Men of the 65th: The Borinqueneers of the Korean War
by Talia Aikens-Nunez
GENRE: YA nonfiction
Honor and Fidelity. That is the motto of the 65th Infantry Regiment, also known as the Borinqueneers, the only Puerto Rican unit in the United States Army.
Since the regiment’s creation in 1899, the men of the 65th have proudly served the US through multiple wars, despite facing racial discrimination. Their courage, loyalty, and patriotism earned them hundreds of accolades, including the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014.
But the honor and fidelity of the men of the 65th came into question in 1952, in the midst of the Korean War, when ninety-one Borinqueneers were arrested and tried for desertion and disobeying orders. How could this happen in one of the most distinguished and decorated units of the Army?
In this telling of one of the forgotten stories of the Korean War, author Talia Aikens-Nuñez guides us through the history of the Borinqueneers and the challenges they faced leading up to what was the largest court martial in the entire war. Rediscover the bravery of the men of the 65th through Aikens-Nuñez’s thorough writing and the soldiers’ firsthand accounts of the Korean War.
[T]he US public was shocked to discover that during the war, 162 soldiers of the 65th Infantry Regiment had been court-martialed and ninety-one of those soldiers found guilty of disobeying orders and desertion.
The US military kept the courts-martial quiet. But the soldiers of the 65th sent letters to their families describing what was happening, which led to public outcry and confusion from the press. How could one of the most distinguished regiments of the Korean War, whose soldiers had only months before been praised by General Douglas MacArthur for their “brilliant record of heroism,” become involved in the largest mass court-martial of the Korean War?
Did the Borinqueneers lose their bravery and heroism in such a short time? Or were they victims of discrimination in a prejudiced and segregated system? Were they betrayed by the country they risked their lives for?
This is the story of one of the bravest and most decorated regiments in the history of the US military. It is a forgotten story in a forgotten war. But it is a story of patriotism, loyalty, and bravery in the face of danger and discrimination, and it is one that deserves to be told. -page 10
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Talia Aikens-Nuñez writes chapter books, picture books, and nonfiction for children. Her daughter inspired her to write her OMG Series of books about an accidental little witch. She and her husband live on a river in Connecticut with their daughter and son.
Talia Aikens-Nunez will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
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