The Last Jump is a historical novel of World War II. America had its trials and tribulations with racial and gender bias and struggled with these issues throughout the War. A segregated military and a condescending attitude toward women made it extremely difficult for these groups to fully participate and prove themselves. But not impossible!
Many women joined non-combat units (WACS and WAVES) as nurses and administrators and yet 16 were awarded Purple Hearts for wounds received. Those who stayed home went into the factories and built the victuals of war; they fueled the “arsenal of democracy”. And another group, numbering more than one thousand, ferried fighter planes and bombers from war plants to bases, freeing up men for combat. They did this for two-thirds the pay and no military benefits despite 38 being killed in the line of duty. They flew the planes the men were afraid to fly.
No Medals of Honor were awarded to African-Americans during World War II despite over 1 million serving and fifty thousand being assigned to combat jobs. The “colored” combat units were “experimental” with political forces pushing in both directions (more units or none). But these elements proved themselves in combat and in 1997, seven African-Americans were awarded the Medal of Honor, six posthumously, in an East Room Ceremony at the White House.
Some claim that these were dark days for social justice in American history and a chapter we should all be ashamed of. I would rather think of those times as the turning point in gender and racial relations in America. The realization of true equal opportunity for African-Americans and women in our country can justifiably be dated to the War. The characters in The Last Jump lived these challenges and emerged from the crossroads on the right path.
The Last Jump is both a tribute and a “thank you” to all who served the United States, in any capacity, during the greatest conflagration in history. I would like to also thank my readers for their wonderful reviews, gracious comments and support for the book.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John E. Nevola makes his literary debut with The Last Jump, a historical novel based on United States airborne operations in Europe during World War II. The study of this conflict has been the author’s lifelong passion and he weaves a compelling tale of courage and sacrifice set in a historically accurate backdrop in an extraordinary time in American history. A retired Information Technology executive, Nevola has been widely published in business magazines with numerous articles on disaster recovery and terrorism. He authored a column for a military post newspaper while serving in the United States Army and is a member of the Military Writer’s Society of America. Nevola was born in New York City and is a graduate of Cardinal Hayes High School and the College of Aeronautics. He resides in Mount Olive, New Jersey, with his wife of 45 years. They have four children and six grandchildren. Proceeds from The Last Jump are donated to assist families of the fallen through the Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund.
For more information, visit www.thelastjump.com
The Last Jump is a war story, a mystery, a love tale, a touch of history and a narrative of valor and honor about the people who won World War II. Fact and fiction intermix seamlessly to unravel a secret passionately guarded by four old soldiers. The reader is transported back in time to an imperfect America, with all its incredible virtues and vexing shortcomings, struggling with racial and gender issues while fighting for its very survival. The Last Jump takes us back to a time when Americans stood shoulder to shoulder to free the world from tyranny in defense of liberty and freedom. It celebrates the spirit and the courage of ordinary citizens pitted against the militaristic societies of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. It was a time when the sons of presidents and senators served, fought, bled and died alongside average citizens and famous celebrities.
World War II buffs will enjoy this book because the story unfolds over a tapestry of actual and accurate historical events. Fans of the Band of Brothers miniseries will gravitate to the realistic portrayal of paratroopers. United States Army Rangers play a prominent role in the story, as do the “Stonewallers” of the 29th “Blue-Gray” Infantry Division. It acknowledges the shipbuilders of the Homefront including “Rosie the Riveter” characters as well as female ferry pilots.
The Last Jump is both a tribute and “thank you” to the Greatest Generation. Its inspirational and patriotic message evokes both the agony and the glory of the greatest conflict in human history and the special generation that earned the final victory.