E-BOOK: Volume I: Voices of the Pacific Theater—The Things Our Fathers Saw [2015]

E-BOOK: Volume I: Voices of the Pacific Theater—The Things Our Fathers Saw [2015]

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Volume 1 of The Things Our Fathers Saw® series begins in an upstate NY community, which LOOK Magazine designated as Hometown, USA for a 6-issue patriotic spread in 1944, a microcosm of every other small-town community in the country.

It starts with my quest for a young sailor's body, killed at Pearl Harbor, and follows our young men and women across the Pacific.

Over thirty survivors who fought from Pearl Harbor to the surrender at Tokyo Bay give firsthand accounts of combat and brotherhood, of captivity and redemption, and the aftermath of a war that left no American community unscathed. Includes maps, photos, and never-before-seen portraits. Here are the real stories that LOOK Magazine could not tell.

292 PAGES.

From the book:

The telephone rings on the hospital floor, and they tell you it is your mother, the phone call you have been dreading. You’ve lost part of your face to a Japanese sniper on Okinawa, and after many surgeries, the doctor has finally told you that at 19, you will never see again. The pain and shock is one thing. But now you have to tell her, from 5000 miles away.


— ‘So I had a hard two months, I guess. I kept mostly to myself. I wouldn't talk to people. I tried to figure out what the hell I was going to do when I got home. How was I going to tell my mother this? You know what I mean?’ ~Jimmy Butterfield, WWII Marine veteran


— ‘I was talking to a shipmate of mine waiting for the motor launch, and all at once I saw a plane go over our ship. I did not know what it was, but the fellow with me said, 'That's a Jap plane, Jesus!' It went down and dropped a torpedo. Then I saw the Utah turn over.’ ~Barney Ross, U.S. Navy seaman, Pearl Harbor


— ‘Rage is instantaneous. He's looking at me from a crawling position. I didn't shoot him; I went and kicked him in the head. Rage does funny things. After I kicked him, I shot and killed him.’ ~Thomas Jones, Marine veteran, Battle of Guadalcanal




These are the stories that the magazine could not tell to the American public.


— ‘I remember it rained like hell that night, and the water was running down the slope into our foxholes. I had to use my helmet to keep bailing out, you know. Lt. Gower called us together. He said, 'I think we're getting hit with a banzai. We're going to have to pull back. 'Holy God, there was howling and screaming! They had naked women, with spears, stark naked!’ ~Nick Grinaldo, U.S. Army veteran, Saipan




By the end of 2020, fewer than 300,000 WW II veterans will still be with us, out of the over 16 million who put on a uniform. But why is it that today, nobody seems to know these stories? Maybe our veterans did not volunteer; maybe we were too busy with our own lives to ask. But they opened up to the younger generation, when a history teacher told their grandchildren to ask.


— ‘I hope you'll never have to tell a story like this, when you get to be 87. I hope you'll never have to do it.' ~Ralph Leinoff, Marine veteran Iwo Jima, to his teenage interviewer




This book brings you the previously untold firsthand accounts of combat and brotherhood, of captivity and redemption, and the aftermath of a war that left no American community unscathed.


— ‘After 3½ years of starvation and brutal treatment, that beautiful symbol of freedom once more flies over our head! Our POW camp tailor worked all night and finished our first American flag! The blue came from a GI barracks bag, red from a Jap comforter and the white from an Australian bed sheet. When I came out of the barracks and saw those beautiful colors for the first time, I felt like crying!’~Joe Minder, U.S. Army POW, Japan,1945