Historical Monographs



Download Full Text (45.8 MB)


The three-year span between 1940 and 1942 was critical in Henry Eccles’s life and career. These years mark not only the beginnings of the direct involvement of the United States in World War II but also Eccles’s first surface warship command, the command that earned him high professional recognition—the Navy Cross and the Silver Star. The diary, reports, and letters assembled here allow the modern reader an unusual opportunity to enter a very different world and a very different time in naval history. The contents document Lt. Cdr. Henry E. Eccles’s trip by passenger ships from New York to Manila, doing some intelligence work for the Office of Naval Intelligence along the way, and his assumption of command of John D. Edwards in the Asiatic Fleet, under Adm. Thomas C. Hart. The volume ends with Eccles’s participation, now a commander, in the short-lived Allied force in Southeast Asia—the American-British-Dutch-Australian, or ABDA, Command—and his subsequent experiences in the battles of Badoeng Strait and the Java Sea in February 1942, engagements in which Henry Eccles earned his combat decorations.



Publication Date



U.S. Naval War College Press


Newport, Rhode Island


U.S. Naval War College, Historical Monographs, WWII, World War II, Pacific, Asia, Naval, Operations, Phillipines

HM 28: To the Java Sea: Selections from the Diary, Reports, and Letters of Henry E. Eccles, 1940-1942