The images of soldiers and marines coming ashore on hostile shores are embedded in our collective memory of World War II. But what of the sailors who manned the landing craft, going back and forth under fire with nowhere to take cover, their craft the special targets of enemy gunners?
In this book, Ken Wiley, a Coast Guardsman on an Attack Transport in the Pacific, relates the intricate, often nerve wracking story of how the United States projected its power across 6,000 miles in the teeth of fanatical Japanese resistance. Each invasion was a swirl of moving parts, from frogmen to fire support, transport mother ships to Attack Transports, the smaller Higgins boats (LCVPs), and during the last terrifying stage the courageous men who would storm the beaches.
The author participated in the campaigns for the Marshall Islands, the Marianas the Philippines and Okinawa, and with a precise eye for detail relates numerous aspects of landing craft operations, such as ferrying wounded, that are often discounted. He conveys the terror and horrors of war, as well as, on occasion, the thrill, while not neglecting the humor and cameraderie of wartime life.
An exciting book, full of harrowing combat action, D Days in the Pacific also provides a valuable service in expanding our knowledge of exactly how World War II's massive amphibious operations were undertaken.
"... A personable and engaging tale of World War II from an oft-overlooked point of view."www.midwestbookreview.com 4/2007
".. It's quite a different view of the war, interesting and well worth reading. And keep in mind that the kid who got his parents permission to go into the Coast Guard was only 17. Within a very few years, he was a full fledged man, still too young to drink or vote, but a man."Books On Line 4-18-07
"The author knows whereof he speaks.As a coastguard LCVP coxswain, he served in amphibious assaults from the Marshalls and Marinas, to the Philipines and Okinawa. His tale cogently imparts both fear and certain dark humor of war."
"For unknown reasons, there are virtually no first person books by or about US Coast Guard coxswains in World War II. Ken Wiley corrects that oversight with LUCKY THIRTEEN, a book to be treasured."
WWII History Magazine, 09/2007
"...provides a valuable service in expanding our knowledge of exactly how World War II's massive amphibious operations were undertaken."
The U.S. Coast Guard Reservist 05/2007
"...This very-well written and organized account of D-Days in the Pacific with the US Coast Guard should appeal to both scholars and the general public and should be in every library of every World War II and Coast Guard historian."
Journal of Military History 11/2007
"...an engaging, honest account of boys becoming men in a dangerous and utterly unpredictable environment."
Military History of the West 01/2008
"...an ideal book for the younger generation, veterans, recruits, and Officer Candidates. Lucky Thirteen is highly recommended"
Journal of Slavic Military Studies, 04/2008
"...a well-written and equally well-illustrated memoir of life aboard an LST during World War II, a role the Coast Guard played which is often overlooked by history texts today... unprecedented contribution to the field of Coast Guard History..."
Foundation for Coast Guard History, 09/2008
"...fills the gaps of the Coast Guard's significant and important role during World War II and the officers and men of the Coast Guard's contribution to victory in the Pacific."
Steamboat Historical Society, Fall 2008
"Despite this being first and foremost a book about war against a savage and unforgiving enemy, the book is uplifting. It's an enjoyable and thoughtful journey we have watching Ken Wiley change from a boy to a seasoned fighting man, all within the short period of just over two years."
"...well illustrated and detailed first hand account of the amphibious war waged against fanatical Japanese opposition."
Soldier Magazine UK, 06/2010
"If like me you have an interest in the landing craft of WW2, then this book really is a worthwhile read, and to gain an understanding of how it felt to operate them, and the pride in doing a job right. There were so many D-Days in the island hopping campaigns of the Pacific war"
Military Modelling, 05/2010
"...delightfully written with an engaging mix of humor, modesty, information and character sketches."
Miniature Wargames(UK), 09/01/2010
"...brings the reader close to the experiences... a real understanding of the brutal yet bonding nature of war at the sharp end."
Military Illustrated(UK), 09/01/2010
"What this book does better than most is personalize how the war is fought by teenagers with enormous responsibilities far beyond their years. Ken never glamorizes war or self aggrandizes despite a number of heroic actions in which he is personally involved...a great book..."
Military Magazine, 11/2010
"...well written and illustrated with photographs and excellent drawings of life aboard ship by one of the shipmates."
The Hook, Winter 2010