Review Blog

Aug 29 2016

44 days: 75 squadron and the fight for Australia by Michael Veitch

cover image

Hachette, 2016. ISBN 9780733633638
(Age: Senior secondary - Adult) The story of the Battle of Kokoda has been well told. However, the World War 2 battle in the skies above Port Moresby has not been as well known, until now. Michael Veitch vividly describes the extremely brave men who, over 44 days in 1942, with little preparation or material support, flew missions in Kittyhawks against the superior Japanese Zero aircraft. The airmen had an extraordinary squadron leader, John Jackson, whose bravery was an inspiration. However, in the end the unit was overwhelmed through loss of virtually all their aircraft, erroneous tactics and the lack of support from the air force hierarchy.
The book includes 15 photographs, maps and chapter notes. The author provides detailed accounts of the actions of many of the airmen and demonstrates wonderful background knowledge of the aircraft involved, as well as the physical conditions the men had to survive on the ground. But for the author's research, these heroic deeds would have never been told.
Paul Pledger

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