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.
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.