Chained Eagle: The Heroic Story of the First American Shot Down over North Vietnam

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On August 5, 1964, while Lt. (jg) Everett Alvarez was flying a retaliatory air strike against naval targets in North Vietnam, antiaircraft fire crippled his A-4 fighter-bomber, forcing him to eject over water at low altitude. Alvarez relates the engrossing tale of his capture by fishermen, brutal treatment by the North Vietnamese, physical and mental endurance, and triumphant repatriation nearly nine years later in 1973. Alvarez spent more time as a prisoner of war in Vietnam than any other flier. As Senator John McCain, a fellow POW, has written, “During his captivity, Ev exhibited a courage, compassion, and indomitable will that was an inspiration to us all.” Indeed, the book, which was written with Anthony S. Pitch, is remarkable for its lack of rancor. Alvarez directs his strongest words against the small number of POWs who broke ranks and collaborated with the enemy. As one reviewer wrote, Alvarez “relates the misery of his condition with a detachment that robs it of its shock value.” Chained Eagle also tells the story of the Alvarez family’s ordeal during his years of imprisonment: His sister became an anitwar activist, his wife divorced him, and relatives died. Yet throughout his time as a prisoner of war, Alvarez remained duty-bound and held steadfast to his religious faith and the values enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.

Liberator: The Consolidated B-24

Reviews of Liberator: The Consolidated B-24. Liberator: The Consolidated B-24 – Kindle edition by Graham Simons. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading Liberator: The Consolidated B-24.. Buy online at Aviation Bookstore.

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The Consolidated B-24 Liberator was almost certainly the most versatile Second World War Bomber. Apart from its bombing role in all theaters of operation, the B-24 hauled fuel to France during the push towards Germany, carried troops, fought U-boats in the Atlantic and, probably most important of all, made a vital contribution towards winning the war in the Pacific. Its most famous single exploit is possibly the raid on the Ploesti oil fields in August 1943.

The B-24 ended World War Two as the most produced Allied heavy bomber in history, and the most produced American military aircraft at over 18,000 units, thanks in large measure to Henry Ford and the harnessing of American industry. It still holds the distinction as the most produced American military aircraft. The B-24 was used by several Allied air forces and navies, and by every branch of the American armed forces during the war, attaining a distinguished war record with its operations in the Western European, Pacific, Mediterranean and China-Burma-India theaters.
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JG26: Top Guns of the Luftwaffe

Reviews of JG26: Top Guns of the Luftwaffe. JG26: Top Guns of the Luftwaffe – Kindle edition by Donald Caldwell. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading JG26: Top Guns of the Luftwaffe.. Buy online at Aviation Bookstore.

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Jagdgeschwader 26, the German elite fighter unit, was more feared by the Allies than any other Luftwaffe group. Based on extensive archival research in Europe, personal combat diaries and interviews with more than 50 surviving pilots, Caldwell has assembled a superb day-to-day chronicle of JG 26 operations, from its first air victory in 1939 to its final combat patrol in 1945. 

A microcosm of World War II exists in the rise and fall of this famous fighter wing. For the first two years of the war it was an even match between the Spitfires and Hurricanes of the Royal Air Force and the Luftwaffe's Messerschmitts and Focke Wulfs; but the scales tipped in favour of the Allies in 1943 with the arrival of the Eighth US Air Force and its peerless P-51 Mustang. 

The book has been endorsed by the top fighter commanders of three air forces: the RAF (Johnnie Johnson), the USAAF (Hub Zemke), and the Luftwaffe (Adolf Galland) and is considered essential reading for anyone interested in the aerial war of 1941–45.

First to Fly: The Story of the Lafayette Escadrille, the American Heroes Who Flew For France in World War I

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If the Wright brothers’ 1903 flights in Kitty Hawk marked the birth of aviation, World War I can be called its violent adolescencea brief but bloody era that completely changed the way planes were designed, fabricated, and flown. The war forged an industry that would redefine transportation and warfare for future generations. In First to Fly, lauded historian Charles Bracelen Flood tells the story of the men who were at the forefront of that revolution: the daredevil Americans of the Lafayette Escadrille, who flew in French planes, wore French uniforms, and showed the world an American brand of heroism before the United States entered the Great War.

As citizens of a neutral nation from 1914 to early 1917, Americans were prohibited from serving in a foreign army, but many brave young souls soon made their way into European battle zones: as ambulance drivers, nurses, and more dangerously, as soldiers in the French Foreign Legion. It was partly from the ranks of the latter group, and with the sponsorship of an expat American surgeon and a Vanderbilt, that the Lafayette Escadrille was formed in 1916 as the first and only all-American squadron in the French Air Service. Flying rudimentary planes, against one-in-three odds of being killed, these fearless young men gathered reconnaissance and shot down enemy aircraft, participated in the Battle of Verdun and faced off with the Red Baron, dueling across the war-torn skies like modern knights on horseback.
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Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Aces of the Russian Front (Osprey Aircraft of the Aces, No 6)

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Of all the fronts fought on by the Jagdflieger during World War 2, the Russian, or Eastern, was easily the most lucrative in terms of targets for the experten. Marry an abundance of targets with the Luftwaffe's best piston-engined fighter of the war – Focke-Wulf's Fw 190 'Butcher Bird' – and it quickly becomes apparent why so many Jagdflieger achieved kills that passed the 100 victories mark. Flying in variable weather on a battlefront that was constantly changing, the Fw 190 pilots fought virtually to extinction in both the pure fighter and the crucial Schlacht ground attack roles.