Saturday, November 22, 2014
Aces High by Bill Yenne
This book relates the stories of the two top-scoring United States fighter pilots in World War II. Richard Bong (40 victories), and Thomas McGuire (38 victories) who flew Lockheed P-38s in the Pacific Theater. Both pilots also had several unconfirmed "probables" that could be added to their total victories. The media sensationalized their heroism to create a rivalry for "Ace of Aces" that did not exist. Bong and McGuire even flew together in the Philippines before Bong was pulled from combat to avoid a propaganda disaster if he were killed. Both pilots were awarded the Medal of Honor, but sadly, neither neither lived to see the end of the war. The book relies exclusively on secondary sources, and there are some minor errors, and it is written in a simple stye that is accessible to younger readers.