Ben’s War with the U. S. Marines: A World War II Biography
This biographical account of the charming and humorous World War II misadventures of Pfc. Ben Green, a low ranking but quick-witted individualist, relates how he battled the system to serve his country with honor and stay alive so he could return home to his family
A strategic enlistment
Facing a draft notice Ben, a resourceful nonconformist and Chicago radio producer with a wife and two small children, enlisted at age 35 with the understanding that he would serve as an officer in Marine Corps intelligence. When he learned too late he was too old for the job he’d been promised, he found himself training in the infantry with angry kids half his age. Back home, his wife Alice struggled with making ends meet, managing the household, and fear of the unthinkable, as she waited in terror for word of Ben’s assignment to the next island invasion. His four-year old son, deprived of his doting dad, suffered from the trauma of separation, while his infant daughter didn’t know her father from the man on the cover of Time.
To contribute and survive
Like Luther Billis in James Michener’s Tales of the South Pacific, however, Ben dealt with both the absurdity and the opportunity of military life. He learned how to work the system and talked his way into an assignment where his knowledge of radio could be useful to the war effort. By default he was running the Armed Forces Radio Station on the island of Guam at the nerve center of the war, when his shining moment was heard around the world.
A voice for ordinary Americans
Ben’s story also bears witness to America’s Finest Hour, in Winston Churchill’s phrase, when Americans from every walk of life pulled together to defeat aggression and tyranny. In speaking for the citizen soldiers and their supporters back home, it illustrates the social history of rationing and wartime austerity, and for the first time ever, records a unique moment in broadcast history, when Ben Green, de facto station manager, and his cohorts at Armed Forces Radio Station WXLI on Guam, scooped the big news a weary world was waiting to hear.
This personal biography by the son af a Marine chronicles Ben Green’s unlikely Pacific odyssey. In this, new Greenskills Press edition, chapters have been completely rewritten, combined, re-edited and reformatted for a better presentation and easier reading experience. The book is richly illustrated with hand-drawn sketches Ben sent home in his letters so his children could see where he was and what he was doing, and family photographs