Author of WWII book to speak at library
Aug. 18, 2015 – Joanne Pfannenstiel Emerick, author of “Courage Before Every Danger, Honor Before All Men: The History of the 31st Bombardment Squadron (H) in World War II … in Their Own Words,” will speak at Salina Public Library. Her presentation will be at 7 p.m. Sept. 3 in the Prescott Room and will give attendees an in-depth look at the events leading up to and including the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor/Hickam Field on Dec. 7, 1941.
“Courage” follows the men of the Army Air Corps’ 31st Bomb Squadron as they fight their way across the Pacific during World War II. The story details the experiences of squadron members as they endured the Japanese attack of Pearl Harbor and the ensuing four years in the Pacific Theater. This book is the culmination of 18 years of research by the author. Written in the veterans’ own words, the book contains personal interviews, letters, diaries and excerpts from the official Squadron records.
Emerick, is a Ness County, Kan., native who graduated from Fort Hays State University in 1973 with a B.A. in history. She taught secondary social studies in Kansas public schools for 31 years before retiring in May 2005. Emerick’s students were national award winners in historical research programs. Emerick was the recipient of numerous teaching awards, among them the prestigious Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award.
Emerick’s avid interest in the 31st Bombardment Squadron developed because her late father, Ness County native Wendell Pfannenstiel, served overseas 36 months as a medical corpsman with the 31st Squadron. Emerick currently serves the 31st Bombardment Squadron (H) as its historian, secretary and newsletter editor.