ABOUT THE BOOK
In his memoir, “A Flash of Green: Memories of WWII”, the late Charles S. McCandless recounts his World War II experiences in the Pacific Theater – first as a naval aviator and then as a Seabee. McCandless brings the history of pivotal battles alive with his vivid descriptions and engaging style.
The author opens his memoir with accounts of his life before the war—his first jobs after graduating from Stanford in 1939 and his trip to Hawaii in 1941. With war impending, he becomes a naval aviator. His war experiences began on December 7, when he was near the USS Arizona when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. He goes on to describe being shot down at the Battle of Midway, crashing at Guadalcanal, and doing underwater reconnaissance as a frogman at Iwo Jima. Narrated with striking clarity, the memoir gives the reader a glimpse into historical events in America’s history and the on-the-ground realities of the war.
We had reached the old BOQ by now and were standing between it and the Arizona. Suddenly a great roar engulfed us—seemingly from all directions—as planes flying very low swept in from the east, passing low over our heads. A large red ball was painted on the under surface of their wings.
Suddenly I felt a buffeting. We’d been hit, but the controls felt okay. I looked around at the gunner, whose back was turned toward me. The top of his head was gone. When I turned back I saw a stream of smoke coming from the engine, and oil splattered on the windshield. I knew, then, that in only a minute the plane would be in flames.
Then it came. Suddenly, there was yelling and screaming. What must have been fifty Japanese riflemen, bayonets leveled, leaped out of the jungle on the other side of the airfield and started running towards us.
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