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by William De Jarnette Rutherford
Kessinger Publishing 2007
Pen & Ink Artwork
Cover Price: $18.95
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A Story of the 25th Division On Luzon
Originally published in 1945, this book was reprinted in 2007, placing it into print again. This book begins with a simple introduction by Rutherford, "To my way of thinking, an infantry man in combat is the only soldier who is fully equipped to comprehend the nature of that infamous scourge called war."
Rutherford recorded in simple drawings the lives of US Army 25th Infantry Division on Luzon during the 1945 campaign, and simply states "this is how the Luzon campaign looked to me. Many of my sketches were actually done under fire, while some had to be done from memory, because of such things as rain, darkness, and the violence of sudden, unexpected actions."
Told in 176 pen and ink frames, this book reads like a graphic novel or comic book, with a line of text captioning the drawing. The book begins with their landing at Lingayen Gulf on January 11, 194 at San Fabian and meeting Filipinos. Quickly, they move to the front lines at Binalonan and San Manuel, Umingan, Lupao, commenting simply under a drawing: "you can not realize the cost of war, until you start collecting your own dead."
Next covered are the campaign on the Villa Verde Trail, fighting along Highway 5 to Puncan and Dig Dig and difficult fighting against a determined enemy and difficult terrain at Balete Pass. The book ends with the Division's withdrawal from Luzon, afte a visit to the Santa Barbara US Cemetery, where their war dead were buried.
This simple and moving book is a necessary addition to the library of anyone interested in the 1945 liberation of Luzon.
Review by Justin Taylan
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