Firstly, thank you to my beautiful mother, Mattie, for her countless stories about Charlie while she sat and fondled his letters. And especially thank you to my kind and understanding father, Syd, for accepting Mattie’s long-lost love for Charlie.
Thank you to my publisher, Black Rose Writing, for their commitment, and to my wonderful Agent, James Fitzgerald, for his edits and expertise. Thank you to my expert editors, Gillian Tewsley, Hillel Black, and Kathryn Johnson for their invaluable advice in my transit through many revisions. I give special thanks my beta readers, Sally O’Neil, Jean Bartosh, and Mark Hurley for their patient travels and comments on my early drafts.
Our journey to this novel started with my husband Bud’s idea and encouragement and endless efforts and support to write it. The next stop was Auckland’s Central Library to harvest every account of 1940’s history, especially daily newspapers. We had to know what Mattie knew. Thank you to New Zealand National Archives, and the fabulous museums in Auckland, Devonport, and Torpedo Bay Navy Museum. Additional pertinent Auckland historical information was supplied by Dale Court of George Courts, and Edward Bennett of the K Road Business Association. Huge thanks to the Australian Maritime Museums in Sydney and Brisbane for personal tours of their artifacts, records, and marvelous vessels.
Thank you to the people of Nouméa and Vanuatu for guided tours throughout Charlie’s territory, and sharing their records and life accounts.
I offer a special thank you to Charlie’s shipmates, Leonard Anderson and Dave Jessup, for sharing a multitude of information on life aboard the USS Rigel, and its travels throughout the Pacific. I am forever grateful to Michael Dean, US Naval Sea Systems Command, for his total commitment to supply us with vast information on both the USS Rigel and Charlie Kincaid’s
Finally, in my pursuit to know and understand Tippah County, Mississippi, and Charlie’s early life, I thank my now dear friends, Tommy Covington, Dennis Wolfe, Bobbie McDowell and Aunt Doris Butler. Their interviews placed me at Charlie’s side.
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