Their names were Bob Palmer, Gordy Cox, Tim McCoy, and Chuck Vervalin, and in 1941, when they joined the navy, they were not trying to prove their patriotism-they were just looking for a job that would provide "three hots and a cot."
But on April 22, 1943, the war took a terrible turn for them. While on patrol deep in enemy waters, their submarine, the USS Grenadier, was torpedoed and sent crashing to the ocean floor. Listed as lost in action and given up for dead, all four had in fact miraculously escaped the ship, only to be captured by the Japanese. The four men spent the next two and a half years as POWs, enduring barbaric torture and starvation, unable to communicate with their wives and families. When they were freed, they were forced to find a new kind of resilience as they struggled to resume their lives in a world that seemed to have forgotten them. In Bob's case, it would be more than thirty years before he was reunited with the love of his life-the wife who had left him for a well-bred naval officer after he came back from the war.
By turns panoramic and intimate, No Ordinary Joes shows us, through the lives of four "ordinary" men who endured extraordinary circumstances, the tragedy of war and its aftermath, and the restorative power of love.
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by George Anders
by Mark Mazower
by Anthony Pagden
by Ronald H. Spector
by Michael Jones
by Nick Bunker
by Carlos Harrison
by Philip Brenner, Peter Eisner
by John Ferling
by Steven Pressman
by Robert Garland
by Larry Brown
"Larry Colton set out to interview the surviving crew of the WWII sub GRENADIER. The men were captured by the Japanese, subjected to harsh treatment, and forced to work in factories. Robert Fass's narration has a personal touch that reflects Colton's personal link to the story; he first heard about the men from friends. Passages in which he reads sailors' letters project a warm conversational tone that takes listeners into the men's lives. Beyond the drama of the sailors' situation in Japan, the account also provides glimpses into the men's Depression-era upbringings and their continued struggles with their war experience long after they returned home. It's a war chronicle that's tragic and painful rather than stirring--but it has great impact. J.A.S. (c) AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine"
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