Last to Die: A Defeated Empire, a Forgotten Mission, and the Last American Killed in World War II

Hardcover | July 14, 2015

byStephen Harding

not yet rated|write a review
On August 18, 1945—three days after Japan announced it would cease hostilities and surrender—U.S. Army Air Forces Sergeant Anthony J. Marchione bled to death in the clear, bright sky above Tokyo. Just six days after his twentieth birthday, Tony Marchione died like so many before him in World War II—quietly, cradled in the arms of a buddy who was powerless to prevent his death. Though heartbreaking for his family, Marchione's death would have been no more notable than any other had he not had the dubious distinction of being the last American killed in World War II combat.

An aerial gunner who had already survived several combat missions, Marchione's death was the tragic culmination of an intertwined series of events. The plane that carried him that day was a trouble-plagued American heavy bomber known as the B-32 Dominator, which would prove a failed competitor to the famed B-29 Superfortress. And on the ground below, a palace revolt was brewing and a small number of die-hard Japanese fighter pilots decided to fight on, refusing to accept defeat.

Based on official American and Japanese histories, personal memoirs, and the author's exclusive interviews with many of the story's key participants, Last to Die is a rousing tale of air combat, bravery, cowardice, hubris, and determination, all set during the turbulent and confusing final days of World War II.

Pricing and Purchase Info

$25.87 online
$33.99 list price (save 23%)
In stock online
Ships free on orders over $25
Prices may vary. why?
Please call ahead to confirm inventory.

From the Publisher

On August 18, 1945—three days after Japan announced it would cease hostilities and surrender—U.S. Army Air Forces Sergeant Anthony J. Marchione bled to death in the clear, bright sky above Tokyo. Just six days after his twentieth birthday, Tony Marchione died like so many before him in World War II—quietly, cradled in the arms of a bud...

Stephen Harding is the author of eight previous books, including the New York Times bestseller The Last Battle. He is a longtime journalist specializing in military affairs. For nearly two decades he was on the staff of Soldiers, the official magazine of the U.S. Army, reporting from Northern Ireland, Israel, Egypt, New Zealand, Bosnia...

other books by Stephen Harding

The Last Battle: When U.S. and German Soldiers Joined Forces in the Waning Hours of World War II in…
The Last Battle: When U.S. and German Soldiers Joined F...

Paperback|Jun 3 2014

$16.35 online$18.50list price(save 11%)
Grow Small, Think Beautiful: Ideas for a Sustainable World from Schumacher College
Grow Small, Think Beautiful: Ideas for a Sustainable Wo...

Kobo ebook|Aug 30 2012

$11.89 online$15.40list price(save 22%)
see all books by Stephen Harding
Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 9.25 × 6.25 × 1 inPublished:July 14, 2015Publisher:Da Capo PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0306823381

ISBN - 13:9780306823381

Look for similar items by category:

Customer Reviews of Last to Die: A Defeated Empire, a Forgotten Mission, and the Last American Killed in World War II

Reviews

Extra Content

Editorial Reviews

Advance Praise for Last to Die"The story of Tony Marchione and his tragic, heroic death in the skies over Tokyo a full three days after Japan had supposedly surrendered is as well told as it is heart-wrenching. Marchione reflected America's Greatest Generation perfectly, in terms of his upbringing, patriotism, and sacrifice, and he is superbly memorialized in this moving yet also scholarly book. Anyone who enjoyed Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken will love this work of history that reads like a thriller."—Andrew Roberts, author of The Storm of War"This is a rarity: an entirely new World War II story. It reads like an adventure novel yet is a deeply researched work from the hand of a smart and seasoned historian. A tour de force of discovery and storytelling."—Donald L. Miller, author of Masters of the Air