I’m trying to track down a series of books that I read (repeatedly) when I was a kid, and haven’t had any luck Googling the few details I can put a name on. My wife told me that this was the perfect place to post what I remembered and that someone would be able to identify some titles or the author.
The books are all historical fiction set in World War II, Pacific theater. Here are some of the plot summaries:
Book #1: Destroyer USS Caron is damaged in battle, left to limp toward Australia but then is damaged more severely and drifts with no power or radio. Protagonist (Ensign Wainwright???) goes from “newbie” to leader through book, coming up with plans to get help, improve morale, and eventually save ship from Japanese. (This is not the Caron built in the 70s, when this book was written there was no USS Caron according to an author’s note).
Book #2: Protagonist sent to mine clearing school, then immediately sent on difficult mission under command of Japanese-American. Mission goes sour when another fellow gets their insertion boat blown up via distrusting the J-A, so protagonist and (wounded) J-A are left to identify mines in harbor while evading notice. Protagonist figures out difficult mine puzzle without blowing self up, and with help of J-A manages to notify superiors using Japanese radio, proving his loyalty.
Book #3: Carrier pilot fights and is direly wounded in battle of Midway. When healed up, he isn’t cleared to fly, and can’t stand “desk job” so he talks his brother (another pilot) into dropping him into Solomon islands to radio out intelligence about the Tokyo Express. Brother dies weeks later dropping off supplies after Japanese drop off troops on same island. Original pilot then has to bootstrap himself back up to contact help and thwart Japanese.
Book #4: Happy-go-lucky pilot gets recruited into Marine raiding party which is to be covertly inserted onto Japanese-held island. Their sub hits a mine, though, and only 3 or 4 of them get out. They gather intelligence and then make daring escape by impersonating native islanders to sneak onto a “Betty” flown in by a reviewing Japanese admiral. He flies them back to US airfield, manages to talk them in and land without them getting shot down, but dies of wounds right around then.
Book #5: PT boat crew, another “boat gets disabled and drifts somewhere, challenges ensue” story but the details are much fuzzier ;>.
Any help is appreciated. Thanks in advance!!!