Sailors in the Holy Land focuses on one of the more obscure, but significant voyages in US naval history. The Lynch Expedition, a multi-month expedition, undertaken by the US Navy to the Holy Land and led by Lt. William F. Lynch in 1848, rates as one of the most exotic the service has ever undertaken. At a time when the navy consisted of only eleven thousand officers and men, and in general stayed on well-worn routes, setting off to the Dead Sea, not for any military purpose but in search of Sodom and Gomorrah, ranks as a folly. But the mission had serious scientific purposes, was professionally executed, and provided to this day important information on the Jordan river and its associated lakes. The explorers were all volunteers who had taken an oath of abstinence from alcohol and traveled in boats which were made of copper and zinc to make them durable enough for the rapids of the Jordan River and to withstand the corrosive effects of the Dead sea. This is an account with interesting aspects involving science vs. religion, the turmoil in revolutionary Europe, the transition from sail to stream, the legends and truths about Sodom and Gomorrah, and a cholera epidemic. Lynch himself was a fascinating character - naval officer, devout Christian, opponent of slavery, and ultimately, a Confederate admiral. It is an absorbing tale that will appeal to a variety of audiences.
Andrew C. A. Jampoler, a former commanding officer of Patrol Squadron 19 and of Naval Air station Moffett Field in California, spent twenty-four years as a naval aviator before his retirement from the US Navy in 1986. The author of numerous books and articles, he won the Naval Institute Press's Author of the Year in 2003 for Adak and Naval History magazine's Author of the Year in 2006. Books will be available for purchase