Just Doing My Job: Stories of Service from World War II

Jonna Doolittle Hoppes, Author, Arthur J. Lichte, Foreword by Santa Monica Press $24.95 (343p) ISBN 978-1-59580-042-8
In this revealing oral history, author Hoppes (Calculated Risk) gathers personal accounts of ordinary citizens who contributed to the 1940s war effort. The granddaughter of Gen. Jimmy Doolittle, who led America's first strike against Japan during World War II, she records the detailed stories of, among others, German Jew Rose Beal, who was 11 when Hitler came into power; Bonnie Gwaltney, a young woman who left North Carolina to work the assembly line at California's Douglas Aircraft; Carmelita Pope, a Chicago performer who traveled with the USO; and Navy corpsman Jack Hammett, who recalls the chaos and bloodshed of the attack on Pearl Harbor: ""Everywhere I looked I saw broken bodies: the dead, the dying, some just barely hanging on, others merely stunned, all mixed together in a jumble."" Particularly fascinating is the account of Dick Hamada, a Japanese-American soldier from Hawaii who worked for the newly formed Office of Strategic Services, the first U.S. intelligence agency. Their significant sacrifices and vivid memory make for engrossing narratives of perseverance and faith.
Reviewed on: 05/04/2009
Release date: 05/01/2009
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