Slingshot Warbirds

World War II U.S. Navy Scout-Observation Airmen

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About the Book

A unique and little-known chapter in World War II naval aviation history concerns the exploits of the scout-observation pilots who flew from the battleships and cruisers of the U.S. Navy. To carry out their missions, they were launched from their ships by catapult. On returning, their float-equipped aircraft landed on the water and the plane and crew were crane-hoisted aboard the vessel.
In compiling this work, the author culled from the naval archives many of the ships’ action reports and war diaries that detail the accounts of these airmen. In addition he meticulously edited the personal records of 27 veteran airmen who related stories of intense and excruciatingly difficult missions.

About the Author(s)

William Neufeld is a writer and researcher living in Teaneck, New Jersey.

Bibliographic Details

William Neufeld
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 239
Bibliographic Info: photos, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2003
pISBN: 978-0-7864-0788-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface     1

1 The Navy Learns to Fly     3

2 A Generation of Peace     13

3 America Goes to War     29

4 Adventures in Training     49

5 Service Units and Destroyer Aviation     57

6 The Battle for Guadalcanal     62

7 The Atlantic War Zone     82

8 The Mediterranean Theater     98

9 The South Pacific     106

10 The Invasion of Italy     124

11 The Invasion of France     131

12 Operation Anvil-Dragoon: The Invasion of Southern France     141

13 The Fleet Pushes West     148

14 Invasion of the Philippines     171

15 The Battle for Iwo Jima     189

16 The Battle for Okinawa     199

17 The Last Months of the War     217

List of Sources     221

Index     229

Book Reviews & Awards

“welcome…an interesting read and rare historical account…excellent research here, and I was surprised to see just how much action these crews experienced, sometimes maneuvering with Japanese Zeros and German Messerschmitts…fills a long-standing void”—Naval Aviation News; “entertaining stories…excellent photographs…worth a look”—Stone & Stone Second World War Books.