While reading Alvin Kernan's excellent books on his experiences in the first year of the Pacific war, I kept seeing repeated references in the footnotes to this book by a torpedo pilot off the old Hornet. It was another 1943 – published book, with a sad footnote that the author who survived the battles of 1942 was killed in action in 1943 before the book came out. The book is a very interesting account of the pilot’s experiences from Pearl Harbor through Midway, the carrier battles in the South Pacific, and operating from Guadalcanal until he was sent back on leave in the fall of 1942 after the Hornet was sunk at the battle of Santa Cruz.
What makes this book, like Kernan's, so good is that Mears could flat write. His prose is astonishingly good, from his accounts of what pilots were thinking to a memorable account of the incinerated gun crew of the aft 5 inch battery on the Enterprise after being bombed at the battle of the Eastern Solomons. It has been reproduced in several other books, and is just one example of some really extraordinary writing.