Ready room reading

Ready room reading

Andrews, Hal

The Forgotten Heroes – The Story of Rescue Squadron VH-3 in World War 11 by Donald H. Sweet with LeeRoy Way and William Bonvillian, Jr., DOGO Publishing, 76 Maple Ave. N. #142, Ridgewood, NJ 07450, 176 pages, b&w illustrations, spiral binding, soft cover, $25 + $5 postage.

Much has been published about WWII VP/VPB flying boat squadrons in the Pacific, including their many rescue activities. As this title suggests, the specialized rescue squadrons (VH) have gotten much less attention, then or now; whether early on (late 1944 – early 1945), flying hand me down, unarmed and unarmored Martin PBM-3R Mariners or later, beginning in April 1945, with full VPB equipped PBM-5s. Having considerable direct input, particularly from CDR R.R. “Hawk” Barrett, USNR (Ret,), XO of VH-3 and later CO VH-1, some 75 of the book’s pages tell you that regular open ocean landings and in most cases subsequent takeoffs after picking up rescuees in all weather and sea state conditions was as challenging as anything Pacific area combat Naval Aviators faced. The book’s full listing of VH3’s 183 rescues between the first Okinawa combat area rescues on 1 April 1945 and the war’s end is amplified by expanded coverage of some of the more challenging missions. Further awareness of what open ocean all weather landing and take off operations entailed is provided by Hawk’s recollections of his crew’s full investigation of the effect of wind and wave direction and characteristics during VH1’s work-up period after he took over as Skipper in mid April.

Torpedoed by Edmond D. Pope & Tom Shachtman, Little, Brown & Company, 212522-6909, 304 pages, B&W photos, $25.95, hard cover. A true account of the arrest, trial and 253-day imprisonment in Russia of an American businessman (and former Naval Intelligence officer).

Prowl by Gordan Runyan, Deo Volente Pub. (940) 479-0073,296 pages, $12.95, soft cover. A novel about a nuclear attack sub, her crew, and finding faith. Written by a former submarine sailor.

Chippewa Chief in World War 11 by Donald J. Norton, McFarland & Company, Inc., 302-226-9105, 197 pages, B&W photos, $29.95 soft cover. A gripping biography of a combat aircrewman and native American, Oliver Rasmussen, whose Chippewa heritage helped him evade the Japanese for 68 days following his shoot down in July 1945 over Hokkaido. The brief but compelling foreword is by famous flyer BGEN Chuck Yeager, who was also shot down and evaded the enemy.

Junior: The Tales of a Teenage Naval Airman in World War 11 by Robert W Carey, Merriam Press, 802-447-0313, 146 pages, B&W photos, soft cover. A first person account of a courageous enlisted combat aircrewman in Liberators who was inducted into the prestigious Enlisted Combat Aircrew Roll of Honor in November on board USS Yorktown in South Carolina.

Air Racing Today by Philip Handleman, MBI Publishing Company, 1-800-826-6600, 112 pages, color photos, $24.95, soft cover. Author and ANA member Handleman focuses on the “Unlimited and AT-6 Class” of racers in this beautifully photographed portrait of air racing today.

Suicide Squads by Richard O’Neill, Lyons Press, Box 480, 246 Goose Lane, Guilford, CT 06437 (203) 458-4538,22841 Quicksilver Dr., Dulles, VA 20166-2012, (703) 661-1548, 272 pages, some B&W photos, $17.95. An account of “special attack” operations. Hitler’s Squadron by C.G. Sweeting, Brassey’s Inc., (207) 990-0710, 192 pages, 120 black & white photos, $31.95, hard cover. Hitler’s personal aircraft and transport unit, 1933-45

The Best Of Wings, by Walter J. Boyne, Brassey’s Inc., 207-990-0710, 248 pages, black & white photos, $27.50, soft cover. A compilation of the best articles from Wings and Airpower magazine.

Samurai by Clive Sinclaire, The Lyons Press, Box 480,246 Goose Lane, Guilford, CT 06437, (203) 458-4538,144 pages, many color photos, some B&W, $29.95, hard cover. Intriguing account of the weapons and spirit of the Japanese warrior.

Images from the Storm by Private Robert Knox Sneden, The Free Press, 212-6984655, 336 pages, color photos, $50.00, hard cover. A fascinating collection of art by a Union soldier in the Civil War with selections from his handwritten memoir.

Flying with the Iron Angels by Charles Houston, available from the author for $45 at 1685 West Robinwood, Fresno, CA 93711. Many b&w photos, drawings and maps, 479 pages with index. The author flew Grumman Hellcats from USS Wasp in VF-14 (CAG-14). The book features reminisces from WWII combat days.

Vought F4U Corsair by Barrett Tillman and Boeing F/A-18 Hornet by Brad Elward, Specialty Press, 11605 Kost Dam Road, North Branch, MN 55056 (800) 895-4585 or (651) 583-3239, 104 pages, respectively, $16.95 each plus $4.95 postage.Author Tillman, the premier Naval Aviation Historian/Writer and highly respected author Elward have turned in superb accounts with over 150 photos in each book, mostly black and white, with well-written narratives and superlative photography and graphics. These books are part of the successful Warbird Tech Series and feature heavier, glossy page stock compared to previous editions.

Jungle Ace by John R. Bruning, Brassey’s Inc., 320 pages, 40 B&W photos & maps, $26.95, hard cover. Army AF ace Gerald Johnson shot down 24 Japanese planes flying P-38s during three years in the Pacific Theater of WW WIL

Yamamoto: The Man Who Planned the Attack on Pearl Harbor by Edwin P Hoyt, The Lyons Press, 304 pages, some B&W photos, $16.95 soft cover. A carefully researched biography of the man described as Japan’s “architect” of WWII’s war in the Pacific.

Humble in Victory by RADM Peter Booth, USN (Ret.), 460 pages, a novel, $15.00 for one; $10 for five or more, CRB Publications, 615 Bayshore Dr., #408, Pensacola, FL 32507-3565 or email or (850) 4562400.This is the insightful story of”gender-equal” crew and pilots on a nine month deployment involving the Navy in Indian Ocean combat, circa 20 10. USS Ronald Reagan is the centerpiece for the action involving Mid-East countries coveting Caspian Sea oil riches and a China/LJ.S. strategy to protect the precious oil fields. The renowned Red Ripper squadron is key in a plot which includes nefarious politicians, a lady president of the US., the CO of China’s top stealth fighter squadron and an underground Pentagon command center where sharp thinking Naval officers develop plans for resolving the crisis. As would be expected, the heroism in the cockpits and on the deckplates carries the day and reflects the sacrifice, patriotism, courage and honor inherent in Naval Aviation.

Copyright Association of Naval Aviation Winter 2001

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