Pacifica, CA, 1st ed., 1997. Xviii + 270 pp., photo-plates. D.j., 23 x 15cm. Crease to inside flap of d.j., o/w FINE. This is the true story of one of the U.S. Navy's foremost World War II fighter squadrons, VF-17, and its charismatic commander, fighter ace Tom Blackburn. In his action-packed war memoir and unit history, the author describes VF-17's intense, winning campaign against the Japanese over the northern Solomon Islands and the Rabaul in late 1943 and early 1944. Beginning with his own experiences as a trainer of fighter pilots early in World War II and his leadership of a small carrier-based fighter squadron supporting the invasion of North Africa, the author goes on to provide a rich, detailed account of how he shaped a crew of over-eager hotshots into one of the highest scoring squadrons of World War II. In only seventy-six days of combat the author's Jolly Rogers knocked down a record 154 enemy warplanes, and the author himself emerged as one of VF-17's leading aces with eleven kills to his credit.