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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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Finalist in the 2007 Benjamin Franklin Awards for Autobiography/Biography/Memoirs
"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
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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!
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I first became interested in Mr. Wahlen's story after reading about him in the local newspaper and his efforts for local veterans. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Happyone
Great autobiography, my son actually was able to interview the author for a History Day project that eventually placed 3rd at states (CT). Read morePublished on March 18, 2013 by suellen c. henry
George E. Wahlen did it all and deserved his MOH; to talk to him about it one would never know that he was a hero. He also wore it well and didn't flaunt or disrespect the honor.Published on December 5, 2012 by Colormegone
Much of the writing of this book is gripping and graphic. I felt as if I were on Iwo Jima, alongside the main character, George Wahlen. Read morePublished on May 19, 2011 by Randy Kadish
primarily short diary enteries from the men and women who experienced the different battles. I had hoped there would be more of a story line, but still interesting to read about.Published on March 3, 2011 by Mikester
It seems this book was a long time coming. George Whalen was a Navy Corpsman with the Marines on Iwo Jima and distinguished himself at a time that the Marines around him needed it. Read morePublished on August 28, 2010 by Kug
The story of George Wahlen and his selfless actions on Iwo Jima to save his brothers in arms is one of the greatest stories of a true American. Read morePublished on April 6, 2009 by Ben Kuhn
This is an extremely easy read. I could not put it down. The amazing thing about it is how men like George Wahlen performed so heroically under such horiffic conditions. Read morePublished on March 3, 2009 by Philip J. Heil
The Quiet Hero: The Untold Medal of Honor Story of George E. Wahlen at the Battle for Iwo Jima, by Gary W. Read morePublished on May 7, 2008 by Gregg Eldred