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Above & Beyond Paperback – January 6, 2004

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: I Books (January 6, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743479823
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743479820
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,574,281 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By J. Omasta on August 10, 2000
Format: Hardcover
A gripping account of World War II history in the Pacific. Follow the trials a tribulations of a young Marine flying cadet and his compatriots as they battle the Japanese on Guadalcanal and the Solomon Islands. Returning to the United States for reorganization into a new squadron, VMF-452, they retrain in the new F4U Corsair for a new deployment aboard the USS Franklin, CV-13. Disaster strikes on the morning of March 19, 1945 just as the 2nd launch of the day starts. A lone Japanese dive bomber has loomed out of the low overcast and found it's mark. Within scant miles off the coast of Japan the carriers fully armed and fueled planes make for a deadly inferno as planes, bombs and rockets explode one after another. The entire hanger deck is also awash in flames and explosions. Within minutes the carrier seems doomed to destruction as 3/4 of the flight deck is aflame. However, the gallant crew somehow manages to get some control of the holocaust. Over 850 men loose their lives this day as "the ship that couldn't be sunk" fights for her life. The narrative is not only told by Lt.Col. Weiland but interspersed with events and humor from the other officers and enlisted personnel associated with each event. This truly adds to the rich and colorful reading experience about these events. If your interested in flying, combat, or World War II history you won't put this one down !
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Format: Hardcover
Col. Weiland has earned his CAVU days after a lifetime of service to his country as a Marine Corps Aviator. This relatively short memoir covers his youth in South Dakota; his decision to join the Corps before Pearl Harbor; and combat tours in "Cactus" (Guadalcanal) and subsequent assignment to form VMF-451 and take it into combat. That combat tour was shortened by the Japanese bomber attack of 19 March 1945 on the USS FRANKLIN.
Some background research has led me to learn that this memoir is an expansion of a shorter article that Eric Hamel of Pacifica Press (the publisher) encouraged Col. Weiland to write. I am very glad he did. Pat Weiland tells a wonderful story; top of the line writing; tinged with the poignancy of loss.
As these WW II era vets climb into their eighties; these personal stories become the more precious.
READ THIS BOOK!
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Format: Paperback
I admit my view of this book may reflect a positive bias: I'm a retired Navy Chief who has worked closely with the United States Marine Corps. I study karate and teach firearms classes with Melinda, the granddaughter of the author, LtCol Weiland. One day at the CAVU estate, Terry Weiland, son of the author, graciously gave me a copy of "Above and Beyond" to read. I set it aside for too long, finishing other books, but have savored every word since finally picking it back up. What an amazing piece of history! Fascinating facts, warmly told, inclusive of the real life actions and emotions of the people involved, personal details... simply a riveting book. The camaraderie, courage, and sacrifices described are absolutely inspiring. Every American owes a debt of honor to the brave and dedicated souls who served so well in the momentous years of the Second World War. Terry, thank you for such a wonderful gift. And LtCol Weiland, or perhaps I should say, "Sir Patrick" (he was, after all, knighted), I salute you from this world to the great afterlife. May you and yours always find "ceiling and visibility unlimited."
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Sorry to disagree with the previous reviewers, but I found this book somewhat difficult to get into. Col. Weiland served his country with honor, and I admire and salute him for that. Unfortunately that doesn't make him a great storyteller. Too often he starts something without giving it any kind of payoff. ("So-and-so was a real character. The next day I received orders to... ") It's almost like a non-sequitor. And then--after spending one hundred pages on stateside training--VMF-451 sees only one day of action before the USS Franklin is blown out from under them. The Franklin account is the best part of the book by far with many inspirational stories of great heroism. There's actually very little aerial combat after the initial action at Guadalcanal. I also felt the F4U Corsair got short-changed. It would have been nice to go through a typical sortie from start-up to shut-down with the author. If you're a flying nut like I am, you might just want to pass on this one. But, if you'd like an overview on one man's experiences in Marine aviation during WWII, by all means check it out.
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