Book Review: Black ’41: The West Point Class of 1941 and the American Triumph in World War II

In 1991, Bill Yenne published Black ’41: The West Point Class of 1941 and the American Triumph in World War II. This book recognizes the accomplishments of the West Point class of 1941 and follows them through their first days at West Point until their 50th reunion. The book took into account the preparation before World War II, the war itself, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. It also recognizes the accomplishments of exceptional classmates who helped to shape American history. Read more

Book Review – Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest

One of the benefits of my job is that I get a week and a half off over the Christmas holiday. During these extended breaks, I sit down and watch the entire HBO series called Band of Brothers*. To me, this series is a great look at leadership and sacrifice. One of the things I had not yet done is read the book upon which the series was made. Last week, I finally had an opportunity to read Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest and I am glad that I did. The HBO series follows the book quite closely; however, the book did share some details that could not be adequately shown on film. This was the second book I had read from Stephen Ambrose. I had previously read The Wild Blue: The Men and Boys Who Flew the B-24s Over Germany 1944-45. I like the relaxed story-like pace of his books.  Read more

Book Review: My Share of the Task

Prior to 1990, I was not really familiar with places like Baghdad, Mosul, Fallujah, Ramadi, Kabul, and Kandahar, however, when the Gulf War began these places were in the news almost daily, and I watched the news intently. We have had operations in these areas for a quarter century. I just finished a book that helped provide some important background to these operations. General Stanley McChrystal wrote a book called My Share of the Task: A Memoir*, which gave insight into the operations from his perspective. He was a commander on the ground in both Iraq and Afghanistan. This book not only provided context to the Gulf War but also discussed in great detail leadership and team building. Read more

Book Review – From Maine to Mexico: With America’s Private Pilots in the Fight Against Nazi U-Boats

In celebration of the Civil Air Patrol’s 75th Anniversary, I sat down and read From Maine to Mexico: With America’s Private Pilots in the Fight Against Nazi U-Boatswritten by Louis E. Keefer. What I read totally blew me away. My respect for these courageous men and women was just ratcheted up a number of levels. While I was aware of the basic history of this group because of my membership with Civil Air Patrol (CAP), I did not fully realize the sacrifices and risks they took. From Maine to Mexico sheds light on a piece of history very few people know about. Read more