Hell from the Heavens: The Epic Story of the USS Laffey and World War II’s Greatest Kamikaze Attack
The secret to Wukovits’ method of keeping the tension so high during the battle scene, so high that you find yourself reading breathlessly, lies in the way this author foreshadows the action with vivid detail long before the fever-pitch begins. Wukovits lays bare the desperation of the Japanese high command, who formulated the suicidal “kikusui” in a last ditch effort to stem the American advance. We follow the USS Laffey from its tour of duty off the coast of Normandy, into the Pacific theater where the crew sees action in the waters of the Phillippines, Iwo Jima, Honshu, and finally Okinawa. Here in the East China Sea we find Laffey maintaining the most forward position, alone, and without air cover.
Wukovits unfolds the kamikaze attack on the ship and crew, minute-by-grueling-minute, as twenty-two determined Japanese pilots aim their planes at the destroyer. They come one after another, sometimes in opposing pairs from opposite sides of the ship, and sometimes straight down from the clouds above. Through it all, you will find yourself turning pages faster and faster through the eighty minutes of Hell From The Heavens that defines the spirit of American bravery .
Da Capo Press