Far East and Pacific Theaters

Shootdown of Yamamoto

Condon, John P. "Bringing Down Yamamoto." U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings 116, no. 11 (Nov. 1990): 86-90.

The author believes that the mission was ordered out of Washington, not by the local or theater commands.

Davis, Burke. Get Yamamoto. New York: Random House, 1969. New York: Bantam, 1971. [pb]

Davis, Donald A. Lightning Strike: The Secret Mission to Kill Admiral Yamamota and Avenge Pearl Harbor. New York: St. Martin's, 2005.

Felker, Proceedings 131.3 (Mar. 2005), says the author "effectively ... bring[s] life to this historical drama." However, he "sacrifices historical explanation for the sensational and controversial" by overemphasizing the dispute over who should have credit for the kill. Readers of this book "will find a sensational story -- but they should look elsewhere for the history."

For Citino, World War II,, the author takes too much time and space to set the context for his readers." Then, his "rendition of the mission itself, while riveting, is journalistic. Much of the writing is clichéd, unimaginative and one-dimensional.... Probably most egregious of all is that Davis does not directly cite sources."

Falk, Stanley L. "The Ambush of Admiral Yamamoto." Navy 6 (Apr. 1963): 32-34. [Petersen]

Glines, Carroll V. Attack on Yamamoto. New York: Orion, 1990. New York: Jove, 1991. [pb] Updated ed. Atglen, PA: Schiffer, 1993.

According to the publisher, the "updated edition contains the official 1993 Air Force decision" on which pilot actually shot down Yamamoto's plane.

Hall, R. Cargill, ed. Lightning over Bougainville: The Yamamoto Mission Reconsidered. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1991.

Surveillant 2.1 notes that the 1943 operation that led to the shoot down of Admiral Yamamoto "revealed to the Japanese that the U.S. had broken the Japanese codes which were immediately changed. Hall proposes the controversial stance that Churchill, in anger..., delayed for many months his releasing to the U.S. of Ultra material." Kahn, FILS 12.3, says that this is a "useful, solid book ... [with] valuable documentary evidence." It consists of the "transcripts of two panels ... held in 1988 at the Admiral Nimitz Museum in Fredericksburg, Texas." The shoot-down was "the equivalent of a major American victory."

Holmes, Wilfred J. Double-Edged Secrets: U.S. Naval Intelligence Operations in the Pacific During World War II. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1979. Cambridge, UK: Patrick Stephens, 1979. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1998.

Pforzheimer says that Double-Edged Secrets is an "accurate and very readable" account of "all-source intelligence production, analysis, and dissemination" in support of CINCPAC. Holmes' accounts of the intelligence background to the battle of Midway and the shoot-down of Admiral Yamamoto's plane are "[p]articularly valuable."

To Petersen, this is an "important memoir by a ranking naval intelligence officer in Hawaii." Constantinides sees Holmes as "an invaluable contributor to our knowledge of naval intelligence organization, personnel, operations, and problems in fighting the Pacific war." For Kruh, Cryptologia 30.2 (Apr. 2006), the author's "compassionate understanding of the business of intelligence gathering is unique. Here, he not only captures the mood of the period but also gives rare insight into the problems and personalities involved."

Pineau, Roger [CAPT/USNR (Ret)].

1. "A Code Break and the Death of Admiral Yamamoto." Naval Intelligence Professionals Quarterly 5, no. 2 (1989): 3-5. Reprinted: 9, no. 4 (Oct. 1993): 15-16.

2. "The Death of Admiral Yamamoto." Naval Intelligence Professionals Quarterly 10, no. 4 (Oct. 1994): 1-5.

This is a "correct-the-record" article. Pineau argues that the "decision to get Yamamoto was made by Admiral Nimitz, and by him alone." This contradicts the version in Layton's memoir, And I Was There, which Pineau co-authored and which says President Roosevelt and Navy Secretary Knox approved the shootdown. "There is no trace of evidence to indicate" that Nimitz consulted with Washington on the decision.

Taylor, Blaine. "Ambush in Hostile Skies." Military History 5, no. 1 (1988): 42-49.

Petersen: "Interview with Col. Rex T. Barker, a participant in the shoot-down of Adm. Yamamoto."

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