Volume 5

Letting Go

by Gordon Buttars

Volume 5 – Letting Go, takes place between December 1942 and September 1943. After letting go of something which had been holding him back, he found he was free to let go of Geannie. After dispatching the Edelweiss, Sheffield spent some time in Rio de Janeiro while his ship is in port in between patrols in the South Atlantic, where they have various encounters with the enemy. While completing the cruise, Sheffield looked forward to going home and moving on with his life.
Three women crossed his path that showed him that it was possible to have another woman in his life. The first was Debra Watson, who he rescued from the Edelweiss. The second was Paula Drussell who he had met earlier. While the Reprisal was in Norfolk, they spent a lot of time together as they explored their relationship possibilities. After a month in port, the Reprisal sailed for the North Atlantic. In another battle with the Germans, the ship was damaged. Upon arrival in Norfolk for repairs, Ramona, who had just been transferred to Washington DC, was waiting for him on the dock.
To his amazement, she had been in love with him all along, but he wasn't quite ready to fall in love again. Over the next four weeks, while the ship was in port, they spent a lot of time together, including a week at home in Roanoke. Just before sailing for the Mediterranean, he found that he was doing just that and confessed his new found feelings for her. In the Mediterranean, the Reprisal participated in the occupation of Italy. During lulls in the action, Sheffield had time to ponder their relationship and where it might lead. While operating in the waters around Sicily, lack of communication with the Army Air Force led to some tense encounters, which force them to withdraw to Algiers in order to resolve the issue. When operations resumed, the ship was damaged in an attack and withdrew to Algiers for repairs, which allowed Sheffield to devote more time to working through the possibilities of a relationship with Ramona.
After returning to sea, while participating in the invasion of Salerno, the Italians surrendered, leaving the Germans to carry on the fight. While 100 miles off Salerno, the ship was severely damaged by a secret weapon deployed by the Germans, which resulted in a lot of casualties, including Sheffield. He was given the choice of being with Geannie again or spending the rest of his life with Ramona.

Chapter I A Shoulder to Cry On December 8, 1942 Page 1
Chapter II Rio December 9, 1942 – December 10, 1942 Page 17
Chapter III South Atlantic Patrol December 10, 1942 – December 24, 1942 Page 31
Chapter IV Tropical Holiday December 25,1942 – December 31, 1942 Page 43
Chapter V Pacific Bound January 1, 1943 – February 3, 1943 Page 55
Chapter VI Paula Drussell February 3, 1943 – February 14, 1943 Page 67
Chapter VII Paula Drussell Continued February 15, 1943 – February 26, 1943 Page 79
Chapter VIII Paula Drussell Concluded February 27, 1943 – March 14, 1943 Page 91
Chapter IX North Atlantic Patrol March 15, 1943 – May 19, 1943 Page 103
Chapter X Reunion May 19, 1943 – May 30, 1943 Page 133
Chapter XI Ramona May 30, 1943 – June 6, 1943 Page 119
Chapter XII Three Little Words June 6, 1943 – June 27, 1943 Page 145
Chapter XIII Miscommunication June 28, 1943 – July 16, 1943 Page 155
Chapter XIV Army Buddies July 16, 1943 – July 19, 1943 Page 167
Chapter XV Back in Old Algiers July 20, 1943 – September 3, 1943 Page 183
Chapter XVI To Live or Die September 4, 1943 – September 11, 1943 Page 195

Return to main page