“A gallant officer, a superb airman, and an indomitable fighter . . . [He] rendered decisive assistance during a critical stage of operations.”
—Harry S. Truman, Medal of Honor Citation
Jefferson J. DeBlanc always played cowboys and Indians dressed in a Captain Eddie Rickenbacker flying suit and Sam Browne belt and goggles. From his early childhood, he was fascinated with planes, and when he enrolled in Southwestern Louisiana Institute (now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette), he studied and excelled in pilot training.
DeBlanc first saw action in World War II at the island of Guadalcanal in the South Pacific. From his very first day there, he proved himself as a talented fighter pilot. He shot down two Betty bombers on his first day and soon began to lead his own squadron in the air. Within weeks, he was considered to be part of the flying elite, the Marine Fighter Aces.
The Guadalcanal Air War is DeBlanc’s firsthand account of his training and the events on Guadalcanal. It is DeBlanc’s journey as a man as he discovers the value of life, including his own. Because of the efforts of men like DeBlanc, the battles fought on and above Guadalcanal marked a turning point in the war and ended Japanese expansion.