Duel in the Deep
In eerie Hallowe’en darkness, an elemental hull-to-deck, sailor-to-submariner duel erupts. Outmoded U.S. Navy destroyer Borie traps German U-boat U-405 on the surface. Borie’s young untested skipper decides to ram, full speed ahead. The collision ignites a swashbuckling brawl of cannons, machine guns, small arms, even knives and spent shell-casings.
Afterwards, desperate sailors on both sides fight for survival in an unforgiving sea. Duel in the Deep weaves high-stakes strategy and lethal gamesmanship with poignant human backstories, pounding air/surface/subsurface action and wrenching sacrifice.
Coming September 2023
Please use the form below to order as many as 5 copies of Duel in the Deep. The cost: $40 for 1 copy; $37.50 each for 2-3 copies; $35 for 4-5 copies.
At War with the Wind
On July 25, 2023, At War with the Wind becomes available in a new quality paperback edition from Citadel. An audiobook version is also now available on Audible.
Painful memories of 9/11 still echoed when At War with the Wind first went to press in 2008. I drew parallels then between a suicidal seaborne attack on a modern-era U.S. Navy destroyer and suicidal aerial attacks on warships by Imperial Japanese pilots at the close of World War II. This phenomenon added the word “kamikaze” to the global vernacular--shorthand for any suicidal assault meant to terrorize as well as destroy and kill.
Suicidal assaults are as old—and contemporary—as warfare itself. As this reissue of At War with the Wind goes to press, for example, Russia is launching so-called “kamikaze drones” against Ukraine. Though piloted remotely, these aerial drones share certain aspects of what U.S. Navy forces encountered in the Pacific nearly eight decades ago. For example, according to contemporary accounts, the Russian kamikaze drone “drops out of the sky without warning” leaving “no place to hide.”
While these parallels resonate, they have limits. American sailors, airmen and soldiers who battled manned Japanese kamikazes faced a unique challenge. How could warriors eager to live possibly contend with the fanaticism of opponents committed to die?
Pacific Air tells the sweeping and inspiring story of how young naval aviators made history in the World War II Pacific. With their lethal air- craft, despite disastrous setbacks suffered early in the war, they challenged and ultimately vanquished a superior Japanese air force and fleet.
They flew the elegantly designed F4F Wildcat and F6F Hellcat, as well as the rugged yet versatile TBF Avenger torpedo bomber. With superbly trained U.S. Navy and Marine Corps aviators at their controls, these planes became the most successful aerial weapons in naval history—Hellcat pilots were credited with destroying over 5,000 Japanese aircraft, and Avenger pilots helped win the crucial Battle of the Philippine Sea, Pacific Air’s stirring climax.
A majestic portrait of a proud era in dual perspectives—the inventive minds of young aeronautical engineers and the deadly artistry of even younger combat pilots—Pacific Air brings this important yet under appreciated chapter of World War II vividly to life.
Such Men as These
In 1951, James Michener went to Korea to report on a little known aspect of America’s stalemated war: Navy aviators. His research-inspired novel about these pilots became an overnight bestseller and perhaps the most widely read book ever written about aerial combat.
Using Michener’s notes, author David Sears tracked down the actual pilots, many of them older veterans of World War II, to tell their riveting true-life stories. Called back into service, many left behind young families and budding careers to risk their live in perilous airborne combat.
From icy, windswept decks of aircraft carriers, they crossed a cold sea and treacherous mountain terrain to strike heavily defended Communist dams, bridges, and tunnels. During these pulse-pounding aerial strikes, there was often just one path in and one path out—where well- entrenched North Korean anti-aircraft gunners waited to shoot them down.
Pilots who survived enemy guns still had to recross the same cold sea to land on their carriers. Wounds or damage to their aircraft might force them to crash behind enemy lines or into near-freezing water where survival time was measured in minutes.
For rescue they depended on the selfless heroics of helicopter pilots flying what were then new, fragile, and largely untested craft. Enemy gunfire and turbulent seas took an enormous toll: at least one carrier aviation squadron lost close to half its pilots during a six-month deployment.
Such Men As These offers the true events and heroes who inspired, and often surpassed, James Michener’s fictional creations—men such as Jesse LeRoy Brown, the first African-American naval viator, and Neil Armstrong, who would become the first astronaut on the moon. Such Men As These is filled with action-packed accounts of combat and unforgettable portraits of the pilots whose skill and sacrifice in the Korean War made epic history.
The Last Epic Naval Battle
The Battle of Leyte Gulf in October 1944 involved more ships than even the gargantuan World War I Battle of Jutland, was the last time that huge capital ships fought within sight and sound of each other, and was the scene of individual heroism that rivals anything in the annals of naval history. Yet this epic event is often overshadowed by the tide-turning events of Midway and D-Day. David Sears brings that great naval battle to life using the personal accounts of the men who were there. In so doing, he provides a deck-plate view of a mammoth battle of great strategic and tactical significance.
(Notable Naval Books of 2005 by Lieutenant Commander Thomas J. Cutler, U.S. Navy, May 2006 Proceedings)