Maj. Roger G. B. Broome, USMCR, died from wounds received on Saipan
before his daughter had a chance to know him. Now a well-known
naval historian and author of award-winning books, that daughter,
Kathleen Broome Williams, has turned the research skills she honed
studying naval technology to find her lost father. For this
biography, she makes full use of an extensive collection of her
father's colorful and articulate letters along with the testimony
of surviving Leathernecks who served with Major Broome, backed up
by official records.
The book reconstructs her father's life as a University of Virginia
Law School graduate who obtained a commission in the Marine Corps
despite his colorblindness and eventually won the combat command he
lobbied for. In April 1944 Broome took command of the Regimental
Weapons Company, 24th Marines, 4th Marine Division. But his pursuit
of glory came to an abrupt end just twenty-four days into the
Saipan invasion when he sustained the wounds that condemned him to
a lingering death. The author not only found a hero who was awarded
the Navy Cross for his courageous actions, but also uncovered a
profoundly human individual with strengths as well as obvious
faults. In unfolding Broome's story, she takes significant world
events from seventy years ago and places them in an intimate
context, to show how they affected Americans on and off the
battlefield. Her efforts provide an inside look at the U.S. Marine
Corps during the pivotal years of World War II, including recruit
training, amphibious assaults, high casualties, and, not least, the
personal feuds and rivalries that shaped it.
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