By MILITARY PRESS on January 31, 2013 at 1:30 pm
…the Epic Story of a Soldier, a Flag and a Promise Kept
Eluding death. Banding together as one. With character tested, heroes emerge.
These themes could apply to many World War II tales, but there are few that take readers to the far-flung battlefield of the Philippines during the Bataan Death March, and no other that shares the heroics of Lt. Clay Conner, Jr., an unlikely hero whose actions helped he and his men survive thirty-four months amongst an array of enemies.
Resolve: From the WWII Jungles of Bataan, The Epic Story of a Soldier, a Flag, and a Promise Kept (Berkley Books, a Penguin imprint) by renowned military writer Bob Welch is an intriguing blend of courage, perseverance, and the absolute resolve to live, even if it meant becoming a member of a native tribe.
On April 9, 1942, thousands of U.S. soldiers surrendered as the Philippine island of Luzon fell to the Japanese. A few hundred Americans placed their faith in their own hands and headed for the jungle. Among them was Clay Conner Jr., a 23-year-old Army Air Force communications officer — a Duke cheerleader — who had never even camped out before.
Resolve is the story of how Conner eludes World War II’s Bataan Death March and galvanizes groups of disparate people—among them a tribe of arrow-shooting pygmy Negritos—to survive the relentless pursuit of Japanese and communist soldiers. As months — and then years — pass, Conner’s mother, Marguerite, refuses to believe her son is dead. Will he prove her right?
As in Welch’s previously celebrated titles American Nightingale and Easy Company Soldier, the keen insight into the feelings, fears, and foibles of his characters is ever apparent in Resolve, showcasing Welch’s uncanny talent to acquaint the reader with the individual and human nature, on whatever stage their life plays out.
“One’s ability to withstand the toughest ordeals isn’t dependent on who we are when the challenge begins, but on what we become when forced to rise to the occasion or die,” says Welch.
If conflict reveals character, Conner persevered, surviving a relentless pursuit of the enemy and to keep a promise, emerging from a Philippines jungle to present an amazed lieutenant general with a tattered American flag on a bamboo pole, symbolic of an unlikely victory won.
“Resolve is more than a book about war, adds Welch, “but about groups of people whose strength in a common purpose negates whatever differences might threaten to divide them. And, amid a horrific war, about an unlikely hero who forged peace among them—and within himself.”
About the Author
Bob Welch is author of the celebrated war titles American Nightingale and Easy Company Soldier, which was ranked number one in the country among World War II/Western Front books. He is currently a columnist for The Register-Guard, and has twice won the National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ highest award for writing. His articles have also appeared in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, Los Angeles Times, Reader’s Digest, Sports Illustrated and Runner’s World.
Bob Welch is available for speaking engagements. More information is available at www.bobwelch.net.