In early 1942, while the American military was still in disarray from the devastating attacks on Pearl Harbor and the Philippines, a single U.S. Army squadron advanced to the far side of the world to face America's new enemy.
Based in Australia with inadequate supplies and no ground support, the squadron's pilots and combat crew endured tropical diseases while confronting numerically superior Japanese forces. Yet the outfit, dubbed the Kangaroo Squadron, proved remarkably resilient and successful, conducting long-range bombing raids, carrying out armed reconnaissance missions, and rescuing General MacArthur and his staff from the Philippines.
Before now, the story of their courage and determination in the face of overwhelming odds has largely been untold. Using eyewitness accounts from diaries, letters, interviews, and memoirs, as well as Japanese sources, historian Bruce Gamble brings to vivid life this dramatic true account.
But the Kangaroo Squadron's story doesn't end in World War II. One of the squadron's B-17 bombers, which crash-landed on its first mission, was recovered from New Guinea after almost seventy years in a jungle swamp. The intertwined stories of the Kangaroo Squadron and the "Swamp Ghost" are filled with thrilling accounts of aerial combat, an epic survival story, and the powerful mystique of an invaluable war relic.
|Publisher:||Da Capo Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.60(d)|
About the Author
Bruce Gamble is an award-winning author and historian who served as a Naval Flight Officer during the closing years of the Cold War. Medically retired in 1989, he began working for the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation before turning to freelance writing. One of the most respected authors on the war in the Pacific, Gamble has written seven books and has appeared in documentaries produced by History Channel, Fox News, PBS, and the Pritzker Military Library. He lives near Madison, Georgia.
Table of Contents
Key Individuals xi
1 Long Night's Journey into War 5
2 Boeing's Big, Beautiful Bomber 25
3 Off We Go! 33
4 Hap's Farewell 51
5 Surfboards and Submarines 59
6 To Fiji, and Beyond 77
7 Storm Clouds 95
8 The First Raid on Rabaul 107
9 Gunfight over New Britain 125
10 Green Hell 133
11 Fever 153
12 Invasion 163
13 The Evacuation of Dugout Doug 177
14 Evacuation Redux 199
15 Jungle Odyssey 211
16 The Royce Special Mission 225
17 Turning Point: The Battle of the Coral Sea 243
18 Silver Stars 261
19 The Reconnaissance Game 279
20 Alone against the Empire 299
21 The Long Road Home 321
22 The Swamp Ghost 337
Appendix Award Citations 351
Select Bibliography 377