For a personal reply to your question or
comment about her work in military history,
email the author at this address:
Please indicate if you do not want your
comment,question or photo selected for
posting on these pages of the author's
Twenty-First Century Books/
Millbrook Press, 2001
Thomas Dunne Books/
St. Martins Press, 2008
See how the author replied to more readers' comments/questions here:
1 2 3 4
2-17-10 email from Harry--Colebrook, Connecticut
Dear Carol, I just wanted to drop you a note thanking you for the outstanding reading
experience, and for bringing Ray Daves' story to us. Your book was absolutely riveting, thrilling,
and heartbreaking. Books such as yours are so very important today, as the younger
generation is quickly forgetting the sacrifices made by "The Greatest Generation" and the
magnitude of WWII. The notes and timeline section was especially appreciated... I kept a post-it
moving through the notes section as I made my way through the story. God bless Ray and you,
too, for this outstanding work. Kind regards, Harry . . . Colebrook, CT
Author's Reply, 2-17-10:
Thank you! As much as it pleases me to know that you found Radioman worthy of
such high praise, I think your compliments will mean even more to the Radioman
himself, Ray Daves. Whenever I forward notes like yours to Ray, it helps to
reassure him that he was right to consent to the interviews I needed to write the
first complete history of World War II from a typical enlisted man’s point of
view. Your use of a post-it sticker to mark the timelines and notes for each
chapter is a wonderful idea. I will suggest your method to other readers—
especially students and teachers--and I hope you will do the same.
Ray Daves and I still meet monthly for lunch and fellowship with the other Pearl
Harbor Survivors listed in Radioman’s Acknowledgments. I am truly blessed by
their friendship, and I could not ask for a more knowledgeable board of advisors.
Best wishes, Carol Edgemon Hipperson
March 1, 2010--email from Jim--Waikoloa Village, the Big Island, Hawai'i:
Aloha, Carol. As I remarked to my wife, Alice, the thing I really liked about the book was that I was hearing his
story directly from him. It was just like he was sitting in my living room with a beer, telling me how it was. This
was the first book I have ever read that gave me that feeling. OUTSTANDING job of writing!!!! The only problem
was, your book was too damn short. That seems to be the way it goes with really good books. I just want to
keep reading more. Semper Fi.
AUTHOR'S REPLY, 3-2-10:
Oh my gosh, Jim! You really got it, didn't you? Although many other readers have commented that they felt as
though the Radioman was talking directly to them, the way you put it is exactly right. Perhaps the next book in the
American GI Series will have more chapters than Radioman. It's too early to say. All I know at this point is that it
will be the history of the war in Korea according to the memories of a US Marine (Semper Fi). With gratitude for
your service and your sacrifice,
Carol Edgemon Hipperson
March 27, 2010, email from Charles on San Juan Island . . .
"Good grief, Carol, were you looking over my shoulder at Coast Guard boot camp in Alameda? Or on board
the cutter BERING STRAIT on ocean station duty? Or doing SAR duty from Adak in February? You brought
back things not heard any more ("Fox" broadcasts), the days and nights at sea, calling for the Irishman our
second day out (“O'Rourke"), and so many more. I was too young for WWII but they did notice me for the
"I still use CW nearly every day on the ham radio. I do wonder, though, about being able to copy "only 20
wpm" on entering radio school. We had six months to go from five words a week to 20 wpm to graduate. And I
don't know if I've ever tried copying 60 wpm. That's 'way over my head even today!
"Thank you, Carol. You created a wonderful piece of work. Many congratulations and keep 'em coming.
Should you ever find yourself on beautiful San Juan Island, the coffee pot's always on and at the ready.
Sincerely, Charles Lindenberg (www.interisland.net/cwlindenberg)"
Author's Reply--March 30, 2010
Hello, Charles, and thank you for your compliments. Among the Navy radiomen of the
World War II generation, the general consensus is that the Radioman’s ability to copy
Morse code at 60 wpm was above average, to be sure, but not unheard of. Perhaps his
better than normal speed is the reason he was on the flag at Pacific Fleet Headquarters
at the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor. It might also explain why he was assigned to
the emergency radio room on the bridge of the Yorktown (CV 5) during the battles in
the Coral Sea and at Midway.
I agree that it is very interesting that you found the Radioman’s experiences during
World War II similar to yours in the Coast Guard during the subsequent war in Korea.
My own theory for why that is so: A Sailor is a Sailor. Each war is fought with
different weapons and technologies; the battles occur in different waters for other
reasons. But I find the kinds of memories that Sailors tend to retain from their
experience--regardless of where or when they served—are essentially the same.
Thank you for your service in the Coast Guard. If I am ever in the San Juan Islands, I
will surely take you up on that pot of coffee! . . . Carol Edgemon Hipperson
4-11-10: photo and email from Joan--Spokane, Washington . . .
" . . . Radioman has kept my husband, Kay, "spellbound". You have put to paper the gut feelings of the guys in
the field and their experiences. We have become transported into the scenes of battle you have so masterfully
translated from the original story teller. Grandson (14) spent the night and tomorrow there will be more chapters
unfolded as they sit side by side, with grandpa wiping tears and choking up trying to speak beyond reading aloud.
War is hell and it is difficult to imagine those guys coming home to go on with life and become soft wonderful
husbands and fathers after witnessing all that horror." [see photo above]
4-17-10, Author's Reply: That is the most beautiful picture I have seen in a very long time! It is a perfect illustration
of the reason I felt called to write this kind of book. War is indeed hell, and I have never met a combat veteran of any
war who would disagree. How so many of them actually manage to come home and be “soft” after they have been
through it, I don’t know. But I doubt if anyone appreciates peace and home and family more than a person who has
survived the realities of war in a combat zone. Thank you--both you and Kay--for your service. ----Carol
Reading Radioman is a shared experience for Kay and his grandson. See 4-11-10 comment below.
May 14, 2010: Email from Mickey--Senoia, Georgia . . . .
Carol: My congratulations on your book “Radioman”! Just finished it last night, and while I’ve read dozens or
perhaps hundreds of military history, and especially first person accounts, this book stands out as a true
classic. You had me laughing and shaking my head in wonder @ Ray & Adeline’s unbelievable story and not
infrequently on the verge of tears. Are they both still alive? I would LOVE to meet them if I ever get to the NW.
Your content, style, storytelling ability and genius for involving the reader in the day to day of lives of Ray,
Adeline and all the characters in the book are first rate. I’d rate this as the best first person account I’ve ever
read – right up there with Robert Stanford Tuck’s story of his career in the RAF and especially the Battle of
Britain. Thank you soooooo much for this wonderful gem!
Author's Reply: May 16, 2010
I know what you mean, Mickey. During the 25 four-hour interviews that it took to get this Pearl
Harbor Survivor’s story of the war years, I laughed a lot and cried some, too. And there were
times when I could hardly believe what he was telling me, but--as anyone can see by Radioman’s
photographs, historical notes, and time lines--it’s a true story.
Radioman is the first complete, documented, and published story of the war years, 1939-1945, from
the point of view of a typical American enlisted man who saw it from ground zero to the end. It
exists because the lady Adeline encouraged her husband to break down and tell it to me. She
promised to live until she could hold this story of love and war in her own hands, and she did.
Radioman was published in the fall of 2008; Adeline passed on to her eternal life in the arms of the
Lord in January of 2009.
Ray will be 90 in June. He is still an active member of the Lilac City Chapter of Pearl Harbor
Survivors. Should you ever find yourself in the northwestern corner of the United States, you are
welcome to meet him.
Carol Edgemon Hipperson
March 22, 2011: from Janet . . . Syracuse, New York:
I finished reading your book Radioman just a couple of weeks ago, and I had to write you.
Thank you for getting these stories out. My uncle was at Pearl Harbor during the attack, but
I did not find this out until well after his death. My aunt told me that he wouldn't talk much
about it. I guess that's why I never knew. This story gave me insight to what he may have
gone through physically and mentally during and after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
I heard about this book from the FAA website. They did a story on the Spokane Control Tower
recently being named after Ray Daves. I am also a Navy veteran, who worked for the airlines for
many years, and now I am working for the FAA. I wanted to write to Mr. Daves personally, but
wasn't sure of his address. I am hoping you will pass my thanks to him for his service to this
country, for sharing his personal memories and thoughts, and for including a love story along the
way. Thank You!
Author's Reply . . . March 23, 2011
I have received a great many calls and letters from Radioman’s readers, but I think
yours is the closest anyone has ever come to articulating why I wrote the book in the
My mission was to show the kinds of memories that are common among the World War II
generation of American combat veterans. In my experience, most of them were exactly
like your uncle. They refused to talk about it; their own families never knew what really
happened to them. The Radioman Ray Daves was that way, too, until I met him on his
82nd birthday. Even then, I think, it was only by the grace of God that his wife, Adeline,
and I were able to persuade him that it was time to pass those memories on to the
descendants of his generation. Much of what you found in Radioman, even Adeline did
not know until she read the rough draft.
I will forward your thanks on to Ray Daves. I’m sure he will appreciate knowing that his
memories of the war years helped you understand what it was that your uncle could
never bring himself to talk about. ---- Carol Edgemon Hipperson
October 6, 2010: from Jerry . . . Oak Harbor, Washington:
I loved your book! I've been reading WWII books for decades. Quite frankly, I think
you have REALLY done a fantastic job of putting the reader there with all the
minute details, word pictures, etc. . . . It's a masterpiece of storytelling in the first
Author's Reply . . . .
You are most kind. The details you found in Radioman came from the memories of a
man who had spent most of his life trying to forget what happened during the war
years. Like most combat veterans, of any war, it was hard for him to get past the fear
of "getting emotional." It took courage for him to answer all the questions I had to ask
in order to write the story in scenes that a reader could visualize. I have passed your
compliments on to him. ----Carol Edgemon Hipperson
More reader comments/questions/photo and author's replies: 1 2 3 4