This autographical account of one young naval officers brief World War II career as a carrier Landing Signal Officer details incidents and anecdotes, from the hilarious to the harrowing, drawn from the authors extemporaneous log, maintained during the advance of the Central Pacific fast carrier force toward the Empire of Japan, 1943-1945. Aircraft numbers are actually drawn from the authors Flight Log Book. Paddles! is an authorative look at aircraft recovery operations aboard the light, fast carrier Belleau Wood, punctuated by excursions into flying exploits outside the nominal scope of LSO duties, and seasoned with mischief and romance ashore. Set in the period of the massive build-up of the carrier, Navy that would destroy the Japanese fleet. Paddles! begins with conversion of a twenty-one year old wet-behind-the-ears ensign from fighter gunnery instructor to senior Landing Signal Officer in just four months, and follows him through twenty-seven months of fast paced air operations in the naval air combat enviornment. Crackling dialogue in the jargon of the time and vivid scene setting combine to submerge the reader in gripping battle action and sensuous romantic encounters-to the heights and depths of a checkered career.