BOOK REVIEW – Hard Charger! The Story of the USS Biddle (DLG-34)
By James A. Treadway, Thomas F. Marfiak, with contributors, iUniverse, Inc., New York, Lincoln, Shanghai (2005).
Reviewed by Michael F. Solecki.
USS Biddle (DLG later CG 34) had a colorful and illustrious career. The last of nine Belknap- class cruisers, she was the fourth U.S. warship to carry the name. She was delivered to the U.S. Navy by the Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine on 10 January 1967, commissioned 21 January 1967 and decommissioned 30 November 1993. As with any warship their “real” career begins when she is introduced to the reason of her existence, WAR! As aptly described in the book, The Biddle began her “real” career during the early years of the “hot” war in Vietnam, and continued into the remaining years of the Cold War. The U.S. Navy was on the front line of that war and the Biddle was riding that line. The historiography and perspective of the book was that of the eyewitnesses Biddle plankowner James A. Treadway, a former Data Systems Technician and Thomas F. Marfiak, a retired rear admiral, augmented by a well-qualified and sometimes colorful cast of “characters” that either served in USS Biddle, another Belknap class cruiser, or were involved with the technological development of the class and its systems.
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