Wings Of Valor
Today’s sleek military aircraft may be a far cry from the planes used decades ago, but the brave airmen who take our battles to the skies haven’t changed. Whatever the mission, whether famed or forgotten, U.S. pilots have always flown above and beyond the call of duty. Air Power is a tribute to their magnificent deeds—from pivotal battles to heroic humanitarian objectives, from bombing raids that changed the course of wars to daring missions to save the people of West Berlin.
Within these pages, United States Air Force veteran Bill Gilbert presents eleven incredible true stories. 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 deal 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 Captain Ken Herman recalls the heroic flights of the Berlin Airlift, 190 missions that helped to save more than two million Germans from starvation in 1948 and 1949. Later, American planes 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 for the end of 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 courage, dedication, and honor 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. In 2000, he won the Theodore and Franklin Delano Roosevelt Award for Excellence in Naval History for his book Ship of Miracles. A former reporter for The Washington Post, he lives with his wife, Lillian, in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C.