Flyboys: A True Story of Courage

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9780316107280: Flyboys: A True Story of Courage

James Bradley's #1 bestseller Flags of Our Fathers made real the humanity and legacy of war as few books had before. Now, in Flyboys, Bradley returns to World War II and an extraordinary-and totally unknown-true story of courage.Over the remote Pacific island of Chichi Jima, nine American flyers-Navy and Marine pilots sent to bomb Japanese communications towers there-were shot down. One of those nine was miraculously rescued by a U.S. Navy submarine. The others were captured by Japanese soldiers on Chichi Jima and held prisoner.Then they disappeared.When the war was over, the American government, along with the Japanese, covered up everything that had happened on Chichi Jima. The records of a top-secret military tribunal were sealed, the lives of the eight Flyboys were erased, and the parents, brothers, sisters, and sweethearts they left behind were left to wonder.Flyboys reveals for the first time ever the extraordinary story of those men. Bradley's quest for the truth took him from dusty attics in American small towns, to untapped government archives containing classified documents, to the heart of Japan, and finally to Chichi Jima itself. What he discovered was a mystery that dated back far before World War II-back 150 years, to America's westward expansion and Japan's first confrontation with the western world.Bradley brings into vivid focus these brave young men who went to war for their country, and through their lives he also tells the larger story of two nations in a hellish war. With no easy moralizing, Bradley presents history in all its savage complexity, including the Japanese warrior mentality that fostered inhuman brutality and the U.S. military strategy that justified attacks on millions of civilians. And, after almost sixty years of mystery, Bradley finally reveals the fate of the eight American Flyboys, all of whom would ultimately face a moment and a decision that few of us can even imagine.Flyboys is a story of war and horror but also of friendship and honor. It is about how we die, and how we live-including the tale of the Flyboy who escaped capture, a young Navy pilot named George H. W. Bush who would one day become president of the United States. A masterpiece of historical narrative, Flyboys will change forever our understanding of the Pacific war and the very things we fight for.

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Product Description:

The classic New York Times bestselling story of heroism and sacrifice--by the author of Flags of Our Fathers, The Imperial Cruise, and The China Mirage.

This acclaimed bestseller brilliantly illuminates a hidden piece of World War II history as it tells the harrowing true story of nine American airmen shot down in the Pacific. One of them, George H. W. Bush, was miraculously rescued. What happened to the other eight remained a secret for almost 60 years.

After the war, the American and Japanese governments conspired to cover up the shocking truth, and not even the families of the airmen were informed of what happened to their sons. Their fate remained a mystery--until now.

FLYBOYS is a tale of courage and daring, of war and death, of men and hope. It will make you proud and it will break your heart.

About the Author:

James Bradley is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Flags of Our Fathers and the son of one of the men who raised the American flag on Iwo Jima. The story of the events on Chichi Jima was first brought to his attention after the publication of that book and involved several years of research, travel, and writing-including a return trip to Chichi Jima with President George H. W. Bush. This is Bradley's second book. He lives in New York.

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