WriterGrl, if you want a bit of realism, just as research, you might have a look at the book Life Photographers - What They Saw. It's a collection of interviews with photographers. Two of them were in ships that were sunk. David Schermer was on the civilian ship Zamzam, sunk by a German raider, apparently after being mistaken for a troop ship. He hid his film inside the bandaged hands of a friend, and the photos were later used to help identify the raider which was subsequently sunk.
Ralph Morse, about as serious a photojournalist as there ever was, was on the Vincennes when it was sunk in battle, his exposed film locked away in the ship's safe. As he says, orders came to abandon ship, then "I left my cameras still hanging up on the bridge. What was I going to do with them in the middle of the Coral Sea? I had no plastic bags to put 'em in or anything." (It was a much more serious situation than Schermer's; if you read my reference, you'll understand why the camera gear took a back seat.)
Regarding cameras in use, there is a bit of this in an article about Robert Capa. Capa is, i believe, the only photographer to go ashore in the first wave of the D-Day invasion. His blurry (melted emulsion) photos are probably among the best-known war photos ever. http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/20...ert-capa-d-day
Best of luck on your book!