I have avidly read and absorbed all the books, movies, and stories about World War II I could get my hands on. Because of my enthusiasm for the causes, history, events, and its significance to our world and society, I can say with some modesty that I have accumulated a substantial body of knowledge on the subject. Although it may not be the most reliable indicator of my World War II expertise, I correctly answer without fail every question posed on television quiz shows like “Jeopardy” and “Hollywood Squares.” Therefore, I consider myself a “gifted amateur” when it comes to many details about World War II.
After pursuing a university teaching career subsequent to my retirement from a 29 year career at IBM, I decided to write a book thus turning my enthusiasm and knowledge into something more constructive. The subject I chose was the Battle of Leyte Gulf. The reasons that I chose this momentous battle were that, in spite of the size and scope of the greatest naval battle ever fought, the subject has not been written much about with some exceptions such as Professor Thomas J. Cutler’s scholarly work Battle of Leyte Gulf and Volume 12 of Samuel Eliot Morison’s monumental work History of United States Naval Operations in World War II, and I wanted to tell the story of this historic battle from the point of view of an amateur enthusiast.
Having never tackled anything as involved as writing a book, I dove into the effort the beginning of 1996 without realizing how formidable the task would be. I had written a doctoral dissertation that resulted in my successfully obtaining a Ph.D. in Business. That task was difficult for me since writing was not my chosen career path although I had to learn effective writing techniques as a result of many years in marketing at IBM. However, when I decided to write this book, I faced the most challenging long term effort I had ever experienced. But, it was worth it.
My research work gathering the needed ingredients for a successful literary work resulted in an overwhelming and respectful appreciation for the bravery and dedication to duty shown by men on both sides of this conflict. Their willingness to sacrifice their lives to achieve their desired objectives in this battle cannot be ignored and, as I attempted to do, must be lauded.
I believe that readers of my book will appreciate that it not only extols the bravery and sacrifice of the men who gave everything they had but will also find an entertaining and gripping account of the events that transpired during those fateful days in October 1944 on, above, and beneath the waters surrounding the Philippine Islands. While I strived for historical accuracy, I also wanted to tell the remarkable story of this conflict in human terms as well.
I now live in the San Francisco Bay area with my wife of over 28 years, Lydia, and our cat. All my children are grown, and I am a proud grandparent.
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