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I Should Have Written a Book by Tom Grannetino

One might think that by now, every World War II story there is to tell has already been told, but people tend to forget just how massive the scale of that conflict really was. More than 16 million Americans served in the armed forces during World War II, and each of them that came back did so with unique experiences. 

William Grannetino had more than a handful of stories to tell. His son Tom grew up listening to the stories his father told about his service in the Second World War. In 2019, he gathered them into a compendium, using his father’s mantra, his most used phrase whenever he discussed his exploits in the war: “I should have written a book.”  

That’s how “I Should Have Written a Book: A Sailor’s Journey From Omaha Beach to Japan During World War II” came to be. 

“I Should Have Written a Book” is More Than Just the Accounts of the Battle

Just like the title suggests, Grannetino’s story begins shortly before the June 6, 1944, landings in Nazi-occupied Normandy. The sailor reveals some of the little-known landings that took place before Operation Overlord kicked off in full. From the beaches to the city of Caen, delivering supplies to the Battle of the Bulge, and even being shipped off to the Pacific Theater, Grannetino offers a detailed, heartfelt account of his experiences. 


“I Should Have Written a Book” is more than just the accounts of the battle from Grannetino’s point of view. His story details the emotions he felt and saw in his fellow soldiers and sailors as they fought their way across occupied Europe and were sent to Japan. Along with violence, trauma, and death, Grannetino discusses joy and jubilation at the war’s end and the devastation experienced by the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Grannetino was a Landing Craft Tank Sailor who vividly describes what it felt like to be drafted, land on the beaches of Europe, and fight in World War II combat. Tom Grannetino recounted his father’s stories with such authenticity that the book reads like a sailor’s diary, recalling close friends and shipmates. The stories make for a real page-turner, giving the distinctive feeling of what being enlisted on the front lines was really like – not just for a day, but for an entire career. 

Its simple writing style comes from the loving pen of the sailor’s son, who painstakingly recreated his father’s stories and his career during the war. Tom Grannetino credits his father for his work ethic and technical abilities, but the younger Grannetino isn’t a trained writer; he’s a craftsman and construction superintendent. He uses the same attention to detail in authoring his father’s book of stories that he might use in constructing a new building. 

The result is a book that will be hard for anyone to put down, whether they love reading history or not. “I Should Have Written a Book” has less to do with dates, battles, and “Big Man History” than it does about recalling the lives of the people who invaded Hitler’s Fortress Europe to risk their lives for the freedoms of people they’d never met. 

“I Should Have Written a Book: A Sailor’s Journey From Omaha Beach to Japan During World War II” is available on Amazon in paperback, hardcover, and Kindle eReader format. The paperback retails for $8.02, but the Kindle version can be purchased for $3.99. 

Read About Other Book Reviews

If you enjoyed reading the review of ‘I Should Have Written a Book’ by Tom Grannetino, we invite you to read about other military book reviews on our blog. You will also find profiles in courage, veterans’ service reflections, famous military units and more on the TogetherWeServed.com blog.  If you are a veteran, find your military buddies, view historic boot camp photos, build a printable military service plaque, and more on TogetherWeServed.com today.


Tags: Battle of the Bulge, famous military units, I Should Have Written a Book: A Sailor's Journey From Omaha Beach to Japan During World War II, Operation Overlord, Profiles in Courage, veterans’ service reflections


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