TORRANCE — Dan King, author of “The Last Zero Fighter,” will give a lecture at the Western Museum of Flight, 3315 Airport Dr., Torrance, on Saturday, June 21, at 11 a.m.
When America lurched unprepared into World War II, the troops discovered to ehri horror that their preparations, logistics, and much of their equipment were not up to the tasks that had been thrust upon them. One of the most feared of the overmatching adversary systems was the Mitsubishi Zero fighter.
In the hands of a skilled pilot, its speed, maneuverability, and armament were devastatingly effective in duels between Japanese and American airmen. American technological and industrial might eventually produced machines that were more than adequate to handle the threat, but at the outset, the Zero was both respected and feared.
The saga of this impressive weapon of war has been thoroughly explored and researched by King, who is uniquely qualified to bring this story to light. Fluent in Japanese, ahd having had the opportunity to live and work in Japan, where he interviewed many of the surviving Zero pilots, he also visited many of the island combat theaters throughout the Pacific where Japanese and American pilots faced one another.
There will be a demonstration flight of a Zero fighter after the speech.
The book will be available for $20. Admission is free for museum members, $5 for non-members. Parking is available in the museum lot. For more information, call (310) 326-9544 or visit www.wmof.com.