Monday, February 21, 2011

America's Unsung War Heroes

From the WSJ comes Robert Coram on [5] books about little-known but vital contributors to the American military, including a Marine, an entrepreneur, a P.O.W. in Vietnam and the Polish officer who designed the cannon firing positions at Saratoga.

FIVEBESTAndrew Jackson Higgins and the Boats That Won World War II by Jerry E. Strahan (1994): Andrew Jackson Higgins was a New Orleans boat builder whose temper was as fiery as his patriotism. His drop-bow landing craft led the way in every major campaign of World War II—the boats were the ones that soldiers poured from on D-Day. …

LtGen Victor H. Krulak (born 1913), U.S. Marin...First to Fight by Victor H. Krulak (1984): After World War II, a small group of Marine officers risked their careers in another fight: to stop the contemplated demise of the Marine Corps as a military branch of service. The de facto leader of the group, which came to be known as the Chowder Society, was Lt. Col. Victor "Brute" Krulak, who didn't back down from challenging President Truman, Gens. George Marshall and Dwight Eisenhower, or powerful members of Congress…..

imageA P.O.W.'s Story by Larry Guarino (1990): As a senior prisoner of war in Vietnam, Air Force officer Larry Guarino used the tap code in his cell to send out morale-strengthening messages to subordinates… Guarino reports, his only thought was: "Good Lord, I didn't know I could do tricks like this." During 92 months of captivity he never lost faith or the will to endure.

Philip John Schuyler (1733 - 1804), general in...The Turning Point of the Revolution
by Hoffman Nickerson (1928): In two magisterial volumes, Hoffman Nickerson focuses on British Gen. John Burgoyne's 1777 campaign in New York, but the hero who emerges is an American, Gen. Philip Schuyler… Commanding the strategically crucial Northern Department—the future state of New York—Schuyler showed "unflinching moral courage" even during the war's dark early days, and "his refusal to despair" was "the main stay of the resistance."

Cover of
The Peasant Prince
by Alex Storozynski (2009): Few foreign volunteers in American fights have been as consequential as Thaddeus Kosciuszko was during the Revolutionary War. The Polish officer designed the cannon firing positions at Saratoga and the fort at West Point….