Candidate Profile

Provided by

History - Military
History - Naval
Bruce Petty was born in Long Beach, California, in 1945. He grew up in California, and enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserves at Alameda Naval Air Station in 1962, while still in high school. After graduation from high school, he served two years aboard USS Yorktown, CVS-10, as an aviation ordnanceman, and is a Vietnam War veteran.

He graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara, with a degree in history in 1972. In 1995, he moved to Saipan in the Mariana Islands, returning to California in 2000. While on Saipan, he researched and wrote his first book, “Saipan: Oral Histories of the Pacific War.” Since then he has written three other books on WWII in the Pacific. In addition, he has written a number of journal and magazine articles for publications such as Inside History (Australia), The Naval History Magazine, WWII Magazine, and USNI Blog. He now lives in New Plymouth, New Zealand.

(Click image for full size)
1) Australia & New Zealand in the Pacific War: An overview of the military contributions made by these two countries to the war in the Pacific.

2) Over-sexed, Over-Paid and Over Here: The home front in New Zealand based primarily on oral history interviews of New Zealand civilians and U.S. military personnel who were there at the time.

3) The Pacific War For Beginners: A historical introduction to event that led to WWII, and more specifically the war in the Pacific.

4) Pearl Harbor: An overview of the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese that brought the U.S. irrevocably into WWII.

5) Papua New Guinea & Guadalcanal--1942: An overview of the fighting that took place in these two theaters that involved not only American forces, but also Australian and New Zealand forces.

6) "I Shall Return." Gen. MacArthur's final push--1943-44.

7) The Battle of Saipan: The first of several islands taken in the Mariana chain that allowed the Americans to take the war home to the Japanese home islands using the new B-29, long-range bombers.

8) The Missing in Action From The Pacific War: With over 70,000 Americans still listed as Missing in Action from WWII alone, plus those from Australia & New Zealand, this lecture shares the stories of some of those missing, along with those that have been recovered. In addition to the lecture, there will be a one-hour documentary--"The Last Flight Home."

9) The Marianas Campaign: The Untold Story: An overview of some of the events that took place on other island in the Mariana chain other than Saipan.

10) Navy Officers in The Pacific War: The role that naval officers played in the Pacific War, based in large part on oral history interviews of those who were there.

11) Enlisted Men and Women in the Pacific War: The role that navy enlisted men & women played in the Pacific War based in large part on oral history interviews conducted by the author.

12) Aircraft Carriers in The Pacific War: A brief history of naval aviation and the role that the aircraft carrier played in winning the war in the Pacific.

13) Submarines in the Pacific War: A brief history of the submarine and the role it played in winning the war in the Pacific.

14) Iwo Jima: The story of one of the last battles of WWII, and the bloodiest battle in Marine Corps history. Following the lecture will be a thirty-minute documentary: "Iwo Jima--Memories in the Sand."

15) Liberty Ships: A discussion of the role that Liberty Ships played in WWII.

16) Guadalcanal--The Rest of The Story: The story of the Army/Navy supply and support bases in the New Hebrides (Vanuatu), and the role it played in supporting the fighting on Guadalcanal and beyond.

17) Pacific War Round-table: Where the audience has the opportunity to ask questions and share information and stories.
Pacific War Historian/Lecturer: Princess Cruise Lines--August 2010 to present. Holland America since December 2018. Viking since January 2019.
Lecture at American Memorial Park, Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands—70th Anniversary of the Battle of Saipan: The Missing in Action From The Battle of Saipan & book-signing.

Guide and Lecturer: Valor Tours, Ltd.; Saipan, Guam and Tinian (WWII battle sites)--November 2008.

New Zealand in the Pacific War: Personal Accounts of World War II: Australia Oral History Association Conference; Brisbane--September 2007.

New Zealand in the Pacific War: Personal Accounts of World War II: Oral History Association of New Zealand (NOHANZ), Wellington--July 2007.

Presentation on the Missing in Action from the Battle of Saipan:
National Museum of the Pacific War (Adm. Nimitz Museum); Fredericksburg, Texas--May 2007.

The Battle of Saipan: National Park Service, Pacific Preservation Symposium, Majuro, Marshall Islands-- January 2006.

The Battle of Saipan: American Memorial Park, Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Visitors Centre—January 2006.

The Battle of Saipan: Dr. Harold C. Deutsch World War Two History Roundtable; Minneapolis, Minnesota—December 2005.

Rumours, Myths, and History; the Micronesian Experience in World War II: University of Guam, Distinguished Speakers Lecture (Micronesian Studies Seminar Series.)—October 1999.
The following recent Cruise History has been recorded for this candidate.
Viking Orion OR190113 Australia & New Zealand 14 Sydney Sunday, January 13, 2019