Hell From the Heavens – The U.S.S. Laffey

Hell from the Heavens: The Epic Story of the USS Laffey and World War II’s Greatest Kamikaze Attack
by John F. Wukovits

Edmond Gagnon‘s review Sep 08, 2022  

An excellent read for any war buff or even those slightly interested in World War II and naval actions. Very few novels can evoke emotion from me as this book did, while the author describes the triumphs and horrors of war from the perspective of soldiers on the front lines.
Hell from the Heavens gives us a look at the every day life of sailors aboard the USS Laffey, a ship that saw action in all the major amphibious landings in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Not exactly knowing the difference between a destroyer, cruiser or battleship, I learned how powerful yet vulnerable ships like the Laffey were.
I learned just how destructive the Japanese Kamikaze pilots were on the navy and particularly to the Laffey when they were attacked by 22 of them in 80 minutes. Often wondering where I’d rather be in the military, whether in the air, sea, or on land, this story has me reconsidering my choices.
I had the pleasure of meeting the author at a local book show and he told me the book rights have been purchased and a movie is in the works with Mel Gibson and Mark Wahlberg. I can’t wait to see this story on the big screen.

Shadow of the Sun

Shadow of the Sun
by Marney Blom (Goodreads Author)
Edmond Gagnon‘s review Nov 02, 2021 

A gift from my wife, I was a bit apprehensive about reading this book since I’ve read a few stories and seen many movies about POW camps during the war, and didn’t expect this tale to be any different. But the one big difference was that the protagonist was a preacher, who expected God to take care of him and watch over his family.

I had to skip the quotes from the holy bible, and even the love notes he wrote to his wife while imprisoned – they were of no use to me – I got the picture. But don’t get me wrong, this book was very well thought out and written by the grand daughter of the missionaries.

If you want to learn how average folk were ripped from their homes, imprisoned, tortured and treated worse than caged animals by Japanese soldiers, then this book is for you. I did enjoy references to the Burma railway and bridge over the River Kwai since I’ve seen the movie and travelled in the area.