From America's nerviest journalist (Newsweek)--a breath-taking epic, a magnificent adventure story, and an investigation into the true heroism and courage of the first Americans to conquer space. Tom Wolfe at his very best (The New York Times Book Review)
Millions of words have poured forth about man's trip to the moon, but until now few people have had a sense of the most engrossing side of the adventure; namely, what went on in the minds of the astronauts themselves - in space, on the moon, and even during certain odysseys on earth. It is this, the inner life of the astronauts, that Tom Wolfe describes with his almost uncanny empathetic powers, that made The Right Stuff a classic.
"A fast-paced, well-researched...irresistible" (USA TODAY) World War II aviation account of friendship, heroism, and sacrifice that reads like Unbroken meets The Dirty Dozen from the authors of the #1 New York Times bestselling The Heart of Everything That Is.It's 1942, just after the blow to Pearl Harbor and the Japanese invasion of the Philippines, and the United States is reeling. A group of raw US Army Airmen travels to the embattled American Air Base of Port Moresby at Papua, New Guinea. Their mission: to protect Australia, to disrupt the Japanese supply lines, and to fly perilous reconnaissance runs over the enemy-held strongholds. Among the men are pilot Captain Jay Zeamer and bombardier Sergeant Raymond Joseph "Joe" Sarnoski, a pair of swashbuckling screw-ups whose antics prevent them from being assigned to a regular bombing crew. Instead, they rebuild a broken-down B-17 bomber from spare parts and christen the plane Old 666. One day in June 1943, a request is circulated: volunteers are needed for a reconnaissance flight into the heart of the Japanese empire. Zeamer and Sarnoski see it as a shot at redemption and cobble together a crew and depart in Old 666 under cover of darkness. Five hours later, dozens of Japanese Zeros riddle the plane with bullets. Bloody and half-conscious, Zeamer and Sarnoski keep the plane in the air, winning what will go down as the longest dogfight in history and maneuvering an emergency landing in the jungle. Only one of them will make it home alive. With unprecedented access to the Old 666 crew's family and letters, as well as newly released transcripts from the Imperial Air Force's official accounts of the battle, Lucky 666 is perhaps the last untold "great war story" (Kirkus Reviews) from the war in the Pacific. It's an unforgettable tale of friendship, bravery, and sacrifice--and "highly recommended for WWII and aviation history buffs alike" (BookPage).
A journey into the most secret place in America
A story of secrecy, suspicion, and conspiracy
A history of a place that does not legally exist
How this real-life legend came to exist is Phil Patton's tale. He explores the mystery and fantasy surrounding the place, peeks over the edge of paranoia, and tracks strange objects in the air above this country of the mind. He visits spies and counterspies, test pilots and secret agents, and tunnels into the subcultures of true believers and conspiracy buffs.
Reviewers have applauded Dreamland as "brilliant," "fascinating," "weird, wonderful, sometimes spooky," "curiously epic, frequently humorous, and always entertaining." Dreamland is a novelistic tour de force that makes us all rethink our convictions about American know-how--and alien inventiveness.
Until now, no book has covered all of Cold War air combat in the words of the men who waged it. In I Always Wanted to Fly, retired United States Air Force Colonel Wolfgang W. E. Samuel has gathered first-person memories from heroes of the cockpits and airstrips.Battling in dogfights when jets were novelties, saving lives in grueling airlifts, or flying dangerous reconnaissance missions deep into Soviet and Chinese airspace, these flyers waged America's longest and most secretively conducted air war. Many of the pilots Samuel interviewed invoke the same sentiment when asked why they risked their lives in the air--"I always wanted to fly." While young, they were inspired by barnstormers, by World War I fighter legends, by the legendary Charles Lindbergh, and often just by seeing airplanes flying overhead. With the advent of World War II, many of these dreamers found themselves in cockpits soon after high school. Of those who survived World War II, many chose to continue following their dream, flying the Berlin Airlift, stopping the North Korean army during the "forgotten war" in Korea, and fighting in the Vietnam War. Told in personal narratives and reminiscences, I Always Wanted to Fly renders views from pilots' seats and flight decks during every air combat flashpoint from 1945-1968. Drawn from long exposure to the immense stress of warfare, the stories these warriors share are both heroic and historic. The author, a veteran of many secret reconnaissance missions, evokes individuals and scenes with authority and grace. He provides clear, concise historical context for each airman's memories. In I Always Wanted to Fly he has produced both a thrilling and inspirational acknowledgment of personal heroism and a valuable addition to our documentation of the Cold War.
From its beginnings in 1907 as the Aeronautical Division of U.S. Armys Signal Corps, which consisted of one officer and two enlisted men, the United States Air Force has grown to become the foremost aerial armed force in the world. Although they had to fly French and British planes as the fledgling army aeronautical bureaucracy failed to procure any combat-worthy American aircraft, which arguably did not exist, American aviators performed valiantly in World War I with intrepid pilots of the such as Eddie Rickenbacker and Frank Luke leading the way.Between the wars, all of aviation, commercial and military around the world grew by leaps and bounds as the numbers of aircraft in service and their capabilities tremendously increased. Although the Army Air Corps, as it was known at the time, was no better prepared for World War II than the rest of the army, it had developed a highly professional corps of experienced officers who would be able to take advantage of the latest American aircraft technology such as the B-17 Flying Fortress and the P-51 Mustang. With the end of the war and the creation of an independent armed force in 1947, the United States Air Force leapt into the jet age with such icons as the F-86 Sabre and the remarkable B-52 Stratofortress, which "soldiers" on today more than fifty years after going into service in 1955 and with the youngest of the 744 plane production run being forty years old, having been built in 1962.Air Force covers the entire history of the U.S. Air Force and its development from its beginnings early in the last century to becoming the worlds largest, most powerful, and most versatile air-combat force. Special attention is paid to the air forces recent, post-Vietnam history, and an entire chapter is devoted to Americas air force of the future.
During the dark days of 1940, when Britain faced the might of Hitler s armed forces alone, the RAF played an integral role in winning the Battle of Britain against the Luftwaffe, thus ensuring the country s safety from invasion. The men and women of Fighter Command worked tirelessly in air bases scattered throughout the length and breadth of Britain to thwart the Nazi attacks; The Secret Life of Fighter Command tells their story.
From setting up the ground-breaking radar systems along the coast of the Southeast of England, to the distribution of spotters of bombing waves coming along the Thames Estuary, the boffins who designed and built the guidance and detection structures to organise a winning defence umbrella, to the Wrens who plotted enemy movements and then conveyed this to the various RAF squadrons stationed in the UK s zonal defence system - - - all of them played a part in maintaining the security over Britain. Through exclusive interviews with various members of this unique and world famous organisation, bestselling author Sinclair McKay tells the human story of how Britain survived the Nazi onslaught and enabled our Hurricanes and Spitfires to triumph over the German airforce.
Now available in paperback
From the author of the Sunday Times Bestseller The Secret Life of Bletchley Park
During the dark days of 1940, when Britain faced the might of Hitler's armed forces alone, the RAF played an integral role in winning the Battle of Britain against the Luftwaffe, thus ensuring the country's safety from invasion. The men and women of Fighter Command worked tirelessly in air bases scattered throughout the length and breadth of Britain to thwart the Nazi attacks; The Secret Life of Fighter Command tells their story.
From setting up the ground-breaking radar systems along the coast of the Southeast of England, to the distribution of spotters of bombing waves coming along the Thames Estuary, the boffins who designed and built the guidance and detection structures to organise a winning defence umbrella, to the Wrens who plotted enemy movements and then conveyed this to the various RAF squadrons stationed in the UK's zonal defence system - all of them played a part in maintaining the security over Britain. Through exclusive interviews with various members of this unique and world famous organisation, bestselling author Sinclair McKay tells the human story of how Britain survived the Nazi onslaught and enabled our Hurricanes and Spitfires to triumph over the German airforce.
In 100 Missions North, Ken Bell recounts the harrowing sorties that he and his comrades flew in F-105 Thunderchiefs, the famous Thud, in 1966-67, when pilots faced a 50 percent loss rate. What was it like to face these odds day after day? We learn that men sustained by faith in each other and joined by the unique bonds of combat can overcome anxiety, fear, and even terror to achieve common goals.
In this fascinating narrative history, internationally recognized military expert Martin van Creveld narrates the rise and fall of the most glamorous offensive and defensive instrument of war in military history--airpower. From the scenes of its greatest exploits during World War I and II, to present day where the advent of ballistic missiles, drones, and other computer-controlled weaponry threaten to eclipse its use all together, van Creveld recounts the successes and failures of airpower to date and shows how its triumphs are fast becoming a thing of the past.