Into the Teeth of the Tiger by Donald S. Lopez This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

November 8, 2011
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Tiger Sharks, A Story of the 75th Fighter Squadron

The book Into the Teeth of the Tiger by Donald S. Lopez was a thrilling and knowledgeable story of an audacious, youthful fighter pilot in World War II. Piloting P-40s and P-51 mustangs, the 75th fighter squadron, successors of “The Flying Tigers” inflicted heavy casualties and hindering raids on the Japanese in China. The book gives that sense of story-time with grandpa, but with a more realistic twist, brought on by the constant death of relatable characters and friends of Lopez’s.

The author does a fantastic job of covering all sides of wartime, from the intense aerial dogfights to the boredom and inactivity caused by bad flying weather. Lopez recalls not only nighttime bombings of their barracks by the Japanese Army Air Force, and strafing river boats in his trusty plane ‘Lope’s Hope’, but also fighting over books to pass the time, playing pranks on his fellow pilot and going on rat hunts in his squadron’s hostel. Lopez is a great writer with good, descriptive vocabulary, and he has a good sense of humor.

The book was very informative and taught me quite a bit about the China-India-Burma Theater of the war, I am fairly knowledgeable of the Second World War, but most of my interest has been in the European Theater. Fortunately, this book didn’t read like a textbook, and I learned new information as the story progressed. Representing the thin US forces in China, the 75th had a crucial role in stopping the push of the Japanese troops towards India. But, without adequate ground forces, and with the Chinese surrendering territory without putting up a fight, the squadron had no choice but to retreat.

The book has no apparent fallacies, not to say it lacks opinion. Lopez has no doubt of the evil of the Nazi regime and the Japanese, and states multiple times that all Americans felt the same way. His and his peers’ dislike for the enemy is fiery and untamed, and they are regarded as less than human.

Into the Teeth of the Tiger tells the thrilling tales of one of the most successful fighter pilot groups in histoy, The book was a good read, and an inspiring story. It shined new light for me on the United States Air Force, and illustrated the integrity and pride that comes with being a pilot. Its morals, lessons, and chronicles of air combat enthused me and altered my view of the USAF.





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JAMM said...
Feb. 3, 2012 at 3:02 pm
In this book, Mr Lopez describes soem of the missions and other experiences he had with my Uncle- Danny Daniels as noted in the book. I since met him at the air and space for a tour behind the scenes. Wonderful man, I fully unterstand "The Greatest generation" analogy. Wonderful person and book. Must read
 
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