The Brereton Diaries: The War in the Air in the Pacific, Middle East and Europe, 3 October 1941-8 May 1945

The Brereton Diaries: The War in the Air in the Pacific, Middle East and Europe, 3 October 1941-8 May 1945

The Brereton Diaries: The War in the Air in the Pacific, Middle East and Europe, 3 October 1941-8 May 1945

The Brereton Diaries: The War in the Air in the Pacific, Middle East and Europe, 3 October 1941-8 May 1945

Excerpt

This book is a record of events of World War II as I saw them. No attempt was made to write a history of the war.

I was fortunate in serving in most Theaters of Operations and seeing action in many of the important campaigns of the war. Even before war broke out, I realized that an accurate on-the-spot account of what happened and my impressions at the time would have considerable historical value and interest for me. After World War I, I resolved that if we were ever to have another conflict, I would try to keep a daily account of events as they happened in my own sphere. I am sure that others have tried, like myself, to reconstruct at some later date what happened and found that memory is not only short but tricky.

So far as possible, this journal was written in the field. Many of the notes and data made in the Philippines were lost to enemy action or destroyed in the interests of security. However, sufficient records were available, and events were so fresh in my memory and to my staff that I believe the Philippines story is as accurate as it can be. Fortunately, this phase and the Java campaign were completed prior to our evacuation of Java, as it was impossible to take with me anything but my own compiled notes. I was fortunate, too, in having the assistance of members of my Far Eastern Air Force staff, including Frank Brady, Gene Eubank, Charlie Caldwell, Emmett O'Donnell, Reggie Vance, and my aide, Norman Lewellyn.

I did not think seriously of publication until after I arrived in the Middle East. Two persons influenced me--Frank Gervasi, war correspondent of Collier's, and Captain George Kirksey, a former newspaperman who joined the Ninth Air . . .

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