BY HARRY HOMEWOOD
In 1937, the United States still suffered in the Great Depression, as did most of the world. For the U. S. Navy, that meant restricted budgets — and the Asiatic Fleet, on the far side of the world out of sight of the Navy’s commanders and the American public, was at the bottom of the list for the Navy’s limited resources.
Bobby MacPherson, Seaman 2nd Class, only seventeen years old and freshly graduated from radio operator school, was naively excited by his assignment to the submarine S-37 stationed with the Asiatic Fleet. The exotic places providing bases for the American Navy — Manila, Shanghai, Tsingtao — and their strange cultures, histories and people engaged his driving curiosity and sharp mind. He was very different from most of the “China hands,” the long time sailors of the Asiatic fleet, who spent their time drinking and chasing the countless prostitutes that populated the port cities of the Philippines and China. His outstanding athletic ability and his earnest integrity made him popular with his crewmates and officers despite his differences. All of those qualities drew Bobby into a dangerous and malicious plot against the American forces in Asia; a plot involving nearly all of the competing powers in China — General Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists, Mao Tse-tung’s Communists, the Imperial Japanese military occupiers of China, warlords and ancient, powerful families who considered themselves the true rulers of China.
CHINA HAND is a never before published novel by best-selling author Harry Homewood. Like his previous, hugely popular novels Final Harbor and Silent Sea, CHINA HAND is based on his real life experience — in this case his service in an S-Class submarine in the Asiatic Fleet in the years before World War II. It is intensely authentic.