The P-38 was used on virtually every front to which the USAAF were committed, but enjoyed its greatest successes in the Pacific and China-Burma-India (CBI) theatres. The speed, range and firepower of the P-38 made it the favourite of nearly all aircrew fighting in the Solomons, New Guinea and the Philippines, and over 1800 Japanese aircraft fell to its guns. From the first encounters at the end of 1942 until the Lightning scored the final Fifth Air force victories in August 1945, these pilots made the Pacific skies very much their own battleground.
Americans are fascinated by the undeniable mystique of the elite world of Navy fighter pilots. In Bogeys and Bandits, Robert Gandt takes readers on a thrilling ride in the FA-18 Hornet, one of the fastest, sleekest, and deadliest aircraft in the world. Gandt lived and worked with several pilots learning to fly the Hornet: the identical twins from Middle America; the computer nerd with a penchant for speed; the grandson of a Tuskegee Airman, trying to live up to a proud legacy; and two women dealing with the post-Tailhook world of the Navy. Gandt weaves superb technological details of the Hornet and an insider's look at the highly demanding training program with portraits of the day-to-day lives of these very real people aspiring to fulfill a dream. Bogeys and Bandits will hold readers breathless as they soar through the skies in the cockpit of the fastest and deadliest fighter plane in the world.
It was early one morning in October 1983 in Beirut, Lebanon. Terrorists drove a truck loaded with 12,000 pounds of explosives into the atrium of a building housing the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit. The explosives were detonated, razing the four-story steel and concrete building, killing 241 Americans, and injuring many more. Shortly thereafter, the U.S. pulled its forces out of Beruit. Within months of the attack, author Eric Hammel was granted an historic opportunity to interview survivors of the bombing and those who came to their rescue. This book is their story and captures the Marines' mission in Lebanon, including largely unreported battles fought in and around Beirut. Using recollections from the nearly 200 people interviewed, the book recounts in vivid detail the terrorist attack on unit headquarters, and how the survivors came out alive.
No one in Vietnam had to tell door gunner and gunship crew chief Al Sever that the odds didn’t look good. He volunteered for the job well aware that hanging out of slow-moving choppers over hot LZs blazing with enemy fire was not conducive to a long life. But that wasn’t going to stop Specialist Sever.
From Da Nang to Cu Chi and the Mekong Delta, Sever spent thirty-one months in Vietnam, fighting in eleven of the war’s sixteen campaigns. Every morning when his gunship lifted off, often to the clacking and muzzle flashes of AK-47s hidden in the dawn fog, Sever knew he might not return. This raw, gritty, gut-wrenching firsthand account of American boys fighting and dying in Vietnam captures all the hell, horror, and heroism of that tragic war.
The 2d Ranger Infantry Company (Airborne) was the first and only all-black Ranger unit in the history of the United States Army. Its ten-month lifespan included selection, training, and seven months of combat deployment in Korea, after which the unit was deactivated. Edward Posey’s magnificent new study, now available in paperback, is the first complete history of this elite, all-volunteer unit, whose members were drawn from the 3rd Battalion of the 505th Airborne Infantry Regiment and the 80th Airborne Anti-Aircraft Battalion.
After experiencing the normal travails of boot camp at Fort Benning, which segregation and racism only made worse, the all-black Rangers set out to join the Korean War in late 1950. On January 7, 1951, the Rangers found themselves defending a critical railroad running through Tanyang Pass, which Communist guerillas tried to infiltrate. The nighttime action triggered the Rangers’ inaugural combat, which ended with the recommendation for a Bronze Star for gallantry for a Ranger sergeant. Additional combats with the North Korean and Communist Chinese forces erupted near Majori-ri and Chechon.
Continue reading “The US Army’s First, Last, and Only All-Black Rangers: The 2d Ranger Infantry Company (Airborne) in the Korean War, 1950-1951”