The Battle for Hell’s Island: How a Small Band of Carrier Dive-Bombers Helped Save Guadalcanal
Stephen L. Moore. New York: New American Library, 2015. Illus. Photos. Biblio. Notes. Index. 498 pp. $27.95.
Reviewed by Thomas Wildenberg
On 7 August 1942 the U.S. Marines landed on Guadalcanal as the first step of an island-hopping campaign that would ultimately lead to the defeat of Japan. The fight for the island was a brutal battle of attrition that raged for months as the Japanese tried desperately to hold on to its strategic foothold. Much of the credit for the campaign’s success can be attributed to the pilots and gunners of the Navy’s Dauntless SBD dive bombers, who time and again prevented the Imperial Japanese Navy from reinforcing the Japanese forces on the beleaguered island. This is the primary theme of Stephen Moore’s book, The Battle for Hell’s Island: How a Small Band of Carrier Dive-Bombers Helped Save Guadalcanal.