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Pappy Gunn Paperback – June 14, 2004

7 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 492 pages
  • Publisher: AuthorHouse; First Edition edition (June 14, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 141843776X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1418437763
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,335,524 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Samuel E. McGowan Jr. on July 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
If there is a single outstanding American hero of World War II (and perhaps in all of American history) it is Colonel Paul Irvin "Pappy" Gunn.A former US enlisted naval aviator, Gunn had retired from the Navy and was living in the Philippines with his wife and four children when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and invaded the Philippines. As the owner of a small air taxi operation, Gunn and his airplanes were impressed into the United States Army Air Corps immediately after the outbreak of war. On Christmas Eve, 1941 Gunn was ordered to fly a load of Far East Air Force staff officers to Australia and to stay there awaiting further orders. His family - including the author - remained in Manila and were interned by the Japanese for the duration, leading Gunn to fight his own private war. And fight he did! Historian and author Walter Edmond stated that no other single invidual did as much to defeat the Japanese as did Gunn, who is best known for his conversion of the Douglas A-20 and North American B-25 into powerful gunships that did a number on a Japanese convoy in the Battle of the Bismarck Sea. But he did a lot more, especially in those dark days of early 1942. It's not widely known, but Gunn flew several missions from Australia to Bataan by way of Mindanao in his role as the commander of the newly organized Air Transport Command. During the Java Campaign he took a war-weary B-17 that had been turned over to his transport squadron and used it to attack Japanese ships in the Java Sea. In March 1942 he literally stole two dozen B-25s from the Netherlands East Indies Air Force, then flew one of ten on the Royce Raid into the Philippines a few weeks later.Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Val T. Howard on June 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After having read numerous books on the 5th Air Force operations in the Southwest Pacific (SWP) theatre during WWII, that made constant reference to Pappy Gunn and his contribution to the success of the operations, it was great to finally obtain an in depth look at the man. The book provides a wealth of information on the ability of Pappy Gunn to get what was needed to accomplish his goals of not only modifying B-25s and A-20s into strafers and capable of longer range, but to show that his dedication to his captive family was his motivation. This is not just a war story, but an in depth story of a very significant character in the overall picture of the war in the SWP.

The shortfall in this book is the poor reproduction of the photos and the letters. The letters were especially hard to read and as a result, significant information that could have added depth to the story was lost.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By knb53 on August 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a singularly unique book that tells a true life, historical account of one of the greatest heros of "The Great War." With stunning photographs, and with every fact offered supported by actual photocopies of historical documents proving each assertion, and written with skill and heart as only his son Nathaniel Gunn could, this is a "must read" for anyone interested in the "Greatest Generation," in WWII lore, etc. In our current existential angst about what constitutes a righteous and reasonable occasion for war, this is a book that will make the most liberal anti-war wonk thank his/her lucky stars that in a time long past there were those who had the courage to stand up and fight for all that we have come to hold so dear. You won't be able to put this book down, I promise you! So put on a pot of coffee, curl up in your most comfortable easy chair, and be prepared to bear witness to one of the most incredible true stories of courage, love, and patriotism that you will ever read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great human interest story... actually there are two stories in one. The story of Pappy Gunn and his incredible life history in the military... from spending his early career in the US Navy and then retiring... to being drawn into another career in the Army Air Force during the early stages of WWII.
The other story is of his family who were taken prisoners in Manila by the Japanese Army during the early days of WWII. Pappy Gunn was a man who should have gotten a Medal Of Honor for his duty towards ending the war... but being that his family were being held prisoner in enemy hands... the War Department was able to keep his identity a secret, fearing that if the news of Pappy Gunn was released... and what he was doing... would have put his family in jeopardy... and Pappy made sure that the Government kept it's word on keeping it that way too!
A very good book... written by Pappy's son Nataniel, who gives the reader, first hand knowledge of Pappy's heroic deeds... and what Nathaniel, his mother and his brothers and sisters did while being held prisoners by the Japanese... until the end of the war!
This story should be shared with the world... and would make a great movie... of a man who did what he could to end the war... and to keep his family safe by keeping everything he did a secret...
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