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Showing 1-4 of 4 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 8 reviews
on March 27, 2010
Frankly, this memoir was poorly written, badly organized, and repeatedly repetitive -- and I enjoyed it immensely.

It is not history, certainly not of the Pacific War nor the 41st ID, and barely touches upon operational or tactical actions. Even as a memoir, it is disjointed and tends to head off in random directions, especially when Wilson wants to share the research he has done on locales or geography or units. What it is, and is revealing as, is a personal memoir of a typical Army infantryman swept along in the tide of the South Pacific War during WWII.

Wilson, in his untutored and uncensorsed and naive style, simply tells us about his war. His vision is limited, focused largely on food and physical comfort. Oh, and staying alive when the opportunity to die arises -- combat is one topic that he glosses over and that he really doesn't want to share deeply with his readers. His innocent marvelling at the machines of war, his lack of worldliness, his ignorance of the broader world, and his occupation with the here and now do give us an unequaled insight into the mindset and interests of a kid from Illinois. He is endlessly engaged by the new experiences, sights, and people that war introduces to him. He engages in mischief whenever he can, sometimes at risk to his life and the lives of others. He rubs against authority, frets over the injustices that fill the military experience, happily purloins various comfort items, and keeps himself occupied and active when not actually in combat. Reading his memoir is akin to trailing him around during WWII.

I got the impression that after his combat journey and his occupation duty in Japan
Wilson was one of the many American who easily returned to civilian life and was able to put the war aside. He did become a doctor, but admits that he considered remaining in the Army. And then realized that the Army was simply not for him.

After bearing with the stylistic issues of Wilson's memoir, it was a engrossing and amusing and satisfying read. I hold it unique among the personal military histories I have read.
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on January 13, 2006
From an old Navy veteran: The book is rather short and in some cases repetitive, but from my studies of WWII in the Pacific this is an authentic, first-person account of this soldier's memory of the war against a sadistic, evil, brutal, suicidal enemy. I especially agree with his opinion that the U.S. Army was often overlooked when someone wrote about the war in the Pacific with so much press given to the bloody battles of the U.S. Marines. Don't misunderstand, the Marines were in some miserable, bloody, awful campaigns, but so were soldiers and sailors and they seldom get the recognition due them. This book gives some of that recognition to the soldiers.
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on April 26, 2014
I bought this book because my Dad was in this unit in WW11 and as most of you know, once they came back from there they didn't talk much about what went on. I found it to be a very informative book and enjoyed it very much.
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on December 20, 2008
A gift for my Father. He was in the 41st during WWII. He enjoyed it thoroughly.
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