This Business of Fighting Author, Anton PritchardWhen the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor Anton (Tony) Pritchard was twenty-four years old. He was a high school graduate, living with his parents while working as a clerk at the Industrial Trust Bank in Providence, Rhode Island.

Six weeks after Pearl Harbor he reported to Fort Devens, Massachusetts for induction into the Army. So began a journey that took him to North Carolina, Georgia, Oklahoma, Kentucky, California, England, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany.

He spent time in the Mojave Desert, and in the frozen woods of the Ardennes during the Battle of the Bulge. He heard the great singer Marion Anderson just after he learned to use a machine gun. He had dinner with an English village squire in an early eighteenth century manor house shortly before he went into combat in France.

As a member of "Super 6th" Armored Division, usually part of General Patton's Third Army, he risked his life many times, and had his life probably saved by, as he put it, "an infantryman who had been paying attention in first aid training." He modestly won a Silver Star, a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.

Unlike most of his fellow soldiers, he remained in Europe after the war, and wound up directing a United Nations displaced persons camp providing food, shelter, and the beginnings of a new life, to 3,000 Jewish refugees from Eastern Europe.

In general, Tony encountered a world wider, more varied, and much more brutal than anything he had ever known. He had to cope with raw fear, with his role as a leader, and with doubts about himself and others. In writing home, he often struggled to convey his experiences to those who remained in the world he had lived in before Pearl Harbor. He struggled particularly with balancing his intense desire to have his parents understand what he was going through with his desire not to scare the daylights out of them.

Tony's letters are vivid, thoughtful, and insightful. They teach a great deal about the world he lived in. They also teach a great deal about human reactions in the face of new experiences, from simple danger to encounters with new places and new people.

Learn How to Hear Tony's Story