Reviews and Recommended Books
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A private look at the Japanese occupation.
A reader, Spencer Reston, was kind enough to trust me with a
treasure found in his father's home. It is, indeed a treasure.
It is old. A 1962 edition and written when the Japanese occupation
was fresh on Japan and America's mind
Baby: "a very young child, especially
one newly or recently born." Also: "a young woman
or a person with whom one is having a romantic relationship
(often as a form of address). - Google
San: "Japanese honorific subtitle attached
to the end of peoples name." As is Papasan -Wikipedia
Babysan: An affectionate term for a young Japanese
woman with whom you are having a relationship. An affectionate,
loving, and honorific term bestowed on her (collectively) by
In late 1945 the Japanese people discovered that Americans were
not the monsters they were told they were. Americans, on the
that the Japanese people were friendly, gentle, pleasant people
not at all like they were expecting. A two nation love affair
started that continues today.
This is the story (cartoons really) that chronicles this new
understanding. Japanese children were thrilled when occupation
GIs gave them chocolate instead of cooking and eating them.
"Babysan, a carefree and charming girl, never forgot the
acts of kindness on the part of the American soldier."
She decided to make their stay in the land of Cherry Blossoms
a pleasant one and saw no sense in restricting her charms to
Her antics are the loving subject of this mostly cartoon book.
Each page is a cartoon of Babysan and her GI admirers with explanations
This copy is very fragile
and the old pages tear very easy so it must go back to Spencer
to become an heirloom. Used copies, however, are available both
on Amazon for up to $500 but much cheaper on eBay and other.
It is not a large book so a simple search for it on Google images
show most, if not all, with the accompanying text.
Well worth the search!
Poems and Patriotism
By Grace Katherine Tillery
a young mother and happy homemaker in a small Texas town thrust
into World War II! Only in her late 30s, she must face a life
she had never planned for. Imagine signing a release to let
your oldest son just 17 join the Army Air Force. Imaging facing
the draft for your youngest son.
She tells you how a patriotic mother
feels about women in combat.
In poetry she writes about her youngest
son and to her oldest in Germany in 1945. Even a sad lament
from an unborn baby who's chosen father to-be is dying. "My
father is dying, dying I say On a cold and cruel battleground."
This is an amazing insight into life
in WWII. Click
the Rising Sun
Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
"Thank God for the BOMB! It saved
my life." As editor of KilroyWasHere.org I have heard this
from every survivor of the Pacific War that I have interviewed
or talked to. Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard confirmed this
in this amazing book!
They also explained what has been called
a special relationship between Marines and Japanese soldiers.
The Bushido Code meant that a Japanese soldier could not surrender
without bringing great shame on himself and family. The Marine
could not surrender because he had seen for himself the unspeakable
horrors the Japanese soldiers committed on captured Marines.
The battles between them in New Guinea was described by historian
Eric Bergerud as a "knife fight out of the stone age"
The decision to drop the bomb: Truman
was tormented when making the painful decision to use the atomic
bomb. According to his papers, he was actually considering other
options when Secretary Byrnes, Secretary of State (19451947),
suggested that, if he didn't use the bomb, he should also consider
what he would say during his
impeachment for letting millions die
when he could have stopped the war. What would he say to the
mothers of young men who died when he could have prevented it?
This the best book I have read about
WWII in the Pacific! It covers clearly the battles and decisions
in a way that we all should read for an overall view. For a
down and dirty "Grunt" view, they even mention another
of my favorite books that covers the filth, flies, feces, stench,
and daily horrors: "With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and
They also included the story of the
"Rape of Nanking" Another book you shouldn't miss.
I am still haunted by a little girl's plaintive cry while in
a Japanese Comfort Woman's brothel.
This book should be required reading
for those who chastise America for using the bomb and for those
who consider water boarding torture. If fact it is a
great read for all of us!
Stop the Clock
Muriel P. Engelman
As editor of KilroyWasHere.org
I usually review books about WWII. I started Mission Accomplished
expected one. It is and more. It is billed as a personal memoir.
It is more an autobiography of a strong, accomplished, attractive
woman. There are parts about WWII but from a woman's viewpoint
including feminine humor and concerns about clothes being feminine
while buzz bombs fly overhead. Or in London 1944 during a blackout
. . . worried about hair. I loved it!
We have lost as a culture because
writers like Muriel waited too long to start writing
maybe because of a little distraction like WWII. Imagine the
wonderful books we would have had if, instead of working long
hours in a tent hospital 54 miles from Bastogne during the Battle
of the Bulge, she was writing her first books.
Her descriptions, especially individuals
are superb. By the time
she finished telling us about Betty, I was
saddened later enough spoilers. She had a lifetime
of interesting people. I feel like I have grown up and old with
her. A wonderful read!
of Our Gentle Warriors
By Brad Hoopes
I have asked whether the veteran had ever been able to travel
back to where he had served, I received an answer that is still
seared in my brain: Why should I? I'm there almost every
night.' " Quote from the book.
Brad and I share a passion! We remember
and want to help you share the clarity, humor, and horror of
the war that shaped and focused their lives . . . and ours.
You may not think you know the people
behind these stories but you do! They are your fathers, grandfathers,
uncles, grand uncles, etc. These are their stories they
lived them and you can remember!
Brad does a masterful job of bringing
you these stories straight from the mouths of those who lived
them! I am reminded of this quotation from Christopher J. Anderson,
Editor, World War II magazine: "For those of us who are
fascinated by the events of 60 years ago, there is no better
way of understanding what happened than by listening to an eye
right! Don't miss this one!
Journey as a Combat Medic
Ok, OK, I know I rarely review (or even
read) war books other than those about WWII and Korea
that is where my historic expertise (such as it is) resides.
But, being a former active duty Marine, I have a soft spot in
my head for corpsmen. Marine corpsmen are Navy, and like Patrick,
they are superb - one of the raisers of the flag in the iconic
Iwo Jima picture is a corpsman.
I was not disappointed. In this book,
we go with Patrick from being a scared "wet-behind-the-ears
medic" standing at the door of a jump plane to a seasoned
Airborne Combat Corpsman. He describes helping people in need
from "massive internal head damage" to a little girl
who had been poisoned. He goes on to discuss Gulf War Syndrome
as well as his own PTSD.
Patrick finishes with advice to new
combat corpsmen. This advice is some that should be read by
everyone about to go in to combat. Skip the direct medical advice
and listen to the overall message. Learning your job, equipment,
buddies, as well as the that of your noncoms', as well as your
officers' duties as best you can. With this in mind, you are
more likely to complete your mission and survive.
Thanks, Patrick. for a great read!
A Wartime House
The military code word for a lost nuclear bomb
Book By Charles Richardson
maybe, at last, the fear of an armed nuclear bomb being in the
water off Tybee island near Savannah, Georgia will end. Every
so often someone gets their 15 minutes of fame by bringing it
up and searching for it. The news media always breathlessly
reports it. We have had the true story directly from the B-47
pilot on KilroyWasHere.org for many years. Maybe this excellent
historical novel will finally put it to rest. Charles Richardson
uses his intimate knowledge of Air Force strategic flying and
Air Traffic Control to weave a gripping true story of courage
and great skill that is difficult to put down!
This is a great book! I will admit that
I enjoyed the detail of flying a B-47 and F-86 because my background
is similar to Richardson's except that Richardson goes on to
become a fantastic writer. The details of start-up, air refueling
and, simulated attacks
absorbing. Even a near collision with a T-33 could easily
have been yours truly. Everyone will like this book especially
those who flew during the height of the Cold War and those who
wished they had.
Teen's Tales of Tribute
group of stories by teens about family members who often told
of their exploits while the writer was sitting in their knee.
They are especially moving because they are often telling you
of someone they love.
These essays are the result of the American Veteran Essay Project.
Read loving stories about our American Heroes from WWII to
Afghanistan. You will Fly the Hump or escort bombers with the
Tuskegee Airmen. Then From Korea to Viet Name and then to Iraq
and Afghanistan for stories of heroes who may go back.
essays are the result of the American
Veteran Essay Project.
Read loving stories about our American Heroes from WWII to Aphganistan.
You will Fly the Hump or escort bombers with the Tuskegee Airmen.
Then From Korea to Viet Name and then to Iraq and Afghanistan
for stories of heroes who may go back.
"JEWEL OF THE MALL"
by Stephan R. Brown
Have you seen
the WWII Memorial? Just because you went there (as I did) you
haven't really experienced it until you see Stephan R. Brown's
exquisite photographs of it. I went there determined to be enthralled
and moved. I wasn't until I saw these.
Introduction by Senator Robert Dole
Somehow Brown found
the most beautiful and moving places on the memorial (except
for Kilroy) and made them even more beautiful and moving.
What a wonderful
experience! Don't miss it.
Click image for larger view
Role of the United States Coast Guard in the Normandy Invasion
William A. "Bill" Barnes (see:
This DVD is the result of a great deal of
research and probably the best I've seen done like this. I started
expecting just to learn about the role of the Coast Guard in
D-Day but I was captured first by more than I knew about Operation
Nazi Smart Bombs, The
Bedford Boys, and The
Search for Admiral Moon) then by for more details on both
Operation Tiger and D-Day. The images and narration are done
so well, it flows like a movie. I will have to watch many times
to get all the details! WOW! This should be in the Library of
Congress, Very professional throughout.
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