The battle for Saipan is remembered as one of the bloodiest battles fought in the Pacific during World War II, and was a turning point on the road to the defeat of Japan. The island was a blaze of fire and steel for over three weeks in the summer of 1944. Visible reminders of the devastation still exist - one can still find human skeletal remains scattered on the jungle floor and in caves throughout the island. Emotional reminders still exist as well, for both the combatants and the civilians who survived the battle.In this work, the survivors - including Pacific Islanders on whose land the Americans and Japanese fought their war - have the opportunity to tell their stories in their own words. The author introduces the volume with a history of the Mariana Islands and other parts of Micronesia and arranges the oral histories by location: Saipan, Yap and Tinian, Rota, Palau Islands, and Guam in the first half, and by branch of service in the second half.
Bruce M. Petty served for two years on the U.S.S. Yorktown during the Vietnam War. A California native, he has lived in some interesting places including Saipan (a Pacific Island) and Saudia Arabia. His articles and oral histories have been published in The Pacific Daily News, The Marianas Variety, Umanidat: A Journal of the Humanities and Journal of the Pacific Society. Formerly a nuclear medicine technologist, he currently writes in New Plymouth, New Zealand.