The Battle for Hell's Island

The Battle for Hell's Island

How A Small Band of Carrier Dive-bombers Helped Save Guadalcanal

Book - 2015
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"November 1942: Japanese and American forces have been fighting for control of Guadalcanal, a small but pivotal island in Japan's expansion through the South Pacific. Both sides have endured months of grueling battle under the worst circumstances: hellish jungles, meager rations, and tropical diseases, which have taken a severe mental and physical toll on the combatants. The Japanese call Guadalcanal Jigoku no Shima--Hell's Island. Amid a seeming stalemate, a small group of U.S. Navy dive-bombers is called upon to help determine the island's fate. The men have, until recently, been serving in their respective squadrons aboard the USS Lexington and the USS Yorktown, fighting in the thick of the Pacific War's aerial battles. Their skills have been honed to a fine edge, even as injury and death have inexorably depleted their ranks. When their carriers are lost, many of the men end up on the USS Enterprise. Battle damage to that carrier then forces them from their home at sea to operating from Henderson Field, a small dirt-and-gravel airstrip on Guadalcanal. With some Marine and Army Air Force planes, they help form the Cactus Air Force, a motley assemblage of fliers tasked with holding the line while making dangerous flights from their jungle airfield. Pounded by daily Japanese air assaults, nightly warship bombardments, and sniper attacks from the jungle, pilots and gunners rarely last more than a few weeks before succumbing to tropical ailments, injury, exhaustion, and death. But when the Japanese launch a final offensive to take the island, these dive-bomber jocks answer the call of duty--and try to perform miracles in turning back an enemy warship armada, a host of fighter planes, and a convoy of troop transports"-- Provided by publisher.
Contents: Preface
1. "It's All Exciting As Hell"
2. Rocky, Swede, and "The Master"
3. "Hit-And-Run Attack In Impossible Weather"
4. "I Wanted To Hit 'Em Hard"
5. Deck Dodgers Find A Home
6. First Strikes In The Solomons
7. "Scratch One Flattop!"
8. "I Am Going To Get A Hit"
9. "A Real Rooster Fight"
10. "You Are On Your Own"
11. Transitions
12. "I Hope I Won't Disappoint You"
13. "Blood And Thunder" Over Hell's Island
14. "We'd Better Go Get The Carrier"
15. Battle Off The Eastern Solomons
16. "Heroes All"
18. Strong's Salvation
19. Action At Santa Cruz
20. Ace In A Day
21. "Back To Sea In A Pitiable Condition"
22. Desperation In The Slot
23. "Unflinching Courage"
24. Hard Losses And Hard Promises
Appendix: Decorations Awarded To Dauntless Airmen For Action From December 7, 1941, to November 15, 1942
Chapter Notes
Publisher: New York : NAL, [2015]
Copyright Date: ©2015
Branch Call Number: 940.5426 M
Characteristics: vii, 498 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, portraits, maps ; 24 cm
ISBN: 9780451473752


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Apr 01, 2016

It will be everyman for himself,...

Apr 01, 2016

Better to be without a medal than to be a dead hero.

Apr 01, 2016

If you're going to miss with your bomb, you might as well stay home and let a good pilot take your place.


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