The First Team: Pacific Naval Air Combat from Pearl Harbor to Midway by John B. Lundstrom soon to be presented for sale on the fabulous BookLovers of Bath web site!
Published: Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1984, Hardback in dust wrapper.
Illustrated by way of: Black & White Photographs; Diagrams; Maps; Tables;
From the cover: Ace fighter pilots like Jimmy Thach and Butch OHare are justly renowned for their daring exploits in the perilous early months of the Pacific War when the U. S. Navy carrier fighting (VF) squadrons amassed a remarkable combat record in the face of desperate odds. Yet, exactly how these skilled aviators and their squadron mates called the first team, in keeping with athletic jargon popular at the time overcame the odds to help turn the tide of war has, until now, remained little known. With this comprehensive operational history of carrier-based air warfare, their heroic feats can at last be closely examined.
Drawing from nearly a decade of research, John Lundstrom presents a thoroughly detailed and scrupulously accurate narrative account of the Navys fighting squadron missions, from the earliest operations in the Pacific through the decisive Battle of Midway. A resolute historian, he has tapped new American and Japanese sources to fully reconstruct every significant action in which these fighters were involved, placing them within the context of carrier operations.
Lundstrom writes from the viewpoint of the pilots themselves. He interviewed some fifty surviving airmen from both the American and Japanese sides, to give the reader intimate details of some of the most exciting aerial engagements of the war. At the same time, he assesses the role the fighter squadrons played in key actions such as Midway, and shows how innovations in U. S. naval fighter tactics and gunnery techniques were a primary reason for the extraordinary reversal of American fortunes.
The First Teams comprehensive appendices will prove invaluable to historians, combat aviation enthusiasts, and modellers. Here they will find detailed information on flight training, aerial gunnery, aircraft markings, flight formations, the Thach Weave tactic, and Japanese combat doctrine.
Very Good in Very Good Dust Wrapper.
Black boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. [XXI] 547 pages. Index. Bibliography. 10¼” x 7¼”.