DEVENS -- Michael G. Walling returns to Fort Devens Museum to present a program at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 15, about the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Navy involvement in the Battle of the Atlantic and ensuring the safety of the Arctic convoys before and during World War II.
Mike has written extensively about the sea and especially about that period in the country's military history. His book "Bloodstained Sea: The U.S. Coast Guard in the Battle of the Atlantic 1941-1944," brought him a 2005 Samuel Eliot Morrison Award for Naval Literature from the Naval Order of the United States.
He wrote more recently about the subject in "Forgotten Sacrifice: The Arctic Convoys in World War II." The book is described as "capturing for the first time the true essence of these convoys and serves it to the reader in a book seemingly made from crystalline Arctic Sea ice yet actually composed of Allied and Soviets survivors' memories and, sometimes, memories left behind by those who didn't survive."
Mike served in the U.S. Coast Guard for six years as a commissioned officer and senior petty officer. Most of his experience on the high seas came in the North Atlantic with a couple of trips to the Arctic. Prior to the Coast Guard he earned a bachelor's degree in biology at Montclair State College.
In an earlier program at Fort Devens Museum, Mike summed up his intensive tour of U.S. military operations in Afghanistan. He had been commissioned to write a book about these operations in the country from 2001 to 2012 and is in the process of completing that book's manuscript. Visitors at the museum were very impressed with his illustrated talk about his Afghanistan trip.
Mike says he has "spent more than 50 years collecting stories from veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam and Iraq as well as of civilian personnel with NATO and EUFOR in the Balkans." His research has included visits to London; Sarajevo; Baska Voda, Croatia; Halifax, Novas Scotia; St. John's, Newfoundland; St. Petersburg, Arkhangelsk and Murmansk, Russia; and New Orleans." He lives in Hudson, Massachusetts.
This event is free and open to the public, though donations are appreciated. The Fort Devens Museum is located on the 3rd floor at 94 Jackson Road. The building is wheelchair-accessible. For information about this event call 978-772-1286 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.