Here, in their own words, are the true stories of these aquatic commandos, whose daring exploits and bravery would pave the way for thousands of American fighting men around the globe -- and whose recolitionary training and fighting methods would evolve into the modern specail forces known as the Navy SEALs.
The Heroes of this book are the veterans and their families whose stories span 140+ years in protecting our country. Their stories are history, filled with the mundane events of service life, the fear of combat, the horror that front line infantrymen faced, the tension that air crews and pilots faced, the vastness of the Pacific that confronted sailors, the strain on the mind and bodies of Prisoners of War, and humor viewed through the eyes of the veterans.
As you read their stories listen to the voices of these veterans and picture in your mind an aging color guard from a local veteran’s post; visualize them marching into the mist, to the sound of distant drums and the muted bugle’s call, along with the men and women who have gone before.
There are no large marble memorials to these individual veterans; their monument is a free United States. I am left with one thought about the experience of speaking with these people; God bless the United States of America and all who serve her.
This book, written by the commander of one of the subchasers, defines their place in naval history and gives readers a taste of life aboard the wooden warships. Ringing with authenticity, it describes the cramped quarters and unforgiving seas as well as the tenacious courage and close bonds formed by the men as they sought out the enemy and confronted nature. Long overshadowed by the larger, faster warships and more glamorous PT boats of World War II, subchasers, until now, have been mostly forgotten. This work restores the plucky little ships to their hard-earned status as significant members of the fleet.
A SLOW MOVING TARGET, The LSTs Of World War II,is a historical novel that contains many authentic stories about the turmoil and hardships that the Amphibious Fleet endured during beach invasions in World War II. To enhance the military adversities, the story revolves around the personal lives of five young fictitious sailors who, in 1942, enlisted in the U.S. Navy to defend their country against the Axis.
They come from different parts of America and meet in the same boot-camp at Bainbridge, Maryland. As a result of the difficulties they encounter in boot-camp and in the war they become life-long buddies. After boot-camp was completed they were transferred to the dreaded and perilous Amphibious fleet of LSTs (Landing Ship Tank), because the LST is truly a A Slow Moving Target having the reputation of a brief life during an invasion.
In this historical novel each principle character in the book presents his own unique and unusual experiences. The main character of the novel is John Maroni, who attempts to keep the group together and to preserve their friendship throughout the war. They call themselves The Five Phibies.
The Five Phibies are later split-up and are transferred to different LSTs which compelled them to fight in separate campaigns in both the Pacific and Atlantic theaters. They continued to communicate with one another via one central location in the States. They send their mail to John Maroni's kid sister, Angela, in Queens, New York, who rewrites the letters by relating their war experiences, their health, and anything new about their personal lives, but deliberately leaving out any unpleasant ordeals, then sending the letters on to the Phibies.
Phibie No. 1 is John Maroni who was born in Queens, New York. Phibie No. 2 is Dan Bletcher born in Dover, New Jersey. Phibie No. 3 is Andre Robbier born in Chicago, Illinois. Phibie No. 4 is Rich Hienman born in Dallas, Texas. Phibie No. 5 is Bob Olsen born in Boston, Massachusetts.
Understandably, most historical World War II novels are written around large fighting vessels such as aircraft carriers, battle ships, cruisers, destroyers, and submarines. Very little is written about the LST and their amphibious operations on beach landings of unloading troops and cargo because it isn't a glamorized fighting ship. The book provides many authentic LST battles which are depicted through the fictional characters presented in this novel. The author tried to encompass the five Phibies in several authentic battles even though their characters and experiences were created by his own imagination.
The LST played a very important role in the military operations in the islands in the Pacific, and during the invasions of France, Italy, and Africa. Without the LST and its ramp, the delivery of cargo to the beaches during an assault would have been extremely difficult and time consuming. The LST was not the most elegant looking ship to come out of American shipyards but it was designed for a purpose, to deliver men and cargo to an invading beach as quickly as possible, and to support the Allied troops ashore with ammunition, tanks, jeeps, trucks, artillery, medical supplies, and most critical of all food and water. Without these back-up goods the war may have been extended a year or more which would have cost many more American lives.
The LST and the other Amphibious forces must be recognized for their part in the war by being one of the most essential components of World War II, and should be commended for their effort in the invasion of hostile enemies both in the Pacific and in the Atlantic theaters. This author attempts to do just that. The novel does not cover the land struggle after an invasion because the ground assaults have already been covered by other authors, and to repeat them here would serve no other purpose but to reiterate their achievements.
D-Days in the Pacific tells the epic story of the campaign waged by American forces to win back the Pacific islands from Japan. Based on eyewitness accounts by the combatants, it covers the entire Pacific struggle from the attack on Pearl Harbor to the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Pacific war was largely a seaborne offensive fought over immense distances. Many of the amphibious assaults on Japanese-held islands were among the most savagely fought battles in American history: Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan, New Guinea, Peleliu, Leyte Gulf, Iwo Jima, Okinawa.
Generously illustrated with photographs and maps, D-Days in the Pacific is the finest one-volume account of this titanic struggle.