13 December 2004
The American son of a WWII Army veteran, I have been a foreign resident of France for the past several years. My father,
Marcel P. Pierel, was Technician Fourth Grade in the Artillery section of General Bradley's Headquarters Company. About three
years ago, I set out to research his military career in WWII. I had the good fortune just this year to discover the hull number
of the LST that brought my father and his unit to Normandy arriving off the coast of Omaha Beach on June 7, 1944; LST-391.
More recently, I heard about the publication of your book, Mosier's Raiders, from the website of the LST-325. Last month,
I ordered a copy through Amazon.com which I read with great interest and enthusiasm. I do not consider myself a renown historian
nor an expert on the Normandy Invasion yet after three years of research, I have read a great deal of books on the subject.
I can safely say that yours is one of the best I have read as yet.
Congratulations on a wonderful work. You have succeeded in piecing together a valuable part of our country's history to
the benefit of thousands of people from several generations.
More importantly for me, I learnt from your book that LST-391 steamed to Normandy in the same convoy as the 325. You have
helped my family and me to better understand what our father went through in Normandy and comprehending that experience is
very important to us. Thank you so much.
My compliments to you not only for writing a fine book but also for all that you have done to help restore and preserve
Sincere thanks and deepest gratitude to your late father for his sacrifice on behalf of my family and myself as well as
on the part of my hosts here in France. Please understand that the people of France, especially those of Normandy, have not
forgotten the sacrifice that men like our fathers
made so many years ago.
Jim Anderson, A reviewer, June 7, 2004, A must-read look at the history of a ship's crew in WWII
While this is the saga of just one particular ship
in a war of massive proportions, it serves well in illustrating the mutual experience of thousands of men, perhaps even a
relative of yours. I find it extremely informative, descriptive and captivating. In its focus on one particular group of men,
it provides a microcosmic look at the experiences of many others. Well-researched through first-hand accounts, ship's logs
and a myriad of other documents, this account brings us as close to the reality as the printed word possibly can. I can't
help but describe this book as a tour de force fully on a par with John Bradley's 'Flags of Our Fathers' (the story of his
father's participation in the Iwo Jima flag-raising). Since the ship participated in the invasions of Sicily, Salerno and
Normandy (where it made dozens of round trips between England and Utah Beach), it not only provides real-life excitement but
it is an absolute must-read.
Susan Bloom, A reviewer, July 2, 2004, An Inside View
Mr. Bronson's book is extremely well researched through conventional means, but also through
those who were there. As the daughter of a Gator Sailor, I found this book a valuable view of the day to day life and events
of history through first hand accounts of those who lived it. Mr. Bronson has gift-wrapped the historical events with personalized
accounts providing a rare view of WWII. This book is a MUST READ for those who would like information on our Amphibious Forces
in WWII. BRAVO!
|Provides a Tremendous History of a Living Ship, July 12, 2004|
Dave Bronson hit the nail on the head with this book! Bronson is the
son of a crewmember of the LST-325. His love for the crew and ship shows through in his extensive research and the warm way
he worked with the WWII crew in putting this book together.
I happen to know Bronson personally and I know that this book was a labor of love for him. For
the book to turn out so well shows how deep his love is and speaks highly of his talent as a writer.
I saw a previous reviewer mention Bradley's book, "Flag of Our Fathers" relative to this book.
That happens to be one of my favorite books about WWII and "Mosier's Raiders" compares well with it.
For anyone interested in looking at WWII through a micro view rather than the big picture, this
is a "must read" book. The research Bronson did and the comments from the old crew will help you feel what it was like on
an LST during the war.
On a side note, the LST-325 is still afloat and is docked near Mobile, AL. She is a living and
traveling memorial to veterans. She is always in need of volunteers to help with the constant maintenance needed to keep her
going and I invite you to visit her or volunteer on her. For more info on the LST-325 visit www.lstmemorial.org.
August 3, 2004
I think I met you briefly while LST 325 was open for visitors recently in Mobile. The visit prompted me to buy several
copies of your book, for me and for several friends.
Having just finished reading it, my thoughts are probably similar to those of some other WWII who have read it. During
that war I was on three ships, two of which were DEs which were later converted to APDs. I spent two and a half years in the
Atlantic and two in the pacific. So much of what the crew of the 325 did while aboard and years later was remarkably typical
of crews on many or all of the other small ships in the Navy.
I think and hope that the story you have written would be essentially typical of all the other LSTs that participated
in the European-Mediterranean Theatre. The men of all those ships owe you a deep debt of gratitude for documenting their story
for their families and for future generations.
Robert P. Denniston