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Fifty-three days on Starvation Island : the World War II battle that saved Marine Corps aviation  Cover Image Book Book

Fifty-three days on Starvation Island : the World War II battle that saved Marine Corps aviation / by John R. Bruning.

Bruning, John R., (author.).


"On August 20, 1942, twelve Marine dive-bombers and nineteen Marine fighters landed at Guadalcanal. Their mission: defeat the Japanese navy and prevent it from sending more men and supplies to "Starvation Island," as Guadalcanal was nicknamed. The Japanese were turning the remote, jungle-covered mountain in the south Solomon Islands into an air base from which they could attack the supply lines between the U.S. and Australia. The night after the Marines landed and captured the partially completed airfield, the Imperial Navy launched a surprise night attack on the Allied fleet offshore, resulting in the worst defeat the U.S. Navy suffered in the 20th century, which prompted the abandonment of the Marines on Guadalcanal. The Marines dug in, and waited for help, as those thirty-one pilots and twelve gunners flew against the Japanese, shooting down eighty-three planes in less than two months, while the dive bombers, carried out over thirty attacks on the Japanese fleet. Fifty-Three Days on Starvation Island follows Major John L. Smith, a magnetic leader who became America's top fighter ace for the time; Captain Marian Carl, the Marine Corps' first ace, and one of the few survivors of his squadron at the Battle of Midway. He would be shot down and forced to make his way back to base through twenty-five miles of Japanese-held jungle. And Major Richard Mangrum, the lawyer-turned-dive-bomber commander whose inexperienced men wrought havoc on the Japanese Navy. New York Times bestselling author John R. Bruning depicts the desperate effort to stop the Japanese long enough for America to muster reinforcements and turn the tide at Guadalcanal. Not just the story of an incredible stand on a distant jungle island, Fifty-Three Days on Starvation Island also explores the consequences of victory to the men who secured it at a time when America had been at war for less than a year and its public had yet to fully understand what that meant. The home front they returned to after their jungle ordeal was a surreal montage of football games, nightclubs, fine dining with America's elites, and inside looks at dysfunctional defense industries more interested in fleecing the government than properly equipping the military. Bruning tells the story of how one battle reshaped the Marine Corps and propelled its veterans into the highest positions of power just in time to lead the service into a new war in Southeast Asia"-- Provided by publisher.

Available copies

  • 3 of 6 copies available at PINES.


  • 5 current holds with 6 total copies.
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Library System: Library Branch Name
Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status  
Chestatee Regional Library System:
      Dawson County Library
940.54265933 BRUNING ( Send Text)
31011007443971 NONFIC Available
Chestatee Regional Library System:
      Lumpkin County Library
940.54265933 BRUNING ( Send Text)
31011007443989 NONFIC Available
Dougherty County Public Library:
      Northwest Branch
940.54 BRUNING, JOHN R ( Send Text)
31018905324500 NONFIC Available
Lee County Public Library:
      Leesburg Branch
940.54 BRUN ( Send Text)
31032006811695 ADULT Checked out
Middle Georgia Regional Library:
      Riverside Branch Library
940.54 BRUNING J ( Send Text)
31033012367094 Adult Nonfiction On holds shelf
West Georgia Regional Library System:
      Douglas County Public Library
940.54265 BRUNI ( Send Text)
31057107677661 NONFICTION In process

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