When I saw your November 1998 cover showing the Navy pilots, my first reaction was: I knew these guys somewhere. Then I read that they had just returned from aerial combat near the Marshall Islands, intercepting a number of Japanese planes en route to Tarawa. Tarawa was my first battle experience as a Navy landing-boat officer, taking the 2d Marine Division into the bloody battle for that Gilbert Islands atoll.
No doubt I and many others owe our lives to those fliers; the Japanese pilots would have bombed and strafed the landing force had they been successful in getting through.
No names of the pilots were given. But across the years, my thanks to each of you!