World War II buffs: In constructing my earlier post below “43rd Division Inducted in Army 75 years ago,” I came to realize that, having just finished celebrating the end of the war (70th anniversary of V-J Day last August), we are now approaching the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day. We now can relive the American experience in WW II day-by-day for the next four and a half years as we pass by the 75th anniversaries of the important events. For my Dad’s perspective of those event in the Pacific Theater, see the video here and also www.wilberswar.com. (Use discount code FBWW on that website if you decide to buy the print trilogy, to get 25% off the already reduced price.)
Please forgive the crass promotion of my trilogy. I published it myself, and thus it gets very little exposure. It is a touching, rich, and tragic story that sheds important light on the Pacific War as well as on deeply personal issues that are exacerbated in wartime. Hence I think it deserves more visibility than it is getting. Do help spread the word.
The 43rd Infantry Division, with elements from four New England states, was inducted into Federal service on February 24, 1941, for one year of active duty. Europe was an Axis fortress, with only England and Russia free of German Nazi domination. The Germans would attack Russia in June and America would not enter the war until Pearl Harbor in Hawaii was attacked by the Japanese on December 7, 1941.
During early March, the men and trucks and howitzers of the 152nd Field Artillery Regiment left towns all over Maine for Camp Blanding, Florida. The regiment would not return home until victory 4.5 years later. Capt. Wilber Bradt, my father, a 41-year old chemistry professor was on the staff of the regiment and thus helped organize the departures. He, with the regimental commander and others of the staff, would finally leave for Florida on March 15, 1941. Old movie footage shows the regiment’s departure from snowy Bangor, Maine, and their early days at Camp Blanding, Florida. (My dad appears briefly on the train platform in the background facing the camera at time 3:48 of the nine-minute clip.) In the photo above, taken just as they were departing Bangor, he is the officer on the left end.
By March 15, my mother, my sister and I had left Bangor, Maine, and were settled into an apartment on West 73rd Street in New York City. Thus, just 75 years ago, began the sagas of our World War II experiences, that of Wilber with the army in the Pacific Theater and that of my mother, Norma, in New York City.
My trilogy, Wilber’s War: An American Family’s Journey through World War II, tells the whole story. It has been reduced in price from $125 to $79 and readers of this blog can get it for 25% less than that ($59.25 plus shipping). Use discount code BLOGWW at www.wilberswar.com. It’s a most touching story of jungle combat, intense love, and human frailty. Please consider buying it and telling your friends about it.
2/19/19 Amazing News. A staged reading of Wilber's War will be performed next month at Peirce Farm Estates, Route 1, Topsfield, MA, March 29, 2019. at 7:30. Tickets will most likely sell out, so get your tickets NOW at www.punctuate4.org. This perf... Read More
10/30/17 (posted 12/8/17). I was most pleased to receive a generous response from General Albin Irzyk, after he had received a copy of Wilber’s War. At age 100, he is a veteran of WWII and Vietnam and the author of several books, including the rece... Read More