Diary of an Army Baker, Quartermaster Corps, Southwest Pacific, 1942-45

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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.

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