THE BRIDGES AT TOKO-RI by James A. Michener


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The complex operations of a task force in February Korean waters range from sea to land and air as the vulnerable but elusive bridges of Toko-Ri, over which pass Communist supplies for the central and eastern fronts and which are guarded by concentrated mountains, narrow passes and gun emplacements, are the targets for destruction. Admiral Tarrant is the genius of the combat command of Task Force 77; Beer Barrel is the miracle man who brings the planes and jets aboard the carrier Savo; Mike Forney and Nestor Gamidge are the 'copter boys who rescue the ditched pilots; Harry Brubaker is the jet pilot, recalled from civilian life, who is bitterly resentful of the part he must play. Rescued by Forney and Gamidge, he has a short reunion with his wife and children on liberty where Tarrant tries to pass on some of his philosophy of voluntary man, the unfair weight of war, resolute spirits and a sense of human life beyond personal feelings. Brubaker saves Forney and Gamidge when they pull the town apart and, returned for a successful photographing of the bridges, he is offered a chance by Tarrant to beg off. On his next flight he is shot down and the 'copter boys die with him as the Communists close in. The interlocking of timing, men and machines, the stupendous quality of jet flight and warfare, the human element -- in emergency, danger and personal lives -- are here in a sharp, short, telling tribute. Full Life production and big guns from the publisher may make this happy-talk for the bookseller.
Pub Date: July 9th, 1953
ISBN: 0449206513
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: Random House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 1953


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