Crossing the Line Essay

Traversing the Line: A Blue jacket ‘s WWII Odyssey

This refers to the histories of life aboard aircraft bearers during the 2nd universe war. It involves the arresting reminiscences of a immature adult male by the name Alvin Kernan who was a immature crewman with a rich historical background of war on the Pacific ( Kernan ) . Alvin had traveled broad and served in many conflicts and was even onboard when the ‘Hornet ‘ when it was made to drop by gunmans during the Santa Cruz Islands conflict. The work of Alvin has received recommendations from far broad domains. Sir John Keegan describes the work of Alvin as the most absorbing naval memoirs that have been published. The Kirkus Reviews describe it as a sincere narration of corporate courage.


The narrative in the book will be described utilizing the editorial reappraisals of different people and companies. Harmonizing to the reappraisal, Alvin Kernan is described as to hold lost chances in his autochthonal fatherland of Wyoming due to poverty enrolls in the United States Navy around the spring clip in the twelvemonth 1941. He was given the duty of a crewman. As a mariner on the U.S.S. Enterprise, he experienced the destruction and smelled the fires still smouldering as the aircraft haulier returned to Pearl Harbor from drills of the twenty-four hours after Japan ‘s shocker onslaught. Little did he cognize that old ages subsequently during the 2nd universe war he would see and see the same happen at the Nipponese seaports. Kernan had some first-class escapades in between the conflict clip and some of them are recollected in the book ‘crossing the lines ‘ . This brooding autobiography is perfectly reticent in supplying and prosecuting positions and thoughts of common Americans at war. Alvin describes the existent feelings of the crewmans on board the convoy during fierce combats every bit good as during scintillating leisure times.

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The publishing houses weekly depict the autobiography as unpretentious and besides as a important part towards saving of history for Al those who were involved in the U.S. armed forces during the 2nd World War. Alvin is described to hold joined the forces ( navy ) in the 1940s when he was merely 17 old ages old. He was hapless and their was depression in his town of Wyoming. Since he was a mariner, his infinite in the naval forces was limited to the aircraft bearers amongst them the Lexington, bodyguard bearer Sewanee, and the Hornet. Lexington was among the first bearers to acquire involved in dark battles. To Alvin the ship-board modus operandis and the boot cantonment usually criticized ground forces modus operandis did non count to him and it really made sense to him more so in combat. This is apparent by the sum of pride he describes these modus operandis with.

The booklist describes Alvin as a hapless spread male child who left Wyoming due to these lay waste toing conditions. On being recruited in the U.S. naval forces, he began his missions aboard the Enterprise, the twenty-four hours Pearl Harbor was attacked and injure up the missions aboard an Escort bearer after the war with Japan. During his war yearss, he was being employed as an aerial artilleryman and even abandoned the sinking U.S.S hornet. There was nevertheless other cases when the escapades were great like the shore patrol responsibilities, winning a grubstake for college every bit good as sing cocottes. This was nevertheless chiefly after the war. Kernan is besides described as holding distinguished academic character and calling at Yale and Princeton universities. However these stretchs do non do him to fight for reconditenesss and as a consequence his aggregation is presented brightly and legible.

Kirkus reappraisal describes Kernan as a senior adviser of humanistic disciplines bat the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. In his memoir, Kernan leaves a shadows and trials of the Wyoming Mountains to fall in the Navy. He finds himself aboard the Enterprise outside Pearl Harbor on his first mission on 7th December 1941.kernan saw the Doolittle ‘s bombers fly off to Tokyo. He was besides aboard the Hornet during its sinking after being overwhelmed by Nipponese firepower. He was besides outside Pearl Harbor during the V – J Day and had a low-lying position of the critical conflict at Midway. Alvin rose through the ranks really foremost. From an regulation adult male to an aerial artilleryman and so to a Chief junior-grade officer merely at the age of 22 old ages at which clip he was discharged at t6he terminal of war.

The narrative focuses on the domination of the gunmans labeled “made in Japan” that sank the Hornet. It besides expounds on the ratio of tracers to armor-piercing ammo. The narrative besides describes the heroic minutes of shore foliages and indulgence with adult females. It illustrates boredom and panic every bit good as ultimate random decease. It is rounded on an symbolic narrative of one of the crewmans that leaves a grade in the memories of every crewman at war half a century ago. It pictures the chumminess so irrespective of who the subsisters were. Kernan illustrates his memories of of all time sailing underneath the Golden Gate Bridge while set abouting a mission to the Pacific. He talks of his eyes traveling about from face to face of the work forces who seem every bit alive to him as they were so but their castanetss are rinsing out in the deep seas trapped in the plane wreckage someplace between Taiwan and Okinawa. This is a quiet book with no respect to techno-heroism. It is based on honestness, joint coverage, evocative, well-written and good presented.

Of peculiar involvement is the dark of 27th November 1943 ; the first combat trial of the program was executed. This was after an earlier mission did non reach or hit the Japanese. The dark combatants were nicknamed ‘Black Panthers ‘ had two subdivisions to transport three planes. The planes carried were an Avenger and two Vixens.


The narrative of traversing the line is more emotional than heroic. It outlines the grounds which prompted the U.S. to travel to war with Japan. It besides illustrates the sad death of some of the soldiers during the war. It indicates a author full of hurting but at the same clip assurance, compassion and love for his state. It besides describes the strong and weak sides of the United States in traveling to war with Japan. This book is a authoritative coming-of-age history. It achieves the rarest of possible right tone for flash back on one ego at an earlier life. John Lehman recalls that Alvin has written eight other books and gags of reading them.


Kernan, A.B. ( 2007 ) . Traversing the Line: A Bluejacket ‘s Odyssey in World War II. Atlanta: Yale University Press.


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