A Corner With Phi Authors
They Were Expendable. By W. L. White.
New York: Harcourt Brace, 1942.
Two days after the sneak attack on
Pearl Harbor, American war planes were
so disposed at their bases in the Philippines, that they provided a perfect target
for the Japanese bombers when they
came over Manila and Nichols Field. This
situation is disclosed in They Were Expendable, by William Lindsay White,
Kansas '22, noted war correspondent,
who interviewed four young Naval officers who took part in the Philippine
campaign, and set down the story in
their own words. A "Book-of-the-Month"
book for October, They Were Expendable is the first complete record, outside
of official documents, of what happened
in the Philippines between December
and the end of February, when the
American forces withdrew from Bataan.
Paying tribute to the heroic exploits
of the United States Army and Navy in
the face of hopeless odds, the author calls
the tragic campaign America's "little
Dunkirk." The lack of fighting planes
lost in those first few days in turn hampered the defense of the entire archipelago, and eventually contributed to the
tragedies of Bataan and Corregidor.
Passed by U. S. Navy censors. They
Were Expendable is the story of Motor
Torpedo Boat Squadron 3, commanded
by Lieutenant John D. Bulkeley, of the
work these little boats did in the Philippine fighting (they sank over 100 times
their combined tonnage in Jap ships) and
of the magnificent rescue of General
Douglas MacArthur, his family and staff,
from Bataan when the end drew near.
The story itself is told in the words of
Bulkeley and his officers, Lieutenant
Robert B. Kelly, and Ensigns Anthony
B. Akers and George E. Cox, Jr. For the
rescue of General MacArthur, Bulkeley
received the Congressional Medal of
Honor at the hands of President Roose-
velt, and his fellow-officers were awarded
similar high decorations from both the
Army and the Navy. Bulkeley was in
command of the boat that rescued President Manuel Quezon from the Philippines after the fall of Manila. The four
Navy officers take turns in They Were
Expendable in describing the work of
their combined MTB Squadron 3, with
each of them filling in the gaps left out
by the others.
"This book," says its author, "is in
no sense a criticism of the Philippine
campaign. Any short-comings you see in
our American forces could be duplicated
in any army of any enemies
as well as our allies, as any good soldier
knows. Usually accurate accounts of
fighting conditions must be withheld
until the war's end because they would
give the enemy valuable information.
However, it is possible to present an
honest account of the Philippine campaign today because it has ended. That
sad chapter is closed. The Japanese know
exactly how inadequate our equipment
there was because they have captured it,
and these boys can perform a service to
their countrymen at home by showing
them war as it really is."
Georgia: Unfinished State. By Hal Steed.
New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1942.
This recent book by Hal Steed, Mercer
'97, has been favorably and adequately
reviewed before now. The "Unfinished
State" is symbolized in the first chapter
by an account of the Stone Mountain
Memqrial that was begun and is, as yet,
unfinished. In the final chapter President
Roosevelt is quoted as saying that he
liked Georgia because it was vuot a
finished state; by which, says Steed, he
meant that its development had been
halted by war and painful recovery and
was yet to be completed.
The book covers many facets of the