Research is at once the bane of my existence (so much information and so little time) and a passion that I pursue day in and day out. It is also a necessary endeavor for those who write about history. I am one of those writers, and it is all I can do to tear myself away from following another scatter of breadcrumbs or a tiny … Continue reading Searching for Patsy
Aaron, Hubert Charles Titus is the first name listed on the memorial at Pearl Harbor. Zwarun, Jr, Michael. is the last. Two very different men, as no doubt all 1,177 who perished aboard the USS Arizona on December 7, 1941 were. Yet they shared something in common then, both were young, twenty-somethings, both had chosen to join the navy, both were seamen, both perished. And they share … Continue reading Pearl Harbor: A to Z
At 0300 on June 25, 1943, a jeep crept quietly through the dark to one of the Niessen huts at Thorpe Abbotts airfield. The sergeant on board, entered, reached the bunk of Lt. Stanley O. Morrison placed a hand on Morrison’s shoulder and nudged him awake. Not that anyone in the barracks was asleep. Each of the dozen or more men lying on his own … Continue reading The Luck of the Draw. The Roll of the Dice.
“All in all I would like to be appreciated as a man” Recently Virginia Tech and the National Endowment for the Humanities launched a project to transcribe the handwritten comments of a thousands of soldiers who responded to a survey during and in the aftermath of World War II. The results were published in 1950 under the title The American Soldier, a four volume series by … Continue reading In Their Own Words
By now I imagine and, having done my part, fervently hope, everyone knows 2020 is the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. If not, there’s one more opportunity to catch up on the events, the issues, and the ordinary and extraordinary people who lived through the war years. On August 30, the New York Times devoted its Book Review to books … Continue reading Like Minds — A WWII Reading List
From a even a quick glance at Anthony J. Marchione’s photo, the man’s youth is evident. He was a handsome young man, too, slightly built, all of five foot six and 125 pounds. He’d celebrated his twentieth birthday in Okinawa on August 12, 1945, an American airman in the prime of his life. Three days later, the Japanese surrendered. Six days later he was dead. … Continue reading The Last Airman to Die in WWII
You might not think of our men and women in uniform as “readers,” but you would be wrong. The army, navy, marines, air force, and coast guard all consider reading (and reading widely) as critical for career advancement. Courtesy of DODReads.com, a site dedicated to furthering reading and lifelong learning—especially for those who aspire to a career in the armed forces—you can peruse the list … Continue reading Soldiers as Readers? Indeed.
Georgia Men Among the Crew of the Ill-fated USS Indianapolis in 1945 Seventy-five years ago, only minutes past midnight on July 30, 1945, the Imperial Japanese submarine I-58 launched two torpedoes in the dark waters of the south Pacific. They sped toward the USS Indianapolis striking her in the bow and at midship. The story of what transpired following the attack is well known to navy veterans and WWII historians and … Continue reading The USS Indianapolis + 75 Years
“Rommel, you magnificent bastard, I read your book.” George C. Scott utters those words in a scene from the 1970 film Patton. With that gloating comment, the general reveals to the audience how he defeated the infamous Wehrmacht field marshal. He read his book. I would venture the same goes for almost anything in life including learning about D-Day and the battles waged in Normandy or enhancing a … Continue reading Ten on a Topic: Understanding Normandy
The Neyland home, a bright white house with a long narrow front porch, sits back from the street and is surrounded by the last of spring’s pink and lavender blooms. It’s a quiet street, two blocks off a thoroughfare in Marietta, Georgia, and four thousand miles from where James once stood guard and witnessed the start of the invasion of Normandy on a night in … Continue reading A Witness to the Start of D-Day