The sea and air operations in Korea involved fewer American troops and attracted less attention from the media than the ground fighting. American war-novel writers also tend to concentrate on land warfare; only a handful of books cover the air war. They were all written during or just after the war and appear in the 1952-1956 period. Naval warfare is even less popular as a subject matter. Only one novel describes amphibious operations, activities that are not even run by the Navy but by a special Army detachment. That book was published almost a decade later, in 1965. Unlike the POW novels, there is no typical pattern of action or chain of events that these stories have in common, nor any particular characteristic themes or motifs unique to these stories. What does emerge, rather more strongly than in the novels that deal with ground fighting, is the picture of a lonely individual who has difficulties not so much with enemy action and his wartime tasks as with his own personal reactions to these phenomena.
In Troubling of a Star ( 1953)-despite its setting in occupied Japan, 1951, more a war than an occupation story-Walt Sheldon concentrates on the moral aspects of killing as a wartime duty and the place of religion in war- considerations familiar from many POW novels. To his protagonist, fighter-bomber pilot Richard Tindle, the simple God-on-our-side formula is not sufficient to justify inflicting suffering and death on people the way he and his comrades are in duty bound to do. He keeps looking for some principle on which to base moral decisions, rejecting the easy solution embraced by his