On Saturday, June 19 at 12 p.m., local author John Floyd will present and discuss his recently published book, The Expendable at Circle 119 – home of the American Legion. All proceeds of book sales will be donated to Macdonald Book Shop. Dr Floyd began researching this project more than 20 years ago. On retirement in 2015 he and Barbara made their Estes Park vacation home a permanent residence, and John finally had time to organize, write, and publish this remarkable, true story. Selected as a nonfiction winner by the Arizona Author's Association and a Finalist in the Eric Hoffer National Book Awards, The Expendable gives a first-hand account of one man's courage and refusal to surrender when facing overwhelming odds in the opening months of WWII in the Pacific.
As smoke billowed skyward from Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Japan threw the full military might of its Imperial naval, ground, and air forces against the outnumbered and under-equipped U.S. and Filipino forces on the Philippine Islands. General MacArthur's Army Air Force was decimated by the first wave of Japanese bombers and fighters, forcing Admiral Hart’s now vulnerable U.S. Asiatic Fleet to flee south to safer Allied waters. When the remnants of Navy PBY Patrol Wing 10 departed with the fleet, Charles Beckner, the corpsman for PBY Squadron 102, was left behind on Bataan with no apparent avenue for escape. Reading like a novel, The Expendable follows Beckner's five month saga alternately fighting and evading enemy forces across the Philippine archipelago until he and other remnant American and Filipino soldiers and sailors are finally surrounded on Mindanao Island and receive orders to give up their arms and surrender.
Among The Expendable's numerous positive reviews:
“Highly readable narrative of personal courage from PBYs to PT boats. We are losing our World War II veterans by the thousands daily and along with them we all too often lose their stories. John Floyd has done an admirable job of preserving the stories of his father-in-law in a fast-paced and highly readable narrative. Floyd knows his military history as well as his family’s. Five Stars.” – Walter Borneman, Estes Park resident and author of many award-winning books, including The Admirals, MacArthur at War, and Brothers Down.
“Dr. Floyd’s homage to his father-in-law – a member of the greatest generation who passed on in 2009 and lies in rest at Arlington Cemetery – is a wonderful read and not only honors Charles Conrad Beckner, but pays tribute to the thousands of other Americans who were not so fortunate to escape from a situation that befell them due to strategic miscalculations in Washington.” – Dave Winkler, Ph.D., Staff Historian Navy Historical Foundation, CDR USN (Ret.)
The Expendable has more than a thousand Amazon ratings, 76% of them 5-stars.
John Floyd is the son-in-law of Charles Conrad Beckner CWO4, USN. The Expendable is based on Dr. Floyd’s close 38-year relationship with Mr. Beckner and on meticulous primary research on the opening months of WWII in the Pacific. John and his wife Barbara (Beckner) Floyd are both United States Air Force veterans residing in Estes Park, seasonally enjoying Arizona, and whenever possible exploring far-flung corners of the world.