Back from ten days in Iceland!

Harriet and I just returned from a 9-day vacation in Iceland. It was an unforgettable experience! Our usually good luck with weather when travelling deserted us, but we made the best of it. For the first few days we fought sleetstorms driving BB-sized iceballs 30 MPH into our faces, alternating with brief sunny spells as we explored the southern coast and the Golden Circle. The nicest weather day was spent exploring the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, where we visited Grundarfjordur, Olafsvik, the Snaefellsjokull glacier, Mount Kirkjufell, black lava cliffs along the southern coast, and driving through the 6-km Hvalfjardargong tunnel under the Hvalfjardsveit bay. We visited many famous waterfalls including Gullfoss, Skogafoss, Seljalandsfoss;  the hot springs at Geysir, the beautiful rift valley in Thingvellir National Park, and the amazing Raurfarholshellir lava tunnel near Selfoss. Our hotel room looked out over the Reyjavik harbor, and we were able to watch workers repainting and repairing large ships right outside our window. The food was amazingly good-and expensive! I tasted cod head, fermented shark, and dried fish. (I can only recommend the cod head). As a bonus, we flew directly over Greenland on the way home and were treated to an amazing view of the beautiful but utterly inhospitable arctic landscape. Check out the 81 photos in the Iceland photo album in my photo gallery.


Thank you SUNY Adirondack!

Yesterday I was honored to speak in Adirondack Hall at the SUNY Adirondack campus as part of the Dr. Norman A. Enhorning Lecture Series. I was able to talk about my World War II book We Were There and about the vital role of the B-29 Superfortress in winning the war. There was a big audience and everyone stayed awake through the entire talk! Thank to Yvonne Goodwin for inviting me to participate in the series, and I hope to be back next year to talk about a comparison of my rural medical practice with that of another rural physician who wrote a book (illustrated with his own photographs) about his medical career over 100 years before mine!


Wonderful WWII novel "Flying Time" reviewed


As a child growing up in the 1950s and ‘60s, I was surrounded and raised by adults who represented the Greatest Generation, and many of the movies and programs I watched on TV in those days were made before and during the war. Life seemed so intense and meaningful then, yet simpler and more romantic. Later, as an adult, I sometimes found myself wishing I had been born a generation earlier so I could have experienced the 1940s first-hand. Now, after reading Donna Esposito’s delightful 2016 novel Flying Time, I can say I have had a little taste of that feeling. Donna, who shares that wistful feeling of nostalgia for the ‘40s, has brought the war years to life in a clever time-travel story that allows the reader to participate in jitterbugging at USO dances, writing heartfelt letters to sweethearts, sharing a swell piece of pie at the local diner, and go where the action is in the south Pacific. She has re-created that long-ago world that decisively and miraculously changed the course of history for the better in a few years, and it was hard to put down. I can highly recommend the book to anyone else who shares that wistful what if feeling of having missed the most important five years in modern history. You can order it from Amazon at:


Thank you New York State Military Museum!

   Yesterday I had the privelege and honor to speak to a very lively and interesting audience at the New York State Military Museum in Saratoga Springs. There were over 50 people in attendance including 4 WWII veterans! Tom Smith and Tom Lemme of the 4th Marine Division, and Leo Muller, a US Navy Veteran of the Pacific theater were there. Major Ernest Bebernitz (ret) of the President of the NYS Capital District chapter of Military Officers of America Association was also in attendance and has invited me to speak to his organization next year! Spectrum News carried a brief interview of me before the talk on the evening news, so the Military Museum did a great job of PR for me which is greatly appreciated- I still have a lot of books to sell and people to educate about the history and lessons of World War II!

           Some of the audience at the New York State military Museum




Iwo Jima talk this Saturday!!

If you are looking for something interesting to do this Saturday February 17th, I am giving a PowerPoint talk followed by a book signing at the New York State Military Museum in Saratoga Springs at 2 PM. I will be reading from my third book, We Were There; World War II Stories from the Adirondacks' Greatest Generation. I am pleased to add that two living survivors of the invasion of Iwo Jima, Dr. Tom Smith and Tom Lemme will be there, and would be happy to answer questions from the audience. Dr. Smith will also be selling and signing his self-published memoir Marine 419322 after the talk. The museum is at 61 Lake Avenue in downtown Saratoga Springs in the old armory. Look for the genuine Sherman tank and Civil War Mortar in front of the building! Be there!!! 

                                          Dr Thomas Smith