"Days of Steel Rain relates in graphic and dramatic detail how cruiser USS Astoria and her sailors withstood Japan's dreaded Kamikaze assaults during the most deadly [and] decisive campaigns of the Pacific War. A first-rate account of American courage, selfless sacrifice, and perseverance against high odds in the crucible of combat. A must-read for anyone interested in the battle history of U.S. Navy."—Edward J. Marolda, former Senior Historian of the U.S. Navy
"Brent E. Jones strikes gold with his stirring Days of Steel Rain, which relates the exploits of his World War II relative, Lawrence Jones, and his shipmates aboard the light cruiser, USS Astoria, as they battle their foe off Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and Japan in the Pacific War's final year. Relying on vivid combat sequences, Jones has provided touching testimony that humans, not guns and weapons, win wars. He offers a fitting tribute to his relative and to the other courageous sailors who manned that cruiser." —John Wukovits, author of Tin Can Titans and Dogfight Over Tokyo
"Finally, a seafaring story we can steer into at top speed. This is World War II as we seldom get to see it. First-hand.Fast-paced. And arriving not a moment too late. Batten down the hatches—you’re about to follow a fraternity of heroes as they plunge into chaos. It’s time to go to sea.”—Adam Makos, author of the New York Times bestseller A Higher Call
“As powerfully built as the ship at its heart, Days of Steel Rain is a mighty feat of storytelling. Herein lie Iwo Jima bombardments, a near-collision with [the] Indianapolis, kamikazes, typhoons, and incomparable men. The narrative is vigorous, deeply felt .and so attentively wrought, it’s as if Brent E. Jones came through the war on Astoria herself.”—James Sullivan, author of Unsinkable
"Truly an amazing story: the combat experiences of a single fighting ship as told through the actual words of the men at the time. The human condition--sights, sounds, reactions, worries, thoughts, words--is often overlooked and left out of most wartime histories. The eyewitness accounts and personal testimonies of the crew of Astoria--from Captain down to Seaman--make the Fast Carrier Task Force come alive in a vivid blaze of color, the roar of naval gunfire, a rolling and plunging deck underfoot, and the adrenaline of men alternately fighting to survive a typhoon or under vicious air attack. Not spared are the personal struggles with numbing routine split between tedium and boredom; fatigue laced with humor, sarcasm, endless rumors, and even fatalism. I particularly enjoyed the exciting stories of Chuck Tanner and his team of Kingfisher pilots; their incredible exploits, adventures and successful rescues-at-sea are the likes of which I've never read anywhere else up until now. In short, Days of Steel Rain brings alive a gallery of real people: some heroes and villains to be sure, but mostly average American boys and men, Bluejackets and Marines, caught in the crucible that was the western Pacific in 1945. It is an uncommonly related perspective indeed."
—Dominic DeScisciolo, Captain, U.S. Navy (Ret.)