Book Review of
Devotion tells the inspirational story of the U.S. Navy’s most famous aviator duo, Lieutenant Tom Hudner and Ensign Jesse Brown, and the Marines they fought to defend. A white New Englander from the country-club scene, Tom passed up Harvard to fly fighters for his country. An African American sharecropper’s son from Mississippi, Jesse became the navy’s first black carrier pilot, defending a nation that wouldn’t even serve him in a bar.
While much of America remained divided by segregation, Jesse and Tom joined forces as wingmen in Fighter Squadron 32. Adam Makos takes us into the cockpit as these bold young aviators cut their teeth at the world’s most dangerous job—landing on the deck of an aircraft carrier—a line of work that Jesse’s young wife, Daisy, struggles to accept.
Deployed to the Mediterranean, Tom and Jesse meet the Fleet Marines, boys like PFC “Red” Parkinson, a farm kid from the Catskills. In between war games in the sun, the young men revel on the Riviera, partying with millionaires and even befriending the Hollywood starlet Elizabeth Taylor. Then comes the war no one expected, in faraway Korea.
Devotion takes us soaring overhead with Tom and Jesse, and into the foxholes with Red and the Marines as they battle a North Korean invasion. As the fury of the fighting escalates and the Marines are cornered at the Chosin Reservoir, Tom and Jesse fly, guns blazing, to try and save them. When one of the duo is shot down behind enemy lines and pinned in his burning plane, the other faces an unthinkable choice: watch his friend die or attempt history’s most audacious one-man rescue mission.
A tug-at-the-heartstrings tale of bravery and selflessness, Devotion asks: How far would you go to save a friend?
I liked Devotion. I have read very little about the Korean War, but now I want to read more.
This book was very well written. I liked that this story is so unique and that there was so much covered in the book. From description, I thought that it was going to be focused more on the pilot duo Brown and Hudner, but it did not. It brought up a lot about what was going on with marines that were being helped by Brown and Hudner.
It also talks about the racial tensions and relationships during that time. I liked how it handled it and brought up how Brown handled it. I think that it was also great that Makos added parts about Brown’s wife. There was also so much emotion in the book that I became attached and routing for true heroes who fought so many years ago.
I think was well worth buying. I did have some doubts about some of the accuracy. The historical events are accurate, but there were a lot of conversations that I am sure are not 100% accurate. I can hardly remember conversations I had yesterday, which make me doubt how accurate people can remember conversations from the 1950s.