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The Quiet Hero: The Untold Medal of Honor Story of George E. Wahlen at the Battle for Iwo Jima Hardcover – May 20, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: American Legacy Media (May 20, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0976154714
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976154716
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,783,370 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Finalist in the 2007 Benjamin Franklin Awards for Autobiography/Biography/Memoirs



"A compelling daily account of the hells of combat on Iwo Jima, 1945—one of the bloodiest battles in Marine Corps history." Harlan Glenn, host, The History Channel's Mail Call


"Well worth the [time] it takes to read. When you put it down, you will have been reminded about what selfless service and courage mean."  —Leatherneck magazine



"The author uses a matter of fact style that both chronicles and explains the forces and context which shaped George's life and actions. Military history buffs and those interested in Americans who have especially meaningful lives will love this book."  —Heartland Reviews


"This well-illustrated account of the intense battle that Wahlen and his fellow Marines went through is in stark contrast to Joe Rosenthal's calm, yet heroic photo of the raising of the flag on Mount Suribachi."  —College and Research Library News


"Gary Toyn has effectively researched the life and heroic actions of Navy Corpsman George Wahlen, weaving the young man's personal history into a riveting and historically accurate account of his heroism at Iwo Jima."  —C. Douglas Sterner, founder, HomeofHeroes.com

From the Author

In typical modesty found among Medal of Honor recipients, George Wahlen chose to keep his heroic story to himself. His wife and family were generally unfamiliar with his heroics until only a few years ago. But after George was interviewed by James Bradley for the national bestseller Â"Flags of Our Fathers,Â" George resolved that he wasnÂ’t going to take his story to his grave. Fortunately, I came along at the right time when George was willing to tell his story. I count myself to be truly fortunate to have come to know George Wahlen. Every American should be familiar with the his story. He possesses unique qualities we all endeavor to possess.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 23 customer reviews
This is an extremely easy read.
Philip J. Heil
This book is a tribute to George Wahlen and the memories of the men that gave the ultimate sacrifice to this nation.
Gregg Eldred
The Quiet Hero is a down to earth written story about a down to earth good guy.
Robert D. DeGeus

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By B.S. on April 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
George E. Wahlen is a bonafide American hero. This book documents his life, especially his heroic actions as a Navy Corpsman assigned to support a platoon of Marines in the horrendous battle for the strategically important island of Iwo Jima in WWII. George served as a civil servant in the Army Air Corps, As a Navy Corpsman with the Marines, as an Army enlisted man and officer in Korea and Vietnam. After retirement in 1969 from the Army, he served as a civil servant with the Veterans Administration.

The author has chronicled George's modesty and his life, focusing especially on his training and battle actions, where he spent two weeks under heavy enemy fire while tending to his Marines' wounds and just holding and comforting those who were breathing their last. He was wounded multiple times but refused to be evacuated. Even when his leg was broken, he gave himself morphine and crawled 50 yards in front of friendly lines to bring back another wounded Marine. Senators Dole and Hatch's eloquent words demonstrate the degree of honor attributed to this quiet man. The author uses a matter of fact style that both chronicles and explains the forces and context which shaped George's life and actions. Military history buffs and those interested in Americans who have especially meaningful lives will love this book. We rated it five hearts.

Heartland Reviews

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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Kay W. Hargis on April 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Afber purchasing many books on Medal Of Honor holders and finding nothing written about George Wahlen, I am extremely joyed that his life's story has been committed to print. The generations of people born after "The Greatest Generation" will now have a history of the men and women who won WW II. Mr. Wahlen had a deep fear that he would not be able to perform his duties as a Navy Medic assigned to the Marine Corps and save his buddies lives. His refusal to be evacuated off Iwo Jima after each of 2 times he was wounded because he felt he was still mission capable and the lives of his buddies depended on him. Only after his 3rd wound and breaking his leg, and committing the heroic action of dragging himself to a wounded marine on the battle field, under fire, administering aid, and bringing the wounded man back to the safety of friendly forces did he allow himself to be evacuated. He felt he "Was just doing his job...." Mr. Wahlen is to be held in the highest esteem for his service to his Marine buddies, the Navy, and the USA. This book is a "Must Read" to understand the committment he had made to himself and his buddies.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By ShadeTreeHistorian on August 15, 2006
Format: Hardcover
With just a small note in the Epilogue, it was noted that George E. Wahlen is the "Quintessential American Veteran." Few people may notice (see page 207... because not everyone reads the epilogue) where it states that Mr. Wahlen served tours of duty in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. He also served all four branches of the military (He worked as an aircraft mechanic for the Army Air Force, was drafted into the Navy and became a corpsman, volunteered for combat with the Marines, and after WWII, re-enlisted in the Army and retired as a Major), He survived Iwo Jima, what many agree is the greatest battle of the modern era. (It was the only battle of WWII where the U.S. suffered more casualties than the enemy). To top it off, he is the recipient two Purple Hearts, and the Medal of Honor, the highest award this country can bestow on any American. Could any veteran make such a claim? I doubt it.

This book is well done and compelling. I read it in 17 hours straight, and just couldn't put it down. It is well illustrated with many unique archival photographs, many that I've never seen in any other battle account. I highly recommend it!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey T. Munson on April 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
George E. Wahlen was born in Utah on August 8, 1924. By February, 1945, George would be many miles from his beloved family and friends. He was stationed on a remote volcanic island in the Western Pacific. In the two weeks that George was on the island, he would distinguish himself many times and earn the respect of his fellow men. The name of the island was Iwo Jima, and George served as a Marine combat medic.

In his younger days, George dreamed of becoming an aircraft mechanic, but his father refused to let him enlist in the Army. So, George volunteered to be drafted. He was sent to California for basic training, where he was trained as a medic. Despite his love of repairing airplanes, he quickly adjusted to his new role as a medic and he became proficient in his new job.

As time passed, George's unit continued to train for combat, and the training became more and more difficult. Eventually, George's unit was sent to the island of Guam to prepare for the invasion of Iwo Jima. George's unit landed on D-Day, which was February 19, 1945. For the next two weeks, George spent his time tending to wounded Marines, all the while ignoring his own safety. He faced numerous Japanese mortar attacks, banzai charges, and infantry raids, but he never ignored the call of a wounded comrade. During one action, while wounded himself, he stayed in the field of fire for over twenty minutes tending to wounded Marines. During this time, he managed to save fourteen men who might otherwise have died. Another time, again while wounded, he crawled on his stomach for over fifty yards to drag a wounded Marine to safety. These selfless acts of bravery quickly earned George the respect of his fellow men.
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