The co-author of Lords of the Levee does a competent personal history of Bob Berry, Armed Guard of the U.S. Naval Reserve, assigned to a merchantman. Here is a new slant on total war --the wide range of activities experienced by these youths in a service of which little is known in general. Merchant shipping stories -- yes -- but the focus on the voyages, the running battle against attack. This is a close-up of the training, the duties, the contribution made by one of the tiny nucleus of naval personnel assigned to these ships. He tells of the shaping up of the gun crew, of the watches and drills, of the successive torpedoings and rescues, of transport to Sicily. Boy Scoutish-but likable.