Synopses & Reviews
In this hilarious and heartbreaking story, the author - the so-called "Threadbare Buzzard" among what he saw as the preening fliers of WWII - tells the stories of dogfights and fighter planes used by the Marine Corps in the Pacific.
Before the United States entered World War II, Tomlinson joined the Royal Canadian Air Force to get into action and flying. Following Pearl Harbor, he and most of the other Americans serving in the RCAF were "repatriated" into the U.S. military, most into the Army Air Corps. Tomlinson was one of the few who chose the Marine Corps and after training, he was off to the Southwest Pacific and Guadalcanal with VMF-214, the squadron that became the Black Sheep. Late in the war, while flying off a carrier during raids against Japan, Tomlinson's four-plane division was assigned to be a high-altitude radio relay for the attacking forces. During this mission they encountered the jet stream, at that time a little-known phenomena, especially among fighter pilots accustomed to lower, less hostile altitudes. Hours later, lost, out of radio range, and out of fuel, they ditched in the northwest Pacific. Three of the four were rescued by the Sea Devil (SS 400). Tomlinson ended up in the naval hospital at Pearl Harbor for the closing months of the war. Filled with details about flying the Corsair.
Military, January 2006 (circ.: 25,000)
This book came as a marvelous surprise. It is without a doubt one of the best WWII aviation books I have ever read. Tomlinson has a touch for writing.”