Singlehandedly repulsing a Japanese attack in 1945, Pvt. John McKinney won the Medal of Honor for one of America's most heroic wartime feats, and here Johnson (Hour of Redemption) presents the event as a docudrama. Private McKinney was the nearly illiterate son of a Georgia sharecropper who served quietly throughout the New Guinea and Philippine campaigns. With victory assured in the Philippines, his unit was sent to defend a remote spit of land far from the fighting, where no one expected the attack when it came. Recovering from his surprise, McKinney recaptured a machine gun from the Japanese, firing until it jammed, then fought on alone with his rifle (he was a crack shot) and bayonet. Afterward, witnesses counted over 100 enemy dead-so many that superiors wanted a lower number before submitting their report. McKinney died in 1997, leaving no personal papers, so the author relies on interviews and official documents, and also on his imagination.
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