Category Archives: Book Reviews

Soldiers’s Stories & Kiwi Air Power

Soldier's Stories

Soldier’s Stories

One day I happened across a blog written by Myra Miller and I stopped in for a visit.  Ms. Miller and her family were compiling stories from WWII to be published soon.  I was invited to submit one of Smitty’s letters – and I most certainly took her up on her offer!

Myra Miller PhD.

Myra Miller PhD.

Smitty’s Letter X, Jungle Juice was accepted and now, appears on pages 286-288.  I received my copy right before Christmas!  The timing could not have been better.

001-640x480

The volume: Soldiers stories: A Collection of WWII Memoirs is out on the stands!  This 317 page historical collection honors our Greatest Generation veterans, both male and female soldiers, from theaters of operations around the world.  They will grab and transport you into the past and once you are there – you witness the tears, the laughs, the success and the failures which created a complete transformation of this world of ours.

The design is by Myra Miller and the illustrations by Ken Miller which make up a handsome edition to anyone’s library.  My copy is a welcomed addition to mine.

If you wish a copy for yourself, please visit Myra’s site HERE!  It is also available through Barnes and Noble.

Click on images to enlarge.

**********************************************************************************************************

wright-kiwi-air-power-200-px

Also, I downloaded a copy of Matthew Wright’s Kiwi Air Power, that he was graciously offering to us free of charge [and will be doing so again in the future] and can be found on Amazon.  You can also download a copy from Matthew Wright’s blog by clicking on the book cover, located HERE!

Matthew Wright, author

Matthew Wright, author

Right up front, Mr. Wright informs the reader that he will show the how and the why of the New Zealand’s Air Force.  The rather rough start, their combat and now, their continuation – rather than the what.

Mr. Wright’s writing expertise together with personal remarks from the men themselves, you can visualize all they supplied in men and machines to support England in the war, some airmen serving with the RAF, and on into the Cold War.  You read about the political struggles and strength of will that prevailed.

I am enjoying my copy very much and suggest anyone interested in history – quick – get a copy for yourself!

####################################################################################

Holiday Humor – fb_img_1482158893635

new_year_002

####################################################################################

Farewell Salutes – 

William Anderson – Jones County, GA; US Navy, WWII, Korea & Vietnam, Sr. Chief (Ret.)

Robert Caplan – Knoxville, TN; US Navy, WWII

The Big Picture...

The Big Picture…

Thomas Corbett – Dorchester, MA; USMC, WWII, USS Bennington

Kenneth Fransen – Sun City, AZ; US Army, Korea

Thelburn Knepp – Peoria, IL; US Army, WWII, ETO, 89th Infantry Division

Bruce Linzy – Gay, FL; US Army, Company C/1st Batt./87th RCT

John Murray – Bronx, NY; US Air Force

Julian Parrish – San Diego, CA; USMC, Vietnam, 1st Force Recon, Colonel

Robert Thamm – NY & FL, US Navy

Don Witherspoon – Lamar, SC; US Army, Korea, 9th Reg./2nd Infantry Division, Silver Star

#####################################################################################

From a Layout to a Book: Behind the Scenes at IHRA

72020fca7fea598e5a94848c801462b3

Publishing non-fiction may not be as easy as you first imagine.

Let the IHRA historians know how you feel about their work!

 

IHRA

Last week, we gave you an idea of how we get our information, compile it, and begin to write a compelling narrative. We left off with the chapter layout process and now we’ll finish the book. Before we get to the rest of the chapters as well as the appendices, let’s focus on the color section.

The color section consists of color photos we received, aircraft profiles, nose art closeups (this is a recent addition as of Rampage of the Roarin’ 20’s and Ken’s Men Against the Empire, Volume I), paintings, and patches. As for plane profiles, one plane from each squadron during each quarter of the war is chosen based on availability of photos, unique attributes (such as camouflage schemes and hardware), coverage of a plane, and elaborate nose art.

Once planes are chosen, we gather up all the photos and written information we have into what…

View original post 840 more words

Behind the Scenes at IHRA

This helps to explain exactly why I was so excited about the research and published volumes of the IHRA !!

IHRA

From Warpath Across the Pacific to the first volume of Ken’s Men Against the Empire, our books have become the standard for World War II unit histories as well as a go-to for the history of the air war in the Pacific Theater. How did we get here? We’ll take you through part of the process of how we turn piles of photos and information into the next great installment of the Eagles Over the Pacific series.

It starts with gathering as much primary source material as possible: photos, personal diaries, letters, interviews, squadron and unit reports, medal citations, missing aircraft crew reports, and so on. Material borrowed from individual veterans was processed first, so it could be returned in a somewhat timely fashion. Before the days of scanners, photos of the photos were taken, printed out, and organized into reference binders by month. The original photos were then…

View original post 499 more words

IHRA – International Historical Research Associate’s 5th Air Force Series

WEB-WARPATH-front-cover

Warpath Across the Pacific

 

I am not at all certain what I expected  before my copy of Warpath Across the Pacific arrived at my doorstep, but today I find myself wholly unqualified to review IHRA’s commanding series Eagles Over the Pacific.  This tome concerning the 345th Bomb Group is the highest quality of research I have ever had the pleasure to read.

Lawrence J. Hickey has created a masterpiece account of history accompanied by the artistic talent of Art Director, Jack Fellows.  The Preface, written by Col. Maurice J. Eppstein, USAF Ret., delivers an impact of reality depicting life for the 498th,499th, 500th & 501st squadrons and so many others during the Pacific War.

Warpath Across the Pacific takes the readers from the establishment of the 345th, into their rigorous training and throughout  their deployment.  One is carried across the massive ocean to see the bases and examine each aircraft.  You will eventually realize that you have come to know each crew as they prepare, experience and carry out each mission as it is described in striking detail.  Then, with bated breath, you await each of their return.

The numerous maps and aircraft profiles, by Steve W. Ferguson, keep the reader orientated while being engulfed in the events, seeing their successes and feeling the pain of their losses.  Countless photographs from worldwide historians and private collections are included to correspond to the information at hand.  Nose-art is visible cover to cover as well as artistic illustrations of the B-25’s flown by these young, valiant men.  Each airman is mentioned, the bomb squadrons profiled and the book has a special section for those killed and missing.

I find it difficult to accurately describe how greatly impressed I am by this series as each page is turned.  I have never acquired a volume I value more or recommend so highly.  Reading Warpath Across the Pacific was not a way to learn history, but a way to experience it!

This 5th edition even includes new material concerning the Japanese side of the war.

I thank the members of the IHRA for paying such attention to detail, for their dedication, patriotism and expertise.

Therefore, it is with the utmost confidence that I recommend these other editions of the series…

RRR-cover

Warpath Across the Pacific

# 2 –  Revenge of the Red Raiders – 

An equal effort of historical importance concerning the 22nd Bombardment Group/5th Air Force.  The same attention to detail as they bring the reader from the airfields of America to the SW Pacific skies.

312-sample1

# 3 – Rampage of the Roarin’ 20’s – 

The life and wartime of the 312th Bombardment Group/5th Air Force follows in the same style and professional manner.  Read and imagine these young men in their P-40 Warhawks and later, the Douglas A-20 Havoc aircraft.

"Ken's Men Against the Empire, Vol. I"

“Ken’s Men Against the Empire, Vol. I”

# 4 – Ken’s Men Against the Empire – Vol. 1 – 

This project by the IHRA, contains the history of the 43rd Bombardment Group, generated such an abundance of material that it was necessary to create two volumes rather than omit any information.  With the early war and the B-17 era, and then re-equipping with B-24’s for this young, but growing unit.

This edition holds the detailed and accurate missions of the most highly decorated crew in U.S. history, Zeamer’s “Eager Beavers.”  You can start your journey with these squadrons as they progress through the Pacific and witness it as never before.  Should you have any doubt about their research from U.S. training bases – through New Guinea, the Netherlands Indies, the Philippines, Indochina and Japan – a reblog 0f their own post will show, (rather than tell), you how expertly each record is handled.

As Lawrence Hickey stated in his Introduction: “This, then, is the story of the ‘Air Apaches.'”

 To locate the IHRA blog – Please Click Here!

To purchase any volume from the IHRA, click HERE!

Click on images to enlarge.

###################################################################################

Farewell Salutes – 

William Cather – Birmingham, AL; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 501st “Black Panthers”/345th, Capt.

Glenn Doolittle – San Antonio, TX; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 435th Bombardment Group, Silver Star, Col.

Lester Gurden – Owosso, MI; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, SSgt., radio technician

Land-Sea-Air Tribute

Land-Sea-Air Tribute

William Hammock – Columbus, OH; US Army Air Corps, WWII

Bruce Hanson – Nampa, IA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, B-25 pilot

Erwin Johnson – New Orleans, LA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, 27th Bomb Group, A-20 air mechanic, POW

Gerald Levin – Baltimore, MD; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO

William Michels – Alexandria, VA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, Engineer Corps

Louis Mori – Ronoke Rapid, NC; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 674th Artillery/11th Airborne Division

Harold Peterson – Boston, MA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, radioman

####################################################################################https://pacificparatrooper.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/rrr-cover.jpg

Two Bloggers Tackle WWII – Book Reviews

"Surviving the Death Railway" by: Hilary Custance Green

“Surviving the Death Railway” by: Hilary Custance Green

About the book….

The ordeals of the POWs put to slave labour by their Japanese masters on the ‘Burma Railway’ have been well documented yet never cease to shock. It is impossible not to be horrified and moved by their stoic courage in the face of inhuman brutality, appalling hardship and ever-present death.

While Barry Custance Baker was enduring his 1000 days of captivity, his young wife Phyllis was attempting to correspond with him and the families of Barry’s unit. Fortunately these moving letters have been preserved and appear, edited by their daughter Hilary, in this book along with Barry’s graphic memoir written after the War.

Surviving the Death Railway’s combination of first-hand account, correspondence and comment provide a unique insight into the long nightmare experienced by those in the Far East and at home.

The result is a powerful and inspiring account of one of the most shameful chapters in the history of mankind which makes for compelling reading.

About the author, Hilary Custance Green…

Hilary Custance Green

Hilary Custance Green

Hilary Custance Green has BAs in Fine Arts (UEA) and Sculpture (St Martin’s School of Art) and spent twenty years sculpting. In 1993 she graduated with an Open University BSc in Psychology and spent fifteen years working in brain science, gaining a PhD in Cognitive Psychology from Cambridge in 1999.
She has had three novels published and has spent six years researching this book. 
Born in Malaya in 1915, Barry Custance Baker married Phyllis, a fellow Cambridge graduate in 1939. Barry joined the Royal Corps of Signals and this book records his experiences as a POW. After gaining his freedom, they had three more children post-war. Barry stayed in the army until 1959, then took up teaching. Phyllis filled her life with voluntary work and the theatre.

Hilary Green’s blog can be located HERE!

"Pacific War" by: Matthew Wright

“Pacific War” by: Matthew Wright

In December 1941, Japan attacked the British Empire and the United States, turning the European war that had raged since 1939 into a global conflict. For a few desperate months during early 1942, the Kiwis faced a deep crisis. Australia had its own threat to face. Britain was stretched to the utmost against Germany, and the United States — with millions still unemployed — took time to turn its huge industry to war production.

Despite a heavy commitment to the European war, New Zealanders eventually fought the Japanese on land, sea and air, from Malaya to the Solomons and, finally, in Japanese home waters. Kiwis also contributed in many other ways, providing bases and recreation facilities for US forces, food for the whole campaign, even sending physicists to work on the atomic bomb project.
This was not easy. New Zealand had heavy commitments in North Africa and Europe. Even after the crisis of 1942 had passed, the country struggled to find the resources to keep air force, navy and army operating in the Pacific. New Zealand’s land component was finally withdrawn in 1944 after ongoing manpower issues reached crisis point — an issue that soon became entwined with Pacific politics and New Zealand’s role in the war. This book focuses on the army contribution and the politics that surrounded it; but we must not undervalue New Zealand’s ongoing and long-term air and naval campaigns in theatre. The navy, in particular, took a front-line role from the beginning of the Pacific struggle in December 1941 to the very last actions of the war in August 1945.

About the author..

Matthew J. Wright

Matthew J. Wright

I’m a New Zealand writer. My main interests are in the sciences – physics, particularly, though I’m deeply curious about a lot of stuff, especially the human condition. I have qualifications in writing, music and anthropology among other fields, and hold multiple post-graduate degrees in history. I’m also a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society at University College, London. However, I don’t define myself as a historian and prefer not to be labelled as one.

I write a lot. I published my first short story in 1976 and since the early 1980s have worked professionally as a writer, historian, journalist, reviewer, and in media relations. My publications include more than 550 articles, academic papers, reviews and over 50 books on topics ranging from travel guides to biography, engineering, military and social history. I’ve been published principally by Penguin Random House.

Matthew Wright’s blog can be located Here!

#################################################################################### 

TWO OTHER BOOKS ON THE WAR WILL BE HIGHLIGHTED IN A FEW WEEKS.

####################################################################################

Book Cover Introduction

thas-cover-large1 (533x800)

By fellow blogger: Jacqui Murray

I have to admit I do not usually publicize books, but our fellow bloggers are doing a wonderful job of keeping us in the loop with the war that should have taught this world a huge lesson.  Please read the preview of this book, due out in early August, and follow up later this week for two others!!  GP Cox

***************

“An unlikely team is America’s only chance

A brilliant Ph.D. candidate, a cynical ex-SEAL, and a quirky experimental robot team up against terrorists intent on stealing America’s most powerful nuclear weapon, the Trident submarine. By all measures, they are an unlikely trio–one believes in brawn, another brains, and the third is all geek. What no one realizes is this trio has a secret weapon: the wisdom of a formidable female who died two million years ago.”
Here’s a longer one:
“The USS Hampton SSN 767 quietly floated unseen a hundred fifty-two feet below the ocean’s surface. Despite its deadly nuclear tipped arsenal of Trident missiles, its task for the past six months has been reconnaissance and surveillance. The biggest danger the crew faced was running out of olives for their pizza. That all changed one morning, four days before the end of the Hampton’s tour. Halfway through the Captain’s first morning coffee, every system on the submarine shut down. No navigation, no communication, and no defensive measures. Within minutes, the sub began a terrifying descent through the murky greys and blacks of the deep Atlantic and settled to the ocean floor five miles from Cuba and perilously close to the sub’s crush depth. When it missed its mandated contact, an emergency call went out to retired Navy intel officer, Zeke Rowe, top of his field before a botched mission left him physically crippled and psychologically shaken. Rowe quickly determined that the sub was the victim of a cybervirus secreted inside the sub’s top secret operating systems. What Rowe couldn’t figure out was who did it or how to stop it sinking every other submarine in the American fleet.
Kali Delamagente is a struggling over-the-hill grad student who entered a DARPA cybersecurity competition as a desperate last hope to fund a sophisticated artificial intelligence she called Otto. Though her presentation imploded, she caught the attention of two people: a terrorist intent on destroying America and a rapt Dr. Zeke Rowe. An anonymous blank check to finish her research is quickly followed by multiple break-ins to her lab, a hack of her computer, the disappearance of her three-legged dog, and finally the kidnapping of her only son.
By all measures, Rowe and Delamagente are an unlikely duo. Rowe believes in brawn and Delamagente brains. To save the America they both love, they find a middle ground, guided with the wisdom of a formidable female who died two million years ago. ”
book info:
Title and author: To Hunt a Sub”  by: J. Murray
Release Date: August, 2016 by Structured Learning
Genre: Thriller
Preview: Available on Kindle Scout
Cover by: Paper and Sage Design
Author bio:
“Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman , the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Her debut novel, To Hunt a Sub, launches this summer. You can find her nonfiction books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.”

To find out more …. one of her blog sites can be located HERE  and another one HERE!!

###################################################################################

 

%d bloggers like this: