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Thursday, March 24, 2016

OUR SERVICE, OUR STORIES: INDIANA VETERANS RECALL THEIR WORLD WAR II EXPERIENCES by Ronald P. May



Published in July of 2015 by Fideli Publishing Inc.

The World War II generation is rapidly passing away and with them go their individual stories. 

Ronald May has collected a number of these stories and had them published in the Martinsville, Indiana newspaper as a regular feature. This book is a collection of these stories with a lot of full color pictures. Some of the stories have been expanded.

A photograph from the book of a B-26 Marauder being shot down

Typically, each story tells a little about each man's life before his military service, focuses on his time in service and then tells about life after the war (some went on to serve in Korea as well but those efforts are not highlighted in this book). For me, the most interesting part of the book is reading about the wide variety of jobs that these men held during the war. When you read the history books or watch the movies you tend to think that everyone carried a gun, flew a plane, maintained the planes or worked in a hospital. 


To be sure, those stories are in this book but there are other jobs that I never even think about like the soldier who maintained the fires for a field kitchen, a pilot who searched for downed military airmen (ironically, he washed out of pilot school but he was deemed good enough to land those rescue planes on back roads or any open spot in the China-Burma-India Theater), men who manned the ships that escorted troops and supplies across the Atlantic, a carpenter who designed a unique communication tower that could be easily assembled and torn down and a man who led the crew of a mobile radar station. For me, it was reminder that World War II was an amazingly complicated endeavor and a true group effort. Without all of these men the effort would have faltered.

I feel that I need to disclose that the author was formerly the pastor at my church. I decided before I read the book that I would not review it unless I could not write a good review of it (it is what I do with all books where I know the author). This is a very good local history of our World War II generation. 

I rate this book 4 stars out of 5.

This book can be found on Amazon.com here: Our Service, Our Stories.

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