Editor's note: This is one of four books penned and published by local authors that shares a perspective of World War II.
From an early age, Omer Carroll "O.C." Kemp showed an affinity for mechanical things. As an elementary schooler he drew detailed pictures of many machines, including car engines and rocket ships. One of his favorite items to draw was airplanes.
Soon after Kemp enlisted in the Army in 1943 he found out it had an Air Forces division, and he jumped at the chance to become a pilot. Kemp soon found himself in charge of one of the most sophisticated planes of the time — the B-24 Liberator. As he wrote home on Dec. 31, 1944, his “wish (was) coming true.”
“Flying with the Flak Pak: A Pacific War Scrapbook” was written by Kemp’s son Kenny. Using hundreds of photographs and other personal items that were left to him when his father died in 1990, Kenny Kemp seamlessly tells the life story of one of the many heroes from “The Greatest Generation," beginning with the elder Kemp's birth in San Diego, California, to his military service.
Also mentioned throughout the book is Kemp’s membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including his missionary service after the war ended.
The language is clean, but many of the planes in the images have nose art of pinup girls.
"Flying with the Flak Pak" is a fantastic piece of history, especially for any World War II or airplane aficionado.
Landon Walters is a history and political science major at Salt Lake Community College. He is an avid sports fan and loves writing. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org