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Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite
From Green Hills to Blue Seas: Memoirs of Vice Admiral James A. Sagerholm, USN (Ret) is the autobiography of a man who enlisted in the Navy in 1946 and retired thirty-nine years later as a vice admiral. Born in Pennsylvania in 1927, Vice Admiral Sagerholm graduated from the Naval Academy in 1952. Over the course of his career he served on or commanded cruisers, coastal minesweepers, destroyers, and nuclear submarines; worked in such diverse functions as Naval Intelligence, budgeting and programming, and education and training; and he assumed increasingly responsible levels of command while also raising a family with his late wife, the former Peggy Herrlich. “My years in the Navy were not without their mistakes and doubts,” he writes, “yet I would do it again in a heartbeat.” Vice Admiral Sagerholm retired in 1985.
I enjoyed reading From Green Hills to Blue Seas on several levels. Vice Admiral Sagerholm presents a view of strategic changes within our Navy during the Cold War period. He provides a personal perspective on the inner workings of the Navy in such areas as personnel, operations, intelligence, and command. He gives great credit to the role of Navy wives and families. And, he has more than his share of tales to tell, some of which are quite humorous. Of course, in every life there is sadness. “Tragedy, suffering and death are all part of life,” he writes, “and must be accepted as such.” In a well-written and concise narrative, Vice Admiral Sagerholm tells a fascinating story of a Naval officer and a Navy family.