PACIFIC MICROPHONE by William J. Dunn

PACIFIC MICROPHONE

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Nearly a year before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, CBS sent Dunn to the Far East on what was supposed to be a quick trip to check the availability of facilities to provide radio coverage of the anticipated hostilities. As it happened, he didn't get back to stay until after V-J Day. Using transcripts from contemporary broadcasts and related material, here the author offers a winning log of his five-year odyssey in WW II's Pacific theater. Like Kilroy, Dunn seems to have been everywhere there was action. December 7, 1941, found him in Rangoon. Moving on to Batavia to witness the fall of the Netherlands East Indies, the author escaped to Australia on a Dutch freighter. Once down under, Dunn attached himself to Gen. Douglas MacArthur, whom he had interviewed and cultivated on an earlier sojourn in Manila. Making the most of his informal sponsorship, the author provided on-air reports on many of the epic land, sea, and air battles waged in the southwestern Pacific. He was present (and photographed) as MacArthur waded ashore on his triumphal return to the Philippines; later, as dean of theater correspondents, the authors also had a visible ringside seat at the surrender ceremonies on the battleship Missouri. And, because communications and travel in WW II's pre-aerospace age were constant problems for journalists, Dunn spent almost as much time arranging for usable voice circuits and rides as he did covering campaigns or combating censorship. A savvy observer, the author offers acute commentary on command decisions and their political aspects, plus affecting accounts of victory's human cost. He also pays moving tribute to the 18 newsmen who lost their lives reporting on Allied forces' long, bloody trek to Japan's home islands. An engagingly anecdotal war memoir, then, that affords insights as well as intelligence. The text includes dozens of front-line and rear-area photographs, many of which feature Dunn.

Pub Date: Dec. 12th, 1988
ISBN: 1603441573
Publisher: Texas A&M Univ. Press