Orson Sharp
Fictional Character
Days of Infamy
POD: March, 1941;
Relevant POD: December 7, 1941
Appearance(s): Both volumes
Type of Appearance: Direct
Nationality: United States
Religion: Mormon
Date of Birth: c. 1922
Date of Death: 1943
Cause of Death: Killed when his plane was shot down
Occupation: Fighter pilot
Relatives: Unnamed brothers and sisters
Military Branch: United States Navy
(World War II)

Orson Sharp (c. 1922-1943) was a Mormon lad from Salt Lake City, Utah. He joined the United States Navy after the Empire of Japan conquered the American territory of Hawaii.

On the train to flight school in North Carolina, Sharp met and became close friends with Joe Crosetti of San Francisco. Crosetti found the Mormon Sharp to be a bit of a puzzle, particularly his casual adherence to his ethical code and indifference to the opinions of his colleagues. Sharp and Crossetti became fast friends. Sharp had an excellent grasp of the mathmatical principles required for navigation; Crosetti had a strong grasp of the mechanics of flying. Thus, both were able to help each other through flight school. Sharp seemed to move along somewhat faster than Crosetti, but his good nature calmed Crosetti's jealousy.

In early 1943, Sharp and Crosetti were part of American invasion fleet that took back Hawaii, where he distinguished himself as a compitent and effective pilot, both during the fleet battle and in support of the Marines on the island.

During the attack on the Hickam Field, Sharp's fighter took a flak hit and went down into a rice patty. Unknowingly Crosetti witnessed the whole incident, seeing that no chute had opened up confirmed the pilot's death. It wasn't until Joe returned from the mission that he learnt it was Sharp's plane he'd seen. Although he'd been jealous of Sharp, he was deeply effected by his friends death, especially after he realized that he'd actually seen it happen without realizing it at the time.

Literary comment[]

His name is possibly a pun on Orson Scott Card (b. 1951), a famous science fiction writer whose stories can be found alongside those of Harry Turtledove in anthology books, including The Best Military Science Fiction of the Twentieth Century which Turtledove edited. Like the fictitious Sharp, Card is an outspoken Mormon. The surnames of the two Orsons form the word "Cardsharp," slang for a skilled gambler.