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Publisher's Summary

From the author of Pacific Payback comes the gripping true story of the Cactus Air Force and how this rugged crew of dive bombers helped save Guadalcanal and won the war. November 1942: Japanese and American forces have been fighting for control of Guadalcanal, a small but pivotal island in Japan's expansion through the South Pacific. Both sides have endured months of grueling battle under the worst circumstances: hellish jungles, meager rations, and tropical diseases, which have taken a severe mental and physical toll on the combatants. The Japanese call Guadalcanal Jigoku no Jima - Hell's Island. Amid a seeming stalemate, a small group of US Navy dive bombers are called upon to help determine the island's fate. The men have until recently been serving in their respective squadrons aboard the USS Lexington and the USS Yorktown, fighting in the thick of the Pacific War's aerial battles. Their skills have been honed to a fine edge, even as injury and death inexorably have depleted their ranks. When their carriers are lost, many of the men end up on the USS Enterprise. Battle damage to that carrier then forces them from their home at sea to operating from Henderson Field, a small dirt-and-gravel airstrip on Guadalcanal. With some Marine and Army Air Force planes, they help form the Cactus Air Force, a motley assemblage of fliers tasked with holding the line while making dangerous flights from their jungle airfield. Pounded by daily Japanese air assaults, nightly warship bombardments, and sniper attacks from the jungle, pilots and gunners rarely last more than a few weeks before succumbing to tropical ailments, injury, exhaustion, and death. But when the Japanese launch a final offensive to take the island once and for all, these dive bomber jocks answer the call of duty - and try to perform miracles in turning back an enemy warship armada, a host of fighter planes, and a convoy of troop transports. A remarkable story of grit, guts, and heroism, The Battle for Hell's Island reveals how command of the South Pacific, and the outcome of the Pacific War, depended on control of a single dirt airstrip-and the small group of battle-weary aviators sent to protect it with their lives.

©2015 Stephen L. Moore (P)2015 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • chris
  • EASTON, PA, United States
  • 04-13-16

agonizing audiobook full of facts

I really enjoyed World War II history and I've read many books on the Pacific the Navy and Aviation this is the worst audiobook I've ever listened to on the subject. the great part about audio books is the story of the aviators this book just list endless extra facts time names ship names all irrelevant data that doesn't let you get into the story. Probably a great historical reference but a horrible audiobook

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Definitely a different angle on the battle

Yes, this is a different angle on the battle, but it should be required reading as well.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Blake
  • Annapolis, MD, United States
  • 08-29-16

A Wanderting Tale that Eventually Finds it's Title

Supposedly the story of the battle for Guadalcanal this book covers a large swath of the Pacific War before getting to the subject of the story and in the process loses the reader. This is a not going to be among your favorite reads on Guadalcanal, WWII carrier aviation or the war in the Pacific.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Too Much Filler

The prime story was well done and informative. This would take about 75% of the book. The remaining content was extraneous to the air battles of 1942. The entire last chapter could be dumped. The author is noted for naming everyone possible whether playing a pivotal role or not. I have read three of Moore's books and they all have the same complaint: too much worthless trivia.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Russell
  • Florence, OR, United States
  • 09-18-16

Slow going

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Ot really.

Has The Battle for Hell's Island turned you off from other books in this genre?

No.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Maybe.

Any additional comments?

Tedious anspd repititious. Listing names of crew on vaarious missions makes the book read like a squadron report and wastes space. This book will only work for the dyed-in-the-wool military history fan and even then might not work.

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Not the most well written book I've bought

Not the most well written book I've bought, does not draw you into the story. To many facts, dates etc leaves you feeling like you read an encyclopedia.

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  • Story

Great story, not so great production

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I like history where participants are quoted and followed. This story does just that. I would give the story and research more than five stars if possible.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The narrator did a nice job pronouncing names and places. There were many characters that played key roles in the conflicts. Names I have heard before.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Pete Bradbury?

The narrator is great, and has the perfect voice. The sound editing is poor! The sound editor lets the volume of the spoken word get to barely audible levels at the end of sentences and clauses. A bit annoying. If you have it loud enough to hear those parts, the rest is much too loud!

Any additional comments?

It would be nice to have an audible edition of these types of history where the list of names and titles for EVERYONE is left to an appendix. Not a problem if you are actually reading the book, but a bit lengthy for listening. I will NEVER remember them anyway.