North Texas Military Biography and Memoir Series

Vol. 20: Dirty Eddie’s War: Based on the World War II Diary of Harry “Dirty Eddie” March, Jr., Pacific Fighter Ace

Published: August, 2021  Pages: 352  Features: 37 b&w illus. 13 maps. Notes. Bib. Index.

Dirty Eddie’s War is the true account of the war-time experiences of Harry Andrew March, Jr., captured by way of diary entries addressed to his beloved wife, Elsa. Nicknamed “Dirty Eddie” by his comrades, he served as a member of four squadrons operating in the South Pacific, frequently under difficult and perilous conditions. Flying initially from aircraft carriers covering the landings at Guadalcanal in August 1942, he was one of the first pilots in the air over the island and then later based at Henderson Field with the “Cactus Air Force.” When he returned to combat at Bougainville and the “Hot Box” of Rabaul, the exploits of the new Corsair squadron “Fighting Seventeen” became legendary. more... about Dirty Eddie’s War: Based on the World War II Diary of Harry “Dirty Eddie” March, Jr., Pacific Fighter Ace

Vol. 19: Scouting with the Buffalo Soldiers: Lieutenant Powhatan Clarke, Frederic Remington, and the Tenth U.S. Cavalry in the Southwest

Published: October, 2020  Pages: 480  Features: 14 color and 36 b&w illus. Map. Notes. Bib. Index.

On a hot summer’s day in Montana, a daring frontier cavalry officer, Powhatan Henry Clarke, died at the height of his promising career. A member of the U.S. Military Academy’s Class of 1884, Clarke graduated dead last, and while short on academic application, he was long on charm and bravado. Clarke obtained a commission with the black troops of the Tenth Cavalry, earning his spurs with these “Buffalo Soldiers.” more... about Scouting with the Buffalo Soldiers: Lieutenant Powhatan Clarke, Frederic Remington, and the Tenth U.S. Cavalry in the Southwest

Vol. 18: Living in the Shadow of a Hell Ship: The Survival Story of U.S. Marine George Burlage, a WWII Prisoner-of-War of the Japanese

Published: September, 2020  Pages: 256  Features: 41 b&w illus. 5 maps. Bib. Index.

U.S. Marine George Burlage was part of the largest surrender in American history at Bataan and Corregidor in the spring of 1942, where the Japanese captured more than 85,000 troops. More than forty percent would not survive World War II. His prisoner-of-war ordeal began at Cabanatuan near Manila, where the death rate in the early months of World War II was fifty men a day. Sensing that Cabanatuan was a death trap, he managed to get transferred to the isolated island of Palawan to help build an airfield for his captors. more... about Living in the Shadow of a Hell Ship: The Survival Story of U.S. Marine George Burlage, a WWII Prisoner-of-War of the Japanese

Vol. 17: From Texas to Tinian and Tokyo Bay: The Memoirs of Captain J. R. Ritter, Seabee Commander during the Pacific War, 1942-1945

Published: November, 2019  Pages: 240  Features: 12 b&w illus. 6 maps. Notes. Bib.

This is the story of J. R. Ritter (1902-1994), a civil engineer from Texas who became a U.S. Navy Seabee officer during World War II. For his memoir he preserved personal papers, letters, photos, and other items, many of which are reproduced in this book. His narrative is edited and annotated by his grandson, Jonathan Templin Ritter. more... about From Texas to Tinian and Tokyo Bay: The Memoirs of Captain J. R. Ritter, Seabee Commander during the Pacific War, 1942-1945

Vol. 16: A Machine-Gunner in France: The Memoirs of Ward Schrantz, 35th Division, 1917-1919

Published: April, 2019  Pages: 400  Features: 44 b&w illus. 4 maps. Notes. Bib. Index.

This is the WWI memoir of Ward Schrantz, a National Guard officer and machine gun company commander in the Kansas-Missouri 35^th^ Division. He extensively documents his experiences and those of his men, from training at Camp Doniphan to their voyage across the Atlantic, and to their time in the trenches in France’s Vosges Mountains and ultimately to their return home. He devotes much of his memoir to the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, in which the 35^th^ Division suffered heavy casualties and made only moderate gains before being replaced by fresh troops. Schrantz also describes the daily life of a soldier, including living conditions, relations between officers and enlisted men, and the horrific experience of combat. more... about A Machine-Gunner in France: The Memoirs of Ward Schrantz, 35th Division, 1917-1919

Vol. 15: Phantom in the Sky: A Marine's Back Seat View of the Vietnam War

Published: March, 2019  Pages: 400  Features: 31 b&w illus. Map. Notes. Bib. Index.

Listen to an interview with Terry L. Thorsen for the War and Life YouTube interview series hosted by Preston Jones of John Brown University. more... about Phantom in the Sky: A Marine's Back Seat View of the Vietnam War

Vol. 14: Minding the Helm: An Unlikely Career in the U.S. Coast Guard

Published: May, 2019  Pages: 304  Features: 28 b&w illus. Notes. Bib. Index.

As a boy growing up in New York City, Kevin P. Gilheany had two dreams: to join the Coast Guard and to play the bagpipes. But by the time he finished high school he was overweight, had a drinking problem, and couldn’t swim. Undeterred by the doubts of the folks at home, he decided to enlist in the Coast Guard anyway. more... about Minding the Helm: An Unlikely Career in the U.S. Coast Guard

Vol. 13: Flying with the Fifteenth Air Force: A B-24 Pilot's Missions from Italy during World War II

Published: October, 2018  Pages: 368  Features: 63 b&w illus. 2 maps. Notes. Bib. Index.

Listen to David Snead’s interview Flying with the Fifteenth Air Force on the Military History Inside Out podcast hosted by Cris Alvarez. more... about Flying with the Fifteenth Air Force: A B-24 Pilot's Missions from Italy during World War II

Vol. 12: The Phantom Vietnam War: An F-4 Pilot's Combat over Laos

Published: September, 2018  Pages: 416  Features: 54 b&w illus. Map. Notes. Bib. Index.

David R. “Buff” Honodel was a cocky young man with an inflated self-image when he arrived in 1969 at his base in Udorn, Thailand. His war was not in Vietnam; it was a secret one in the skies of a neighboring country almost unknown in America, attacking the Ho Chi Minh Trail that fed soldiers and supplies from North Vietnam into the South. Stateside he learned the art of flying the F-4, but in combat, the bomb-loaded fighter handled differently, targets shot back, and people suffered. Inert training ordnance was replaced by lethal weapons. In the air, a routine day mission turned into an unexpected duel with a deadly adversary. Complacency during a long night mission escorting a gunship almost led to death. A best friend died just before New Year’s. A RF-4 crashed into the base late in Buff’s tour of duty. more... about The Phantom Vietnam War: An F-4 Pilot's Combat over Laos

Vol. 11: Yesterday There Was Glory: With the 4th Division, A.E.F., in World War I Gerald Andrew Howell

Published: September, 2017  Pages: 464  Features: 45 b&w illus. 5 maps. Notes. Bib. Index.

In 1946, World War I veteran and self-described “buck private in the rear rank” Gerald Andrew Howell finished a memoir of the experiences of his squad from the 39^th^ Infantry Regiment, 4^th^ Division, and their “moments of horror, tragedy, humor, amour, [and] promiscuity” in Europe. This was “the old Army as it used to be,” Howell explains—the saga of the “down-trodden doughboy.” A few months later Howell was dead, his manuscript unpublished. Jeffrey Patrick discovered the memoir and the author’s correspondence with publishers and took on the task of bringing it to publication at last. more... about Yesterday There Was Glory: With the 4th Division, A.E.F., in World War I Gerald Andrew Howell

Vol. 10: We Were Going to Win, or Die There: With the Marines at Guadalcanal, Tarawa, and Saipan: Roy H. Elrod

Published: September, 2017  Pages: 320  Features: 32 b&w illus. 3 maps. Notes. Bib. Index.

In 1940, native West Texan Roy H. Elrod joined the Marine Corps. A few years later his unit, the 8th Marine Regiment, went into the fight at Guadalcanal, where he commanded a platoon of 37 mm gunners. They endured Japanese attacks, malarial tropical weather, and starvation rations. His combat leadership earned him a Silver Star and a battlefield promotion. more... about We Were Going to Win, or Die There: With the Marines at Guadalcanal, Tarawa, and Saipan: Roy H. Elrod

  • Colonel Joseph Alexander Award, Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, 2018

Vol. 9: Against the Grain: Colonel Henry M. Lazelle and the U.S. Army

Published: December, 2015  Pages: 432  Features: 36 b&w photos. Notes. Bib. Index.

Henry Martyn Lazelle (1832-1917) was the only cadet in the history of the U.S. Military Academy to be suspended and sent back a year (for poor grades and bad behavior) and eventually return as Commandant of the Corps of Cadets. After graduating from West Point in 1855, he scouted with Kit Carson, was wounded by Apaches, and spent nearly a year as a “paroled” prisoner-of-war at the outbreak of the Civil War. Exchanged for a Confederate officer, he took command of a Union cavalry regiment, chasing Mosby’s Rangers throughout northern Virginia. more... about Against the Grain: Colonel Henry M. Lazelle and the U.S. Army

Bookcover: A Different Face of War: Memories of a Medical Service Corps Officer in Vietnam Best Seller

Vol. 8: A Different Face of War: Memories of a Medical Service Corps Officer in Vietnam

Published: August, 2018  Pages: 528  Features: 41 b&w illus. Map. Notes. Bib. Index.

Listen to an interview with James G. Van Straten for the War and Life YouTube interview series hosted by Preston Jones of John Brown University. more... about A Different Face of War: Memories of a Medical Service Corps Officer in Vietnam

  • Selected by Major General Pat Sargent, Chief of the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps, for the Corps Chief's Reading List, May 2016

Vol. 7: Ground Pounder: A Marine's Journey through South Vietnam, 1968-1969

Published: May, 2012  Pages: 368  Features: 13 b&w photos. 1 map. Notes. Bib.

In early February of 1968, at the beginning of the Tet Offensive, Private First Class Gregory V. Short arrived in Vietnam as an eighteen-year-old U.S. Marine. Amid all of the confusion and destruction, he began his tour of duty as an 81mm mortarman with the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, which was stationed at Con Thien near the DMZ. While living in horrendous conditions reminiscent of the trenches in World War I, his unit was cut off and constantly being bombarded by the North Vietnamese heavy artillery, rockets, and mortars. more... about Ground Pounder: A Marine's Journey through South Vietnam, 1968-1969

  • History/Military Book Club Selection, 2012
  • Branson Stars and Flags Book Award, 2012

Vol. 6: Donut Dolly: An American Red Cross Girl's War in Vietnam

Published: November, 2017  Pages: 384  Features: 35 b&w illus. 1 map. Notes. Bib. Index.

Listen to an interview with Joann Puffer Kotcher for the War and Life YouTube interview series hosted by Preston Jones of John Brown University. more... about Donut Dolly: An American Red Cross Girl's War in Vietnam

  • Branson Stars and Flags Award, 2012

Vol. 5: Life and Death in the Central Highlands: An American Sergeant in the Vietnam War, 1968-1970

Published: September, 2010  Pages: 368  Features: 23 b&w illus. 7 maps. Gloss. Notes. Bib. Index.

Listen to an interview with James T. Gillam for the War and Life YouTube interview series hosted by Preston Jones of John Brown University (September 23, 2019). more... about Life and Death in the Central Highlands: An American Sergeant in the Vietnam War, 1968-1970

  • Featured in The Vietnam War PBS series by Ken Burns & Lynn Novick, History/Military Book Club Selection, 2010

Vol. 4: Nancy Love and the WASP Ferry Pilots of World War II

Published: July, 2014  Pages: 352  Features: 35 b&w illus. Notes. Bib. Index.

She flew the swift P-51 and the capricious P-38, but the heavy, four-engine B-17 bomber and C-54 transport were her forte. This is the story of Nancy Harkness Love who, early in World War II, recruited and led the first group of twenty-eight women to fly military aircraft for the U.S. Army. more... about Nancy Love and the WASP Ferry Pilots of World War II

  • Sarah Byrn Rickman, author, awarded the Seventh Annual Combs Gates Award by the National Aviation Hall of Fame for her outstanding work on the women pilots of World War II, 2010

Vol. 3: In Hostile Skies: An American B-24 Pilot in World War II

Published: September, 2007  Pages: 256  Features: 22 b/w illus. 1 map. Notes. Bib. Index.

James “Jim” Davis lived what he considered “an impossible dream’ as he piloted a B-24, as part of the 8th Air Force, on more than thirty missions in the European Theatre during World War II. He flew support missions for Operations Cobra and Market Garden and numerous bombing missions over occupied Europe in the summer and fall of 1944, attacking enemy airfields, airplane factories, railroad marshalling yards, ship yards, oil refineries, and chemical plants. While he and his crew survived without serious injuries, they witnessed the destruction of many of their friends’ planes and experienced serious damage to their own plane on several occasions. more... about In Hostile Skies: An American B-24 Pilot in World War II

  • Military Book Club Selection, 2006

Vol. 2: With the Possum and the Eagle: The Memoir of a Navigator's War over Germany and Japan

Published: August, 2005  Pages: 368  Features: 24 b&w photos. 2 maps. Gloss. Bib. Index.

Ralph H. Nutter was the lead navigator for Eighth Air Force raids over Germany when he was assigned as Maj. Gen. Curtis “the Eagle” LeMay’s group navigator. Later, as the strategic air war over Europe was winding down, the ace navigator was transferred to B-29 Superfortress duty with the Twentieth Air Force in the Pacific, where he was picked by Brigadier Gen. Haywood “Possum” Hansell to be his bomber navigator. After LeMay succeeded Hansell as bomber commander, Nutter returned to navigation duty with LeMay. more... about With the Possum and the Eagle: The Memoir of a Navigator's War over Germany and Japan

Bookcover: Rattler One-Seven: A Vietnam Helicopter Pilot's War Story Best Seller

Vol. 1: Rattler One-Seven: A Vietnam Helicopter Pilot's War Story

Published: August, 2004  Pages: 248  Features: 26 b&w photos. 2 maps. Gloss. Notes. Bib. Index.

Rattler One-Seven puts you in the helicopter seat, to see the war in Vietnam through the eyes of an inexperienced pilot as he transforms himself into a seasoned combat veteran. more... about Rattler One-Seven: A Vietnam Helicopter Pilot's War Story

  • Military Book Club selection, 2004
  • Gold Cover Award and Distinguished Book Award from the Military Writers Society of America/American Authors Association, 2004