Testimonials

"I wanted to let you know that I finished your book and absolutely loved it  . . . in a heavy-hearted way.   I knew the basic facts, but barely any depth about World War II.  I feel I am a better person now for having shared such a personal tragic time in these young men’s lives.   Being a mother of a 20 and 16 year old I cannot imagine my children having to go through that or the torment of the unknown their families back home had to endure.  You have done a wonderful job and I thank you for all your dedication that brought their experiences to me." LeAnn Kraisinger Knight

"This book of paper, string, and cloth has in its pages the heart, soul, spirit, adventures, and emotions of every man and woman who has served their country. They jumped into the unknown, for reasons known only to them. Joanne Emerick has brought a squadron together in their later years, and wove their experiences into a treasure beyond measure. You shall feel their fears in facing unbelievable challenges, and their agony in being alive as they lost comrades. In their healing, they have chosen to share their deepest thoughts tucked away in their being, to share with their family and all Americans. I became attached to each and every one as I read their experiences. This book dedicated to the veterans of the Army Air Force will get under your skin and into your heart. A keepsake for any veteran's family and friends!" Shirley Popp, a grateful American

"I want to thank you so very much for the book you wrote about the 31st Bomb Squadron. You did a fantastic job in your presentation of things the way they really were for the airmen and their support groups in that part of the world during WWII. The American people were so brainwashed about the 8th Air Force in Europe that they believed all airmen came back from a mission, took a warm shower and then went into town for the evening. After that they went back to the base to sleep under clean sheets. The book made me feel I was in the 31st and living and dying with them. Its amazing the things you remember after 65 years. I can't forget that the 394th Bomb Squadron (H) was also in the 5th Bomb Group and its members flew together with the 31st. The people who wrote the history of the WWII air war should have to read this book. I am sure they would rewrite some chapters. Well done!" Robbie Robertson, 394th Bomb Squadron

"What a beautiful baby - the book! I hurried to hold it and gently gave it a quick getting-acquainted perusal. My first word was WOW! Thank you for telling the compelling story with passion. I know already that it will not be so much like reading a book, as it will be listening to you personally telling the stories, always with deep feeling, moving details, and such respect for the heroism of all who stepped up and fought for our Freedom. Your words always elicit respect for all who served and a sense of patriotism and inspiration to 'become the best citizens of the greatest country on earth!'" Barbara O'Brien, daughter-in-law of George O'Brien, 72nd Bomb Squadron

"Thank you for the beautiful book that you have written. It is an unusual history in that it is not compiled by some 3rd party historian, but by someone close to the actual participants and features the words of many of the actual participants. It is the first time I ever read a history of this kind. You have captured the drama of the most important missions of the 31st using the words of the men expressing the emotions experienced during the most hectic part of their lives. Thank you again for the masterpiece you have created." Tom LaMon, 31st Bomb Squadron

"Those of us who labored in that Pacific 'jungle paradise' so many moons ago will be perpetually grateful for the sacrifices you have made to bring this project to fruition, and posterity will be forever in your debt for saving the real story of the 31st Bombardment Squadron in World War II. The facts of that story (bits and pieces) may be found in assorted places but the emotional side of the narrative, which you bring front and center, is a unique contribution for which you alone can take credit. No other published work can match that gift. So congratulations on a job in which you may take exalted pride." Sid Ulmer, Tail Gunner, 31st Bomb Squadron; Professor of Political Science, retired – University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky

"I want to tell you how impressed I am with the quality of your work and the personal pleasure it is giving me. It is bringing that phase of my life back to vivid life and filling me with feelings of pride and satisfaction. Thank you from the bottom of my tired, old heart." Donald Sauers, 31st Bomb Squadron, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

"Congratulations on your outstanding book - - what a remarkable job! Everything fits so well, is finely crafted, and is a wonderful tribute to the men. This is clearly a labor of love. It deserves an award." Dr. Leo Oliva, Author, Historian, Professor of History, retired – Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas

"I've fallen in love with these weary kids from the dust bowl and Great Depression who just wanted to see Hula girls and get 3 squares a day." Celeste Davis, Managing Director - FedEx, Memphis, Tennessee

"I have never read anything that has touched me so much. It's personal. Until May, 2010, Art had never talked to us about the war. You had something to do with his beginning to talk." Shirley Zecher, wife of Euland "Art" Zecher, 31st Bomb Squadron, Mesquite, Nevada

"There is a famous poem in English literature that says, How do I love you, let me count the ways? Therein lies my problem. How do I describe my feelings for the wonderful words that were put together in this description of our service in the South Pacific during World War II? The author has taken the words from the interviews of hundreds of participants or their survivors, and wove a truly accurate account of the months and years of service in which we participated from Pearl Harbor to the Philippine Islands." Max Baker, 31st Bomb Squadron Pearl Harbor Survivor, Topeka, Kansas (52 months of overseas service)

"This book is special. The Pacific War has inspired numerous excellent histories, some written by combatants themselves, some written by sons and daughters of combatants, some written by professional historians, some edited for accuracy by participants, some well illustrated. This book combines all those elements.

Joanne Emerick, an award-winning history teacher whose father fought with the 31st Bombardment Squadron (H) for 36 months, spent 15 years interviewing surviving 31sters, reading their diaries, traveling with them, gaining their confidence, and recording their experiences. Her narrative moves the reader adroitly between the ground, air, sea and big picture, providing previously unpublished and spellbinding detail together with broad context as she describes how the 31st picked itself up after Pearl Harbor and fought its way to Midway, the Solomons, the Admiralties, Wakde, Morotai, and finally the Philippines.

The reader emerges with a deep understanding of the squadron's teamwork, skill, valor, good luck, and bad luck, as it became an effective fighting unit and drew its strength from everyone's contributions."
George Glober, Jr., son of the late George Glober, Sr. - Commander, 31st Bomb Squadron (H)

Designed by Cody Snodgrass