To Love Again
by Gordon Buttars
Volume 6 – To Love Again, takes place between September 1943 and September 1945. Severely injured at Salerno, Sheffield had a brush with death. While unresponsive and not breathing, he had an encounter with Geannie and was given a choice. After a few minutes, he was revived to learn that the ship was also fighting for her life, dead in the water, on fire, and listing. Helpless to do anything about it, he relied on his trusted friend and executive officer to save the ship.|
After the Reprisal docked in Algiers, Sheffield and the rest of the wounded crew members were transferred to a hospital ship and brought back to the United States. Once the ship arrived in New York, he was put on a train and taken to Bethesda Naval Hospital. Looking like an angel of mercy, with the afternoon sun casting a hallow about her, Ramona was there to greet him. Over the next several weeks, Ramona nursed him back to health. During that time, the love that Sheffield had developed for her flourished and grew deeper while he underwent therapy. Eventually he was relieved of command of the Reprisal and was assigned to Washington. Now that he had recuperated sufficiently from his injuries, he asked Ramona to marry him. They were married on a Saturday in Roanoke, but there was no time for a honeymoon as they both had to return to duty the following Monday.
Soon after they were married, Ramona found her long lost cousin and was reunited with her grandmother and aunt for the first time since she was a little girl when her family moved away. On a four day weekend trip to Texas, she discovered her heritage, and in Oklahoma she revisited her Choctaw roots and went to see her grandmother who she hadn't seen in the same amount of time. Later in the summer they had a working honeymoon when Sheffield had to go to Hawaii as part of his assignment. During the month they were in the islands, they stayed at her beech house and revisited their favorite places, which for Sheffield conjured up memories of Geannie.
With his assignment complete, Sheffield was promoted to Rear Admiral and given command of a task force built around the Reprisal and sailed for the Pacific where he was involved in the Philippines Campaign, including a brush with kamikazes. During a break in the fighting, Sheffield had the good fortune to cross paths with some old friends and a couple of his nephews. After combat operations in the Philippines, Sheffield was put in command of a carrier division involved in day and night air operations against the mainland of Japan and was present at the surrender. With the war over, he was finally going home.
|Chapter I||A Miraculous Sign||September 11, 1943||Page 1|
|Chapter II||The USS Succor||September 11, 1943 – September 23, 1943||Page 15|
|Chapter III||Angel of Mercy||September 23, 1943 – December 7, 1943||Page 29|
|Chapter IV||Home For the Holidays||December 7, 1943 – January 21, 1944||Page 47|
|Chapter V||To Second Chances||January 21, 1944 – January 23, 1944||Page 59|
|Chapter VI||Long Lost Cousin||January 24, 1944 – May 11, 1944||Page 71|
|Chapter VII||Family Ties||May 12, 1944 – May 15, 1944||Page 83|
|Chapter VIII||Wishes||May 16, 1944 – July 1, 1944||Page 97|
|Chapter IX||Working Honeymoon||July 1, 1944 – July 31, 1944||Page 107|
|Chapter X||Two Stars||July 31, 1944 – October 15, 1944||Page 119|
|Chapter XI||Halfway Around the World||October 16, 1944 – December 3, 1944||Page 133|
|Chapter XII||The Divine Wind||December 3, 1944 – January 8, 1945||Page 147|
|Chapter XIII||An Important Job to Do||January 8, 1945 – May 21, 1945||Page 159|
|Chapter XIV||Crossing Paths||May 21, 1945 – July 1, 1945||Page 171|
|Chapter XV||Victory||July 1, 1945 – August 15, 1945||Page 187|
|Chapter XVI||Surrender||August 16, 1945 – September 4, 1945||Page 201|
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