world war ii: merchant marines

Bullets from the guns of MAS557-“I believe they were .50 caliber,” said Dales-bashed against the small steel shield that stood between death and Dale’s square jaw. His Oerlikon loader dropped with a bullet in the throat, his blood streaming onto the deck.
It all happened so fast. Two more British soldiers were killed in the bridge, and another was gunned down at the Bofors on the main deck.
“All my gun crew were dead,” said Dales. “I didn’t notice until I ran out of ammunition. No one would pass me the drum. When I ran out and hollered for ammunition there wasn’t any, just bodies and blood everywhere.”
He loaded the gun himself and kept shooting.
—  At All Costs: How A Crippled Ship And Two American Merchant Mariners Turned The Tide Of World War II, by Sam Moses
They [Churchill and Stalin] talked for a while. The only time Churchill got upset was when Stalin brought up the PQ17 convoy again and asked him, “Has the British Navy no sense of glory?”
Churchill was ready for him this time.
Admiral Leatham had cabled Pound:
ARRIVED H.M. SHIPS PENN BRAMHAM LEDBURY AND OHIO.
As if the Ohio were one of His Majesty’s own ships.
Air Marshal Park had cabed the RAF chief Tedder, who was with Churchill in Moscow:
ABLE AND EAGER TO RESUME STRIKES AGAINST ENEMY SHIPPING. 
Finally, Churchill received the Most Secret and Most Immediate Cypher Telegram on which his political life depended, along with thousands, maybe hundreds of other people’s lives. The cable contained the words that the prime minister had been agonizing to hear.
OILER OHIO HAS ARRIVED MALTA.
—  At All Costs: How A Crippled Ship And Two American Merchant Mariners Turned The Tide Of World War II, by Sam Moses
Some of the ship’s tuned their radios to the traffic between fighters and aircraft carriers, and they broadcast the dialogue over the ships’ speakers. Everybody’s favorite pilot was Red Leader, a Brit with dry wit, who’s parodied Yankee drawl kept the sailors in stitches and caused the enemy to wonder if the U.S. carrier Wasp were along.
“We were listening to our old friend Red Leader going for some bandits,” said Captain Hill on destroyer Ledbury. “Then control called him: ‘Red Leader, Red Leader…’ and our hearts sank at the silence.”
—  At All Costs: How A Crippled Ship And Two American Merchant Mariners Turned The Tide Of World War II, by Sam Moses