Tin Can Down: by Max Blue


SKU: 1335273


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About This Book:

Although a fictionalized novel utilizing historical facts the book takes place in the racially tense 1952, an unlikely pair, a white and a black, team up in Navy boot camp to strike it rich. "Mickey Michigan" a phenomenally lucky poker player, and his cohort, "Sunshine" McGee, proceed to take hundreds of poor enlisted saps for thousands of hard-earned dollars. But not without incurring an enemy dead-set on revenge.


While on liberty, their newfound wealth opens the doors to a stream of gorgeous and sexy dames. Mickey, never satisfied, always craving more, proposes to one in San Diego and another in China, convinced that with his kismet he can swing a double life. His run of luck is further validated when Mickey wins the respect of Big-eared Wu, a powerful, wealthy Chinese Tong with a hatred and distrust of cocky Americans. Inconceivably, Wu agrees to build Mickey two casinos; one in Vegas, another in Macau. More than ever, Mickey is convinced he can manage both wives and a back-and-forth life on two continents. Meanwhile, Sunshine and his sweetheart have eloped.


In the final days of their tour of duty, the poker table is about to be turned on Mickey and Sunshine's charmed lives. During a training exercise the unsuspecting boys' destroyer collides with a heavy cruiser ten times its size. Has Mickey and Sunshine's lucky streak come to an end?



This is a must read for the thousands of navy men who sailed to WESPAC during the 50's and 60's. Having done it three times myself... I can identify with many of the situations depicted in the book, especially the collision of the Floyd B. Parks, since I was aboard her that fateful night. At daybreak we could read the hull numbers '884' on her severed bow that was floating prow-side-up nearby. The next day it sank. This book brought back some terrific as well as horrific memories for me.

Robert G. Merrick, Lt.Cdr., USNR Ret.


For years Max Blue has been turning out novels that are lively, teeming with characters that are larger than life and yet mirror a presence that has a reality we all possess. His plots are carefully researched and make for an enjoyable read. His panoramic look at warfare in the 1950s, the many different areas of the world as it was then, the situations that both personalities get involved in, and you have a novel that's hard to put down. Having read Max Blue over the years it doesn't amaze me anymore at his knowledge of so much this world offers us. He is a meticulous researcher, is wise in the ways of the human psyche, and novel after novel gives us a perceptive and compelling read. His action scenes at sea are terrific. One gets the feeling that you're a part of what's going on. The minute detail that takes place on board, the reaction of the people involved is so carefully explained and seemingly accurate that it cries out for a movie version. Besides Mickey and Sunshine the other individuals in the novel are sharply defined and that's especially true of the woman that they encounter along the way. And what women they are! How can the reader not fall under their, sharp, bright, and engaging. I think if anyone who reads this novel is not interested in reading Max's other works then they're missing literary treats!

Herb Rogoff.

Editor and Publisher of

One More Inning, Going With the Flow, Classic Films and Trivial World.


The fictional story takes us on a wild ride with these two "shipmates" who serve together on the PARKS. In the story, they become the two crew members lost with the bow of the PARKS in its collision with the COLUMBUS. In the real world this would be the end of the story, because the real sailors were truly lost. In the fictionalized story, the reader is left hoping for a happier ending...Maybe a sequel? ...Oh, I hope so! This book should appeal to anyone interested in naval history in general, and it will certainly bring back vivid images from the lives of the surviving WESTPAC destroyer sailors of the mid-twentieth century. I heartily recommend it!

G. L. Strine Caldwell, Idaho


Max Blue is no stranger to destroyers (served in John R. Craig with this reviewer) and the "realm of the golden dragon." He has created a kaleidoscope of fictional adventures for sailors Michigan and McGee. Their experiences are not that far-fetched. Marriages were not uncommon, although discouraged by higher command. The 1956 collision of Parks and the cruiser Columbus described in the novel actually took place, and two men lost their lives. This reviewer had the mid-watch that night, in the Craig. Both Craig and Parks were in plane guard stations for the carrier Kearsarge, when the collision occurred. Expeditious damage control by her crew kept Parks afloat. A Court of Inquiry was convened shortly after the event, to determine the causes, and identify the responsible officers.

Captain Larry G. Valade., US Navy retired


The book you will not put with the U.S. Navy shortly after the Korean War and its climax is an event that Mr. Blue witnessed: the collision of the cruiser Columbus and the destroyer Floyd B. Parks during a night training exercise in the South China Sea that resulted in the Parks's losing fifty feet of its bow and the death of two sailors. The sometimes comical, sometimes outrageous adventures of the two young men, both stateside and in the Pacific, make for very enjoyable reading. The book will be especially satisfying for those who have served in the Navy and for anyone who has been to the Pacific islands and East Asia. They will vividly recall their own experiences in new places with the wonder and excitement they felt at the time; and behind the narrative will be Mr. Blue, who served on active duty as both an enlisted man and an officer and who met his future wife when she was a young clerk at Mohan's department store in Hong Kong.

Thanks Max for such vivid memories...

Harrington E. Crissey, Jr.


Time travel is possible. Read "Tin Can Down" to be transported to the decade following World War II. The intriguing characters of Hank McGee and Frank Dalton are your entre into the U.S. Navy in the South Pacific. Author Max Blue, drawing on themes of romance, action, gambling and even religion, keeps the plot moving from quiet to chaos, from calm to action. Lively and realistic dialogue, precise descriptions, and unexpected plot turns combine to make this tale both informative and exciting.

Cordell Affeldt

Professional educator, voracious reader


I was privileged to serve aboard the Destroyer John R Craig, DD 885 with Paul Fritz aka Max Blue. I was in the Torpedo Gang and Paul was our Torpedo Officer. During our 4 years together we experienced hostile combat action, did plane guard duty for Aircraft Carriers, survived five Typhoons and saw a lot of the world. It was a fulfilling and educational experience. Paul's writing brought back many memories of the time 60 years ago. He reveals himself as a Major League caliber baseball pitcher and while still in Navy Boot Camp he is asked to throw batting practice for the Detroit Tigers. He is also a card shark winning $50,000 on a trip to Pearl Harbor. A Casanova and ladies man, Max has two women fall completely in love with him. One leave him for Frank Sinatra when he goes AWOL while in the far east but the ship's Captain seems to fluff it off.

An exciting and enjoyable read.

Gayland Moulder 

SKU : 1335273


Weight: 1 lbs

Category: All



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