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Operation Firefly by Liane Young

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A compelling work of historical fiction written by former director of corporate communications for the Office of Naval Research Liane Young, Operation Firefly reveals the amazing true story of the smokejumpers of the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, the US Army’s first all-black test platoon.

Toward the end of WWII, the Japanese begin attaching incendiary and antipersonnel bombs to hydrogen-filled paper balloons and sending them across the Pacific Ocean. Over the course of the Fu-Go program, almost ten thousand balloon bombs are launched, setting off hundreds of forest fires along the West Coast of the United States. But in a ploy to trick the Japanese into thinking their bombing campaign is ineffective, the US government keeps it all under wraps. After six innocent civilians are killed, the “Triple Nickles” are quietly dispatched to Pendleton Field, Oregon, on Operation Firefly.

Young draws you into this riveting, little-known chapter of American history by masterfully weaving the story of Captain Tucker Freeman and several other fictionalized characters into factual accounts.

This remarkable eighteen-man team’s missions have them parachuting into dangerous situations to fight forest fires and defuse live Fu-Go bombs. Facing external racism and internal personality clashes, the tension builds, culminating in a dramatic race against the clock at a top-secret Manhattan Project site.