War Makes Men of Boys

Author: Katherine I. Miller
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
ISBN: 1603448152
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Hundreds of novels have been written about young men coming of age in war. And millions of young men have, in fact, come of age in combat. This is the story of one of them, as told by his daughter, based on the daily letters he wrote to his family in 1944 and 1945. After ten months of stateside training, nineteen-year-old Joe Ted (Bud) Miller shipped out from New York harbor in November 1944 and served with the 63rd Infantry in France and Germany. Although he fought with his unit at the Colmar Pocket and earned a Bronze Star for his role in pushing through the Siegfried Line, his letters focus less on the details of battle than on the many aspects of his life in the military: food, PX, movies, biographies of friends and platoon-mates, training activities, travelogues, and the behavior (good and bad) of officers. Bud’s journalistic skills show in his letters and fill his reports with a wealth of objective detail, as well as articulate reflections on his feelings about his experiences. Katherine I. Miller, a communication scholar, brings to her father’s letters—which form the centerpiece of the book—her scholarly training in analyzing issues such as the development of masculinity in historical context, the formation of adult identity, and the psychological effects of war. Further insights gained from additional personal and family archives, interviews with surviving family members, official paperwork, the unit history of the 63rd Infantry Division (254th Regiment), unit newspapers, pictorial histories, maps, and accounts by other unit members aided her in crafting this “interpretive biography.” The book also serves as a window onto more general questions of how individuals navigate complicated turning points thrown at them by external events and internal struggles as they move from youth to adulthood.

Hospital at War

Author: Zachary Friedenberg
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
ISBN: 9781585443796
Format: PDF, Kindle
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During World War II, the army established 107 evacuation hospitals to care for the wounded and sick in theaters around the world. An evacuation hospital was a forward hospital accepting patients from the battlefield. It was where the wounded first received definitive care. Formed at Camp Breckenridge, the 95th Evac arrived in Casablanca in April 1943, with seven thousand troops, thirty doctors, and forty nurses. First pitching their tents at Oujda, they moved eastward toward Algeria before making a D-day landing on the beaches of Salerno, Italy, on September 9, 1939. Shortly thereafter, they entered Naples, then set up shop at Anzio before moving on to become the first American hospital to penetrate Nazi-occupied Europe. After the guns were silent, records show that these doctors and nurses had treated over 42,000 Americans in almost all the critical battles of the European theater: Salerno, Monetcassino, Anzio, southern France, the Battle of the Bulge, the Rhineland, and finally, the invasion into Germany. Hospital at War is the story of the 95th Evac Hospital as told by Zachary Friedenberg, a young surgeon at the time, fresh out of his internship. He tells the story of how the men and women of the 95th survived the war. He describes how they solved problems and learned to treat the war-wounded in the extreme heat of North Africa and during the frigid winters of the Rhineland. He tells how they endured shelling and a bombing of the hospital and how they adjusted to the people and the countries in which they worked. By the end of their two-year tour of duty, the men and women of the 95th Evac were superbly efficient. A casualty who made it to their facilities had a 99 percent chance of surviving. For anyone who wants to know how so many of our boys made it home despite horrific injuries, this book provides part of the answer.

Glider Infantryman

Author: Donald J. Rich
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
ISBN: 1603444246
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Rich's first-person narrative includes vivid coverage of the action, featuring an especially rare account of arriving on a combat landing zone by glider. Detailed, day-to-day depiction of some of the heaviest fighting in Holland follows, including the action at Opheusden, the center of the infamous “Island.”

Americans All

Author: Nancy Gentile Ford
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
ISBN: 1603443290
Format: PDF, Mobi
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During the first World War, nearly half a million immigrant draftees from forty-six different nations served in the U.S. Army. Ford shows how the war department drew on progressive social welfare reformers, efficiency experts, and ethnic community leaders to create policies that made both American and ethnic pride acceptable.

Flying the Hump

Author: Otha C. Spencer
Publisher: Texas A & M University Press
ISBN: 9780890966242
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Noted historian Theodore White called it "the most dangerous, terrifying, barbarous aerial transport run in the world . . . the skyway to Hell." This is the story of the air war over the Himalaya Mountains, in World War II, when Japan and China were locked in a death struggle. China was completely cut off from the world, and the transport planes of the Allies flew day and night missions for three and one half years over the Himalayas to keep China supplied with the needs of war. This was called the Hump. Gen. Claire Chennault's Flying Tigers crossed the Hump to outgun the Japanese Zeros in some of the most spectacular air battles of World War II. More than one thousand airmen and six hundred transport planes were lost, flying air routes that were so dangerous they were called the "aluminum trail." The B-29 Superfortress flew four-day missions across the Hump to bomb the Japanese mainland. The Hump was the epic of World War II in the air. This is a scholarly and historically accurate description of the development of air power in China, explaining the need for the Himalayan airlift and recording the important dates and events of the war over the Hump against Japan. Otha C. Spencer was a Hump pilot and recounts his own experiences and those of the men who flew the planes through the world's worst weather over the world's highest mountains. Dozens of photographs, most taken by Hump airmen, show the glory and tragedy of this great air war. This book will be an important addition to the libraries of the general reader as well as the military historian.

Art from the Trenches

Author: Alfred Emile Cornebise
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
ISBN: 1623492025
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Since ancient times, wars have inspired artists and their patrons to commemorate victories. When the United States finally entered World War I, American artists and illustrators were commissioned to paint and draw it. These artists’ commissions, however, were as captains for their patron: the US Army. The eight men—William J. Aylward, Walter J. Duncan, Harvey T. Dunn, George M. Harding, Wallace Morgan, Ernest C. Peixotto, J. Andre Smith, and Harry E. Townsent—arrived in France early in 1918 with the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF). Alfred Emile Cornebise presents here the first comprehensive account of the US Army art program in World War I. The AEF artists saw their role as one of preserving images of the entire aspect of American involvement in a way that photography could not.

Texas Aggie Medals of Honor

Author: James R. Woodall
Publisher: Texas A & M University Press
ISBN: 9781623490454
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Every Medal of Honor represents a story of gallantry, courage, and sacrifice. Conceived in the early 1860s, the Medal of Honor, awarded “in the name of the Congress of the United States,” has been presented to more than 3,000 members of the United States armed forces. Seven of the 464 Medals of Honor awarded during World War II went to Texas Aggies. Author James R. Woodall, a 1950 graduate of Texas A&M University and a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, carried out a dedicated search of archives, family collections, and scores of other resources to gather, for the first time, the complete stories of these seven courageous men. Texas Aggie Medals of Honor will undoubtedly be of great interest to former students of Texas A&M University, members of the Corps of Cadets, and others associated with the university and its distinguished tradition of military training and service. But the book will also hold great appeal, in the words of one advance reader, “to those interested in the nation's highest award for valor and the individual stories of ordinary men who did extraordinary things when confronted by life-threatening situations in combat.” “ . . . a fast moving narrative of short, thoughtful portraits of the lives of seven World War II Texas Aggie Medal of Honor recipients. . . has meaning for readers both inside and outside the Texas Aggie Nation, and they will certainly grasp Woodall's admiration for these seven men and appreciate his tenacious research into their histories.”—Southwestern Historical Quarterly

Learning under Fire

Author: James S. Powell
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
ISBN: 1603441719
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Thrown into the heart of war with little training--and even less that would apply to the battles in which they were engaged--the units of the 112th Cavalry Regiment faced not only the Japanese enemy, but a rugged environment for which they were ill-prepared. They also grappled with the continuing challenge of learning new military skills and tactics across ever-shifting battlefields. The 112th Cavalry Regiment entered federal service in November 1940 as war clouds gathered thick on the horizon. By July 1942, the 112th was headed for the Pacific theater. As the war neared its end, the regiment again had to shift its focus quickly from an anticipated offensive on the Japanese home islands to becoming part of the occupation force in the land of a conquered enemy. James S. Powell thoroughly mines primary documents and buttresses his story with pertinent secondary accounts as he explores in detail the ways in which this military unit adapted to the changing demands of its tactical and strategic environment. He demonstrates that this learning was not simply a matter of steadily building on experience and honing relevant skills. It also required discovering shortcomings and promptly taking action to improve—often while in direct contact with the enemy.

Every Citizen a Soldier

Author: William A. Taylor
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
ISBN: 162349169X
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Beginning in 1943, US Army leaders such as John M. Palmer, Walter L. Weible, George C. Marshall, and John J. McCloy mounted a sustained and vigorous campaign to establish a system of universal military training (UMT) in America. Fearful of repeating the rapid demobilization and severe budget cuts that had accompanied peace following World War I, these leaders saw UMT as the basis for their postwar plans. As a result, they promoted UMT extensively and aggressively. In Every Citizen a Soldier: The Campaign for Universal Military Training after World War II, William A. Taylor illustrates how army leaders failed to adapt their strategy to the political realities of the day and underscores the delicate balance in American democracy between civilian and military control of strategy. This story is vital because of the ultimate outcome of the failure of the UMT initiative: the birth of the Cold War draft.

The Ghosts of Iwo Jima

Author: Robert S. Burrell
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
ISBN: 160344517X
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In February 1945, some 80,000 U.S. Marines attacked the heavily defended fortress that the Japanese had constructed on the tiny Pacific island of Iwo Jima. Leaders of the Army Air Forces said they needed the airfields there to provide fighter escort for their B-29 bombers. At the cost of 28,000 American casualties, the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Marine Divisions dutifully conquered this desolate piece of hell with a determination and sacrifice that have become legendary in the annals of war, immortalized in the photograph of six Marines raising the American flag on Mount Suribachi. But the Army Air Forces’ fighter operations on Iwo Jima subsequently proved both unproductive and unnecessary. After the fact, a number of other justifications were generated to rationalize this tragically expensive battle. Ultimately, misleading statistics were presented to contend that the number of lives saved by B-29 emergency landings on Iwo Jima outweighed the cost of its capture. In The Ghosts of Iwo Jima, Captain Robert S. Burrell masterfully reconsiders the costs of taking Iwo Jima and its role in the war effort. His thought-provoking analysis also highlights the greater contribution of Iwo Jima’s valiant dead: They inspired a reverence for the Marine Corps that proved critical to its institutional survival and its embodiment of American national spirit. From the 7th War Loan Campaign of 1945 through the flag-raising at Ground Zero in 2001, the immortal image of Iwo Jima has become a symbol of American patriotism itself. Burrell’s searching account of this fabled island conflict will advance our understanding of World War II and its continuing legacy for the twenty-first century. At last, the battle’s ghosts may unveil its ultimate, and most crucial, lessons.