I SHOULD HAVE WRITTEN A BOOK
BY TOM GRANNETINO
William Grannetino served in the US navy during World War II. From the day he landed on Omaha Beach to the morning he sailed out of the Pacific theatre for the last time, he was surrounded by violence, trauma, death, and a comradery unparalleled in civilian life. Through the pen of Grannetino’s son, readers are provided a glimpse of a sailor’s gut-wrenching realities of war as he relates details about little-known landings that happened ahead of the initial D-Day assault and unique facts somehow lost in history. Compelling descriptions of street to street fighting in the city of Caen, the urgency of rushing military support to the Battle of the Bulge, and the terror of Kamikaze attacks in the Pacific, transport readers right to the battle zone. From the jubilation over the end of hostilities to the devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Tom Grannetino has captured his father’s stories and crafted an historical and deeply personal account of one man’s experiences in the Second World War.
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I Should Have Written A Book
54 years after landing on Omaha Beach, June 6, 1944, William Grannetino opened up for the first time and described what he experienced during the first wave of the D Day invasion.
Narrative from the book:
“I couldn’t believe the devastation those soldiers were experiencing. With no exaggeration I can tell you that the water at the edge of the beach was red with blood. Men were lying dead and dying everywhere. Those that were still alive were trying to find cover behind the Germans’ obstacles that were planted on the beach; they were also taking cover behind the blown-up equipment we had dropped there. Machine gun fire was tearing them to pieces. If a machine gun slowed and concentrated fire on one man, it would literally cut him in half. For those foot soldiers on the beach, moving forward must have seemed futile because of the lack of cover and the rows of barbed wire blocking any advancement. Mortars and artillery fire were exploding everywhere, sending clouds of sand and smoke into the air. I could feel the concussion of the explosions from the closer mortars and artillery landing in our area of beach. When these exploded, I saw bodies of men both dead and still alive sent spinning into the air. The noise was so loud you couldn’t hear yourself think. I saw soldiers screaming with fear. As I looked at the wounded on the beach, I could tell, even all the way from our pilothouse, that those men were in agony. I will never forget the desperate feelings I had on that day as I watched landing craft that were bringing troops to shore become targets and get hit by artillery shells and mortars. I cringed every time I saw one of them struck and then saw men in the water swimming for their lives next to the lifeless bodies that were floating everywhere. It was a God-awful scene to witness.
This was certainly the most horrible event I had ever seen up to that point in my life. Saving Private Ryan gets close to showing what that moment looked like, but it really doesn’t reveal the overall sense of horror and the scope of devastation. In the movie they break out quickly and move up the beach. If you were there, you would know that was not how it actually happened. I saw several hundred men landing. I would guess that 75 percent of the very first wave of men I saw hit Dog Green and Charlie sector on Omaha Beach died in the first few minutes they were on the beach.
No movie can portray everything I experienced on that day. To experience the horror of seeing so much blood being spilt as you’re watching machine gun tracers targeting and cutting down whole groups of men is something that can’t be recreated in a movie. When you’re watching a movie, you can’t feel the concussion from exploding shells. You can’t smell the ocean or feel cold saltwater splashing over you and soaking your clothes. The extreme ear-splitting sounds from explosions and gunfire are excruciating, and the ringing in your ears can’t be recreated in a movie—neither can bullets buzzing past you like fast-flying bumblebees.
In a movie, you can’t smell the odor of cordite mixed with smoke. I remember the stench of all the smoke on the beach. There was smoke from exploding shells, smoke from several tanks and other vehicles that were burning across the beach, smoke from the surviving soldiers of the 29th creating a cover smoke to hide behind on a beach with no cover. There was also a black smoke coming from the drums of drain oil the Germans had burning for their cover on the beach, and white smoke from the burning grasses above the beach. The combined effect gave the whole place a unique odor I would never smell again for the rest of my life. All of these sensory assaults and the violence witnessed set a real veteran of Omaha apart from a movie actor.
I get a bit upset and certainly don’t agree with how the Private Ryan movie depicts the DD tanks on Dog Green. Even people who know the opening scenes of the movie well don’t appreciate this misconception. Early in the scene a soldier, referring to the obstacles on the beach, states: “I gotta clear these obstacles, make holes for the tanks.” The character portrayed by Tom Hanks replies with “All the armor’s floundering in the Channel,” implying that the soldier’s intended action would have been a waste of time. Later, when Tom Hanks is lying at the foot of the sea wall along the base of the Vierville Draw, he says to his radioman, “Shore party, no armor has made it ashore; we got no DD tanks on the beach. Dog One is not open.” Finally, during the scene in which a mirror is stuck to a bayonet with chewing gum, it was disappointing to me to hear Tom Sizemore say (as he holds the bayonet and looks into the mirror), “It’s a little defilade over there, but it’s a perfect fire position if we could get some goddamn armor on the beach.”
Hearing those words in those three movie scenes cut me like a knife. I guess the difference between them and me is that I was really there, and I know the navy had a lot of armor on the Dog Green section of beach in front of the Vierville Draw. We landed three tanks, and I saw several other brave LCT crews drop off their tanks as well. I don’t know how many tanks were knocked out, but I would guess that on the western side of Omaha, we landed thirty to forty tanks. Those tanks were the ones we carried directly to the beach before the brave soldiers of the 29th Infantry Division ever started their assault.
Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg are truly fine professionals in that they did an overall magnificent job communicating the Omaha story, but both they and the movie’s writers have their history wrong regarding the tanks at Vierville on Omaha Beach. What they failed to realize was that it was only on the eastern end of Omaha Beach that the first twenty-seven out of twenty-nine floating DD tanks from the 741st Tank Battalion sank because of the rough seas. Immediately after that travesty, the army officers on board the LCTs carrying the 743rd Tank Battalions changed their plans of launching the remaining DD tanks on the western end of the beach. They quickly communicated with the onboard naval officers commanding the LCTs of the change in their plans. I don’t know that any official orders were ever given to either the army or navy officers on the LCTs. The change in plans seemed to be an on-the-spot decision. Regardless, the remaining LCTS changed their plans and decided not to drop their tanks at sea; instead, they carried the remaining first wave DD tanks directly to the beach ahead of the first wave of oncoming soldiers. It was because of this change in plans that there were many tanks on the western end of Normandy Beach, more specifically the Dog Green section of Omaha Beach in front of the Vierville Draw. Based on my personal experience, Tom Hanks’ character was wrong. The armor at Vierville weren’t floundering in the Channel.
Having witnessed the events of D-Day firsthand, it is truly disappointing to me that the brave Tankers and our LCT crews that were truly the first soldiers to hit the Omaha beaches on D-Day had their stellar service described as “floundering” in the movie. Somehow the history of these courageous initial landings has been lost. It’s truly unfortunate that we never see these men depicted as the first military troops to commence the opening assault on Omaha Beach. Honestly, it’s nearly altogether forgotten that they were ever associated with the D-Day landings. They’re never seen in old newsreels or photos, they’re not shown in World War II documentaries, and there are no movies depicting them as the initial troops to assault the beaches. Unfortunately, their efforts are mostly unknown. It is as if the memories of their heroism drowned in the waves of Omaha.
You can’t imagine and definitely can’t film what you feel inside yourself when you are manning your post, knowing that any minute you’re going to die. Believe me, it took everything I had to man my post. To experience fear on that level cannot be explained to another person. You can only experience that on your own. Saving Private Ryan gives a small taste of this experience, but truly doesn’t capture the level of real fear you feel. Even fifty-four years later, I shake just talking about it.
Today some of those same feelings return when I hear the musical notes of “Taps.” The fear instilled in me on June 6, 1944—those emotions of terror, anxiety, and distress—ripple through every nerve in my body when I hear a bugle play those sad notes. In a strange way, I revere and at the same time loathe those musical notes, as they make me remember that horrible day.”
BELOW FIND READERS COMMENTS:
- Kurt Vymlatil – Insanity! Adrenalin!! Heroism!!!
- Judy Patterson – Riveting memories of the terror of war.
- John Dickerson – Gruesome account of the sacrifice for our freedom.
- Alan Shipp – When you start reading it, it is like an addictive drug you just can’t put it down.
- Randy Zeek Christman – Tom you got my hairs standing on edge, so awesome, it was so real!!!
- Nick Devaux – I’ve read several firsthand stories of D Day, but the excerpts shared from this book are the most compelling and frightening accounts.
- Donna Marie Schall – A very excellent book. The book is well written and easy for a lady to understand. You could feel the terror in the written pages.
- Dan Fitzpatrick - This man is an incredible writer. I cannot imagine the experience. Horrifying beyond words. We owe these boys a lot. How can one step up to a plate like that?
- Eileen Grannetino - It's a good read and hard to put down. From the time you start reading you can't start to wonder how a young man could coup with all he was going through.
- Eduardo Reboratti – When reading the book one can actually hear in our minds the bullets from that machine guns ricocheting against the side of Bill Grannetino’s landing craft!!!!
- Nancy Dempsey Burke - Very well written. I felt like I was a witness to the horrific events of D-Day. These brave Americans were truly the Greatest Generation. I found it hard to put this book down!
- Staff Sergeant, Kyron Ahner – (A veteran of Afghanistan) The amount of courage and patriotism it took to do what he did is unthinkable. I highly encourage everyone read the book Tom Grannetino wrote.
- Karen Keck - Very interesting. Never talked with my dad about the war. Reading Tom’s book was like being there. At one point I could smell the gun fire. So real. Thanks Tom for writing about your dad’s experiences.
- J.A. Cenchitz – I felt like I was there!! The book was amazing, and it made it so real. Thank you to Mr. Grannetino for sharing his time with us. I had the pleasure of going to school with his son Tom who wrote the book.
- Joe Konsko - Saving Private Ryan! If you enjoyed Saving Private Ryan this book is for you! This is a great read and provides a soldier’s perspective of actual accounts of the personal joy and perils of WWII in both Europe and the Pacific.
- Doug Cervi – This is truly an amazing story, is an understatement. One cannot make up what seems like fiction in this book. A navy guy fighting with the British and then finds himself in Tokyo Bay at the end of the war. Do yourself a favor and read this book!!!
- Janet Berlin Elliott - Amazing story, thank you so very much for a heart wrenching story that must be so painful for you to relive! Thank you and all those brave young man that witnessed that horrible day! You are all my heroes! God bless all of you!
- J.A. Cenchitz – I was never interested in history but when I found out a friend from high school wrote a book about his dad’s personal experience while serving in WWII, I had to read it. I couldn’t put it down. Thank you for sharing your dad’s story with us.
- Nancy Dempsey Burke - Reading your book Tom. It is absolutely riveting. Your description makes me feel right there on his LCT on June 6th, such utter devastation that day!! God Bless those brave men!! Can’t wait for the movie!! LOL!! It is hard to put down!!
- Patti Eck Budin - What a well written book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Bill Grannetino. I am not a history person, but I could not put down this book. You have no idea what the war was really like till you read about it through the life of someone who lived it.
- Darlene Hock - A huge thank you to Tom Grannetino for keeping his father's memories alive. Well written, and bone-chilling accounts of some of our country's most historic days. Many children would have never done what you did to keep your dad's vivid memories alive. A must read!!!
- Nancy Dempsey Burke - I have read many books regarding WWII, but they have always been history books. This is a narrative from a true witness and hero from D Day to the War in The Pacific. This book is hard to put down. Bill Grannetino you are a true hero!!!!! Thank You for Your Service!!!
- Pastor Jody Neifert – A great read. A true story about a sailor who was also a foot soldier, from the mundane of everyday task to the sheer terror of the horror that is war and the simple comfort of a good friend to go through it all together. I highly recommend “I Should Have Written A Book”.
- Eduardo Reboratti - Simple everyday writing, (much like Hemingway's), that captures the reader in the moment. One can almost hear the noise around the teller; one can almost smell the air the teller is smelling, and all those bold, dramatic, and brave acts done by 18 to 21-year-olds. Extraordinary!!!
- Gary Schall – It was one of the most mesmerizing books I’ve ever read in my life. Very well authored. I read it from morning until night. I was unable to put it down. I’m not going to provide spoilers though. But I will tell you this, buy the book, read it, and you will see what I’m talking about. Simply amazing.
- Donna Marie Schall – This book is amazing. I grew up knowing the Grannetino family and never expected that he endured this vicious traumatic experience. As you read the book, you can feel his fear and pain. Tom, thank you for writing this book. As a girl, I found the book easy to understand and truly fascinating. Very well written.
- Glen Faust – Just getting to Le Harve. Tom, this is riveting. Multiple landings at Omaha, sailors in the British infantry taking Caen and the 88s, human carnage. How he held it together is beyond me. Thank goodness for Tillins, Frenchy and at least some respite. Reads like a W.E.B. Griffin novel yet this is your Dad!!! Beyond impactful.
- Katie Kuntz - Well-written, descriptive accounts of history that will certainly be passed down through generations to come. As a bookworm who has a hard time with the history genre- I found this book a wonderful blend of historical recollection as well as personal storytelling that kept me hooked from beginning to end. I could not put it down!
- Amazon Customer - This is a must read! Bill’s journey through key events in WW ll is incredible. The book is a page turner, not knowing where Bill will end up next. If you want to learn more about what it was like during the war, I highly recommend this book. Without books like this we’ll one day forget what great men like Bill did for our country.
- Mayone Saunders - My husband and I both read this book within a couple of days. He is a fan of history, but not keen on reading and thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I love to read but am not big on history novels. I have to say this is a must read. Very simplistic and real. This book gives you the true feeling of being on the battlefield during WWII.
- Mark Badorf - I found it difficult to put the book down. The book detailed Tom’s fathers’ experiences to the extent that you clearly understood what WWII and D Day landing was like at Omaha Beach, the experiences he had as a Navy guy fighting his way through the French countryside and then ending up in the pacific theatre. Easy read and wonderfully written.
- Bruce Kock – This intriguing book compels the reader to never put it down as you travel hand and hand with a patriot’s experience in WWII. You get a true appreciation of what our young men and women lived through during those years. It is difficult to believe anyone could have survived what he went through. Get this book, read it. You’ll experience WWII like never before.
- John Dempsey – This is one of the BEST BOOKS I’ve ever read. The book had me hooked immediately! I had the same emotions also, especially when he was describing the time before they stormed the beach. My heart was racing with fear for ALL THOSE BRAVE HEROES!! It was SOOO WELL WRITTEN, COULDN” T PUT IT DOWN! Thank you again NANCY for getting me a SIGNED COPY!!
- Alan Shipp – The book is a moving and inspiring and very hard to put down. I have read and watched many stories about D Day and reading about William Grannetino’s story, I felt like I was living it with him. I think Tom has given us a story about history that will be remembered. I am excitedly waiting for a movie to be made about William Grannetino’s experience during World War ll.
- Wendy Gail Body – I have never been a fan of reading historic-fiction; especially when it involves a war. This book totally changed my opinion! I love the simple plain speak delivery and non- stop action. Once I started the book, it was hard to put down. I could not stop thinking about Bill Grannetino. He was the humble hero that you cheered for on every page. This is a must read for your book club!
- Helen Grannetino - I am so enjoying your book! I tried to read one chapter a day but couldn’t stop reading! You took me into the action in the first couple of chapters. I was right there with Bill trying to free Tillins hands from the clutch handle. Your writing puts you in the moment with the character. Lou just started and he won’t put it down. Thank you for preserving this part of Grannetino history, more importantly World War ll history.
- Kim Sherr – The book is a well-written and readable account of a sailor’s story. It's a superb telling of events leading up to D-day, during D-day and a nutshell record of the rest of the war. It is filled with personal experiences and humor. Mr. Grannetino starts the book with a background of his father and ends with his father finally sailing home after minesweeper duty in Okinawa. I couldn't put the book down - with every page turn I wanted to keep reading.
- Gene Miller - In an endearing tribute to his late father, Grannetino paints a vivid picture of a young man’s WWII experience. The book conveys a deep understanding and appreciation of his father’s personality; his fortitude, humility and compassion emerge in a way that only a close family member could properly eulogize. The narrative of the fear, bravery, and loss confronted by his dad makes the reader feel a part of it. I couldn’t put it down. Gene Miller, retired metallurgist.
- Linda Szoke - Hello Tom , thank you for the autographed copy of your great book courtesy of my sister-in-law Patti Eck Budin. It's so intriguing I couldn't put it down! So well written that it puts the reader right in the picture of every line, as if I were there too. Great book, great reading. When I was a kid, I asked my dad about the war once. he just showed me a medal and said, " that's all you need to know." Found out later it was a combat infantry badge with battle stars - Bastogne -winter 1944.
- Linda Lee Ship – I usually don’t read about war, but my husband is an avid fan. We met Tom on a vacation and he and my husband discussed WW ll and the landing on Normandy. Tom mentioned writing a book and as soon as it was published, we brought a copy. I even read this book and was surprised how captivated I was. I saw the war through his father’s eyes and felt his fear as he fought to stay alive. Tom has written his father’s story in a way that puts us right there in the moment. This book is a real tribute to his father’s service to his country.
- Nancy Dempsey Burke - This is an account of Bill Grannetino's experiences during WWII, as told by his son Tom. Mr. Grannetino is truly one of "The Greatest Generation", having served from Omaha Beach to the Pacific Theater. The descriptions of his experiences are nothing short of "WOW". I felt that I was there on his LCT on June 6, 1944. I was scared and was drawn in by the descriptions and events of that day. As Bill moved from Omaha Beach to elsewhere, I celebrated the victories and anguish, it was that real. I truly could not put this book down.
- Tammy Keck - What a wonderful tribute to one man’s journey throughout the war. The stories of D Day, Caen, Battle of the Bulge, and more are brought to life in much detail that was never talked about in any history class I was in. Tom brought to life the horror all those brave men truly experienced. You can experience the intelligence of Bill Grannetino in finding life-saving ways to get around on D-Day to repairing engines. Very interesting all the different orders he was given throughout his time in the war. This is a must-read book as I could not put it down! Well written.
- Amazon Customer – More than a history a history book, an account from a veteran!! This is an account of Bill Grannetino's experiences during WWII, as told by his son Tom. Mr. Grannetino is truly one of "The Greatest Generation", having served from Omaha Beach to the Pacific Theater. The descriptions of his experiences are nothing short of "WOW". I felt that I was there on his LCT on June 6, 1944. I was scared and was drawn in by the descriptions and events of that day. As Bill moved from Omaha Beach to elsewhere, I celebrated the victories and anguish, it was that real. I truly could not put this book down. This book is a tribute from a son to his father. A fantastic read. God Bless the Greatest Generation.
- Barbara Reboratti – Bill Grannetino’s son, Tom, captures his father's thoughts and memories of landing at Omaha Beach during World War II to the point that the reader can smell the air of battle, sense the fear, hear the explosions, imagine the carnage, and actively lend support in the mind of the reader for all those heroes to land, disembark, fight back, and succeed!!! And just think that the vast majority of those soldiers, sailors, and Marines were under 22 years of age!!! Bill goes on to land and experiences some years in battle and support of battle. That too is vividly related in this well written book. Ultimately, reading this book will leave you with a humble sense of recognition and gratitude for young people.
- Mitch Hanna – Tom’s book goes into detail when describing various military equipment and how they were used, like the landing craft tank his father served aboard during WWII. One of my favorite sections is the author's account of the D-Day invasion. I learned about what happened on Tuesday, June 6, 1944 in history classes, but when I read this part in I Should Have Written A Book. I actually felt like I was there witnessing the event first-hand. Tom did a terrific job conveying the drama of that day in his book and the LCT plays a central role. I'd highly recommend this book for anyone who is interested in learning more about how LCTs were used during the D-Day invasion or likes reading wartime stories.
- Joe D’alessandro – I have read countless WW2 books and watched hundreds of hours of films and documentaries. I have never experienced a narrative of that war like this one. Somehow it is a very one to one account of one man’s personal experience. It feels like you’re sitting at the table and listing. Particular details about the vessel, the methods, the behavior of the military men on both sides were riveting. One feels what was happening. On one hand the story did not overload with details, yet it painted a clear picture, deadly as it was. This should be taken to the film industry. This perspective must be shown as it somehow has been passed over. It is a must read. God Bless them all and give them rest for eternity.
- Author – Larry L. Deibert – Great tribute to a father. Writing through the voice of his father, Bill, Tom Grannetino eloquently tells his dad's story. Bill landed on Omaha Beach, even before the infantry arrived and wound up working with the British and Canadian armies as they worked their way through France and toward the heart of Germany. Bill hauled supplies to the Ardennes during the Battle of The Bulge. After the war with Germany ended, Bill was transferred back to the Navy as they worked their way to Japan. After Japan surrendered, Bill went home to have a great life, telling his family his stories, always saying, "I Should Have Written A Book." Tom, thanks for sharing your dad's stories in this masterfully crafted book.
- Michel Lori Diehl – This is a "must read" for anyone interested in the War. Tom portrayed the experiences of his father, William, eloquently. Every piece of war experience described in the book, no matter big or small, were written in such detail that, every couple of chapters, I thought about how William had survived. I couldn't put the book down! The book is a well-written and readable account of a sailor’s story. It's a superb telling of events leading up to D-day, during D-day and a nutshell record of the rest of the war. It is filled with personal experiences and humor. Mr. Grannetino starts the book with a background of his father and ends with his father finally sailing home after minesweeper duty in Okinawa. I couldn't put the book down - with every page turn I wanted to keep reading.
- Nancy Burke – This is an account of a soldier’s experiences in World War II as told by his son Tom. Bill Grannetino served in The Navy and was on a LCT on D-Day. The descriptions of that day were so real, I felt I was present to witness the devastation, carnage, bravery, and unrelenting will of the soldiers to succeed in their mission. Further descriptions of fighting in Caen and The Battle of the Bulge were just as riveting. Bill was then sent to the Pacific and related the stories of Okinawa and the ever-present fears of Kamikaze attacks. Again, I was transported to the action in the Pacific. This book describes the horrors of war, but also tells of comradery and forged friendships. There were also a few lighthearted personal vignettes which made this book all the more enjoyable. This was a book that was hard to put down. I wish I could give it a higher rating!! A fantastic read!!
- Luis Justo – I have read many books in my life, but none that can be compared to, I Should have Written a Book, A Sailor’s Journey from Omaha Beach to Japan during World War II. Tom’s excellent use of imagery throughout this book emphasized his father’s war-time experience in a truly unique and vivid manner. When reading this book, I felt like I was a part of the initial landings on Omaha Beach, June 6, 1944. I could visualize myself alongside Tom’s father doing the things I was reading about because of how descriptive and precise his writing is. Tom made the audience understand the reality of war and I felt the realism of his father’s amazing experience from the beginning of this book to the end. Tom, your father would be proud of you and what you have accomplished with this book. Reading this book was riveting, invigorating, it was hard to put down and just a real pleasure. Thank you for giving me something to read during the pandemic.
- Edward DeAngelis – Tom, I just finished your book. I have read many books and many about veterans but never one like “I should have written a book”. We, who never served but revere the sacrifice of those who did, forget the heroic actions of the support teams. This book felt so real as you take us thru the experience of your father as a Naval officer. The simple words and description made me feel like as was with your father. It was so nice to hear the real fears and joys that were not embellished by Hollywood. I was so moved by the heroic actions of the millions of service men that were NOT generals but just patriotic Americans protecting and preserving our democracy. In addition, I loved hearing about the friendships that were built during this difficult time. These friendships proved to be the hope that many needed to help them get through this ordeal. The humanity of your father was so clearly evident in his feelings towards the enemies. We sometime forget that they are human being just like us. Thank You for sharing this book with me and God bless your father. My only regret: Where is Tillins as that really broke my heart? Thank You!!
- Rob Avitabile - I just finished the book, and it was excellent! First off, let me say that I am not a big reader. When I do read, they are typically non-fiction books. There was something about this book that made me want to read it – possibly it’s my pure fascination with war? I revere all those that served in the Armed Forces, as us civilians owe so much of our freedoms to those brave men and women. I started this book one afternoon and finished it the next evening. I truly had a hard time putting it down. The descriptions and stories were so clear and vivid, I was painting a picture in my mind of what the scenes were like. Reading the book felt like I was having a chat with Tom’s father, listening to Bill tell me those stories. It reminded me of my wife’s grandfather, who was an MP during the same war, who would tell me similar stories. (Perhaps they crossed paths?) There was not one page of the book that was “boring”, each page was so thrilling I wanted to keep reading to see what happened next. There are many times throughout the book where I couldn’t believe what Bill experienced. Those men were truly a different generation – nothing like them exist today. I am so glad Tom was able to not only capture but remember and document Bill’s experiences in an excellently written book.
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Re: "I Should Have Written A Book;
A Sailor's Journey from Omaha Beach to Japan during World War II."
- August 16, 2019
Tom Grannetino has authored a fascinating 162 page book detailing his late father's military actions during WWII.
Tom's purpose in writing the book was to immortalize his father's military service for his grand-children and their descendants. The book was written in memory of his father William John Grannetino who died in 2011 at age 86.
His father served in the U. S. Navy achieving the rank of Chief Petty Officer. His military service took him to the epicenter of war in the North Atlantic, Europe and Pacific Theaters. He was decorated for actions during the historic D-Day Invasion, Omaha Beach and during the liberation of France.
The author's main point echoes his father's words, "I should have written a book." After a life of pent-up memories, the author's father underwent a transformative moment while watching the popular 1998 movie, "Saving Private Ryan." From that time forward the senior Grannetino spoke openly about his military activities during the war. Since his father's death, the son has been haunted by his father's words about the war. In composing the text, the son found it necessary to in part simulate what took place by developing an imagined narrative. This technique has worked successfully with renowned historians such as Allan Nevins and Stephen B. Oates, and in this case has worked remarkably well.
Through oral recollection, and extrapolation, the younger Grannetino writes the book. He tells the story his father so desperately longed to compose. In ten short chapters the reader is treated to a vivid narrative that chronicles the transformation of a young civilian into a sailor in the U.S. Navy. The author launches into the action. In the second chapter the reader is landing at Omaha Beach. From there the narrative accelerates, and page by page he reveals his father's journey in time. Halfway through the book in Chapter 7 the reader finds themselves in the Battle of the Bulge, and in Chapter 9, going home.
The story is pleasing, patriotic, and inspiring. Anyone searching for an authentic tale of resolve, danger and sacrifice will find it in Tom Grannetino's work "I Should Have Written a Book: A Sailor's Journey from Omaha Beach to Japan during World War II." It helps all readers better understand the essence of the "Greatest Generation" and why we remember them.
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