Big Mother 40: "A great read on Navy helicopter rescue operations in the Vietnam era. A very well-written, exciting, fast moving book about the life of two Navy lieutenants. A Navy Helicopter pilot and a Navy Seal and their teams performing their duties in extremely hazardous conditions. Although fiction, Marc's knowledge of Navy Helicopter and Navy SEAl operations and the planning it takes to complete these types of missions is evident throughout the book. His understanding of the overall concept of joint and naval operations and the specifics of both Special Forces and helicopter missions during the Vietnam era makes this a very believable scenario. I personally know that Marc lived the life of a Navy rescue helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War."
Ken L. Fisher Rear Admiral USN (retired) Naval Aviator and fighter pilot

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1611792312

The U.S. Navy entered the Vietnam War prepared to fight either a conventional, or God forbid, a nuclear war with the Soviet Union. In the mid-sixties, as the Vietnam war escalated, the U.S. found itself without significant aviation capability to support special operations or combat search and rescue (CSAR). To support SEAL operations in the Mekong Delta, the Navy created a Helicopter Combat Attack Squadron that was eventually split into four squadrons tasked with combat search and rescue and special operations missions. Its call sign was the Sea Devils, but over time, the matte-black Sea King helicopters became known as the "Big Mothers." BIG MOTHER 4O is about the life of a Navy helicopter pilot, a Navy Seal, and their teams performing under extremely hazardous combat conditions and includes the women they loved.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Liebman, Marc

Code Word: Paternity

Title: Code Word: Paternity
Author: Doug Norton
Genre: Thriller/Mystery
Reviewer: Dick Geschke

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1457515555

The Armageddon genie--nuclear terrorism--is out of the bottle, freed by bin-Laden's heedless avengers and "a pissant dictator with Ray-Bans and a fondness for movies," as America's president puts it privately a few hours before announcing a decision that will mark him forever as either a hero or a mass murderer.

In a twenty-first century Pearl Harbor, nuclear terrorism takes its first city--Las Vegas--and stalks Baltimore. The terrorists have no return address--but the nuke they used does. A scientific trail scented by an ultra-secret U.S. program hidden for years behind the code word "Paternity" points toward the nation that made the bomb.

But there's no smoking gun. Struggling to lead a divided, panicked America, wring support from uncertain allies, and blunt the opportunism of rivals, the president faces an ethical dilemma threatening his marriage, his presidency, and his very soul. As commander-in-chief, controlling nearly unfathomable power to retaliate, he can put the Armageddon genie back in the bottle--but at what cost and to whom? Ambition, conscience, and duty collide as heads of state, politicians, diplomats, and generals maneuver with the lives of millions at stake.


Author(s) Mentioned: 
Norton, Doug

In Arms and Idleness

Title: In Arms and Idleness
Author: Emmett E. Slake
Genre: Historical Fiction
Reviewer: Terry Shoptaugh

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): B009G2KL3E

One June day at the mid-point of the twentieth century, the uneasy peace that had settled over the "Land of the Morning Calm" was shattered by an act of aggression. Not far away, on the "Islands of the Rising Sun," the first tremors of conflict were felt. In reaction to the vague threat, an Army of occupation from a previous war was ordered into action, forever altering the lives of those called upon to respond. This novel is a gripping account of the early stages of the Korean War, candidly presented without pretense or heroic embellishment. Also related in stark detail are the sordid aspects of garrison duty in Japan, graphically expressed with little sentimentality. The story features a distinctive cast of military and civilian characters, whose domain extends from the streets of Yokohama, to the halls of the Dai Ichi Building, to the treacherous landscape of Korea. In essence the novel provides a unique fictional journey that traces the lives of two young American soldiers who from a common starting point diverge toward their separate tragic fates—one heroic and the other treasonous. This unique rendering of history, framed in fictional form, will arouse the consciousness of the unacquainted and stir the memories of those who were once touched by that all but forgotten time and place.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Slake, Emmett E.

Sound of Caissons, The

Title: The Sound of Caissons
Author: Suzanne Hadfield Semsch
Genre: Historical Fiction
Reviewer: Cathryn J. Prince

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1463510748

In The Sound of Caissons, Julia Crockett's relentless quest to excel is revealed as the story of five generations of an Army family unfolds through the first three-quarters of 20th century America. At age six Julia imagines growing up to be a general, like Fort Sill's post commander. When she shares this with her beloved grandfather, a retired major, he informs her girls can't be soldiers. Years later, her father forbids her joining the WAAC at the outset of WWII, and she decides the only way to achieve the position and power she desires is to marry an ambitious lieutenant and ride his coattails. But shortly after a hasty marriage to Lt. Robert Wells, she meets Lt. David Morgan, and realizes she's made a dreadful mistake. With a world in turbulence, it's six years before Julia and David are free to marry. Although she loves him deeply, Julia's insatiable yearning for status becomes apparent as she attempts to guide David's career. A man with his own objectives, however, David does not always fall in with her plans. At the same time, Julia continually urges their four children to follow in the footsteps of their military ancestors. Through triumph, tragedy, and infidelity, the Morgan family serves from the U.S. to Tehran, to Berlin, and back again. The children become adults, and the men weather America's conflicts in Korea and Vietnam. Eventually David's patience with Julia's singular determination to see him with stars on his epaulets and their sons as West Point cadets, wears thin. Is the extraordinary love Julia and David share for each other strong enough to survive their conflicting visions? Filled with passion and engaging characters, this thought provoking family saga will keep you turning pages. It is not merely a love story.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Semsch, Suzanne Hadfield

SUBIC: A Sailor's Memoir: Based on the Story of Bobby Earl Perkins

Title: SUBIC: A Sailor's Memoir: Based on the Story of Bobby Earl Perkins
Author: Barbara Elleng Brown
Genre: Memoir
Reviewer: Jim Greenwald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1479134287

In this riveting memoir, Bobby Earl Perkins recollects the constitutional issue of racial discrimination and how his Christian faith ushers him amid the seemingly insurmountable struggles to establish his pride and dignity while stationed in Subic Bay Naval Base, Philippines. This sailor's account somehow mirrors the civil rights movements happening back in the U.S. soil in 1960s and provides a glimpse of how a group of servicemen, in a risk-taking effort, upholds the sense of justice and equality that every American is entitled of--even aboard a foreign land. Subic is a story that is not so ordinary; however, its significance is not alien to many.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Elleng Brown, Barbara