Tom Blackburn was the charismatic flying ace who led the World War II Navy Fighting Squadron VF-17, known as the Jolly Rogers. Now, using his vast insider's knowledge, he tells their unbelievable true story. Avid military history fans will love this account of their remarkable, daring missions. Reissue.
Blackburn is not self-effacing about his World War II service, referring to ``my fantastically successful tour'' as pilot and commanding officer. Retired Admiral James Stockdale's introduction and the text itself leave no doubt that modesty in this case would be practically impossible. Blackburn was an exceptionally talented, resourceful, inspiring leader who imparted to his men a fierce warrior ethic. Equipped with F4U Corsair fighter planes, his squadron downed at least 154 Japanese planes during the 76 days they were in combat in the South Pacific. Thirteen of the ``Jolly Rogers,'' including the author, became air aces. The book is a seemingly complete history of the squadron from its commissioning in January 1943 to its disbandment in April 1944, and what makes it especially noteworthy is the author's straight-forward description of the methods he used organizing, training, leading his pilots in combat, and developing air tactics. Clearly Blackburn knew what he wanted and how to obtain results. Photos. (Mar.)
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Pacifica Military History
January 01, 2010
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