One Sailor's Journey: Tales from World War Two (Memorial Edition)
by Dolph Brostrom
Folio Avenue Publishing Service

"This book is a collection of narrative stories . . . from the end of the Great Depression . . . to the end of World War II. Mostly, it tells about my years in Ship Repair AD 40 out in New Caledonia and in other parts of the South Pacific."

Brostrom's memoir, crafted by the team of himself, his wife, and daughter, is ironically comfortable. It is the story of a sensitive young man—an artist and a musician who knew Nat Cole and almost caught Bing Crosby's toupee when it blew off during a performance—who became aware of his patriotism shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Brostrom repeatedly states, by deed even more than word, his respect for the people he encountered. Assigned to Ship Repair, his stories in this collection are not about battles against other humans but deal with highly personal adventures, such as seeing his first preying mantis, dealing with the personality of a particularly mercenary barber, effecting a remedy for an onslaught of insects, and returning to work after a bout of dengue fever to praise the level of training that saved his life during an unexpected, but potentially fatal, blast of ammunition.

The author wants the readers to have some understanding of the hardships faced by both the military and civilian populations as he writes of his time on leave in Australia and the difficulties that he observed there. As stated, these are comfortable, relatable stories about an observant, intelligent, and very young man making his way through his assignments, as were millions of other young men at the time. This reminds us that everyone working at every level during World War II—through boredom, strangeness, fear, but mostly in cooperation—defeated enemies of incredible ambition and evil intentions. Brostrom is presented as an extremely likable, well-intentioned person, who wrote the memoir as a tribute to his friends, family, time, and appreciation of life.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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