Book Reviews

Reviews of books by MWSA members. Reviews appear in reverse chronological order, with the most recent review posted appearing first.
Note: Some older reviews are being reposted to this site and those will appear out of order.

They Were Ready -- The 164th Infantry in the Pacific War, 1942-1945

Title: They Were Ready -- The 164th Infantry in the Pacific War, 1942-1945
Author: Terry Shoptaugh
Genre: Military, Army
Reviewer: Bob Ruerhdanz

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): B004OB4M7I

A narrative history of the 164th Infantry Regiment's experiences in the Pacific War, from its activation and training to its service at Guadalcanal, Bougainville and the Philippines. The 164th (North Dakota National Guard) reinforced the 1st Marine Division on Guadalcanal in October 1942 and subsequently served in some 600 days in combat in the Pacific. The book is based on unit records, correspondence and diaries, and interviews with over fifty of the veterans.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Shoptaugh, Terry

Of War and Weddings

Title: Of War and Weddings
Author: Jerry Yellin
Genre: Military, Air Force
Reviewer: Mary Sullivan

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1421890755

A memoir. World War 2 service as a fighter pilot over Japan, raised during the depression, The wedding of his youngest son to a Japanese woman in Japan, the daughter of an Imperial Japanese air force veteran. The reconciliation between the two fathers.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Yellin, Jerry

If You Fly...Don't Crash

Title: If You Fly...Don't Crash!
Author: Charles Bailey
Genre: Military, Air Force
Reviewer: Eliot Parker

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1441541624

The author piloted Air Force heavy jets for over two decades, in peacetime and wartime. If You Fly...Don't Crash! (Confessions of a White-knuckle Pilot) highlights some of the good, the bad, and the simply silly aspects of aviation experienced during his thousands of hours airborne.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Bailey, Charles

Battlefields And Blessings Iraq/Afghanistan( Stories of Faith and Courage

Title: Battlefields And Blessings Iraq/Afghanistan( Stories of Faith and Courage
Author: Jocelyn Green, Jane Hampton Cook, John Croushorn
Genre: Non-Fiction, Inspirational
Reviewer: Bill McDonald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0899570410

Stories of Faith and Courage from the War in Iraq & Afghanistan, part of the Battlefields & Blessings series, is a 365-day collection of inspiring stories of courage perseverance and faith-based on firsthand accounts of more than seventy who have been connected to or involved in the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Through never-before-told stories, readers will uncover the personal challenges of the battlefield. You'll hear about the experiences and perspectives of deployed soldiers; chaplains; military wives, widows, parents and siblings; organizers of humanitarian efforts; veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder; missionaries to the Middle East and more. Each story is accompanied by a Scripture verse and a brief prayer.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Green, Jocelyn
Cook, Jane Hampton
Croushorn, John

Tear in the Desert

Title: Tear in the Desert
Author: Ron Camarda
Genre: Non-Fiction, Inspirational
Reviewer: Hodge Wood

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0615195784

Tear in the Desert is a journey into the Heart of the Iraq War with Navy Chaplain Father Ron Moses Camarda, a Roman Catholic Priest. Father Ron was recalled in July of 2004 to serve with the Marines in Bravo Surgical of 1st FSSG. He reluctantly went and received over 1500 casualties and 81 deaths in which at least 12 died as he prayed with them. Col Mike Shupp, Commanding Officer of Regimental Combat Team-1, Fallujah 2004-2005 writes an afterward, "Father Ron Camarda is one of those quiet heroes, who made a difference in so many ways. Through his enthusiasm and compassion, he strengthened and developed our moral courage to face the horrors of war. When injured physically or emotionally, his strength and commitment held us up to face each day with dignity and courage. I will never forget him or his service to the Regiment. God is Good, All the Time! Semper Fi!"
The book also begins to follow how Chaplain Camarda met with the widows, parents and friends of our fallen heroes. He concludes with the story of how he met with the widow of a Marine who died at the exact hour that she gave birth.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Camarda, Ron