America in WWII

Articles from Vol. 12, No. 3, October-November

A Warrior Reflects on War
I'M NOW 94 AND ON THE RAPID DOWNWARD ARC OF MY LIFE. Over the decades, I've occasionally wondered why I survived and so many others died. Some people might credit God. Others might suggest serendipity or an alert guardian angel perched on my shoulder....
Battling Back from the Abyss
MORNING CAME AND I WAS STILL in a minor morphine daze, but I saw Marine reinforcements wading waist-deep through the shallow bay as if in slow motion. Jeez, but they were easy targets for eager Japanese gunners, and dozens upon dozens died. Some were...
Bloody Tarawa
WHAT A 10-KARAT HELLHOLE Guadalcanal turned out to be, with its oppressive climate. The fetid smell of decaying jungle growth was ever present. Diseases such as dysentery, jungle rot, and malaria weakened us, along with inadequate nutrition. Present...
Defying the Nazis: The Sharps' War
Defying the Nazis: The Sharps' War Directed by Ken Burns and Artemis Joukowsky, written by David Blitstein, Artemis Joukowsky, and Matthew Justus, with the voices of Tom Hanks and Marina Goldman, 90 minutes, black and white and color, not rated....
Goodman's Soft-Voiced Songstress
BENNY GOODMAN had just lost vocalist Helen Forrest. Three years was long enough to work with any band, Forrest said. And this was Goodman, a meticulous director known to get testy when things didn't go his way. He was especially hard on singers. Forrest...
One Marine's Take from War
NICK CARIELLO IS USED TO HAVING THE SHRAPNEL in his legs get infected, if one can ever get used to such a thing. Now 93 years old, he's had bits of cast iron inside him for more than 70 years since a grenade found him on Tarawa. Every once in a while...
Pacific Sailor from Landlocked Fort Wayne
THREE RIVERS converge in Fort Wayne, Indiana: the St. Joseph, the Maumee, and the St. Mary's. But to a mariner, Fort Wayne is the very definition of "inland." The only sizeable body of water, Lake Erie, lies a solid 110 miles away to the northeast....
Riot at the Fort
There were bricks and clubs, broken windows and bloodied bodies. By the time Italian POWs and African American GIs cooled down, one man was dead. And it happend on US soil, at Seattle's Fort Lawton. Monday, August 14, 1944, was winding to a close...
'Safe' in the Quartermaster Corps
FRED HENRY ZIEBER KNEW EARLY ON that war was coming. Working in the Philippines, he'd heard about Japanese aggression in East Asia. In 1934, then living in Hawaii, he enlisted in the US Army Reserve. The 30-year-old brand-new father joined the Quartermaster...
Screening Movies in Berlin
I WAS A FILM PROJECTIONIST in the army. While stationed in Berlin, Germany, [during the post-WWII occupation,] I volunteered to go to film projectionist school for a week on the base. The school introduced us to several overhead projectors like we...
The Ghost of a Cruel Prison
THE SMOKE hadn't even cleared at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese moved on to the Philippine Islands. Nine hours after their raid over Hawaii, they launched an invasion that soon outnumbered and overwhelmed American and Filipino defenders under the command...
The Making of a Marine
Swept up by patriotic fever after Pearl Harbor, a Wisconsin boy joins the marines--and learns the meaning of Semper Fidelis on some of the Pacific's most savage battlegrounds. IT WAS WITH GREAT ANTICIPATION that I sprang up the snowy steps of a...
The Other Cowardly Lion
MAYBE NO ONE at comic book publisher William H. Wise and Company made it to the movie theater when The Wizard of Oz came out in 1939. So maybe it was just a coincidence when Leo the Cryin' Lion appeared a few years after Bert Lahr brought the walking,...
Under Fire on Tulagi and Guadalcanal
BOREDOM BEGAN TO SET in after several weeks of sailing. The officers kept us busy cleaning our weapons and lecturing us on Japanese military tactics as well as Marine philosophy. Some of the old salts regaled us with tales of Marine service in various...
What Is Your Problem, Madam?
IT WAS 10 P.M. on December 7, 1941. The radio was on in just about every house in America that night, on the date which will live in infamy. Many were tuned to NBC. "In the event that there are any news bulletins concerning the national emergency during...
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