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by William H. Bartsch
Texas A&M Press  2010
506 pages
Index, photographs, maps, appendix, index
ISBN: 9781603441766

Language: English

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Every Day A Nightmare
American Pursuit Pilots in the Defense of Java, 1941-1942

Every Day A Nightmare is the definative history of U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) pursuit (fighter) aircraft and the stories of their pilots that were thrown into combat in the Java campaign in early 1942 with little experience after a rapid mobilization from Australia. The book is dedicated to George Weller and begins with a moving forward written by his son, Anthony Weller author of Weller's War. The cover artwork "Singosari Savior" by Paul Eckley depicting a P-40E Warhawk Tail 22 from the 17th Provisional Group flying low over a parked B-17E Flying Fortress at Singosari Airfield on Java.

Chapter 1. Never in our history has there been a time like the present
Chapter 2. Plans for reaching you quickly with pursuit are jeopardized
Chapter 3. We are virtually a floating ammunition dump
Chapter 4. We came 4,700 miles and are pigeon-holed!
Chapter 5. The news from Wavell is all bad
Chapter 6. There goes our ferry route"
Chapter 7. Second lieutenants are expendable
Chapter 8. You are not forgotten men
Chapter 9. A collection of the worst landings I have ever seen
Chapter 10. I'm all shot to hell!
Chapter 11. These guys are really inexperienced
Chapter 12. Someone is crazy! This is murder!
Chapter 13. I deeply regret failure to hold ABDA Area
Chapter 14. I was thoroughly enjoying myself
Chapter 15. Nothing will ever happen to me
Chapter 16. He was wholly unrecognizable
Chapter 17. How can we operate against such odds?
Chapter 18. Every day a nightmare!
Chapter 19. Nothing less than desertion
Chapter 20. Thousands of men gone completely mad
Chapter 21. Senseless in all senses
Chapter 22. Give us 24 hours to get out of this God-damned place!
Table 1. Pilots of 21st Pursuit Squadron
Table 2. Pilots of 34th Pursuit Squadron
Table 3. Pilots of 35th Pursuit Group
Table 4. Pilots of 14th, 20th and 51st Pursuit groups
Table 5. Philippines Pursuit pilots sent to Australia
Table 6. Pilots and aircraft of 17th Pursuit Squadron (Provisional)
Table 7. Pilots of 20th Pursuit Squadron (Provisional)
Table 8. Pilots and aircraft of 3rd Pursuit Squadron (Provisional)
Table 9. Pilots and aircraft of 33rd Pursuit Squadron (Provisional)
Table 10. Pilots of 13th Pursuit Squadron (Provisional)
Table 11. Enlisted men of 17th Pursuit Squadron (Provisional)
Table 12. Enlisted men of 20th Pursuit Squadron (Provisional)
Table 13. Enlisted men of the 3rd Pursuit Squadron (Provisional)
Table 14. Personnel embarked on USS Langley
Table 15. Japanese aircraft shot down or badly damaged

Other Reviews

Read The Year In Defense review of Every Day A Nightmare.

Review by Justin Taylan  

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Last Updated
September 21, 2023

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