Marine Chaplain, 1943-1946
by George W. Wickersham II
Merriam Press World War II Memoir
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Paperback - ISBN 978-1484995013 - $21.95
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Written immediately after the war, and by one who was deeply involved in it, Chaplain Wickersham penned the manuscript for this book and then gave it to the George C. Marshall Research Library at the Virginia Military Institute, to which it now belongs.
One wonders how such a fascinating account of "what went on" could have been buried in a library for so long. For this is no mere report of battles and maneuvers. It recounts with almost embarrassing candor what a famous recruit camp and an even more famous combat regiment never offered for publication.
The conflicts of regular naval personnel with the large number of reserves, the changes in the Marine Corps brought about by the introduction of women, the almost hopeless disagreements over the moral standards to be followed in Japan—these and many other issues which arose in the Corps came into full sway in the daily duty of the Corps' chaplains.
As far as combat is concerned, Chaplain Wickersham's description of his regiment's fight on Okinawa in 1945 is one of the most vivid descriptions of battle to come out of that war. Also included is the regiment's stay on Saipan while training for the Okinawa invasion.
When the Eighth Marine Regiment landed in Japan, it came ashore at Nagasaki, which was still smoldering from the atom bomb. The contributions made by various members of the outfit to the suffering peoples of Kyushu make a fitting end to a memorable story.
To the best of our knowledge, no other Marine Corps chaplain has ever written a full-length book about his wartime experiences, making this work a very important contribution to the growing literature of the war. Don't let the religious aspect of this effort fool you—this is one of the best written, most eloquent accounts of a man off to war, from the day he joins to the day he comes home.
Join the Navy …
… And See the World
Iheya Ushirio Shima
Occupation of Nippon
Appendix: Memorial Service Address
408 6x9-inch pages, 45 photos
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