Missions Remembered: Recollections of the World War II Air War

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9780070016491: Missions Remembered: Recollections of the World War II Air War

From bailouts to belly landings, flaming cockpits to lurching carrier decks, here are the heoic tales of pilots from all backgrounds, united by a desire to fight their country's enemy to the finish. Drawn from a small corner of Tennessee, these men flew in all theatres of combat, in every front-line fighter aircraft. They soared to victory in the air--and fled from capture on the ground. This is a memorable anthhology of combat tales with great appeal both for veterans and historians.

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All combat pilots reserve one story for fellow flyers and close friends. "We prepared to attack--gun switches on, revolutions per minute high, fuel rich, sun goggles down, and hand on trigger. We got in position for a high-side run on the three nearest bombers. I rocked my wings and peeled off to make a run, and each of the other three Wildcats followed one by one."--Bill Burch over Guadalcanal. "The Zero began to flatten out. I fell in behind with all guns firing. The Zero began smoking and what appeared to be a piece of cowling headed directly toward me so I pulled up sharply to the left to avoid hitting the object, and when I dropped my right wing to look down, no Zero was visible, only pieces."--Frank Davis over Tinian. "I felt a terrific jolt and saw a big flash of fire. I was only 15 or 20 feet off the ground and I didn't know exactly what had happened, but I had to hold the stick clear over to the right to keep the plane from rolling violently to the left. I checked my left wing and there was a gaping hole in it just about where the insignia was supposed to be."--Herman Freeman over Anzio. "I jettisoned the canopy, disconnected oxygen and radio connection, as I recalled the procedures for bail out. One was to slow the airplane and dive out toward the trailing edge of the left wing. I stood up, but there was fire and molten aluminum coming back from the engine. I sat down, reconsidered my bail out procedure, rolled the airplane over, and dropped out."--Tom Ridley over Czechoslovakia. Here are 85 electrifying tales told by 33 men of The Middle Tennessee WWII Pilots Association.

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