On the morning of April 16, 1945, the crewmen of the USS Laffey saw what seemed to be the entire Japanese air force assembled directly above. They were about to become the targets of the largest single-ship kamikaze attack of World War II.
By the time the unprecedented assault was finished, 32 sailors were dead and more than 70 wounded. Although she lay shrouded in smoke and fire for hours, the Laffey somehow survived. The gutted American warship limped from Okinawa's shore for home, where the ship and crew would be celebrated as heroes.
Using personal interviews with survivors, the memoirs of crew members, and their wartime correspondence, John Wukovits breathes life into the story of this forgotten historic event.
©2015 John Wukovits (P)2015 Tantor
"For WWII buffs, surely, but also for general readers looking to understand the damage inflicted and the terror inspired by the Japanese suicide squadrons." (Kirkus)
I had never heard of the USS Laffey until I read this book. I began listening to it before visiting the ship at patriots point museum in South Carolina, and was glad that I did. It made the ship much more of a museum and memorial to those who served aboard her. This was a very compelling story, and one I'll be sure to tell others about.
We are losing the stories of the greatest generation of Americans to revisionist historians. Books like this of great Americans and their selfless actions are important for future generations. I recommend this book as a reminder of people who did what was needed when it was needed without regret or second thought. Thank-you to all that serve. May your story be preserved like the crew of the Laffy.
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