Phantom Warrior

The Heroic True Story of Private John McKinney's One-Man Stand Against the Japanese in World War II

This is the story of John McKinney who received the Medal of Honor for his actions against a Japanese surprise attack. On May 11, 1945, McKinney returned fire on the Japanese attacking his unit, using every available weapon-even his fists-standing alone against wave after wave of dedicated Japanese soldiers. At the end, John McKinney was alive-with over forty Japanese bodies before him. This is the story of an extraordinary man whose courage and fortitude in battle saved many American lives, and whose legacy has been sadly forgotten by all but a few. Here, the proud legacy of John McKinney lives on.

Publishers Weekly

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.

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information

  • ~Colonel Cole C. Kingseed, Military Historian and Author

    The most riveting and unforgettable account of individual combat I’ve ever read.

  • ~Hampton Sides, Author

    A vivid telling of one of World War II’s most legendary exploits.

  • ~M.A. Green, Charleston Post

    An inspiring story, ably told and a great read.

  • ~Ron Flowers, Author

    Truly inspiring story. Highly recommended.