Pacific Express (Vol. III, Amphibious Operations Series)

CoverPacificExpress, Vol III
The Critical Role of Military Logistics in World War II
(Vol. III, Amphibious Operations in the South Pacific in WWII Series)
Edited by William L. McGee with Sandra McGee
Foreword by Dennis R. Blocker II, Pacific War Historian, USS LCI National Association
BMC Publications, 2009


Pacific Express was selected for the Marine Corps Commandant’s Professional Reading List as required annual reading for all officer and enlisted Marines whether active duty or reserve.

From the Author: “I’ve dedicated the third volume in this series 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


In the third volume of William L. McGee’s Amphibious Operations series, the author acts as editor and presents under one cover an edited collection of the best works by noted military historians on the importance of military logistics in World War II.

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

Victory is won or lost in battle, but all military history shows that adequate logistics support is essential to the winning of battles.”-Dan A. Kimball, Secretary of the Navy, 6 Feb 1952 

During the first four months of Operation Watchtower, eighty percent of my time was given to logistics. . . . we were living from one logistic crisis to another.”
RAdm Turner, Commander Amphibious Task Force 62

The editors profile many of the major components of the “Pacific Express” including:

 – 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.

560 pp., 111 b&w photos, 7 maps, 21 figures, tables & charts, plus appendix, notes, bibliography, index, softcover, 6” x 9”, $39.95.

Other Books in the Series
The Amphibians Are Coming! (Vol. I)
The Solomons Campaigns, 1942-1943 (Vol. II)





Pacific Express is a polished and professional volume covering a major and relatively unheralded part of World War II…and will receive widespread acclaim for providing the quality and quantity of naval history.
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 story teller. Pacific Express and the other volumes in the series will make a proud addition to anyone’s library.
—Gordon Smith, Chairman of the Board, 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