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.

Flight Surgeon: Diary of Medical Detachment, 1943-1944

Title: Flight Surgeon: Diary of Medical Detachment, 1943-1944
Author:Ernest Gaillard, Jr.
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Reviewer: Weymouth Symmes

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1410746712

The text consists of a World War II war narrative from the perspective of the flight surgeon. The setting is in the European Theatre of Operations on a Fortress base in East Anglia. This deals primarily with an ancillary ground command and with only testimonial reference to any aerial combat. It deals with more in the way of the pertinent day-to-day logistics and emotional anxieties and ordeals of the supportive, ground-based non-combatants when dealing with returning crews. This is a whole other story and rarely, if ever, addressed.

The text comprises a foreword, additional readers' notes, the body of the text, numerous photos and images, secret reports and endnotes, and a contemporary, explanatory glossary of period terms and acronyms.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Gaillard, Jr., Ernest

Open Source

Title: Open Source
Author: Matthew M. Frick
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Reviewer: Weymouth Symmes

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1453719989

- In the dead of night, on the dark waters of the Baltic Sea, a cargo ship is hijacked.
- In the Atlantic Ocean, a small flotilla of Russian warships is dispatched to re-take her.
- In a quiet tavern in Savannah, Georgia, an off-work vending route driver watches a thirty-second news report of the incidents.

"What if...?" That was what Casey Shenk thought when he heard about the hijacking of the MV Baltic Venture. A simple diversionary blog posting that infers an illegal arms sale is involved comes too close to the truth for some, who would rather the speculation stop there.

When anonymous threats turn deadly, Casey looks to the only other person who believes his theory; Susan Williams, an analyst for the private geopolitical consulting firm Intelligence Watch Group. With Susan's help, Casey digs deeper and discovers something much bigger that involves elements at the highest levels of governments on three continents.

Casey and Susan soon find themselves in the crosshairs and at the center of a complicated plot to shape world politics that will affect the balance of power in the Middle East and change the world forever.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Frick, Matthew M.

The B-45 Tornado: An Operational History of the First American Jet Bomber

Title: The B-45 Tornado: An Operational History of the First American Jet Bomber
Author:John C. Fredriksen
Genre: Non-Fiction, History
Reviewer: David Tschantz

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0786442786

The North American B-45 Tornado was America's first jet bomber and was used in a number of vital missions for nearly a decade. Drawing from declassified secret documents, this history explains the bomber's use in strategic reconnaissance and atomic-weapon strike missions from its 1944 development to its role in the Cold War. The book includes numerous photographs and more than 100 interviews with pilots, navigators, and ground personnel.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Fredriksen, John C.

Cornfield Soldiers - Utah Beach to the Elbe River

Title: Cornfield Soldiers - Utah Beach to the Elbe River
Author: Paul Michael Frazee
Genre: Fiction, Historical
Reviewer: Pat Avery

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1882824326

Cornfield Soldiers tells the story of how 500 American fighting men fought their way from Utah Beach to the Elbe River during the Normandy Campaign of WWII. These engineers would build hundreds of bridges under fire, lay thousands of mines, help liberated Aachen, fight at the Bridge of Remagen, discover the Nazi baby factories in the Harz Mountains, survive the onslaught in the Ardennes and liberate the Dora-Mittlebau concentration camp shortly before the final destruction of the Third Reich.

Continuing the story from "Summer Storm - Prelude to Pearl Harbor," (Frazee's second novel), Cornfield Soldiers is an in-depth examination of the training received by the men who answered FDR's call to arms on 8 December 1941 and the battles they fought in North Africa and Normandy. It details both their combat and their engineering accomplishments - which eventually lead to them being one of the most-highly decorated combat engineer units in the European campaign.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Frazee, Paul Michael

Cleared to Land: Memoirs of an Army Air Traffic Controller Vietnam--Mar 68-Sep 71

Title: Cleared to Land: Memoirs of an Army Air Traffic Controller Vietnam--Mar 68-Sep 71
Author: Jeffrey K. Fozard
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Reviewer: Rob Ballister

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1438971222

Memoirs of my three years as an air traffic controller in Vietnam. I worked in Soc rang, Can Tho, Bear Cat, Phu Hiep and Phu Bai. Air traffic at the most was over 2000 operations a day in Can Tho. We had one PSP runway of 3000' and two swamps for approaches. On my days off, I flew as a door gunner. I have crewmember time on UH-1D Slicks, UH-1C Gunships, CH-47 Chinooks. O-1 Bird Dogs as an Observer, three missions as a crewmember on the AC-47 Spooky kicking flares out the cargo door. I have a few night missions on Navy PBRs out of Binh Thuy. I have flown around the tip of the Delta up to as far North as Quang Tri and Dong Ha.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Fozard, Jeffrey K.

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