Civilian in an Ill-Fitting Uniform: A Memoir of World War II Edgar E. Willis

ISBN: 9780984302529

Published: February 1st 2010

Hardcover

324 pages


Description

Civilian in an Ill-Fitting Uniform: A Memoir of World War II  by  Edgar E. Willis

Civilian in an Ill-Fitting Uniform: A Memoir of World War II by Edgar E. Willis
February 1st 2010 | Hardcover | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, AUDIO, mp3, RTF | 324 pages | ISBN: 9780984302529 | 10.32 Mb

The author writes: This memoir of World War II is unique. Instead of proceeding chronologically, it focuses on how a civilian with no military experience, converted overnight into a naval officer, reacted to the strange new world of the navy. To myMoreThe author writes: This memoir of World War II is unique. Instead of proceeding chronologically, it focuses on how a civilian with no military experience, converted overnight into a naval officer, reacted to the strange new world of the navy.

To my surprise I found out, for example, that I would have to pay for my meals out of the salary the navy paid me. I also discuss somewhat weightier subjects such as the place of African-Americans in the World War II navy, the extreme steps the navy took to keep officers and enlisted men apart and the measures it adopted to control sexual activity. I also expose two utterly different ways in which two captains of the battle cruiser Alaska, on which I served as its fighter director, carried out their command responsibilities.

The objective of the first captain seemed to be to make the life of the men he commanded as difficult and burdensome as he could, the objective of the second to make their life as easy and comfortable as possible. In the background of all this is the prospect and actuality of furious combat. The Alaska received battle stars for participating in the invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. During the battles, the skies were filled with Japanese suicide bombers intent on sinking American ships.

They succeeded in sending more than 300 of them to the bottom of the Pacific. The Alaska was just a few hundred yards from the carrier Franklin when it was hit. The resulting explosions killed almost 800 young Americans. Near the end of the war, the Alaska was anchored next to the battleship Pennsylvania when it was struck by an aerial torpedo, causing the loss of more young lives. After the peace treaty was signed, the men of the Alaska had a new kind of experience when the ship was sent to Tsingtau, China, to accept the surrender of a Japanese army.



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