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.
Saipan: Oral Histories of the Pacific War
The battle for Saipan is remembered as one of the bloodiest battles fought in the Pacific during World War II. Visible reminders of the devastation still exist. One can find human remains scattered on the jungle floor or in caves throughout the island.
October 1942, I enlisted in the U.S. Navy Seabees and arrived at Boot Camp – Camp Bradford, Virginia in November. For a city boy, 22 years old, it was culture shock. The conditions were primitive, cold and muddy. We piled snow against our tents f
Pacific War Missing in Action
by Bruce M. Petty aboard Dawn Princess, May 2012
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.
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.