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Dogfight over Tokyo: The Final Air Battle of the Pacific and the Last Four Men to Die in World War II

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From a top World War II author, the tragic story of the pilots who fought the last fight of the war during the first hour of peace When Billy Hobbs and his fellow Hellcat aviators from Air Group 88 lifted off from the venerable Navy carrier USS Yorktown early on the morning of August 15, 1945, they had no idea they were about to carry out the final air mission of World War II. From a top World War II author, the tragic story of the pilots who fought the last fight of the war during the first hour of peace When Billy Hobbs and his fellow Hellcat aviators from Air Group 88 lifted off from the venerable Navy carrier USS Yorktown early on the morning of August 15, 1945, they had no idea they were about to carry out the final air mission of World War II. Two hours later, Yorktown received word from Admiral Nimitz that the war had ended and that all offensive operations should cease. As they were turning back, twenty Japanese planes suddenly dove from the sky above them and began a ferocious attack. Four American pilots never returned--men who had lifted off from the carrier in wartime but were shot down during peacetime. Drawing on participant letters, diaries, and interviews, newspaper and radio accounts, and previously untapped archival records, historian and prolific author of acclaimed Pacific theater books, including Tin Can Titans and Hell from the Heavens, John Wukovits tells the story of Air Group 88's pilots and crew through their eyes. Dogfight over Tokyo is written in the same riveting, edge-of-your-seat style that has made Wukovits's previous books so successful. This is a stirring, one-of-a-kind tale of naval encounters and the last dogfight of the war--a story that is both inspirational and tragic.


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From a top World War II author, the tragic story of the pilots who fought the last fight of the war during the first hour of peace When Billy Hobbs and his fellow Hellcat aviators from Air Group 88 lifted off from the venerable Navy carrier USS Yorktown early on the morning of August 15, 1945, they had no idea they were about to carry out the final air mission of World War II. From a top World War II author, the tragic story of the pilots who fought the last fight of the war during the first hour of peace When Billy Hobbs and his fellow Hellcat aviators from Air Group 88 lifted off from the venerable Navy carrier USS Yorktown early on the morning of August 15, 1945, they had no idea they were about to carry out the final air mission of World War II. Two hours later, Yorktown received word from Admiral Nimitz that the war had ended and that all offensive operations should cease. As they were turning back, twenty Japanese planes suddenly dove from the sky above them and began a ferocious attack. Four American pilots never returned--men who had lifted off from the carrier in wartime but were shot down during peacetime. Drawing on participant letters, diaries, and interviews, newspaper and radio accounts, and previously untapped archival records, historian and prolific author of acclaimed Pacific theater books, including Tin Can Titans and Hell from the Heavens, John Wukovits tells the story of Air Group 88's pilots and crew through their eyes. Dogfight over Tokyo is written in the same riveting, edge-of-your-seat style that has made Wukovits's previous books so successful. This is a stirring, one-of-a-kind tale of naval encounters and the last dogfight of the war--a story that is both inspirational and tragic.

43 review for Dogfight over Tokyo: The Final Air Battle of the Pacific and the Last Four Men to Die in World War II

  1. 5 out of 5

    Katie B

    I knew I had to read this book after seeing the cover. I just felt this compelling need to find out more about the lives of the 4 men who died. Absolutely heartbreaking as the aviators were up in the air when the war was officially declared over and were in the process of flying back to the Navy carrier USS Yorktown, when they were attacked by Japanese fighter planes. Many argue they shouldn't have been sent on a mission to begin with given it was apparent the war was coming to an end. The book I knew I had to read this book after seeing the cover. I just felt this compelling need to find out more about the lives of the 4 men who died. Absolutely heartbreaking as the aviators were up in the air when the war was officially declared over and were in the process of flying back to the Navy carrier USS Yorktown, when they were attacked by Japanese fighter planes. Many argue they shouldn't have been sent on a mission to begin with given it was apparent the war was coming to an end. The book is certainly heavy on the history of everything going on in the Pacific during the last stages of the war. For military history fans, much of this will be familiar material. Personally, I was more interested in the men themselves so when the book got into the specifics of battles and missions, my attention span would start to wane. However the last 50 pages or so , I just couldn't put the book down. To know the four men were just so unbelievably close to coming home safely, but instead lost their lives when technically the war was over, just really breaks your heart. While the author interviewed family members of the four aviators for the book, he does focus more on Billy Hobbs and Eugene Mandeberg. I don't believe this is due to any other reason other than he just had more information available to him about those two such as letters, diaries, flight logs, etc.. The lives of Howdy Harrison and Joseph Sahloff, are certainly no less important, and even though I didn't get to learn quite as much as I would have liked about those two, the author still did a commendable job in getting their story out. It was hard not to get emotional when reading the impact the deaths of the men had on their loved ones. I'm sure I'm not the only reader to get a bit teary-eyed when reading the memorial poem Hattie Hobbs wrote marking the anniversary of her son's death. Definitely recommend giving this one a look if you like World War 2 history. Thank you to the publisher for sending me an advance reader's copy in exchange for an honest review!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    An interesting story of the last American pilots who were killed at the end of World War II. On the morning of August 15, 1945, Billy Hobbs and his fellow Hellcat pilots from Air Group 88 took off from the carrier Yorktown for their final mission of World War II. When they were ordered to come back because they got the news the war ended, Twenty Japanese planes dove from the sky and attacked them. Four American pilots were killed during peacetime. A great story of the last dogfight of the war.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Don

    This is the story of the last four Americans to die in battle in WW2. They were Navy pilots on the USS Yorktown. The author mainly focused on two of the pilots but told much of the history of the unit they served in. The reader will learn what it was like to serve in the air arm of the navy during the last year of the war in the Pacific.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Christian Cederberg

  5. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Navarro

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tom Kutt

  7. 4 out of 5

    Brittany Farrell

  8. 4 out of 5

    Randall Thomas

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lawrence

  10. 5 out of 5

    Nelson C Walker II

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mario F.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Marc

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jerry Karasinski

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tim Mercer

  15. 5 out of 5

    WW2 Reads

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nissa

  17. 5 out of 5

    Layla Ashby

  18. 5 out of 5

    Courtney

  19. 5 out of 5

    Paul

  20. 4 out of 5

    James

  21. 4 out of 5

    Michael Kovan

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Cherpeski

  23. 4 out of 5

    MTN343-Wishlist

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Drover

  25. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Boiko

  26. 4 out of 5

    Michael Mcquillan

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nick

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rene Sanz

  29. 5 out of 5

    Cassondra

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ron

  31. 5 out of 5

    Leo Mccarthy

  32. 4 out of 5

    Johanna

  33. 4 out of 5

    Michael Mercer

  34. 4 out of 5

    ☯~☽~•Patricia Mainard•~☾~☯

  35. 4 out of 5

    Jaine

  36. 4 out of 5

    Mimi

  37. 5 out of 5

    Abbas Fardil

  38. 5 out of 5

    Brenda Conbeer

  39. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Hanna

  40. 5 out of 5

    Paul

  41. 5 out of 5

    Rowan

  42. 5 out of 5

    Pamela

  43. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin Finley

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