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View Full Version : Lightning Strike : The Secret Mission to Kill Admiral Yamamoto and Avenge Pearl Harbo



Fillmore
10-16-2005, 06:22 AM
Don't have this book but I saw the author lecturing on booktv. Seems the story we heard (actually stories, I had only heard one but it turns out the source in question changed his story repeatedly over time) about the interception was pure fabrication.

Fillmore
10-16-2005, 06:22 AM
Don't have this book but I saw the author lecturing on booktv. Seems the story we heard (actually stories, I had only heard one but it turns out the source in question changed his story repeatedly over time) about the interception was pure fabrication.

AFSG_Bulldog
10-16-2005, 10:18 AM
Ok... So what is your point?

According to The History net (http://www.historynet.com/wwii/reviews/wwiireview09005-2/);

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">general readers will probably love this book since it is a good story. As a professional historian with a focus on the Pacific War and its aftermath, however, I find it highly problematic because of its organization, lack of source citation, and dearth of significant analysis. Perhaps this book will lead another author to take on this €œlittle€ episode of the Pacific War and see if there is a €œbig picture€ in it after all. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Fillmore
10-17-2005, 12:04 AM
from that same site you linked:

"Was Captain Thomas Lanphier Jr., the pilot originally credited with shooting down Yamamoto, really the €œglory hound€ Davis makes him out to be? Did Lanphier really falsely promote himself as the shooter? And did the U.S. Army Air Forces and later the Air Force really keep that story going because of institutional politics and embarrassment? Physical evidence of Yamamoto€s plane indicates that Rex Barber actually shot the plane down."

The only story I had been aware of was the one told by Lanphier (and the later one at that, he seems to have told different versions at different times), so it was something of a shock to hear this guy promoting his book saying that was all fabrication and that Barber actually shot the planes down.

I certainly won't be getting the book now that I have read that review, though.

telsono
10-17-2005, 04:26 PM
I worked with a person who flew B-29's witht eh Atomic Squadron. During his pilot training he graguated from single engine to various multi-engine aircraft prior to getting up to the B-29. One of his instructors on P-38's was Tom Lamphier. They went out on a training flight and Lamphier had them land in a barren area. Lamphier had to get something off his chest. At this time the press was told that Yamato was killed by the coverup story. Lamphier explained all that happened in that mission, the intelligence build up and all the secrecy involved.
Lamphier did shoot down a Betty, there is no question about it. Both bombers were shot down, but who got Yamamoto? Someone had to be designated, so the Army Air Corps made a selection, Tom Lamphier. I believe it was based on his position within the "killer flight".
You could probably find something on either pilot where one ticked off a superior or the other had done something to help a higher-up. Maybe Lamphier was someone the Public Relations people thought was the better choice of 'hero'. The point is that he didn't go self praising himself, but was designated to be the "Hero". Tom Lamphier was told he was the one who killed Yamamto by his superiors, he knew he got one of the Betty's and really only at that time the Japanese had more precise information as to which plane the Admiral was on. Years of being told you were the hero is going to be hard on someone when later in your life others will come up and say you weren't the one. Of course you are going to defend yourself. Someone is trying to pull down the image that you saw of yourself over the years. If Rex Barber was selected back there in 1943 to play the part of the "Hero", then there will be books out saying that Lamphier was the real "hero". Nothing will end the controversy.
I'll stop my rambling here. The last thing I will say is that from my friend's account of Tom Lamphier, he was not a braggard and felt the weight of being a hero thrusted upon him.

Fillmore
10-18-2005, 09:41 AM
That story is unresolvably contrary to what the author of this book is saying. The account he tells is of Lamphier breaking radio silence on arrival saying he had got Yamamoto and promoting himself and writing congressional medal of honor reccomendations right after landing. Also mentioned Lamphier was planning to go into politics and had remarked of the potential value of the mission to that end prior to the mission. Also from what I gathered from him talking about his book Lamphier didn't shoot down anything that day. It seems to me your friend just heard another one of Lamphier's several stories (originally his story made him seem like an expert, but he later changed it such that it was just a lucky shot. Perhaps the next iteration of the story was that he was selected by his superiors to take the credit...).

Or maybe the guy who wrote this book (or maybe his sources) is the one making up stories. As the review notes it doesn't really qualify as a work of historical note, and when I saw him on television he characterised himself as being from the same Irish story-telling cloth as Lamphier.