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Books, Writing, History, and the Ritchie Boys

In "Books, Writing, History and the Ritchie Boys" I share my thoughts on certain books, the process of writing, the experiences of an indie-publisher, short pieces on WWII and the Holocaust, highlights of places from Immigrant Soldier, and, occasionally, profiles of Ritchie Boys. Everything in this blog reflects my personal ideas and feelings–a memoir of sorts, it is my perspective and any errors or omissions are mine.

Camp Young, Desert Training Center, World War II

On Sunday, June 19th, I celebrated Father’s Day as part of a panel of authors of military literature, an event sponsored by the Friends of the San Juan Capistrano Library. The other panel member was Frank McAdams, who wrote the Pulitzer nominated book, Vietnam Roughrider: A Convoy Commander’s Memoir.

Before the panel started, the moderator, Pat Forster, also a Vietnam veteran and a contributor to a Vietnam military history book by Keith Nolan, asked me a simple question – “Where was Camp Young?”

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The Ritchie Boys and D-Day

I have just returned from a trip to France which included almost a month in a Brittany village and a tour with Road Scholar.  Because of my interest in World War II, the highlight of the tour was the two days dedicated to learning about the Normandy Landings on D-Day.  We visited Omaha Beach, the Normandy American Cemetery, the Caen-Normandy Memorial museum, and several other places significant to D-Day.
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Marthe Cohn, Behind Enemy Lines

Last year in the end of December, I was able to attend a talk by Marthe Cohn, holocaust survivor and French spy.
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The Battle of Saint-Malo in World War II

Ever since I first visited Saint-Malo with my daughter in 1998, I have wanted to return.  It is a beautiful old walled city on the Brittany coast of France where extreme tides create a dynamic backdrop. However, it was not until last year when I read All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr, that I realized this beautiful city was decimated during World War II by Allied artillery and bombs. Why?  Because it was the location of a heavily defended Nazi fort that refused to withdraw. 

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The Archivist of the Ritchie Boys

Whenever I need statistics about the Ritchie Boys, I contact Dan Gross.  I have come to call him “The Archivist.”  I don’t know if this title is original to me, or if I heard it somewhere, but it is well-deserved.

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