Revelation of American heroes in a forgotten war
I was in high school when WWII ended and married about two years to a WWII vet when our troops were fighting in Korea. There wasn’t much in the newsreels about it except vets coming home complained about the extreme cold and I remember news accounts of some of the battles.
The author of this story, who spent five years researching it and interviewing many men who were involved in this war or the training of aviators who were learning to fly on and off a carrier, took what he learned and wrote a non-fiction story about the manner in which these naval aviators were trained to handle the carrier landing weaknesses and strengths and also how difficult it was for them when they were given the heavier Corsairs to fly.
Many of these carrier airmen are identified in this story, including their method of flying together and how they protected each other. Also many factors relative to the war itself is included that I either didn’t know or didn’t understand their importance. This tale answered a lot of questions for me.
What these reviews seem to leave out is that Jesse Brown was a black sharecropper’s son who worked hard as a teenager and young adult to get an advanced education. He wanted to become a pilot, which Blacks usually couldn’t get except for the Black Tuskegee airmen who fought in Europe in WWII. Because of his good grades and intensity, he was allowed to become the only Black Naval Ensign aviator for aircraft carriers. There were only eight Naval Black aviators otherwise. Tm Hudner, from a wealthy family on the East coast, refused Harvard and joined the Navy to become an aviator. When flying the Corsairs, which were most difficult to land and take-off the carriers, Tom Hudner was Jesse’s wingman and consequently, they had an emotional and practical attachment. Jesse was easy to get along with and did not allow himself to become upset when refused acknowledgement of being because of his skin color. He had married a young Black woman, Daisy, whom he loved with all his heart.
When they were sent to Korea, all of the Corsair pilots flew until they were exhausted, attempting to help our Marines who were fighting in Korea under most adverse conditions, much worse than they usually met in Europe because of the weather and mountainous countryside.
This story covers Jesse being shot down in Korea and Tom crash landing his plane to try to help him rather than let the Chinese get him.
Because of the dialogue and the actions of other men in this story, it reads more like a fiction story and by their conversations, they reveal their emotions. This is a tremendous story, especially for those of us who are history buffs and I heartily recommend it.
I was given complimentary copy by Vine for an honest review.