Buy NEVER CALL ME A HERO by Dusty Kleiss
Please buy, or check out, “Never Call Me a Hero” by Dusty Kleiss. It’s his memoir of the Battle of Midway. Annapolis grad Kleiss flew a navy dive bomber and his group was directly involved in sinking or decisively damaging 3 Japanese aircraft carriers. It is a powerful memoir that removes a lot of hype and leaves one with deeply moving insight into one of the most important naval battles in history.
Kleiss makes clear the terrible cost of victory in the moment and afterwards and why Americans of all persuasions owe the dead of that day a great debt.
RIP Mr. Kleiss and to all the men who sacrificed everything to keep the Japanese from taking Hawaii and prolonging the war many years, or worse.
@jaybate-1.0 Thx for the suggestion. I will get it. To arrive Sat. My first serious book I remember reading was Walter Lord’s Incredible Victory. Here are some reviews of this one quoted on Amazon:
“ Never Call Me a Hero is a rare and precious gift from a significant warrior to his posterity. Published posthumously, Dusty Kleiss’s stirring memoir contradicts his own title: Kleiss willingly accepted the risks that defined his heroism, and changed the course of the Second World War.” (BARRETT TILLMAN, author of Enterprise: America’s Fightingest Ship and On Wave and Wing: The 100-Year Quest to Perfect the Aircraft Carrier)
“Lieutenant Kleiss is one of history’s ultimate unsung heroes. In this remarkable memoir, the decorated dive-bomber pilot tells a war story for the ages. Dusty Kleiss’s name should be known to every American-adult and schoolchild alike. This book will teach you something on every page.” (JAMES D. HORNFISCHER, author of The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors and The Fleet at Flood Tide)
“Laced with humor, ‘Dusty’ Kleiss’s memoir is an honest, riveting account of a brave pilot’s life. Never Call Me a Hero is equally a vivid and unforgettable first-hand view into America’s greatest victory at sea.” (DAN HAMPTON (USAF, Ret.), recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross and bestselling author of Viper Pilot and Lords of the Sky)
“A real treasure. …It is hard to conceive that a better first-person book on the first six months of America’s war in the Pacific will surface. … An instant classic, a front-row seat on a Pacific war journey that is action-packed throughout.” (STEPHEN L. MOORE, Dallas Morning News)
“Inspiring. … America produced men like Dusty Kleiss in their millions when they were needed, ordinary men who presented themselves when called, put on uniforms, and did extraordinary things. … [Kleiss was] a great American and a hero, whether or not he fancied the honorific.” (American Spectator)
“Incredible. … A standout autobiography for anyone interested in bravery, courage, and first-person accounts of military heroics during World War II.” (Library Journal (starred review))
“Masterful. … Dusty Kleiss was and remains in a class by himself. … Much more than a vivid remembrance of his heroic role.” (Naval History)
“Without histrionics or bravado, Dusty Kleiss gives us a fascinating personal account of this seminal naval battle, and a great read as well. Never Call Me a Hero lets you feel what it was like to fight in the Pacific, and to grow up in Depression-era Middle America, too.” (JONATHAN PARSHALL, co-author, Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway)
“A riveting narrative about the Battle of Midway. … A saga of life in the midst of a war.” (Daily Press)
“[Kleiss] helped to turn the tide of the war. … Conveys the personal nature of war and honors his fellow flyers who lost their lives.” (Seapower Magazine)
The most powerful things are often the things he just remarks on.
When he says his group and others, including the torpedo bomber pilots, understood the night before the attack that the first wave of torpedo bomber pilots were not coming back and mentions the awareness pilots had of going down and either dying from impact, or dying after in the ocean, it is more chilling than any movie, or book, has portrayed it. And in fact only one torpedo plane came back. If you have been far out to sea and looked down on it knowing you are too far to get anywhere in the event of a problem, get ready for a serious chest punch from this book.
@jaybate-1.0 I plan on reading it on the 8.5 hr flight to Hawaii from Dallas, so I will find that ocean visualization thing easier than you think!
How long in the Sandwiches?
@jaybate-1.0 Sounds great! I love history.
mayjay last edited by mayjay
@jaybate-1.0 18 nights beginning Nov 30. Includes 6 nights at the kids’ house fragmented around 7 and 5 night stays at 2 timeshares. All on Maui. Marine son and wife flying over from Oahu on 2nd weekend so we can all have the first family Christmas all together since 2006 or 07. Wifey very excited! Going up to see sunrise at 10,000 ft on Haleakala on this trip.
Going to be bliss. Best wishes in advance.
jaybate 1.0 last edited by jaybate 1.0
You will love this book. It is not high polish academic history. It is a memoir by a very old man both partly haunted by, and partly exhilarated by, a decisive historical moment he was a decisive participant in. I don’t think I’ve ever read something quite like it before. It must have been a great struggle to finally get it down at such an age.
My father, who fought in the Solomons campaign, instead of what might have been a Hawaiian campaign, or a California defense, owed this man something, as in turn so do I, and so do all of us.
It is not that he did more than the rest, as he was quick to insist.
But he got’er done. Had he not dropped his bombs accurately, all the work, sacrifice, and death incurred to get him into the position he was briefly in, would have been for not had he lost his nerve, or concentration, at that key moment.
I will not call him a hero, because it was his wish not to be called such.
I will say he was the very best of everything that once was American, and that will be again.
In miraculously surviving against the odds, as my father also did, he became their spokesperson, as my father became for certain men of the Third Marine Division in the Solomons. But unlike my father he lasted longer and became, in his words, like the last leaf in autumn, before he too fell.
Anchors aweigh and Anchors away.
Thank you! It will be weird watching KU games in the early afternoon.
I have been drafting some stories to tell the 4 year old. He is a big solar system fan. On the last trip he wanted robot stories. So on this trip, my little boy hero and his trusty sidekick the robot meet an astronaut (there actually is one in the family who has written several books), explore the moon, and spin Saturn’s rings.
wissox last edited by
My favorite WW2 book, Flags of our Fathers which was written by the son of one of the flag raisers at Iwo Jima. The town we lived in for about 10 years in Wisconsin was their home so there was a lot of local pride.
My favorite WW2 movie was “To End All Wars”, a true to life telling of the Bridge Over the River Kwai story. Really amazing story. The Great Escape is a close 2nd.
But I may have to check out your recommendation. I remember as a kid watching Midway. Don’t remember too much about it except one scene of an American plane flying straight into the bridge of some Japanese ship. Riveting action.
@wissox I think I remember that scene, too. Unfortunately, it never happened.
wissox last edited by
@mayjay You’re kidding, Hollywood would make up a fake scene for a movie?
JayHawkFanToo last edited by
I like Hogan’s Heroes.