Carrier Warfare in the Pacific: An Oral History Collection

Overview

Capturing the times when lives and victory were in peril, this book records the exploits of the men who fought in WWII in the air and on the sea, including pilots and air crewmen of carrier squadrons, officers and men of the ship's company, and admirals and their staffs.

Capturing the times when lives and victory were in peril, this book records the exploits of the men who fought in WWII in the air and on the sea, including pilots and air crewmen of carrier ...

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Overview

Capturing the times when lives and victory were in peril, this book records the exploits of the men who fought in WWII in the air and on the sea, including pilots and air crewmen of carrier squadrons, officers and men of the ship's company, and admirals and their staffs.

Capturing the times when lives and victory were in peril, this book records the exploits of the men who fought in WWII in the air and on the sea, including pilots and air crewmen of carrier squadrons, officers and men of the ship's company, and admirals and their staffs. Compelling personal accounts. Illus.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A stirring tribute to the heroes of carrier warfare in World War II. Thirty firsthand accounts by the officers and men who served aboard carriers and those who flew the aircraft from their decks illuminate with dramatic intensity the invaluable contribution of carrier operations that helped to turn the tide of war in the Pacific theater and led to the final Allied victory over Japan.”—Sea Power

“This is a story of guts, sacrifice, terror, and exhilaration to be savored by anyone interested in the carrier as the ultimate war machine.”—Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor marked the end of the battleship as the centerpiece weapon of the U.S. Navy--in the future, the aircraft carrier would be the star of the fleet. In this oral history edited by Wooldridge, Ramsey Fellow at the National Air and Space Museum, we see how Colonel Jimmy Doolittle's flyers learned to launch their B-25s off the Hornet . Admiral John S. Thach details his ``Thach Weave,'' a fighting tactic which allowed slower American planes to fight the fast Japanese Zero on equal terms. The outspoken Thach also charges that the Yorktown would not have been sunk at the Battle of Midway if Admirals Fetcher and Spruance had been carrier admirals. A major part of the story lies in the shear might of American industry. During the course of the war the U.S. would build 17 Essex- class carriers; many Independence -class carriers; and an extraordinary 109 escort, or jeep, carriers. As the war winds down we are a part of the excitement of the ``Turkey Shoot'' in the Battle of the Philippine Sea, in which Navy pilots could choose their targets, and we share the terror of trying to find a carrier to land on at night. We witness the destructiveness of the kamikazes as the Franklin loses 800 of its crew and we see equal destructiveness when two typhoons wreck the fleet. This is a story of guts, sacrifice, terror and exhilaration to be savored by anyone interested in the carrier as the ultimate war machine. Photos. (Oct.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781560988229
  • Publisher: Smithsonian Institution Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/1999
  • Series: History of Aviation Series
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Table of Contents

Forward
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1942: Holding the Line in the Pacific 1
Butch O'Hare and the Thach Weave 8
The Doolittle Raid 14
Prepare to Launch Aircraft 23
The Lexington and the Coral Sea 35
A Beautiful Silver Waterfall 49
The Hornet and the Santa Cruz Islands 66
The Enterprise and Guadalcanal 78
1943: The Carrier Buildup 87
Design for Combat 91
Filling the Pipeline 100
First Cruise of the Essex 106
Carrier Task Force Doctrine - The Beginning 115
Below Decks on the Saratoga 119
1944: The Central Pacific Drive 133
Rescue at Saipan 138
Night Is My Ally 145
Spruance, Mitscher, and Task Force 58 155
"Turn on the Lights" 170
The Marianas "Turkey Shoot" 187
Doctrine for a Fighter Pilot 192
The Battle of Bull's Run 198
Escort Carriers at Samar Island 203
"Use Your Best Judgment" 211
Kamikazes in the Lingayen Gulf 215
Tail-End Charlie 222
1945: The Defeat of Japan 231
Halsey, McCain, and Thach 235
Kamikazes, Typhoons, and the China Sea 239
The Hornet, Jocko, and Typhoons 243
The Franklin - Tragedy and Triumph 247
The Big Blue Blanket 265
"Shoot Them Down in a Friendly Fashion" 272
Reflections of a Patriot 276
Appendix A. The Leaders 287
Appendix B. Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations 291
Appendix C. Bibliography 295
Index 299
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2000

    An honest, moving, accurate look into life on carriers

    This book has all it takes to become a classic. The interviews are all on one subject each, often only a couple of pages long, but they invariably convey a deep insight into the subject matter. You are taken aboard the carrier, flown into battle in fighters and dive-bombers, and given free rein at R&R on Hawaii. You are exposed to kamikazes, you take part in revelling in the successes of the Turkey Shoot, and you are confronted with the horrors of the wounded carrier Franklin. The ranks of the interviewees vary from Seaman to Admiral, thus providing an insight into all ranks on the ship. There is humor, too, but even more astounding in these tales is the grim determination with which these men went about the business of air war on the open seas. If you only buy one book on the carrier war of 1941-45, this is among your best choices.

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