cover of The Castaway's War

The Castaway’s War

One Man’s Battle Against Imperial Japan

by Stephen Harding

In the early hours of July 5, 1943, the destroyer USS Strong was hit by a Japanese torpedo. The powerful weapon broke the destroyer’s back, killed dozens of sailors and sparked raging fires. While accompanying ships were able to take off most of Strong’s surviving crewmembers, scores went into the ocean as the once-proud warship sank beneath the waves—and a young officer’s harrowing story of survival began.

Lieutenant Hugh Barr Miller, a pre-war football star at the University of Alabama, went into the water as the vessel sank. Severely injured, Miller and several others survived three days at sea, and eventually landed on a Japanese-occupied island. The survivors found fresh water and a few coconuts, but Miller, suffering from internal injuries and believing he was on the verge of death, ordered the others to go on without him. They reluctantly did do, believing, as Miller did, that he would be dead within hours.

But Miller didn’t die, and his health improved enough for him to begin searching for food. He also found the enemy—Japanese forces patrolling the island. Miller was determined to survive, and so launched a one-man war against the island’s occupiers.

Based on official American and Japanese histories, personal memoirs and the author’s exclusive interviews with many of the story’s key participants, The Castaway’s War is a rousing story of naval combat, bravery, and determination.

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THE CASTAWAY'S WAR
One Man's Battle against Imperial Japan

by Stephen Harding

Da Capo Press
Hardcover
$26.99 / $33.99
ISBN 13: 9780306823404
05/02/2016

Where to buy Last to Die

 



cover of LAST TO DIE

Last to Die

A Defeated Empire, a Forgotten Mission,
and the Last American Killed in World War II

by Stephen Harding

On August 18, 1945—three days after Japan announced it would cease hostilities and surrender—US Army Air Forces Sergeant Anthony J. Marchione bled to death in the clear, bright sky above Tokyo. A month shy of his twentieth birthday, Tony Marchione died like so many before him in World War II—quietly, cradled in the arms of a buddy who was powerless to prevent his death.

Though heartbreaking for his family, Marchione’s death would have been no more notable than any other had he not had the dubious distinction of being the last American killed in World War II combat.

An aerial gunner who had already survived several combat missions, Marchione’s death was the tragic culmination of an intertwined series of events. The plane that carried him that day was a trouble-plagued American heavy bomber known as the B-32 Dominator, which would prove a failed competitor to the famed B-29 Superfortress.

And on the ground below, a palace revolt was brewing and a small number of die-hard Japanese fighter pilots decided to fight on, refusing to accept defeat.

Based on official American and Japanese histories, personal memoirs, and the author’s exclusive interviews with many of the story’s key participants, Last to Die is a rousing tale of air combat, bravery, cowardice, hubris, and determination, all set during the turbulent and confusing final days of World War II.

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LAST TO DIE
A Defeated Empire, a Forgotten Mission,
and the Last American Killed in World War II

by Stephen Harding

Da Capo Press
Hardcover
$26.99 / $33.99
ISBN 13: 9780306823381
07/14/2015

Where to buy Last to Die

 



cover of The Last Battle

The Last Battle

When U.S. and German Soldiers Joined Forces
in the Waning Hours of World War II in Europe

by Stephen Harding

May, 1945. Hitler is dead, the Third Reich is little more than smoking rubble, and no GI wants to be the last man killed in action against the Nazis.

The Last Battle tells the nearly unbelievable story of the unlikeliest battle of the war, when a small group of American tankers, led by Captain Lee, joined forces with German soldiers to fight off fanatical SS troops seeking to capture Castle Itter and execute the stronghold's VIP prisoners.

It is a tale of unlikely allies, startling bravery, jittery suspense, and desperate combat between implacable enemies.

 

The Last Battle
When U.S. and German Soldiers Joined Forces
in the Waning Hours of World War II in Europe

by Stephen Harding

Da Capo Press
Trade Paper
$15.99 / $19.50
ISBN 13: 9780306822964
07/14/2015

Where to buy Last to Die