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by James Bradley
Little Brown & Company 2004
Audio CD Version [Abridged]
Cover Price: $25.95
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A True Story of Courage
Over the years I have read many books related to WWII, but this
book certainly ranks as one of the best. The primary focus of this writing
is a comprehensive recount of the fate of the aviators who were captured
and perished at the hands of the enemy on the Japanese held island of
Chichi Jima. The stories were compiled through extensive research of
governmental records combined with personal accounts of those who were
there, those who flew the missions (including former President George
Bush) and family members of those who never returned.
Though I would recommend most of the
books I have read, I consider very few of them to be a must read. This
book, however, IS one that falls into that very narrow category. Bradley's
thorough, fair minded and objective presentation makes it so. I
look forward to future books from this author.
The second book from James Bradley, co-author of Flags of Our Fathers, this new book deals with aviators of the Pacific War. The main focus of the book revolves around three topics: the backdrop of why the Pacific war was so brutal and cruel, the emergence of the 'Flyboys' as the most important force in the war, and the history of a small, largely unknown island called Chichi Jima.
Backdrop of Brutality
Their missions were dangerous, from the hazards of carrier flying, not to mention the enemy. America flyboys became the front line that arguably the entire war revolved around, from early strikes like the Dolittle Raid, to the eventual delivery of the Atomic bombs, were accomplished with aviators, not battleships or foot soldiers. For the Japanese, flyboys were hated, and when captured brutality and violence against them were assured.
Bradley interviews and researches a multitude of pilots, from some of the most famous, like Jimmy Dollittle, Lt(jg) George H. W. Bush, as well as numerous ordinary pilot, gunners and crewmen. Each of their stories will be linked to one location, a small island named Chi Chi Jima.
Chi Chi Jima
For readers, this story is a reminder
of the horrible truths of war, and the power of a good historian to
make the past come alive. As Bradley concludes, the reader is left to
ponder, if George Bush, (also shot down off Chi Chi Jima, but rescued)
went on to become US president, what could these other eight men who
perished as POWs have become?
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