They Were Ready: The 164th Infantry by Terry Shoptaugh

 Click on cover image to purchase a copy

Click on cover image to purchase a copy

MWSA Review

Terry L. Shoptaugh's narrative of the 164th Infantry history designed for veterans and history scholars. The author used unit records, diaries, and interviews involving more than seventy veterans, in addition to including 50 photographs and 10 maps brings this book to life for the readers. The author also specified 14pt type for the text so that those he interviewed, could read the stories more easily.  This is the story of the 164th Infantry, a North Dakota National Guard regiment, in the words of over seventy of the unit's veterans who were sent to Guadalcanal in 1942, during the darkest days of America's Pacific War. 
 
The 164th fought in five campaigns across the Pacific. Its members were preparing to invade Japan when the enemy capitulated in 1945. The 164th spent more than 800 days in combat and received more decorations than any other Army unit.
 
Terry L. Shoptaugh met his goal of writing the 164th history. He describes the heroics and sheer determination of the members of the 64th to defeat the enemy. With over 60 pages of endnotes, the author detailed his interviews, located documents, and improved his contacts and then wrote the story. 
 
Terry L. Shoptaugh is a professor of History, and University Archivist at Minnesota State University Moorhead.

Reviewed by: Bob Ruerhdanz (2010)


Author's Synopsis

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.