Books by Rudy Tomedi

Released: Aug. 1, 1993

A principle virtue of this compact but affecting reprise of the Korean War is that it lets those who survived the fighting and dying speak for themselves. Having tracked down over one hundred veterans of the murderous police action, freelance journalist Tomedi relies on their reminiscences to carry the roughly chronological narrative as he gives his sources virtually free rein, providing just enough background information to keep the big picture in perspective. The stories range from the rude shocks endured by a young infantryman rushed into combat from the comforts of occupation duty in Japan through the apprehension felt by a tanker patrolling the main line of resistance on the eve of armistice over three years later. In between, dozens of aviators, marines, soldiers, and sailors offer vivid accounts of the roles they and their units played in the savage campaigns that convulsed the land of the morning calm from Pusan to Inchon, Seoul, Chosin, and beyond. Their ranks encompass a couple of POWs; an ex-NCO who served in graves registration; an Englishman whose regiment was part of the Commonwealth Division, which supported the UN's predominantly American forces; a carrier pilot who returned from over 70 missions in Mig Alley; and others with decidedly atypical tales to tell. While neither as detailed nor as comprehensive as Donald Knox's two-volume oral history (The Korean War, 1985 and 1988), the gritty takes Tomedi compiled on a so-called ``forgotten'' war pack a real wallop. (Fifteen b&w photos, drawn from personal collections) Read full book review >