Author Steven James Hantzis will give an illustrated talk about the harrowing circumstances faced by the brave GI railroaders in India during World War II. In a theater of war long forgotten and barely even known at the time, the author’s father, James Harry Hantzis, and his fellow soldiers labored at a thankless task under oppressive conditions. Nonetheless without the men of the 721st Railway Operating Battalion the Allied forces would have been defeated in the China-Burma-India conflict in World War II. Steve Hantzis draws on his twelve years as a railroad brakeman-conductor and intimate knowledge of the industry and its culture to illustrate the remarkable story of the extraordinary men of the 721st, who moved an entire army to win the war.
Hantiz’s book Rails of War: Supplying the Americans and Their Allies in China-Burma-India is “an incredible look at the monumental task of these logistics superheroes. . . These unsung members of our Greatest Generation worked miracles, and Steve Hantzis does a wonderful job capturing the danger, the difficulty, and the rewards in a very personal way,” said Gen. Gene Renuart, USAF (Ret.). “As a commander of our Flying Tigers in Desert Storm, I especially enjoyed the parallels between the logistics of World War II and Desert Storm.” Rails of War: Supplying the Americans and Their Allies in China-Burma-India will be available for purchase.
Steven James Hantzis is a retired Grand Lodge representative for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. He worked twelve years as a brakeman-conductor for Conrail. Both his father and his great-grandfather were railroaders.
Admission is free, a donation of $5 is suggested.