'Goodbye Darkness' by William Manchester Can't rate this book highly enough. First read it at school and have read it many times since. The author was a historian and journalist who served in the US Marine Corps in WW2. Its a history of the Pacific War interspersed with his autobiographical accounts of his combat service on Okinawa. He travels back to the places he served in and where the major battles took place (he meets an RN Chief Diver on Tarawa (1978) carrying out ordnance disposal from the war). Track it down and read it, up there with the best war biographies ever written, powerful and moving.