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Celebrate National Aviation Day on August 19th and the anniversary of Amelia Earhart's record-setting transcontinental flight (August 25, 1932) with these e-books and resources from our collection.
In addition to Aviation Day, Women's Equality Day is on August 26th, the anniversary of the adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment, which granted white women the right to vote. Celebrate both with these books about female pilots.
Amelia Earhart by These true-life tales of aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart, based on the remembrances of her sister Pidge, will inspire and thrill young readers. Kids will cheer as Amelia rescues two neighbor boys from an angry dog and when she builds her own “rolly coaster” off the roof of her grandparents’ shed. Amelia’s fascination at seeing her first airplane, as well as her curiosity, courage, and determination to learn, will make this portrayal of an American heroine a favorite of both children and adults.
Publication Date: 2000-09-01
American Women and Flight Since 1940 by Women run wind tunnel experiments, direct air traffic, and fabricate airplanes. American women have been involved with flight from the beginning, but until 1940, most people believed women could not fly, that Amelia Earhart was an exception to the rule. World War II changed everything. "It is on the record thatwomen can fly as well as men," stated General Henry H. Arnold, commanding general of the Army Air Forces. The question became "Should women fly?" Deborah G. Douglas tells the story of this ongoing debate and its impact on American history. From Jackie Cochran, whose perseverance led to the formation of the Women's Army Service Pilots (WASP) during World War II to the recent achievements of Jeannie Flynn, the Air Force's first woman fighter pilot and Eileen Collins, NASA's first woman shuttle commander, Douglas introduces a host of determined women who overcame prejudice and became military fliers, airline pilots, and air and space engineers. Not forgotten are stories of flight attendants, air traffic controllers, and mechanics. American Women and Flight since 1940 is a revised and expanded edition of a Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum reference work. Long considered the single best reference work in the field, this new edition contains extensive new illustrations and a comprehensive bibliography.
Publication Date: 2014-07-11
Bessie Coleman by High in the sky, Bessie Coleman could soar like a bird. She was free--at least until she landed. As a black woman in the 1920s, she wasn't allowed to learn how to fly. Forced to travel to France to learn, she became the first African Aermcian woman to earn her pilot's license. Whether she was wing-walking, giving a speech, parachuting, or flying, Coleman inspired people with her bravery and resolve.
Publication Date: 2003-01-01
From Birdwomen to Skygirls by Close on the heels of the American public's early enthusiasm over the airplane came aviation stories for the young. From 1910 until the early 1960s, they exalted flight and painted the airplane as the most modern and adventuresome of machines. Most of the books were directed at boys; however, a substantial number sought a girls' audience. Erisman's account of several aviation series and other aviation books for girls fills a gap in the history and criticism of American popular culture. It examines the stories of girls who took to the sky, of the sources where authors found their inspiration, and of the evolution of aviation as an enterprise open to all. From the heady days of early aviation through the glory days of commercial air travel, girls' aviation books trace American women's participation in the field. They also reflect changes in women's roles and status in American society as the sex sought greater equality with men. As aviation technology improved, the birdwomen of the pre-World War I era, capable and independent-minded, gave way to individualistic 1930s adventurers patterned on Amelia Earhart, Jacqueline Cochran, and other feminine notables of the air. Their stories lead directly into the coming of commercial air travel. Career stories paint the increasingly glamorous world of the 1940s and 1950s airline stewardess, the unspoken assumptions lying behind that profession, and the inexorable effects of technological and economic change. By recovering these largely forgotten books and the social debates surrounding women's flying, Erisman makes a substantial contribution to aviation history, women's history, and the study of juvenile literature. This first comprehensive study of a long-overlooked topic recalls aviation experiences long past and poses provocative questions about Americans' attitudes toward women and how those attitudes were conveyed to the young.
Publication Date: 2009-11-30
Nancy Batson Crews by A riveting oral history/biography of a pioneering woman aviator. This is the story of an uncommon woman--high school cheerleader, campus queen, airplane pilot, wife, mother, politician, business-woman--who epitomizes the struggles and freedoms of women in 20th-century America, as they first began to believe they could live full lives and demanded to do so. World War II offered women the opportunity to contribute to the work of the country, and Nancy Batson Crews was one woman who made the most of her privileged beginnings and youthful talents and opportunities. In love with flying from the time she first saw Charles Lindbergh in Birmingham, (October 1927), Crews began her aviation career in 1939 as one of only five young women chosen for Civilian Pilot Training at the University of Alabama. Later, Crews became the 20th woman of 28 to qualify as an "Original" Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS) pilot, employed during World War II shuttling P-38, P-47, and P-51 high-performance aircrafts from factory to staging areas and to and from maintenance and training sites. Before the war was over, 1,102 American women would qualify to fly Army airplanes. Many of these female pilots were forced out of aviation after the war as males returning from combat theater assignments took over their roles. But Crews continued to fly, from gliders to turbojets to J-3 Cubs, in a postwar career that began in California and then resumed in Alabama. The author was a freelance journalist looking to write about the WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) when she met an elderly, but still vital, Nancy Batson Crews. The former aviatrix held a reunion of the surviving nine WAFS for an interview with them and Crews, recording hours of her own testimony and remembrance before Crews's death from cancer in 2001. After helping lead the fight in the '70s for WASP to win veteran status, it was fitting that Nancy Batson Crews was buried with full military honors.
Publication Date: 2009-08-02
Walking on Air by Aviation pioneer Phoebe Fairgrave Omlie (1902-1975) was once one of the most famous women in America. In the 1930s, her words and photographs were splashed across the front pages of newspapers across the nation. The press labeled her "second only to Amelia Earhart among America's women pilots," and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt named her among the "eleven women whose achievements make it safe to say that the world is progressing." Omlie began her career in the early 1920s when aviation was unregulated and open to those daring enough to take it on, male or female. She earned the first commercial pilot's license issued to a woman and became a successful air racer. During the New Deal, she became the first woman to hold an executive position in federal aeronautics. In Walking on Air, author Janann Sherman presents a thorough and entertaining biography of Omlie. In 1920, the Des Moines, Iowa, native bought herself a Curtiss JN-4D airplane and began learning how to fly and perform stunts with her future husband, pilot Vernon Omlie. She danced the Charleston on the top wing, hung by her teeth below the plane, and performed parachute jumps in the Phoebe Fairgrave Flying Circus. Using interviews, contemporary newspaper articles, archived radio transcripts, and other archival materials, Sherman creates a complex portrait of a daring aviator struggling for recognition in the early days of flight and a detailed examination of how American flying changed over the twentieth century.
Publication Date: 2011-08-01
A-Train by A-Train is the story of one of the black Americans who, during World War II, graduated from Tuskegee (AL) Flying School and served as a pilot in the Army Air Corps’ 99th Pursuit Squadron. Charles W. Dryden presents a fast-paced, balanced, and personal account of what it was like to prepare for a career traditionally closed to African Americans, how he coped with the frustrations and dangers of combat, and how he, along with many fellow black pilots, navigators, bombardiers, and crewmen, emerged with a magnificent war record. Under the command of Colonel Benjamin O. Davis Jr., the Tuskegee airmen fought over North Africa, Sicily, and Europe, escorting American bomber crews who respected their "no-losses" record. Some were shot down, many of them were killed or captured by the enemy, and several won medals of valor and honor. But the airmen still faced great barriers of racial prejudice in the armed forces and at home. As a member of that elite group of young pilots who fought for their country overseas while being denied civil liberties at home, Dryden presents an eloquent story that will touch each and every reader. nbsp;
Publication Date: 2013-02-01
The Fun of It by Autobiography of the famous flyer which describes her own ambitions to become a pilot and offers advice to others.
Publication Date: 2014-04-01
Into the Wild Blue Yonder by Allan T. Stein idolized his uncle, a pilot in the Great War. So in 1943, in the midst of the Second World War, he left Texas A&M University for Lackland Air Field to learn to fly. By the time he retired in 1969, Stein had flown everything from BT-13s and B-24s to B-52s and C-47s. During World War II, he flew missions over China and the Sea of Japan, and by V-J Day, he had participated in eight campaigns and logged 347 hours in combat. Stein later spent one year in Vietnam as operations officer for the 360 TEWS (Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron), which used refitted C-47s to monitor and locate Vietcong units. He ended his career as inspector general of the Civil Air Patrol. Stein remembers drinking 10¢ beers in San Antonio and running an AT-17 into a dry lake bed outside Lubbock. He recalls a B-25 crashing into a stockade and a mission over the Atlantic that almost ended tragically due to bad weather and because his flight of B-47s could not refuel properly. During the 1940s, money was always short and the future uncertain, so he and his wife lived cheaply in cramped apartments and converted garages. Yet he recalls that the camaraderie among air force personnel and their families made those the best years of their lives. Stein considers himself to have been an ordinary airman, not a hero. But he was also a seasoned pilot and a conscientious officer with a strong sense of right and wrong. After a pilot he had trained and certified died in an accident, Stein made it a practice to fail all but the best candidates. He was just as disgusted with the corruption he encountered in the Civil Air Patrol as he was with the tendentious reporters he met in Saigon’s Hotel Caravelle. Although he met his share of cowards and scoundrels, Stein loved to fly and he loved the air force. He was the sort of officer his superiors trusted not to make mistakes, but he was not the sort to rise to high rank. What he offers here is an account of a typical career as an air force officer, complete with its frustrations, moral dilemmas, and the occasional harrowing experience.
Publication Date: 2005-01-01
Prairie Sky by "It's almost like ballet. Preflight. Starting. Warm-up. The voices from the control tower--the instructions. Taxiing. The rush down the runway. Airborne. There are names for every move. The run-up. Position and hold. Every move needs to be learned, practiced, made so familiar you feel the patterns in every other thing you do. It's technical, yes. But there is a grace to getting metal and bone into the sky." Prairie Sky is a celebration of curiosity and a book for explorers. In this collection of contemplative essays, Scott Olsen invites readers to view the world from a pilot's seat, demonstrating how, with just a little bit of altitude, the world changes, new relationships become visible, and new questions seem to rise up from the ground. Whether searching for the still-evident shores of ancient lakes, the dustbowl-era shelterbelt supposed to run the length of the country, or the even more elusive understandings of physics and theology, Olsen shares the unique perspective and insight allowed to pilots. Prairie Sky explores the reality as well as the metaphor of flight: notions of ceaseless time and boundless space, personal interior and exterior vision, social history, meteorology, and geology. Olsen takes readers along as he chases a new way of looking at the physical world and wonders aloud about how the whole planet moves in interconnected ways not visible from the ground. While the northern prairie may call to mind images of golden harvests and summer twilight such images do not define the region. The land bears marks left by gut-shaking thunderstorms, hard-frozen rivers, sweeping floods, and hurricane-size storms. Olsen takes to the midwestern sky to confront the ordinary world and reveals the magic--the wondrous and unique sights visible from the pilot's seat of a Cessna. Like Antoine de Saint-Exupery's classic work Wind, Sand and Stars, Olsen's Prairie Sky reveals the heart of what it means to fly. In the grand romantic tradition of the travel essay, it opens the dramatic paradoxes of self and collective, linear and circular, the heart and the border.
Publication Date: 2013-10-09
Red Tail Captured, Red Tail Free by This book is a rare and important gift. One of the few memoirs of combat in World War II by a distinguished African-American flier, it is also perhaps the only account of the African-American experience in a German prison camp. Alexander Jefferson was one of 32 Tuskegee Airmen from the 332nd Fighter Group to be shot down defending a country that considered them to be second-class citizens. A Detroit native, Jefferson enlisted in 1942, trained at Tuskegee Institute, Alabama, became a second lieutenant in 1943, and joined one of the most decorated fighting units in the War, flying P51s with their legendary--and feared --"red tails." Based in Italy, Jefferson flew bomber escort missions over southern Europe before being shot down in France in 1944. Captured, he spent the balance of the war in Luftwaffe prison camps in Sagan and Moosberg, Germany. In this vividly detailed, deeply personal book, Jefferson writes as a genuine American hero and patriot. It's an unvarnished look at life behind barbed wire-- and what it meant to be an African-American pilot in enemy hands. It's also a look at race and democracy in America through the eyes of a patriot who fought to protect the promise of freedom. The book features the sketches, drawings, and other illustrations Jefferson created during his nine months as a "kriegie" (POW) and Lewis Carlson's authoritative background to the man, his unit, and the fight Alexander Jefferson fought so well.
Publication Date: 2005-04-01
Writing the Heavenly Frontier by Writing the Heavenly Frontier celebrates the early voices of the air as it examines the sky as a metaphorical and political landscape. While flight histories usually focus on the physical dangers of early aviation, this book introduces the figurative liabilities of ascension. Early pilot-writers not only grappled with an unwieldy machine; they also grappled with poetics that were extremely selective. Tropes that cast Charles Lindbergh as the transcendent hero of the new millennium were the same ones that kept women, black Americans, and indigenous peoples imaginatively tethered to the ground. The most popular flight autobiographies in the United States posited a hero who rose from the mundane to the miraculous; and yet the most startling autobiographies point out the social factors that limited or forbade vertical movement--both literally and figuratively. A survey of pilot writing, the book will appeal to flight enthusiasts and people interested in American autobiography and culture. But it will also appeal strongly to readers interested in the poetics and politics of place.
Publication Date: 2011-03-01
Aloft by The New York Times-bestselling novel by the critically acclaimed author of Native Speaker and A Gesture Life. At 59, Jerry Battle is coasting through life. His favorite pastime is flying his small plane high above Long Island. Aloft, he can escape from the troubles that plague his family, neighbors, and loved ones on the ground. But he can't stay in the air forever. Only months before his 60th birthday, a culmination of family crises finally pull Jerry down from his emotionally distant course. Jerry learns that his family's stability is in jeopardy. His father, Hank, is growing increasingly unhappy in his assisted living facility. His son, Jack, has taken over the family landscaping business but is running it into bankruptcy. His daughter, Theresa, has become pregnant and has been diagnosed with cancer. His longtime girlfriend, Rita, who helped raise his children, has now moved in with another man. And Jerry still has unanswered questions that he must face regarding the circumstances surrounding the death of his late wife. Since the day his wife died, Jerry has turned avoiding conflict into an art form-the perfect expression being his solitary flights from which he can look down on a world that appears serene and unscathed. From his comfortable distance, he can't see the messy details, let alone begin to confront them. But Jerry is learning that in avoiding conflict, he is also avoiding contact with the people he loves most.
Publication Date: 2005-03-01
Further Articles and Book Chapters
- "90 Years of Ninety-Nines," Aviation History
- "The Aviatrix: Nationalism, Women, and Heroism," from Women Who Fly : Goddesses, Witches, Mystics, and other Airborne Females, Serinity Young
- "Black Female Pilot Communicative Experiences: Applications and Extensions of Co-Cultural Theory," Michael Zirulnik
- "Fierce, feared, and female: The WWII pilots known as the 'Night Witches,'" Michael S. Rosenwald
- "First Black Female Pilot to Work in Alabama National Guard," Monica Levitan
- "The Impossible Aviatrix," Justine Lloyd
- "Legacy of Flight," Nan Siegel
- "Record-Breaking Aviatrix Jerrie Mock," Laurel M. Sheppard
- "Wings Over America," Ruth Mitchell
- "Valor Night Witch," Jon Guttman
The History of Aviation
Airlines and Air Mail by Conventional wisdom credits only entrepreneurs with the vision to create America's commercial airline industry and contends that it was not until Roosevelt's Civil Aeronautics Act of 1938 that federal airline regulation began. In Airlines and Air Mail, F. Robert van der Linden persuasively argues that Progressive republican policies of Herbert Hoover actually fostered the growth of American commercial aviation. Air mail contracts provided a critical indirect subsidy and a solid financial foundation for this nascent industry. Postmaster General Walter F. Brown used these contracts as a carrot and a stick to ensure that the industry developed in the public interest while guaranteeing the survival of the pioneering companies. Bureaucrats, entrepreneurs, and politicians of all stripes are thoughtfully portrayed in this thorough chronicle of one of America's most resounding successes, the commercial aviation industry.
Publication Date: 2014-07-11
Expanding the Envelope by Expanding the Envelope is the first book to explore the full panorama of flight research history, from the earliest attempts by such nineteenth century practitioners as England's Sir George Cayley, who tested his kites and gliders by subjecting them to experimental flight, to the cutting-edge aeronautical research conducted by the NACA and NASA. Michael H. Gorn explores the vital human aspect of the history of flight research, including such well-known figures as James H. Doolittle, Chuck Yeager, and A. Scott Crossfield, as well as the less heralded engineers, pilots, and scientists who also had the "Right Stuff." While the individuals in the cockpit often receive the lion's share of the public's attention, Expanding the Envelope shows flight research to be a collaborative engineering activity, one in which the pilot participates as just one of many team members. Here is more than a century of flight research, from well before the creation of NACA to its rapid transformation under NASA. Gorn gives a behind the scenes look at the development of groundbreaking vehicles such as the X-1, the D-558, and the X-15, which demonstrated manned flight at speeds up to Mach 6.7 and as high as the edge of space.
Publication Date: 2014-10-17
The Flight of the Century by In late May 1927 an inexperienced and unassuming 25-year-old Air Mail pilot from rural Minnesota stunned the world by making the first non-stop transatlantic flight. A spectacular feat of individual daring and collective technological accomplishment, Charles Lindbergh's flight from New York to Paris ushered in the modern age of commercial aviation.In The Flight of the Century, Thomas Kessner takes a fresh look at one of America's greatest moments, explaining how what was essentially a publicity stunt became a turning point in history. Kessner vividly recreates the flight itself and the euphoric reaction to it on both sides of the Atlantic, and argues that Lindbergh's amazing feat occurred just when the world--still struggling with the disillusionment of WWI--desperately needed a hero to restore a sense of optimism and innocence. Kessner also shows how new forms of mass media made Lindbergh into the most famous international celebrity of his time, casting him in the role of a humble yet dashing American hero of rural origins and traditional values. Much has been made of Lindbergh's personal integrity and his refusal to cash in on his fame, but Kessner reveals that Lindbergh was closely allied with, and managed by, a group of powerful businessmen--Harry Guggenheim, Dwight Morrow, and Henry Breckenridge chief among them--who sought to exploit aviation for mass transport and massive profits. Their efforts paid off as commercial air traffic soared from 6,000 passengers in 1926 to 173,000 passengers in 1929. Kessner's book is the first to fully explore Lindbergh's central role in promoting the airline industry--the rise of which has influenced everything from where we live to how we wage war and do business.
Innovation and the Development of Flight by Perhaps no technological development in the century has more fundamentally transformed human life than the airplane and its support apparatus. The nature of flight, and the activities that it has engendered throughout the world, makes the development of aviation technology an important area of investigation. Why did aeronautical technology take the shape it did? Which individuals and organizations were involved in driving it? What factors influenced particular choices of technologies to be used? More importantly, how has innovation affected this technology? Innovation and the Development of Flight, a first strike at the "new aviation history," represents a significant transformation of the field by relating the subject to larger issues of society, politics, and culture, taking a more sophisticated view of the technology that few historians have previously attempted. This volume moves beyond a focus on the artifact to emphasize the broader role of the airplane and, more importantly, the entire technological system. This suggests that many unanswered questions are present in the development of modern aviation and that inquisitive historians seek to know the relationships of technological systems to the human mind. Some of the subjects discussed are early aeronautical innovation and government patronage; the evolution of relationships among airports, cities, and industry; the relationship of engine development to the entire aviation industry; the Department of Commerce's influence on light plane development; pressure in the Air Force for the development of jet engines; and lessons of the National Aerospace Plane Program. Aviation historians and historians of technology will find Innovation and the Development of Flight a valuable examination of aeronautical innovation providing foundations for continued explorations of this field.
Publication Date: 1999-05-01
Locomotive to Aeromotive by French-born and self-trained civil engineer Octave Chanute designed America's two largest stockyards, created innovative and influential structures such as the Kansas City Bridge over the previously "unbridgeable" Missouri River, and was a passionate aviation pioneer whose collaborative approach to aeronautical engineering problems encouraged other experimenters, including the Wright brothers. Drawing on rich archival material and exclusive family sources, Locomotive to Aeromotive is the first detailed examination of Chanute's life and his immeasurable contributions to engineering and transportation, from the ground transportation revolution of the mid-nineteenth century to the early days of aviation._x000B__x000B_Aviation researcher and historian Simine Short brings to light in colorful detail many previously overlooked facets of Chanute's professional and personal life. In the late nineteenth century, few considered engineering as a profession on par with law or medicine, but Chanute devoted much time and energy to the newly established professional societies that were created to set standards and serve the needs of civil engineers. Though best known for his aviation work, he became a key figure in the opening of the American continent by laying railroad tracks and building bridges, experiences that later gave him the engineering knowledge to build the first stable aircraft structure. Chanute also introduced a procedure to treat wooden railroad ties with an antiseptic that increased the woods lifespan in the tracks. Establishing the first commercial plants, he convinced railroad men that it was commercially feasible to make money by spending money on treating ties to conserve natural resources. He next introduced the date nail to help track the age and longevity of railroad ties. _x000B__x000B_A versatile engineer, Chanute was known as a kind and generous colleague during his career. Using correspondence and other materials not previously available to scholars and biographers, Short covers Chanute's formative years in antebellum America as well as his experiences traveling from New Orleans to New York, his apprenticeship on the Hudson River Railroad, and his early engineering successes. His multiple contributions to railway expansion, bridge building, and wood preservation established his reputation as one of the nation's most successful and distinguished civil engineers. Instead of retiring, he utilized his experiences and knowledge as a bridge builder in the development of motorless flight. Through the reflections of other engineers, scientists, and pioneers in various fields who knew him, Short characterizes Chanute as a man who believed in fostering and supporting people who were willing to learn. This well-researched biography cements Chanute's place as a preeminent engineer and mentor in the history of transportation in the United States and the development of the airplane.
Publication Date: 2011-01-01
Power, Speed, and Form by Power, Speed, and Form is the first accessible account of the engineering behind eight breakthrough innovations that transformed American life from 1876 to 1939--the telephone, electric power, oil refining, the automobile, the airplane, radio, the long-span steel bridge, and building with reinforced concrete. Beginning with Thomas Edison's system to generate and distribute electric power, the authors explain the Bell telephone, the oil refining processes of William Burton and Eugene Houdry, Henry Ford's Model T car and the response by General Motors, the Wright brothers' airplane, radio innovations from Marconi to Armstrong, Othmar Ammann's George Washington Bridge, the reinforced concrete structures of John Eastwood and Anton Tedesko, and in the 1930s, the Chrysler Airflow car and the Douglas DC-3 airplane. These innovations used simple numerical ideas, which the Billingtons integrate with short narrative accounts of each breakthrough--a unique and effective way to introduce engineering and how engineers think. The book shows how the best engineering exemplifies efficiency, economy and, where possible, elegance. With Power, Speed, and Form, educators, first-year engineering students, liberal arts students, and general readers now have, for the first time in one volume, an accessible and readable history of engineering achievements that were vital to America's development and that are still the foundations of modern life.
Publication Date: 2013-08-07
Who Owns the Sky? by A collection of curious tales questioning the ownership of airspace and a reconstruction of a truly novel moment in the history of American law, Banner's book reminds us of the powerful and reciprocal relationship between technological innovation and the law.
Publication Date: 2009-06-30
The Wright Company by Fresh from successful flights before royalty in Europe, and soon after thrilling hundreds of thousands of people by flying around the Statue of Liberty, in the fall of 1909 Wilbur and Orville Wright decided the time was right to begin manufacturing their airplanes for sale. Backed by Wall Street tycoons, including August Belmont, Cornelius Vanderbilt III, and Andrew Freedman, the brothers formed the Wright Company. The Wright Company trained hundreds of early aviators at its flight schools, including Roy Brown, the Canadian pilot credited with shooting down Manfred von Richtofen--the "Red Baron"--during the First World War; and Hap Arnold, the commander of the U.S. Army Air Forces during the Second World War. Pilots with the company's exhibition department thrilled crowds at events from Winnipeg to Boston, Corpus Christi to Colorado Springs. Cal Rodgers flew a Wright Company airplane in pursuit of the $50,000 Hearst Aviation Prize in 1911. But all was not well in Dayton, a city that hummed with industry, producing cash registers, railroad cars, and many other products. The brothers found it hard to transition from running their own bicycle business to being corporate executives responsible for other people's money. Their dogged pursuit of enforcement of their 1906 patent--especially against Glenn Curtiss and his company--helped hold back the development of the U.S. aviation industry. When Orville Wright sold the company in 1915, more than three years after his brother's death, he was a comfortable man--but his company had built only 120 airplanes at its Dayton factory and Wright Company products were not in the U.S. arsenal as war continued in Europe. Edward Roach provides a fascinating window into the legendary Wright Company, its place in Dayton, its management struggles, and its effects on early U.S. aviation.
Publication Date: 2014-01-01
Double V by On April 12, 1945, the United States Army Air Force arrested 101 of its African American officers. They were charged with disobeying a direct order from a superior officer--a charge that could carry the death penalty upon conviction. They were accused of refusing to sign an order that would have placed them in segregated housing and recreational facilities. Their plight was virtually ignored by the press at the time, and books written about the subject did not detail the struggle these aviators underwent to win recognition of their civil rights. The central theme of Double V is the promise held out to African American military personnel that service in World War II would deliver to them a double victory--a "double V"--over tyranny abroad and racial prejudice at home. The book's authors, Lawrence P. Scott and William M. Womack Sr., chronicle for the first time, in detail, one of America's most dramatic failures to deliver on that promise. In the course of their narrative, the authors demonstrate how the Tuskegee airmen suffered as second-class citizens while risking their lives to serve their country. Among the contributions made by this work is a detailed examination of how 101 Tuskegee airmen, by refusing to live in segregated quarters, triggered one of the most significant judicial proceedings in U.S. military history. Double V uses oral accounts and heretofore unused government documents to portray this little-known struggle by one of America's most celebrated flying units. In addition to providing background material about African American aviators before World War II. the authors also demonstrate how the Tuskegee airmen's struggle foretold dilemmas faced by the civil rights movement in the second half of the 20th century. Double V is destined to become an important contribution in the rapidly growing body of civil rights literature.
Publication Date: 1998-12-31
The Mighty Eighth in WWII by In May 1942, five months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the first airplanes and crews of the newly formed Eighth U.S. Army Air Force arrived in Britain. Over the next two years their numbers swelled to a massive and powerful force of bombers and fighters described by one USAAF General as 'the greatest striking force the world has ever known'.They occupied no less than 67 airfields in England and added a huge offensive capability to RAF Bomber Command. The Americans were dedicated to high altitude precision bombing in close formation and in daylight. The RAF, who had been bombing Germany at night since 1940, were joined by the Eighth in July 1943 to provide a round-the-clock bombardment.This book tells the story of the Mighty Eighth during three years of bitter fighting in the smoke-filled skies above Germany and Occupied Europe. It was a harsh, harrowing and costly battle with 26,000 American airmen killed, 1,900 seriously injured and 6,300 aircraft destroyed. Their missions included the bombing of U-boat bases, oil refineries, railway marshalling yards, airfields in France, Holland and Belgium and general industrial targets throughout Germany. On D-Day their task was to destroy Normandy beach defences as the Allied troops stormed ashore.Graham Smith has written a book of heroism and high drama. It is a fitting tribute to the mighty war machine that made such an enormous contribution to winning the war.
Publication Date: 2001-10-01
Once They Were Eagles by Marine Corps Fighter Squadron 214 was hastily organized in the field during World War II to meet the urgent need for another combat squadron in the South Pacific. The squadron, self-named the "Black Sheep," went on under the leadership of the swashbuckling "Pappy" Boyington to become the most famous in Marine Corps history. Now comes the true story of the Black Sheep Squadron and the men who wrote its record in the Pacific skies. Once They Were Eagles tells how and why the squadron was formed, provides brief sketches of every member, and creates a vivid picture of the exciting but deadly aerial sorties over the South Pacific. Frank E. Walton located the thirty-four survivors of the fifty-one original Black Sheep. In a unique series of interviews, former "Eagles" share their recollections of those days of high adventure and their experiences in the years to follow.
Publication Date: 2013-04-06
Pacific Skies by World War II Aviation . From 1941 to 1945 the skies over the Pacific Ocean afforded the broadest arena for battle and the fiercest action of air combat during World War II. It was in the air above the Pacific that America's involvement in the war began. It was in these skies that air power launched from carriers became a new form of engagement and where the war ultimately ended with kamikaze attacks and with atomic bombs dropped over Japan. Throughout the conflict American flyers felt a compelling call to supplement the official news and military reports. In vivid accounts written soon after combat and in reflective memoirs recorded in the years after peace came, both pilots and crew members detailed their stories of the action that occurred in the embattled skies. Their first-person testimonies describe a style of warfare invented at the moment of need and at a time when the outcome was anything but certain. Gathering more than a hundred personal narratives from Americans and from Japanese, Pacific Skies recounts a history of air combat in the Pacific theater. Included are the words of such famous aces and bomber pilots as Joe Foss, Pappy Boyington, Dick Bong, and Curtis Lemay, as well as the words of many rank-and-file airmen. Together their stories express fierce individualism and resourcefulness and convey the vast panorama of war that included the skies over Pearl Harbor, Wake, and Guadalcanal and missions from Saipan and Tinian. As Pacific Skies recounts the perilous lives of pilots in their own words, Jerome Klinkowitz weaves the individual stories into a gripping historical narrative that exposes the shades of truth and fiction that can become blurred over time. A book about experiencing and remembering, Pacific Skies also is a story of unique perspectives on the war. Jerome Klinkowitz, a professor of English at the University of Northern Iowa, is the author of forty books, including such World War II titles as Their Finest Hours, Yanks over Europe, and With Tigers over China ."
Publication Date: 2004-01-01
Wingless Eagle by At the start of the twentieth century the United States led the world in advances in aviation, with the first successful engine-powered flights at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, and Dayton, Ohio, beginning in 1903. Fifteen years later, however, American airmen flew European-designed aircraft because American planes were woefully inadequate for service on the Western Front. Why was the United States so poorly prepared to engage in aerial combat in World War I? To answer this question, Herbert Johnson takes a hard look at the early years of U.S. military aviation, exploring the cultural, technical, political, and organizational factors that stunted its evolution. Among the recurring themes of Johnson's narrative are the damaging effects of a chronic lack of governmental funding for military aeronautics and the disruptive influence of a civilian "aeronaut constituency" both on military discipline and on public and Congressional attitudes toward army aviation. In addition, the Wright brothers' patent litigation hindered the technical development of American aircraft and crippled the domestic aviation industry's manufacturing capacity. Wartime experience helped correct some of these problems, but the persistence of others left the postwar Air Service with an uncertain and stormy future.
Publication Date: 2003-04-03