1. Durl

    At the onset of World War II, our pilots in the Pacific theater were at a great disadvantage. The Japanese planes climbed faster and turned quicker. The American planes could not survive a face-to-face dogfight.

    Claire Chennault, who with other American pilots, was fighting for the Chinese against the Japanese. He led the development of tactics that took advangate of their planes’ disadvantages (being heavier and better armored) such as flying very high and diving into the formations of Japanese fighters.

  2. Durl

    I finally read the book. I’d heard of the battle, but had never read such a detailed account. Lupo was just one of very many Americans that day who improvised and did what was necessary, even if it was against orders or in defiance of a superior. It was just this attitude that made the Americans so effective in battles on land, sea, and air.

    My favorite line from the book was a radio broadcast made by a signalman, who had just observed that Kurita’s ships were turning to leave the battle and said (over the radio) “God damn it, boys, they’re getting away!” Humor in the face of impossible odds.

    • Bookscrounger

      There were a lot of great stories and quotes.

      I like the one about the skipper of the Fanshaw Bay, Capt. Douglass P Johnson, who once when pursuing an enemy submarine was informed that the boilers were reaching their temperature limit.

      He shouted into the voice tube, “Piss on them, then. We need more speed.”

      • Durl

        Similar thing happened in the movie “We Were Soldiers”, based on the non-fiction book “We Were Soldiers Once … And Young” by Hal Moore and Joseph Galloway. First major battle of the Vietnam War.

        US troops were outnumbered about 10:1 by the North Vietnamese. Their mortars were the only thing keeping the enemy at bay at one point during the battle. But the mortar tubes were overheating, running the risk of a shell exploding when loaded just due to the heat. Colonel Moore was investigating why the mortars had stopped firing. When told why, he unzipped his fly and began pissing on the tubes. The crew immediately jumped up and did the same.

        American innovation.

  3. We make our whole lives inside “making meaning of everything,” and we’re so caught in our meanings that we, like fish that cannot recognize the water they are swimming in, cannot recognize the world outside of the meaning we give it. I find your research fascinating, Joseph. I look at it from a different perspective than the accurate history it offers. It is a revealing of humanity in all of its evolutionary glory and insanity. Thank you for offering us what you’ve discovered with your many hours of research.

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