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The true story of one of the greatest and most decisive conflicts in the history of naval warfare-from an award-winning author. In June, 1944, American and Japanese carrier fleets made their way through the Philippine Sea, both hoping to take control of the vital Marianas Islands. When they met, they embarked upon a naval engagement that escalated into the most spectacular aircraft carrier battle in history. Here is the true account of the battle, told from both sides-by those who were there. Drawing upon numerous interviews as well as official sources, Clash of the Carriersis an unforgettable testimonial to the bravery of those who fought and those who died in a battle that will never be forgotten.
Ten military fiction authors reveal in their short novels how war will be fought in the 21st century.
This is the remarkable story of an airplane that became a legend--with a sleek silhouette and bent wings, it doubled as a day and night fighter, could fly off carriers or from land, and served both as a dive bomber and reconnaissance plane. Filled with facts and figures, this fast-paced history begins with the nerve-wracking test flights of the 1940s and concludes with the F4Us that were active thirty-eight years later. Placed skillfully in between are the stories that gave birth to the legend: the exploits of the aces, including the Medal of Honor recipient who shot down twenty-five enemy planes, and the details of the combat missions of Charles A. Lindbergh. During thirty months of combat in World War II with the U.S. Navy and Marines, the Corsair shot down more than two thousand Japanese planes. In Korea the U-bird, as it was called, was credited with ten aerial victories.A trip down memory lane for anyone who has followed the career of this Cadillac of the props, this new paperback edition of a book first published in hardcover in 1979 offers fine historical aviation reading that presents a riveting picture of the men and machine that helped win two wars.
This unique encyclopedia provides detailed entries for everything you ever wanted to know about D-Day, the invasion of Normandy. Organized alphabetically, the entries give detailed descriptions of weapons, equipment, divisions, air and naval units, geography, terminology, personalities, and more. Every Allied division that crossed the English Channel on June 6, 1944 has its own listing as do the major Axis divisions that fought them. Brief biographies of major military and political leaders on both sides provide a handy who's who of the campaign. The book also includes entries for related popular culture: GI slang, the best movies about D-Day, and major writers such as Stephen Ambrose and Cornelius Ryan. Cross-references make the book easy to use. With hundreds of entries, The D-Day Encyclopedia is an indispensable reference tool for history buffs and great browsing for readers who want to know more about World War II.
Popularly known as the Douglas Dauntless, the U.S. Navy's SBD dive bomber was well named. Though considered obsolete at the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Dauntless turned the tide of war in the Pacific with the destruction of four Japanese carriers at the Battle of Midway, making its mark in aviation history for sinking more enemy carriers than any other aircraft. Still in service at war's end, the Dauntless was the only U.S. carrier aircraft in operation from Pearl Harbor to V-J Day. The Dauntless was the only American Navy aircraft to fly in al five of the naval engagements fought exclusively by aircraft carriers and was credited with sinking the first Japanese fleet submarine and dropping the first bombs on Japanese-occupied soil during the war. The SBD was also active in the Atlantic, sinking Vichy French shipping at Casablanca and German vessels in Scandinavian waters. In between his authoritative accounts of these missions, Barrett Tillman tells the rousing story of the men who took the "slow but deadly" Dauntless into combat, loving her for her ruggedness and dependability while wishing for more speed and firepower. Among the people he describes is the pilot who nearly single-handedly knocked out a Japanese carrier and died in the process, and SBD squadron that flew unexpectedly into the Pearl Harbor attack. Filled with fascinating photographs, this book was widely acclaimed in 1976 when first published and is now available for the first time in paperback.
Pearl Harbor . . . Midway . . . Guadalcanal . . . The Marianas . . . Leyte Gulf . . . Iwo Jima . . . Okinawa. These are just seven of the twenty battles that the USS Enterprise took part in during World War II. No other American ship came close to matching her record. Enterprise is the epic, heroic story of this legendary aircraft carrier--nicknamed "the fightingest ship" in the U.S. Navy--and of the men who fought and died on her. America's most decorated warship, Enterprise was constantly engaged against the Japanese Empire from December 1941 until May 1945. Her career was eventful, vital, and short. She was commissioned in 1938, and her bombers sank a submarine just three days after the Pearl Harbor attack, claiming the first seagoing 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 just three months before the end of the war. Barrett Tillman has been called "the man who owns naval aviation history." He's mined official records and oral histories as well as his own interviews with the last surviving veterans who served on Enterprise to give us not only a stunning portrait of the ship's unique contribution to winning the Pacific war, but also unforgettable portraits of the men who flew from her deck and worked behind the scenes to make success possible. Enterprise is credited with sinking or wrecking 71 Japanese ships and destroying 911 enemy aircraft. She sank two of the four Japanese carriers lost at Midway and contributed to sinking the third. Additionally, 41 men who served in Enterprise had ships named after them. As with Whirlwind, Tillman's book on the air war against Japan, Enterprise focuses on the lower ranks--the men who did the actual fighting. He puts us in the shoes of the teenage sailors and their captains and executive officers who ran the ship day-to-day. He puts us in the cockpits of dive bombers and other planes as they careen off Enterprise's flight deck to attack enemy ships and defend her against Japanese attackers. We witness their numerous triumphs and many tragedies along the way. However, Tillman does not neglect the top brass--he takes us into the ward rooms and headquarters where larger-than-life flag officers such as Chester Nimitz and William Halsey set the broad strategy for each campaign. But the main character in the book is the ship itself. "The Big E" was at once a warship and a human institution, vitally unique to her time and place. In this last-minute grab at a quickly fading history, Barrett Tillman preserves the Enterprise story even as her fliers and sailors are departing the scene.
November 1943-May 1945-The U.S. Army Air Forces waged an unprecedentedly dogged and violent campaign against Hitler's vital oil production and industrial plants on the Third Reich's southern flank. Flying from southern Italy, far from the limelight enjoyed by the Eighth Air Force in England, the Fifteenth Air Force engaged in high-risk missions spanning most of the European continent. The story of the Fifteenth Air Force deserves a prideful place in the annals of American gallantry.In his new book, Forgotten Fifteenth: The Daring Airmen Who Crippled Hitler's War Machine, Tillman brings into focus a seldom-seen multinational cast of characters, including pilots from Axis nations Romania, Hungary, and Bulgaria and many more remarkable individuals. They were the first generation of fliers-few of them professionals-to conduct a strategic bombing campaign against a major industrial nation. They suffered steady attrition and occasionally spectacular losses. In so doing, they contributed to the end of the most destructive war in history.Forgotten Fifteenth is the first-ever detailed account of the Fifteenth Air Force in World War II and the brave men that the history books have abandoned until now. Tillman proves this book is a must-read for military history enthusiasts, veterans, and current servicemen.
Largely responsible for crushing Japanese airpower wherever the American fast carrier force sailed, the Grumman F6F Hellcat was considered the most important Allied aircraft in the Pacific during 1943 and 1944. Designed for speed, range, and climb to compete with Japan's exceptional Mitsubishi A6M Zero, it succeeded not only in engaging the "Zeke" on equal terms but also in dictating the rules of combat. Fighters in every sense of the word, the Hellcats were credited with destroying more than five thousand Japanese aircraft, gaining outright air supremacy over the invasion beaches, and helping ensure Allied amphibious victories in the Central Pacific. Aviation historian Barrett Tillman presents the full story of the fighter plane--the men who built and tested it, the squadrons that flew it, and the heroes it created. Heavily illustrated with photographs from the pilots' own collections, this spirited, carefully documented operational history is an absolute must for anyone interested in aviation history. It is now available for the first time in paperback.
To be equally enjoyed by professional aviators and aviation buffs with limited technical knowledge, this biography brings to life the legendary aircraft that scored the highest kill ratio of any U.S. fighter aircraft in the Vietnam War. The book is filled with authentic re-creations of Crusader-MiG fights and vivid descriptions of the people and events that are part of the F-8 story, including John Glenn's 1957 record-breaking flight across the United States in three hours and twenty-three minutes. As the Navy's first supersonic aircraft, the Crusader holds an honored spot in carrier flying, and the author shows why it is called one of the most capable, versatile, and long-lived aircraft in naval aviation history. Barrett Tillman effectively combines an exciting account of the F-8's operational history with a detailed and authoritative explanation of its design, construction, and modifications. Tillman recalls the years of frustration and experimentation spent in refining the aircraft and its gunnery system, and then takes the reader through key actions in Vietnam where seasoned pilots handled their "rambunctious steeds" with scarcely a glance in the cockpit. Extensive appendixes provide further details.
Combining vivid personal narrative with historical and operational analyses, this book takes a candid look at U.S. naval airpower in the Vietnam War. Coauthors John Nichols, a fighter pilot in the war, and Barrett Tillman, an award-winning aviation historian, make full use of their extensive knowledge of the subject to detail the ways in which airpower was employed in the years prior to the fall of Saigon. Confronting the conventional belief that airpower failed in Vietnam, they show that when applied correctly, airpower was effective, but because it was often misunderstood and misapplied, the end results were catastrophic. Their book offers a compelling view of what it was like to fly from Yankee Station between 1964 and 1973 and important lessons for future conflicts. At the same time, it adds important facts to the permanent war record.Following an analysis of the state of carrier aviation in 1964 and a definition of the rules of engagement, it describes the tactics used in strike warfare, the airborne and surface threats, electronic countermeasures, and search and rescue. It also examines the influence of political decisions on the conduct of the war and the changing nature of the Communist opposition. Appendixes provide useful statistical data on carrier deployments, combat sorties, and aircraft losses.
First published in 1994, this stirring autobiography of a fighter and test pilot takes readers full throttle through Carl's imposing list of "firsts." Beginning with his World War II career, he gained such commendations as first Marine Corps ace, among the first Marines ever to fly a helicopter, and first Marine to land aboard an aircraft carrier. His combat duty included the momentous battles at Midway and Guadalcanal. Not one to rest on his laurels, however, he participated in photoreconnaissance operations over Red China in 1955 and flew missions in Vietnam. In peacetime he gamed fame for "pushing the envelope" as a test pilot, adding the world's altitude and peace records to his wartime feats and becoming the first U.S. military aviator to wear a full pressure suit. Such achievements also led to Carl's being the first living Marine admitted to the Naval Aviation Hall of Honor, as well as the first Marine to be named to the Navy Carrier Aviation Test Pilots Hall of Honor. This very readable memoir is as forthright and compelling as the man it chronicles.
Unquestionably the most successful dive-bomber ever to see frontline service with any air arm, the Douglas SBD Dauntless was the scourge of the Japanese Imperial Fleet in the crucial years of the Pacific War of World War II (1939-1945). The revolutionary all-metal stressed-skin design of the SBD exhibited airframe strength that made it an ideal dive-bomber, its broad wing, with horizontal centre section and sharply tapered outer panels with dihedral, boasting perforated split flaps that doubled as dive brakes during the steep bombing attacks
Osprey's title examining the TBD Devastator Units' short-lived participation in World War II (1939-1945). The first monoplane aircraft ordered by the US Navy for carrier operations, the Douglas TBD Devastator was designed to fulfil a requirement for a new torpedo bomber. Just 129 were built, and when it entered service it was the most modern aircraft of its type anywhere in the world. Its only real taste of action came on 4 June 1942 in the pivotal Battle of Midway, when 35 were shot down in a clash with Japanese A6M Zero fighters. The aircraft was replaced by the Grumman Avenger weeks later.
The classic 1951 movie Flying Leathernecks starring John Wayne immortalized the USMC pilots who had fought in the skies over Guadalcanal and the Solomons. The US Marine Corps has a long and proud heritage of aviation excellence, celebrating its centenary in 2012. While "flying leathernecks" made their mark in both world wars, Korea, Vietnam and more recently throughout the global war on terrorism, it was during World War II that they captured the hearts and minds of the public with their daring exploits. This is the first book to detail the legendary actions of famous fighter aces such as Medal of Honor winner John L Smith, Greg "Pappy" Boyinton, Marion Carl, Joe Foss, and many more. Barrett Tillman combines expert research into the history and organization of the Marine Fighter Squadrons with dramatic accounts of deadly dogfights.From the Hardcover edition.
Fighting Squadron 11 was established at San Diego in August 1943, beginning a half-century record that spanned aerial combat in three wars from the piston to the jet age. First deployed to Guadalcanal, the 'Sundowners' flew Grumman Wildcats and completed its tour as the Navy's third-ranking F4F squadron in terms of aerial victories. Upon returning home, the 'Sundowners' transitioned to Hellcats in preparation for a second combat deployment. In 1944-45 the squadron flew from USS Hornet (CV-12), participating in the fast carrier strikes against the Philippines, Formosa and the Asian mainland. It finished the war as the Navy's 11th ranking fighter squadron with 158 credited victories. Redesignated VF-111 in 1948, the 'Sundowners' converted to F9F Panthers and scored history's first jet-versus-jet victory over Korea in 1950. After the armistice, the squadron flew FJ-3 Furies and F11F Tigers, before receiving the world-class F8U Crusader in 1961. During the long Vietnam War, the 'Sundowners' logged six deployments, scoring MiG kills in both F-8s and F-4 Phantom IIs. From 1978 to disestablishment in 1995, the 'Sundowners' flew F-14 Tomcats from USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) and Carl Vinson (CVN-70), completing a record of 37 deployments from 17 flattops in its 52-year career. From World War 2 until after the Cold War, the 'Sundowners' established an unsurpassed record 'at the tip of the spear' in naval aviation history.
WHIRLWIND is the first book to tell the complete, awe-inspiring story of the Allied air war against Japan--the most important strategic bombing campaign in history. From the audacious Doolittle raid in 1942 to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, award-winning historian Barrett Tillman recounts the saga from the perspectives of American and British aircrews who flew unprecedented missions over thousands of miles of ocean, as well as of the generals and admirals who commanded them. Whether describing the experiences of bomber crews based in China or the Marianas, fighter pilots on Iwo Jima, or carrier aviators at sea, Tillman provides vivid details of the lives of the fliers and their support personnel. Whirlwind takes readers into the cockpits and gun turrets of the mighty B-29 Superfortress, the largest bomber built up to that time. Tillman dramatically re-creates the sweep of wartime emotions that crews endured on fifteen-hour missions, grappling with the extreme tedium of cramped spaces and with adrenaline spikes in flak-studded skies, knowing that a bailout would put them at the mercy of a merciless enemy or an unforgiving sea. A major character is the controversial and brilliant General Curtis LeMay, who rewrote strategic bombing tactics. His command's fire-bombing missions incinerated fully half of Tokyo and many other cities, crippling Japan's industry while still failing to force surrender. Whirlwind examines the immense logistics and construction efforts necessary to support Superfortresses in Asia and the Mariana Islands, as well as the tireless efforts of engineers to build huge air bases from scratch. It also describes the unheralded missions that American bomber crews flew from the Aleutian Islands to Japan's northernmost Kuril Islands.Never has the Japanese side of the story been so thoroughly examined. If Washington, D.C., represented a "second front" in Army-Navy rivalry, the situation in Tokyo approached a full-contact sport. Tillman's description of Japan's willfully inadequate approach to civil defense is eye-opening. Similarly, he examines the mind-set in Tokyo's war cabinet, which ignored the atomic destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, requiring the emperor's personal intervention to avert a ghastly Allied invasion. Tillman shows how, despite the Allies' ultimate success, mistakes and shortsighted policies made victory more costly in lives and effort. He faults the lack of a unified command for allowing the Army Air Forces and the Navy to pursue parochial goals at the expense of the larger mission, and he questions the premature commitment of the enormously sophisticated B-29 to the most primitive theater in India and China. Whirlwind is one of the last histories of World War II written with the contribution of men who fought in it. With unexcelled macro- and microperspectives, Whirlwind is destined to become a standard reference on the war, on multiservice operations, and on the human capacity for individual heroism and national folly.
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