Tom and I searched our memories. We have, between us, more than half a century of personal experience with people who fought, covered, survived, or who were otherwise wandering around lost, clueless and conflating in the fog of war.
We couldn’t think of anyone who hadn’t Brian Williamsed. We gave up and began telling war stories to the very cute barmaid.
At Elaine’s Restaurant in New York in the 1970s, Elaine kept a table reserved for James Jones, Norman Mailer, Herman Wouk, and Irwin Shaw, authors, respectively, of From Here to Eternity, The Naked and the Dead, The Caine Mutiny and The Young Lions.
Put those four books together and you have the Iliad of WWII. Elaine called the four authors “The Old Lions.” Elaine told me, “Every year the attack on Pearl Harbor sinks more aircraft carriers, the Banzai! charges come faster and thicker in the jungles of the South Pacific, the kamikaze pilots blow up a larger part of the ship and each of these guys takes an another hill single-handed.”