Today’s sleek military aircraft may be a far cry from the planes used decades ago, but the brave airmen that take our battles to the skies haven’t changed. Whatever the mission, whether famed or forgotten, U.S. pilots have always exemplified courage, dedication, and honor.
A United States Air Force veteran who served during the Korean War, author Bill Gilbert presents eleven true stories of valiant airmen on memorable missions. Within these pages America’s first military pilots search for Pancho Villa in 1916, then stage a breakthrough leading to victory in World War I only two years later. Jimmy Doolittle's raiders electrify the world by bombing Tokyo just four months after Pearl Harbor. Major Robert Sternfels tells of the destructive raids on the oil refineries of Ploesti, Romania, which deals a critical blow to Hitler’s supply of “black gold. ” And Paul Tibbetts and the crew of the Enola Gay drop the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, ending World War II.
Flying 190 missions to help save more than two million Germans from starvation in 1948 and 1949, Captain Ken Herman recalls the heroic flights of the Berlin Airlift. Later, American bombing raids blast Pyongyang in the largest raid of the Korean War, and U.S. bombers force the North Vietnamese back to the negotiating table, paving the way to an end to the war in Vietnam. Finally, bombers able to fly around the world without landing are decisive factors in America’s two victories over Iraq in both Gulf Wars.
Packed with authentic photographs and gripping testimony, Air Power salutes the valor of our fighting airmen for Air Force and military enthusiasts, war veterans, patriots, and everyone inspired by bravery.
Bill Gilbert is the bestselling author of twenty-one books on World War II, the Korean War, sports, government, and politics. He is the author of the Theodore and Franklin Delano Roosevelt Award for Excellence in Naval History. A former reporter for The Washington Post, he lives with his wife, Lillian, in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C.
Wings Of Valor
Packed with factual recollections and firsthand reports, this exciting volume recounts the missions of pilots and crew members who flew above and beyond the call of duty, including:
- ST. MIHIEL: The forgotten story of World War I’s historic bombing raid.
- FLYING “THE HUMP”: Thousands of missions carry ammunition and supplies
over the Himalayas to Allied troops in the China-Burma-India Theater of Operations—one of the finest sustained aviation triumphs in World War II.
- HIROSHIMA: Colonel Paul Tibbets and the crew of the Enola Gay drop the first atomic bomb.
- THE CANDY BOMBER: Lieutenant Gail Halvorsen drops chocolates wrapped in handkerchiefs from the window of his cargo plane to eager German kids in the ruins of Berlin.
- THE CHRISTMAS BOMBINGS: “Linebacker II,” the Vietnam War’s most concentrated air offensive.
- FIRE OVER PYONGYANG: North Korean targets are pounded by 1,403 flights in the biggest bombing mission of the Korean War.
- BOMBS OVER BAGHDAD: The dramatic raids against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.
Praise For The Books Of Bill Gilbert
"I’ve been a Bill Gilbert fan for twenty-five years.” —Larry King
“This book did not just deserve to be written—it needed to be written.”
—General Alexander M. Haig, Jr. on Ship of Miracles
“Bill Gilbert’s books keep proving he is a historian as well as an author.”
—Late Baseball Hall of Famer Ted Williams on They Also Served