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A lasting memorial to the USS Enterprise, this classic tale of the carrier that contributed more than any other single warship to the naval victory in the Pacific has remained a favorite World War II story for more than twenty-five years. The Big E participated in nearly every major engagement of the war against Japan and earned a total of twenty battle stars. The Halsey-Doolittle Raid; the Battles of Midway, Santa Cruz, Guadalcanal, the Philippine Sea, and Leyte Gulf; and the invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa are all faithfully recorded from the viewpoint of the men who served her so well. The author, a naval aviator, focuses on the exploits of the famous ship's air groups, capturing the reality of their encounters and provoking a range of emotions from readers.
This superb study of a great ship, her crew, and the action they saw has been called one of the finest pieces of naval writing to emerge from the war. What it is like inside the cockpit of a Dauntless dive bomber as it bores in on its target or the effort required to unstick the ship's huge rudder when damaged by a bomb are just two of the nuggets Edward Stafford mined from the mountain of research and lengthy interviews he conducted to write the book. Literate and scholarly as well as highly dramatic, the book will appeal to historians and the general public alike.
CDR. Edward Peary Stafford, USN (Ret.) (1918–2013) was a naval aviator. He wrote for Naval History and Proceedings, as well as for National Geographic. He is best known for The Big E and four other books on naval history: Subchaser; Little Ship, Big War; The Saga of DE-343, and The Far and the Deep.
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