Remembering the Good War: Minnesota's Greatest Generation
“A great All-American story. . . . Saylor conjures up the World War II years in truly inspired fashion. A wonderful book.” Douglas Brinkley, author of Voices of Valor: D-Day, June 6, 1944 World War II was the defining event for a generation of Americans. Remembering the Good War tells the stories of over one hundred Minnesotans—ordinary people who rose to duty at an extraordinary moment in our past. Here soldiers and sailors, housewives and farmers, “Rosies” and “Joes” tell what it was like to be swept up in history. Betty Wall Strohfus of Faribault recalls how she discovered a love for flying and joined the Women’s Air Force Service Pilots (wasp) program to serve stateside during the war. Lyle Pasket of St. Paul marvels that he was only seventeen when his cruiser, the USS Indianapolis, was torpedoed en route to the Philippines. After three days without food or drink in shark-infested waters, he was one of only 317 sailors rescued. Paratrooper Frank Soboleski of International Falls recounts how he depended on north woods hunting skills to keep himself alive during battle in the Netherlands. Schoolteacher Vivian Linn McMorrow remembers with quiet intensity the brief time she shared with her husband Ralph Gland, who was killed in France during the second year of their marriage. From the shock of the attack on Pearl Harbor to the excitement of recruits leaving the farm for the first time to the horrors of the battlefields of Europe, Africa, and the Pacific, Remembering the Good War pays homage to the generation of Minnesotans who were forever transformed by World War II. Their voices—honest, emotional, and resolute—remind us of a time of sacrifice and courage. Thomas Saylor is an associate professor of history and director of the Faculty Scholarship Center at Concordia University, St. Paul. This book, his first, is the result of more than two years of interviews and research for the Oral History Project of the World War II Years.
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