An extraordinary, untold story of the Second World War from the author of Friday Night Lights and 3 Nights in August.
In World War II, one branch of the service dominated the aspirations of college football stars: the United States Marine Corps. On Christmas Eve 1944, when the 4th and 29th Marine Regiments were training together for what would be the bloodiest battle of the war—the invasion of Okinawa—their ranks included some of the greatest football talent ever assembled: former All-Americans, captains from Wisconsin, Brown, and Notre Dame, and nearly twenty men drafted to or who would play in the NFL.
When the trash talking between the 4th and 29th over who had the better football team reached a fever pitch, it was decided: the two regiments would face off in the dirt and coral of Guadalcanal. The bruising and bloody football game that followed became known as “the Mosquito Bowl.”
Within a matter of months, fifteen of the sixty-five players in “the Mosquito Bowl” would be killed at Okinawa, by far the largest number of American athletes to die in a single battle. The Mosquito Bowl is the story of these brave and beautiful young men, those who survived and those who did not. It is the story of the families and the landscape that shaped them. It is a story of a far more innocent time in both college athletics and the life of the country—and of the loss of that innocence.
Instant New York Times Bestseller · Winner of the General Wallace M. Greene Jr. Award from the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation