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Jungle Ace: Col. Gerald R. Johnson, the USAAF's Great Fighter Leaders (Warriors) Mass Market Paperback – November 1, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Compelling . . . Johnson is bound to return to his rightful place of recognition in the top tier of American fighter aces and World War II combat leaders."


“In Jungle Ace, John Bruning tells the long overdue story of Col. Gerald Johnson, one of the Pacific’s top aces and one of the war’s top air commanders. Bruning has a gift for painting high-speed aerial action in swift, accurate strokes that put the reader in the cockpit. Jungle Ace is an action-packed story, filled with the screaming high tension of conflict and the poignant agony of a comrade’s sudden death. This gripping account makes you realize how tough a war it was, and Johnson's letters home are a vivid reminder that ordinary men rose to extraordinary heights to survive it.”


“In Jungle Ace, John Bruning tells the long overdue story of Col. Gerald Johnson, one of the Pacific’s top aces and one of the war’s top air commanders. Bruning has a gift for painting high-speed aerial action in swift, accurate strokes that put the reader in the cockpit. Jungle Ace is an action-packed story, filled with the screaming high tension of conflict and the poignant agony of a comrade’s sudden death. This gripping account makes you realize how tough a war it was, and Johnson's letters home are a vivid reminder that ordinary men rose to extraordinary heights to survive it.”
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

Contains dozens of previously unpublished photographs and compelling details about major aerial combat actions
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 330 pages
  • Publisher: Potomac Books (November 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1574886940
  • ISBN-13: 978-1574886948
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #712,042 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 16, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book. Having been a fan of Johnson for several years, I was extremely excited to pick up this book. It is very well written and a very easy read. Bruning has done his homework and touched on both the man and the warrior. I look forward to future works from Mr. Bruning.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Karen A. Nichols on November 29, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book totally. This is a very personal account of Col. Johnson's career and life. This is not just a history of the missions or battles in which he fought but a chance to really know the man and to understand what it was like to be a fighter pilot in the Pacific. The photos were not just "stock" photos but photos from his personal album. It is clear that an immense amount of research went into this book. This is not a rehash of already known history but a new and fresh look at Colonel Johnson, the man. I highly recommend this title.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Ian C. Anderson on March 2, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
John's latest, "Jungle Ace," ranks without a doubt as one of the best biographies that I have ever read. John spent several years painstakingly researching for this book, and it shows in the incredible level of detail contained in these pages. Without boring us with this detail, the book highlights John's ability to tell a story with just the right word selection to paint a vivid, movie-like picture in the reader's mind. "Jungle Ace" follows the life of P-38 fighter ace Jerry Johnson from schoolboy to aviation candidate to grisly combat conditions, all in amazing clarity that will immerse you into the story, as if you were standing side by side with Johnson himself. As tense and taughtly written as a best-selling fiction novel, author Bruning has created a story that even non-aviation history buffs will enjoy thoroughly...
For those readers looking to see just how demanding, unforgiving and gruesome air combat in the steaming jungles of the South Pacific islands could be, this is the book for you. "Jungle Ace" is a rich, vivid and thoroughly honest chronicle of a young Oregon man who helped save the world. A rewarding read that goes beyond the military history genre.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Duane A. Kuhlmann on September 25, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Col Johnson was probably the best pilot of WWII. He was a P-38 pilot in the South Pacific and became a full Colonel and had 24 victories by the time he was 24 years old. It is a compelling true story with a tragic ending. I am very pleased this book was written because so few people have ever heard of this great leader,
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Michael T. Terry on July 11, 2003
Format: Hardcover
What Bruning has done in "Jungle Ace" is remarkable: he manages figuratively to bring to full flesh-and-blood life a man who has been dead for nearly 60 years. When I finished reading this biography, I felt I knew and understood Gerry Johnson: felt the weight of the command burden he carried, the exhilaration of victory in combat, the self-doubt when losses occurred, the grinding boredom of life in the SWPA, and the never-ending homesickness. I also got a sense of what he would be like in different situations: as a friend, as a commander, as a classmate.
This is exceedingly hard to do, but Bruning has done it: he somehow got long-ago memories jumpstarted, got people talking. While I accept that some of the quoted conversations probably did not take place word for word as presented, I feel the approach helps the book make the man more real. Charles Martin, in his bio of Tom McGuire, did the same thing, and it worked for both authors.
Thanks, Mr. Bruning for bringing a too-little known hero to light. You can be sure that my children will read about Gerry Johnson. When will you write another aviation biography? How about Charles H. MacDonald of the 475th FG?
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 23, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Just finished reading this book a few days ago, and I've got to say that it's one of the best WWII non-fiction books I've ever read. Not only is it easy to read and exciting, but Mr. Bruning skillfully covers some of the more technical aspects of Johnson's air combat battles.
Good for hard-core WWII air combat nuts (like me!) as well as the average reader. Anyone with any interest in combat aircraft, WWII, or great reading material in general will love this book!
-Scott Rudi
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Eggnog on February 16, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the book very much. It was well researched in most areas, but in a few places it appears that a certain amount of distracting, and unnecessary literary license was used. Two examples come immediately to mind. Crewmen bailing out Jerry's doomed B-25 during a typhoon, with no indication of how those who bailed out survived ground contact upon landing with winds meeting the minimal thresold of about 75 mph. 75 mph equates to just over 100 feet per second. It is difficultr to understand how anyone could have survived a parachute landing in those conditions. The same for Jerry's brother flying in the typhoon looking for Jerry. The L-4's (Piper Cub) extremely light wing loading would have made taxiing on the ground impossible in such fierce winds. Please, authors and researchers, think these things through, have the material proof read by qualified persons before publishing.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Alan Johnson on February 19, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
My uncle is the Stanley Johnson briefly referenced in this book, who went MIA in Nov '43 while flying as Maj Bong's wingman. Somehow I feel he would have been honored to read this book. I wish my grandparents (his folks) could have read it too. It helps me to better understand what his final months were like, and what he and the others there accomplished. Thank you, Mr Bruning.
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