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Wings of Gold: The U.S. Naval Air Campaign in World War II

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  28 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
From critically acclaimed military historian Gerald Astor comes Wings of Gold, the first account of how the airplane transformed the U.S. Navy and paved the way to victory in the Pacific in World War II. Astor tracks that fateful journey from its humble beginnings in 1910 when Eugene Ely flew the very first plane off the deck of a U.S. Navy ship to the unprecedented air co ...more
Hardcover, 452 pages
Published June 1st 2004 by Presidio Press
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Jared Nolen
Feb 04, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I am finished with this one, but I will not finish reading it. One of the poorest pieces of writing I have encountered on WW2. Astor, in an effort to keep the book focused on the first person experience of each of the pilots he features. In doing so he fails to include the details that bring a first person narrative alive. Very little context is included on pivotal engagements at Midway and Guadalcanal, the desperate situation the US was in, not the overwhelming odds these pilots faced against s ...more
Lee
Nov 30, 2009 rated it did not like it
Not good at all. I'm not up to Midway, and he's repeated confused the SBD and SB2C dive bombers, as well as misspelled the former as "SPD" twice. Once again, an editor would have helped here. I say that a lot about histories anymore.

It seems to be a collection of oral histories, with bits of text to connect them. I'm already suspicious of the accuracy of some of these bits, given the above.

I gave up early in the Midway chapters. This "critically acclaimed military historian" screwed up too man
...more
Jim
Aug 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a good history of U.S. naval aviation in World War II. Aside from brief descriptions of naval air cover for the Operation Torch landings in North Africa and escort carriers in the Battle of the Atlantic, most of the book covers the carrier war in the Pacific. I especially liked the discussion of tactics like the Thatch (spelling?) Weave that was designed to take advantage of the strengths of the 4F4 fighter and compensate for its weaknesses against the Zero. The author is pretty candid i ...more
Patricrk patrick
Feb 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: history
this book is a high spot history of navy aviation mostly in the Paciifc during world war II. There are lots of short first hand accounts by pilots of various actions. The effort put into rescuing downed pilots is described. A few inaccuracies in this first edition I'm reading, in putting Hellcat fighters at Midway.
Dwayne Coleman
Aug 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A very good history
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Gerald Morton Astor, a native of New Haven, grew up in Mount Vernon, N.Y. After his Army service in the Second World War, he received a bachelor’s degree from Princeton. He was the picture editor of Sports Illustrated in its early years and worked as an editor for Sport magazine, Look, The Saturday Evening Post and Time.

Besides his accounts of the Battle of the Bulge and the air war in Europe, Mr.
...more
More about Gerald Astor...