N. Jack “Dusty” Kleiss was a U.S. Navy pilot who served with Scouting Squadron 6 on board the USS Enterprise during World War II. During the Battle of Midway, he was the only pilot from either side to land hits on three different ships, all of which sank—losses that crippled the once-fearsome Japanese fleet.
By battle’s end, the humble young sailor from Kansas had earned his place in history—and yet he stayed silent for decades, living quietly with his children and his wife, Jean, whom he married less than a month after Midway. His long-awaited memoir, Never Call Me a Hero, written with naval historians Timothy and Laura Orr, tells the Navy Cross recipient’s full story for the first time, offering an unprecedentedly intimate look at the “the decisive contest for control of the Pacific in World War II” (New York Times)—and one man’s essential role in helping secure its outcome.
As the book neared completion in 2016, Dusty Kleiss passed away at age 100.