Attack on Yamamoto

Carroll V. Glines, Author Crown Publishers $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-517-57728-8
Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, commander of the Japanese navy and mastermind of the attack on Pearl Harbor, was killed on April 18, 1943, in an aerial ambush by a squadron of U.S. Army P-38s based on Guadalcanal. Glines ( The Doolittle Raid ) describes how the trap was set after U.S. naval intelligence discovered that Yamamoto would be flying between New Guinea and Bougainville on that date, and describes in detail how it was sprung. For nearly half a century a controversy has raged over which P-38 pilot deserves credit for the kill. Until now the leading contender has been Thomas G. Lanphier Jr., who until his death in 1987 was persistent in calling attention to himself as ``the man who got Yamamoto.'' Glines here painstakingly collects accounts from eyewitnesses (including the testimony of one of the Japanese escort pilots) plus evidence at the crash site, and concludes that the credit belongs to Lanphier's wingman, Rex T. Barber. All this makes for engrossing reading, but the most memorable element is Glines's portrait of Lanphier, a feverishly self-glorifying character whose behavior was rooted in his postwar political ambitions. Photos. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/05/1990
Release date: 06/01/1990
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-515-10737-1
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