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I enjoyed Don Brown's sweeping review of wartime Pacific theater history, but Brown did little to say who and what Jerry Yellin was all about, especially after the war. However, the biggest flaw for me was that clearly neither the author nor the editors are aviation people or pilots. The text is riddled with aeronautical errors (the first sentence of the Forward says "P51-D" when it should be "P-51D"; throttles are pushed "up" or forward for more power, not pushed down; the P-51 has a stick, not a yoke; "loop" has a specific aeronautical meaning; the Japanese Zero is designated A6M, not an "AM-6"; the P-51 does not typically cruise at 360 mph; a return from Tokyo back to Iwo Jima (750 nm) requires more than 90 gallons of fuel; a faster airplane does not necessarily mean it is more prone to a a flat spin; "12 o'clock high" means directly in front of you, above the horizon; airplane engines don't "lock up...into hyper-drive"). There are other errors as well (Mount Suribachi is not granite; it is volcanic; I doubt pilots enjoyed "hot tubs" on Iwo Jima after missions; escort P-51's are all on the ground, waiting for B-29's to appear overhead before rising to escort the bombers, but when the B-29's appear, the author states the ground-bound P-51 pilots stare up at "...100 single-engine airplanes painted in their aviation battle gray"; first hand knowledge of horrible deaths ".. didn't make him afraid to live". What? When engaging the enemy, Yellin "...opened fire on the enemy aircraft, then Danny." Yellin shot at his wingman Danny? I did not count how may times the author described Yellin's final wingman as the "the highest tested IQ in the Army" or that the wingman's great nieces became modern Hollywood actresses, but once on the former and none on the latter would have sufficed. I commend the departed Captain Jerry Yellin for his service, but unfortunately the author and editors fumbled the story.

 
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6.012 Patron-Generated Content

04/27/2011
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