OT Interesting pair of books

Bob Sullivan rf.sullivan at gmail.com
Fri Jul 30 13:51:43 EDT 2010


There are groups here in the US who are actively seeking to interview
and record the stories of WWII vets, before the vets die out.  It is
an interesting project with interesting offshoots.  My dad and uncle
served in WWII, but not in combat roles.  Those who served in combat
roles rarely talked about it.  This makes getting their stories even
more important.

After the contriversial success of the Vietnam Veteran's memorial,
WWII vets realized that they didn't have a specific memorial honoring
their service in Washington DC.  A specific monument, a plaza really,
was created between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument.
A national group sprung up and organized day trips to the memorial for
WWII vets.  They called them 'Honor Flights' and the next door
neighbor's 85+ year dad took the day trip to DC from Chicago.  The
group picked up the tab for the flight and arranged for 'GI mail call'
to be delivered on the way, letters from friends and relatives
thanking the honorees for their service.

My sister and brother-in-law drove from Chicago to DC last summer with
his dad, a WWII Marine vet.  They went to visit the memorial and were
greeted by a younger woman who asked grandpa if he was a WWII vet, and
then thanked him for his service.  He said it was the first time he
had ever been thanked for serving.  (It brought tears to my
brother-in-law's eyes.)

They are and were some generation...

Regards,  Bob S.

On Fri, Jul 30, 2010 at 8:02 AM, Christine  Aguila
<caguila at earthlink.net> wrote:
> These seem interesting, Mike.  Thanks for the reco.  Cheers, Christine
>
>
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "mike wilson" <m.9.wilson at ntlworld.com>
> To: <PDML at pdml.net>
> Sent: Saturday, July 24, 2010 2:12 PM
> Subject: OT Interesting pair of books
>
>
>> I've been reading a series of books called "Forgotten Voices". They are
>> transcripts of UK recordings of servicemen and civilians from the first and
>> second world wars. Although the sound archive is British, the remeniscences
>> are from all areas of the globe, including "enemy" voices.
>>
>> Becoming intrigued by the war diary, I was lucky to find two books last
>> week that, whilst not earth-shattering literature in their own right, make
>> interesting reading back-to-back.
>>
>> One is called "Snake Pilot" by Randy R Zahn. Published by Brassey's Inc
>> 2003 ISBN 1-57488-565-0 and is the story of a Cobra gunship pilot in
>> Vietnam. The other is called "First Light" by Goeffrey Wellum. Published by
>> Penguin 2002 ISBN 0-141-00814-8 it is the story of his life as a fighter
>> pilot in WWII.
>>
>> Both are self-written from contemporaneous notes, letters and/or tapes.
>> Both train themselves to fly before ending up in service. Both were 19 year
>> old debutantes into aerial warfare and find similar ways of dealing with the
>> stress. Both have ambiguous feelings towards the eventual outcomes of their
>> repective conflicts.
>>
>> One sees himself as pretty much the top dog and views his side as having
>> the upper hand, the other sees that his country is backed against a wall and
>> is uncertain of its (or his) survival. One flies a very planned tactical
>> war, the other quickly realises that the ability to extemporise is what will
>> keep him alive.
>>
>> A highly interesting pair of books that I unqualifiedly recommend.
>>
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