I have read/viewed/listened to many books to try to convey on the conflict monuments going into the Veterans Memorial Park in Macedonia, OH what veterans endured in each of the wars that America participated in since the American Revolution.
Following is a list of the ones that have stuck in my mind.
They are phenomenal stories attesting to the strength and endurance of ordinary men.
Here are the ones that really grabbed me:
The book Hill 488 is about 1st Plt., C Co., 1st Recon. In June 1966, the Marine patrol of 18 men became the most highly decorated small unit in the annals of U.S. combat history. The recon patrol was behind enemy lines in Vietnam and over a period of 12 hours held off a battalion of over 200 PAVN before being rescued. Six men died. Eight bullets left between them when rescued. One Medal of Honor, four Navy Crosses (2 posthumous) and 13 Silver Stars (4 posthumous).
Masters of the Air:
America’s Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany
The average age of a bomber crew member was 22. Others thought that they had it ‘easy’. Between the ack-ack, the ME-109s, lack of oxygen, and freezing cold each crew member had an average chance of 1 in 4 of making it to 12 to 14 missions. A tail gunner had a life expediency of four missions—- that’s two weeks.
The Forgotten 500: The Untold Story of the Men
Who Risked All for the Greatest Rescue Mission of World War II
The rescue of more than 500 airmen trapped behind enemy lines in Yugoslavia. They were saved twelve at a time from a dirt field 30 miles from a German airfield
The Forgotten Voices of Burma: The Second World War’s Forgotten Conflict
The war in Burma was the largest land campaign fought by the Western Allies against the Japanese. For the British, it was the longest of any fought in the war. It is told in the words of the British and Indian Regiments, Japanese soldiers, Chindits, and the British wives that were trapped. You find yourself asking yourself “could I have survived”?
How American Business Built the Arsenal of Democracy that Won World War II
When I purchased this book for a trip I thought that it was going to be a dry read. The author grabbed me from the first page and held me from there. In school I learned that when the Japanese bombed us we just went to war fully equipped. Not So. The country was so under-armed that Good Humor Ice Cream trucks were used as ‘tanks’ in war games. Those that saw what was happening in Europe and Japan and what could come began two years before that day pushed and prodded not only FDR but America itself to gear up for war. American workers would eventually produce two-thirds of all Allied military equipment used in World War II. Sounds dry doesn’t it – it is anything but.
If you are interested in the Vietnam War Brutal Battles of Vietnam: America’s Deadliest Days 1965-1972 is a must have in your library. It is published by the VFW and can be purchased at vfwstore.org/products – product code 04767 – $29.95 + $9 S&H.
If you find reading boring, the libraries or audible.com have books to download for listening. There are some great narrators that give life to the books. The book “A World Undone: The Story of the Great War 1914 to 1918” was best as an audio as I didn’t have to try and pronounce all of the European names. And if you have access to YouTube, Netflix or Amazon, there are many excellent videos.