TO HELL AND BACK
For the U.S., Guadalcanal was a bloody seven-month struggle under brutal conditions against crack Japanese troops deeply entrenched and determined to fight to the death. For Charles Walker, this horrific jungle battle–one that claimed the lives of 1,600 Americans and more than 23,000 Japanese–was just the beginning. On the eve of battle, 2nd Lt. Walker was ordered back to the States for medical reasons. But there was a war to be won, and he had no intention of missing it.
In this devastatingly powerful memoir, Walker captures the conflict in all its horror, chaos, and heroism: the hunger, the heat, the deafening explosions and stench of death, the constant fear broken by moments of sheer terror. This is the gripping tale of the brave young American men who fought with tremendous courage in appalling conditions, willing to sacrifice everything for their country.
Look for these books about Americans who fought World War II:
VISIONS FROM A FOXHOLE
A Rifleman in Patton’s Ghost Corps
by William A. Foley Jr.
BEHIND HITLER’S LINES
The True Story of the Only Soldier to Fight for Both America and the Soviet Union in World War II
by Thomas H. Taylor
NO BENDED KNEE
The Battle for Guadalcanal
by Gen. Merrill B. Twining, USMC (Ret.)
ALL THE WAY TO BERLIN
A Paratrooper at War in Europe
by James Megellas
From the Paperback edition.
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|Title of History eBook: Combat Officer|
|Release Date: 12-18-2007|
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|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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October 7, 1942,
New Caledonia, Southwest Pacific Area.
It was nearly 6 p.m. when five Company H officers traveled the rough highway of New Caledonia to a French family farm that catered occasional meals for American soldiers. Much of the only highway running from the capital, Noumea, to the far end of the island had been hewn from solid rock; it was a real spring-breaker on Army vehicles.
The farm lay a quarter mile from the highway, with each side of the lane lined with beautiful royal palms. John Gossett, my company CO (commanding officer), and I had made the dinner reservations the previous afternoon and we had arrived at the farm just as the husband and wife were in the process of butchering a hog. The wife had been busy collecting the blood dripping from the throat-cut animal, which hung from a hoist. She'd stirred the fluid constantly as she added an additional bit of flour to make blood sausage.
Seated the next evening in an airy room next to the porch, we were each served a full bottle of wine as an aperitif. Then there came rock oysters, which we were told had been peeled off rocks in the ocean when the tide was out. They were something like barnacles, I thought, but delicious, and they were packed in chipped ice. A question arose: Where did they get the ice? Then we had a salad of vegetables, followed by fried chicken. Next was a pork chop, then a steak, and then dessert. All in all, the seven-course meal required almost two hours to consume. When a bottle of wine was emptied, it was instantly replaced with another. Surfeited by the excellent meal and wine, we were all in wonderful spirits until we heard the