Edward Atkins author
2010

 

Reviews

"On Which We Serve: Where Life-Lessons are Learned" by Edward Atkins

 

5 out of 5 stars - I truly love this book. Between the beautiful, yet deeply realistic picture of life on the ship and the beautiful photographs that further tell the story, it is a book that every household should have. The greatest generation, as they so fondly have been called, is an integral part of our country's history, and one which is quickly leaving us. Holding on to stories and images like this is vital for going forward. ...

 

... This book has ... the ability to transport me through time and try to imagine what it must have been like for those that served during this time. Things were so different back then, and to get an inside peak at what that must have been like from someone who was there is a priceless piece of history. These are truly life-lessons for all of us, and they should be passed on to our children and grandchildren. The author talks about the carrier at times, comparing himself at time to the carrier. It is clear he has a deep love, understanding and respect for not only the ship, but what he is doing on it. That comes through in his words clearly. At times it seems as though my grandfather is speaking to me - talking about hard work and doing the right thing. Things it sometimes seems as if our society has lost sight of; stopping to think about something other than themselves. Aside from being an extremely well documented history piece, it is clearly a deeply personal one.

 

I would recommend this book to anyone who particularly enjoys this time in our country's history, but service members would do well to read such accounts. A kindred bond can be felt even decades later. This book also contains amazing pictures that coincide with his story, and life on the ship. It's really the pictures that move me the most in this book.

— Rhe's Bookshelf. http://cammostylelove.blogspot.com/2014/05/rhe-bookshelf-military-monday-book.html


 

"On Which We Serve: Where Life-Lessons are Learned" by Edward Atkins

This ... should be a proud gift to all those entering the military, especially the Navy and Coast Guard, as well as all of the younger generation with an interest in history, technology or warfare. ... 

In his book, which is a monumental achievement to the Navy, [Edward Atkins] reflects back to his service during 1945 and 1946 aboard the Essex-class aircraft carrier the U.S.S. Antietam (CV-36), honorably named after the
Civil War battle that claimed 23,000 casualties, the bloodiest single day in American history.

As a curator in a museum would take patrons throughout the exhibits and add insight resulting in a higher appreciation and understanding, Edward Atkins curates his book of Naval Archive photographs with his personal story, impressions and insight. His words are captivating as it becomes clearly evident to the reader that each and every word, thought and opinion is there for the reader’s benefit, not for the author’s.  As there is just so much time a man has in life, it is important to pass along to others the essence of what has happened; how men have created this world in which we inhabit, and why things are the way they are. ... the reader is brought into a first-hand diary of how life was upon a ship created for a sole purpose of warfare.

An “Airdale” is crew on the flight deck of a carrier.  A lackluster job of perfunctory repetition, moving and securing aircraft; it is as important as any small gear in a machine without which the mechanism would cease to operate. Furthermore, Edward Atkins does not in any way make himself out to be a hero, as clearly in the onset he states that the word “Veteran” applies to those that have been in combat, and his role was “ancillary” to the war effort.  Although one never knows if the enemy is just over the horizon, this is not a book of war stories. The focus of the book is dealing with the inner workings of the carrier, along with the task force provided for support and protection.

The photographs depict the carrier in all of its glory, at sea and in port, with the anonymity of the men which bring these metal skeletons of force to life. Almost every photograph has been taken from the National Archives. Most interestingly, Edward Atkins writes a narration for each photograph using two distinct “voices.” One being the seasoned gentleman of elder years, with the historical knowledge and wisdom earned through his life’s achievements and research. Then one of an impressionable young man of 18 and 19 years of age, serving in the Navy aboard an aircraft carrier; a man-made creation of immense design excellence of “form following function.” This dichotomy of wisdom and emotion, coupled with the bountiful photographs of exquisite detail, result in an experience one cannot gain nowadays any other way ...

— Pacific Book Review. http://on-which-we-serve.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Flight-Deck-New-Tear-Sheet.pdf


"Flight Deck: A Pictorial Essay of a Day in the Life of an Airdale (Volume I)" by Edward Atkins

This [book] should be a proud gift to all those entering the military, especially the Navy and Coast Guard, as well as all of the younger generation with an interest in history, technology or warfare. Citizens enjoying the freedom so ardently achieved through the sacrifice and fortitude of those of Edward Atkins’ generation have a need-to-know the inner workings of men performing jobs on the deck of ships which have shaped our history. Flight Deck is a tribute to all that served, as we salute you. ...

Edward Atkins narrates his thoughts to the reader in a humble fashion of wisdom, insight and honesty. ... As a curator in a museum would take patrons throughout the exhibits and add insight resulting in a higher appreciation and understanding, Edward Atkins curates his book of Naval Archive photographs with his personal story, impressions and insight. His words are captivating ...

... The photographs depict the carrier in all of its glory, at sea and in port, with the anonymity of the men which bring these metal skeletons of force to life. Almost every photograph has been taken from the National Archives. Most interestingly, Edward Atkins writes a narration for each photograph using two distinct “voices.” One being the seasoned gentleman of elder years, with the historical knowledge and wisdom earned through his life’s achievements and research. Then one of an impressionable young man of 18 and 19 years of age, serving in the Navy aboard an aircraft carrier; a man-made creation of immense design excellence of “form following function.” This dichotomy of wisdom and emotion, coupled with the bountiful photographs of exquisite detail, result in an experience one cannot gain nowadays any other way than to read Flight Deck. ...

— Pacific Book Review. http://on-which-we-serve.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Flight-Deck-New-Tear-Sheet.pdf


USS Antietem