In the summer of 1943, the Liberty Ship SS Corydon C. Snow is ordered on a dangerous voyage to transfer 400,000 gallons of highly explosive aviation gasoline from Midway Atoll to Port Moresby, New Guinea. En route, it becomes clear that the ship is plagued with a cantankerous engine. These pressures educe the best and worst from the crew. Notable among them is Victor Brenz, a misfit who somehow seems to be in the center of one conflict after another.
On the other side of the Pacific a young student, Naoki Tamoro, is entering the Imperial Japanese Navy as a flight cadet. His training coincides with that of the Snow’s fifteen month cruise through the Southern Pacific until the two stories inevitably come together.