Spitfires, Thunderbolts, and Warm Beer: An American Fighter Pilot over Europe (World War II Commemorative)

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9780028811154: Spitfires, Thunderbolts, and Warm Beer: An American Fighter Pilot over Europe (World War II Commemorative)

With war on America's horizon in 1941, LeRoy Gover was determined to be a fighter pilot. Lacking the qualifications that would guarantee him US Army Air Corps wings, the young Californian signed on with the Royal Air Force. By the end of the war, Gover was one of the most experienced American pilots in England, having flown with both the RAF and the Air Corps. This book weaves together the young flyer's letters and diary entries to create a portrait of the kind of man who helped win World War II. After training in the United States, Gover soaks in the atmosphere of indomitable, war-battered Britain, whose hospitable people are eager to show their appreciation to the curious Yank. There, he flies the plane of his dreams, the sleek Spitfire. The reader follows his missions, including the raid on Dieppe, after which Gover is the only squadron member still flying. Between combat flights, he unwinds by exploring England and Wales, with their thatched-roof cottages, air-raid comraderie, smoky pubs and friendly, young women. After transferring to an American unit and transitioning to the powerful P-47 Thunderbolt, he flies on its first European mission. By the end of his war, Gover had flown 159 combat missions, won numerous medals and made seven confirmed kills. Of the 13 men who graduated from his training class, he is one of only two still flying. Philip D. Caine is the author of "American Pilots in the RAF: The WWII Eagle Squadrons".

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About the Author:

Brig. Gen. Philip D. Caine, USAF (Ret.), has more than 4,500 hours of flight time, taught military history at the U.S. Air Force Academy, and is the author of American Pilots in the RAF (Brassey’s, Inc., 1993) and Aircraft Down! Evading Capture in WWII Europe (Brassey’s, Inc., 1997). He lives in Monument, Colorado.

Review:

"Aviation buffs will smell the gunpowder."

"An enthralling account of courage, humor, and a bit of luck."

"A wonderful tale of one man’s love of flying . . . a remarkable story."

"Spitfires, Thunderbolts, and Warm Beer is one of the most important books to emerge on World War II air combat, for while it deals with the gripping dogfights, it also paints a marvelous picture of a young American fighter pilot’s life in wartime Britain. Philip Caine has excerpted the diary of a great combat leader to paint a true picture that is filled with rarely noted details of life on the ground as well as in the air. It is undoubtedly one of the best personal accounts of the war."

"Philip Caine has constructed a spellbinding account of an American fighter pilot’s life ‘over there’ in war-torn Britain. His unobtrusive commentary enhances the dramatic contents of LeRoy Gover’s diaries and letters. They portray the triumphs and tragedies of aerial combat as well as the pleasures and constraints of life in blacked-out but defiant London. This is an outstanding addition to the best books on World War II."

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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Caine, Philip D.
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