Rocky Boyer's War

Rocky Boyer's War: An Unvarnished History of the Air Blitz that won the war in the Southwest Pacific, by Allen D. Boyer, 2017, 367 pages, reviewed by .

This book is about three battles and a scandal (p.4) in the southwest Pacific during World War 2. It draws on a diary kept by Lt. Roscoe A. Boyer, father of the book's author, Allen D. Boyer (p. xi). The Allies moved against Japan on two fronts, by sea and by land. The United States (U.S.) Navy fought its way west across the central Pacific while MacArthur's forces fought their way north along the coast of New Guinea to the Philippines. The two drives in the Pacific became mutually supportive, each protecting the other flank (p. 49).

MacArthur's strategy was to move land based bombers forward in successive steps to achieve local air superiority. During 1944 the Fifth Air Force would win the air war in the southwest Pacific. George Kennedy mapped out this plan and David Hutchinson would build the airfields, driving the campaign forward. In the fighting for two islands — Biak in the Schoutens, and Mindoro in the Philippines — the Japanese resisted with unexpected force. When these encounters occurred it was the 71st Reconnaissance Group which fought back.

Overall the book was well structured in its 367 pages. I would suggest first reading chapters 3, 4, 6 and 16-19 first. Then read the whole book. The epilogue was well written. Key maps may be found on pages 28 and 318. I would recommend the book.