The World War II Book Club will meet on Tuesday November 20, 2012, at the Millburn Library, 200 Glen Avenue. The guest speaker will be Gregory J. W. Urwin, Ph. D., author of Victory in Defeat-The Wake Island Defenders in Captivity, 1941-1945. The lecture will start at 7 PM.
Victory in Defeat is the detailed account of the defenders of Wake Island following their surrender to the Japanese on December 23, 1941. Dr. Urwin spent decades researching what happened and now offers a revealing look at the United States Marines, sailors, soldiers, and civilian contractors in captivity. In addition to exhaustive archival research, he interviewed dozens of POW's and even some of their Japanese captors. He also had access to diaries secretly kept by the prisoners. This information has allowed him to explain how so many of these Americans survived three-and-a-half years in captivity and emerged with a much lower death rate than most other Allied personnel captured in the Pacific.
Dr. Urwin is a professor of history at Temple University and earned a Ph.D from the University of Notre Dame. He has written or edited nine books and received numerous awards.
On Tuesday January 15. John Lanza, a local author and historian from Caldwell will lecture on his award winning book Shot Down Over Italy, the story of a group of aviators whose plane was downed over Italy during the last stages of the war, and how some evaded capture and managed to return to their outfits. Lanza returned to Italy and located the remains of the fallen plane and reconstructed the remarkable last flight of the crew.
Membership Dues for the Book Club are $25.00 a year for a single membership and $30.00 for an entire family. Anyone with questions can call Dr. McLaughlin at 973-467-3313.