One of Amazon’s top reviewers recently posted a 5-star review of my book A Salute to Patriotism: The Life and Work of Major General Howard L. Peckham on my Amazon detail page: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0966585550/. Here are excerpts from the review:
“A descendant of Revolutionary War heroes, Howard Louis Peckham’s love for his country started early On a family trip up the Hudson River the young subject to this book pointed to the West Point Academy, high on the bank and said I’d like to go to this school. After his dream of graduating from West Point, the Army Engineer School, and the Command and General Staff School (later called College), he served twenty years in the Corps of Engineers, including four years as an instructor at West Point. In 1942 he was assigned to the 2nd and 8th Armored Divisions, respectively, where he was an outstanding staff officer. While serving as combat commander with the 12th Armored Division one year later, he was promoted to brigadier general and ordered to Washington, DC to head the Fuels and Lubricants Division of the Quartermaster General’s office. While serving concurrently as a member of the Army-Navy Petroleum Board, he testified before Congress about army petroleum needs. For his meritorious work of procuring fuels and allocating them to our armed forces worldwide, he was awarded a Distinguished Service Medal.
Times were tough, resources were scare, and in order to win the War in Europe, there had to be a plan of action. A modern army marches on wheels and without fuels and lubricants those wheels bog down in a morass of despair and ultimate defeat. My grandfather told me stories about World War I, I can only imagine the logistics of an even greater armored force in World War II. The demands must have been exceedingly great, as gasoline was the lifeblood of modern armies becomes a major concern to battlefield commanders in France. There had to be meticulous planning to satisfy this demand.
After the fighting was over in Europe in postwar Paris, Howard Peckham’s Corps of Engineering experience was needed for a more somber task. He headed the American Graves Registration Command and returned more than 80,000 American war dead to the United States. Approximately 60,000 others were interred in ten permanent American cemeteries in Europe, graded and constructed under his command. This task was not held lightly, there needed to be someone to carry out the final resting places for those who fought bravely, but succumbed to enemy fire. If you ever get a chance to visit you’ll see the artisan work and layout of these honored places. They are truly breath taking in scope.
A Salute to Patriotism is filled with articles, pictures, and is well-referenced. The book is about the life, times, and work of a dedicated, hard-working man, that was duty bound. After his return to the United States, he served in highly responsible positions until his army retirement in 1956.
The book continues after Major General Peckham’s retirement. As a civilian, his patriotic service continued when he worked for the Free Europe Committee, an organization being secretly funded by the CIA. He had a goal to get the nations behind the Iron Curtain peacefully freed from Communist domination, but that didn’t happen until after his death. The Iron Curtain fell in 1989. Howard Peckham not only believed, this would bring more security for the United States, but for the world as a whole. Those words from General Douglas MacArthur ring true today as when they were first spoke and had a profound effect. Duty, country, and patriotism would continue to dominate his life to his death in 1972.
The story is well-told, detailed, and chronicles the different capacities that were severed by Major General Peckham during W.W. II. For those that are interested in more detailed descriptions of military history of this time period, this book will be a very interesting, eye opening read. Major General Howard Peckham definitely led an interesting life, as depicted throughout this book. But this isn’t just a book of his professional work, it’s also about his personal life which I found very interesting making history come to life. The author’s view point is weaved within this fabric of this story making history more human.”