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Lonely Vigil: Coastwatchers of the Solomons
Lonely Vigil Coastwatchers of the Solomons Author:Walter Lord One of the great stories of World War II -- This is the first complete account of the Coastwatchers of the Solomons, that remarkable band of individuals who operated deep behind Japanese lines in the dark days of 1942-43. Living by their wits, with the help of friendly natives, they gave us our best intelligence, rescued our downed pilots, saved... more » our men from their sinking ships. In Admiral Halsey's words," The Coastwatchers saved Guadalcanal, and Guadalcanal saved the Pacific."
Yet the full saga of the Coastwatchers is more than the story of a few brave men. It is also the story of the native who helped them, the missionaries they worked with, the downed fliers and submariners they rescued, the Marine patrols they guided, the pilots and submariners who serviced them, and even the Japanese who chased them. This varied cast of intriguing characters gives the epoch of the Coastwatchers its special appeal and makes it almost an anachronism by the standards of modern war, for it was a period when individual human beings were still important.
To pierce the story together, Walter Lord traveled 40,000 miles, checking archives, examining private letters and diaries, interviewing and corresponding with participants in Australia, the South Seas, Europe, and Americas. In the Solomons he flew the slot, island-hopped on coastal schooners, and even made a three-day hike through the Guadalcanal jungle to inspect the Coastwatcher hideout on Gold Ridge.
Walter Lord understood these men as he served in the OSS during World War II. A graduate of Princeton and Harvard Law School, he authored such best sellers as A Night to Remember (the Titanic), Day of Infamy (the attack on Pearl Harbor), and Incredible Victory (the Battle of Midway). Lonely Vigil is a major contribution to the history of World War II told by a master storyteller.« less