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Flyboys: A True Story of Courage, by James Bradley


Flyboys is the true story about eight American airmen who were shot down during World War II and held prisoners on a small island off the coast of Japan. The fate of these men was not known until the Japanese war crimes trials were held in 1946. The horrific results led to the hanging of high ranking officers and the imprisonment of many others. Information about the crimes was kept from the American public; the files were sealed and were not opened until the late 1980s.

The author wanted to let the story be known in honor of these airmen. He used the information from the trials in addition to interviews of the Japanese survivors who witnessed the action to tell us the fate of these men. Bradley researched the lives of each of them so we could best know and understand them. He also included a great deal of information about Jimmie Doolittle, who was the first to bomb Tokyo, General Curtis LeMay, who used the B-29 missions to devastate Tokyo, and Colonel Tibetts who dropped the 1st atomic bomb.

James Bradley's reading of his book is especially effective because of his personal connection with one of the soldiers who served in the Pacific. His first bestseller, Flags of Our Fathers, told the stories of his father and the five Marines who were immortalized in the famous photo of the raising of the American flag on Mt Suribachi on Iwo Jima.

I highly recommend this book and hope all Americans will read it or listen to this excellent six-hour abridgement on five CDs. I know there will be many who will feel that war crimes should be forgiven. My feelings are that maybe they should, perhaps, but never should they be forgotten.

John Mormon

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