Key West was a ghost military base. The Gulf Stream offshore was soon trafficked by hundreds of ships each day carrying guns and oil to European allies. Hitler dispatched U-boats to the U.S. coast and dozens of ships were attacked each day. Doctor Warner was suddenly swamped with wounded sailors from the merchant fleets. Only three Coast Guard ships defended the entire U.S. Coast. The Navy response was to commandeer civilian boats. Navy personnel manned the ships, which were used for harbor patrol and convoy duty. Eric found himself doing double duty...part time surgeon and boat captain rescuing seamen from burning ships in the waters off Key West. This is his story.
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