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Dauntless Helldivers, by Harold Buell

Discussion in 'The Pacific and CBI' started by ColHessler, Jul 15, 2020.

  1. ColHessler

    ColHessler Member

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    Length: 410 pages including index

    This is the autobiography of Harold Buell, a U.S. Navy dive bomber pilot in the Pacific Theater.

    He starts us with his first encounter with an airplane in his Iowa boyhood. A barnstormer set down near the swimming hole and asked how the water was. Buell was in love with airplanes from then on. He joined the Navy in December 1940 while in college and became a flier. He was with the Yorktown at Coral Sea and later with the Enterprise at Guadalcanal, flying for a time with the Cactus Air Force when his flight had to set down at Henderson Field when low on fuel, and ended up staying for a month. He also fought in the Battles of Santa Cruz and Eastern Solomons.

    In 1943, Buell went back to the States and was part of a new air group which was deployed on the Essex-class carrier Hornet for the Battle of the Philippine Sea and the invasion of the Philippines. From there he was an instructor when the war ended.

    Buell taught his pilots how to drop, or "fire", their bombs before pulling out of their dives, which led to greater accuracy, and Admiral Jocko Clark came to call on "Buell and Company" to take out high risk targets. These adventures, and his liberty escapades, are told in an engaging style which makes it impossible to put down. There are several photos in the middle which enhance the story very well.

    The only thing I could find wrong was that it dragged at little when he came to leave times and it made me anxious to get back to the action.

    For an understanding of the Pacific War from a pilot's point of view, this would be a terrific place to start.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2020
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  2. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

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    And a nice guy to boot!
     
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