I am hoping for a release date for my newest book, Ordinary People; Extraordinary Lives, on or before September 15, 2017--national POW/MIA Recognition Day. That would be fitting. I have provided the "back cover" description of the book below.
Ordinary People; Extraordinary Lives chronicles the struggles of Harold Whittington and
his brother, Otto, from birth through the Great Depression and on to WW II.
Otto joined the Army and subsequently endured the surrender of Bataan and the
Bataan Death March. During Otto’s 3.5 years as a Japanese POW, he was a slave
conscript for building roads in the Philippines. Few POWs survived that duty.
Later, after a harrowing trip from the Philippines to Japan on a “Death Ship”,
Otto was a slave in the Japanese steel mills. Somehow Otto survived two near
beheadings, beriberi, malnutrition, malaria, and torture—and twice the steel
mills where he labored were targeted for nuclear destruction. Otto could hear
the B-29 circling overhead; only the weather spared him. While Otto struggled
through severe torture and sickness, Harold joined the Navy and searched for
Otto throughout the Pacific theater whenever his supply ship put into port.
After the second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, Otto escaped the POW camp and
made his way to a small POW collection point outside Manila. His exit from
Japan was also remarkable because the aircraft to which he was assigned was
preceded by another that exploded just off the end of the runway. He watched
the bodies fall but took it in stride; death was a daily occurrence for all
POWs. Harold subsequently located his brother in Manila, although, after years
of torture, Otto did not recognize him. Harold and Otto returned to the USA
after the war. Otto became an attorney and Harold became a professor of
sociology at Temple Junior College. The incredible lives of these men, fraught
with daunting labor, terror, and pain, serves as a poignant example of why they
and others like them, are called “The Greatest Generation.”
Thank you for reading,
James L. Hatch