On a late summer’s night in 1843, U.S.S. Missouri lay anchored in Gibraltar Bay. She and her sister ship, Mississippi, were the most advanced steam frigates on the planet—and the first two such warships in the U. S. Navy. Missouri’s mission was to show herself off to the European powers, and there was no better place to begin than the British bastion at the gateway to the Mediterranean. But a simple accident led to the destruction of the ship before the sun rose again. Burnt to the waterline, Missouri settled to the bottom. For eight and a half years, she defied all attempts to raise or remove her, and began to form a massive sand bar that threatened to ruin the most strategic harbor in the world. Professional divers pronounced the project impossible—until an unknown, self-taught Yankee from Massachusetts took up the contract to raise Missouri ...

“History recovered! In 1843, Missouri burned and sank, blocking the harbor at Gibraltar. That was not the end of her story, as Chuck Veit dramatically reveals. This is a tale of Yankee bravado—about an American who stepped up to do what British engineers could not. A roaring good tale!” (Dr. Timothy J. Runyan, East Carolina University)


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