100 books like Air Combat at 20 Feet

By Garrett Middlebrook,

Here are 100 books that Air Combat at 20 Feet fans have personally recommended if you like Air Combat at 20 Feet. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Bolivar: American Liberator

John E. Happ Author Of The Navigation Case: Training, Flying and Fighting the 1942 to 1945 New Guinea War

From my list on why the Pacific War was waged & fought in New Guinea.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up just north of Chicago, took courses at the University of Madrid (La Complutense), and graduated from Marquette University.  I speak 5 languages and have written for such diverse reviews as The Journal of the American Revolution and Atlantic Coastal Kayaker. Nothing has possessed me like my father’s Navigation Case. Besides learning how this young college graduate helped pioneer the nascent aviation industry training in 11 different types of aircraft, I take pride in the astonishing role he played in American history. He was a combat pilot in the first-ever demonstration of air superiority over an enemy, leading to the greatest campaign victory in the history of the US Air Force. 

John's book list on why the Pacific War was waged & fought in New Guinea

John E. Happ Why did John love this book?

This fabulous book tells not only of Bolivar’s struggle to create an independent united states of South America, but why. The author graphically describes what it means to be a colony, subject to Crown rule. The control exerted by Spain over her colonies was nothing less than feudal. This book illuminates what it is like to have your country pillaged as a colony. Franklin Roosevelt’s original 1941 reason for going to war, if we had to, was to help liberate all the enchained European colonies through a treatise called the Atlantic Charter

By Marie Arana,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Bolivar as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The dramatic life of the revolutionary hero Bolivar, who liberated South America - a sweeping narrative worthy of a Hollywood epic.

Simon Bolivar's life makes for one of history's most dramatic canvases, a colossal narrative filled with adventure and disaster, victory and defeat. This is the story not just of an extraordinary man but of the liberation of a continent.

A larger-than-life figure from a tumultuous age, Bolivar ignited a revolution, liberated six countries from Spanish rule and is revered as the great hero of South American history. In a sweeping narrative worthy of a Hollywood epic, BOLIVAR colourfully portrays…


Book cover of The Works of Inazo Nitobe: Volume III Japan: Some Phases of Her Problems and Development

John E. Happ Author Of The Navigation Case: Training, Flying and Fighting the 1942 to 1945 New Guinea War

From my list on why the Pacific War was waged & fought in New Guinea.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up just north of Chicago, took courses at the University of Madrid (La Complutense), and graduated from Marquette University.  I speak 5 languages and have written for such diverse reviews as The Journal of the American Revolution and Atlantic Coastal Kayaker. Nothing has possessed me like my father’s Navigation Case. Besides learning how this young college graduate helped pioneer the nascent aviation industry training in 11 different types of aircraft, I take pride in the astonishing role he played in American history. He was a combat pilot in the first-ever demonstration of air superiority over an enemy, leading to the greatest campaign victory in the history of the US Air Force. 

John's book list on why the Pacific War was waged & fought in New Guinea

John E. Happ Why did John love this book?

This book began to help me understand why my father was sent to New Guinea. It taught me a lot about how Japan saw herself in the world at that time and what she thought she could do about it. My conclusion is that Japan felt threatened and feared being colonized. The Europeans had been colonizing the Asian Pacific for centuries: France in Indo-China, Britain manipulating China; Germany held various Chinese ports; Russia pushing into Korea, the Dutch in Indonesia (The Dutch East Indies)… all milking those countries of their natural resources with oppressive control of indigenous peoples. Japan in turn sought to build her nation into an Empire along the British model. 

By Inazo Nitobe,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Works of Inazo Nitobe as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

University of Tokyo Press. NItobe worked to promote international understanding by explaining Japan to the West, and the West to his fellow Japanese.


Book cover of Macarthur's Victory: The War in New Guinea, 1943-1944

John E. Happ Author Of The Navigation Case: Training, Flying and Fighting the 1942 to 1945 New Guinea War

From my list on why the Pacific War was waged & fought in New Guinea.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up just north of Chicago, took courses at the University of Madrid (La Complutense), and graduated from Marquette University.  I speak 5 languages and have written for such diverse reviews as The Journal of the American Revolution and Atlantic Coastal Kayaker. Nothing has possessed me like my father’s Navigation Case. Besides learning how this young college graduate helped pioneer the nascent aviation industry training in 11 different types of aircraft, I take pride in the astonishing role he played in American history. He was a combat pilot in the first-ever demonstration of air superiority over an enemy, leading to the greatest campaign victory in the history of the US Air Force. 

John's book list on why the Pacific War was waged & fought in New Guinea

John E. Happ Why did John love this book?

This book gave me a basic understanding of the New Guinea war into which my father was sent. It gave me the framework with which I could piece together the timeline of my father’s service. It gave me an idea of the progress of the war and a context for all of his military orders, his stacks of correspondence, and all of his photos, long stored away in his Navigation Case.

By Harry Gailey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Macarthur's Victory as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A GREAT WARRIOR AT THE PEAK OF HIS POWERS

In March 1942, General Douglas MacArthur faced an enemy who, in the space of a few months, captured Malaya, Burma, the Philippines, the Dutch East Indies, and, from their base at Raubaul in New Britain, threaten Australia. Upon his retreat to Australia, MacArthur hoped to find enough men and matérielfor a quick offensive against the Japanese. Instead, he had available to him only a small and shattered air force, inadequate naval support, and an army made up almost entirely of untried reservists.

Here is one of history’s most controversial commanders battling…


Book cover of A Few Months in New Guinea

John E. Happ Author Of The Navigation Case: Training, Flying and Fighting the 1942 to 1945 New Guinea War

From my list on why the Pacific War was waged & fought in New Guinea.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up just north of Chicago, took courses at the University of Madrid (La Complutense), and graduated from Marquette University.  I speak 5 languages and have written for such diverse reviews as The Journal of the American Revolution and Atlantic Coastal Kayaker. Nothing has possessed me like my father’s Navigation Case. Besides learning how this young college graduate helped pioneer the nascent aviation industry training in 11 different types of aircraft, I take pride in the astonishing role he played in American history. He was a combat pilot in the first-ever demonstration of air superiority over an enemy, leading to the greatest campaign victory in the history of the US Air Force. 

John's book list on why the Pacific War was waged & fought in New Guinea

John E. Happ Why did John love this book?

Stone, writing in the 1880s, describes the unexplored mystery, foreboding tropical weather, and long-ignored people of New Guinea. Since its “discovery” by European explorers, the New Guinea climate was known to be inhospitable to westerners. This book began to inform me of the world into which my father was sent as an Army Air Corps pilot. Even as late as 1944 he flew with emergency survival maps with vast swathes of the country completely blank, marked “Unexplored.” 

By Octavius C. Stone,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Few Months in New Guinea as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Excerpt from A Few Months in New Guinea

With so many competitors in the field, it seems strange that, until the last few years, no one should have succeeded in journeying more than fifteen miles inland; and though this distance has now been much exceeded, a vast area still remains unexplored.

About the Publisher

Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com

This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged…


Book cover of General Kenney Reports: A Personal History of the Pacific War

James Ellman Author Of MacArthur Reconsidered: General Douglas MacArthur as a Wartime Commander

From my list on World War II in the Southwest Pacific.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an author and investor living in windward Oahu who has had a lifelong interest in military history ever since I read a biography of Alexander the Great when I was 12 years old. I have written several books including Hitler’s Great Gamble and MacArthur Reconsidered. For my next project I have transcribed, compiled, and edited 1,100 of General Douglas MacArthur’s daily communiques issued by his Southwest Pacific Area (SWPA) headquarters from 1942-45. This collection will be published by McFarland in 2024.

James' book list on World War II in the Southwest Pacific

James Ellman Why did James love this book?

Similar to Eichelberger, few today know the name of General George Kenney who commanded the Allied Air Forces in the Southwest Pacific Area (SWPA) from the 1942 defense of Papua New Guinea to the surrender of Japan.

Again, MacArthur’s need to dominate all headlines from his military theater explains the relative obscurity of his field generals. But Kenney’s story, related in his own words, should not be overlooked.

He was arguably the most innovative and successful air commander of the WWII. He demanded aggressiveness from his pilots, mounted .50-caliber machine guns onto pretty much anything that could fly and insisted on implementing the dangerous but deadly tactics of parachute fragmentation bombing on land and mast-height and skip-bombing against Japanese shipping at sea.  

By George C Kenney,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked General Kenney Reports as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

General Kenney Reports is a classic account of a combat commander in action. General George Churchill Kenney arrived in the Southwest Pacific theater in August 1942 to find that his command, if not in a shambles, was in dire straits. The theater commander, General Douglas MacArthur, had no confidence in his air element. Kenney quickly changed this situation. He organized and energized the Fifth Air Force, bringing in operational commanders like Whitehead and Wurtsmith who knew how to run combat air forces. He fixed the logistical swamp, making supply and maintenance supportive of air operations, and encouraging mavericks such as…


Book cover of I Saw The Fall Of The Philippines

Kathryn J. Atwood Author Of Women Heroes of World War II—the Pacific Theater: 15 Stories of Resistance, Rescue, Sabotage, and Survival

From my list on Pacific Theater of World War II.

Why am I passionate about this?

Kathryn J. Atwood’s young adult collective biographies on women and war have garnered multiple book awards. She has been seen on America: Facts vs. Fiction; heard on BBC America; published in The Historian and War, Literature & the Arts; and featured as a guest speaker at the Harold Washington Library in Chicago, the First Division Museum at Cantigny Park, and the Atlanta History Center.

Kathryn's book list on Pacific Theater of World War II

Kathryn J. Atwood Why did Kathryn love this book?

The Philippine resistance of WWII was, in my opinion, the most admirable resistance organization of the war, whether European or Pacific. In fact, resistance among the Philippine people was so widespread, that the Japanese occupiers were almost correct in assuming any civilian they encountered was a resister on some level. Carlos Romulo, a Philippine aide de camp to General MacArthur and a hero to his countrymen, gives his personal account of the war in this excellent memoir.

Book cover of Song of Survival: Women Interned

Kathryn J. Atwood Author Of Women Heroes of World War II—the Pacific Theater: 15 Stories of Resistance, Rescue, Sabotage, and Survival

From my list on Pacific Theater of World War II.

Why am I passionate about this?

Kathryn J. Atwood’s young adult collective biographies on women and war have garnered multiple book awards. She has been seen on America: Facts vs. Fiction; heard on BBC America; published in The Historian and War, Literature & the Arts; and featured as a guest speaker at the Harold Washington Library in Chicago, the First Division Museum at Cantigny Park, and the Atlanta History Center.

Kathryn's book list on Pacific Theater of World War II

Kathryn J. Atwood Why did Kathryn love this book?

A little-known aspect of the Pacific War was the imprisonment of Allied civilians. While these Japanese-run prison camps were not deliberate death machines, as were the Nazi-run concentration camps, large numbers of women and children died of starvation and disease there, or at least had their health permanently ruined. Many stories would come out of these camps, both horrific and inspiring. Perhaps the most brilliantly creative story of the latter category was the vocal orchestra, a group of imprisoned women who sought to recreate symphonic music with their voices. Colijn’s memoir was made into the film, Paradise Road.

By Helen Colijn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Song of Survival as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Thrown into the whirlwind of dark forces unleashed with the onset of World War II, a young woman, Helen Colijn, her sisters, and father flee the oncoming Japanese army. Helen Colijn's account of her wartime experiences is a window into a largely overlooked dimension of World War II -- the imprisonment of women and children in Southeast Asia by the Japanese and how these prisoners of war responded to their dire circumstances. The conditions were terrible. Food was scarce; medicine unavailable. Held in captivity for three and a half years, more that a third of the women in Helen's camp…


Book cover of History of United States Naval Operations in World War II

William L. McGee Author Of The Solomons Campaigns, 1942-1943: From Guadalcanal to Bougainville, Pacific War Turning Point

From my list on World War II in the Pacific.

Why am I passionate about this?

William L. McGee is an award-winning World War II Pacific war historian. His writing career has spanned six decades — three of them in marketing and sales in the broadcasting industry. He is a WWII veteran of the Pacific theater and an atomic veteran of Operation Crossroads, the postwar atomic bomb tests at the Bikini Atoll in 1946.

William's book list on World War II in the Pacific

William L. McGee Why did William love this book?

When I began researching and writing for my books this fifteen-volume set by distinguished historian Rear Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison, was one of my first purchases for my World War II library. I consider his series a must-have for any WWII researcher or history buff. I did much of my research and writing on freighters and always took selected volumes with me.

By Samuel Eliot Morison,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked History of United States Naval Operations in World War II as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

the Navy's official history of World War Two


Book cover of Wingmen

Lance Ringel Author Of Flower of Iowa

From my list on gay male historical romances grounded in time.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was never a little boy who played soldier. But when I was 13, I read Barbara Tuchman’s The Guns of August, and developed a lifelong fascination (unusual for an American) with the First World War. Decades later, having achieved a happy life as a gay man, I started to wonder during the debate over “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”: What would life have been like for two soldiers in the Great War who fell in love? So, I traveled to the battlefields and cemeteries of France, and to the Imperial War Museum in London, and read anything and everything I could about WW1. And then I wrote Flower of Iowa.

Lance's book list on gay male historical romances grounded in time

Lance Ringel Why did Lance love this book?

When Wingmen was published in 1979, there had been nothing else quite like it: a war novel, very well researched, with plenty of action and adventure… plus a romance between two men at its center. Those feelings emerge, in a classic slow burn, between young Ensign Fred Trusteau and the more seasoned Lieutenant Commander Fred Hartigan against the backdrop of the Pacific Theatre of World War II. The often-harrowing life of naval aviators is vividly conveyed in action scenes set in places whose names will be familiar to students of WW2 – Wake Island, Tarawa, Kwajalein, Truk. Case has certainly done his homework on the hardware and the military lingo, but what lifts the narrative is the uncertain, unconventional romance between the main characters. What Top Gun could have been.

Book cover of The Japanese Merchant Marine in World War II

Malcolm H. Murfett Author Of Naval Warfare 1919-1945: An Operational History of the Volatile War at Sea

From my list on Asian theatre in the Second World War.

Why am I passionate about this?

I lived and taught in Asia for over 30 years and love the place to bits. Leaving Oxford for Singapore may have seemed like a daring adventure in 1980, but it complemented my doctoral research and introduced me to a wonderful set of students who have enriched my life ever since. Asia has a fascination for me that I can’t resist. I have written and edited 15 books on naval and defence themes, much of which have been set in the Asian continent. An associate editor of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography for the past 25 years, I am also the editor for the series Cold War in Asia. 

Malcolm's book list on Asian theatre in the Second World War

Malcolm H. Murfett Why did Malcolm love this book?

This book doesn’t have a catchy title and sounds rather pedestrian, but we are told never to judge a book by its cover and in this case it’s true about the title as well! Mark Parillo’s magisterial thesis taught me a great deal about why the Japanese lost the Pacific War. He explains why they stubbornly refused to convoy their merchant fleet even when, by failing to do so, they were aiding the enemy’s cause. Japan needed to import most of its war material, but once the US submarine campaign began to decimate the ships that were bringing in those vital supplies in 1944-45 the game was essentially up. Therefore, a case can be made that the war was effectively lost before the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 

By Mark P. Parillo,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Japanese Merchant Marine in World War II as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Making extensive use of Japanese and U.S. sources, including wartime intelligence reports from the National Defense Archives in Tokyo and recently declassified U.S. documents, this book examines the reasons for Japan's failure to protect its merchant fleet.


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