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The Skull & Crossbones Squadron: Vf-17 in World War II by Lee Cook

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  • Pages: 7
  • Word count: 1725
  • Category: War

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Cooperation is needed for a company to succeed, this means that the participation of all individuals are needed. Not just the usual participation of members but a harmonious working environment. This would play a big factor in ensuring success. Success does not necessarily mean material gain; it could also mean achievements or completion of a specific task given. The United States Naval Force is one organization of the government that helps in assuring security, peace and harmony within the country. They are our government’s tool.

Making sure that the United States of America is safe from foreign invasion is one responsibility of the US Navy Force. It is their responsibility to work as team for the benefit of those needing their services. It is their responsibility to uphold the truth at all cost and abide the regulations imposed on them.

Countries will not have its natural order without the laws that govern each. This tries to give us rules on what to do and what is prohibited. However, before this time when everything has been set with golden rules, there was a time when the only guns and ammunitions, not words, are used to implement order. This has been the era of great world wars. This will be the time when the most important department of one country will be its military system.  Each country tries to out win one another and thus blood was shed and some lives were wasted. Though some have had their glorious moment, some have shone in the time of war as they defend their country. One example of a military system that has made their mark in the history is the VF17 squadron of the United States of America.


The book “The Skull & Crossbones Squadron” written by Lee Cook is about the awarded fly fighters of America during World War II. Jolly Rogers is the nickname that they have given their Navy team. The Jolly Rogers squadron is one of the most awarded World War II fighters. In the book, it was documented how this American Navy team was feared by the Japanese. The Jolly Rogers squadron was so excellent in terms of their fighting abilities that the Japanese has termed them as “wolves”. This book is a chronicle of what happened during World War II from the perspective of a navy firefighter himself.

Jolly Rogers’s official squadron name is VF17. VF17 is one indispensable squadron in between 1943 and 1934. The VF17 squadron was lead by Commander Tom Blackburn. At first, there were thirteen aces as members of the squadron. Afterwards, there were two more members that were added to the squadron and later became aces of another team after their terms in the VF17.

This team has made their name a famous one when they have made a very impressive record of knocking down 154 Japanese war planes in just seventy six days of combat. This combat has happened in the northern Solomon Islands and Rabaul. This is not the only achievement that they have in their record as a squadron. They were also able to destroy five small cargo ships and seventeen barges of the enemy. They were able to sink the spirits of the enemy that is why they were tag by the Japanese as “attacked by wolves”.

The book offers a good insight on Commander Blackburn’s brilliant organizational and leadership capabilities.


            This book has received a lot of praise from its critics. They say that the book is a well written note of what happened during the World War II. It has been highly praised because as they say, the data in the book matches what is written in history. Readers find it fascinating as they read the experiences of the navy fighters. They are able to re-live the moments in their mind as they go through the pages of the book.

            Some say that this is a good tribute to those who risk their lives during the world war, those naval aviations that made Americans proud and mighty (Knott, 1998).

      Before going to war, you have to know first what you are against at. One needs to have a full grasp of who they are going against. These naval aviation officers have readied themselves for everything that could happen, that they are ready for whatever that may happen, all for the love of their country.


The writer could not help indulge in a self-venerating way of writing about what happened during the World War II, after all this is his side of the story.

Media plays a great role in creating public awareness. After reading the book; one might question what percent of those that are being presented to the public is absolute truth, those without any alterations.

The mind is a critical element of a human being. Critical thinking is common among adults, those whose brain has been developed in a way that they do not only accept everything that is being presented to them as absolute truth but also has the capability of questioning the validity of the information presented and realizing if it could be accepted as a truth.

This is a great ego booster for navy pilots. They should feel great about their comrades and try to emulate and achieved the same kind of respect as this squadron did. I believe that the Navy teams today can, even without the wars. It is not and easy job, one needs to be physically and mentally fit to make sure that they could respond to whatever situation they will be called to. Being physically fit is important not only for the individual, but also for the crew. Physical fitness allows individuals to maintain mental fitness that can help them maintain situational awareness when their life depends on it.

It is important in any job and institution that everyone works as a team. There should be an understanding between members regarding who is responsible with what equipment and with what materials. There should be no overlapping of work and that as much as possible. They should not be affected by personal quarrels that could result in them not doing their job properly. Being a firefighter is not a job for a lame or someone who is fearful.

Every freedom comes with an obligation. Whether in the US Navy or in another work, every employee needs to give a part of him to the company or institution which they are working for. Working is never a one way process. Both the employee and employer have an obligation to each other that needs to be met to ensure a harmonious relationship within.


Life is a continuous journey, like a car, we go through a lot of highways and streets where we see a lot of views, some are good and some are bad, but whatever the view is, it still has an impact on us. Life of ours is about inter-dependency, whether we like it or not.

      All men are created equal, we all have rights and responsibilities as well that must be fulfilled. The past should not be a hindrance in fulfilling a better today.

Experiences help us learn better, I learned that these experiences are not only to be kept within oneself but in order for it to have sense, we share it with other human beings. We take the good points from our experiences and carry it out in our life. We take the lesson learned from the bad ones and try to correct mistakes in the process of our continuous journey in this life.

It is very important for a sailor to have a well defined set of characteristics that aids him in his chosen profession. Being part of the US Navy means sacrificing one self in service of others, the citizens of the United States of America. They must be self disciplined and responsible for sticking to their set of standards. This set of standards is professionalism the navy way. As General Krulak has said in one of his speech, “… Self-control is a crucial value for all Marines to develop. It requires discipline, patience, self-understanding and a willing deference to others and the greater good. In a hectic world where so many things are beyond our control, self-control provides personal balance and a firm anchor of peace. The clever rifleman knows how to hit the target; the wise rifleman knows which targets to hit.” (Hinman, 1999).

A US Naval Officers character had been molded far well than that of an ordinary worker. They have been trained rigidly; they have faced more adversities than the ordinary workers for their responsibility are bigger, not only towards their family but also towards their countrymen. They are nobody’s fool. They are our protector, meaning bigger responsibilities for them. They might be guided by a different set of standards but outside their work loads, they are just like the ordinary workers too, in more ways than the other.

Every decision that we make in life comes with a corresponding responsibility. Battles are not being fought because of hatred; it is more on because of ideologies, of what one perceives to be right wherein the other think of it as negative. No war waged is ever futile if the end will justify the means my son.

        Do not be haste in your decisions, think a hundred times before you hold a gun and aim it at another person. When you are given the chance to hold a weapon for destruction like the gun, remember that it comes with a great responsibility that one might have not foresee at once. Make sure that you are fully aware of what you are against at and what you are fighting for before you commit yourself into doing such chivalrous act for your society and for mankind.


Hinman, Lawrence. 1999. Ethics, Character and the Military Officer. University of San Diego.

03 Oct. 2006.. http://ethics.sandiego.edu/Presentations/nrotc/index.asp

Knott, Dick. 1998. “Skull & Crossbones Squadron: VF-17 in World War II, The”. Wings of

Gold. Fall. FindArticles.com. 03 Oct. 2006.


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