN (Ret.), was a 1935 graduate of the United States Naval Academy. For his valor under fire, Lt. Cdr. Fluckey was awarded four Navy Crosses and the Congressional Medal of Honor, unequalled by any living American. The crew of the USS Barb received the Presidential Unit Citation and Navy Unit Commendation. In 1989 the U.S. Navy honored Fluckey by naming the nuclear submarine Combat Systems Training Center, the largest and highest building in New London Connecticut, Fluckey Hall, the only building there named for a living person. His last active duty was as NATO Commander in Chief of the Iberian Atlantic Area in Lisbon, Portugal, from which he retired in 1972. In June 1991 he did research for Thunder Below in remote villages on the coast of China. Of his many citations, Fluckey said he was most proud of the one medal no member of his crew was ever awarded: the Purple Heart, given to those wounded under fire.

1989 RADM Samuel Eliot Morison Book Award

John F. Lehman

Command of the Seas

John F. Lehman, an American investment banker and writer who served as Secretary of the Navy in the Reagan administration where he promoted the creation of a 600-ship Navy.  From 2003 to 2004 he was a member of the 9/11 Commission.

Lehman currently serves on the National Security Advisory Council for the Center for Security Policy (CSP), and on the board of trustees for the think tank Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI). Lehman is also a member of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States and has signed some policy letters produced by the Project for the New American Century

Dr. Lehman has written numerous books, including Command of the Seas, winner of the Naval Order of the United States New York Commandery's RADM Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature.

1984 RADM Samuel Eliot Morison Book Award

Victor H. Krulak

First To Fight

An Inside View of the U.S. Marine Corps

Victor H. Krulak (January 7, 1913 – December 29, 2008) was a decorated United States Marine Corps officer who saw action in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Krulak, considered a visionary by fellow Marines, was the author of First to Fight: An Inside View of the U.S. Marine Corps and the father of the 31stCommandant of the Marine Corps, Charles C. Krulak. 

Marine general Victor "Brute" Krulak offers here a riveting insiders's chronicle of U.S. Marines - their fights on the battlefield and off, and their extraordinary esprit de corps. He not only takes a close look at the Marine experience during World War II, Korea, and Vietnam - wars in which Krulak was himself a participant - but also examines the foundation on which the Corps is built. In doing so, he helps answer the question of what it means to be a Marine and how the Corps has maintained such a consistently outstanding reputation