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Aircraft carrier Unknown Binding – 1957

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Product Details

  • Unknown Binding: 159 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; An Original edition (1957)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0007F72AO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,914,058 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Captain Fun on June 16, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is essentially the author's diary of his service on the Yorktown from February 4 through April 30, 1945. This period ended only four months prior to the surrender of the Empire of Japan on September 2, 1945. The Yorktown was part of a task group assigned to take the war to the shores of Japan.
This was a very dangerous time for the sailors on US warships as the Japanese had initiated kamikaze missions that proved to be extremely deadly.
I was drawn to this book by a recommendation from an acquaintance who served in the Navy in WWII. He quoted a small part from this passage in the book. After reading it, I was hooked. Here is nearly all of the passage: "In the afternoon,the gunnery department worked out on a sleeve towed by a TBM. My God, how I hate those 5 inch guns! If I had the choice of standing on the bridge of a battleship during a 16-inch broadside, or on a carrier's bridge while the five-inchers were firing, I'd take the 16-inchers every time. Their concussion (16-inchers) is tremendous but it builds up. It's like being hit by a slow truck wrapped in soft cushions. The five-inchers, damn them, hit you like a plank."..."when your're on flag bridge. There, when Number 2 mount trains abeam, the muzzles are only 25 feet away, and the blast jolts your teeth loose."
His straightforward capture of the daily life (and death) on the Yorktown was spellbinding for me. No one, other than those who were there, can truly tell a story like this was told....J Bryan III, does not disappoint.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Marcos Villela on April 2, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of the most thrilling moments in a life time: to be in a operational aircrft carrier during a real war. This book make us live those moments, sharing the fear, the boredom and the fun experienced by the author. Easy reading, and makes you prone to read it again! I really enjoyed it!
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Format: Hardcover
I bought the paperback version of this book in 1985 or so. The pages are old and crinkled now, after many re-readings.

I'm writing this in March 2015, 80 years after the events chronicled in the book happen. Hard to believe that a) so much time has passed, and b) when he joined the Navy as a Reserve officer, this was what the day was like for thousands of men in the largest fleet that ever went to sea.

I'm a Pacific War history nerd, and this is one of the few things that I've found that describes what it is like, on a daily basis, to live and fight on an aircraft carrier back then. It is the daily trudge of going to war, written by someone who had an observant eye. We forget what it took to do these things. Oral histories of these turning points in time are incredibly valuable.

He talks about the daily grind of General Quarters at all hours of the day. Of how the arrival of mail from a replenishment ship was basically a cause to call off the war for 8 hours or so. I remember one passage, where he gets depressed about the lack of colors that he can see. Everything is basically Navy gray, and he vows, when he gets home, to get a book that is nothing but color swatches.

The only reason I'm not giving it 5 stars is because early on in the book, he says that he was specifically directed to keep a diary, despite naval regulations against doing so, "for reasons that are no longer important." That one phrase has bugged me for upwards of 30 years - why? If not for that short stretch of words, I would unhesitatingly give it all 5 stars.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Christian Potholm on May 10, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It is January, 1945 and a young naval officer is assigned to Carrier Division Six in the Pacific. He would end up on the attack aircraft carrier USS Yorktown, and keep a diary for much of the remaining portion of World War II. During his stay, the Yorktown would refit and rearm in the great atoll harbor of Ulithi with its islands of Asor, Mog Mog, Falalp 400 miles southwest of Guam. Today, as seen from Google Earth it remains impressive, but what it would have looked like during the latter stages of the war with 100 ships anchored within its confidence must surely have been something to see from the air. From Ulithi, the Yorktown began to operate off Japan in support of the Okinawa landings.
The Yorktown was the epitome of the new paradigm for force projection, nestled in its protective shield of battleships, submarines, cruisers, destroyers and tankers, a huge armada bringing retribution far and wide. In fact, while Bryant was aboard, it would register its 21,000th air craft landing in March of 1945.
Bryant's account of life aboard a Pacific aircraft carrier is at once personal and yet explanatory in its detail - the harsh heat, the sudden call to battle stations, the Japanese bomb penetrating below decks, bouts with malaria. There is a large measure of the daily scuttlebutt so prevalent aboard ship, with many concomitant CIC's ("Christ I'm confused") moments. There are skunk (surface contacts) alerts and bogey (air contacts) alarms and wry humor: the chaplain explains that "Today is Palm Sunday. Last Sunday was bomb Sunday."
This is really not a work of grand strategy. Instead, it is a charming tale of young men in a serious war, or as Admiral William F. Halsey called it, "This yarn in diary form." Nevertheless, it resonates with power and insight, and casts in sharp relief life aboard the attack carrier battle group, which even today remains the enduring paradigm for force projection at see, then seen in its initial, muscle flexing stage.
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