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A Dawn Like Thunder
Cover of A Dawn Like Thunder
A Dawn Like Thunder
The True Story of Torpedo Squadron Eight
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One of the great untold stories of World War II finally comes to light in this thrilling account of Torpedo Squadron Eight and their heroic efforts in helping an outmatched U.S. fleet win critical victories at Midway and Guadalcanal. These 35 American men--many flying outmoded aircraft--changed the course of history, going on to become the war's most decorated naval air squadron, while suffering the heaviest losses in U.S. naval aviation history.
Mrazek paints moving portraits of the men in the squadron, and exposes a shocking cover-up that cost many lives. Filled with thrilling scenes of battle, betrayal, and sacrifice, A DAWN LIKE THUNDERis destined to become a classic in the literature of World War II.
One of the great untold stories of World War II finally comes to light in this thrilling account of Torpedo Squadron Eight and their heroic efforts in helping an outmatched U.S. fleet win critical victories at Midway and Guadalcanal. These 35 American men--many flying outmoded aircraft--changed the course of history, going on to become the war's most decorated naval air squadron, while suffering the heaviest losses in U.S. naval aviation history.
Mrazek paints moving portraits of the men in the squadron, and exposes a shocking cover-up that cost many lives. Filled with thrilling scenes of battle, betrayal, and sacrifice, A DAWN LIKE THUNDERis destined to become a classic in the literature of World War II.
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About the Author-
  • Bob Mrazek graduated from Cornell University, served in the U.S. Navy, and served five terms in the U.S. Congress. Mrazek authored the Amerasian Homecoming Act, which brought nineteen thousand children of Americans who served in Vietnam to the USA. He also authored the National Film Preservation Act, which established the National Film Registry in the Library of Congress to protect films of cultural importance.
    Since leaving Congress, Mrazek has authored ten books, earning the American Library Association's top honor for military fiction, the Michael Shaara award for Civil War fiction, and Best Book (American History) from the Washington Post. He also wrote and co-directed the 2016 feature film The Congressman. He lives in upstate NY and Maine.
Reviews-
  • Library Journal

    December 15, 2008
    Mrazek ("Stonewall's Gold") brilliantly captures the bravery of Squadron Eight in World War II's pivotal battle of Midway and the unit's subsequent involvement at Guadalcanal. Presented in logbook format, the author's clipped narrative offers fascinating vignettes of the aviators' prewar lives. At Midway the squadron, in obsolete torpedo bombers without fighter protection, was ordered to attack Japanese carriersand was nearly decimated. Mrazek indicts the captain and air commander of the formation's carrier, the USS "Hornet", for this fiasco and intimates that the squadron may have been used as a decoy to benefit high-altitude dive bombers as they took the greatest toll on the enemy flattops. Following Midway, Squadron Eight was reassigned to the USS "Saratoga" as part of a task force charged with expelling the Japanese from Guadalcanal. Mrazek's gripping account of the group's bombing activities is rich in detail and tactical analysis. A special treat is Mrazek's winsome epilog, which details the postwar achievements of the surviving squadron officers and men. A well-written and meticulously researched account of one of America's most distinguished World War II aerial groups; recommended for general military and aviation collections and all libraries.John Carver Edwards, Univ. of Georgia Libs.

    Copyright 2008 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    December 15, 2008
    Novelist and former U.S. congressman Mrazek has written an admirable history of the Torpedo Squadron Eight, legendary to World War II buffs. Most of the squadron, flying off the U.S.S. Hornet for the Battle of Midway in obsolete Devastators, perished in a famous low-level attack. But six more modern Avengers flew from Midway itself, and the survivors in them formed the nucleus of a squadron that went on to fly Avengers off the carrier Saratoga until it was damaged by a submarine attack, and then from Henderson Field on Guadalcanal in the climactic stages of the campaign for the island. Mrazek has made painstaking use of written sources and the personal memories of surviving members of the squadron to produce a long book, but one that will keep students of the crucial year 1942 reading assiduously. A boon to the literature of the WWII Pacific theater and of naval aviation.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2008, American Library Association.)

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A Dawn Like Thunder
A Dawn Like Thunder
The True Story of Torpedo Squadron Eight
Robert J. Mrazek
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