In A Dawn Like Thunder, Robert Mrazek tells the story of Torpedo Squadron Eight, which fought at Midway and Guadalcanal, two pivotal battles of the Pacific War. At Midway, 45 of its 48 officers and men were killed. At Guadalcanal, they sustained the highest casualties of all the naval air squadrons flying with the Cactus Air Force. Its 35 pilots were awarded an astounding 39 Navy Crosses.
"This is no ordinary history," writes Guadalcanal author Richard B. Frank in an early review. "It is a soaring epic prose ballad about a group of young Americans whose rendezvous with destiny blazed a trail their whole generation would follow."
In this condensed excerpt, Mrazek provides the account of Lieutenant Commander John Waldron's efforts to secure fighter protection for his obsolete Douglas Devastators before the mission on 4 June 1942, in which Torpedo Eight helped buy the precious battle time that allowed American Dauntless dive bombers to win the "Miracle at Midway."
Wednesday, 3 June 1942
USS Hornet Torpedo Squadron Eight