Lee Cook

Lee Cook

Lee Cook has been researching American WWII fighter pilots since 1993. He is the foremost authority and historian on the illustrious United States Navy F4U Corsair fighter unit, VF-17 "The Skull and Crossbones Squadron." Initial contact with the skipper, Tom Blackburn led Lee on a journey of discovery about the squadron's record-breaking achievements in the Solomon Islands in World War II. Sadly, Tom Blackburn died before he could meet him, but Lee was invited to the VF-17 reunion at Oshkosh in 1994 where he met the surviving members of "Fighting 17." It was at this reunion that Lee was challenged to write a book about the squadron's phenomenal success in the Pacific Theater where they excelled in shooting down the much vaunted Japanese Zero. Lee took up the task and became the author of three books on the subject: The Skull and Crossbones Squadron: VF-17 in World War II; Fighting Seventeen: A Photographic History of VF-17 in World War II; and The Aces of Fighting 17: VF-17's Top Guns in World War II. Lee Cook has also written articles and lectured on VF-17. His writing and research on this record-breaking group of men has been with the sole aim of perpetuating the memory of this celebrated Navy fighter squadron. Lee spent many years as an Operations Manager in the Royal Mail, and in his spare time developed a career as a professional boxing referee, culminating in a Guinness World Record. He now lives a quiet life in Cambridgeshire, England with his wife Michele.
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