By the time the war clouds of Europe and Asia spilled onto the shores of the United States, the allied military found itself outmanned, outgunned and out flown. The United States, still reeling from the Great Depression, was in a technological disadvantage in all branches of the military. This included, of course, a viable air force.
There have been volumes of books written about the development of US airpower and the technological specifications of each American or Allied aircraft. This is not one of them. This book focuses on the young men who answered the call to duty and were literally transformed from “farm boys to fighter pilots.” It offers a rare glimpse of what it was like to fly a variety of frontline fighters in World War II. From Army Air Force P-39 Aircobras, P-40 Warhawk’s, P-38 Lightning’s, P-47 Thunderbolts and P-51 Mustang’s to US Navy F4F Wildcats, F4U Corsairs and F6F Hellcats. Each story is told in descriptive detail, with the inclusion of actual combat reports contained in many of the stories. Many of the pilots depicted also achieved the status of ace with five or more aerial victories.
James P. Busha, an experienced pilot and aviation writer who has been with the Experimental Aircraft Association since 2014. He is Vice President of Publications, Marketing, and Membership for the organization.
Busha is responsible for all of EAA’s print and electronic publications including EAA’s flagship magazine, Sport Aviation, and EAA’s publications for its special interest communities.
A longtime pilot, Busha currently owns and flies a Stinson L-5. He has contributed to many aviation publications and journals, including to EAA publications for more than two decades. Busha has been writing about WWII, interviewing veterans, and publishing books for over 20 years. Utilizing over 350 personal interviews with WWII veterans from both Allied and Axis nations, Jim has written over 320 aviation articles that have been published in 16 different magazines in the United States, Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Japan. These include Smithsonian Air and Space, Flight Journal, Fly Past, Combat Aircraft, Fleiger Magazine, LeFana, Klassiker, and several others.