Greater Clarks Hill Regional Library


No Ordinary Soldier: My Father's Two Wars (2016)

ISBN: 978-0692779972

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Liz Gilmore Williams

A young man from a gritty Pennsylvania mill town enlists in the Army Air Corps and heads to Hawaii, the "Paradise of the Pacific". There he and his buddies defend Oahu while it explodes and burns in the bombing of Pearl Harbor. As the war surges, his bomber squadron ships out to primitive Pacific outposts. Amid air raids, stifling heat, and outbreaks of tropical disease, he clings to sanity through the letters he and his wife shared, letters found years later saved in the attic. If you had a parent who served in World War II, I'll bet you know little about his or her service. Members of the "Greatest Generation" didn't talk about the war. The author's father died when she was 18 so she didn't know him really well until reading those letters between her father and mother. That research unearthed a family secret that explained her dad's volatile behavior after returning home. This book is part creative nonfiction, history, and memoir, and the author hope's you enjoy it and that it will encourage you to discover your own parent's wartime experience.