About the Author

Hale Bradt was born in 1930 and is a retired Professor of Physics at MIT, specifically of astrophysics with a specialty in x-ray astronomy. He has published two textbooks in astrophysics. He served two years in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific during the Korean War and later became an avid small boat sailor. He plays the violin and relishes classical music. He lives in Salem, Massachusetts, with his wife Dorothy of 60 years. They have two grown daughters and two young-adult grandchildren.

He can be reached through the blog and forums on this website or through the publisher at info@vandornbooks.com.

From the Author


I have long been a history buff with a special interest in the Pacific campaigns of World War II, probably because my father participated in them. My discovery of his articulate, detailed, and descriptive letters from the Pacific gave me a basis for exploring new aspects of that history. My own science background helped me—I like to think—discern what was most important in those letters and helped me search out the less visible facets of both my parents’ lives.  As a history buff and a family member who remembers those days, I believe I am uniquely able to provide context to my father’s letters by relating them to his experiences, to our family, and to the worldwide progress of the war.

More from the Author – About the Project

I got into this project on my 50th birthday in 1980 when I rediscovered some of Wilber’s letters. Recognizing the vivid quality of his writing, I set out to find more of them and eventually located some 700. The story of the war in Wilber’s eyes and the hidden stories of my family’s wartime experiences fascinated me and drove me to interview family members, his military colleagues, and a Japanese colonel who fought directly opposite him in the Solomons. I also searched out documents in archives and visited the Pacific battle sites where Wilber fought and visited: the Solomon Islands, The Philippines, and also New Zealand. The story obsessed me! Searching it out was a highly rewarding adventure that not infrequently turned dramatic. I did most of this research in the early 1980s when many of the participants were still living.

Some 30 years later, I began to prepare a version of the story for the public and historians, which I call Wilber’s War, a trilogy. It portrays early 20th Century America and the entire Pacific War as experienced by my parents and revealed contemporaneously through the letters of Wilber (as edited by me) and through my own memories and research. It was published in 2016,  a beautiful set of three hardcover books in a slipcase. A year later,  I published a one-volume distillation of the trilogy, with the same name, Wilber’s War.