The Last Ring Home


USNA Mom BGO Bacon Lover Dog Lover
Jun 26, 2019
Just finished reading the book, The Last Ring Home, by Minter Dial II.

Minter Dial commissioned with the class of 1932.

This book is the work of his grandson, with the blessing of Minter’s son Victor. Victor also served in the Navy via ROTC and the Reserves.

I love books about personal experiences, and even more those that are written about those who have sacrificed personal wealth, fame, and other goals in order to serve their country and serve beside those who made the same choice.

This story is incredible. The descriptions of the friendships forged during the four years on the Severn are tangible. The full circle moments had me pulling over to cry. I couldn’t drive and listen to the audio book at the same time.

When I was a girl, our neighbor Charlie Washam used to talk to my mom when she was hanging clothes on the clothesline. For some reason he shared with her. I wish I could recall more of what I overheard while handing clothespins to mom, with she on one side of the line, hanging sheets, and old man Charlie in his overalls on the other side of the sheets. Telling his story, with the laundered sheets in between them. No faces to see. No eye contact to make.

He had been a prisoner of the Japanese in the Philippines, just as Minter Dial had been. He still needed physical therapy to aid in the injuries he sustained while captured. Knowing what I know now, I would give anything to chronicle his experiences and listen with more empathy. But I was 8.

My grandfather, ‘39, served as a decorated surface officer in the Philippines. While listening to this book I wondered how things could have changed had my grandfather’s ship been caught, sunk, or purposefully scuttled, and he and his crew sent ashore to Bataan or Corregidor as the skipper of the Napa was (Minter).

This is a tough and beautiful book. I hope that many read it, and that the story is known far and wide and at the end of it all, someday, the ring comes home.