A local news story about an exhibit I put together on the 164th Infantry Regiment, which was part of the North Dakota National Guard and served in the Pacific as part of the Americal Division.
Posts Tagged ‘Pacific Theater’
Posted by Daniel Sauerwein on February 5, 2013
Posted in 20th Century Military History, American Military History, Conflict, US Army, World War II | Tagged: 164th, 164th Infantry Regiment, Americal, Guadalcanal, National Guard, North Dakota, Pacific, Pacific Theater, World War II | Leave a Comment »
Posted by William F. Sauerwein on September 14, 2010
Radioman: An Eyewitness Account of Pearl Harbor and World War II in the Pacific by Carol Edgemon Hipperson. Published by Thomas Dunne Books, St. Martin’s Minotaur of New York, copyright in 2008.
Review by William F. Sauerwein, 1SG, US Army (Retired). B.S., Historical Studies from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville (SIUE) in 2004.
This book proved truly informative and provided several experiences seldom explored in World War II history. I thoroughly enjoyed the “oral account” of an individual sailor, without the psychoanalysis (or “psycho-babble”) of an academic with a Ph. D. The book covers the life of a young man coming of age during a bleak time in our history, the Great Depression. He survived that and then, like the rest of his generation, endured the sacrifices required for winning World War II. Radioman further reveals that even during the national mobilization of World War II individual Americans still worked toward their individual goals. It also reveals the harsh lessons and sacrifices of ignoring the threats of “rogue nations” and ignoring military readiness in the face of these threats. An entire generation of Americans sacrificed, on the battlefields and the home front, for preserving this nation. Today those remaining of that generation die from the infirmities of that sacrifice and “old age,” taking their experience with them. We, the heirs of what they fought and died for, owe them the respect of learning from their experiences, and heeding their warnings.
The book covers the adult life of Ray Daves, originally from Vilonia, Arkansas, near Little Rock. It begins a timeline in June, 1936, a time of steadily increasing tensions in the world. Sixteen-year-old Daves typified the experiences of a generation of young Americans, who faced an uncertain future. He embarked upon the world after quitting high school following his sophomore year, the “tenth grade.” Describing himself as the “renegade” of the family’s seven children he expressed dissatisfaction with his future on the family farm. As a “farm boy” myself, I fully understand the longing for life beyond the cornfields.
Daves recounts his life in an America that the majority of Americans today do not understand, even given today’s situation. He states that Americans then did not call it the Great Depression, instead labeling it “hard times.” During these times everyone focused on their families and sacrificed their individual dreams for helping their family survive. While today’s youth put off adult responsibilities as long as possible, Daves’ generation lacked that luxury. Older children, like Daves, quit school and took whatever jobs available, even if it took them far from home. The phrase “jobs that Americans won’t do” did not exist at that time, something today’s “entitlement mentality” cannot comprehend. As Daves reveals, married men also journeyed far from home for any job and sent their families the money.
The first stop in Daves’ journey took him into a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Camp in Idaho. He describes the CCC as one of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s (FDR) “New Deal” programs. The historical notes identify the CCC as FDR’s first and most popular program and the first organized attempt at preserving the environment. Daves explains the hard work they performed in the parks and forests, building irrigation ditches for farmers and work on the infrastructure. When a Baptist youth group from Spokane, Washington conducted a church service at the camp Daves met his future wife, Adeline.
Posted in 20th Century Military History, American Military History, Conflict, US military, US Navy, World War II | Tagged: book review, Pacific Theater, Pearl Harbor, Radioman, US Navy, World War II | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Daniel Sauerwein on April 27, 2010
This evening, I attended a book talk at the library, where Dr. Terry Shoptaugh of Minnesota State University Moorhead, presented the story of the 164th Infantry Regiment, which is the subject of his new book They Were Ready: The 164th Infantry in the Pacific War, 1942-1945. Shoptaugh presented a wonderful talk, with an illustrative slide show, chronicling several different and interesting stories of the men who served in the regiment, focusing on the regiment’s exploits at Guadalcanal, Bougainville, and the Philippines. After the talk, Shoptaugh answered questions from the audience and signed copies of his book, which is available at the UND Bookstore. At a future date, this blog will review the book. Here are some useful links:
164th Infantry collection at the Chester Fritz Library www.library.und.edu/Collections/164inf.html
164th Infantry, K Company home page www.dickinsonlibrary.org/companyk/links.html
Hopefully, this work will be a catalyst for more studies on National Guard units in World War II.
Posted in 20th Century Military History, Conflict, US Army, US military, World War II | Tagged: 164th Regiment, Bougainville, Guadalcanal, National Guard, North Dakota, Pacific Theater, World War II | Leave a Comment »