The Jolly Rogers: The Story of Tom Blackburn and Navy Fighting Squadron VF-17

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9780760322000: The Jolly Rogers: The Story of Tom Blackburn and Navy Fighting Squadron VF-17

In an action-packed war memoir and squadron history, ace fighter pilot Tom Blackburn describes exactly how he shaped a crew of over-eager hotshots into one of the highest scoring fighter squadrons of World War II and U.S. Navy history. In only 76 days of combat, Blackburn's Jolly Rogers downed a record 154 enemy warplanes, and Blackburn himself emerged as one of VF-17’s leading aces with eleven aerial combat victories to his credit. A complete history of the squadron from its commissioning in January 1943 to its disbanding in April 1944 including a harrowing account of the squadron’s intense, winning campaign against the Japanese over the northern Solomon Islands and Fortress Rabaul this book offers a fascinating look at Blackburn’s approach to organizing, training, and leading his pilots thirteen of whom, the author included, became air aces.

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About the Author:

Tom Blackburn continued his Navy career following World War II, ultimately retiring as a captain. He is now deceased.

Eric Hammel is a well respected military historian and the author of thirty works of military history including the critically acclaimed Pacific Warriors: the U.S. Marines in World War II: A Pictorial Tribute. He lives in northern California.

From Publishers Weekly:

Blackburn is not self-effacing about his World War II service, referring to "my fantastically successful tour" as pilot and commanding officer. Retired Admiral James Stockdale's introduction and the text itself leave no doubt that modesty in this case would be practically impossible. Blackburn was an exceptionally talented, resourceful, inspiring leader who imparted to his men a fierce warrior ethic. Equipped with F4U Corsair fighter planes, his squadron downed at least 154 Japanese planes during the 76 days they were in combat in the South Pacific. Thirteen of the "Jolly Rogers," including the author, became air aces. The book is a seemingly complete history of the squadron from its commissioning in January 1943 to its disbandment in April 1944, and what makes it especially noteworthy is the author's straight-forward description of the methods he used organizing, training, leading his pilots in combat, and developing air tactics. Clearly Blackburn knew what he wanted and how to obtain results. Photos.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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