West Point ’41: The Class That Went to War and Shaped America

Anne Kazel-Wilcox and PJ Wilcox, with Lt. Gen. Edward L. Rowny (Ret.). ForeEdge (UPNE, dist.), $29.95 (354p) ISBN 978-1-61168-469-8
Using interviews with 17 surviving class members as well as private papers and memoirs, Kazel-Wilcox and Wilcox compiled the story of the 426 cadets who graduated from the United States Military Academy in the summer of 1941. The authors present a brief summary of the class at West Point from the summer of 1937 to graduation in 1941, before spending the bulk of the book focused on the class’s diverse wartime experiences, which range from the mundane to the inspiring to the tragic, as when a young officer, only months out of flight school and already a squadron commander, crashes his bomber in a thunderstorm as his wife-to-be waits at the wedding chapel. From India, to the South Pacific, to Europe, the Class of 1941 contributed the great endeavor of war and in the process lost 40 classmates in action. The book also follows the class through two more wars: Korea, where the class loses four of its members, and Vietnam, where some as senior leaders become disillusioned with the war effort. It’s an enjoyable and fresh contribution to documenting the experiences of America’s “Greatest Generation.” (June)
Reviewed on: 04/14/2014
Release date: 06/01/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 372 pages - 978-1-61168-572-5
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