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Danger's Hour: The Story of the USS Bunker Hill and the Kamikaze Pilot Who Crippled Her Hardcover – November 11, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
Sailors, aviators and historians: stand by to be repelled.
Mr. Kennedy knows almost nothing of his core subject: naval aviation. There are literally scores of errors that would have been avoided by competent fact checkers. For instance, we are told that Admiral Marc Mitscher learned to fly "soon after graduating from Annapolis" and became Naval Aviator Number 17. Actually, he was No. 33 six years after graduating. That information is readily available in a casual Internet search.
Basic chronology of the Pacific War is too often muffed, with overlapping accounts of events 1942-43 and again in 1944-45. The Guadalcanal campaign is especially convoluted.
Kennedy's attempts at describing aviation matters inevitably fail. He has bombs attached to Corsairs' landing gear (!) and his description of the Mitsubishi Zero defies explanation. His effort to explain aerodynamics becomes unfathomable.
Nor is he better with nautical subjects. Throughout, the book refers to a ship's "tunnels" (presumably passageways), "ceilings", and "hanger decks." The naval term "head" is properly used once amid "bathrooms," "restrooms," and "lavatories."
Historical facts take repeated hits. Allegedly Vice Admiral Ozawa took four carriers to Leyte Gulf without aircraft or escorts. We are told that Maj. Gen. Curtis LeMay refused to send B-29s against kamikaze bases, then we read multiple accounts that state otherwise.Read more ›
Maxwell Taylor Kennedy, son of Robert Kennedy, wrote a book about the aircraft carrier USS "Bunker Hill", the horrible kamikaze attack which devastated her on 11 May 1945 and the desperate struggle to save this precious ship from sinking. The good idea was to mix this great tale with the story of life of two kamikaze pilots, Kiyoshi Ogawa and Yasunori Seizo, who made this attack. This could have been a great book about a great tragedy in which 373 US sailors died and 46 more were declared MIA. However, the execution of this good idea was ABYSMALLY BAD! Below, the reasons why I consider this thing as an utter disaster.
1. ERRORS, ERRORS, ERRORS - on every single page! And on 528 pages, that it is A LOT! Here are some examples:
- Lt John Powers "crash-dived" INTO Japanese carrier "Shokaku". Sorry - he didn't! He hit the "Shokaku" with a bomb and then was downed by Japanese anti-aircraft guns and his plane crashed into the ocean. He was awarded Medal of Honor for this and those facts are therefore matter of public record.
- "the dogged resistance of Bataan and Corregidor played an important role in the Solomons fight" !! No, it didn't. The Solomon's campaign began on 7 August 1942, THREE months after the fight for Corregidor was over (Bataan surrendered even before).
- "Mustang and Lightning fighters couldn't land on carriers and therefore were of little utility in Pacific War" - is this guy for real? Lightnings operating from Henderson Field were crucially important in Guadalcanal campaign and they were also the planes which intercepted and killed Yamamoto himself!Read more ›
Unfortunately, this is not that book.
It is a disorganized mass of inaccurate, convoluted, virtually unreadable gibberish.
The most mundane facts regarding the US Navy, its ships and aircraft as well as those of the Japanese Empire are unknown to this author.
The editors, fact checkers and other support staff at Simon and Schuster who allowed this incredibly bad imitation of a history to be published should be fired, now.
I have read the 5 star reviews of this book on this site and have concluded that they must have read a different book than I did, or did not read it at all. I did read it all, and wished I had not done so.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My uncle Stanley Knight was a young airman gunner with VT-84 on the USS Bunker Hill and lived through the horrible Kamikaze attack off Okinawa in 1945. Read morePublished 18 days ago by Bill Parks
Great book explained a lot I did not know my uncle was killed on that shipPublished 3 months ago by Diane
Not a bad book, except for the fact that the author did not know the difference between Australia and Britain. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
As any people have clearly pointed out, there's more wrong with this book, that right with it. In talking about the TBF Avenger, he had so many errors I turn to the bibliography... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Gromit801
The history of Japan and the United States and the West was a good start to the book. It continued on to who the pilots were who did the kamikaze damage to the ship and continued... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
As a Grandson of a veteran who was wounded on the Bunker Hill I would have appreciated a more in-depth account of all servicemen on board. Read morePublished 6 months ago by JON C TAYLOR
Let's make something clear right off the bat; if you want as precise a history of the carrier war as possible, go read wikipedia, or one of the thousands of naval history books... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Wolfpacker15
Well done. Father was on board Bunker Hill during the attack. Wish a couple of his stories could have been included.Published 13 months ago by Bob E.