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Publisher's Summary

The Pacific War was the theatre of World War II that was fought in Asia, the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean and Oceania. The Pacific War saw the Allies pitted against Japan, aided by Thailand and its Axis allies, Germany and Italy. Fighting included some of the largest naval battles in history, and the war culminated in the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 

Book 1: Helmet for My Pillow: From Parris Island to the Pacific is a personal memoir of the war in the Southern Pacific by the World War II United States Marine Corps veteran, author, and military historian Robert Leckie. First published in 1957, the story begins with Leckie's enlisting in the United States Marines after the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Deployed to Guadalcanal, New Britain, and New Guinea, where some of the war's fiercest fighting took place, he is finally wounded and evacuated from the island of Peleliu. Recounting his service on the frontline and visits to Australia, Leckie paints a realistic portrait of how real warriors are made in a struggle against a deadly enemy. 

Book 2: The Saga of Pappy Gunn by George Churchill Kenney. Kenney (1889 -1977) was a United States Army Air Force general during World War II. His book narrates the remarkable life of Paul Irvin “Pappy” Gunn and his exploits during the Second World War. Gunn was an integral part of the war effort in the Pacific during WWII. Besides being a brilliant pilot, he was a formidable aviation engineer, a mechanical genius who could rebuild anything from an electric razor to an airplane engine or any of the plane’s hundreds of accessories. This book makes it clear why many admirals, generals and soldiers considered Gunn as one of aviation's great pioneers. 

Book 3: On Valor's Side is an enlisted man’s first-hand account of what it was like to be a Marine in the Pacific during World War Two. T. Grady Gallant was a journalist, editor, columnist, author and editor who took part in the battles of Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima. The first part of On Valor’s Side covers the gruelling training that members of the First Marine Division underwent at Parris Island, whilst the second recounts the unit's travel to New Zealand, Guadalcanal and the Solomon Islands. 

Book 4: The Coastwatchers. Commander Eric Augustus Feldt (1899 - 1968) was an officer in the Royal Australian Navy. During the Second World War, until 1943, he was the director of the Coastwatchers organisation. The Coastwatchers’ task was to monitor Japanese activity in the islands that make up the Solomon Archipelago. Feldt code-named his organisation "Ferdinand", a name from a popular children's book about a bull. This book is the account of the Coastwatchers’ many crucial contributions to the war in the Pacific and especially in the Battle for Guadalcanal.

Book 5: They Call It Pacific (1943) is an account of the war in the Pacific from December 1941 to late 1942. The author, a foreign correspondent with the Associated Press, covers events leading up to the war and reports on the battles for the Philippines on Bataan and Corregidor, as well as descriptions of aerial combat over Guadalcanal. The narrative also recounts his escape from the Philippines with the help of the Filipino resistance. 

Book 6: Joe Foss Flying Marine. Joseph Jacob Foss (1915 - 2003) was a Marine Corps major and a fighter ace in World War II. He received the Medal of Honor for his role in air combat during the Guadalcanal Campaign. The book deals with the daily bombings and nightly shelling of the field and their camp, the disease, the lack of replacement planes and the valiant stand made by the Marines to keep the Japanese from retaking the field. 

Book 7: South from Corregidor is a riveting World War II escape story. On 6 May, 1942, hours after US Army General Jonathan Wainwright surrendered all US and Filipino forces on the island of Corregidor in Manila Bay to the Imperial Japanese Army, 18 US Navy sailors from USS Quail set out on their adventurous escape to freedom. Led by Lieutenant Commander John Morrill, the 18 sailors began their 2000-mile journey to Darwin in Australia in a 36-foot gasoline boat. 

Book 8: The Story of Wake Island. James P. S. Deveraux’s gripping book takes one to the heart of the action from the point of view of the commanding officer.  

Book 9: Mission Beyond Darkness is about the final phase of the Battle of the Philippine Sea which took place on June 19, 1944. Late that afternoon, United States Navy planes from Task Force 58 attacked a Japanese fleet. The fliers were sent out late in the day, which necessitated a return in the dark. The book takes a detailed look at the heroic fliers who made the effort although many did not make it back to their carriers.

Public Domain (P)2020 Museum Audiobooks
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about World War 2 in the Pacific Collection: Across Wake Island, Bataan, Guadalcanal, Corregidor, and Iwo Jima

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good collection, great bargain well worth a credit

Some of the books are better than others, but all are at least pretty good and well worth one credit for all nine books. The one negative is that the titles are not clearly separated so you can easily go to a particular book. To find the break between books, look for the very short, les than one minute, chapters. These are usually the break points. To make it even easier, here are the chapter break numbers I found, in order, 12, 34, 56, 79, 124, 141, 157, and 177.

21 people found this helpful

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Great value

Overall a great value for a credit. I’m not sure how much it costs in $, so I can’t speak to that. The first book had been on my wishlist for quite a while, so when I saw this it was a bit of a no brainer getting so many books for just one credit.

The books are all divided up in the chapters screen, so it’s easy to skip to a particular book in the collection. The content of the books is basically all about the Solomon Islands during WW2. Some of them have other content, but that’s the main theme.

The following is how I would rate all the narrators, and if there’s anything about a particular book in the collection that I think relevant.

One - Good narration, nothing to complain about. If this story seems familiar, you’ve probably watched HBO’s The Pacific.


Two - Narrator does fine, does have some minor mispronunciations, but nothing that takes away from the book.

Three - The narrator to me was a bit robotic with odd pauses. I liked the content of the book though.

Four - The narrator is good. I had never heard about the coast watchers before so this book was interesting to me. This is the first of the books here that doesn’t concentrate on one persons experience, but rather multiple people.

Five - The narrator did a decent job. Originally I thought the quality of the recording wasn’t as good, but I got used to it. I just attributed it to be how jarring I noticed it could be between books in the collection. Chapter 22 was hard to listen to/distracting. That specific chapter was written like short memos and doesn’t flow at all.

Six - Good book, good narrator. Relatively short compared to some of the other books.

Seven - The narrator does a decent job, but his s sounds whistle a bit. Couple of times it really jarred me because I listen with headphones. The book itself was good. There was an odd spot in the recording in chapter four. Brief 10 or so second thing. Its like a “knock knock knock” sound and a couple repeated words. Doesn’t take away from the book, but will definitely wake you up if your dozing off.

Eight - Good quality audio with a good narrator. In my opinion probably the best one of the collection. This book itself was probably my favorite of the bunch. It’s a bit short, but really just right for what it is.

Nine - Narrator is okay. The book itself is a bit dull to me. 80% of the chapters are less than 5 minutes. Each chapter is a different perspective. The majority of the book is about night recovery operations after a specific mission. Half the chapters blend together. Low fuel, had to ditch. Or low fuel, barely got to land. The weakest book of them all, and I struggled to finish it.

I would recommend this collection to anybody interested in WW2, especially if you’re interested in the early pacific theater. As I said, I was eventually going to get one of the books on its own, but I’m glad I was able to bundle it with a bunch of other pretty good content. It was nice to get all the different perspectives of similar experiences.

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DON'T LIKE ABRIDGED VERSIONS

I got halfway through the first story; Helmet for My Pillow - when I realized it was very different than the same book Helmet for My Pillow that I purchased last year. This collection says unabridged, which must mean this collection of abridged books hasn't been chopped up. I just do not like shortened versions of original books. Truly not for me.

3 people found this helpful

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Great read

Classic accounts from WWII Good Stories for my college history classes Highly recommended for all

2 people found this helpful