The Red Rebel of San Giovanni: WWII Heroes Finally Tell Their Stories (Paperback)
"From a battered old trunk in the basement, to the crumpled scrapbook in the bookcase, to an aging envelope in an unused jewelry box, they marched to the pages of this book to join the chorus to remember. Telegrams, letters, taped interviews and voices from decades ago joined in to provide a chilling description of World War II. "Red" was a Red Cross lady, her brother lost in the confusion of war. Some were courageous soldiers, others became prominent heroes. The author weaves common lives and historic events into an emotional explanation of what war was like for everyday Americans."
By Colonel Ronald Losee, US Marines (Ret.) Retired Marine Colonel Ron Losee is a graduate of the University of Illinois, School of Journalism. His 31-year career took him to the Far East, from Korea to South Vietnam and many places in between. Later, as a Marine Reservist, when on vacation found him as a newspaper city editor.
"I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book This is a story about typical American families and their neighborhood friends during WWII. It brings a different perspective of not only the war front, but stateside life during the war."
By Colonel Tony Baggiano, USAF (Ret.) He served 20 years in the United States Air Force and his last Air Force assignment was the Commander of the San Antonio Data Services. He was awarded numerous medals which included Vietnam Service Medal with four bronze stars.
The best way to teach history is to tell a story and that's what this book does. This is not your normal war book as it tells a story about friends and neighbors fighting in WWII and their families at home. It tells a different story about the "War to End all Wars".
By Lieutenant Colonel James O'Donnell, USA (Ret.) Infantry combat commander from Company to Battalion and to Army level and a Distinguished member of the 16th Infantry Regiment.
This memoir is a collection of WWII narratives about five heroic people whose wartime stories are connected. From Richmond, Virginia are Harriet Vaden, her brother Pfc. Herbert "Herbie" Vaden Jr., 1st Lt. Jimmie Monteith, and 1st Lt. Richard "Dick" Williams; and from Emmons, Minnesota, TSgt. Donald Singlestad.
Herbie and Donald end up in the 5th Army fighting in Italy during the invasion of Salerno and many battles afterwards. Donald Singlestad later became the most decorated soldier of the 34th Infantry Division. Harriet joins the Red Cross after her younger brother Herbie enlisted, and she is assigned to the 454th Bomb Group in San Giovanni and Cerignola, Italy. When Herbie becomes MIA and severely wounded, Harriet travels across war-torn Italy to find him. Meanwhile, Richard Williams, a friend of the Vadens, was a bombardier with the 454th Bomb Group and becomes a prisoner of war in Romania. Included are the stories of Jimmy Monteith, a neighbor of the Vadens in Richmond, who is assigned to the 16th Infantry of the 7th Army and earns the Medal of Honor during the Normandy invasion. Family photographs, V-mails, and other memorabilia help tell the story of these incredible heroes as they face the perils of war.
The wartime experiences affected each of them in many ways, both good and bad. As they survived each experience, their reasons for serving changed in many ways; and when they returned home, they had to re-build their lives physically and emotionally if they were to achieve happy lives again. Their stories mostly in their own words are long overdue.