Fields of Battle Pearl Harbor, the Rose Bowl, and the Boys Who Went to War

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 9/27/2016
  • Publisher: Flatiron Books

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In the wake of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the 1942 Rose Bowl was moved from Pasadena to Durham, North Carolina, out of fear of Japanese attacks on the West Coast. It remains the only Rose Bowl game to ever be played outside of Pasadena. Duke University, led by legendary coach Wallace Wade Sr., faced off against underdog Oregon State College, with both teams preparing for a grueling fight on the football field while their thoughts wandered to the battlefields they would soon be on.

As the players and coaches prepared for the game, America was preparing for war. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill met to discuss the Allied strategy in Europe; a discussion that would change the lives of the boys and men on the field in Durham.

Finally, on New Yearís Day 1942, under dark gray skies and occasional rain, the two teams clashed on the gridiron in front of a crowd of 56,000, playing one of the most unforgettable games in history. Shortly afterward, many of the players and coaches entered the military and would quickly become brothers on the battlefield. Scattered around the globe, the lives of Rose Bowl participants would intersect in surprising ways, as they served in Iwo Jima and Normandy, Guadalcanal and the Battle of the Bulge. Four players from that Rose Bowl game would lose their lives, while many more were severely wounded. In one powerful encounter on the battlefield, OSCís Frank Parker saved the life of Dukeís Charles Haynes as he lay dying on a hill in Italy. And one OSC player, Jack Yoshihara, a Japanese-American, never had the chance to play in the game or serve his country, as he was sent to an internment camp in Idaho.

In this riveting an emotional tale, Brian Curtis sheds light on a little-known slice of American history and captures in gripping detail an intimate account of the teamwork, grit, and determination that took place on both the football fields and the battlefields of World War II. It was a game created by infamy and a war fought by ordinary boys who did the extraordinary.

Author Biography

BRIAN CURTIS is a New York Times bestselling author and contributor to Sports Illustrated. He is the author or coauthor of six books including The Legacy Letters: Messages of Life and Hope from 9/11 Family Members and Go Long!: My Journey Beyond the Game and Fame (with Jerry Rice). Curtis was nominated for two local Emmys for his work as a reporter for Fox Sports Net and served as a national reporter for CBS College Sports. His work has been covered by The New York Times, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal.

Table of Contents

Part I: The Men
1. The Making of a Coach
2. A New Kingdom
3. Country Boys
Part II: The Winds of War
4. A Warning
5. A Team of Destiny
6. Infamy
7. The Beaver Express
Part III: A Game Like No Other
8. A Rose Is Still a Rose
9. A New opponent
10. Shikata Ga Nai
Part IV: War
11. The First
12. Campus at War
13. An Ordinary Hero
14. Cup of Coffee
15. Uncommon Valor
Part V: Home
16. The New Normal
17. The Last Days
Postgame Biographies

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