Mail Call 2.

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Iwo Jima

Hi guys- I just finished your podcast with Jared Frederick about his Iwo Jima visit. Iwo Jima is a small island but it was a large battlefield. You can walk from Kitano Point to Mount Suribachi in one morning- it took three Marine divisions 36 days has to cover the same ground. My father was a carrier pilot on the USS Langley CVL 27 in 1944. As a member of Langley’s Air Group 32, he flew on the first strike against the island. His plane was badly damaged and a passenger was killed a few feet behind him. I researched that mission and published an article in the Sept. 2012 issue of WW2 History magazine. I’ve also become very interested in what the island looked like before the bombing campaign turned the surface into a moonscape. I’ve found many pre-battle aerial recon photos of the island, many from the bowels of the National Archives. I’ve posted many of them in albums 32-38 here:  Other WW2 related albums precede it. You may find interesting things there. I visited Iwo in 2014 and it was a day I shall never forget.

Chris M

Amana IA

Expanding Library

Good morning all,

I am working my way thru all of the previous podcasts and you fellas are surely going to cost me some money with all the books you three are recommending. 

I have a book to suggest that I have read and recommend. The title is “And I was there: Pearl Harbor and Midway Breaking the Secrets” by Admiral Edwin Layton. It is about 600 pages long and is a great read about the role of the codebreakers in WW2. Published in 1985, you might think it would be a dry read but Admiral Layton captures and keeps your attention throughout the book. Admiral Layton was the Fleet Intelligence officer from the beginning at Pearl Harbor and continued to be at Nimitz’s side until the end of the war. 

I highly recommend this book as there is little written on how the Navy broke the Japanese military code.

Keep up the outstanding podcasts and I cannot wait til the next one.


Dawna E.

Bataan Death March The story of PFC James H. Cowen, USAAFExcellent episode last week with Marcus Brotherton and the Bataan Death March.Recently a coworker shared with me the short memoir of her grandfather’s brother, PFC James H. Cowen, USAAF. He felt compelled to write his experiences down in 1972 after suffering nightmares and flashbacks as a result of watching the nightly news reports from Vietnam.Cowen survived the Bataan Death March, and imprisonment at O’Donnell and Cabanatuan P.O.W. camps. He was subsequently liberated by the Army Rangers in the Great Raid at Cabanatuan in January 1945.Attached please find a copy of the original hand typed memoir, shared with permission. My understanding is that it has never been published (though his story has been mentioned in published works and online).I know you’ll agree – it’s an honor to read each and every memoir.Sincerely,Rona San Jose, CA

Read the letter.

Its Me Again

Listening to the conversations about the Pacific, I also felt partially let down when watching the Pacific the First time. I was expecting something different, more like BOB also. Since the first time watching I have grown to love it. BOB I  felt was the super patriotic glorious side of war portrayal. To where the Pacific is more raw and in your face, war can bring  out the worst of people as well as the best and it shows that. I find my self re-watching the show often. I read a lot, so when I read books like Guadalcanal by Richard Frank, or Ian Tolls Trilogy, you learn more about the actual battles so when you re-watch the Show you understand the context of what is going on outside of just the shooting on screen and personally i feel you gain a better appreciation of what the show conveys and the broader scope of what their situations were. . 

Looking forward to Masters of The Air, would love a miniseries on the Navy. The Naval battles of Guadalcanal, Okinawa, Leyte Gulf, Pearl Harbor would be quite interesting, Halsey, Nimitz, King, Spruance, these guys would make for excellent TV. 


Hey Don, Jeff (and Henry – although he is on a small hiatus)!

I recently finished reading Alex Kershaw’s ”The Longest Winter”, and firstly; what a great read! Secondly, I have been wondering ever since I finished it how it hasn’t been adapted into a screenplay yet considering the great book-to-movie adaptations we have seen since Band of Brothers came out in 2001. The book is so detailed, well researched, and so wonderfully written, you can practically visualize what’s happening before your eyes.

That speculation led me to the following question I would like to ask you guys: Is there a book about any war campaign, specific unit(s) or stories etc. that you would like to see be adapted into a movie/television series, with the underlying condition that it is being ”done right”?

It is as always a pleasure to watch and listen to the pod – keep up the great work!

-Camilla (Denmark)

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