Pacific Express: Military Logistics

Cover and buy button for Volume 3 of Amphibious Operations in the South Pacific in WWII series by William L. McGee. Volume 3 is "Pacific Express: The Critical Role of Military Logistics in World War II".

The Critical Role of Military Logistics in World War II
William L. McGee with Sandra McGee, Editors
Vol. III in the Pacific war series Amphibious Operations in the South Pacific in WWII


PACIFIC EXPRESS is on the Marine Corps Commandant’s Professional Reading List (also known as the Marine Corps Reading List)… a list of required annual reading for all officer and enlisted Marines, whether active duty or reserve.  

About Pacific Express 

Under one cover, award-winning World War II Pacific war historian William L. McGee presents an edited collection of the best works by other military historians on the importance of military logistics in World War II in the Pacific theater.

Consider this: In World War II, 16.1 million men and women served in the U.S. Armed Forces. For every individual who served in combat, ten individuals served in a support role.

Profiles of the major components of the “Pacific express” include:

 U.S. Navy Seabees and U.S. Marine Corps Engineers – who built the Advance Bases.

 U.S. Navy crews – who manned the amphibious force and Fleet’s floating mobile Service Squadrons throughout the vast reaches of the Pacific.

U.S. Merchant Marine and U.S. Naval Armed Guard – who manned and defended the thousands of War Shipping Administration cargo ships, transports, and tankers to “Deliver the goods!”

U.S. Army and civilian (civil service) Transportation Corps personnel – who operated most of the Army’s large and small vessels, but were seldom covered by the consumer-oriented media during WWII.

U.S. Coast Guardsmen – who manned hundreds of U.S. Army and Navy long-haul vessels and thousands of battle-loaded amphibious landing ships and craft.

In the author’s words…

I’ve dedicated PACIFIC EXPRESS to the men and women – military and civilian – who served in logistical support roles for the front line combat personnel in WWII. The story of the vital logistics services supporting the U.S. Armed Forces operating in the Pacific is told—proof positive that warfare is not all blazing combat.” – William L. McGee

Book Specs

Foreword by Dennis R. Blocker II, Pacific War Historian, USS LCI National Assn.
560 pp, 111 B&W photographs, 7 maps, 21 figures/tables/charts, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Paperback $39.95
BMC Publications, 2009

Other titles in the series

Vol. I, THE AMPHIBIANS ARE COMING! Emergence of the ‘Gator Navy and its Revolutionary Landing Craft

Vol. II, THE SOLOMONS CAMPAIGNS, 1942-1943: From Guadalcanal to Bougainville, Pacific War Turning Point


Praise from readers for Pacific Express 

■ A polished and professional volume covering a major and relatively unheralded part of World War II … I’m sure the author will receive widespread acclaim for providing the quality and quantity of naval history in Pacific Express.
 – David H. Grover, CDR USNR (Ret), and author of U.S. Army Ships and Watercraft of World War II
■ Bill McGee’s account of amphibious operations in the Pacific and of the supply effort needed to support all operations there is meticulously researched and told with the skill of a born storyteller. Pacific Express and the other volumes in the series will make a proud addition to anyone’s library.
– Gordon Smith, Chairman, Amphibious Forces Memorial Museum

■ The editors have woven historical facts with firsthand accounts to create a behind-the-scenes look at military logistics in World War II.
– C.A. Lloyd, Chairman, USN Armed Guard Veterans Association WWII

■ Besides providing statistics, Bill McGee provides a personal touch with interviews and references to persons who were actually there.
– Jim Higman, Merchant Marine Engineer (Ret) and editor of California Central Coast U.S. Navy Armed Guard & Merchant Marine Vets WWII
■ Bill McGee hits another home run with Pacific Express. My time served in the South Pacific in WWII springs to life as I hear the bow doors open and the ramp fall on Pacific soil … Reading this book brings back memories and tears to this eighty-plus year old LSM sailor.
– Royce N. McNeill, USS LSM-LSMR Association

■ With Pacific Express, Bill McGee secures his title of “Godfather of amphibious operations history.”  This Volume III in his series anchors Volumes I and II as essential reading and reference for military history.
Joe Flynn, California Director and Member National Board, USS LCI National Association
Although about WWII, much of what is written in Pacific Express applied when I served on the USS Helena (CA-75) during the Korean War and afterward. Bill McGee does a through job of explaining military logistics in ways we can understand.
– Dave Brouchoud, USS Helena (CA-75), Jan 1952-May 1955
Just finished reading Bill McGee’s third volume in his Amphibious Operations series and it certainly passes inspection.
Ron Swanson, Editor, Flotilla, LCT Flotillas of World War II