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Reviewed by Michelle Stanley for Readers' Favorite
“There are only two types of fairy tales told in the Corps; one begins with, “Once upon a time…” the other, “This is no shite!” - Tippy (Tales of Flying Sergeants) Enlisted Fighter Pilots in WW11. Robert “Tippy” Tipatue, a skilled mechanic, enlisted in the Marines after the attack on Pearl Harbour. He was an ingenious, courageous, forthright man who took his mechanical assignments seriously at the Maw Airbase. This enabled him to move quickly through the ranks to become a fighter pilot, much to the regret of First Lieutenant Goldberg, a commissioned Officer who disapproved of enlisted men becoming pilots. Tippy and other trained enlisted pilots had many close encounters with death while fighting the Japanese, and their living conditions were basic, but they learned to keep their spirits up with moral support, a few fights, and pranks.
Michael G. Uva has written this very poignant military fiction as a warm-hearted tribute to Master Gunnery Sergeant Charles W. Tippy, a “salty old Marine” with whom he served. He wrote compassionately, recollecting tales filled with sadness, nostalgia and mirth of the war. Surviving Marines who pay tribute to Pastor Tippy at his funeral narrate with stirring tales of their friendship with the deceased throughout intervals in the book. Pastor Tippy rarely spoke of his Marine years, so his grieving congregation were surprised to see politicians, actors, other public figures, and a Japanese veteran turn out to pay their respects. The cover illustration is lovely and the story made a very interesting read.