""In 1939 Marsden Hordern's mother refused to sign the paper allowing her seventeen-year-old son to fight overseas with the Royal Australian Air Force. 'I did not rear you to be killed in an airplane,' she said. 'Join the navy.' He took her advice and in doing so determined his future. In small patrol boats, Fairmiles and a Harbour Defence Motor Launch, he patrolled the shores of Japanese-held territory, assisted beleaguered commandos in Timor, and was finally caught up in the drama of rounding up Japanese prisoners of war and guarding them in New Guinea."."A Merciful Journey presents an account of Hordern's life from a happy childhood growing up in Sydney during the Great Depression, to his years serving in the Royal Australian Navy from 1942 to 1947. Drawing on the letters and journals he wrote at the time, Hordern recounts his triumphs and disasters as a naval officer, detailing his rise from a young and callow sub-lieutenant to a lieutenant in command of his own ship. He recalls his hopes and fears, and, in the face of the horrors of war, reveals an appealing enthusiasm for new experiences and a growing love of the sea."--BOOK JACKET."