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James Wes Hammond Jr.

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Colonel James Wes Hammond Jr., USMC (ret.) is “a 1951 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, retired from the U.S. Marine Corps in 1975. In addition to a B.S. from the Naval Academy, he has a M.A. (International Law) from the Catholic University of America and a M.A. (Journalism) from the University of Nevada. During more than a quarter of a century of active duty, he was wounded in action as an infantry platoon leader in Korea; twice, he was a tactics instructor at the Marine Corps Basic School in Quantico, Va.; commanded a company in an infantry battalion afloat in the Mediterranean; was aide-de-camp to MajGen. D.M. Shoup (later 22nd Commandant of the Marine Crops) on Okinawa, where Wes met and married Miss Donna M. Selby of Brighton, Colorado.


He deployed with the forces afloat for the Cuban Missile Crisis. He commanded the 2nd Battalion, Fourth Marines ("The Magnificent Bastards") in Vietnam until wounded in action and evacuated. He returned to duty as Plans Officer of the 3rd Marine Division until wounded again. Then he was Head, Command Dept., Marine Corps Command & Staff College in Quantico. There he taught Research and Writing; Command and Staff Organization and a future concept of amphibious operations called "Sea Base." He was transferred to Hawaii and promoted to colonel and assigned as Protocol Officer and Aide to Commanderin- Chief, Pacific, Adm. John S. McCain, Jr. USN. He retired from Camp Pendleton, Calif., and returned to Reno, Nevada. While on active duty (1964-67) he was Editor and Publisher of the Marine Corps Gazette, the professional journal of the Marine Corps Association. Eight years after retiring from the Marine Corps, he moved to Annapolis, Maryland, to be editor of Shipmate, the monthly magazine of the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association. After a dozen years there, he again retired and returned to Reno.


Colonel James Wes Hammond, Jr. is the author of The Treaty Navy: The Story of the U.S. Naval Service Between the World Wars; A Few Marines; A few More Marines; Poison Gas: The Myths Versus Reality.


According to the MOAA, in The Treaty Navy: The Story of the U.S. Naval Service Between the World Wars, “Hammond explores the history of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps in the 1920s and 1930s. He discusses how the Naval Service, despite restrictive international treaties, a stingy Congress, and a war-weary population, anticipated and conceptually prepared for the coming naval war with Japan. Hammond explains that the ballyhooed feud between the "battleship admirals" and the "carrier admirals" was, in fact, a question of who was the next potential naval enemy. A battle against England and her Royal Navy would require battleships; however, a fight for mastery of the Pacific would require aircraft carriers and submarines to "wage war in Japanese waters." Hammond's book fills a gap in the knowledge concerning the preparations leading up to victory in the Pacific and explains how dive-bombing, carrier deck-spotting, amphibious warfare, fuelling at sea, and mobile advance bases came into being.”


According to the book description of A Few More Marines, “This is the second of a series of volumes of informal chronicles of the U.S. Marine Corps in the 20th Century. The genre is fiction but the reader should be aware that many of the episodes could have happened and maybe they did. A different view of the of the Marine Corps and the characters who populated its ranks is shown. It is hoped that the reader will become acquainted with the Marine Corps that many of us knew and loved. Sadly, many of those days and characters are gone forever but their memory is preserved here.”

A Few Marines
James W. Hammond Jr.  More Info

The Treaty Navy: The Story of the US Naval Service Between the World Wars
James W. Hammond Jr.  More Info
A Few More Marines
James W. Hammond  More Info

Poison Gas: The Myths Versus Reality (Contributions in Military Studies)
James W. Hammond  More Info


Major Rick Spooner USMC (Ret.) said of A Few Marines, “A Few Marines is a must read for active duty Marines and an emotional march down memory lane for retired Marines. The true spirit of the Marine Corps is burned into that every segment of this work; it's all here, leadership, gut-wrenching emotion, history and that love of Corps and country, which have added strength, character and color to our Corps for over two centuries. Historian, author and distinguished Marine, James W. Hammond, Jr. has drawn deeply from hi sea-bag (read treasure chest) of talent and experience. A hearty Bravo-Zulu for a book certain to be a Marine Corps classic. The brilliance of this master raconteur shines brightly throughout hi magnificent work; it is Wes Hammond at his best.”


According to the book description of Poison Gas: The Myths Versus Reality, “The threat of poison gas, and other related biological warfare agents, holds our society hostage to the possible actions of terrorist groups or rogue states. This study hopes to convince policymakers and the general public that the bad reputation that surrounds the use of gas is largely the result of propaganda, misinformation, and oft-repeated half-truths. With proper precautions and discipline, neither the military nor society need fear gas as a weapon of mass destruction, wielded by dictators and cowards who utilize the loopholes in international agreements and flaunt world opinion. While not advocating the use of toxic gas in warfare, the author argues that education and common sense are the most effective tools to combat the gases that remain in arsenals around the world.

After a discussion of the earliest uses of gas and other similar tactics in warfare, this book explains how our image of gas has been shaped by early pronouncements that branded it a "treacherous" and "barbarous" weapon. The fear of retribution, as well as political motivations, prevented the use of gas warfare in the Second World War, but its use resurfaced in later decades both in warfare and in combating internal strife. The author details various types of gas and discusses the most effective measures to counter each one. He also chronicles the long history of attempts to outlaw gas, why these attempts have failed, and why such efforts are not likely to succeed in the future.”

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