Author: Clinton Frederick
Title: World War II: A Legacy of Letters – One Soldier’s Journey
Publisher: Zonicom Press LLC
Reviewer: W. H. McDonald, Jr. – AAA Founder
Award-Winning Finalist for History
in the National Indie Excellence 2007 Book Awards
More than Letters – Truly a Legacy
Author Clinton Frederick writes about his father who was killed in WWII just four months after his own birth. In this sentimental and emotionally touching book “World War II: A Legacy of Letters – One Soldier’s Journey” he takes readers on a journey of discovery about not only his father but about the war, the era and the attitudes of that time and place in our history. He not only shares long lost letters that his father wrote, but he adds information that he researched about his dad’s unit and what was going on in the war around the time of those letters home.
The author remembered that his father had old war souvenirs in the attic at his childhood home and in his adult years he comes back to rediscover them. He also finds a truck load of old letters that his father wrote home. He took this treasure trove of information and makes this one very endearing voyage of emotions. He finally gets a good look at understanding his dad and learns more about him then he ever knew. In the process of putting the book together he finds members of his dad’s old unit and even finds out about his parent’s best man at their wedding. He uses the letters, lots of conversations along with hours of researched data from government files, endless help from strangers and family to compile volumes of information about what his dad did in the war. It is a moving reading experience and one that will explore many parts of your own heart and soul.
Frederick does a masterful and skillful job of placing the letters into the flow of the book along with recaps of events and comments. The end deals with the death notices and the funeral of his father. It all works to paint this portrait of the real man his father was. This son truly honors his father’s history and delivers a fine tribute to him. I believe that the author finally make all those personal emotional connections between himself and his father as well. I think there was healing taking place just through the writing of the book.
The book has lots of facts, old photos, and information related to his father’s war experiences; a great personal look at World War II. The author does a professional job of the writing and of putting this book all together. It is well worth buying and reading it. Readers will find it fascinating and emotionally riveting at times. I enjoyed it very much.
The American Authors Association gives this book its highest book rating and the Founder's Recommendation!
Reviewer: Robert D. “Bob” Johnson (Past President of the 1st Cavalry Association)
Many times we hear family members, ask “What did Dad do in the war?” Clint Frederick was able put together his father’s military service, in part by reading the letters his father, Captain George F. Frederick, mailed home. The letters challenged Clint to research historical documents and books, talk to veterans who served with his father, and visit reunions where some may have known his father. He then added the war time historical events, to give a great overview of the first battles of the First Cavalry Division during World War II.
The letters show an insight that only a Veteran of that era would have experienced, such as doing more with less equipment, that was not available or in very limited amounts. Ironically Captain Frederick was eventually assigned to General Douglas McArthur’s maneuvers and intelligence staff, and many times he was out in front of the First Cavalry Division Troopers as they battled for islands in the South Pacific, sometimes foxhole to foxhole and tree to tree. It is great coverage of what goes on in a higher staff level and at the same time retains the deeds and personal life of Captain Frederick.
He also mentions a CAV Trooper that many of us were fond of, Lt. William “Bill” Swan who wrote the initial “Long Roll Muster” for our Division Association Reunion Memorial Services. Lt. William Swan, the author, was one of many whose heroic acts during the advance through the Admiralty Islands en route to the Philippines, helped to rescue prisoners held by the Japanese. The First Cavalry Division Association’s “Long Roll Muster” parallels the history in the book.
This material has opened many doors for me in getting Veterans to talk about their service. In one case the author relates how B-17’s were modified to carry supplies and ammunition, evacuate wounded and still keep some armament to defend them selves. I asked a B-17 Veteran if his units ever modified their B-17’s and that opened the doors for us to have a great conversation.
Many of us keep quiet about what we did while serving our country. If you read this book, perhaps it will show you a way to let your families know what you did, when and where. They want to know!