‘Steaming’: A Vietnam-Era Navy Novel

Steaming: A Sea Story

Mark David Albertson


Texas writer Mark David Albertson’s new novel, Steaming: A Sea Story, is an entertaining tale of naval service in the Western Pacific (Westpac) and South China Sea and naval action near the coasts of Vietnam and Cambodia in the last days of the Vietnam War.

This book is aimed at fans of military fiction. And it should have special appeal for former sailors who served in the U.S. Seventh Fleet during the 1960s and 1970s. Many of them still remember what life was like aboard destroyers, cruisers, aircraft carriers, and other ships that steamed back and forth for weeks and months, patrolling off the coasts of North and South Vietnam, plus near Thailand and Cambodia. Part of this book also takes place in the Philippines, at the Subic Bay naval base and the sex-charged “liberty” town, Olongapo, right outside the main gate.

Almost anyone who has served aboard a ship in the U.S. Navy comes home with a variety of “sea stories” to tell. And these stories can take on lives of their own as they are told, retold, and inevitably, embellished. Steaming simultaneously offers elements of truth and imagination. And even those of us who served in Westpac, in the 7th Fleet, and held high security clearances during parts of the Vietnam War, may not be able to separate the facts from the entertaining fictions in Mark David Albertson’s new book.

Si Dunn