Hellcats: A Novel of War in the Pacific

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9781574880939: Hellcats: A Novel of War in the Pacific
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Best-selling novelist Barrett Tillman's intimate knowledge of naval aviation and World War II history again are showcased in this long-awaited sequel to his acclaimed Dauntless. But now the year is 1944, and American naval supremacy - so dearly won at Midway and Guadalcanal two years before - has carried the war to Japan's doorstep. Ahead are epic battles in the skies over Truk Atoll, the Philippine Sea, and Okinawa. A new generation of ships and aircraft have replaced those so brilliantly chronicled in Dauntless. In the vanguard is the Grumman F6F Hellcat.
Produced in vast numbers, flown and maintained by young Americans who three years previously had no knowledge of naval or air warfare, Hellcats shot down more Japanese planes and produced more aces than any other fighter in the U.S. arsenal. In Hellcats, Barrett Tillman provides rich details of the naval warfare of 1944-45. The equipment, the procedures, the tactics - all are described in the context of a soaring, fast-paced story that preserves an important part of our military history that is already fading from memory.
Yet this finely crafted novel examines more than the campaigns and weapons of the Pacific war. Perhaps better than anyone writing today, Barrett Tillman knows the men who half a century ago launched from pitching carrier decks, who directed naval air battles through the new science of radar, and who fought for survival against a fanatical foe. Drawing upon a well-defined cast of characters from Dauntless, he follows the wartime fortunes of Lt. Cdr. Phil Rogers, blooded at Midway, tempered at Gaudalcanal, and now an accomplished naval aviator. Rogers's flight-school classmates, even the enemy fliers who face them in battle, are drawn as mature individuals in extraordinary circumstances - products of a time and a world now gone forever.

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