BLESS 'EM ALL - THE NEGROS CAMPAIGN -  
by William T. Calhoun and Paul F. Whitman
 'Large Landscape' 13 x 11 inch (33 x 28 cm) format, 
440 pages.
Shipping weight  approx 4 lbs.

     On 8 April, the 503rd Parachute Regimental Combat Team made an overwater movement from Mindoro to assist the 40th Division. Taking charge of activity on the left flank, it began a concerted attack against the enemy main defense line the next day. Japanese resistance to the 40th Division's advance increased with time, bearing out intelligence predictions that the thrust would encounter the enemy's main defenses. Following the first day's operations in the division's assault, it became evident that progress would be slow and tedious for the Japanese were well-entrenched in rugged terrain.

     In spite of this vigorous opposition, the attacking forces advanced steadily as the Japanese fell back from strong point to strong point. During the latter part of April the enemy defense deteriorated more quickly; however, it was not until mid-May that operations in the hills were considered to have passed into the mopping-up stage. Even then, with close support from bombers of the Thirteenth Air Force and guerrilla reinforcements, the 503rd Parachute Regimental Combat Team made but slow progress in the hill mass south of Fabrica. Isolated though they were, the Japanese in that area continued to resist until the cessation of hostilities on 15 August.

     It was later discovered that there were more Japanese troops remaining on Negros than there had been GI's fighting them.

     As an educational resource, it presents the most comprehensive collection of images and documents chronicling the 503d PRCT's involvement in "mopping up" the Japanese forces on the island of Negros, Philippine Islands between April and August 1945. It was a sad campaign for those who fought it, and one which has been almost totally overlooked. It  probably can't even be describes  as a forgotten campaign, because unless you were on Negros during those months, the chance that you ever heard about it in the first place  are slim indeed. 

     This is not a military history book in the conventional sense. It follows the men and their experiences.

    This book is the fourth in a series by the authors which follow the 503d PIR throughout their war.  They are:

                                    Bless 'em All - Book I - Australia, New Guinea & Noemfoor
                                    Bless 'em All - Book II - Leyte & Mindoro
                                    Bless 'em All - Book III - Corregidor (Retaking the Rock)
                                    Bless 'em All - Book IV - The Negros Campaign

 

     
     The acclaimed WWII History website Bless 'Em All traces the 503d Parachute Infantry Regiment through its inception, it's time in Australia, and through all its missions. It also shows how the 503d went, within a few months, from accomplishing the most successful parachute assault of the war to exemplifying the most stupid use of elite paratroopers during WWII.

     Websites are ephemeral, transitory beings, likely to disappear at the slightest wisp of late payment of their hosting fees. OK, it's a commercial world, we understand.
For that reason, I decided that I should make a permanent version of the BLESS 'EM ALL website, something that could survive a few decades on your bookshelf.  Something you'd be proud to leave on your coffee table. Something you could read without the necessity of batteries.
  
     “BLESS ‘EM ALL” is a hardcover reference series, part of a major publishing event to establish in print the history of the 503d PIR to fresh generations of "ROCK REGIMENT" veterans, their families and their friends.

     Published as four books, VOLUME I, released April 2017, deals with the formation of the 503d Parachute Infantry Regiment, its time in Australia, New Guinea, and Noemfoor. It reflects the view from the 2nd Battalion, based on a wealth of materials, including official papers, daily reports and journals.

     VOLUME II, released December 2017,  follows the Regiment, now a Regimental Combat Team, to Leyte and Mindoro, and sets up the preparation for the retaking of Corregidor.

    VOLUME III deals with the retaking of Corregidor, one of the defining battles of WWII.  It is everything you wanted to know about Corregidor 1945, but were afraid to ask.

....VOLUME IV - published July 2019: The Regiment, now christened "The Rock Regiment" is recuperating on Mindoro when it is transferred to the 6th Army and assigned to assist the 40th Division, which is having difficulties on Negros. What follows is the sad use of a lightly armed parachute regiment, the use of the wrong weapon, for the wrong reasons, simply because they were available. It was like using your prize axe to break rocks. 

    There is a fifth book available,  "The Pictorial Companion to the History of the Second Battalion, 503rd PIR'" which contains the images of Bill Calhoun's service with 'F' Company of the 503d Parachute Infantry Regiment, and the 503d Parachute Regimental Combat Team. It is a stand alone book of images which tell his story of an assistant platoon leader, platoon leader, Company Executive Officer, and Company Commander, revealing an intimate story of a brotherhood forged by the bond of steel that unites THE ROCK REGIMENT.
     
Q: Can I see a preview?   A: Sure, we don't expect you to judge the book by its cover. See the PREVIEW.
Q: What is the price of the book?   A: It depends on the edition.

US$277.99 for Library Quality Hardcover, Dust Jacket;

US$274.99 for Library Quality Hardcover, ImageWrap. (Recommended)

SORRY, the  ePub version, suitable for iPad and Kindle is NOT YET available.  Blurb, the publisher, tells me they are having technical problems with the conversions because of the complexity of the page layouts.

An instant PDF Version is available.  No preview.
     
Q: That's outrageous!! Why is it so poisonously expensive?   A:  This book is hardcover,  full color on quality paper, and presented in a large coffee-table size of  13 x 11 inch (33 x 28 cm) format,  and delivers in at 440 pages. It weighs in at  2.1kilos /4.6 pounds. ( The book's recommended  specification is with their top-of-the-line ProLine Black Endsheets, and with the Proline Charcoal Cover for the Hardcover/Dust Jacket copy. Blurb's actual printing costs are most all of the price that you pay.  You heard that right! To that, they add shipping.  Complain to them, not to me, I have to pay their prices too. 
     
Q: Are there discount vouchers or  promo coupons available to lower the price?   A: Yes, but you have to look for them. I suggest you Google the words "Blurb.com,  Discount, Coupon, Promo" and the current month.  Sometimes you can score between 10% and 35% depending on how much they need their cash-flow in San Francisco. 
     
Q: Is it available on Amazon?   A: Amazon require a $50.65  fee for each copy sold. Yes, you heard that right.  For me to make a ten buck royalty, you want to pay Amazon fifty bucks?  Are you crazy?
     
Q: Is it available on Apple?   A: Apple require that all page numbers be removed from the eBooks they sell through their iBooks Store.  I won't.  Apple can get stuffed!
     
Q:  Can I get an eBook Version?   Not at this point. One has been prepared, but Blurb have been unable to complete the conversion to ePub format, for technicl reasons even they don't understand.

     
Q: Is there a PDF file? A: YES!!! $!0 - Cheap as chips!
     
Q: How do I buy it?    Go to the preview page and look for the cart. I recommend you look for a discount code first.
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