Praise the Lord and Pass the Penicillin

Memoir of a Combat Medic in the Pacific in World War II


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SKU: 9780786416707 Categories: , , Tags: , ,

About the Book

He was a chemistry student in college on his way home for a visit when news of Pearl Harbor came over the car radio. Like 16 million others from his generation, Dean W. Andersen was called to active military duty and spent the next 38 months of his life as a medic in the Pacific war theater. This memoir shows that the human feelings of fear, loss, anger, hate, patriotism and solidarity were the same then as they have been for every war since. The experiences of the “greatest generation” can comfort and advise young people today who may well be faced with challenges as great as those met so long ago.
Based on 93 letters written home to his wife and parents during his time away at war, this book includes information that was disallowed by censors and in some cases, cut out of his correspondence. Though the history of the European theater in World War II is well documented, considerably less information is available about the war in the Pacific. The author recalls the many aspects of his experience—from landing on beaches in the South Pacific amid exotic birds and animals and interacting with the people of New Guinea, to evacuating wounded soldiers through steaming jungles and snake-infested swamps and over high mountains, to facing machine gun fire and watching snipers kill the last man in a column of marchers. The book includes many interesting photographs that have never been published, including images of the Japanese surrender.

About the Author(s)

The late Dean W. Andersen completed his education at the University of Iowa and went on to head a pediatric research laboratory at the university until his retirement. He divided his time between Iowa City, Iowa and Mesa, Arizona.

Bibliographic Details

Dean W. Andersen
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 236
Bibliographic Info: 68 photos, maps, appendix, notes, index
Copyright Date: 2003
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1670-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0645-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

ONE — Life Before the War      3
TWO — Rifles and Bayonets: Induction and Training      9
THREE — Overseas to the Land Down Under: Australia      29
FOUR — A South Sea Island: New Guinea      54
FIVE — Bypassing a Japanese Army: Aitape      89
SIX — Go Dutch: Morotai, Netherlands, East Indies      114
SEVEN — Breakneck Ridge: Leyte, Philippine Islands      124
EIGHT — Smoke ’Em Outta Their Caves: Luzon, Philippine Islands      155
NINE — Surrender and Going Home      183
TEN — Life After War      202

Epilogue      211
Appendix      215
Notes      223
Index      225

Book Reviews & Awards

“excellent…many photos published for the first time, including several taken of General Yamashita’s surrender”—College & Research Libraries; “a good read”—The Journal of America’s Military Past; “insightful, authoritative…easy to read”—Military Review.