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In 1990, Ann Mix began searching for American WWII orphans in order to write a book about their experience. She immediately found that it was a very healing experience to talk with others like herself. She then founded the American WWII Orphans Network in order to locate war orphans and to bring them together. Mix found that few children of men who were killed had much information about their fathers and began researching sources of information and sharing them with family members. Susan Hadler, a psychologist and war orphan contacted Ann Mix and they agreed to a collaboration to collect the stories of the orphans. The authors discovered there were no statistics on the number of children and no studies on the effects of their fathers' deaths on their lives. Records which could have helped sociologist, psychologists, and historians were simply nonexistent.
Ann Mix and Susan Hadler began to interview war orphans, who nearly all reported that at a young age they had learned to keep quiet, and only with great relicence were they able now to discuss their loss and its impact on their lives. The voices in this book belong to sons and daughters who for half a century have seldom spoken of their fathers or of their own lives after the deaths of their fathers.
By publishing stories of American war orphans in Lost in the Victory: Reflections of American War Orphans of World War II, the authors hope to bring home the incredible sacrifice that was made, not only by those who fought, but by the families of those who died. They hope readers will better understand what those four years cost America in terms of human suffering that did not end with the armistice nor when the dead were buried.
Vamik D. Volkan, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Director, Center for the Study of Mind and Human Interaction, University of Virginia says about Lost in the Victory, "The book is a document of childhood mourning and its consequences. Not only had these 'half-orphans' lost their fathers, but also 'lost' their mothers who were overcome with grief, felt helpless, and were not fully available to their children. Yet in spite of the adverse circumstances into which many of the contributors were thrown in their childhood, Lost in the Victory contains some of the most beautiful accounts of self healing I have ever encountered. In discussing the traumas and adaptations of these individuals, the authors bring to our attention an important societal issue; the rights of children during and after a war. The August 1996 United Nations report on this topic deals only with children who were directly traumatzied, but makes no reference to orphans on the 'home front.' This work forcefully brings to light the plight of war orphans not in the line of fire, and their silent struggles to find themselves in the shadow of their dead fathers. I highly recommend Lost in the Victory.
Noted World War II historian, Stephen Ambrose said of Lost in the Victory: "...I'm struck by the thought that the cost of victory is never fully paid, that the gods of war keep demanding further tribute. All the participants in the Second World War, whether as winners or losers, will continue to pay well into the 21st century. I think this is especially true of those who were born during the war in which their fathers lost their lives."
About the Author:
Ann Bennett Mix is a graduate of Fairhaven College, with an independent interdisciplinary degree in historical research and writing and a focus on family history. In 1990 she began her search to find out about her father who had been killed in World War II. During her search, Mix met others whose fathers had been killed and found that many of them had little information. As a result, Ann founded the American WWII Orphans Network (www.awon.org) to locate war orphans and become a depository for sources of information about WWII servicemen who were fathers. Mix co-authored Lost in the Victory with Susan Johnson Hadler, a psychologist and war orphan.
by William C. McGuire II
Published by Parkway Publishers, 1999, $16.95 plus $8 postage & handling
The time is 1944. A Navigator on an American B-24 "Liberator" is reported missing over southern Germany and is presumed dead. At home, his only child celebrates his first birthday. Fifty years later, the son is compelled to learn the details of this one combat death, information he has never had. Step by step, with the reader at his side, the author finds the facts and the witnesses, to vividly reconstruct the past, and, for the first time, to truly understand it. "Some things you don't forget," the author writes. "Some things are worth dying for." A true story that reads like a novel! The book includes photos and illustrations, a bibliography and index, as well as an appendix of useful sources for tracking military records and information.
Says Susan Hadler (Co-author of "Lost in the Victory," above) says: "This book shatters the silence that fell like a curtain upon many of us whose fathers were killed in WWII. It documents and transcends the long-term effects of war within a family. At times heart stopping, at times lyrical, it is above all a story of love and self-healing."
"Using Army Air Force Records, the personal memoirs of veterans, and his own research and interviews with survivors, Bill McGuire gives a realistic blow-by-blow account of one of the key bombing raids of WWII. More important, like the film "Saving Private Ryan," his very personal story "speaks to the legacy of our own fighting men." A year to the day after the tragic Friedrichshafen mission, the 392nd BG pounded Berlin without the loss of a single American plane. "After the Liberators" mirrors that determined resolve and fighting spirit that would not be defeated, and shows that it continues into the 21st century." -- Colonel Lawrence G. Gilbert, USAF (Ret.), and former Commander, 392nd Bomb Group, Eighth Air Force.
by John A. Clark
Published by Proctor Publications, LLC - $49.95 plus $8 postage & handling
During the Second World War the author flew as the copilot of a B-17 "Flying Fortress" in the "The Bloody Hundredth," the famous 100th Bomb Group of the Eighth Air Force. After each of his 32 missions over Germany he recorded a Diary entry describing his combat experiences. This Diary, now being published after almost 60 years, is the focus of this War Memoir. The unfolding story provides a realistic account of aerial combat in the brutal air war over Europe, including encounters with "flak" and German fighters, on 7-9 hour missions during the harsh winter, 1944-45. The role the severe English winter weather played in the flying of a heavily loaded bomber during takeoff and later on the return to base is described. The crash of his battle damaged Fortress in Belgium in which the crew had a remarkable escape and an unexpected epiphany on a mission to Merseburg, are part of the story.
This War Chronicle begins with Introductory and Background History sections and closes with an Epilogue that includes the author's post-war flying with the Michigan Air National Guard. Several "War Stories," all true, provide additional drama to this account of the life of a WWII combat pilot. In honor of the sacrifices of his fallen comrades, a chapter titled Requiescat in Pace is included. Over 150 unpublished combat photographs and about 50 others, all from the author's collection, are distributed throughout the Memoir.
About the Author :
John A. Clark, Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, is a 1948 engineering graduate of the University of Michigan. He earned his Master's and Doctor's degrees from MIT in 1949 and 1953 and served on the MIT research and teaching faculty from 1949 to 1957. In 1957 he was appointed to the University of Michigan faculty as Professor of Mechanical Engineering, later serving as Department Chairman for two terms. He retired in 1988 after 32 years on the Michigan faculty. Dr. Clark has devoted his professional life to the fields of Thermodynamics, Heat Transfer, Fluid Mechanics, Thermal and Nuclear Power, Space Propulsion Systems and Solar Energy. He has published extensively in these fields and has been the recipient of several professional honors and awards. For over 50 years he has been an engineering consultant in the field of Thermal Processes.
His wife of 56 years, Marie Mountain Clark, was an experienced Air Force pilot in her own right as a member of the Women's Air Force Service Pilots (WASP), 1943-1944. She is a member of the Caterpillar Club, a recognition awarded to those who have made an emergency parachute jump from a military aircraft. She has over 800 hours as a pilot in various Air Force fighter aircraft.
by Duane Heisinger
Published by Xulon Press - $13.95 plus $8 postage & handling
Duane Heisinger, formerly of Fresno, has come home to launch a book about his father. Samuel Lawrence Heisinger was Assistant District Attorney in Fresno when, early in 1941 he volunteered with the California National Guard for active Army duty in the Philippines. He became a Japanese POW with the fall of Corregidor and after three years in prison camps died during the last months of WWII on a Japanese ship in route to Japan.
Duane Heisinger's book is a narrative of his fatherís life from the time he left Fresno until his death. Duane spent years traveling to the Far East and throughout the United States talking to survivors of those days also finding several who knew his father or had lived in the same prison camps.
The book Father Found is well documented and meticulously footnoted. It covers the hopes and expectations both at home and in the Philippines of these days when American was not ready, but responded to the war that came. Much of the story is taken from these men's diaries, letters, notes and scraps of paper left in the camps in bottles and cans retrieved after the war telling of events around them.
Duane Heisinger is a retired Navy Captain now living in Virginia. He is the Executive Secretary of the "American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor" an organization of survivors, widows and former POWs descendants.
"I am a former POW, survivor of the Oryoku Maru, Enoura Maru, and Brazil Maru Japanese ship journey from Manila to Moji, Japan, December 1944 to January 1945. Duane has provided in his impressive research the most complete and accurate account of these events I have ever read." Col. Melvin H. Rosen, USA (ret)
Former Japanese POW and author of
History of the Philippine Scout Field Artillery
About the Author:
Duane Heisinger, the oldest of three sons of Grace and Lawrence Heisinger, was born in 1930 and raised in Fresno, California. After two years at Fresno State College and a year in the U.S. Air Force, Duane entered the U.S. Naval Academy, graduating in 1956. He served thirty years in the Navy, retiring a Navy Captain. His assignments were primarily at sea including two ship commands, three combat tours in Vietnam, and over eleven years in overseas intelligence assignments including three years as the Defense Attache, London. In recent years he has been engaged in research concerning the life and death of his father as a POW of the Japanese in the Philippines, WWII. Duane and his wife, Judith, live in Virginia. They have three married daughters and ten grandchildren.
This a disturbing account of a father's death as a POW of the Japanese. It took Goodwin 8 years of research, here and abroad, to learn the horrible truth of how his father and his crew died after they survived the crash landing of their PBY Catalina. This is Micahel's search for "truth and justice for all the unfortunate Allied airmen who became victims to a hazard of war that none expected, and who fell to the most deadly enemies of all: prejudice, incompetence and the darkest side of human nature."
by Robert K. McDonald
Second Edition - Published by Finbar Press - $13.95 plus $8 postage & handling
The Belgian crossroads village of Hotton was for several days at the epicenter of the Second World War.
The Hotton battle occurred in the fluid first days of what became known as the Battle of the Bulge. It is a story worth telling, typical as it was of many hard-fought actions by isolated and outnumbered American forces during that bitterly cold Christmas season.
Until now, the battle for Hotton ranked in the top tier of worthy but untold stories of World War II. Robert McDonald, whose father fought at Hotton, has sifted through the facts to give us the brutal picture of those determined troops who held this vital crossroads "at all cost." His characterization of the soldiers who fought there is a moving tribute to their courage.
Robert K. McDonald is the author of the Wall Street novel The Alter Boy. His mother lost her first husband in WWII.
by Clinton Frederick
Published by Zonicom Press - $26.95 plus $8 postage & handling
In 2002, Clinton Frederick returned to his grandparents' old house in Laurel Springs, New Jersey, for a family wedding. In the attic, just as he'd remembered from his childhood, were Japanese swords, parachutes, and other memorabilia from World War II. In a musty old trunk, tucked back under the rafters, he discovered more than a hundred letters written by his father, Captain George Frederick. These letters, most of which Capt. Frederick had written to his mother, chronicled from a personal standpoint many of the major events that shaped the world. But most of all, the letters led Clinton to know his father and are testimony to his character.
In WWII - A Legacy of Letters, Clinton Frederick artfully weaves together his father's letters with fascinating historical information about some of the most important military campaigns of the war. History too often is simply a dry recitation of dates, events, and people. Frederick's book puts a very human face on the events surrounding the Pacific Theatre of World War II as his father, a pilot assigned to ground forces, battles through New Guinea and into the Admiralty Islands.
by COL Jack Swayze (Ret.)
Published by Sunflower University Press Press - $10.00 plus $8 postage & handling
"Sporty Course" is a rare biographical history of a World War II B-24 bomber pilot (assigned to the 448th Bomb Group at Seething, U.K.) who flew two combat tours (64 missions) over Nazi Germany, from 1943 until 1945. This book, written by Colonel Jack Swayze, tells of the actual experiences of a pilot who survived three crash landings in Central Europe, one crash landing in England, and never lost a single crew member during World War II. He received two Distinguished Flying Cross awards during his tours.
This book is far more than merely historical research by an author who has simply gathered military records, which may, or may not be completely accurate. "Sporty Course" is the first-hand account of a pilot who flew, fought, survived, and was instrumental in destroying the Nazi Third Reich.
One "Sporty Course" reader states in a recent letter:
"The straight-forward approach made the story easy to read. I liked the details in portions of it. Particularly some of the details of the shortcomings of the B-24 and comparisons with the B-17. While I have read other books with similar details, this version is the best I have encountered so far. Since my Dad was trained on and flew B-17's, that has largely been my main focus. While the training was the same, this book made it very clear to me that there were major differences when flying on operational missions."
'Sporty Course' is a wonderful book that covers all aspects of becoming a bomber pilot. Then, it takes you to war. A great book that deserves to be in the library of everyone interested in the 8th AF.
by Mary Lee Coe Fowler
The University of Alamaba Press - $29.95 plus $8 postage & handling
One woman’s quest for knowledge of her father lost at sea.
Mary Lee Coe Fowler was a posthumous child, born after her father, a submarine skipper in the Pacific, was lost at sea in 1943. Her mother quickly remarried into a difficult and troubled relationship, and Mary Lee’s biological father was never mentioned. It was not until her mother died and Mary Lee was a middle-aged adult that she set out to learn not only who her father was, but what happened to him and his crew, and why—and also to confront why she had shied away from asking these questions until it was nearly too late.
Fowler searched through old ships’ logs, letters, and naval communiqués; visited submarine museums, the Naval Academy, and other pertinent sites; interviewed old friends and crew members who knew her dad and mom or served concurrently; and slowly reconstructed the world in which they lived. Beautifully written, Fowler’s memoir reveals what she eventually learned: of the perils and hardships of submarine service in wartime, of the tragic irony of how her father’s sub was probably lost, and of the long-term damage experienced by the families of those who do not come home from war.
“In her very personal quest to find a father she never knew, Ms. Fowler breathes life into those men who volunteered and served aboard the diesel boats. She wisely allows the people who were there to tell their experiences. . . . This is a romance, an intensely personal search for family roots, a war story, and a compelling examination of aspects of World War II.”
— Don Keith, coauthor of Gallant Lady:
A Biography of the USS Archerfish
Mary Lee Coe Fowler is a writer and teacher of English and ESL living in Maine. Author of Growing with Community Gardening, her work has appeared in Other Voices, Mother Earth News, and Bloomsbury Review.
A Soldier's Daughter
by Lois Brown Klein
Published by Turning Point Books - $17 plus $8 postage & handling
Until I read "Lost in the Victory," my writings about a family whose “husband-father-soldier” had been killed in WWII were relegated to notebooks shared with no one. The grief and shame felt mine alone. With my discovery of AWON, I realized it was time to gather these poems together and let them speak to others who have struggled with similar loss. I finally could break through the wall of silence. This memoir-in-poems is the journey many of us have taken from the barely conscious understanding of childhood to the search for meaning in adulthood.
Poet Barry Spacks writes on the book’s back cover, “With a clarity like glinting brook-water, Lois Klein gives us a memoir-in-poems that details "the real story" of a life, a brilliant work of reclamation, deeply moving, containing all of childhood's magic and yearning, all of a grown woman's wisdom, hope and celebration."
Until today I’ve never said
I'm Lois, Ira Brown's daughter,
out loud to myself, have
never claimed my dad that way.
Even the word Father has seemed
to stand alone, floating on
some surreal sea, beckoning from
a distant lighthouse in a country
forever unknown to me, a land
that most belonged to Mother, who
would not take me there, her tears
a tribute to the love they shared,
the life they led, while I survived
outside whatever light he shed.
About the Author:
Lois Brown Klein was born in November of 1940, shortly after her father, who had just finished his medical residency, joined the Army Reserves. He was called into active duty in the Medical Corps in June of 1941 and died at Camp Grant in April of 1942, leaving three daughters, the youngest only six weeks old. Her mother never remarried.
Lois holds a BA in English Literature from Tufts University and an MA in Psychology from Antioch University. Her chapbook "Naming Water" was published in 1998. Her poetry has appeared in numerous regional and national journals and she has given readings throughout the West. She is a Fellow of the South Coast Writers Project and teaches through the California Poets in the Schools program.
by Jeff Wignall
$18.95 plus $8 postage & handling
The story of a WWII GI who didn't make it back.
He was 34 years old, and it was not until I began to reconstruct his story that I fully realized what a brief span that was -- and his life was easily half again that of most of the thousands who lie beneath the white crosses.
This is his journey, from Manchester, England to Beverly, Massachusettes to . . . FAREBERSVILLER 1944.
Letters of Love and War
The Time of their Lives
by Betty and 1LT John Peirson
$19.44 plus $8 postage & handling
They met 70 years ago -- on December 12, 2011 -- five days after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Betty Frost was on a mission for Parents' Magazine when she met Johnny, who was head of PR and Development for The Mercersburg Academy, a prep school in Pennsylvania -- who (after sparks flew!) took her on a four-hour campus tour, followed by a romance that was destined for the very teeth of war.
It took Johnny nearly a year to convince her that she "was who he thought she was" -- they married in September of '42 -- and in a second commitment they both also made, John was in Army Boot Camp in Arkansas three weeks later.
The whole story came in a little blue box tied up with red string -- 432 Letters and Telegrams between them that detailed a three-year love so deep that it would last forever. It had to, as 1LT Peirson was killed taking a hill on the Northern shoulder of the Belgian Bulge, on Christmas Day of ‘44.
They were writers when they met, and a good thing, too, as their extraordinary correspondence includes careful descriptions of life in New York, falling in love, getting married, Army Boot Camp, getting pregnant, Officer Training, having a baby, Combat Training, trying desperately to be together, shipping out, parenting alone, staging at a castle in Wales, loving from afar, deployment into the Bulge, combat, loss, victory, and a certain poetic justice . . . when love transcended war. It’s really quite a story -- in the intimate dynamic of a medium that will simply never come again.
The cross-platform (Mac/PC) disk contains substantial background, maps, etc., and PDF files of all 432 Letters and Telegrams, unabridged and unedited, but fully transcribed, in a story you won't forget. You can test the waters first, as The First 50 Letters are on the web: Click Here! . . . & turn up your speakers.
In My Father's Words: Letters From A World War II Soldier
by Bill McElvain
$16.00 plus $8 postage & handling
Walter McElvain was drafted into the Army, assigned to the 44th Infantry Division, and went to the European Front. Before his young life ended, he left a legacy of letters he wrote to his wife and parents in Indiana. The early letters came from Fort Lewis, Washington; Camp Polk, Louisiana; and Camp Phillips, Kansas, and provide a glimpse into the lives of Army recruits. Later, his letters came from France and Germany, where he provides vivid descriptions of the war. He relates why he dislikes the army, and he complains of rain, mud, cold, loneliness, homesickness, and lack of freedom.
Through research, Walter's son has elaborated on the topics presented in the letters. Although Walter was not allowed to reveal his location, the author found plenty of documentation that shows where his division was located on the date he wrote each letter and what they were doing there. Even though there is narrative in each chapter, the letters are the soul of the book and they give an eyewitness account of war. These letters tell the impact that World War II had on an average American family, the hardships they endured, and the sacrifices they made. It is a wartime love story.
Bill McElvain was born in Bloomington, Indiana in 1944. In 1966 Bill graduated from Arizona State University with a B.A. in Political Science. He retired after 34 years with the U. S. Forest Service. He and his wife, Georgia, have two grown children and four grandchildren.
The Lost Submarine
A True Story of Love and War
by Nancy Kenny
Published by Splattered Ink Press -- $16.00 (Paperback) plus $8 postage & handling
In "The Lost Submarine: A True Story of Love and War," author Nancy Kenney tells two tales. In 2005, almost sixty years to the day after her loss, the American attack submarine, U.S.S. LAGARTO (SS - 371), was found by British divers in the Gulf of Thailand. It was the first missing submarine from WWII to be found and verified. Through the shock and joy of this discovery, Kenney, a daughter of crew member SM1 William Mabin, gathered the letters kept by her mother for more than six decades and used them and those of other crew members to tell the story of submariners' service in the South Pacific. It is a story of submariners' experiences and dreams of the future told in their own words. Interwoven with this personal account from the war years, is the story of a sailor's daughter, who lost her father when she was two and found him when she was sixty-two. It tells of her efforts to find other submarine families, plan a memorial service with the Wisconsin Maritime Museum, and to encourage the Navy to verify Lagarto's discovery, all the while working with the press and a growing support group from all over the world. It is a story of lasting love for a father still missed and the determination to honor him and all submariners who have given their lives to the silent service.
Two reviews: The Lost Submarine is not only historical, but a wonderful story of love and devotion told in a very compelling way. And, what a great tribute to the submarine crew, families and those that discovered and dove on the site. So much information and the letters are awesome.
The Turner AWON History Book
There are still some AWON History books left in the Bookstore. If you don't have one, this may be your last chance to get one.
If you DO have one, you might consider buying an additional copy for a family member – or donating one to your local library. Remember, our missions include remembering our Dads and heightening the awareness and recognition of World War II.
Standard Book Was $49.95 Special $10.00 plus $8 postage & handling
Leather Bound Was $79.95 Special $25.00 plus $8 postage & handling
You may send a Check or Money Order, but due to excessive fees from the credit card
companies, we can no longer accept credit cards for payment. Sorry for this inconvenience.
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C/O Walt Linne
5745 Lee Road, Indianapolis, IN 46216.
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Many thanks to Walt Linne and Barb Kelly, who have spent untold time and energy
bringing so much consistency, not just to the Bookstore, but to MANY aspects of AWON.
On behalf of AWON, we dedicate this page to the memory of:
SGT Walter John Linne, KIA 24 March, 1945
2LT George Riley Francis, KIA 18 November, 1944