Enterprise: America's Fightingest Ship and the Men Who Helped Win World War II

Enterprise: America's Fightingest Ship and the Men Who Helped Win World War II

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by Barrett Tillman
     
 

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Offering a naval history of the entire Pacific Theater in World War II through the lens of its most famous ship, this is the epic and heroic story of the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, and of the men who fought and died on her from Pearl Harbor to the end of the conflict.Award-winning author Barrett Tillman has been called “the man who owns…  See more details below

Overview


Offering a naval history of the entire Pacific Theater in World War II through the lens of its most famous ship, this is the epic and heroic story of the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, and of the men who fought and died on her from Pearl Harbor to the end of the conflict.Award-winning author Barrett Tillman has been called “the man who owns naval aviation history,” and Enterprise is the work he was born to write: the first complete story of “The Big E,” incorporating oral histories and the author’s own interviews with the last surviving veterans who served on her through the major battles of the Pacific war.

America’s most decorated warship of World War II, Enterprise was constantly engaged against the Japanese Empire, earning the title “the fightingest ship” in the Navy. Her career was eventful, vital, and short. Commissioned in 1938, her bombers sank a submarine just ten days after the Pearl Harbor attack, claiming the first Japanese vessel lost in the war. It was the auspicious beginning of an odyssey that Tillman captures brilliantly, from escorting sister carrier Hornet as it launched the Doolittle Raiders against Tokyo in 1942, to playing leading roles in the pivotal battles of Midway and Guadalcanal, to undergoing the shattering nightmare of kamikaze strikes in May of 1945. This is the definitive history of the ship whose aviators claimed 911 enemy aircraft and 71 ships, a saga of seemingly ceaseless heroism.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Military historian Tillman (Whirlwind: The Air War Against Japan, 1921–1945) documents life and death aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (aka the Big E), interviewing the last surviving veterans who served on the ship through major Pacific battles. Launched in 1936, the Enterprise was commissioned in 1938, setting out with “some 2,070 officers, sailors, and marines.” Based at Pearl Harbor, the Enterprise transported planes to island bases and was returning from Wake Island during the December 7 attack. Seaman Bobby Oglesby recalled, “We had come into Pearl on December 8, to find ships still burning and the stench of the dead on the air. Every man was hopping mad to refuel, rearm, get back to sea and kill the enemy.” Revenge came six months later at Midway when Big E squadrons sank three of four enemy carriers. By 1945, Enterprise aviators were credited with the destruction of 911 enemy aircraft and 71 ships. Though Enterprise was one of the most celebrated carriers of WWII, following years of inactivity she was sold for scrap in 1958. Throughout the seagoing drama, Tillman fires off successive salvos of descriptive battle action, the result of exhaustive research. 40 b&w photos; maps. Agent: Jim Hornfischer. (Feb.)
Library Journal
The most decorated warship of World War II, first to sink a Japanese vessel after Pearl Harbor and ultimately responsible for downing 911 enemy aircraft and 71 ships, "the Big E" gets its own history from Admiral Arthur Radford Award winner Tillman. For all World War II devotees.
Kirkus Reviews
Veteran military historian Tillman (Whirlwind: The Air War Against Japan, 1942–45, 2010, etc.) comprehensively delineates the history of the legendary USS Enterprise ("the Big E"). "Enterprise was America's ship," writes the author, "and there will never be another like her." Through his focus on the famous ship and her crews, he also provides a history of the naval aspects of World War II. As much as possible, Tillman identifies every aviator downed by enemy action, accident or friendly fire, and he offers illuminating details about their lives. The Big E took part in all the major engagements in the Pacific War, and though enemy action forced her from the battlefield three times, she was rebuilt and refitted to come back stronger each time. Her keel was laid down in Norfolk, Va., in 1933, as part of Roosevelt's WPA jobs program, and she entered into service in 1938. She was designed for the transition from bi-plane to metal-made monoplane aircraft, and by the end of the war was being made obsolete by new carriers preparing the way for jets. She was eventually assimilated into combined task forces of multiple aircraft carriers capable of launching hundreds of planes against their Japanese targets. A platform for innovation, her aviators helped pioneer nighttime operations for defensive patrols and offensive deployments, and she provided a test bed for application of radar technology to both day- and nighttime aviation. Though the cost in human lives was enormous, "Enterprise was about leadership. Amoebalike, she spawned cell after new cell of leaders at every level, men who absorbed the lessons of their mentors and passed those values to the next generation like naval DNA." A commendable history of a significant ship that also commemorates the economic might unleashed to supply the fighters in WWII.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781439190876
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Publication date:
02/14/2012
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
705,867
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author


Barrett Tillman is a widely recognized authority on air warfare in World War II and the author of more than forty nonfiction and fiction books on military topics. He has received six awards for history and literature, including the Admiral Arthur Radford Award. He lives in Mesa, Arizona.

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Enterprise: America's Fightingest Ship and the Men Who Helped Win World War II 4 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 16 reviews.
CHIEFAF More than 1 year ago
I just now finished reading Enterprise......and although I was but a young boy during the many battles the Big E fought - I had the privilege on 12 Oct 1945 of boarding CV 6 when she entered the locks at Pedro Miguel, Panama Canal Zone. We kids who lived there as our Dad's worked on the locks were able to get "close" as the ships were in the chambers. The sailor that took me aboard was JAMES M BACHINO.......i spent the next 7 hours as we crossed over to the Atlantic side and along with a number of other kids-- were thrilled to visit aboard...........James gave me a small metal ID bracelet with his name along with the silhouette of CV 6 inscribed on it and 58 years later in 2003.....I tried to locate James to no avail as he had passed two years prior. Thanks to the CV 6 Association, I was able to locate his wife Mary.........and I returned this bracelet of Jim's to his widow and of course Mary had no idea that this even existed. I was most proud to have found Mary Bachino - as I was so proud to have met James aboard the Enterprise on 12 Oct 1945. John Schmidt, CMSgt, USAF Retired
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While Enterprise opened a few new doors in the storied history of the USS Enterprise (CV-6), it is a lightweight replication of Edward Staffords "The Big E." Perhaps because the ship's history has been told so well in the past, Tillman limits the scope of the ship's exploits to specific events. On the plus side his coverage of the ship's early, pre-war days is new and interesting.
Old_Wizard More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the book. It is written in a way that keeps one's interest throughout the book. It's almost like reading a novel, it gives a person lots of facts and figures while putting a face on the crew of the Big E.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
CardinalII More than 1 year ago
This book was a great read! Only thing I could have wished for is more pictures! Otherwise, a great book with a lot of detail.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book, esp. with the pictures in the middle of the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As I was saying the second world war is the most instesing war yet. My favorite battle that the Enterprise was in was the Battle of Midway. And you cannot forget the Battle of Goudacanal. I think it was sad the the Enterprise was sold for scrap. I'm a young kid. And if your asking yourself how I know all this stuff, read my first comment or post: "You must read". If not reread the book Thank you
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I dont like the book