Fighting Seventeen: A Photographic History of VF-17 in World War II

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9780764336645: Fighting Seventeen: A Photographic History of VF-17 in World War II
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This is the true story in photographs, of the famous U.S. Navy Fighter Squadron Seventeen.
Flying the new Chance Vought F4U Corsair they broke combat records in the Pacific and
were instrumental in proving this powerful new fighter to the Navy in World War II.
Amongst Fighting 17's heroic exploits were shooting down 152 Japanese aircraft in aerial
combat in only 76 days, no bomber escorted by them was lost to enemy air action, no ship for
which they provided cover was hit by enemy bombs or aerial torpedoes, and they never failed
to complete an assignment.
Tom Blackburn always stressed teamwork and led the squadron to a Navy Unit
Commendation and made the "Skull and Crossbones Squadron" one of the most successful
squadron's in the annals of air warfare.
Fighting 17 flew more combat hours and sorties than any other fighter squadron in the Pacific
up to that time. The squadron had thirteen aces with "Ike" Kepford the leading Navy ace at
that time. One of the outstanding contributions made by Fighting 17 was providing proof,
under battle conditions, of the suitability of the F4U for carrier operations and were first into
combat flying off a carrier with the Corsair.
Lee Cook, author of "The Skull and Crossbones Squadron - VF-17 in World War II"
(Schiffer), and leading authority on Tom Blackburn's Fighting 17; after years of original
research, has brought to life in this book considerable new information and also more than
850 photographs covering the squadron's history many of which have not previously
appeared in published works.

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From the Author:

Received my book yesterday and all I can say is WOW!!!!!!!! I'm absolutely blown away by it. Fantastic! And to see that CASU 12 got their own little part of it is just too much. Thank you so much for including those pictures. It is a beautiful book and you should be very, very proud of it. If we ever happen to cross paths, beers are on me my friend!

Again, thank you so much for doing what you do for these guys. For those of us that cannot ask our family member what they did in the war, books like yours are an absolute treasure and I cannot thank you enough for that.

Greg Pruis, grandson of VF-17 veteran, Thomas Carpenter, USA.

About the Author:

Although Lee Cook is English. He is the foremost authority on the illustrious United States Navy Corsair fighter unit, VF-17 "the Skull and Crossbones Squadron."
Initial contact with Skipper, Lieutenant Commander Tom Blackburn in 1993, led Lee to an unending journey of discovery about the squadron's record breaking achievements in the Solomon Islands in World War II. Although Tom Blackburn died prior to the next reunion, the seed was planted, and Lee was invited to the VF-17 reunion at Oshkosh in 1994. There he met the surviving members of "Fighting 17." It was at this reunion that Lee was challenged to write a book about the squadron's phenomenal success in the Pacific Area of operations where they excelled in shooting down the much vaunted Japanese Zero.
In the subsequent five years despite working full time, and in addition to being a Professional Boxing Referee, Lee dedicated himself and meticulously researched primarily by letter, tape and phone, along with further trips to reunions in the United States. All this without the benefit of the internet.
The challenge to write the book was finally met in 1998 with the publication of the definitive history of the escadrille, "The Skull and Crossbones Squadron-VF-17 in World War II."
Lee's research has continued over many years and his perseverance has been rewarded with two further books, "Fighting 17 a Photographic History of VF-17 in World War II" and "The Aces of Fighting 17-VF-17's Top Guns in World War II," both published 2011.
Lee has also written articles and lectured on Fighting 17 and his writing and research on this record breaking and exceptional squadron is now in its twenty first year and still continues.
He lives with his partner Michele in Cambridgeshire, England.

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