As HBO's acclaimed miniseries spotlights America’s epic role in ending Japan’s control of the Pacific, RFB&D members can gain even more insight by ordering some of the fascinating books on which the production is based.
Are you watching or listening to HBO's acclaimed miniseries The Pacific as I am? While the population of surviving World War II veterans diminishes – 850 American WW II vets die each day – it’s high time that the sacrifices made by young men during World War II are captured for posterity and tributes, such as this series has made with such impact.
On a recent visit to Washington, D.C., I visited the World War II memorial for the first time. Seeing a host of World War II veterans flown in from Minnesota and Wisconsin by Freedom Honor Flight – many in wheelchairs, others explaining the bas-relief scenes of battles to family and friends – brought tears to my eyes. The vast majority of returning veterans of this era did not share their stories of combat, but instead stayed silent and only now are their personal accounts coming to light.
Following up on its acclaimed Band of Brothers miniseries, HBO’s The Pacific follows the journeys of three U.S. marines, Robert Leckie (played by James Badge Dale), Eugene Sledge (Joe Mazzello) and John Basilone (John Seda). Personal interviews with veterans are juxtaposed with dramatizations of their combat missions against Japanese forces in the Pacific arena. As the series action progresses from landings on Guadalcanal, through the wretched training conditions on the island of Pavuvu, to the amphibious assault on Peleliu, viewers witness the heart-wrenching and horrifying struggles these men endured.
RFB&D members wishing to learn more about America’s role in ending Japan’s control of the Pacific can order two of the books on which this miniseries was based:
- With the Old Breed, at Peleliu and Okinawa by Eugene B. Sledge [HP957]
- Helmet for my Pillow by Robert Leckie [JZ140 – in process]
More are on the way. You can also place your reservations for these upcoming titles:
- The Pacific by Hugh Ambrose [JZ142]; this is the companion book to the HBO series
- I’m Staying With My Boys: the Heroic Life of Sgt. John Basilone, USMC by Jim Proser
- Okinawa (another book by Robert Leckie)
- Pam Johnson, RFB&D Director of Library Services