The focus of this web site is World War II in the Pacific; World War II because I lived on the island of Saipan in the Marianas, where for five years I researched and wrote my first book, "Saipan: Oral Histories of the Pacific War" followed by three others also on the subject of the Pacific War. All four books are the product of both archival research and oral history interviews.

Since January 2004, we have lived in New Plymouth, New Zealand, where I continue to write.



Voices from the Pacific War: Blue Jackets Remember

Petty's valuable oral history contains 23 accounts from enlistee veterans of the U.S. Navy in World War II. Many had joined the navy before Pearl Harbor because of the Depression, and a fair number stayed in the navy after the war. One and all were proud to have served.

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Oral Histories

William Stokesberry: USS INDEPENDENCE, CVL-22

Mr. Stokesberry was born in 1917 in La Junta, Colorado. His father was a farmer most of his life, and they moved often. Mr. Stokesberry was the oldest of six children, three of whom were boys. Both of Mr. Stokesberry’s brothers served in the U.S.

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Pacific War Missing in Action

by Bruce M. Petty aboard Dawn Princess, May 2012

Latest articles

My article is featured in WWII History - "VP-16 and Operation Forager". In the opening hours of the battle of the Philippine Sea, and American patrol plane was unable to transmit the location of the Japanese fleet.

Click here to read the article (PDF - 11mb)

My article is featured in Naval History - "Too young to be scared". It is estimated that around 200,000 American young men, and in some cases women, lied about their age to serve in one of the military services during World War II. Too many of them died before they were old enough to vote.

Click here to read the article (PDF)

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