The Threadbare Buzzard: A Marine Fighter Pilot in WWII

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9780760320556: The Threadbare Buzzard: A Marine Fighter Pilot in WWII
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In this hilarious and heartbreaking story, the author - the so-called "Threadbare Buzzard" among what he saw as the preening fliers of WWII - tells the stories of dogfights and fighter planes used by the Marine Corps in the Pacific. Before the United States entered World War II, Tomlinson joined the Royal Canadian Air Force to get into action and flying. Following Pearl Harbor, he and most of the other Americans serving in the RCAF were "repatriated" into the U.S. military, most into the Army Air Corps. Tomlinson was one of the few who chose the Marine Corps and after training, he was off to the Southwest Pacific and Guadalcanal with VMF-214, the squadron that became the Black Sheep. Late in the war, while flying off a carrier during raids against Japan, Tomlinson's four-plane division was assigned to be a high-altitude radio relay for the attacking forces. During this mission they encountered the jet stream, at that time a little-known phenomena, especially among fighter pilots accustomed to lower, less hostile altitudes. Hours later, lost, out of radio range, and out of fuel, they ditched in the northwest Pacific. Three of the four were rescued by the Sea Devil (SS 400). Tomlinson ended up in the naval hospital at Pearl Harbor for the closing months of the war. Filled with details about flying the Corsair.

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He tells it like it was in a funny way but also gets to the real way it was. The Soloman islands brought back many memories a lot of which had faded with time. As a Naval Aviator I felt he was not always fair in his treatment of the navy. I really enjoyed this book and feel any WWll veteran would like it also.

Review:

This book came as a marvelous surprise. It is without a doubt one of the best WWII aviation books I have ever read. Tomlinson has a touch for writing. --Military, January 2006

Wonderful storytelling. The understated humor is captivating. The author speaks his mind, no attempts in grandstanding, just the way it is. --By Dimitar Bojantchev

This book is incredibly moving and funny, with the author's over-the-top, self-deprecating style making for a great contrast to the life-and-death reality of being a Marine pilot in World War II. My uncle was a pilot during World War II and flew a Corsair, so I always wondered what it was like for him to fight in the South Pacific. This book not only describes in great detail the mechanical/machinery side of what it was like to fly these planes, it's also a commentary on the the so-called noble "Eagle" aspect of American fighting forces. That's why the author calls himself the "Threadbare Buzzard" instead of a more decorated and valiant bird. Several times it was laugh-out-loud funny, and it made me see the war in a whole new way. --By T.S. Fischer

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Tomlinson, Thomas
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ISBN 10: 0760320551 ISBN 13: 9780760320556
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Book Description Zenith Press, Osceola, Wisconsin, U.S.A., 2004. Hard Cover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition. 304 pages, b&w photos. Joining the RCAF, our Threadbare Buzzard improved flying skills at a number of Canadian air force training schools. Following Pearl Harbor, he and most of the other Americans serving in Canada were repatriated into the U S. military. Most joined the U.S. Army Air Corps. Tomlinson was one of the few who chose the Marine Corps. Following naval aviator training in Pensacola he was off to the Southwest Pacific and Guadalcanal to join Marine Fighting Squadron (YMF) 214. Known as the Swashbucklers during their first two combat tours, the squadron was hijacked by an ambitious officer named Gregory Boyington while standing down following the end of its second combat tour. YMF-214 became the Black Sheep and the Swashbucklers were broken up and assigned to other squadrons. Later in the war, while flying off the USS Essex, Tomlinson's four-plane division was assigned as a high-altitude radio relay for navy aircraft searching for the Japanese super battleship Yamat. During this mission Tomlinson encountered the jet stream, at that time a little-known phenomena, especially among fighter pilots accustomed to lower, less hostile altitudes. Hours later, lost, out of radio range, and out of fuel, the division ditched in the northwest Pacific. Three of the four Flying Leathernecks were rescued by the Devil (SS 400). Seller Inventory # 325662

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