"""Dear Captain, et al."" tells the story of Company K, 335th Infantry, 84th Division during the last six months of combat in Europe during World War II and the author’s struggle for survival. As a rifleman, messenger, and communications sergeant, he was one of a handful of men who made it from the Siegfried Line, through the Battle of Bulge, and across the Roer, Rhine, and Weser rivers to finish at the Elbe near Berlin without becoming a casualty.
Written from notes made just after hostilities ceased and melded with official military records, visits to battlefields and cemeteries, contemporary news stories, letters, and testimonials of company veterans, it is one of the most thorough accounts ever written about a combat unit. There are scores of interesting characters, eyewitness accounts of every battle, documentation of every casualty, and powerful descriptions of warfare. A poignant love story, woven through the story, adds a tender ecstasy. We read the author’s love letters to and from a girl called Mary and share their anxieties amid circumstances that neither can control. Dear Captain, et al. is beautifully written with a passion that reminds of James Jones and the nostalgic longing of F. Scott Fitzgerald. While writing it the author was often brought to tears. Memory is a bitch, he notes.
WHAT READERS ARE SAYING . . .
""The memoir is moving, filled with sadness, anger, humor, and joy . . . You do not hint at what is called the glory of battle, yet your account is full of human courage and determination. And love."" VINCE RYAN, Army Security Agency.
""This is a great effort . . . I bought the hardcover (will buy four or six more) and the ebook. All of my memories of (my father) were seeing him in the hospital."" MIKE MATUSKA, son of Steve Matuska, severely wounded, Battle of the Bulge.
""I can´t say enough about how much I enjoyed your book, laughing and crying in parts, and to think you lived it makes everything you wrote much more interesting."" MARILYN FLAHERTY, daughter of a Pacific, WW II veteran.
""I feel privileged to have ´met´ Captain Carpenter, and Lt. Prewitt, and the others, too many to mention. I have never read a book before that brought tears to my eyes. The names (in the division roster) are now men."" ANDY BRADLEY, North Yorkshire, UK.
""It is a powerful story . . . easily the best book I have read about the infantry in World War II. I laughed when I heard you mimic (the Camp Claiborne first sergeant´s) language, color, and accent . . . was touched by the fantasy of the young Railsplitters who rest in peace together at Margraten close enough that they could visit back and forth . . . perhaps it is not a fantasy. The book was deja vu all over again."" ROY OGLE, Hq-333, 84th Division, Clemson University Professor.
""Outstanding. Particularly impressed by incorporation of so much research detail without interfering with the flow of the narrative. Should be read by anyone who was touched in any way by World War II."" TED JOHNSON, Public Relations Professional.
""I was delighted to find that Dear Captain, et al. is not just a book about war. It is also a beautiful love story."" KATHY GILES, Alexandria, Virginia. Wife of a former Naval Officer.
""Dear Captain, et al. is a bit of a personal memoir, a company history and a war novel. For those of us removed from foxhole fighting it paints a detailed picture of what it was like to be a dogface hoping each day wouldn´t be your last."" JOHN LUCAS Evansville (Indiana) Courier and Press.
""Powerful Stuff!"" Chris Sladen, Public History Group, Ruskin College, Oxford, UK.
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About Allan Wilford Howerton
See more books from this Author
Published September 7, 2000
Biographies & Memoirs, War, History.