Return to Coronado
By: Philip Huber
Length: 393 pages
Release date: Dec 21, 2013
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Coronado, California, 1952. The Korean War is in its third year, and with the public demanding an end to the war, Naval intelligence analysts working with the CIA devise a bold commando plan targeting enemy leaders—codenamed Operation Talon—to force North Korea to sign an Armistice.
A Navy special warfare Underwater Demolition Team based in Coronado—the UDT, precursor of the SEALS—is designated to carry out the top-secret nighttime beach landing and raid in wintry North Korea.
Desk-bound senior officers and intelligence staff question the team’s renegade spirit while Desmond Dorsey, who leads the small mission team, fights for his men. Arguments center on the role of the South Korean officer who will accompany them. The mission is mysteriously delayed, and Dorsey’s suspicions of an intelligence leak—which will turn out to be founded—grow.
To relax from intense training in Coronado, the team gathers for parties at the stunning seaside mansion of a British expat come to care for her wealthy uncle. The men mingle with friends, lovers and casual acquaintances, unaware of the enemies in their midst. Dorsey himself becomes entangled in a troubled love affair with a married woman, the aloof and alluringly enigmatic Mika Rossi.
The order to execute the operation comes suddenly, cutting short the affair. The mission does not go as planned—unless it was planned to fail. Not until Dorsey can make his way out of North Korea and back to Coronado, traveling across the US to keep a promise to a team member and follow his heart, does he learn the full truth of Operation Talon.
Return to Coronado is a plot-twisting tale of treachery, courage under extreme duress, and young loves and losses, played out against a backdrop of war.
The author served as a commissioned officer with the Navy’s Underwater Demolition Team 13, based in Coronado, CA, and 22, based in Little Creek, VA. Known as the ‘UDT’, the teams were forerunners to today’s SEAL teams.