World War II has left an indelible mark on the fabric of human history. The exploits of men like Hitler and Mussolini, Roosevelt and Churchill are chronicled in countless books and movies. Their names and their actions will never be forgotten-and for good reason. To gain a deeper understanding of the war's impact, however, we must look beyond the names that grace the pages of textbooks and recognize the sacrifices of the anonymous soldiers who risked life and limb to serve the country they loved.
With each passing year, their stories-which persist only through the oral history passed from generation to generation-fade into the ether of time. As a boy, author William S. Murray listened to his grandfather's stories about training as a pilot during World War II with rapt attention. In an effort to preserve these memories, Murray sat down with his grandfather, Thomas Stewart, to record these stories for posterity. Stewart shares memories both happy and bittersweet, from his beginnings in Byhalia, Mississippi, through his experiences as a pilot during the war years.
Journey to War is not the story of familiar heroes like Eisenhower, Patton, and MacArthur. This is the story of one ordinary man doing his part to serve his country during extraordinary times. This is the story of Second Lieutenant Thomas Stewart and the men with whom he served.