Vengeance Strikes the Blow
From the book: Thach used his slight height advantage to roll into a beam run on the Nakajima's right side. He powered the F4F in low and steady, allowing himself the best chance of striking the target. Breath held, he anticipated the aircraft crossing in front of his plane's nose and prepared the deflection shot. His finger squeezed the trigger a fraction of a second before his prey zipped past. Flickering streams of .50-caliber tracers arced gracefully through the air, curving into the target streaking by. Staccato ropes of steel-jacketed lead ripped into the Nakajima's uncovered fuselage, blowing large pieces free. The enemy plane rolled over slightly as the slugs chewed into it, exposing its far side to damage. The F4F vibrated and slowed with the kickback from the hammering Brownings. Thach continued raking the enemy plane until it cleared his field of fire. Completing his pass, Thach turned back to look. The Nakajima's left wing blazed, the intense heat and flame melting away the outer covering and exposing the frame. The enemy plane wobbled and dipped and then straightened out. He watched in frustrated admiration as the enemy pilot struggled to complete his run and succeeded in releasing his torpedo. Thach cursed, thinking, what do I have to do to stop this guy? Flame his aircraft, destroy a wing, and he still drops his fish. What drives a man so? June 4, 1942, amidst the Pacific Ocean northwest of a tiny atoll named Midway, fighting rages. By day's end, one dominant naval power reaches and ebbs from the high-water mark of its existence. The other strives toward mastering the world's oceans as it does today. The Battle of Midway was more than a contest of two nations' wills; it was a contest of man's will over uncontrollable circumstances. This novel delves into and beyond historical fact, offering an insight into the complex personalities of several of the battle participants on both sides. The novel is not just about the combat, but also the effect of combat on the men caught up in its crucible. For some, this day serves as a turning point, altering and shaping their futures. Others find their end in an unmarked grave beneath deep Pacific waters. These pages describe the thrilling, terrifying action as experienced by the men involved. If December 7, 1941 stands as the Day of Infamy in the American consciousness, then June 4, 1942 is the Day of Retribution. The historical facts are between these covers. So is the rest of the story.
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