West Point '41 : The Class That Went to War and Shaped America
Overview - Bataan. North Africa. Sicily. Omaha Beach. The Ardennes. West Point 41: The Class That Went to War and Shaped America is an uplifting story of ordinary young men in extraordinary times, in extraordinary places, who graduated directly into the teeth of battle and displayed unwavering leadership, honor, duty, and determination. Read more...
More About West Point '41 by Anne Kazel-wilcox; P. J. Wilcox; Edward L. Rowny; Michael J. Meese
Bataan. North Africa. Sicily. Omaha Beach. The Ardennes. West Point 41: The Class That Went to War and Shaped America is an uplifting story of ordinary young men in extraordinary times, in extraordinary places, who graduated directly into the teeth of battle and displayed unwavering leadership, honor, duty, and determination. From Sandy Nininger, awarded the first Medal of Honor of World War II for his actions leading Philippine Scouts in the early days of the war, to Charlie Fletcher, Ed Rowny, Paul Skowronek, Herb Stern, and dozens of others who quickly found themselves leading companies, battalions, and regiments, these young officers struggled with the fog and terror of war and early command. In a postwar era of unprecedented military latitude, they helped shape defense strategy, led development of America's rocket programs, and created the theory and practice of helicopter airmobile combat that came to dominate in Vietnam. In Europe, Asia, and with the Soviets, 41ers practiced diplomacy and tradecraft as architects of American Cold War policy. All the while, they clung tightly to tenets of duty and moral courage inculcated at West Point: often tested, but holding firm to the bonds that make up the "Long Gray Line."
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
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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)