Turn into the Wind, Volume I - US Navy and Royal Navy Light Fleet Aircraft Carriers in World War II and Contributions of the British Pacific Fleet
In the Pacific in World War II, the dearth of US Navy fleet aviation capabilities became acute following the loss, in 1942, of four aircraft carriers to combat action. New Essex-class fleet aircraft carriers were being built, but would not be ready soon enough. Time was of the essence. President Franklin D. Roosevelt intervened to solve the problem — directing reluctant Navy “top brass” to turn cruiser hulls, already laid down, into light aircraft carriers. This created nine Independence-class ships, which would earn more battle stars, on average, than their bigger, better-known sisters (the twelve finally-completed Essex carriers that saw combat action). Aboard two of the light carriers were future presidents, George H. W. Bush, and Gerald R. Ford. Pilots and aircrews flying from the 622-foot “flat-tops” earned scores of decorations for heroism. These included two Medals of Honor, Navy Crosses, Silver and Bronze Stars, and dozens of Distinguished Flying Crosses. Some of the recipients, such as Edward “Butch” O’Hare, are familiar to aviation buffs. Others, including Hollis H. Hills, who flew in the two greatest air battles of the war: Dieppe in 1942 and the “Great [Marianas] Turkey Shoot” in the Pacific in 1944, less so. Britain similarly began construction on ten 698-foot Colossus-class light fleet carriers. Four entered service before the end of the war, and were allocated to the British Pacific Fleet, but arrived too late for frontline action. Aboard the BPF’s larger carriers, which fought in the Battle of Okinawa and other actions, were members of many Commonwealth countries. Among them was Robert Hampton Gray, who (posthumously) was Canada’s last Victoria Cross winner of the war. One hundred sixty-five photographs, maps, and diagrams; appendices; and an index to full-names, places, and subjects add value to this work.
Publisher: Heritage Books, Inc. (26 April 2021)
Paperback: 454 pages
Dimensions: 15.24 x 2.62 x 22.86 cm
Turn into the Wind, Volume II -US Navy, Royal Navy, Royal Australian Navy & Royal Canadian Navy Light Fleet Aircraft Carriers in the Korean War and through end of service 1950-1982
American and British light fleet aircraft carriers, an expedient of war at a time of dire need in World War II, answered their nations’ call a second time during the Korean War. While larger US Navy fleet carriers plied their trade in the deeper Sea of Japan off Korea’s east coast, their svelte sisters — USS Bataan, HMS Glory, HMS Ocean, HMS Theseus, HMS Triumph, and HMAS Sydney — were consigned to the Yellow Sea. Operating off the west coast, ragged and heavily indented with numerous small islands, aircraft aboard the carriers repeatedly struck the enemy. Winters were cold, with occasional gales and blinding snow squalls; summers were hot and humid, with heavy rains and fog. While the piston-engine aircraft attacked enemy supply lines, fortifications, and troop positions, enemy MiG jet aircraft were a constant threat, some flown by Russians. Carrier air also provided protection to friendly islands, from which guerillas mounted operations behind enemy lines. Following the Korean War, Australia acquired two additional former Royal Navy light fleet carriers, and Canada three in succession, as centerpieces for naval fixed air programs. Former CVLs served in new roles during the Cold War/Vietnam War: USS Wright as a “doomsday” afloat White House, HMAS Sydney as a troop transport, and USS Arlington as a communications link between the Pentagon and commanders in the field. One hundred fifty-five photographs, maps, and diagrams; appendices; and an index to full-names, places, and subjects add value to this work.
Publisher : Heritage Books, Inc. (26 April 2021)
Paperback: 326 pages
ISBN-13 : 9780788408694
Dimensions: 15.24 x 1.88 x 22.86 cm