I thoroughly enjoyed this book and learned a great deal, not only about the famous Tokyo Raid with pilot Jimmy Doolittle and co-pilot Dick Cole, but about Hump Pilots, the CBI (China, Burma, India theater), the Air Commandos--and much more.
One poignant moment occurs when on Dec. 7, Cole writes his mother to say that he won't be home for Christmas after all. No need to say why leave has been canceled.
The problem with letters was a consistent one throughout the war. Longed for and appreciated and re-read, but not timely. Even today, it takes about 3 weeks for my letters to Melody to arrive in Singapore. As much as servicemen longed for word from home, letters took a long time and sometimes arrived out of order. Nevertheless, the letters to and from home are an important documentation of the war.
As we often note when reading history, authors can take a fascinating event or period and suck the life out of it, or as Okerstrom does, pull you in and make you feel a part of the historical drama.
You can't see all of the pages I marked, but you can probably tell that I'd have trouble trying to include all of the information that gripped my interest in the pic I took of my copy--before I quit even trying to flag all the parts that intrigued me.
Following Dick Cole is an ideal way to look at the war in the Pacific and Asia because he was involved in so many important missions during the war--his first was the Doolittle Raid over Tokyo, but his time as a hump pilot and as an air commando part of Project 9 were also critically important roles. The information about the gliders was just one amazing element.
I knew very little about this portion of WWII, and so I would frequently be stunned at the difficulties and complications involved.
My admiration for the men involved and for Dennis R. Okerstrom for making the book such an informative and engrossing read is immense.
Dick Cole's War should be on the list for anyone interested in WWII and the Pacific arena.
Nonfiction. 2015. 336 pages.
Below is the front of the postcard I made for Chris as a thank you note--the message and correct postage are on the other side. I was pleased to have a few stamps that featured planes even if they were only for air mail.