Published: October 10, 2018
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By: Richard Adrian Steiger, San Diego State University
After my father (M.A. in History, SDSU, 1963) retired in1993 from full professorship as a history teacher at Mesa College in San Diego, CA, he turned his attention to the letters, images, and memorabilia he sent home from Japan at the end of World War II. As an inductee into the U.S. Navy in 1944, he spent his tour of duty in Japan at Yokosuka and Totsuka, where he assisted in the construction of radio towers as an electrician. His process of research and writing took many years. I spent around three years helping with light editing, book design and layout (InDesign), cover design and photo restoration (PhotoShop), and infographics (FreeHand, Illustrator}. I also helped him publish his book “Shape Up or Ship Out” through Amazon CreateSpace.
Here is the cover, some before and after examples of photo restorations, some pages from the interior text, and an infographic example.
Description on Amazon.com:
"Shape Up or Ship Out, historian John W. Steiger’s epistolary, autobiographical book, is based upon his letters home to his family at the end of World War II. It follows his experiences in the U.S. military assigned to the Navy, tracing his passage from induction in December 1944 to his stay in Japan from 1945 to 1946.
The letters are analyzed in John’s commentaries and supported by numerous citations from primary sources and extensive notes. The book contains many photos and other items from the photo album he created during his Navy tour.
Assigned to Radio School after completing Boot Camp, he was transferred to an Advance Base Communication Unit designed to participate in Operation Olympic, the invasion of Kyushu. When the war ended abruptly in August his unit was sent to the Yokosuka Naval Station to establish a radio station there.
A typical boy at the end of his teenage years, still filled with the imagination and hope of his generation, John’s initial naïve views about Japan shifted to a more informed tone during his military duty. This was due to seeing the destroyed landscapes of Tokyo and other areas in person, working with his shipmates, Japanese laborers, electricians, and interacting with civilians.
Shape Up or Ship Out should be treasured for its first-hand documentation and expert historical analysis of a past era.
Shape Up or Ship Out is divided into an Introduction and eight chapters based upon the sequence of letters—1, USNTC-San Diego; 2, NTC-Radio, Yerba Buena Island, S.F.; 3, Treasure Island and San Bruno; 4, Iroquois Point, T.H.; 5, AP 70; 6, AP 57; 7, Totsuka, Japan; 8, Yokosuka, Japan. Five appendices are included—A, The Threat of Maritime Mines; B, The Black Market in Japan: October 1945—June 1946; C, A Brief Assessment of Prostitution in Japan: 1945—1946; D, Excerpts from the Blue Jacket Manual; E, Photographs, Maps, and Memorabilia. A Glossary of terms, extensive Notes, a Bibliography, an Attribution list for the image sources used in this book, and an Index, round out the support."