Such Men as These: The Story of the Navy Pilots Who Flew the Deadly Skies over Korea

Such Men as These: The Story of the Navy Pilots Who Flew the Deadly Skies over Korea

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by David Sears
     
 

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In 1951, James Michener went to Korea to report on a little known aspect of America’s stalemated war: navy aviators. His research inspired novel about these pilots became an overnight bestseller and, perhaps, the most widely read book ever written about aerial combat.

Using Michener’s notes, author David Sears tracked down the actual pilots to tell their

Overview

In 1951, James Michener went to Korea to report on a little known aspect of America’s stalemated war: navy aviators. His research inspired novel about these pilots became an overnight bestseller and, perhaps, the most widely read book ever written about aerial combat.

Using Michener’s notes, author David Sears tracked down the actual pilots to tell their riveting, true-life stories. From the icy, windswept decks of aircraft carriers, they penetrated treacherous mountain terrain to strike heavily defended dams, bridges, and tunnels, where well entrenched Communist anti-aircraft gunners waited to shoot them down. Many of these men became air combat legends, and one, Neil Armstrong, the first astronaut to walk on the moon.

Such Men As These brims with action-packed accounts of combat and unforgettable portraits of the pilots whose skill and sacrifice made epic history.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Smithsonian Air & Space magazine, July 2011

“A valuable study of the culture and conduct of the naval air war over North Korea…A fitting addition not only to the literature of the Korean War, but also to the literature emerging in this, the centennial year of U.S. naval aviation.”

Collected Miscellany, 7/8/11
“A great tribute to the U.S. Navy pilots who flew in the ‘Forgotten War.’”

Michigan War Studies Review, 5/16/14
“The author has…done a service to both students and veterans of the Korean War…Sears’s account poignantly proves that the pilots faced missions as perilous as those of any infantryman. The narrative…places readers in the cockpit, feeling the sensations and stress of aerial combat…Present-day military personnel will find in Such Men As These much that is instructive regarding wartime leadership and the resilience and courage of men fighting a war to which the American public paid little attention.”

Kirkus Reviews
Quality military history of naval aviation during the Korean War. Historians traditionally bemoan America's enthusiastic disarmament after World War II, and former U.S. Navy officer Sears (At War with the Wind: The Epic Struggle with Japan's World War II Suicide Bombers, 2008, etc.) does not rock the boat. Budgets shrank, both draftees and skilled career men were discharged, ships were scrapped and vital military-technology research-jets, helicopters, new carrier designs-was shelved. North Korea's 1950 invasion of the South found the United States with only a single, old aircraft carrier in the Pacific. After a scramble to refurbish the ships, recall reservists and spend generous new appropriations, Navy leaders assembled an impressive fleet that rained destruction on the North. As with Vietnam, North Korea was a poor, agricultural country with few of the key industrial targets bombers prefer, so airmen concentrated on railroads, bridges, tunnels and road traffic, which provided only occasional dramatic destruction in exchange for a steady stream of casualties. Sears does not shy away from politics and technical developments, but he focuses on an almost day-to-day account of carrier ground-attack missions. He follows the lives of a dozen Navy airmen, painting a vivid picture of their background, flight training and problems flying obsolete propeller aircraft, rudimentary early jets and the first futuristic but alarmingly dangerous helicopters. The author includes the moving story of the first black naval aviator, as well as the horrendous experience of several pilots taken prisoner. Military buffs will enjoy the nuts-and-bolts battle details, but Sears also offers a solid general history of naval air warfare. Agent: Jim McCarthy/Dystel & Goderich

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780306819049
Publisher:
Da Capo Press
Publication date:
05/11/2010
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
432
Sales rank:
345,464
File size:
5 MB

Meet the Author

David Sears is a former U.S. Navy officer and the author of three previous books, including At War With the Wind and The Last Epic Naval Battle. He lives in northern New Jersey.

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Such Men as These: The Story of the Navy Pilots Who Flew the Deadly Skies over Korea 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book because of two main reasons: I am a retired Navy Chief Petty Officer (1963-1983) but more importantly, my oldest brother was a Navy Aviator who flew Skyraiders in the Korean war. He was shot down and KIA on June 19, 1953, just weeks before the end of this War. (I will never call it a "police action".) On page 305, Mr. Sears explains, better than I have ever read before, the "political events" of June 18-20, 1953 that sent my brother up on his final flight. He was awarded a posthumous NAVY CROSS for his bravery in flying close air support for US Troops on the ground in the "Punch Bowl". Mr. Sears is a very gifted writer who is able to teach history in an enticing and spellbinding way. I enjoy reading both fiction action and military history nonfiction novels. This book brings the non-fiction history of the Korean War and the Navy Aviators to the "movie screen of the mind" in and exciting way. I believe that any serious reader would enjoy this exciting book. Mr. Sears takes the War from start to finish and everything in between. He personalizes the war in a way that very few can do. In the end, we know Chief Thorin, Mr. Thayer, Mr. Brown, Mr. Akagi, and all the rest. This book NEEDED to be written before this War and its Heroes have perished, forgotten. Because of Mr. Sears superb writing style, I am looking forward to reading all of his Military History books. As a veteran and military history buff, I look forward to learning and being entertained at the same time. I am very thankful for the dedication that it took for Mr. Sears to compile this extensive history and then to be able to condense into less than 400 pages. I highly recommend this outstanding history of Naval Aviation and the Korean War.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you have ever read Michners "The Bridges at Toko-Ri", this books give the daily stuggles that went on carrying out the naval air war in Korea.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Outstanding book, well written and interesting
fhayes More than 1 year ago
Loved it - Always gratifying to read about the forgotten war - Korea
C-Stewart More than 1 year ago
David Sears has an outstanding writing style. This is an easy and enjoyable read. The authoer has done his research and has presented in in an informative package. I have just ordered another of his works and I am looking forward to reading that.