By Eric Hammel
Noted chronicler of the Pacific Theater Eric Hammel recently spent three years sorting, scanning, cleaning, selecting, and captioning United States Marine Corps World War II photos for six pictorial books. The project netted a collection of thousands of digital images, most of them never before even considered for publication. Along the way, Hammel found a few hundred that stayed in his memory because of the sheer emotional impact of what they have to say about war and its effect on people, especially the combatants. Among the most impressive of these select photos is a relatively small number in which the faces alone of the then-young men being memorialized on film have the most to say. According to Hammel, nothing other than where and when the photos were taken is needed to explain what is captured in them.
Eric Hammel is the acclaimed author or co-author of 36 books of military history, most of which deal with the U.S. Marine Corps and the Pacific Theater. His most recent book is Islands of Hell: The U.S. Marines in he Western Pacific, 1944-1945 (Zenith Press).