An East Texas author has released a book based on a little know piece of Korean war history, that chronicles a miraculous amphibious evacuation. The SS Meredith Victory was a Korean war era merchant marine vessel that is the focus of a new book by East mountain author David Watts.
"A 100-thousand north Korean civilians wanted out, because the Chinese were threatening to kill them for being American sympathizers. The last ship out was the Meredith Victory," Watts says.
His novel, 'Hope in Hungnam', is based on the true events of the savage fight at the Chosin reservoir, and the miraculous evacuation of 100-thousand north Koreans.
"I've weaved in some fictional characters , but tried to keep the heart of it accurate. It only had accommodations for 46 crew members. They put 14-thousand Koreans on that vessel, every level of the cargo hold, 10-thousand down below, no food no water and they survive. I said to myself, people have got to know that. That's amazing," he says.
Watts even attended a New York reunion of 3 remaining crew members and an evacuee 4 days ago.
"When preparing the book, I worked with the 3 surviving crew members of the ship. Just hearing them relive stories that took place 62 years ago was amazing," he says.
He hopes readers will have a different view of the term hero from his novel.
"What American heroes really did, because they didn't have to take these people out. Certainly the military but also the merchant marine guys. They were civilians but under fire and had a huge casualty rate," says Watts.
Watts novel, 'Hope in Hungnam', is available on amazon-dot-com.