Love Letters from the Marine Wolf: A US Hospital and Transport Ship, an Army Medic Afloat, and a War Bride in World War II Michele Makros Author
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Description

At first blush, a book centered on the WWII love letters between an Army medic and his war bride living and working on the Akron, Ohio, homefront may seem rather bland. Such correspondence, after all, had to pass through an official censor, so what new revelations about the war could possibly be in store? In reality, that would be a vast underestimation of this well-crafted volume, assembled by the daughter of the couple.Michele Makros has a degree in a graphic design and has experience working as the art director for an ad agency. Her knowledge of design is apparent immediately upon opening the book. Every page is filled with historic images, documents and military memorabilia that bring her stories to life and offer readers a genuine sense of reliving the war. In part, this stemmed from her father's personnel military records being list in a 1973 fire at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis. She was forced to reconstruct his service record the hard way by tracking down living shipmates and their families. And then she creatively incorporated all the information, images and artifacts they provided.Still, Makros has accomplished much more than just gathering material and creating a visually appealing product. She has exhaustively researched virtually every element of the military routine and war events experienced by her father, allowing readers a true appreciation for what life in the war involved. Through the use of recreated dialogue based on her archival research and the testimonials of those she interviewed the author aimed to accurately reflect the circumstances, personalities and emotions of all the characters in her story, including her parents. While not Makros's strongest element, it certainly advances her storylines and is, overall, a positive addition to the narrative. Of course for her mother and father, she had the letters themselves, often incorporating both a handwritten manuscript and a transcription, with loving phrases pulled out as subtitles.As a hospital and transport ship, the Marine Wolf made seven trans-Atlantic voyages, transporting troops to English and French troops to English ports and returning with either prisoners of war, seriously injured or troops being rotated out of the service. Following the final transport voyage from New York harbor to Southampton, England, at the end of March 1945, the vessel and its crew engaged in six months of shuttle service across the English Channel, facilitating troop furtoughs, evacuating seriously injured or feeding troops to higher-capacity vessels shipping G's homeward bound.Makros concludes her volume by briefly discussing her parents' postwar careers and lives in Akron, including her own upbringing. What could have been another mundane story of wartime lives has been transformed into an engaging and entertaining narrative from which we can learn much. David A. Simmons,Echoes Magazine

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