Hammel and Cleaver have once more brought Guadalcanal front and center. Theirs is a harrowing tale of unpreparedness, intelligence and leadership failures, of learning hard lessons in the furious crucible of war, of sacrifice and loss, of great courage, and, ultimately, of a great victory secured at a fearsome cost.
Richard P. Hallion, former Historian of the US Air Force
Overstating Eric Hammel's impact as a military historian is impossible. His focus on aviation-and Guadalcanal in particular-has seen few equals. Today, we benefit not only because Hammel had the foresight to capture the first-person accounts of thousands of veterans, but also because he possessed the knowledge to place them in the proper context.
Jay A. Stout, author of 'Jayhawk: Love, Loss, Liberation and Terror Over the Pacific'
Eric Hammel's research, done when no one else was interested in learning these stories, has allowed a story we all think we know well to be told anew, through the words of those whose stories were never told before. The Cactus Air Force is a vital contribution that provides new information about this crucial battle.
Barrett Tillman, author of 'Whirlwind: The Air War Against Japan, 1942–1945'
Eric Hammel was outstanding among us in finding participants and conducting interviews. His best work glowed that way, notably in his Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima publications.
Richard B. Frank, author of 'Guadalcanal: The Definitive Account of the Landmark Battle'
This superbly written description of the conflict in the Pacific chronicles these battles with reference to official records and, more importantly, personal accounts of the US participants taken from interviews and diaries. These graphic and moving accounts create a vivid narrative for the reader.
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