Read the Foreword Clarion book review of The Life of Stuart O. Van Slyke.
In this autobiography compiled from old diaries and letters, Stuart O. Van Slyke recounts his adventures as a young man born to hardship in the early 20th century. He recalls how he overcame his background through his own grit, imagination, and the support of his family and friends.
From a 21st century point of view, Stuart's unsupervised childhood seems carefree. Virtually on his own from the beginning, Stuart worked his way through college, where he was introduced to the Army through ROTC, and was the first of his family to graduate. He was called to active duty on June 30, 1941, as a second lieutenant, but his true military career started on Pearl Harbor day. This turned out to a pivotal event in the shaping of his life.
One of the highlights of the book is his service in the North African Campaign and his passionate yet sensitive command of the 78th Fighter Control Squadron, and later on the staff of the Allied Air Command of Corsica.
The war's ending found him in Korea in military government in 1945, where he assisted in the start of South Korea's return to the community of countries who were no longer enslaved or ruled by despots. He had a real bird's eye view of the development of the 38th Parallel dilemma that plagues us even today.
At the age of 29 in 1946, he was a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserves, and a civilian again, who wondered what he was now going to do.
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