Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo

I wonder why the word 'swell' fell out of favor as an adjective?

The book starts with these two sentences: " I helped bomb Tokyo on the Dolittle Raid of April 18, 1942. I crashed in the China Sea." (for more info on the raid, try this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doolittl... There are many others, some better, but this has the best overview).

I am a woman who was born several years after WWII ended, but heard 'war stories from the men of the family' so you might not think this would engage m

I wonder why the word 'swell' fell out of favor as an adjective?

The book starts with these two sentences: " I helped bomb Tokyo on the Dolittle Raid of April 18, 1942. I crashed in the China Sea." (for more info on the raid, try this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doolittl... There are many others, some better, but this has the best overview).

I am a woman who was born several years after WWII ended, but heard 'war stories from the men of the family' so you might not think this would engage me, but it did. The book is the story of the Dolittle raid from one pilot's perspective, and more. This is basically a diary by a very young man and what he learned and became during one year of his life. This book is not about politics or war; it is about the daily life of a person in the midst of doing his job in a war.Apparently a movie was made of this which I have not seen as yet but I plan to do so. The reader learns about basic flight school in the early 1940's and about the camaraderie that developed among the men. The author hints at the great love

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he had for the woman who became his wife. You learn about his love of the planes, especially the B-25, which he flew. His relationship with the plane is a big chunk of the first part of this story. It was his trustworthy friend. Based on the authors description of learning about the plane, I can imagine that learning how to fly those planes - blueprints, wiring, mechanics, etc. was a lot like writing code today.Lawson's description of the fuselage art (nose art) for his plane was interesting, if scary in its prognostication. We learn about the faith these pilots had to put in their Navy counterparts on the aircraft carriers. In this case the famous Hornet and how the Navy men were very careful with their charges.I followed the flight on google maps, and seeing it on modern technology makes the feat all the more remarkable. I plan on reading more about the raid.And after the crash, I learned about the terror and emotional agony of losing a limb, almost dying and slowly realizing the leg is gone forever.I learned about the 'kindness of strangers' and how the local Chinese saved and cared for these men. It reminded me that our current social and economic issues with China are with the government and not the people. I guess this isn't a review as much as it is an awestruck response to this horrible and amazing tale. I am glad I read it this Memorial/Decoration Day weekend. It puts my sitting here in front of a computer in perspective.

Basically, this was a swell book .

Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (not the edition listed here)

Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo by Ted W. Lawson by Capt. Ted W. Lawson (no photo)

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Category: Review

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