Phantom Warrior: The Heroic True Story of Private John McKinney's One-Man Stand Against theJapane se in World War II

Phantom Warrior: The Heroic True Story of Private John McKinney's One-Man Stand Against theJapane se in World War II

4.8 7
by Forrest Bryant Johnson
     
 

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This is the story of John McKinney who received the Medal of Honor for his actions against a Japanese surprise attack. On May 11, 1945, McKinney returned fire on the Japanese attacking his unit, using every available weapon-even his fists-standing alone against wave after wave of dedicated Japanese soldiers. At the end, John McKinney was alive-with over forty Japanese…  See more details below

Overview

This is the story of John McKinney who received the Medal of Honor for his actions against a Japanese surprise attack. On May 11, 1945, McKinney returned fire on the Japanese attacking his unit, using every available weapon-even his fists-standing alone against wave after wave of dedicated Japanese soldiers. At the end, John McKinney was alive-with over forty Japanese bodies before him.

This is the story of an extraordinary man whose courage and fortitude in battle saved many American lives, and whose legacy has been sadly forgotten by all but a few. Here, the proud legacy of John McKinney lives on.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Singlehandedly repulsing a Japanese attack in 1945, Pvt. John McKinney won the Medal of Honor for one of America's most heroic wartime feats, and here Johnson (Hour of Redemption) presents the event as a docudrama. Private McKinney was the nearly illiterate son of a Georgia sharecropper who served quietly throughout the New Guinea and Philippine campaigns. With victory assured in the Philippines, his unit was sent to defend a remote spit of land far from the fighting, where no one expected the attack when it came. Recovering from his surprise, McKinney recaptured a machine gun from the Japanese, firing until it jammed, then fought on alone with his rifle (he was a crack shot) and bayonet. Afterward, witnesses counted over 100 enemy dead-so many that superiors wanted a lower number before submitting their report. McKinney died in 1997, leaving no personal papers, so the author relies on interviews and official documents, and also on his imagination. The lurid invented dialogue accompanied by his hero's thoughts ("His mouth went dry, his muscles tightened, his heart beat slow and steady...") will leave history buffs gnashing their teeth. (Aug. 7)

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Kirkus Reviews
Worshipful biography of a Georgia sharecropper's son who won the Medal of Honor for a spectacular feat in May 1945. Johnson (Hour of Redemption, 2002) decided to retell the story of John McKinney (1921-97) to remind readers that America "still produces brave, unselfish warriors who are willing to sacrifice for what our country believes." Posthumous interviews with friends and fellow soldiers revealed only that McKinney was a quiet, pleasant fellow, so Johnson fills most of the book with a fictionalized account of his youth, his unit's exploits and a description of the war in the Pacific. Four months after American forces invaded the main Philippine island, McKinney's unit was guarding an isolated outpost when the Japanese attacked, quickly capturing the single machine gun that commanded the area and could determine the battle's outcome. A crack shot, McKinney killed the two Japanese soldiers at the machine gun and took his position there. When it jammed, he used his rifle and several others, often fighting hand-to-hand against overwhelming odds. When fighting stopped after 40 minutes, observers counted more than 100 Japanese dead, most killed by McKinney. Three wounded men witnessed his heroics, so plenty of documentation exists, though the uneducated Georgia farm boy left no personal papers. Sadly, the author converts what may be the greatest individual American feat of any war into a lurid, comic-book adventure replete with invented, highly macho dialogue: " ‘You boys are running into a Georgia cyclone!' he muttered. Then his finger reached for the machine gun trigger . . . "Another in the long line of books describing the exploits of modest, freedom-loving soldiers in purple prose thatwould surely embarrass their subjects. Strictly for fans of the genre.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781440678158
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/07/2007
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
507,543
File size:
730 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Forrest Bryant Johnson was born in Louisville, Kentucky, and graduated from the University of Louisville with degrees in chemistry and psychology before serving for nine years in the U.S. Army. He is also the author of Hour of Redemption.

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4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
McKinney was really a soldier's soldier in so many ways. He was always there to help his buddies when they needed him and he did it so often. He so richly deserved the MOH but, it apparently weighed heavily on him in later life that he had to kill so many of the enemy doing it. I liked learning about his life as a young boy maturing into manhood very early in life. The author labored so diligently collecting many of the finer things that built the character of McKinney throughout his life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Anyone who knows the story of Sergeant York in WWI, or Audie Murphy in WW2, needs to complete that 'trilogy' and read this outstanding true story. To read, in vivid detail, what one American GI did, fighting the Japanese, to save his unit, at great cost to himself and survive, is truly unbelievable. And yet, it did happen. This is NO made-up novel! Anyone interested in WW2 history, and especially of those battles fought in the Pacific War, owes it to him/herself to read this book. They --- WON'T --- be disappointed but, rather, come away in awe of this simple man, a very average American, a man like many of your Dads and Granddads. Do yourself a favor and read this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading Phantom Warrior, & as a member of co.A at that time I was very impressed with author Forrest Johnsons research & writing about Sgt John Mckinneys story. A great read for anyone interested WW2 history. Gerry Rampy.
Gregor1066 More than 1 year ago
Like the Last Camel Charge, I could not put this book down. Johnson take you back to the very early days of McKinneys life and builds upon that character to show how such a common man could accomplish such an uncommon task. I had never heard about this part of the War and was glad to get some insight on the other threather of battle that were overshadowed by the more famous fight. A tribute to the fighting soldier as well as the will and determination of the US Citizen when placed in such tramatic condition.
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