AVE SHIP, BRAVE MEN by Arnold S. Lott


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Death comes in the form of a cloudful of suicide planes in Commander Lott's narrative or the Light Mlnelayer Aaron Word's engagement with the Japanese air force during the battle of Okinawa. Few novels can match this story for sheer raging action. The book is based on the ship's log for the fateful day of May 3 and the evening which crupted into a nightmare as fearful as hell itself. The first half of the account fills the reader in on the background material covering two earlier Aaron Wards, its commander on May 3rd and several of the more notable crew members. Then, during the second evening watch, about twenty-five suicide planes attacked the ship and others nearby. The Aaron Ward attracted ten kamikaze planes, shot down four within yards of its deck and sustained six more or less direct hits, all within a single hour. The gunners and crew were under such pressure that one plane went unnoticed until it exploded among them. Fantastically, the ship did not sink, though it was a floating junkyard, and subsequently made it back to the States. Plenty of enlisted men's humor and throbs of courage.

Publisher: Bobbs-Merrill