Wilson, John H. Jr.

About the editor: John Howard Wilson, Jr. is a Professor of English at Dakota Wesleyan University. He was educated at the University of Michigan, where he received a BA in history and an MA and PhD in English. He has also taught at Eastern Michigan University and Koka Women’s College in Kyoto, Japan. Wilson is the author of Evelyn Waugh: A Literary Biography, 1903-1924, the first of three volumes.

Diary of an Army Baker, Quartermaster Corps, Southwest Pacific, 1942-45
2000 0-7734-7724-1
This is a dramatic record of one man’s service in the Pacific War. “Jack” Wilson began to take notes during training, and these notes developed into a diary of thoughts, movements, and events, especially after he was shipped overseas in January 1943. He served in New Caledonia, Australia, New Guinea, the Admiralty Islands, and the Philippines. Trained to be a baker in the Quartermaster Corps, instead of staying safely in the rear, he volunteered for hazardous duty and baked bread for troops on the front lines. Jack and his platoon saw the grisly residue of battle, and his diary is in part a startling contrast between the decency of his middle-class upbringing and the brutality of war. Another contrast is between tedium and excitement, as routine is interrupted by air raids and prisoners. Extensively annotated by Jack’s son, the diary is both personal and historical. With rare illustrations.

Life of the Rev. James Renwick Jackson, Presbyterian Minister in Pennsylvania (1905-1953)
2005 0-7734-6331-3
This book tells the story of Rev. James Renwick Jackson (1905–1953), who rose from humble beginnings in Philadelphia to become one of the leading Presbyterian ministers in the United States in the 1940s and 1950s. Though his life was cut short by cancer, Rev. Jackson inspired thousands of members of three churches in Philadelphia, Tyrone and Erie, PA. Rev. Jackson rebuilt the First Presbyterian Church of Erie after a devastating fire in 1944, and even after he had fallen ill, he was determined to comfort and serve members of his congregation.

Rev. Jackson is also part of a remarkable family. Three of his brothers became Presbyterian ministers, and nine members of the next generation entered the ministry. Rev. Jackson’s brothers and children appear throughout the narrative of his life, and an epilogue summarizes the work of the family since his death. Four of Rev. Jackson’s sermons are also included in this book. Written by his daughter and drawing on rare primary documents, this book is not only an inspirational biography, it also contains a great deal of practical advice on about building a ministry.