using standard courier delivery
Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. Navy started a crash program, gathering information and educating personnel to deal with enemy bombs, land mines, and other explosive ordnance. Figuring "lawyers make the best cannon fodder," recent law school graduate J. Frank Durham was among early volunteers for this dangerous and highly-classified work. Graduating with a perfect grade from the navy's new Bomb Disposal School, he was retained on staff to help the operation expand, then dispatched to Guadalcanal, where Americans were fighting the pivotal battle of World War Two. While learning how to handle explosive devices, Durham endured bombing, shelling, and an unexpected encounter with the enemy, but tales of suspense and danger are balanced by a humorous perspective on everyday life as an enlisted man. He describes "unofficial" enterprises, manufacturing souvenirs from brass shells in the captured Japanese ammo dump, and making moonshine from anything available, to sell to the troops. Eleanor Roosevelt's visit to the field hospital inspired a pithy comment about a painful loss from a wounded marine, and a classic riposte from the First Lady. Excerpts from captured Japanese diaries provide rare insight into the other side of the conflict.