AVAILABLE NOW FROM VANDAMERE PRESS….
Nazis, and Notre Dame
Stories of the Great Depression, WWII and
the Fighting Irish
Gerald Ambrose Reilly as told to Tim
978-0-918339-82-9 ● Hard cover ● 192 pages, ● 6x9
Illustrated ● Acid Free Paper ●| Index ● $19.95
What they’re saying about Nuns, Nazis, and Notre Dame…
Gerry O’Reilly is one of the very finest of the Greatest Generation. I have known him for over half a century, and knew that he had served with valor in World War II in the fabled Tenth Mountain Division. But until I read this memoir, I had no idea what he went through. And why would I have? He was not the kind to talk about it. His splendid soul is on full display in this engaging and quietly heroic book. To quote James Michener: ‘Where do we find such men?’
Author and Political Satirist
…Shortly after entering Notre Dame, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor changed[Gerald O’Reilly’s] life—and that of his entire generation. He enlisted in the Army and found himself a member of the fabled Tenth Mountain Division. There he developed close friendships with Americans of every background who shared a love of country and unshakable sense of duty….His description of his company’s push through Italy’s Apennines… chronicles the unflinching, almost matter-of-fact bravery of American troops…. By the end of the book, one understands why Gerald O’Reilly’s generation has earned the title of ‘the greatest.’
Honorable James L. Buckley
Former United States Senator and former President of Radio Free Europe
…Shortly after entering Notre Dame, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor changed [Gerald O’Reilly’s] life—and that of his entire generation. He enlisted in the Army and found himself a member of the fabled Tenth Mountain Division. There he developed close friendships with Americans of every background who shared a love of country and unshakable sense of duty….His description of his company’s push through Italy’s Apennines… chronicles the unflinching, almost matter-of-fact bravery of American troops…. By the end of the book, one understands why Gerald O’Reilly’s generation has earned the title of ‘the greatest.’
Chief of Staff, Office of the President
University of Notre Dame
… A famous philosopher told us we're doomed to repeat history if we don't learn from it, which makes Gerry O'Reilly's book a must-read. A full-fledged member of the Greatest Generation, his experiences included some of the 20th century's most seminal events, revered institutions, and colorful neighborhoods. This personal narrative is both informative and entertaining in a way that unfortunately is fast-disappearing in history books and classrooms.
Former Chicago Tribune staffer and journalist
Growing up in Brooklyn's Park Slope section in the late 1920's and 1930's, Gerald Ambrose O Reilly had a childhood that would be the envy of many today--filled with baseball (the Dodgers, of course), nuns, trolleys, school, church, and streetball. He was the son of a prominent Wall Street banker and grandson of a U.S. ambassador who served three presidents. As a good Catholic boy he attended Saint Savior and Brooklyn Prep before leaving for college at Notre Dame. He dropped out of Notre Dame at the height of World War II to join the Army and eventually became a member of the storied Tenth Mountain Division. Nine days after sailing from Hampton Roads, The Eighty-Fifth Infantry of the 10th Mountain Division arrived in Naples, Italy. Almost immediately, they were moved inland and began fighting. Their first major engagement was the taking of Mt. Belvedere, which had withstood two earlier assaults by the British and Brazilians. The 10th Mountain Division continued to fight their way northward crossing the Po River, finally making a dash across the Po Valley to keep the retreating German Army from escaping through the Alps. With victory in Europe and the dropping of the Atom Bomb on Japan, the Tenth Mountain Division returned to the states.
Join Gerry on his journey, and learn how this trolley-dodging, stickball kid from Brooklyn became part of a specialized group of mountain warriors, who triumphed over their German nemesis in the Alpines of Italy during a critical juncture of the Second World War. The story of a generation, and complete with photos and maps, Nuns, Nazis, and Notre Dame is a rare glimpse of life in a very different time.
About the author…
Tim Pletkovich attended Eastern Illinois University and has enjoyed a variety of careers since graduating in 1982. After college, his first job was as a scout for the Chicago Cubs, where he became the youngest scout in the major leagues. In 1985 he entered broadcast journalism as a radio analyst, covering the Boston Red Sox in New England. In 1987 he turned to education and started his teaching career in Queens, New York. While in New York he began his graduate studies at Fordham, later transferring to Illinois State University. While in the graduate program, he developed an interest in researching primary source documents relating to social issues in the post-Civil War America. Articles resulting from his original research have been published in numerous historical publications. When not writing or lecturing, he is an avid tennis player. Nuns, Nazis, and Notre Dame is his second book.
order from within the United States, please call 800-551-7776.
To order from outside the United States, please call
email us at
Please see the link at the left of the screen for ordering and