Shademaid: A Hellcat Night Fighter's WWII Memoir

Shademaid is my father's (Irvin H. Lee) WWII memoir as a U.S. Navy night fighter who flew Hellcat fighters off of the USS Independence, the first aircraft carrier to be designated for night fighting. His memoir is a personal account of carrier based combat in the Pacific. While his memoir is autobiographical a review by John Lambert, an authority on the USS Independence and the Shademaid squadron, praises Shademaid for its historical accuracy. My father included both humorous stories and poignant combat descriptions that will capture the reader’s attention. As Shademaid does not include any personal background, my introduction explains how in 1943 my father became a Naval aviator. And because he makes no mention of his subsequent career as a Naval aviator, I include an epilogue that describes my father’s post WWII military career and his battle with PTSD. The epilogue explains how his war experiences affected his life and the lives of his family members. John Lambert contributed the foreword. Montana artist Donny Greytak sketched the cover image of my father standing on the wing of his Hellcat fighter.

After WWII, my father was called back to serve as a combat pilot in the Korean War. During the Korean war he flew combat missions off of two aircraft carriers (U.S.S. Princeton and the U.S.S. Philippine Sea). My father later served as the commanding officer of the U.S.N. and Marine Corps Reserve Training Center in Billings, Mont.. Although his service during the Vietnam War was stateside, one of his responsibilities as CO was to visit the family members of Mont. sailors and marines who were killed in Vietnam. The combination of his war experiences resulted in a lifelong problem with PTSD.

With admitted bias, Shademaid is a ripping good story of a young man who volunteered to serve and who gave it his all.

Shademaid has 168 pages (8 ½” by 11”)and about 60,000 words. The ISBN is: 978-0-578-67838-2. Copies of Shademaid may be ordered from:

Michael H. Lee
P.O. Box 1013
Helena, Montana. 59624

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