An Eyewitness Account of Pearl Harbor and World War II in the Pacific
By Carol Edgemon Hipperson
(Thomas Dunne Books, Hardcover, 9780312386948, 304pp.)
Publication Date: October 28, 2008
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Radioman is the biography of Ray Daves, a noncommissioned officer in the U.S. Navy and an eyewitness to World War II. It is based on the author’s handwritten notes from a series of interviews that began on the eighty-second birthday of the combat veteran and gives a first-person account of the world’s first battles between aircraft carriers.
Ray Daves grew up on a small farm near Little Rock, Arkansas. Impatient with school and the prospect of becoming a farmer like his father, he joined the CCC and went from there to the navy, where he learned to use the radio to send messages, and soon found himself in the momentary peacefulness of Pearl Harbor.
Most of America’s World War II veterans were not in uniform when the war began. Daves is one of the few who was. He could also tell what was happening on the bridge of the famous carrier Yorktown before it went down and of the secretive relationship between the Russian and American forces in Alaska at the time.
Carol Edgemon Hipperson’s discovery of this one man’s inspiring story is shared with great skill and energy. A must-read for those looking for a personal, intimate account of the events of this tumultuous time in American history.
Carol Edgemon Hipperson is the author of the award-winning military biography The Belly Gunner, which was the first book selected to the Library of Congress’s list of recommended resources for students and teachers participating in the national Veterans History Project. She lives in Spokane, Washington.