Building for War: The Epic Saga of the Civilian Contractors and Marines of Wake Island in World War II (Hardback)Bonita L. Gilbert (author)
Hardback 312 Pages / Published: 19/12/2012
- We can order this
This intimately researched work tells the story of the thousand-plus Depression-era civilian contractors who came to Wake Island, a remote Pacific atoll, in 1941 to build an air station for the U.S. Navy. Author Gilbert charts the contractors' hard-won progress as they scramble to build the naval base as well as runways for the U.S. Army Air Corps's B-17 Flying Fortresses while war clouds gathered over the Pacific. Five hours after their attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese struck Wake Island, which was now isolated from assistance. The undermanned Marine Corps garrison, augmented by hundreds of the civilian-contractor volunteers, fought back, ultimately repelling several Japanese landing attempts as the enemy laid siege to the atoll for two weeks. Finally succumbing to an overwhelming amphibious attack, the surviving Americans, military and civilian, were taken prisoner. Used as slave labourers by the Japanese, and subject to a brutal massacre toward the end of the war as U.S. forces finally closed in, the civilian contractors who had risked distance and danger for well-paying jobs ended up paying a steep price: their freedom and, for many, their lives. Written by the daughter and granddaughter of civilians who served on Wake Island, Building for War sheds new light on why the United States was taken by surprise in December 1941 and shines a spotlight on the little-known, virtually forgotten story of a group of civilian workers and their families whose lives were forever changed by the events on the tiny atoll that is Wake.
Publisher: Casemate Publishers
Number of pages: 312
Weight: 794 g
Dimensions: 152 x 229 x 36 mm
You may also be interested in...
Please sign in to write a review
Simply reserve online and pay at the counter when you collect. Available in shop from just two hours, subject to availability.
Thank you for your reservation
Your order is now being processed and we have sent a confirmation email to you at
When will my order be ready to collect?
Following the initial email, you will be contacted by the shop to confirm that your item is available for collection.
Call us on or send us an email at
Unfortunately there has been a problem with your order
Please try again or alternatively you can contact your chosen shop on or send us an email at