Since Veterans Day originated as Armistice Day, marking the end of World War I, it is especially appropriate to remember one of the men who figures prominently in Angels of the Underground.
John (Jack) Utinsky grew up in Springfield, Illinois. Details of his military service are a bit hazy, but he joined up when the United States entered the world war in 1917. After his discharge, he settled in the Philippine Islands, working as a civilian engineer for the U.S. military. Sometime in the early 1930s, Jack met a vivacious young widow named Peggy who arrived in Manila for a vacation and decided not to leave. After they married, the Utinskys settled into what they assumed would be a pleasant, leisurely life. That lasted only until December 1941, when the Japanese attacked the Philippines. Once again, Jack Utinsky heeded his country’s call and joined up.
The rest of his story, along with Peggy’s, can be found in my new book, which will be published on December 14.