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James R. Stephens

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Major James R. Stephens, USA (ret.) enlisted in the Army’s Signal Corp in 1942.  He served in a combat photographic team in the Pacific Theater as a still photographer and an occasional motion picture cameraman.   Major James R. Stephens is the author of Camera Soldiers: The Philippine Odyssey and The Winds of October


Major James R. Stephens said of his book, “An absorbing look at what WW II Army combat cameramen and photographers experienced during that dreadful conflict. The author calls it "fictionalized nonfiction," based on fact but spiced a bit for page-turning readability. A fast read with a quirky little surprise at the end.”


According to the book description of Camera Soldiers: The Philippine Odyssey, it “is a fact-based novel about the lives and adventures of soldiers whose job during WW II in the Pacific was photography. This is a story of one five-man combat team, soldiers who put their lives on the line by taking their cameras into battle when General MacArthur's forces returned to the Philippines in 1944. Vivid and stunning, Camera Soldiers is a testament to often forgotten heroes, easy targets with their cameras, who suffered casualty rates as high as 50%. In Camera Soldiers: The Philippine Odyssey, Stephens creates indelible portraits of the people whose job it was to record the horrors of war, putting themselves in danger with every shot. Filled with humor, adventure, love, tragedy and triumph, Camera Soldiers: The Philippine Odyssey immortalizes these unsung heroes in a page-turning story and reminds readers that behind every war photograph -- every foot of movie film -- was a flesh and blood photographer.”


One reader of Camera Soldiers, A Philippine Odyssey said, it “is an interesting story of Army photographers, chronicling their valiant WWII activities in the Philippines where they faced the same dangers that other soldiers faced. Although the story is supposed to be fiction, it really tells of the personal experiences of the author, including some romantic interludes.”


According to the book description of The Winds of October, it “is a fictional tale throughout but makes the point of Greece's critically strategic position in the security of the Western World. Hardest hit of all European countries during WW II, Greece's conflicts with enemy forces didn't end on VE Day. She moved from battling the Axis powers to fighting off nearly successful attempts by the Soviet bloc to trap her behind the Iron Curtain. Only intervention by the UK and the US under the Truman Doctrine saved her.

Led by the late General James VanFleet, the Joint United States Military Aid Group (JUSMAG), coordinated operational and logistical support to the beleaguered Greek National Army, Air Force and Navy until communist forces were defeated in late 1949.

This intriguing tale involves the reader in a stunning story: A mix of mysterious women, a neophyte field intelligence officer, the CIA, British MI-6, an over-sexed army wife, a traitor, and two men wanted throughout Europe for a laundry list of crimes, spun by a story-teller who's "been there." Army Major Kenneth Hall finds himself thrust into war-torn Greece in the summer of 1949. Meeting Anna, an eye-catching figure in a blue and white swimsuit at the American Club pool near Athens one afternoon, he makes a date with her, but she disappears and all he can find out about her is that she reportedly drowned months before.

Office complications appear. Sexual tensions grow between him and Karen, his pretty new secretary despite their resistance. Official protocol bars the way. Can they endure it? To complicate matters, Sheila Cooper, Ken's commanding officer's wife, is out for a '"roll in the hay" with any man, but she has her sights set on Major Hall.  What is Miniver Cheevy's Cat? A code word or what? How does it affect the communist's grand plan to make the Mediterranean a Soviet lake and the race to thwart it? Plot and counter plot, against the back drop of Greece during its recovery from more than nine years of WW II and civil war make this an absorbing quick read.

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