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Queen of the flat-tops: The U.S.S. Lexington…
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Queen of the flat-tops: The U.S.S. Lexington and the Coral Sea battle (1942)

by Stanley Johnston

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Ever wondered what it was like to serve aboard an aircraft carrier before & during WW II? Read this fast moving description by a journalist who was aboard the USS Lexington during her last voyage from Pearl Harbor to her last battle in the Coral Sea.He includes interviews with the Lex's airman moments after they landed. He gives you a vivid first person view of the the ship as she fights to stay afloat until there is no recourse but to sink her before the Japanese do. Many of the battle details were still classified when the book was published so names of ships are censored and of course the Japanese fatalities were only speculation. ( )
  lamour | Apr 26, 2009 |
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This story was written back in 1942, so it is rather dated as far as WWII history is concerned. The U.S.S. Lexington was a battle cruiser converted to an aircraft carrier while still in the shipbuilding process. This famous aircraft carrier was one of the handful the U.S. kept in the Pacific to hold back the Japanese onslaught at the beginning of World War II.

Johnson details the life of the ship prior to her sinking. He interviews the crew and gets the feel for life aboard an aircraft carrier. Since he is writing in 1942, he details the force formation the Lex was sailing with, by saying Cruiser I, or Carrier II. Carrier II is obviously the Yorktown. References to the enemy are in a derogatory and rascist manner, so this sets the book back.

This book gives a good feel to what is was like in 1942. The U.S. was battling for its life, and the enemy were evil. News was censored, so journalists couldn't not report everything. A nice read for a WWII era book.
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