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tv   Book Discussion  CSPAN  January 20, 2015 1:15am-2:31am EST

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>> i'm roger from miami. speak to the refugee flow around the world specifically syria and the burden on jordan, on turkey on lebanon. where's the resilience and how do you prepare for that? >> rockefeller has an initiative we launched at our centennial called 100 brazilian cities and i have to tell you that reading the applications we have had 800 applications from cities around the world. reading the applications for many of those cities who are receiving so many of those refugees and are completely burdened in terms of their own population their physical resources, their energy resources. there are some cities that are more resilient. they were prepared for refugees but they have more adaptive capacities than other cities that i think are completely
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going to go down as a result of the refugee overflow. so a story being written. >> priscilla gaines. i work a lot with professionals to deal with abuse. he said part of building resiliency is learning how to fail successfully. i love that. could you talk a little bit about the youth and building resiliency through the parents and educators? >> absolutely. i think we really do need to redefine what skills our education system is trying to train for. walter spoke eloquently in the last session about science and humanities and all of those. obviously i'm an educator and i believe that all of those are critical but we need to teach our children how to cope successfully, how to fail more safely how to draw outside the lines, not just draw inside the lines. our education system is often
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focused on learning how to draw inside the lines. i think now i hope through this book and her other books that educators particularly in k-12 will be thinking about that because we are losing our integration capacity and that edge. we pride ourselves on that and obviously we are still an amazingly innovative and entrepreneurial country but we could help our children to learn how to be better innovators and be more resilient. >> i appreciate. it's got to be another definition of resilience. i promise to the last questions are met. >> bob diamond from boca raton. i was in your class at nyu. >> she was a baby when she taught it.
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>> i'm looking forward to reading your book and i just wanted to ask you what jurisdictions have adopted some of these principles ahead of some of the other's? >> we see san francisco as amazing in terms of their degree of resilience and they are both preparing that they have recovered from the earthquake is really a way to start building innovation. they share the lifeline council. they have all elements whether its communications, electricity, government or integrated in their planning process. and now they have adapted because they of course are the home of air bnb and huber and the sharing economy and excess capacity is another roofing -- resilience feature so they have built that in. they use sweet feed which used
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to be a bark for the navy. it's now used to train all of their citizens on readiness and preparedness exercises. it's really amazing what they are doing. we see lots of that both in the united states and around the world and obviously we think of the dutch as being quite resilient. but they are doing it through hard infrastructure. i think what our work has shown is that in this day and age when we worry about climate change and other issues green infrastructure is a piece of the solution that's much less expensive and environmentally much more protective than the new framework of the 21st century. >> giuda rodin thank you very much and thank you all. [applause]
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>> military historian barrett tillman recounts the air force and military exploits during world war ii in europe specifically the units attacked against nazi industrial facilities. this is about an hour and 15 minutes. >> good afternoon everybody. i am barbara and this is the poisoned pen. sunday the 12th i'm delighted to welcome back barrett tillman who has written over 40 books most of them nonfiction but i know you have been here didn't you go write something? were you kind of their experts? >> with steve i contributed to two original fiction anthologies at his request. steve has just been marvelous friend and colleague.
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in 1984 hour mutual publisher naval institute press send me a manuscript written by a vietnam war aviator called for each other. the publisher asked my opinion and i said this book is so good if you don't publish it i will. the next year was published. steve and i kept in touch ever since. than "the herold" coyle trilogy he came up with the concept of a foreign military contractor that does deniable work for the u.s. government all over the world. that was a trilogy that was a fun change of pace for me because i hadn't done anything in the thriller realm at that time. so that was an education. >> i am sure it was a newer wonderful writer. i think you're nonfiction right with all the polls of the
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thriller. you grew up buying airplanes and where does the aviation background come from? >> i'm in eastern oregon ranch kid grew up literally next to the family crop duster strip in my hometown population 950 in oregon and airplanes were always overhead. that combined with the fact that my dad had been trained as a naval aviator in world war ii meant i was infected with the virus from embassy. so i was blessed and i use that word advisedly barbara. i was blessed to grow up being able to help restore vintage airplanes and fly them and i guess overall i have had between five and 600 hours flying navy airplanes from the world war ii era. so that's been a tremendous benefit to me both in history and fiction. >> i am sure those that read understanding of encyclopedic
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knowledge. speaking of encyclopedic knowledge i'm going to talk about the first but the d-day encyclopedia which i believe is an update and probably if i work this out right to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the june 6, 1944 d-day landing. >> exactly right. originally the book was published by bresee's for the 60th anniversary and then it lapsed and i woke up one morning and realized oh my gosh in 12 to 14 months we are going to have the next, the 70th anniversary anniversary. so i eventually wound up with regnery doing an update and the main difference between the original and this is that all of the deceased states are now filled in. there are none of the historic figures.
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>> i hadn't even thought about that. i was going to ask if there was new material that has come out from a a list of records in that kind of thing that would have changed some of the information that you had in the original version. >> i did expand upon a few of the entries. i know one had to do with intelligence from the allied side and a couple of other entries were expanded on the basis of additional information. one of them had to do with the british and canadian navy participation. i found additional information on that. this has been very well received and as an author it's always interesting to me to get feedback from my readers because two of them who don't know each other said this is a wonderful book because most of the entries are just the right length for a bathroom read. [laughter] >> i started this yesterday and
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i don't know where i was sitting but i just dipped in and out of that and one of the things, was born in 1940 so i don't have any actual memories of the war dj other than playing with my mothers stamps and my parents talk about many of these figures in the years after the war. so reading this was not just a refresher course but the entries about all the personalities are real things that you don't know. when you are living through at its difference vietnam was my war and now when i read about vietnam i think why did my knowing about them but you can't tell. one of the things that i thought was interesting was the personalities you talk about. we have dwight eisenhower who was the supreme allied commander and my question would be was he there because he was a great general are there because you is
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great at logistics are even greater politics? >> he was great at politics. the conventional wisdom for many years after the war was that ike was the one who held together the alliance and that is certainly an exaggeration. it's not as if the british and the french were going to take their and go home because they didn't like the fact that an american was the supreme commander. the other aspect was america provided a huge majority of the manpower for the liberation of northwestern europe. it was just a given that eisenhower for at least another senior american would be the overall commander. but in fairness his primary subordinates both were british. portal was the deputy commander
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and the in the head of the navy and air campaigns also were british. so it was pretty much a balance between the anglo-american. >> it was certainly operation overboard in bearing components. you talk about you have a great fondness for -- but he did an awful lot in the european war. >> i was very fortunate to get to know general jimmy as he liked to be called somewhat and that will reflect later on. but of course he came to world prominence as opposed to national prominence with the april 1942 bombing raid of tokyo and five other cities in that area. a daring concept launching twin-engine bombs from an aircraft carrier and that aspect
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of it worked. it turned out they had to launch a few hundred miles earlier than expected so all the planes except one ran out of fuel. but that brought an immediate promotion to then lieutenant colonel doolittle to brigadier general. he received the medal of honor and he was almost immediately sent to north africa in late 1942 where he learned the general business running the north african allied air forces and the u.s. 12th air force. so by the time he came to italy in november 43 to run the newly established 15th air force he was very much a known quantity and he was only there two months before eisenhower recalled him to britain to take over the eighth air force for the run-up to d-day. >> he had his problems in the sense that the weather didn't
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cooperate for d-day. you have a very low cloud cover and the bombers ended up being too far back to really protect the people. >> the air plan that i found in the air force archives shows the normandy coast running mostly east-west and the heavy bombers based in britain 30 miles away were approaching the german occupied beaches at a perpendicular angle from north to south. and the navy said we don't want the bombers dropping short because it will endanger the ships offshore. the bomb and ears added another french factor. long story short most of the bombs fell 1.5 to three miles behind the beaches and really did no to the landing turf. >> trying to fly to heathrow is a relapse to go and they have
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the tides they have the tides to worry about too so there was really no perfect day other than incredible luck. >> d-day was originally scheduled for june 5 and eisenhower agreed the previous morning that they would have a 24-hour weather holds and then after that it was either all or nothing because the next favorable tides and moon phase were about three weeks downstream. >> isn't it amazing to think that this was kept a secret? think about it today with satellites and social media and everything. i find it fascinating and we will get to that stuff in a minute but a couple of things that i picked up that i found fascinating. movie director john ford gave him a big entry. why? >> john ford was a navy -- and even though his prewar fame as a
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movie director had nothing to do with naval subjects as i recall he was born in maine and grew up on the rockbound coast so saltwater was in his veins early on. when world war ii started he basically knocked on the navy store instead here navy store instead here i am, make use of me. he was given a direct commission i think as a lieutenant commander with a film crew and he had visiting privileges almost anywhere. there is a little known but superb color documentary that his crew made right after the battle of midway in june of 1942 and he is well-known for that documentary but less well-known is the fact that his film crew was aboard navy and coast guard ships off normandy.
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some of the combat footage we see in the tv documentaries were shot by his cameraman. >> obviously you think about it but i was fascinated to see it. you know the person that i like the best is a british person, simon fraser lord leavitt. lucky him there was actually a war. he was a man born to fight. >> absolutely was. he was the senior commando in the british armed forces born and bred in the scottish highlands and if there hadn't been a war he would have found a way to start one. he's one of these as you say a natural-born lawyer whose life would have been wasted in any other endeavor and even though he was severely wounded during the normandy campaign and he received the last rites in anticipation of death he told a
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subordinate later on the war is not over laddie so he got back into combat before the war ended. >> he was lucky that penicillin had been developed or he would not have survived those lands but it was fortunate that technology caught up with him. you'd talk about patton rommell that there are four or five that we should briefly mention. charged -- charles degaulle is among the allies. >> he was a progressive military military -- before world war ii. he spent most of world war i as a prisoner of the germans but between the wars he became france's leading advocate of tank warfare and consequently his seniority with such that when france fell in june of 1940
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degaulle effectuated to britain with tens of thousands of other freed french. he became a significant factor in allied planning. i think the most wonderful statement made about him was from winston churchill who said the greatest cross i must barrassp across of iran. >> the truth is somebody had to be running a french government so when the germans were forced back and kicked out they could actually function. there was a vacuum at that point and degaulle was able to do that. most of us know up enough about churchill although you definitely talk about them. still when you don't because he was not a figure in d-day in this book is about d-day. but i thought you said something about franklin roosevelt that i have often thought there are a lot of medical theories about if this person or this illness had gone on history would have been different.
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if napoleon hadn't suffered from hemorrhoids he may not have crossed the waterloo because he could not sit on his horse. fdr in your judgment in this book should not have run for a fourth term. >> correct, he was done. if you look at the films especially from the all the conference about six weeks before he died he really should have stepped down but it was not in him. >> the reason was of course there was a paralysis when he was so ill. there wasn't anybody able and i have read things that david patton could have made it but he was unable to because there was no american functioning command at that time from january to march and of course truman had been kept out of things. >> that's correct. >> i always thought harry truman
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you know a person who had zero training for any of the role that fell upon him did an amazing job. you think about he learned from the treaty of her sigh. he did not have a functioning treaty. he did all that stuff you know and roosevelt had such contempt for him. >> it would have been fascinating to be the proverbial fly on the wall on the day truman was inaugurated when the chief of staff said mr. president there something you need to know that's going on out in new mexico. >> and hitler yumeg points and none of us give us points -- give him points for being a great human being but i think the same thing about napoleon, why russia? why couldn't they just stick to
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europe and be happy with that and maybe that's not part of the personality like that. >> it apparently is not barbara. i think the one thing napoleon and hitler had in common was they were drinking their own kool-aid. >> and alexander the great if we really want to go back. >> the great captains of history typically were a victim of their own success. >> i think that's true. we talked about people and to give a lot of space to the various armed forces land sea and air on the american the british and the german front which i thought was fascinating. talk about the weaponry, the kinds of planes and the kinds of guns and you give credit to american gun designers mr. browning in i'm sorry don't member the other one. >> mr. durand. john durand was born a canadian
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and became a u.s. citizen and he was an employee of the u.s. army ordinance service. he spends 12 years or so designing what became the m-1 semiotic -- semiautomatic rifle which meant the u.s. armed forces were the only ones in the second world for entirely equipped with a semiautomatic rifle. so that made a big difference. and then john m. browning and native-born genius of utah gunsmith designed and held the patents on almost every automatic weapon that the united states used in the second world war and the browning automatic rifle the automatic weapon and a light and heavy machine guns and the fabulous 1911 pistol that
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was an front-line service for 75 years and still is today. so he was a true american hero. >> you also give space to a guy that designed the landing craft. hubble? >> higgins. and i thought that was fascinating. >> use another bootstrap for success story. he established a privately-owned boat building company in new orleans and he anticipated before the landing the need for mass-produced landing craft in the event is that not a war but the next war. it's generically called the higgins boat and actually was the landing craft vehicle and personnel that made possible amphibious operations in every theater of action. >> i thought that was terrific. also you finally cleared up for
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me various things about the kinds of airplanes or were used. we all know about the b. 47 the workhorse bomber. >> the b-17. >> i had not realized that douglas r. aircraft for c-47 was basically a passenger plane that they managed to turn into personnel carrier? >> that's right. it was a revolutionary douglas dc-3 airliner made from the med to 19 -- mid-to-late mid-to late 1930s and the army air corps recognized this has tremendous potential not only as a transport cargo airplane but it can deliver paratroopers. we could not have conducted the normandy campaign as we did without c-47's. >> otherwise you would have had to transform everyone by ship and even though do we won the war and atlantic by sheer overwhelming force a lot by -- a
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lot like 1943. >> the turning point in the battle of the atlantic came in may of 1943 when if you look at the chart the number of sinkings of merchant vessels that were taking supplies to britain in the buildup to d-day fell below the number of german submarines. so essentially the battle of the atlantic was one 13 months before d-day. >> in fact the name of this book is the germans were better equipped them probably have better strategy, better training and everything else but there just weren't enough of them once they developed a worldwide theater. several times in the book you say they were just too thin. they just didn't have enough so basically as long as everything attrition was going to win. >> they did not have the sustainability of the allies did.
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>> deception. you have a section about an attempt to convince the germans the landing would not be in normandy and the other beaches. >> correct. there was a lengthy complex plan called bodyguard of lies was the definitive book on the subject and there was a multitiered plan to deceive the germans that the landings would take place in the pot at calais which if you take a look at the map is the logical crossing point barely 25 miles from calais across the channel. and we had turned some german intelligence agents and caught them and made them an offer they couldn't refuse.
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either you feed false information to your masters in germany or you have a date with 12 gentlemen with 303 rifles. that combined with signals intelligence sending false information that we knew the germans would intercept and decode and george patton was a big part of the deception because he was given command of the nonexistent army, an organization of probably eight or 10 divisions and that's why he was so visible throughout britain in the days leading up so that the germans would keep focused on him and his appearances coincided so it seemed with the planned landings landings. >> you didn't mention it but did any of you watched watch the fleming prepared bio, on television earlier this year?
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fleming was crazy in many ways than one reason he wrote the bond novels was because of that. he was also an extremely effective agent of allied intelligence because of this fiction abilities. you do plan to take a course. i don't think he can dress it in a uniform and put information on it about for the landing would be and then floated off. you didn't mention it and i have ever known for sure if that's true. >> actually was called operation --. >> it isn't in your book. >> is where the sicily landings were going. a wonderful concept and they address this corpse coming was probably a british sailor in the majors uniform with a briefcase
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handcuffed and the spanish recovered the wreckage. of course immediately told the germans -- and that deceived them as to where the landings would occur. >> if you are interested in following this up james r. bent has written some wonderful books about a fugitive shirttail relative of eisenhower's. he is a boston company gets to go do stuff but he shows up in these theaters in his most recent book use in england for operation overlord launches and he writes about one of the screw-ups. he said at one point when they were doing a training exercise that the british navy got their signals crossed and actually wiped out a bunch of people.
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>> that was operation tiger which was address reversal for some of the american forces that were going to land in normandy. the germans had a class of torpedo boats that they called s. boats which is a fast boat. we called them he boats and i think two of the german torpedo boats penetrated a practice landing area at night and torpedo two or three american ships with heavy loss of life. i think about 400 americans were killed and operation tiger therefore became classified until then to the war and it's interesting to watch the internet revelations. about every 10 to 12 years somebody discovers the cover-up and says look what happened. actually it's been known a thing since the late 40s.
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>> one of the operations was the name of the overall thing but then there was operation neptune. was that the naval pard? >> correct. the full name of the whole operation was neptune/overlord and of course you can't have an amphibious operation without the naval aspect. neptune as i explain in the encyclopedia involves ships from five allied nations not just the u.s. and britain but canada which has the third-largest navy in world war ii and then there were individual ships from france and poland. it really wasn't multinational endeavor. >> i will say that you achieved a wonderful balance even though you are clearly an aviation junkie but there's a lot in here about the navy and the army. you give great space to the royal air force and the planes that flew and the royal canadian air force and so forth.
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anyway it's absolutely fascinating i thought. i particularly liked the alphabet. the covert golfer bravo charlie but you have a chart that lists the u.s. version in the german version so i thought the choice of names was really fun. sometimes what they were the same like king and king but the german ones were. >> the germans were burnell caesar and in fact even had a word that eludes me. >> there's a thriller out called whiskey thank foxtrot and in fact those are three of the code words in the british side of it. there is a lot you can learn from this book i found it
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greatly fascinating. you have all kinds of extra stuff in here like the d-day movies in the d-day museum and the fact that they didn't destroy the tampa street even though they might well have. i think the other thing i'd say it was your entry on john ford which we have already talked about in which it love. he was promoted to rear admiral and got a presidential medal of freedom. i was reading "the new york times" and it does not make a great bookmark. the other operation i forgot to mention was operation cobra. >> that was the overall allied plan to break out from the normandy bridgehead. highly complex evolution because it required the british and the americans to coordinate not only
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the ground forces that the airpower that also was intended to blast a path through the german fortified areas inland from normandy and it met with mixed success as i explain in the encyclopedia. again well-intentioned, heavy bombers did not have well-defined points and a lot of their bombs fell short and killed or wounded several hundred americans including lieutenant general mcnair was the overall commander of all american ground forces in europe and he was the senior american general in world war ii killed by friendly fire. >> there's also discussion about acronyms and snafu and certainly applies. the really surprising thing when you get finished reading this is how we ever actually brought it off considering the possibilities for snafus.
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and you know the breaks that were both for and against science. it does take a certain amount of luck no matter how great are getting else's. >> there's a saying in military circles i'd rather be lucky than good. >> i think d-day is a great combination but the planning and he realized that matter how great your plans are at the last minute you still have to -- we learned that every day at poisoned pen bookstore. it's a fascinating book and i wouldn't call it bathroom reading greater really is the sort of thing that you can dip in and dip out of and really i think enjoyed so encyclopedia sounds put off fish but it's not. now that's what because you have done an amazing thing. between july of 2013 and july 2014 you put out three
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books especially doing nonfiction is heroic or crazy. >> crazy probably although extenuating circumstances totally beyond my control. the two publishers involved in these books happen to bring them out that is released him on the street between early may and the end of june. so back off a few months and you certainly can appreciate this barbara. imagine going cross-eyed trying to proofread three simultaneously. i don't know how i made it through but fortunately i was able to. >> i'm sure was difficult but i suspect it was easier than it would all be different if he were trying to do three books at once but you are basically working the same facts set and universe.
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>> which book is a two-day? >> so the u.s. marine corps fighter squadrons of world war ii this is much more your love of aviation because you are focused on the flying. one thing we learned in the d-day site -- encyclopedia is that the marines got a huge amount of worry in the battle of bellow wood in world war i and for known as the double dogs at term i currently applied to my puppy. but anyway it really created a lot of jealousy and political turmoil with the army. they weren't too anxious to have the marines involved in the european theater. >> the world war one generation of army officers almost without exception macarthur being a notable example cordially detested the marine corps and i used to know admiral border who
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retired as chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and yet given a briefing at the pentagon in early 1944 suggesting that marine fighter bomber squadrons based on carriers in the channel in the north sea with a brand-new precision -- were ideal for destroying german buzz bomb sites in northern france. he said he barely got started when marshall stood up and said that seeing that this briefing. there will never be a marine in europe as long as i am chief of staff and he walked out. so that's why john wayne made flying leathernecks about the pacific instead of the atlantic. >> you do underline the importance of politics in the encyclopedia. here we are in the pacific theater in her book recognizes 124 marine corps fighting aces.
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explain it, what makes the nays? >> traditionally from world war i a fighter ace or a flying ace, snoopy actually was a flying ace ace. >> the red baron. >> is a combat aviator usually a fighter pilot he was trained to shoot down aircraft. one of the reasons i wrote this book aside from the fact that it had never been done before and was a gap in the market is that in researching and writing so many of my other books i got to know so many of these wonderful colorful characters personally and the main exhibit was a long time scottsdale resident here. despite all the hype about pavi boynton, despite all the hype in that direction joe foss was and is the top marine corps fighter pilot of all time because all of
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his were scored as the marine whereas boynton's were claimed at the flying tigers in china and burma. i have to tell the story about joe a wonderful human being. one of the most gracious genuine people i have ever had the pleasure of knowing. and a christian gentleman. he was an evangelist. he would go anywhere to speak about his faith but beneath that evangelism he was also dedicated to marine corps combat aviator. that meant highly competitive and joe used to joke and say he was so competitive that he had a hard time letting his grandchildren win at go fish. [laughter] >> , near for marine corps bases lived on and there were some that lived on to fight in korea and there was one or more? >> there were no marine corps
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issues in vietnam. the one in the korean war had been one of boynton's his name was jack bolt and he flew a regular tour in korea with the marine corps squadron and he's another one of these dedicated warriors who lived through combat. he was selected to fly and exchange tour with the air force near the end of the word and he shot down six communists made 15 jet fighters so use the marine corps's only two were ace. >> the marines were obviously great amphibious assaults. the headquarters were primarily in quantico and san diego with the flying leathernecks? >> that was before the war. the marine corps aviation structure at that time was one niece east coast and one west coast and each of them send attachments either to the virgin
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islands or other places in the caribbean are out to hawaii. at the time of pearl harbor i think there were only a dozen marine corps squadron sent us a comparison the appendix in this book is all 50 fighter squadrons that served outside of the united states during world war ii. there was tremendous expansion. >> i actually wrote it down but what is the rooster -- brewster buffalo? >> a brewster buffalo was her prewar fighters fairly significant in aviation history that went operational in 1939 as navy and marine corps aviation's first monaco as a opposed to biplane. it's only combat in american service was a disastrous mission
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in june of 1942. fortunately the follow on airplane was much more successful was the roman wildcat which remain the marine corps's primary fighter well into 1943. in the overall study i include marine corps fighter operations in world war ii. the main focus there was to book an out campaign which lasted for six months and 42 and 43. that's where you see the big-name starting to emerge. joe foss and my late friend carl and john smith who were extremely successful with the wildcat even though it was technically inferior to the japanese fighters. >> the f-4 corsair which became the iconic marine airplane during world war ii. >> you mentioned briefly pearl
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harbor there was no chance for anyone to act and wake island which came afterward the marines held the first attempt. but there wasn't enough of them to succeed the second time but midway that battle was really a turning point where the japanese beared fans across and then as you say quarto canal was the one one. then they moved on to okinawa and the philippines.
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