Another 5 Star Review for “The Third Tour!”

Reviewed By:

Ray Simmons

Review Rating:

5 Stars

Reviewed By Ray Simmons for Readers’ Favorite

The Third Tour is an action/adventure novel by Bob Stockton. This in the third novel in a series called Stories from the U.S. Navy. Though I did not read the first two books, I plan to go back and read them. The Third Tour is great, so understandably I want to know the rest of the story. The protagonist, Zack Martin, is a fascinating character. I served in the Army, but I’m guessing there are complicated guys like Zack in every branch of the U.S. Armed Forces. I am always interested in tales of modern day military service, no matter which branch. As an Army man, I am most interested in guys from our friendly competitors in the Navy. Before I read The Third Tour, my go-to guy for reading stories about the Navy was the late, great Tom Clancy. Since he won’t be writing any more books, I will be looking for Bob Stockton books.

I loved the depiction of military life and how it changes a person. This is spot on. The Third Tour starts with Zack Martin having terrible combat related dreams. You would think that he might want to get away from combat and the military. You might think he would want to find a good woman and focus on wife and family. You would be wrong. Bob Stockton is the real deal, and in his writing you can see how the military becomes the central focus for anyone who stays in over that first tour. The characters are real. I have served with them. They are me and my buddies. The action is beautifully and realistically written without that “over the top” quality that ruins a lot of books by guys who haven’t been there. A great novel all the way round.


The Stud Muffin Ensign

cropped-shang38.jpg© 2014, Bob Stockton

Ensign Gold was a real piece of work. Barely twenty-three with a bachelor’s degree and a few years of NROTC courses at some liberal northeastern college, Ensign Scott Gold, USNR, came aboard knowing everything that needed to be known about the United States Navy in general and aircraft carrier operations in particular—at least that’s what he thought. Gold was a legend in his own mind who had lost the loyalty of the men assigned to the surface module early on when he chewed out the division chief, Chief Radarman Roscoe Quarterman in front of the entire OI Division during an in-port training meeting. Chief Quarterman, to his credit, said nothing at the time. After the training meeting was finished Martin observed the chief going up one side of the young ensign and down the other.

It was a classic old school ass chewing!

“Ensign Gold, lets you and me get somethin’ straight right here and now. Number one, you don’t ever speak to me like that in front of my men. Number two, you don’t know shit about extended forward carrier operations. What you got out of a book in some pissant college don’t cut it out here, and you’ll be well advised to keep your mouth shut and learn from me and my petty officers just what the hell goes on in this division. You got that?”

“See here, Chief, I….”

“See here my ass, Mister Gold. I been riding carriers for seventeen years, and seven of those years I been an OI division chief. I’ve washed more salt water out of my goddam socks than you’ve ever sailed over. I would advise you to watch and learn, and if you’ve got any criticism, do it privately with me one-on-one.”

“We’ll see about this insubordinate talk, Chief. I’ll be taking this up with Commander Klinger.”

“Take it up with the chief of naval operations for all I care, but in the meantime here’s another lesson for you to absorb: if you have any complaint about me, you follow chain of command. If you don’t you’ll get your ass handed to you. If you have a complaint about any of my men that chain starts with me. Don’t you ever go over my head.”

Chief Quarterman didn’t wait for a reply. He just turned and walked away and left the shiny new ensign stuttering and sputtering to himself.

Excerpted From “Stories from the U.S. Navy: I. A Suicide in the Mediterranean.”

About Bob Stockton

Stories from the US Navy I A Suicide in the Mediterranean by Bob Stockton

About Bob Stockton:

Bob Stockton was born in Trenton, New Jersey. Leaving school in his junior year Bob began a twenty year Navy career in 1957. During the course of that twenty year carreer Bob has sailed the seven seas while serving in surface vessels (destroyers), diesel electric submarines, auxiliary vessels, aircraft carriers, reconnaissance attack squadrons and patrol gunboats in Vietnam.

Following Navy retirement as a Chief Petty Officer, Bob has earned undergraduate and graduate degrees and has worked as a shipyard welder’s helper, university adjunct graduate instructor, epidemiologist, pharmaceutical trainer small business owner and radio host.

Bob currently receives full Veterans Administration disability compensation from exposure to Agent Orange while in Vietnam. He resides in Jacksonville, Florida in close proximity to his three children, three grandchildren and a large but amiable American Bulldog named Bowser.

Book Summary

Stories from the US Navy I A Suicide in the Mediterranean by Bob Stockton

Book Summary:

Radarman Second Class Zack Martin opened the watertight door and stepped out onto the gun sponson for a quick smoke. The clear moonlit early morning sky had yet to display the first intrusion from daylight and a brisk breeze from the big aircraft carrier’s sixteen knot speed embraced his tired body as he tried to let his thoughts drift away from the controlled chaos that usually began long before the eastbound transit of the Strait of Gibraltar.

Martin was not a happy sailor. On watch for the previous seven hours he now reflected upon the stroke of fate that found him, a veteran Western Pacific destroyer sailor transiting the Gibraltar Strait on a damned bird farm.

Martin was on the horns of a dilemma: his primary goal was to find a way to somehow get back to destroyer duty in the Pacific without sinking his Navy career. The aviation Navy was a closed community. Surface sailors stood little chance to transfer back to the “blackshoe” fleet.

It wasn’t very long before Martin was afforded that opportunity but had he known the circumstances he would have gladly chosen to remain right where he was.

A Note or Two From the Author

Stories from the US Navy I A Suicide in the Mediterranean by Bob Stockton

A Note or Two From the Author:

Stories From the US Navy: I. A Suicide in the Mediterranean,
while a work of fiction, is based on some of my experiences
from a twenty-year Navy career. This novella is the first of
a series of three expected to be published by the end of

After nearly forty years of post-Navy civilian life I do
confess to a bit of uncertainty surrounding the more operational
procedures described in “Stories.” Those inaccuracies
belong solely to the author.

Special thanks go to Paul Mosley of the University of
North Florida, for his expertise in recovering files from an
eleven-year-old desktop that unceremoniously decided to
go to its reward while writing this novella, and to Command
Master Chief Pat Stroud who suggested that I go
“back to the Navy” for my next book.

Bob Stockton, May 2014

Book Review #5

Stories from the US Navy I A Suicide in the Mediterranean by Bob Stockton

Book Review #5:

Another great book from Stockton. Gave you the feeling you were right there in CIC, dealing with all the typical problems you would encounter on a warship. Looking forward to the next one.
Claudia Stroud

Book Review #4

Stories from the US Navy I A Suicide in the Mediterranean by Bob Stockton

Book Review #4:

Great read. Having read all of Bob’s previous books,this one really puts you in the center of the activity taking place in the CIC. As a 20 year Navy veteran that served on bird farms (aircraft carriers) I recommend this book.
Richard Shore

Book Review #3

Stories from the US Navy I A Suicide in the Mediterranean by Bob Stockton

Book Review #3:

Brought me back to my duty in Navy during the Viet Nam era. Extremely accurate and entertaining account of what it was like to work on a Navy combat ship in the sixties. Would recommend it to anyone wanting a nice short story that’s a quick read.
Thomas Stockton

Book Review #2

Stories from the US Navy I A Suicide in the Mediterranean by Bob Stockton

Book Review #2:

As another veteran of Navy operations in the Mediterranean in the 1960’s, I loved re-living those days through the writing of Bob Stockton. In my opinion, he really “nails it!” I highly recommend “Stories from the US Navy: A Suicide in the Mediterranean.”
Allen W. Forrest

Book Review #1

Stories from the US Navy I A Suicide in the Mediterranean by Bob Stockton

Book Review #1:

Author, Bob Stockton is 4 for 4 in his career as an author! His latest, Stories from the US Navy: I A Suicide in the Mediterranean, is his first short story and proved to be a great read, The story line flowed nicely as I felt as if I actually knew the characters. I never served in the armed forces but no worries, military or not this is a great read and easy to follow. A must read!
Randy Watkins