During 1944, Douglas MacArthur’s army fought its way from New Guinea to the Philippines. In New Guinea, discarding pre-war doctrine, Allied air commander George Kenney planned and ran an “air blitz” offensive. Kenney’s Fifth Air Force drove forward like a tank army, crash-landing in open country, seizing terrain, bulldozing new airfields, winning air control, and moving forward.
At airfields on the front line, First Lieutenant Roscoe A. Boyer – Rocky Boyer – kept the radios working for the 71st Tactical Reconnaissance Group, a fighter-bomber unit. This book draws on his diary. Diaries were forbidden, but Rocky kept one – full of casualties, accidents, off-duty shenanigans, and rear-area snafus. He had friends killed when they shot it out with Japanese anti-aircraft gunners, or when their bombers vanished in bad weather. He wrote about wartime camp life – at Nadzab, New Guinea, the largest air base in the world, part Scout camp and part frontier boomtown. He knew characters worthy of Catch-22: combat flyers who played contract bridge, officers who played office politics, black quartermasters, and chaplains who stood up to colonels, when a promotion party ended with drunken gunplay and dynamite. His group stepped in against Japanese counterstrikes, sharp, sudden fights against enemy warships. • Off the island of Biak, in June 1944, the 17th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, flying B-25’s, attacked Japanese destroyers carrying enemy reinforcements. In 90 seconds, the squadron won 60 Distinguished Flying Crosses, 19 of them posthumous. • On the beachhead at Mindoro, south of Manila in December 1944, Rocky fought in what Kenney called “the wildest scramble of the war”: a grim evening when the airfield was hit by Japanese bombers and shelled by a Japanese war fleet. This is a narrative of the war as airmen lived it, not a day-by-day, blow-by-blow verbatim transcript of a wartime diary. Rocky’s experience of life on the front line gives from-the-bottom-up detail to the framework of Kenney’s air blitz.
General George S. Patton, Jr. died under mysterious circumstances in the months following the end of World War II. For almost seventy years, there has been suspicion that his death was not an accident--and may very well have been an act of assassination. Killing Patton takes readers inside the final year of the war and recounts the events surrounding Patton's tragic demise, naming names of the many powerful individuals who wanted him silenced.
Autumn 1944. World War II is nearly over in Europe but is escalating in the Pacific, where American soldiers face an opponent who will go to any length to avoid defeat. The Japanese army follows the samurai code of Bushido, stipulating that surrender is a form of dishonor. Killing the Rising Sun takes readers to the bloody tropical-island battlefields of Peleliu and Iwo Jima and to the embattled Philippines, where General Douglas MacArthur has made a triumphant return and is plotting a full-scale invasion of Japan.
Across the globe in Los Alamos, New Mexico, Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer and his team of scientists are preparing to test the deadliest weapon known to mankind. In Washington, DC, FDR dies in office and Harry Truman ascends to the presidency, only to face the most important political decision in history: whether to use that weapon. And in Tokyo, Emperor Hirohito, who is considered a deity by his subjects, refuses to surrender, despite a massive and mounting death toll. Told in the same page-turning style of Killing Lincoln, Killing Kennedy, Killing Jesus, Killing Patton, and Killing Reagan, this epic saga details the final moments of World War II like never before.