Monday, February 13, 2017

Book Review: Devotion

I have been nursing along a few books, having trouble keeping focused, when work had taken up so much of my time. I decided that when I had my foot surgery I would entertain myself reading and completing the online King School Commercial course.  Honestly, I haven't done much reading to date and I'm only about 60% on the commercial studies.

While surfing online I looked up Adam Makos to see what he may have recently had published. Makos wrote A Higher Call, another excellent read. I was pleasantly surprised to see Devotion, released in 2015. I snatched up a copy for my Kindle and jumped right into it.
This is a story about the U.S. Navy’s Lieutenant Tom Hudner, Ensign Jesse Brown, the first African American Naval aviator and the Marines they fought to defend. Tom Hudner (MOH recipient) was from a wealthy New England family and Jesse Brown (Distinguished Flying Cross recipient) was a sharecroppers son from Mississippi. Two different worlds living completely different lives. America was still deeply divided by segregation when Tom and Jesse met while assigned to VF32. Their lives would depend on each other as they flew together from carriers into battle.
The book details meeting up with Marines they would eventually provide air cover for during battle. While not the main characters, Makos wove the ground forces and their struggles into the storyline, I thought it tied it all together very well. Initially deployed to the Mediterranean the carrier group along with the fleet Marines participated in war games, enjoying shore leave along the Riviera and meeting Hollywood elites.

The war games came to an end and reality hit home as war breaks out in Korea. The pilots and fleet Marines were to return to the states and then head to the pacific. This book is not all flying, the story centers around the historic battle at the Chosin Reservoir that lasted from November 26th to December 11th 1950.

The marines were out numbered by the north Koreans who were being reinforced by communist China. I researched the battle and the numbers were staggering.

The U.S. ground forces were aided by air support provided by two carriers. The air cover saved many lives and the Marines were thankful.

Without giving up the ending I will say it was a great read, very hard to put it down. Makos, at the end of the book, provides an update on the soldiers and flyers. I have often finished a book wondering where characters ended up, where did their experiences take them. Makos provided the rest of the story.

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