Excerpts from Chapter 4, “Old and New Kentucky Homes,” from A Salute to Patriotism: The Life and Work of Major General Howard L. Peckham:
The year 1942 brought significant morale boosters to American armed forces. In April a successful raid on Tokyo, conducted by then-Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle, proved that Japan was not immune from American air strikes. It also partly avenged the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor of December 1941.
More morale boosters were yet to come. In early June 1942, American naval and air forces were victorious in the Battle of Midway, an island in the central Pacific. This success proved to be a turning point in the war, since the United States and its allies could now be on the offensive against Japan’s navy rather than on the defensive, as they had been heretofore.
In November, welcome news came to Dad’s office at 12th Armored Division Headquarters concerning North Africa. British and American forces had arrived in Algeria, and the Western Task Force, headed by George S. Patton, had landed safely in Morocco. Also in November, the British, under the command of Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, successfully launched an offensive at El Alamein, Egypt, which forced the German troops to travel westward, away from Egypt.
The heavy responsibility for succeeding in the overall Allied North African engagement, called Operation Torch, had fallen on the able shoulders of Dwight D. Eisenhower, who commanded all the sea, air, and land forces involved in the operation.
The second edition of A Salute to Patriotism: The Life and Work of Major General Howard L. Peckham was published in May 2011 and is available at Amazon. Click the following link to look inside the book: