WWII

New Book: The Sun Will Rise Again

 

I have been busy again this year and now have a second book out on the market titled, “The Sun Will Rise Again.”

Inspiration for this project came from my travels to Japan, and from blogging about places like Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Okinawa.  Japan is a beautiful country with a rich culture and history. However, some of its history often gets overlooked or ignored, even by its own citizens.

In this book, you will learn about some of the less talked about aspects of Japanese and American history.  I hope that after reading “The Sun Will Rise Again,” you will be further motivated to travel to some of the locations that played a pivotal role during the Pacific War and seek out the facts for yourself.

World War II was without question the deadliest war in history. Of the estimated 70 million people killed, 50 to 55 million were civilians.

The United States managed to stay out of the war that was ravaging the rest of the world until the day when the Empire of Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, “a date which will live in infamy.”

What prompted the Japanese to wage war with the United States? Was the attack really a surprise or was it a carefully orchestrated event by Washington to anger the American public enough to want to go to war? Did the Japanese government truly believe that they would prevail against the military might of the United States?

The losses the Japanese military experienced during the Pacific War were unforeseeable. The suffering endured by the Japanese people was unimaginable. By the end of World War II, Japan had persevered through eight years of war, taking into account the Second Sino-Japanese War which began in 1937. The country lay in ruins and the morale of its people was at an all-time low, but in the land of the rising sun, THE SUN WILL RISE AGAIN!

Follow Japan’s journey from a nation vanquished to a nation victorious in this book that details the grim realities of war, politics, racism, and blind devotion.

To order your copy, click on the book’s image in the right-hand margin.  The book will also come to the shelves of your local bookstore in 6-8 weeks. Thank you for your support.

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CALIFORNIA: SANTA ANA (LYON AIR MUSEUM/ CLASSIC CAR SHOW)

Earlier, I posted an article about the Lyon Air Museum located in Santa Ana, California.  The facility occupies a 30,000 square foot hangar on the west side of John Wayne Airport and provides a unique setting for events such as galas, holiday parties, fashion shows and receptions. From now until September 2017, the museum is hosting a classic car show featuring a nice collection of pristine classic cars that will appeal to the classic car hobbyist and thrill seeker alike.

There is a 1939 Mercedes-Benz Model G4 Offener Touring Wagon and a 1940s Divco Helms Bakery Truck that are  already a part of the museum’s permanent collection. The museum also features a nice collection of military vehicles and motorcycles which include the 1939 German VID Tempo Gelaendewagen, the 1942 Ford GPW Military Jeep, the 1943 German NSU Kettenkrad HK 101 Tracked Motorcycle and the 1943 Japanese Rikuo Sidecar Motorcycle, just to list a few.

The classic car show features the 1927 Bugatti Type 35B Grand Prix which was driven by race car driver, William Grover-Williams, who was captured by the Gestapo in Germany  in August of 1943. He was sent to a concentration camp for nearly two years and executed in March of 1945, just a few months before the end of WWII.  You will also find a 1953 Jaguar XK120 Roadster. This vehicle’s prototype was displayed at the London Auto Show in 1948.  Then there is my favorite in the collection, the 1955 Mercedes Benz 300SL Gullwing Coupe in a striking red!

Visitors can enjoy the classic cars and everything else this unique museum has to offer all for one admission fee.  General admission is $12 for adults and $6 for children between the ages of 5 and 17.  Children under 5 are admitted free.  The Lyon Air Museum is located on 19300 Ike Jones Road in Santa Ana, California.  It is open daily from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM which the exception of Thanksgiving day and Christmas day. You can contact them at (714) 210-4585 for more information.

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IMG_96221927 Bugatti Type 35B Grand Prix

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California: Santa Ana (Lyon Air Museum)

Located on the west side of John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California is museum founded by Major General William Lyon.  The Lyon Air Museum displays authentic and rare airplanes, automobiles, military vehicles and military motorcycles.  You will also find various exhibits and memorabilia related to World War II.

Major General Lyon was a decorated member of the military and a successful businessman. During his military career of more than 35 years, he served in both World War II and the Korean War. He was the Commander of the United States Air Force Reserve Command Headquarters in Washington D.C and the Headquarters Air Force Reserve, a separate operating agency located in Georgia.  In his role, he had full responsibility for the supervision of U.S. Air Force Reserve units around the world.

Sixty years ago, Major General Lyon started building homes in California for returning military personnel.  Today, William Lyon Homes, Inc. is one of the largest home builders in the U.S. responsible for building more than 75,000 homes in Arizona, California, Nevada, Colorado, Washington and Oregon.

Among the museum’s exhibits you will find the B-17 Flying Fortress, “Fuddy Duddy.” Manufactured in 1945, this plane was used as a VIP transport in the Pacific at the end of World War II. It once carried General Dwight D. Eisenhower who later became the 34th President of the United States. The museum also features the “Bird-dog,” manufactured in 1950 by the Cessna Aircraft Company, as a reconnaissance plane for the U.S. Army. It was used extensively for combat in Korea and Vietnam, often piloted by former fighter and bomber pilots of World War II. The Douglas A-26 Invader was used in more wars than any other aircraft type of its era. Americans used this attack bomber in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, while other air forces fought with it in Indo-China, Algeria, Biafra, Cuba, the Congo. The Douglas DC-3 started life as a C-47A built during World War II. Prior to its conversion to airliner configuration, it flew with the USAAF’s famed 440th Troop Carrier Group. On June 5, 1944, this aircraft was stationed at Exeter Field in England, ready to fly across the Channel with hundreds of other Dakotas. It was to transport members of the 101st Airborne over Drop Zone DELTA, to help support the D-Day invasion in Normandy at 1:40 AM, on the morning of June 6, 1944. However, the plane that drew my attention was the North American B-25 “Mitchell.” Named after General “Billy” Mitchell, this craft was used in the Doolittle Raid over Tokyo on April 18, 1942.  Departing from the deck of the aircraft carrier, the USS Hornet, sixteen of these planes successfully completed the first strike on Japanese soil during World War II.

After the war, the Doolittle Raiders became Air Force legends. Four months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Col. James H. Doolittle assembled 16 B-25’s and trained the crew to take off the aircraft carrier, which only had 467 feet of runway. Until that point in time, no one had ever flown a bomber off an aircraft carrier. The mission was to bomb Japan and land safely in China. However a Japanese vessel spotted the Hornet before it was able to reach its target of 400 miles away from Japanese soil.  Instead, the crew  left the carrier a day early from a distance of 600 miles out, in order to keep the attack a surprise. Knowing there was a possibility of running out of fuel before reaching China, the 80 crew members made the decision to follow through with the mission anyway. They succeeded in hitting their targets in Japan but all of the planes crashed except for one that landed in Russia. Out of the 80 crew members 69 survived. One of the crew members, Richard Cole, celebrated his 100th birthday in June of 2016!

The museum is open daily from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM (Closed on Thanksgiving day and Christmas day). General admission is $12 (Children aged 5 -17 are admitted for $6).  Senior citizens and veterans can obtain a discounted admission ticket for $9.

You can tour the entire museum in about an hour, stopping off to carefully view all of the exhibits.  There is an elevated viewing bridge which enables you to get a bird’s eye view of the planes.  There is also an interactive display area where you and your little ones can climb aboard the various military vehicles and have your photos taken.  Photography is permitted inside of the museum.

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The B-25 Mitchell

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A Japanese “Lucky Flag” brought back from New Guinea

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The Pacific War

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Col. James Doolittle

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Bride wearing a wedding dress made from a pilot’s parachute

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Web Page:        http://lyonairmuseum.org/

 Address:           19300 Ike Jones Road, Santa Ana, CA 92707

Read more about the famous Doolittle Raid and the Pacific War in “The Sun Will Rise Again,” coming Fall 2017.

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Preview: The Sun Will Rise Again

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The Sun Will Rise Again

ISBN-13: 978-1540747952

Without question World War II was the deadliest war in history. Of the estimated 70 million people killed, 50 to 55 million were civilians.

The United States managed to stay out of the war that was ravaging the rest of the world until the day Imperial Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, “a date which will live in infamy.”

What prompted the Japanese to wage war with the United States? Was the attack really a surprise or was it a carefully orchestrated event by Washington to anger the American public enough to want to go to war?

Did the Japanese truly believe that they would prevail against the military might of the United States? The losses the Japanese military experienced during the Pacific War were unforeseeable. The suffering endured by the Japanese people was unimaginable. 

By the end of World War II, Japan had persevered through 14 years of war. The country lay in ruins and the morale of its people was at an all-time low, but in the land of the rising sun, the sun will rise again. Follow Japan’s journey from vanquished to victorious in this book that details the grim realities of war, politics, racism and blind devotion.

Please also check out my travel guide released in November of 2016, “A Blogger’s Guide To Japan,” available on Amazon.com, Amazon Kindle and CreateSpace eStore: (https://www.createspace.com/6595032)

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Seeking Interview Candidates For Upcoming Book

I have not been posting to my blog very often as of late and the reason is because I have been busy working on my second book.

The new book is on track to be published by Fall 2017.  I am seeking individuals willing to share their stories about the Pacific War.  These stories will be featured in interview format at the end of the book.

The interviews will be conducted via email.

Potential interview candidates include:

(1) Japanese civilians who survived the bombings of Tokyo, Nagasaki or Hiroshima (or their family members).

(2) Former members of the Japanese military (or their family members).

(3) Former members of the 100th/ 442nd Battalions / MIS (or their family members).

(4) Japanese War Brides who traveled to the United States or Australia.

(5) War orphans in Japan (Orphaned either as a result of being mixed race babies/ children of the occupation forces or orphaned due to their parents becoming war casualties.)

Please post a comment, if you are interested in sharing your story.  Thank you for your support.

(Photo: Werner Bischof/ Japan 1951)

The Odessa Journal: Ukraine’s crossroads of culture

“Isn’t Ukraine dangerous??” a friend of mine recently asked me.

How The Allied Occupation Helped Promote The Popularity Of Tokyo Style Nigiri Sushi

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When the Allied forces arrived in Japan in 1945 for what was to be the seven year military occupation, there was little doubt that the country would be changed forever. However, some traditions were retained in an effort to maintain Japanese culture.  One of these traditions was sushi.

The earliest form of sushi in Japan was called narezushi (salted fish).  Fish was stored in fermented rice for long periods of time without spoiling and provided an important source of protein in the Japanese diet. The sushi we are familiar with today is called nigiri sushi.  It had its origins in Edo (Tokyo). A restaurant owner named Hanaya Yohei is credited with having invented this type of sushi during the 19th century.  The Edo people were known for their busy lifestyle and lack of patience, therefore many fast food businesses began cropping up. Nigiri sushi, which was known as Edomaezushi at the time, was a type of fast food, conveniently shaped to be eaten by hand and no longer reliant on the fermentation process utilized by narezushi.

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While nigiri quickly became the most popular style of sushi in Edo, it did not immediately dominate the sushi landscape as it does today. There were two events which aided the popularity of nigiri sushi outside of Tokyo: one was the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 and the other was the military occupation of Japan in 1945.  The earthquake caused many people to leave Tokyo and return to their hometowns.  Among these were the various sushi chefs who opened restaurants upon returning home and served Edomaezushi to their clientele. In post-war Japan, many sushi shops were forced to close due to the rice rationing at the time and not allowed to reopen.

Eventually it was impressed upon the American Forces General Headquarters that the sushi restaurants should be allowed to reopen as sushi was an important part of Japanese culture.  When the restaurants reopened however, they had to adhere to one strict rule.  That rule was that the patrons were to bring in their own rice rations for the sushi.  One cup of rice was to be used to make ten pieces of sushi hence the nigiri sushi shrunk in size.  In pre-war Japan, nigiri sushi was three times larger.

Eventually the same system was implemented throughout Japan and Tokyo style nigiri became Japan’s predominant form of sushi.

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