Thursday, October 21, 2010

Flyboys by James Bradley

This book presents the real life events of flyboys during world war 2. From the earlier beginnings of the war to the event that started the pacific side, Pearl Harbor. After the surprise attack, America went to war with japan utilizing and relying on the U.S. air force fly boys for winning a lot of the battles. However throughout the book and the war, the Japanese commit terrible war crimes on human beings. From war prisoners to the Chinese the Japanese took no prisoners most of the time. Millions of Chinese died and were raped by the Japanese and most women were sent into sex camps where they raped many times a day. Throughout the book James Bradley also interviews many of the Japanese soldiers and relatives of the flyboys that were present during the war. When Bradley interviews Shozo Tominaga, Shozo says," Most of us thought then that murdering, raping, and setting fire to villages were unavoidable acts in war, nothing particularly wrong"(82). Sadly however this happened for many months and it explains it all during the first part of the book.
Soon after it discusses the Japanese aggression The book takes to a different point of view, the flyboy's story. There were eight flyboy's that were mentioned during this book including Jimmy Doolittle, and the future president George H. W. Bush. Many different flyboys's had different roles from bombers, fighters, and communications. Many of them were selected for their sharp intelligence and participated in many dangerous battles of the war but the story of the eight were all linked to one battle; Chi Chi Jima. The book also details each of their early lives and how the war affected the families drastically. One of the pilots for example, Warren Earl, whose mother had him as her only thing that mattered to her. Relative Billye Winder says, "Evi worshipped him, and Warren Earl worshipped his mother"(Bradley 130). But during the war it drove Evi to paranoia always worrying about her son. As these boys enlisted the naval air force they would have no idea for what their future would be but as their fates intertwined on Chi Chi Jima, The outcomes of their lives are first revealed here after being kept secret for 60 years.

Discussion Questions:
1. How would you feel to be a parent and/or relative of someone who went to war?

2. How do u feel about the war crimes the Japanese committed during World War 2?


Eric Y 13-14 said...

For question one, I would think for the most part that I would be constantly worried about the health and safety of my family member, especially if they were close to me, but at the same time I would be proud that my family is representing the United States.
For two, obviously the crimes were inhumane, but if I recall correctly, it was part of their culture so it's tough to say my true opinion.

tyler k 13-14 said...

Being stubbornly opposed to war, I would be very upset if anyone I knew went to war but on the same token I would be very supportive because that person is going to have to fight for his or her life.

David G. 13-14 said...

In response to question 1: I think it would be only natural to worry about a family member who goes to war regardless of if you're proud of them for representing the country or not. And regarding question 2, I don't think that the crimes are excusable just because they were committed during times of war and crisis.

Cieran B. 5-6 said...

Response to Eric Y.:to the first question I completly agree with your opinion for I would be worried and proud as well. For the second question I did not even think of that being it part of their culture for if I remember correctly a lot of the Japanese were bored and thought of it as some sort of fun for them.They did alot of inhuman things to the chinese that not even the Japanese at home would tolerate.

Cieran B. 5-6 said...

Response to David G:I agree that people would worry if a family member went to war for there is a chance they would never come back. For question two a lot ofthe things the Japanese did was inexcusable but the Japanese soldiers were so deep in blood from the war that i believe that they were not thinking rationally anymore. Instead of humans the Japanese soldiers were animals.

Leah A 5-6 said...

For question 1, I would also constantly worry about my family and their safety in War. However, I would also feel proud because they are fighting for their country.