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Download Never Call Me a Hero: A Legendary American Dive-Bomber Pilot Remembers the Battle of Midway Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Never Call Me a Hero: A Legendary American Dive-Bomber Pilot Remembers the Battle of Midway Audiobook, by N. Jack “Dusty” Kleiss Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: N. Jack “Dusty” Kleiss Narrator: Mike Ortego Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2017 ISBN: 9780062747716
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An extraordinary firsthand account of the Battle of Midway by one of its key participants, timed to the 75th anniversary: American dive-bomber pilot “Dusty” Kleiss helped sink three Japanese warships (including two aircraft carriers), received the Navy Cross, and is credited with playing a decisive individual role in determining the outcome of a battle that is considered a turning point in World War II.

In Never Call Me a Hero, Captain Kleiss (USN, ret.), a U.S. Navy SBD Dauntless dive-bomber pilot with the USS Enterprise’s Scouting Squadron Six, tells his full story for the first time, offering an unprecedentedly intimate look at the battle that reversed America’s fortunes after the tragedy of Pearl Harbor. Kleiss is notable for being the only pilot from either fleet on those battle-scarred days of legend, June 4–7, 1942, to land hits on three different enemy ships. On the first day of the Battle of Midway, Kleiss planted bombs on two Japanese carriers—Kaga and Hiryu—sinking both, and later, on June 6, he scored a direct hit on a Japanese cruiser, the Mikuma, which also sank. In his 1967 book Incredible Victory, Walter Lord asserted that the margins of U.S. victory at Midway were so thin that individual participants could rightfully say that their actions turned the tide. Given the amount of destruction inflicted upon the Japanese that day, Kleiss may have been the most important pilot in the air. It is no stretch to say that without him, the Battle of Midway may not have been won, altering the course of the conflict and history itself; for according the U.S. Navy’s historians: “The Battle of Midway was far more than an epic WWII clash somewhere far away at sea. It was an American victory that forever changed the course of world history. This is the battle that turned the tide of the war.”

But this is not only the memoir of one man; it is the history of this battle and its legacy. In only five minutes, forty-eight American dive bomber pilots and their gunners destroyed the pride of the Japanese carrier fleet and exacted retribution on the carrier force that had attacked Pearl Harbor. Never Call Me a Hero is also a story about humility and pushing limits. Throughout his life, Kleiss had always looked toward the heavens for spiritual guidance, and to serve his country. Throughout his life, this humble man considered himself blessed with incredible luck and did his job without complaint. Whenever others referred to his actions as “heroic,” he quickly corrected them “I’m no hero. Never call me a hero.”

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Dusty Kleiss’ name should be known to every American—adult and schoolchild alike. This book will teach you something on every page.”

    James D. Hornfischer, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Kleiss’ memoir is an honest, riveting account of a brave pilot’s life…A vivid and unforgettable first-hand view into America’s greatest victory at sea.”

    Dan Hampton, USAF (Ret.), New York Times bestselling author

  • “Without histrionics or bravado, ‘Dusty’ Kleiss gives us a fascinating personal account of a seminal naval battle, and a great read as well. Never Call Me a Hero lets you feel what it was like to fight in the Pacific, and to grow up in Depression-era Middle America too.”

    Jonathan Parshall, coauthor of Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway

  • “A rare and precious gift from a significant warrior to his posterity. Published posthumously, ‘Dusty’ Kleiss’ stirring memoir contradicts his own title: Kleiss willingly accepted the risks that defined his heroism, and changed the course of the Second World War.”

    Barrett Tillman, author of Enterprise: America’s Fightingest Ship

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About the Author

Captain Norman Jack “Dusty” Kleiss (1916–2016) was the last surviving dive-bomber from the Battle of Midway. Kleiss grew up in Coffeyville, Kansas, during the Great Depression, before enlisting in the Naval Academy, from which he graduated in 1938. A carrier-based pilot of Scouting Squadron Six attached to the USS Enterprise, he was awarded the Navy Cross and the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1942. He was married to his wife, Jean, for more than sixty years before her passing in 2006.