Never Call Me a Hero: A Ledgendary American Dive-Bomber Pilot Remembers the Battle of Midway s
N. Jack “Dusty” Kleiss with Timothy and Laura Orr. 312 pp. New York: William Morrow, May 2017. Maps. Footnotes. Photos. Appendix. Glossary. Index. $26.99.
Reviewed by Rear Admiral Jeremy “Bear” Taylor, U.S. Navy (Retired)
The author of Never Call Me a Hero insists he was “an ordinary pilot doing ordinary work.” Jack “Dusty” Kleiss was no ordinary pilot. In fact, with his deadly accurate dive-bombing hits on three Japanese warships, including two aircraft carriers, in the June 1942 Battle of Midway, Dusty Kleiss was and remains in a class by himself. Nor is his book an ordinary volume about the decisive U.S. victory at sea that put the Imperial Japanese Navy on the defensive for the duration of the war.
The book is as much a tribute to his Scouting Squadron Six mates as it is a personal memoir. He makes clear who he thinks the real heroes of Midway were—those who gave their lives in what has been called “the greatest naval battle in history.”