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Such Men as These: The Story of the Navy Pilots Who Flew the Deadly Skies over Korea Paperback – October 4, 2011
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Few aspects of the ostensibly forgotten Korean War are more so than the role naval aviation played in it. About all most who have heard of it comes from James Michener's The Bridges at Toko-Ri (1953). Sears covers the writing of that novel, also the rest of the navy's air war over and around Korea, which included the first use of carrier-based jets (for which of the era weren't ideal), the last hurrah of the F4U Corsair, and the Golden Age of the AD Skyraider. Naval aviation deployment stretched from almost the first days of the war to battles with Russian MiGs off Vladivostok toward its end. Close support was invaluable, but interdiction involved fighting lots of low-tech, well-defended transportation links with high-tech, vulnerable aircraft, which proved to be a foretaste of Vietnam. Eminently readable, this volume breaks new ground on the Korean War and naval aviation. --Roland Green --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Smithsonian Air & Space magazine, July 2011
A valuable study of the culture and conduct of the naval air war over North Korea A fitting addition not only to the literature of the Korean War, but also to the literature emerging in this, the centennial year of U.S. naval aviation.”
Collected Miscellany, 7/8/11
A great tribute to the U.S. Navy pilots who flew in the Forgotten War.'”
Michigan War Studies Review, 5/16/14
The author has done a service to both students and veterans of the Korean War Sears's account poignantly proves that the pilots faced missions as perilous as those of any infantryman. The narrative places readers in the cockpit, feeling the sensations and stress of aerial combat Present-day military personnel will find in Such Men As These much that is instructive regarding wartime leadership and the resilience and courage of men fighting a war to which the American public paid little attention.”
Top customer reviews
That said this is a good book that tries to humanize the air war over Korea from the men who flew off the USN carriers. Most of them were reservists who either just missed being in WW2 or had served and when the post WW2 drawdown occurred wanted to keep flying but couldn't on active duty. If you are a history buff and have read anything of Naval Aviation after WW2 then some of these stories you have heard. From the Jesse L. Brown story and his wingman Tom Hudner who crash lands in the same mountains to save the first black aviator, to the use of torpedoes against a dam that the Chinese controlled, to the attempts to bomb the rail and roads and starve the Communist armies. Intermixed in these stories is the arrival of Michener an author of note who was working as a newspaper correspondent and spent almost a year on the Navy carriers getting stories. Some of which would form the bones of the novel Michener would later write. Also, mixed in this was the history of the Korean War. It's a good book if only to make more readable and accessible some of the stories that history buffs and drier history tomes have told of the U.S. Na y and it's Naval Aviators over the skies of Korea. This book ready humanized those folks stuck with both jets and props as the planes they would fly in those skies.
BON HOMME RICHARD departed San Diego on 10 May for the Far East. She joined TF-77 off Korea on 29 May and launched her first air strikes 31 May. BON HOMME RICHARD continued operations with TF 77 until 20 November 1951. The carrier reached San Diego in mid-December 1951 and on 20 May 1952 was off again to the Far East.
She joined TF 77 once more on 23 June 1952 and took part in the heavy strikes against the North Korean power complex (24-25 June) and the amphibious feint at Kojo (12-16 October). She continued operations against North Korean targets until 18 December 1952 and then steamed to San Francisco where she arrived 8 January 1953. Her classification was changed from CV 31 to CVA 31, 1 October 1952.
Despite this omission, I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the history of naval aviation in Korea.
As a participant of 103 combat missions from the carriers USS Valley Forge CV-45 and USS Essex CV-9 from 3 July 1950 to 4 March 1952,Mr.Sears'descriptions of the winter weather hazards, and our pilot losses, brought back stark,unpleasant memories to me.
Highly recommended for those seeking accurate history of both Naval air and Marine and Army combat operations.
What is was like in real life. In one part of the book Hollywood did not give the truth, about to pilots that were killed by Korean were not, my father
Saved them, and his crew. The Hollywood movie had then killed to make the people mad. When I heard about it and finding out my dad saved their life