Thursday, November 8, 2012

mormonhermitmom's review of Finish Forty And Home; The Untold World War II Story of B-24s in the Pacific

Not every veteran can talk about his/her experiences in combat. The more horrific the war, the harder it is to talk about it seems.  Thankfully, Phil Scearce's father was able to talk about what he had seen and done during the forty combat missions he went on as a radio operator on B-24 bombers.

This is the kind of military book I can get into. It's not a historian's stuffy recitation of facts, troop movements, regimental politics and service rivalries.  These are recollections of a young man, Herman Scearce, who lied about his age to get into the army, possibly to escape an unsatisfactory home life in a small southern town.  Phil Scearce fleshes out some of the "bigger picture" of the war in the Pacific to help with context, but not so much as to bore the reader too badly.

There are plenty of nail-biting crashes described and a couple of "fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants" missions related here.  The fickleness of fate, which men will go home and which men won't, reminds us of the preciousness of life.

To all veterans out there, thank you for your service.

A note to parents:  there is some profanity, prostitution, theft, and the collection of photos has one picture of a female islander with less clothing than is considered acceptable in the west and shots of airplane nose art that often blurs the boundary between mascot symbolism and pornography - a discussion of different cultures and how soldiers may choose to handle immense stress may be necessary.

I would hope more veterans are willing to share their experiences.  I only have more respect when I know what they went through.

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