INTO ENEMY WATERS
LOS ANGELES, California – With echoes of Unbroken, the derring-do and bravado of The Right Stuff; and the battle-forged camaraderie of Band of Brothers, Into Enemy Waters by award-winning journalist Andrew Dubbins (Aug. 23, 2022, Diversion Books) details the origins and heroic missions of World War II’s elite unit of Navy frogmen, told through the eyes of one of its last living members, 95-year-old George Morgan.
Morgan was just a wiry, 17-year-old lifeguard from New Jersey when he joined the Navy’s new combat demolition unit, tasked to blow up enemy coastal defenses ahead of landings by Allied forces. His first assignment: Omaha Beach on D-Day.
When he returned stateside, Morgan learned that his service was only beginning. Outfitted with swim trunks, a dive mask, and fins, he was sent to Hawaii and then deployed to the Pacific as a member of the pioneering Underwater Demolition Teams. GIs called them “half fish, half nuts.” Today, we call them Navy SEALs.
Led by maverick Naval Reserve Officer Draper Kauffman, Morgan would spend the fierce final year of the war swimming up to enemy-controlled beaches to gather intel and detonate underwater barriers. He’d have to master the sea, muster superhuman grit, and overcome the demons of Omaha Beach.
Moving closer to Japan, the enemy’s island defenses were growing more elaborate and its soldiers more fanatical. From the black sand beaches of Iwo Jima to the shark-infested reefs of Okinawa, to the cold seas of Tokyo Bay, teenaged George Morgan was there before most, fighting for his life. And for all of us.
Andrew Dubbins is an award-winning journalist and author, whose work has appeared in Alta, Slate, Los Angeles Magazine, The Daily Beast, and other media outlets. He has covered drug smugglers and DEA agents, Cosa Nostra capos and FBI investigators, Maasai lion hunters-turned-conservationists, and Civil Rights, pioneers. His writing has been recognized by the Los Angeles Press Club in its 2021 SoCal Journalism Awards, as well as among Longform.org’s “Best Articles of 2021” and The Daily Beast’s “Best Reads of 2017.” Several of his narrative nonfiction projects have been optioned for film and television. He graduated with honors from Georgetown University and lives in Los Angeles. Read more of his work at AndrewDubbins.com.