Volume 4

Healing a Broken Heart

by Gordon Buttars

         Volume 4 – Healing a Broken Heart takes place between April and December 1942. Sheffield is promoted to captain and given the command of a newly completed aircraft carrier, the USS Reprisal. This new assignment took him back to Norfolk and close to home. The occasions that Sheffield got to go home were medicine to his soul as he interacted with his family.
         While getting the Reprisal ready for action, he had to deal with a host of emotions such as anger, reclusiveness, and self doubt. He particularly struggled with a number of emotions during the Reprisal's shakedown cruise. The support from his family and Ramona's encouraging letters went a long way in healing his broken heart. He took the advise and found that getting out of his self imposed prison cell aboard the ship to be liberating. He went as far as arranging for a dinner companion to accompany him to a banquet for the ship's officers. Once the ship was combat ready and sailed off to war, he still had a long way to go and had to put his own emotional state aside while conducting the business of war. Rather than going to the Pacific where he felt they were needed, their first mission was to ferry Army Air Force bombers planes to North Africa, followed by a port call in the Azores. Their first action was a daring raid on the Nazi submarine base in Bordeaux, France and the subsequent counterattack. Even then, he found himself reflecting on what was and contemplating what might be.
         After regrouping, rather than sailing for the Pacific, they were ordered to the South Atlantic to track down and sink a notorious German raider that had been wreaking havoc. Among the survivors that came aboard the Reprisal was a recent widow and her daughter. In making sure their needs were taken care of, he was able to impart comfort and support to them in much the same way others had for him. One year from his own tragic loss, he gave her something that kept him holding on to what had been taken from him. Doing so brought considerable healing to his broken heart and he was finally able to begin to let go and move on.

Chapter I What If April 29 Page 1
Chapter II Reprisal April 29 – June 4, 1942 Page 7
Chapter III Getting Ship Shape June 5 – July 1, 1942 Page 21
Chapter IV An Emotional Checkup July 1 – August 18, 1942 Page 33
Chapter V Shakedown Cruise August 19 – Sept 23, 1942 Page 47
Chapter VI Medicine For the Soul September 23 – October 6, 1942 Page 65
Chapter VII Orders October 6 – 19, 1942 Page 77
Chapter VIII Getting Out October 20 – 27, 1942 Page 89
Chapter IX The First Mission October 28 – November 12,1942 Page 105
Chapter X Praia da Vitória November 2 – 17, 1942 Page 123
Chapter XI Bordeaux November 17 – 22, 1942 Page 135
Chapter XII Regrouping November 22 – 25, 1942 Page 149
Chapter XIII Thanksgiving November 26 – 27, 1942 Page 163
Chapter XIV Crossing the Line November 27 – December 2, 1942 Page 175
Chapter XV Edelweiss December 2 – 7, 1942 Page 187

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