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Michael G. Walling

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After graduating from Montclair State College, Michael G. Walling served in the U.S. Coast Guard for six years as a commissioned officer and a senior petty officer. His assignments included buoy tending, search and rescue missions, drug law enforcement, and oceanographic operations in the Arctic. As part of the Boarding Party and Prize Crew teams on two cutters, he participated in the seizures of a Panamanian drug-runner and a Cuban fishing boat.

In June 2004, Michael Walling’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. Past recipients of this prestigious award include David McCullough, Stephen Coonts, Edward L. Beach (author of Run Silent, Run Deep), and former Navy Secretary John F. Lehman. It is given to an American author “who by his published writings has made a substantial contribution to the preservation of the history and traditions of the United States Navy.”


Michael G. Walling appeared on the History Channel series Man, Moment, Machine episode about Andrew Higgins, the designer and builder of the vital landing craft used in World War II, and, as a script consultant for the episode, reviewed the material for accuracy.


According to the book description of Michael Walling’s fourth book, “Forgotten Sacrifice: The Arctic Convoys of World War II, “The words "Murmansk Run" conjure visions of ice-laden ships and thoughts of freezing to death in seconds. For five long years, thousands of men and women fought ferociously in the coldest corner of hell on earth. Some fought for survival, some struggled to help others survive, and some sought to crush their enemies. The Arctic Convoys were war without mercy. If man-made death didn't get you, the Arctic's weapons of ice and cold would. These natural weapons killed regardless of whose side you were on or how just was your cause. No one escaped unscathed. Author Mike Walling captures the convoy's bitter essence in Forgotten Sacrifice.

The story launches in October 1939, when Germany and the Soviet Union began diplomatic maneuvering. The action accelerates with Winston Churchill's decision in 1941 to provide supplies to Soviet forces battling the German invasion. From this point until the closing days of WWII in spring 1945, an unremitting sea battle raged within the confines of the always-lethal, ever-shifting Arctic ice pack and the savage Scandinavian coastline. Nearly 4.5 million tons of supplies were moved in 77 convoys over the course of 5 years in order to help the Soviet war effort. The Allies fought to keep the sea lanes open to Murmansk while the Germans were determined to slaughter every ship which dared to make the attempt. By the end of the convoys, 98 ships had been lost. Forgotten Sacrifice reveals a timeless tale of determination, heroism, sacrifice, and the strength of the human spirit.”

On the lighter side, Michael Walling published, in conjunction with Flat Hammock Press, a new edition of Sinbad of the Coast Guard,” the adventurous, true story of the USCGC Campbell's mascot whose exploits during World War II became legend. Appropriately, Sinbad's story was told by a fellow member of the Coast Guard, Chief George F. Foley, Jr., while the fine pictures were drawn by the outstanding Coast Guard Reserve artist, George Gray.         In November 2008, his first novel Choke Points was published by Cutter Publishing. The plot centers on the real threats to US Maritime and Port Security.


Walling is currently a consulting historian with Underwater Admiralty Sciences, Inc., on the Clipper Discovery Project. His research involves the Bermuda Sky Queen rescue in October 1947. He has interviewed passengers, aircraft crew, and Coast Guardsmen who participated in the rescue. Walling has exclusive access to the pilot and the Coast Guardsman who organized and led the rescue. Michael Walling has spent more than 45 years collecting stories from hundreds of World War II veterans. He and his wife, Mary, live in Hudson, Massachusetts.


According to the book description of Choke Points, “It’s a simple plan – force the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq by shutting down key US ports. No need for weapons of mass destruction, ordinary explosives easily obtained would do the job. The complex part is for Coast Guard Lieutenant Mark Fletcher to stop it from happening. Faced with an unknown enemy from his past and betrayal by his superior officers, Mark is caught in a labyrinth of deceit. His only allies are a retired Navy SEAL and a beautiful African American helicopter pilot. Stretching from the treacherous shores of Iraq to inner circles of power in Washington, DC, Choke Points leads the reader deep into the heart of the War on Terror and the real threats of attack on the U.S.”


According to the book description of Sinbad of the Coast Guard: The Most Famous Sea Dog in History, “This is the adventurous, true story of Sinbad whose exploits on board the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Campbell during World War II became legend. His chunky black and tan figure was known in a hundred ports, from Greenland --where he nearly caused an international incident--to Africa, where he was the guest at a Sultan’s Palace and as far away as Japan.


Although famous to thousands of people in many nations, Sinbad was happiest at sea, treading the decks of the sleek Campbell, where he was treated as just another member of the crew. Battles and hurricanes never dulled his love of standing on the heaving deck with spray breaking over his wiry body. To Coast Guardsmen and sailors all over the world he was a hero and a real salty dog!


Appropriately, Sinbad's story was told by a fellow member of the Coast Guard, Chief George F. Foley, Jr., while the fine pictures were drawn by the outstanding Coast Guard Reserve artist, George Gray. This new edition, the first in 60 years, adds photos of Sinbad, information about the Campbell, and an Introduction by Mike Walling, author of “Bloodstained Sea, The U.S. Coast Guard in the Battle of the Atlantic 1941-1944.”

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