Historian Thomas Saylor crisscrossed Minnesota gathering the colorful, heroic, and at times tragic stories of more than a hundred diverse individuals swept up in World War II. Betty Wall Strohfus of Faribault recalls how she discovered a love for flying and joined the Women's Air Force Service Pilots (WASP) program to ferry aircraft stateside. Lyle Pasket of St. Paul marvels that he was only 17 when his cruiser Indianapolis was torpedoed en route to the Philippines—and that he survived four days in shark-infested waters while 560 other swimmers succumbed. Paratrooper Frank Soboleski of International Falls recounts how he depended on his north woods hunting skills to stay alive while fighting in the Netherlands. And schoolteacher Vivian Linn McMorrow remembers with quiet intensity the brief time she shared with her husband Ralph Gland, who was killed in France during the second year of their marriage.
"A great All-American story.... Saylor conjures up the World War II years in truly inspired fashion. A wonderful book." —Douglas Brinkley