Minter Dial II, well-known author and speaker, will be traveling through the US East coast November 5th through the 18th with appearances at the Annapolis Naval Academy (November 9th), The MacArthur Museum, The WWII D-Day Museum, The Yale Club, etc. to talk about his fascinating book, The Last Ring Home, to be released in the USA on November 3rd. He is also screening of the documentary of the same name. The 27minute film has just been accepted into the Savannah, Charleston, and Ojai film festivals.
Dial comes to know his grandfather and namesake, a graduate of the US Naval Academy in Annapolis and a WW2 Hero, after a chance phone call from a woman representing the former Western High School in Washington, DC (now the Duke Ellington School for the Arts) who was drumming up old classmates for a 55th reunion. When Dial realized she thought she was calling his grandfather, it opened a door and began a quest to learn about the grandfather he’d never known.
The call to action prompted 15 years of research, personal interviews with men who had known and loved his grandfather, pilgrimages around the globe, respect and awe for the brutal circumstances in which his grandfather and cohorts had died or survived in the Pacific, and a mystery that continues today. Mr. Dial brings the reality of war and his passionate search for the truth about his grandfather to life on every page.
Like all USNA graduates, one of Dial’s proudest possessions was his graduation ring, heavy, gold, and set with a blue stone, his name, and his class year. This ring survived his capture and time in the Japanese POW camp and was given to a trusted friend before his death to deliver to his family. The ring was stolen before this could happen and the tale of its subsequent miraculous discovery and then loss is woven through the book.
The Last Ring Home is a very personal story, well researched and well written, but it will resonate with many for its vivid portrayal of “man’s inhumanity to man.” It shows graphically the horrors of the War in the Pacific and the particularly brutal treatment suffered by the American soldiers and sailors aboard the Oryoku Maru, Brazil Maru, and Enoura Maru on the voyage from Manila to Japan. Running parallel to this harsh tale is the soft and sweet love story between Dial and his young wife, Lisa.
The son of U.S. Senator, Nathaniel B. Dial of South Carolina, Dial steps out of the pages as the quintessential all-American boy who will die on the Enoura Maru, ironically as the result of American bombing. He had been in captivity for 1246 days, among the longest recorded for American soldiers up to that time. Posthumously Dial was awarded the Navy Cross and Purple Heart.
Seventy years after the end of World War Two, and the rapidly departing Greatest Generation, this book serves to remind us of the enormous sacrifices made by those who lived and died before us.