by Ed McGaa
Re-reading W E B Griffin’s Marine saga beginning in Shanghai with pre-WW II Marines. A must read for all old Marines. Good supernumerary material in case you have to fill me in. Sweeps up into WW II with developing characters based on actual historic figures, unaltered real ones cast within, MacArthur, FDR, Marshall, Nimitz. etc. Pearl Harbor, Wake, Australia Coast Watchers, Guadalcanal, on into Korea. Extremely accurate history. My oldest brother, 2nd Marine Division Saipan, Marianas, Tarawa. I had Griffin’s full library. Sent them to my old Nam squadron based on Truman’s Iraq War. The grateful CO replied with set of leather gold wings tags for flight jackets I wear. Griffs books are the best reads for any era vet.
Re-reading those 3 novels, my whole being was rejuvenated back into an adventure-cast youth. The Marine corporal in Shanghai carrying a Springfield and later forced to pick up a Tommy .45 was me carrying an M-1 in Korea and going on Japan R&R loaded with $300 which was a helluva lot back then. Later on, T-28s & F4F Wildcats come into play. The Shanghai corporal goes to OCS Quantico. My DI there calls 3 of us vets in, throws a M-14 book at me and tells me to study it, "We're short on D I's Chief. You're going to teach it, Wednesday!" You other two will teach drill." We got a little less bullshit compared to the college kids. We even got away on occasional weekends. I was sitting in a T 28 landing at FSD for fuel and buzzing my father in law’s farm at lake Herman, then onto that big F4. My life was totally, blissfully re-adrenalized enough so to drive from Sarasota all the way up to near Charleston and bring back a big cooler of fish adequate to last until I head back to South Dakoka come May.
Three days I read Griffin’s first three and just re-ordered the rest of his Marine series. A helluva lot immersed me like a shrouded nirvana of energetic, youthful stupor. Even the excitement of my first ride in that acrobatic T-34 wherein the IP does his damnedest to scare hell outta you. I sat in back of him unbeknownst of his rear view mirrors. Grin after grin before and after each loop, twist and high g turn. "G. D. Chief, you really liked it, didn't you." When we got on the ground. Griff has the same for one of his heroes.