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Pacific World War II Book Review  
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by Henry Sakaida
Phalanx  1993
94 pages
photos, maps
ISBN: 0962586072

Language: English

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Pacific Air Combat WWII
Voices From The Past

This book includes fourteen chapters of aviation stories and mysteries. Author Sakaida proves the truth about air combat in the Pacific is more interesting and vivid than any fiction writer could imagined. Each chapter is also lavishly illustrated with photographs, referencing maps and covers stories from New Guinea in 1942 to Japanese home defense in 1945.

The book goes beyond meticulous historical research. Each account is covered both historically and personally: exploring the lives of the pilots involved before and after the war. Many stories include incredible gestures of friendship and reconciliation on the parts of both Japanese and American pilots to meet each other, or pay respect to former enemies graves and families.

Each chapter details a different Pacific air combat including:

Chapter 1:
Toughest Fighter Pilot in the Imperial Navy: Details Zero pilot Kaneyosh Muto

Chapter 2: LBJ's Silver Star - The Mission That Never Was by Barrett Tillman and Henry Sakaida details future U.S. President L. B. Johnson's flight on B-26 Marauder that he earned the Silver Star.

Chapter 3: The Master Falcon

Chapter 4: A Country Boy From Niigata Prefecture

Chapter 5: Someone Remembered - 2nd Lt. Wellman Howard Huey pilot of P-38G Lightning shot down February 14, 1943 "Saint Valentines Day Massacre" and links his to a references about his capture as a Prisoner Of War (POW) from the memory of Japanese pilots who met him.

Chapter 6: Night Fighter Over Guadalcanal

Chapter 7: Ambush Over Amoy Harbor

Chapter 8: The Lord's Prayer

Chapter 9: Such A Handsome Young Man

Chapter 10: Mustangs Over Shanghai

Chapter 11: Compassion and Savagery

Chapter 12: Dragon Slayer

Chapter 13: The Man Who Did Not Shoot Down Pappy Boyington

Chapter 14: The Rescue of Ed Miles - details the rescue of P-51D "Mrs. Beak" 44-72561 pilot Ed Mikes who was rescued by USS Aspro SS-309.

Stories also include piecing together history, like the story of American P-38 pilot Wellman Huey by linking his loss to references about his capture as a POW from the memory of Japanese pilots.

Interview with author Henry Sakaida

Review by  Justin Taylan  

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Last Updated
September 21, 2023

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