Faithful Warriors is a memoir of World War II in the Pacific by a combat veteran of the 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division. Written with award-winning author Steven Weingartner, Ladd's book chronicles his experiences as a junior officer in some of the fiercest fighting of the war. His recollections and descriptions of life—and death—on the far-flung island battlefronts of the Pacific War are vividly rendered, augmented by the recollections of a number of the men with whom he served.
Ladd's account tells the story of how both he and the Marine Corps came of age during history's greatest conflict. His journey through the war is representative of many Marines in World War II: training prewar in San Diego, awaiting attack on Samoa after Pearl Harbor, surviving savage fighting on Guadalcanal and Tarawa, recovering in Hawaii after being wounded, and returning to combat on Saipan and Tinian.
Lt. Col. Dean Ladd, USMCR (Ret.), saw combat in the Pacific as a junior officer in the U.S. Marine Corps and served in the Marine Corps Reserve after the war. A resident of Spokane, WA, he remains active in several veterans' groups.
Steven Weingartner, a historian and writer specializing in military history and military affairs, is the recipient of the 1998 Carl Sandburg Award for Nonfiction. He lives in La Grange Park, IL, where he contributes articles to magazines and journals and serves as a consultant and commentator for the History Channel.
Praise for Faithful Warriors
"Taken altogether, Faithful Warriors presents some of the most powerful descriptions of combat that I have ever read. I am confident that this book will be widely read and treasured by both former and future members of the 'Follow Me' Division, as well as deeply appreciated and frequently cited by future military historians writing on the Pacific theater during the Second World War." —Maj. Gen. O. K. Steele, USMC (Ret.) CG, 2d Marine Division, 1987–89
"Ladd is at his best in this book when he is describing exactly what he saw, heard, and smelled within the mythical 50-yard circle of his foxhole. From his narrative we learn what it's like to be shot in the stomach, to undergo crude surgery in an improvised sickbay aboard a troop transport, to go down the scramble nets for the next landing, knowing so painfully what to expect. We also learn from Ladd what few combat veterans have ever been able to express the cumulative, fatalistic conviction that one's luck in surviving so many violent beachheads was bound to expire before the war's end." —Col. Joseph Alexander, USMC (Ret.), author of Utmost Savagery and co-author of Through the Wheat
"By far the most lucid and moving account of the Battle of Tarawa that I have read since Robert Sherrod's first person depiction written many years ago. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and hope many of our younger Marines are reading it as well." —LGen. William Keys, USMC (Ret.), former 2nd Div. commander
"As a former commander of the Second Marine Division and an avid reader of military history, Ladd's book has special meaning." —MGen Paul K. Van Riper, USMC (Ret.)
"I didn't put it down until I finished reading it. All who were there should read it." —C. E. Alexander, WW II Second Marine Div. veteran
"Truly a masterpiece and presented in a manner to hold interest." —Marsial Jones, WW II 2nd Marine Div. veteran
"If you are fascinated by personal narratives from World War II, you had better put on the coffee pot, and settle down to one hell of read covering the Guadalcanal Campaign and landings at Tarawa, Saipan and Tinian islands in the battle for the Pacific Theater. Dean Ladd was a young enlistee in the Marine Corps at the onset of World War II. Commissioned on the battlefield, he fought as a junior officer though out the war. Ladd served in the Marine Corps Reserve following the war, rising to the rank of Lt. Colonel. In a thoughtful retrospective, Ladd reports on visits to the former battlegrounds, often with old mates and old enemies. Like old veterans of the Iron Brigade at Gettysburg or the Doughboys in Mousse Argon in World War I, these veterans share one thing in common; they lived through the ordeal of war and remembered the battles all the days of their lives. What we have left from these adventures are the personal narratives which will live as long as the printed word survives." —Richard Larsen, Midwest Book Review