Ginger Lacey: Fighter Pilot

Richard Townshend Bickers - 1969
    But who would have thought that the slim and pale looking boy would become one of the most successful fighter pilots of the war? Almost unknown outside the RAF, Sgt. Pilot J.H. Lacey shot down more enemy aircraft in the Battle of Britain than any other fighter pilot. He shot down the Heinkel 111 which had just bombed Buckingham Palace and had the highest score (twenty-three) of enemy aircraft destroyed, as late as 1941. Thereafter commissioned, early in 1941, he was for a time an instructor at an operational training unit, passing on to others the knowledge that he had won in the toughest series of air battles ever fought. Returning to operations, he served under another fabulous air fighter, ‘Paddy’ Finucane; then was posted to rocket (airborne weapons) development, a task almost as dangerous as combat flying. Later he commanded a famous fighter squadron in the Far East. and shot down the first Japanese he encountered. Unorthodox, autocratic in his command but resentful of unreasonable interference from those above him, Ginger Lacey was a boyish-looking figure with a fantastic gift for leadership, and sharp eyes, bravery and an innate sense of timing. He died in 1989, but his amazing story was recorded by an experienced writer who was a fellow officer in the RAF until 1951 and knew him well. It is a memorable and stirring biography. ‘The best all action war story yet produced.’ - Yorkshire Post ‘A top-scoring story.’ - Evening Standard ‘Fast-moving biography.’ - Sunday Times ‘The best biography of a fighter pilot ever written.’ - Yorkshire Evening Post Richard Townsend Bickers volunteered for the RAF on the outbreak of the second world war and served, with a Permanent Commission, for eighteen years. He wrote a range of military fiction and non-fiction books, including ‘Torpedo Attack’, ‘My Enemy Came Nigh’, ‘Bombing Run’, ‘Fighters Up’ and ‘Summer of No Surrender’. Endeavour Press is the UK's leading independent publisher of digital books.

Air War in the Pacific (Annotated): The Journal of General George Kenney, Commander of the Fifth U.S. Air Force

George C. Kenney - 2014
    Written from the perspective of General George C. Kenney, the man in charge, the book is a candid insider’s account of how America turned the tables on the Japanese in the Pacific through a combination of strategy, tactics, and superior air technology.An entertaining read, as well as an important historical document, Air War in the Pacific features a cast of larger-than-life personalities know to WW2 buffs, from brilliant tactician ‘Big Chief’ General Douglas MacArthur to eccentric hotshot pilot Paul ‘Pappy’ Gunn.

Life as a Battle of Britain Pilot

Jonathan Falconer - 2010

Joe Foss Flying Marine: The Story of his Flying Circus

Joe Foss - 1943
     With 26 victories to his name, he became the first pilot to equal Eddie Rickenbacker’s American World War I record. In October 1942, Foss and his regiment were sent into the heat of battle at Guadalcanal. Foss quickly gained a reputation for aggressive close-in fighter tactics and uncanny gunnery skills and rose to become the lead pilot of what was called Foss’ Flying Circus. Foss’ book Joe Foss Flying Marine: The Story of his Flying Circus is a remarkable work that demonstrates just how tough life could be for a fighter pilot in the Pacific Theater of World War One. Through the course of the book Foss explains how he became a pilot, despite the fact he was initially deemed too old, why he, and men like him, chose to fight the war in the air and what it was like to engage in dogfights with Japanese pilots. “His remarkable flying skill, inspiring leadership and indomitable fighting spirit were distinctive factors in the defense of strategic American positions on Guadalcanal.” Franklin D. Roosevelt, President, United States. Joe Foss’ citation read: “For extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flights with Marine Fighting Squadron 121 in the Solomon Islands area. During the period Oct. 13 to Oct. 20, 1942, inclusive, Captain Foss shot down six enemy Zero fighters and one enemy bomber in aerial combat. His constant aggressiveness, skill, and leadership during these engagements were worthy of the highest traditions of the Naval Service.” Joe Foss was a United States Marine Corps major and the leading Marine fighter ace in World War II. He received the Medal of Honor in recognition of his role in air combat during the Guadalcanal Campaign. His book Joe Foss Flying Marine: The Story of his Flying Circus was first published in 1943. Foss passed away in 2003.

They Call It Pacific (Annotated): An Eye-Witness Story of Our War Against Japan from Bataan to the Solomons

Clark Lee - 1943
    They Call It Pacific is an insightful account of events leading up to the war and beyond from an authority on Japanese-American affairs at the time. It is also a thrilling journal detailing Lee’s unbelievable real-time escape from the Philippine Islands with the help of the Filipino resistance. The book contains extensive accounts of the battle for the Philippines on Bataan and Corregidor, interviews with soldiers including General Douglas MacArthur, talks with Japanese prisoners, and descriptions of combat as the author accompanied Navy pilots such as Swede Larson on flights over Guadalcanal. This new edition of They Call It Pacific has been updated with footnotes and images from the Japanese invasion of the Philippines. *Includes original footnotes. *Includes photographs from World War 2.

To Kingdom Come: An Epic Saga of Survival in the Air War Over Germany

Robert J. Mrazek - 2011
     On September 6, 1943, three hundred and thirty-eight B-17 "Flying Fortresses" of the American Eighth Air Force took off from England, bound for Stuttgart, Germany, to bomb Nazi weapons factories. Dense clouds obscured the targets, and one commander's critical decision to circle three times over the city-and its deadly flak-would prove disastrous. Forty-five planes went down that day, and hundreds of men were lost or missing. Focusing on first-person accounts of six of the B-17 airmen, award- winning author Robert Mrazek vividly re-creates the fierce air battle- and reveals the astonishing valor of the airmen who survived being shot down, and the tragic fate of those who did not.

At Hitler's Side: The Memoirs of Hitler’s Luftwaffe Adjutant (Greenhill Book)

Nicolaus von Below - 1980
    Published for the first time in English, a firsthand account by the Luftwaffe aide always at Hitler's side during the war, giving essential insight into the heart of the Nazi state and military machine.

200,000 Miles Aboard the Destroyer Cotten

C. Snelling Robinson - 1999
    Naval Reserve, joined the pre-commissioning crew of the Fletcher class destroyer USS Cotten. The new crew trained for the remainder of the summer and then sailed to Pearl Harbor in time to join the newly established Fifth Fleet. Under t he command of Admiral Raymond Spruance, the Fifth Fleet was given orders to invade Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands in November 1943. This offensive, along with naval battles in the Philippine Sea, the Leyte Gulf, and the invasion of Iwo Jima in February 1945, is chronicled from the perspective of a young deck officer and is integrated with the background of the larger conflict, including the politics of command. After Japan's surrender, the Cotten became a part of the Occupation Force anchored in Tokyo Bay. Robinson deftly narrates how he and his friends took advantage of their good luck and brought their roles in the war to a fitting conclusion.

Crossing the Line: A Bluejacket's Odyssey in World War II

Alvin Kernan - 1994
    Kernan served in many battles and was aboard the Hornet when it was sunk by torpedoes in the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands.“One of the most arresting naval autobiographies yet published.”—Sir John Keegan“An honest story of collective courage, evocative, well-written, and fixed before the colors fade.”—Kirkus Reviews“[Kernan] recounts a wonderful and exciting American story about a poor farm boy from Wyoming who enlisted in the Navy. . . .[He] has written eight other books. I will go back and read them all.”—John Lehman, Air & Space“Details . . . make the moment vivid; that is what it was like, on the Hornet in its last hours.”—Samuel Hynes, New York Times Book Review

Going Downtown: The War Against Hanoi and Washington

Jack Broughton - 1987
    Going Downtown: The War Against Hanoi and Washington

Bomber Boys: Fighting Back, 1940-1945

Patrick Bishop - 2007
    Patrick Bishop looks back at the lives, human realities and the extraordinary risks that the painfully young pilots took during the strategic air-offensive against Germany from 1939-1945.

Hellcats of the Sea (Annotated): Operation Barney and the Mission to the Sea of Japan

Charles A. Lockwood - 1955
    On June 9, 1945, torpedoes from nine American submarines - 'The Hellcats' - were launched at dozens of Japanese freighters, paralyzing maritime operations between Japan and Korea. Each U.S. sub was equipped with newly designed mine-detectors and Mark-18s -- electronic torpedoes that left no traceable wakes or fume exhausts. Operation Barney continued for 15 days and proved a crucial breakthrough in the war, with U.S. submarines sinking 28 Japanese ships totaling some 70,000 tons. Hellcats of the Sea is a riveting account of the planning and events of those 15 days.*Annotated edition with original footnotes.*Includes photographs from Operation Barney.

Erwin Rommel: A Life From Beginning to End

Hourly History - 2017
    On that rather unlucky day of October 14th, 1944, when the S.S. came knocking on Rommel’s door, even his legendary heroism couldn’t save him from the monstrous regime for which he had once fought so hard.Inside you will read about...✓ Building the Next War✓ Rommel’s Return to War✓ The Desert Fox✓ Against All Odds✓ Near Death Experience✓ Mislaid Plans✓ Rommel Takes the FallAnd much more!After being implicated in a last minute plot to kill Hitler in the final phases of World War Two, Rommel was given a choice. He could either face charges of treason or commit suicide. He was then duly assured that in the advent of his suicide, all charges would be dropped, covered up, never mentioned again. He was then promised a hero’s burial with full military honors and even a pension for his wife.Rommel was then literally driven to his suicide when members of the S.S. transported him to a secluded area, where he swallowed a cyanide capsule - a gruesome and twisted end to a man that was supposed to be his nation’s greatest hero. What caused a nation to canonize and cannibalize one of its best champions simultaneously? What were the events that led up to the strange paradox that was Erwin Rommel’s life?Series Information: World War 2 Biographies Book 3

The Black Sheep: The Definitive History of Marine Fighting Squadron 214 in World War II

Bruce Gamble - 1998
    The popular television series Baa Baa Black Sheep added to their legend—while obscuring the truly remarkable combat record of the Black Sheep and Boyington. A retired naval flight officer and former historian for the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation, Bruce Gamble provides a highly readable account that serves to both correct and extend the record of this premier fighting force. From the Paperback edition.

Sketches of a Black Cat - Full Color Collector's Edition: Story of a night flying WWII pilot and artist

Ron Miner - 2012
     Howard Miner never expected to contract the first documented case of the mumps in Guadalcanal history.    As a Navy Black Cat, he took his share of chances during the ten-hour, night long flights in darkened PBYs painted entirely black, searching the seas for enemy ships and downed fliers ~ the original stealth aircrafts.  But wartime was unpredictable, and whether landing on an exotic tropical isle where the women he saw from the air turned out to be topless, or dropping wing tanks containing a strange new substance called “Napalm,” this was clearly a very different world than he had known as a college student in Indiana. His is a tale of seven buddies, all pilots who flew at night, slept and got into mischief by day, then repeated. Their PBY Catalina odyssey stretched from the Solomon Islands to the northern tip of the Philippines and included a full range of missions, from search, attack, and bombing runs, to daring sea rescues. Howard’s journey through training and tours of duty is skillfully captured in his art and narratives, framing a wartime drama with a personal coming of age story. The descriptive verse from the artist’s viewpoint gives us a creatively told and intriguing portrayal of WWII’s Pacific Theater. * * * * Miner combines his father's writings and interviews with WWII veterans to craft a loving tribute to the young men who fought in WWII...He does his father and other WWII veterans proud. ~Publisher's Weekly/Booklife * * * * "Sketches of a Black Cat" is a unique and fascinating memoir of a World War II combat aviator ~ with original and previously unpublished sketches and photographs. This artfully crafted book is a must read for anyone in search of a new and completely different view into the world of war in the Pacific and on the home front during America's greatest conflict." ~ Larkin Spivey, military historian and author. * * * * “From boxes of notes and drawings comes a book illuminating a WWII pilot’s experiences as part of the Black Cat Squadron…accounts of support missions, rescues of airmen and interactions with indigenous island peoples told in vivid but unembellished detail…a handsome volume that reads breezily and is punctuated with photos and drawings from Howard’s war years. ~ Mike Francis the Oregonian * * * * "Wonderful and beautifully real stories such as this are dying every day as we lose our WWII veterans. Kudos to Ron Miner for preserving and sharing with the rest of us the gold of his father's journals, photos, and drawings to bring us such a compelling look at life during the war. This is not only a valuable and insightful historical document but a dramatic and warm personal story." ~ Don Keith, WWII author * * * * “... Howard Miner’s memoirs are a wonderful view into the world of a patrol squadron at war. Miner sees the war through the eyes of an artist, revealing details of day-to-day life that are often overlooked in war time narratives. A wholly enjoyable story!” ~ Stewart Bailey, Curator, Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum * * * * " “As a former flight engineer aboard a PBY in WWII… I can truly say I felt as though I was on Howard’s Catalina…so many similarities to my own experiences.