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From Artillery to Air Corps

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From Artillery to Air Corps

The World War II Memoir of a Green Mountain Cannoneer Turned B-24 Radioman
  • by Paul Van Kavelaar
  • Merriam Press World War 2 Memoir Series
    • Third Edition 2012
    • 186 6x9-inch pages
    • 55 photos
    • 5 news clippings
    • 3 documents
These are the experiences of a young enlisted man in the Army from 1936 through 1945. As a former military journalist, his writing style is quite descriptive. The first half of the book covers the time period from 1936 through early 1944.

As he describes his training, assignments and perceptions of various incidents, the reader sees how he was integrated into the military culture. A number of anecdotes illustrate what the unwritten rules were at the time and the basis for some of the rhetoric then in use, e.g. terms such as “dogface” and “wolf.”
 
The second half of the book details his experiences as a prisoner of war after his B-24 Liberator was shot down over Germany. He was the plane’s radio operator.
 
He was a POW in four different camps from March 1944 through January 1945: Stalag Luft 8, Stalag Luft 4, Stalag Luft 17 and the POW camp at Moosberg. The book vividly depicts life at each of these sites and the transport from one to another. It includes numerous small details from these experiences such as the number of slats in the beds at the POW camps, the brands of cigarettes smoked, the fact that the time was denoted nautically, and so on.
 
The book ends with the liberation by Patton's forces and the trip back to the United States.
 
In addition to documents and news clippings there are some black and white pictures taken with a smuggled miniature camera of camp life and the camp's liberation. 
 
Contents
  • Dedication
  • Foreword
  • Out of the Depression
  • The Green Mountain Boys
  • French .75’s and Colt .45’s
  • Feeding the Hungry
  • Backyard Soldiers
  • Angel Island: Poison Welcome
  • Problems in the Paradise of the Pacific
  • The Word Has It That …
  • Impressive Army Maneuvers
  • The Andrew Jackson
  • The North Atlantic
  • With the RAF
  • Pine Tree
  • The Pall Descends
  • Calling “Darkie”
  • All Kinds of Bugs
  • Heidekrug Vacation
  • The Red Cross and the Grey Wolves
  • Night Lights and Night Lice
  • The Battle Four
  • Free at Last
  • Photographs and Documents

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