It’s that time of year ~ the holiday season is behind us… winter surrounds us… what to do?  Look for a good book and curl up and read!

 

Love the Air Force?  Love hockey?  Then this is a must read!  Against All Odds, The Untold Story of Canada’s Unlikely Hockey Heroeswas written by P.J. Naworynski.  “Drawing on extensive interviews with surviving players and their families, Against All Odds is the untold story of the men who bravely fought in the Allied air war and then returned to Europe to battle for Canada again on the ice.

Led by Dr. Sandy Watson and coached by Frank Boucher, son of the legendary NHL player and coach George “Buck” Boucher, the Flyers weren’t just any men.  They were men who had jumped from burning bombers, fought with the Polish resistance, and were officially recognized for their bravery.

Sadly, the story of these humble men was largely forgotten after the victory parades and their return to regular life.  Some turned down NHL contracts, some stayed in the air force, others returned to Europe again to help locate the graves of their fallen comrades.  As tough on the ice as they were in battle, the Flyers brought together their love of hockey and country to help reclaim Canada’s place as the best hockey nation in the world.”

 

It’s not too late to visit our Museum to see first hand the Aleutians Campaign Exhibit.  If you’ve seen it and are interested in learning more… if you haven’t seen it and want to learn something about this, the Forgotten War, these next two books are for you!

 

Aleutian World War II National Historic Area: Calendar Compendium, Selections From the Years 2010 to 2016is published by the National Parks Service, Department of the Interior..  “Beginning in 2006, the Aleutian World War II National Historic Area has produced calendars with each month focused on an illustrated history related to the program’s interpretive themes…. Each year the calendars interwove and built upon the two main themes of the national historic area: the Aleutian military campaign and the Aleut experience of World War II.  The stories also reflected the program’s focus on the natural environment as well as historic preservation, both in reference to Aleut culture and history and to the military campaign.  The calendars also explored previously unknown sides of the World War II Aleutian experience, including primary research on the personal histories of soldiers and civilians in the Aleutian Islands.

This calendar compendium draws from a wide range of histories… author and designer, Francis Broderick, Archgraphics, has been the main contributor…”. The book is a beautiful presentation of the many stories!

 

John Haile Cloe wrote Attu, the Forgotten Battle.  In his introduction, Cloe writes, “The closure of the U.S. Coast Guard LORAN C station on Attu in 2010 left the island uninhabited for the first time since around 500BC. Today, Attu remains isolated, difficult to visit. The remnants of World War II and the Cold War are still there, as are traces of the former Aleut village. Largely forgotten is the May 1943 battle to retake the island from the Japanese who occupied Attu June 1942 as part of their Midway-Aleutian operations.

Attu stands out as the scene of the only land battle fought on North American soil during World War II and the second most costly assault in the Pacific following Iwo Jima in terms of number of troops engaged. The Americans suffered 71 killed or wounded retaking Attu for every 100 Japanese who defended the island…”

Cloe’s work has won praise, “… Cloe has brilliantly exposed an affecting and gripping picture of this little remembered conflict, from the planning stages to the final days of bloody hand-to-hand combat and the desperate Banzai charge…Presenting a detailed account of this early amphibious campaign in the North Pacific, he lays bare the grave miscalculations and chaos – from the critical highest national levels, to the poor planning and execution of the battle…”

We invite you to come into our Museum to have a closer look at these books.  If you don’t live in the community, check with your local library or book store!