Sunday, December 7, 1941, dawned clear and bright over the Pacific....
But for the Dauntless dive-bomber crews of the USS Enterprise returning to their home base on Oahu, it was a morning from hell. Flying directly into the Japanese ambush at Pearl Harbor, they lost a third of their squadron and witnessed the heart of America's Navy broken and smoldering on the oil-slicked waters below.
The next six months, from Pearl Harbor to the Battle of Midway - a dark time during which the Japanese scored victory after victory - this small band of aviators saw almost constant deployment, intense carrier combat, and fearsome casualties. Many were killed by enemy Zero fighters, antiaircraft fire, or deadly crash landings in the Pacific, while others were captured and spent years in POW camps. Yet the Enterprise's Dauntless crews would be the first to strike an offensive blow against Japanese installations in the Marshall Islands, would be the first to sink a Japanese warship, and would shepherd the Doolittle Raiders' bombing of Tokyo.
Not until Midway, though, would Dauntless crews get the chance to settle the score. In June 1942, Japan mobilized the best of its Navy to draw out the smaller American carrier fleet for a final showdown designed to destroy the U.S. Navy once and for all. What they didn't anticipate was the gutsy dive-bombing pilots and gunners whose courage and skill would change the course of World War II.
Drawing on dozens of new interviews and oral histories, author Stephen L. Moore brings to life inspiring stories of individual sacrifice and bravery - and the sweeping saga of one of America's greatest triumphs.
"Deeply researched and well-written, Pacific Payback is by far the most detailed account of U.S.S. Enterprise's dive-bombers, and their decisive role at the Battle of Midway." (Jonathan Parshall, co-author of Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway)
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Enter the cockpit and ride with the aviators!
A well researched account of the aviators who became the tip of the spear for the revenge of Pearl Harbor. This book takes you along each piloted mission following the surprise Japanese attack to the Battle of Midway. Want to know every detail and conversation these aviators experienced? It's all here!
WWII buffs will appreciate, but not a good listen
Depends on topic but probably not. I found that the author seemed to repeat passages or overuse an adjective several times in a short span and this detracted from the performance.
Historical, so no surprises. Drove the point home as to what a task the allies had ahead of them.
No. I found the narrator ill-matched to the substance of the book, however. The voice is pleasant but lacked the emotion that went along with the adrenaline and terror of battle. Very matter-of-fact. I might suggest reading this book versus listening.
Already done. Midway - 1975
The book contained a number of very interesting accounts of the 1942 Pacific battles. It outlined how ill-prepared the US was from the perspective of the Navy and the pilots.
- David Bacon