Horn, Steve 1927-
Horn, Steve 1927-
Born June 26, 1927.
Worked as a newspaper reporter and as chief of publications for Lear Aviation. Served in U.S. Air Force; became lieutenant colonel. Served in combat in the Vietnam War and as a chief of intelligence for the 43rd Strategic Wing on Guam.
The attack by Japan on the U.S. military base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941, has been chronicled by numerous journalists and historians, but less well known is a subsequent action that took place in March 1942. It is the focus of Steve Horn's The Second Attack on Pearl Harbor: Operation K and Other Japanese Attempts to Bomb America in World War II. Horn describes how Japan sent two so-called flying boats from the Marshall Islands to bomb Pearl Harbor. With submarines in place to refuel the aircraft, the attack lasted thirty-six hours, but the bombs did no harm, their targets having been obscured by clouds. He also deals with other, largely ineffective, Japanese efforts to attack the United States by means of aircraft and submarine, including the dropping of bombs in forested areas of the Pacific Northwest, which produced no significant damage. Additionally, he discusses other nations that attempted to coordinate the use of air power and submarines to no avail, and goes into some plans that Japan never carried out, such as assaults on the East Coast and the Panama Canal. To research the book, Horn interviewed people who were involved in the actions and consulted newspaper stories of the time along with government records.
Some critics noted that Horn's work offered a wealth of information on a little-known aspect of World War II, but there were those who thought it provided a surfeit of unnecessary detail. Kenneth P. Werrell, writing in Air Power History, called the book "obviously a labor of love, an exhaustive work that also exhausted this reader." Horn loses sight of his main topic, Werrell stated, amid "much context and background." Werrell further commented that the subject is "narrow and unimportant" and would be appropriate for "a tightly focused article" instead of a book. He did allow that Horn related "some interesting tidbits" about military successes and failures on the part of both the United States and Japan: U.S. operations in Hawaii remained disorderly in the early part of the war, but Japan's continuing efforts to attack the States, while often "innovative and aggressive," were too small-scale and mismanaged to be productive.
A contributor to NYMAS Review, a publication of the New York Military Affairs Symposium, found The Second Attack on Pearl Harbor valuable, saying it will enlighten readers about "obscure but interesting" military operations. The reviewer added that the book, while "somewhat rambling," is overall "quite well done." A commentator for Reference & Research Book News summarized it as a "well-referenced" work that "sheds light" on a subject that has received little attention.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Air Power History, winter, 2006, Kenneth P. Werrell, review of The Second Attack on Pearl Harbor: Operation K and Other Japanese Attempts to Bomb America in World War II, p. 50.
NYMAS Review, winter, 2006, review of The Second Attack on Pearl Harbor.
Reference & Research Book News, February, 2006, review of The Second Attack on Pearl Harbor.
Casemate UK Web site,http://www.casematepublishing.co.uk/ (August 25, 2008), brief biography and book information.