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.

War on the Rivers A Swift Boat Sailor's Chronicle of the Battle for the Mekong Delta

Title: War on the Rivers A Swift Boat Sailor's Chronicle of the Battle for the Mekong Delta
Author: Weymouth Symmes
Genre: Military, Navy
Reviewer: Bill McDonald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1575101092

This book is a memoir of a four year enlistment in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War, from service aboard the USS Ticonderoga as she engaged in the air war over North Vietnam, to service aboard U.S. Navy Swift boats in the Mekong Delta. Although the focus of the book is on the war on the rivers, the book also considers the consequences for the warrior upon the return home.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Symmes, Weymouth

Immediate Response

Title: Immediate Response
Author: Mark Hammond
Genre: Military, Marines
Reviewer: Dave Brown

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0141039043

2006 in Helmand saw British forces engaged in the most ferocious fighting since the Korean War. For much of the time they were hanging on by their fingertips, holed up in remote platoon houses, outnumbered, facing relentless assault and nearly overwhelmed. Only the Chinooks kept them in the game. But that meant their crews putting down in hot LZs, exposing their aircraft to withering attack from an enemy for whom downing one of the big helos would be the ultimate prize. They had been lucky. So far. Then they launched their biggest operation yet: a complicated, high-risk airborne assault that launched a fleet of heavily armed helicopters into the Afghan Heart of Darkness. And then a report came over the net that one of the Chinooks was down...In "Immediate Response", Major Mark Hammond, a Royal Marine flying with the RAF, tells the gripping inside story of the Chinook squadrons' war for the first time. It's a visceral, unputdownable combination of hi-tech and old-fashioned grit; an action-packed story shot through with a mix of aviation fuel and cordite...

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Hammond, Mark

Road to Iwo Jima, The

Title: The Road to Iwo Jima
Author: Tom McGraham
Genre: Military, Marines
Reviewer: Joyce Gilmour

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 098279231X

Tom McGraham joined the Marines the day after Pearl Harbor. Throughout the next few years, he served in the Caribbean, but after he participates in the capture of a German Submarine crew, he is reassigned to the 4th Division in Hawaii. With his new buddies, he trains for some unknown but obviously big assault to come. It's not until he is on the ship, that he learns they are headed for Iwo Jima. This book is the story of that fateful event in his life -- and the years afterward.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
McGraham, Tom

And My Mother Danced with Chesty Puller

Title: And My Mother Danced with Chesty Puller
Author: Bruce Hoffman
Genre: Military, Marine
Reviewer: Hodge Wood

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): ISBN / EAN

Bruce Hoffman spent four years in the United States Marine Corps from 1964 to 1968. Two of those years were in Vietnam and Okinawa. This is a story about his adventures from Parris Island, serving in the rear with the beer, to flying as an Aerial Gunner in UH-1E Huey Helicopters. These four years left a lasting impression, some good some bad. It is a story worth telling.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Hoffman, Bruce

Texas Gun Club, The

Title: The Texas Gun Club
Author: Mark Bowlin
Genre: Military, Army
Reviewer: Lee Boyland

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1933651555

The Texas Gun Club is the story of two cousins' journey from south Texas to wartime Italy in 1943. Perkin Berger and Sam Taft are officers in Able Company, 141st Infantry Regiment of the 36th Division, Texas National Guard. Although the cousins are closer than most brothers, they have differing views on the war and their role in it. Perkin is excited to test himself in combat; Sam just wants to survive the war and return to Texas.
D-Day was a shambles, and then the battle went from bad to worse. While Perkin is dispatched on a reconnaissance mission down the Italian peninsula, Sam is left to shore up crumbling defenses and prevent Salerno from becoming another Dunkirk.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Bowlin, Mark