Americans are fascinated by the undeniable mystique of the elite world of Navy fighter pilots. In Bogeys and Bandits, Robert Gandt takes readers on a thrilling ride in the FA-18 Hornet, one of the fastest, sleekest, and deadliest aircraft in the world. Gandt lived and worked with several pilots learning to fly the Hornet: the identical twins from Middle America; the computer nerd with a penchant for speed; the grandson of a Tuskegee Airman, trying to live up to a proud legacy; and two women dealing with the post-Tailhook world of the Navy. Gandt weaves superb technological details of the Hornet and an insider's look at the highly demanding training program with portraits of the day-to-day lives of these very real people aspiring to fulfill a dream. Bogeys and Bandits will hold readers breathless as they soar through the skies in the cockpit of the fastest and deadliest fighter plane in the world.
Reviews of 81 Days Below Zero: The Incredible Survival Story of a World War II Pilot in Alaska’s Frozen Wilderness. 81 Days Below Zero: The Incredible Survival Story of a World War II Pilot in Alaska's Frozen Wilderness eBook: Brian Murphy: Kindle Store. Buy online at Aviation Bookstore.
Shortly before Christmas in 1943, five Army aviators left Alaska’s Ladd Field on a test flight. Only one ever returned: Leon Crane, a city kid from Philadelphia with little more than a parachute on his back when he bailed from his B-24 Liberator before it crashed into the Arctic. Alone in subzero temperatures, Crane managed to stay alive in the dead of the Yukon winter for nearly twelve weeks and, amazingly, walked out of the ordeal intact.
81 Days Below Zero recounts, for the first time, the full story of Crane’s remarkable saga. In a drama of staggering resolve with moments of phenomenal luck, Crane learned to survive in the Yukon’s unforgiving landscape. His is a tale of the human capacity to endure extreme conditions and intense loneliness—and emerge stronger than before.
At the start of the civil war, most young fighter officers joined the rebels (Nationalists). It was the high ranking officers, grupo or escuadrilla commanders, and the NCOs, sergeants and corporals who remained loyal to the government. The obsolete Nieuport Ni.52s and the three rare Hawker Furies were soon outpaced by the opposing more modern Fiat CR.32s and Heinkel He 51s. However, at this early stage of the war, there were several Republican airmen who became aces and famous in the process, despite the small numbers of enemy aircraft shot down. Subsequently, a relative handful ex-French Dewoitine D.372 and Loire Nieuport 46 fighters flown by foreign mercenaries and Spanish pilots managed to turn the aerial balance in favour of the Republicans. With the arrival of the Soviet Polikarpov I-15 Chato and I-16 Mosca fighters, the Republicans consolidated this superiority, but most of the fighter pilots flying these modern types were Soviet. Some Spaniards started to fly Chatos from February 1937 with the establishment of the first two Spanish I-15 escuadrillas, commanded by capitanes García Lacalle and Alonso Santamaría respectively. They made their debut in the battles of the Jarama and Guadalajara. In the north, by the spring and summer of 1937 most Chato pilots were now Spanish. During the battle of Brunete, in July 1937, the first pilots trained in the USSR to fly the fast I-16 Mosca monoplanes arrived in Spain, and they quickly began to take a toll of enemy aircraft. Widely speaking, the Republican military aviation did not keep an exhaustive record of individual shooting claims. However, sufficient documentation exists to make a reasonable assumption as to which pilots fall into the ace category. This volume details the exploits of those pilots, complimenting previous works in the Osprey Aircraft of the Aces series on Nationalist CR.32 Aces and Polikarpov I-15, I-16 and I-152 Aces.
Compared to Casablanca by the Washington Post, this a page–turning story of a group of resistance workers who secreted downed Allied fighter pilots through France and into safety in Spain during World War II.
As war raged against Hitler's Germany, an increasing number of Allied fliers were shot down on missions against Nazi targets in occupied Europe. Many fliers parachuted safely behind enemy lines only to find themselves stranded and hunted down by the Gestapo. The Freedom Line traces the thrilling and true story of Robert Grimes, a 20–year–old American B–17 pilot whose plane was shot down over Belgium on Oct. 20, 1943. Wounded, disoriented, and scared, he was rescued by operatives of the Comet Line, a group of tenacious young women and men from Belgium, France, and Spain who joined forces to rescue the Allied aircrews and take them to safety. And on Christmas Eve 1943, he and a group of fellow Americans faced unexpected sudden danger and tragedy on the border between France and Spain.
Continue reading “The Freedom Line: The Brave Men and Women Who Rescued Allied Airmen from the Nazis During World War II”
Now a major motion picture from Clint Eastwood, starring Tom Hanks—the inspirational autobiography by one of the most captivating American heroes of our time, Capt. ‘Sully’ Sullenberger—the pilot who miraculously landed a crippled US Airways Flight 1549 in New York’s Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 passengers and crew.
On January 15, 2009, the world witnessed a remarkable emergency landing when Captain "Sully" Sullenberger skillfully glided US Airways Flight 1549 onto the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 passengers and crew. His cool actions not only averted tragedy but made him a hero and an inspiration worldwide. His story is now a major motion picture from director / producer Clint Eastwood and stars Tom Hanks, Laura Linney and Aaron Eckhart.
Continue reading “Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters”