Seven At Santa Cruz, The Life of Fighter Ace Stanley “Swede” Vejtasa

The author has produced an absorbing biography of WWII naval hero Stanley “Swede” Vejtasa. “Swede” flew the SBD Dauntless dive-bomber and the F4F Wildcat fighter during the start of the Pacific War – Most Highly Recommended.


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NAME: Seven At Santa Cruz, The Life of Fighter Ace Stanley “Swede” 
Vejtasa
FILE: R2684
AUTHOR: Ted Edwards
PUBLISHER: Naval Institute Press
BINDING: hard back
PAGES:  272
PRICE: $29.95
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: World War Two, Second World War, World War 2, Japanese Navy, 
USN, carrier warfare, naval aviation, Pacific, SBD Dauntless, F4F
 Wildcat, fighters, dive bombers, USS Yorktown,USS Enterprise, dive 
bomber, fighter

ISBN: 978-1-68247-287-3

IMAGE: B2684.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/y9qyunff
LINKS:  
DESCRIPTION: The author has produced an absorbing biography of WWII 
naval hero Stanley “Swede” Vejtasa. “Swede” flew the SBD Dauntless 
dive-bomber and the F4F Wildcat fighter during the start of the 
Pacific War – Most Highly Recommended.

Swede” Vejtasa was a much decorated USN pilot of WWII. During the 
Battle of the Coral Sea, he was flying an SBD Dauntless dive bomber 
from USS Yorktown and helped sink the Shoho, the first Japanese 
carrier sunk by the USN in WWII. The next day he was again flying a 
Dauntless when he outflew and outgunned three Japanese Zero fighters, 
which were at that time considered at least equal to the best Allied 
fighters. This made “Swede” the only dive bomber pilot to be awarded 
Navy Crosses for both dive bombing and aerial combat.

Months later, the day before the Battle of Santa Cruz, “Swede” was 
flying an F4F Wildcat fighter from the USS Enterprise and was ordered 
to fly predictably empty search legs which he knew to be insane. He 
followed his orders. On his return to Point Option the carrier was 
not there. He and his fellow pilots were low on fuel. He remembered 
seeing an oil leak from the USS Enterprise and he located this oil 
slick, following it to the new location of the carrier.

Having saved himself and his fellow pilots, “Swede” was able to fly 
again the next day, single-handedly downing two Japanese dive bombers 
and five torpedo bombers. Skipper Jimmy Flatley considered that this 
had saved the USS Enterprise from destruction and recommended “Swede” 
for the Medal of Honor. For reasons unclear, Admiral Kinkaid, who had 
been responsible for the mistakes in sending “Swede” and his comrades 
on the mission that nearly cost the whole group, downgraded the Medal 
of Honor recommendation to a Distinguished Flying Cross.

The biography charts his life and career, painting a three dimensional 
picture of “Swede”. It shows his skills as a pilot and his tendency to 
clash with authority which denied him a deserved Medal of Honor and the 
higher rank he had also been recommended for. The author has also 
corrected some misconceptions about the Battle of Santa Cruz and the 
part that “Swede” played in it. A great read.

This review is made from a softback Advance Reading Copy of this new 
book which is due to be released in mid June 2018. The publisher will 
then be releasing a hard back printed paper book and an eBook. It is 
understood that the text content of the published hard back will not 
differ from the advanced copy and that the cover art work will remain 
the same. However, the published edition will feature supporting 
illustrations in the form of photographs. If a copy of the published 
edition is sent to the FIRE Project around the time of release, we 
will produce a new review on a new file number, both reviews then 
appearing in response to a reader using the query box on the front
 page of the reviews.firetrench.com portal.