Richard Kirkland is legendary for his P-38 Lightning missions in the South Pacific theater during WWII. After the war, he realized the potential of Igor Sikorsky’s new flying machine, and he traded in his fighter-pilot wings for rotors. The nerve-racking chopper missions he has flown are the stuff of legend: scrambling to evacuate president Harry Truman after an unthinkable “code red one” alert comes over his red phone; bantering with the real “Hawkeye” at a MASH unit before flying into North Korea to rescue wounded soldiers. Equally riveting are his accounts of a medevac pilot in Vietnam who lands a ten ton CH-46 “Frog” in the jungle at night, with no lights, under fire, with only a soldier’s cigarette lighter for reference; and an aerial tour pilot who routinely pulls people out of the water above, below, and right before Niagara Falls.
In this volume of his critically acclaimed series, The American Aces Speak, noted military historian Eric Hammel brings fresh first-person accounts from thirty-nine U.S. Army Air Corps fighter aces who blasted their way across the skies of North Africa, the Mediterranean, and northern and southern Europe in the great crusade against Hitler's vaunted Luftwaffe and the other Axis air forces. Coupled with a clear, concise historical overview of America's brilliant air war against the Axis in Europe and North Africa, Hammel's detailed interviews bring out the most thrilling in-the-cockpit experiences of some of America's best combat pilots. Climb aboard a P-38 Lightning as Maj. Bill Leverette fights America's highest scoring single personal air battle against the Luftwaffe. And get into the cockpit of a P-47 Thunderbolt as 15-victory ace Capt. Don Bryan scores his dream kill by outwitting the pilot of a far speedier German jet in the closing days of the war in Europe. As he did in four companion volumes, Hammel has collected some of the very best air combat tales from America's war against Germany. Nearly all the stories in Aces Against Germany have never before been told, and the others have been enhanced by details and viewpoints brought out by Hammel's superb interviewing Together, the five volumes of nearly 200 first-person aerial combat stories from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam stand as an enduring testament to the combat airmen who fought their wars strapped into the cockpits of America's lethal high-performance fighter aircraft. Aces Against Germany delivers a highly charged emotional rendering of the now-dim days of personal combat at the very edge of our living national history. There was never a war like it, and there never will be again. These are the stories of America's eagles in their very own words. Eric Hammel is an acclaimed military historian and author of more than thirty other combat histories, including Pacifica Military History's Guadalcanal: Starvation Island, Guadalcanal: Decision at Sea, Six Days in June, The Root: The Marines in Beirut, Ambush Valley, Fire in the Streets, and Khe Sanh: Siege in the Clouds. He lives with his wife in northern California.