Unsung Eagles: True Stories of America's Citizen Airmen in the Skies of World War II

Unsung Eagles: True Stories of America's Citizen Airmen in the Skies of World War II

by Jay Stout

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The nearly half-million American aircrewmen who served during World War II have almost disappeared. And so have their stories.

Award-winning writer and former fighter pilot Jay A. Stout uses Unsung Eagles to save an exciting collection of those accounts from oblivion. These are not rehashed tales from the hoary icons of the war. Rather, they are stories from the masses of largely unrecognized men who—in the aggregate—actually won it. They are the recollections of your Uncle Frank who shared them only after having enjoyed a beer or nine, and of your old girlfriend’s grandfather who passed away about the same time she dumped you. And of the craggy guy who ran the town’s salvage yard; a dusty, fly-specked B-24 model hung over the counter. These are “everyman” accounts that are important but fast disappearing.

Ray Crandall describes how he was nearly knocked into the Pacific by a heavy cruiser’s main battery during the Second Battle of the Philippine Sea. Jesse Barker—a displaced dive-bomber pilot—tells of dodging naval bombardments in the stinking mud of Guadalcanal. Bob Popeney relates how his friend and fellow A-20 pilot was blown out of formation by German antiaircraft fire: “I could see the inside of the airplane—and I could see Nordstrom's eyes. He looked confused…and then immediately he flipped up and went tumbling down.”

The combat careers of 22 different pilots from all the services are captured in this crisply written book which captivates the reader not only as an engaging oral history, but also puts personal context into the great air battles of World War II.

Lt. Colonel (Ret.) Jay Stout is a former Marine Corps fighter pilot who flew F-4 Phantoms and F/A-18 Hornets during a military career from 1981 to 2001. A graduate of Purdue University, he has also written FORTRESS PLOESTI, FIGHTER GROUP and THE MEN WHO KILLED THE LUFTWAFFE .

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781612002101
Publisher: Casemate Publishers
Publication date: 09/27/2013
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 201,097
File size: 10 MB

About the Author

Jay Stout is a native of Indiana and a 1981 graduate of Purdue University. He was commissioned into the Marine Corps that same year and earned his designation as a naval aviator in 1983 with orders to fly the F-4 Phantom. He later served as an instructor on the T-2C Buckeye and transitioned to the F/A-18 Hornet. As a Hornet pilot, he flew 37 combat missions during Dessrt Storm.

Table of Contents

Preface 7

Prologue 11

1 Americans Under Other Flags John A. Campbell 13

2 Tigers in the Fray Ken Jernstedt 31

3 Dive Bombers at Guadalcanal Jesse Barker 43

4 Army Fighters Over Guadalcanal Julius Jacobson 53

5 North Africa and the Pacific Hamilton McWhorter 69

6 The Early Fight John "Jack" Walker 85

7 Heroes at Home Mort Blumenfeld 97

8 Civilians in Uniform Rudolph W. Matz 103

9 Americans Over China Walt Kaestner 119

10 Crushing the Reich Howard "Jack" Dentz 133

11 Photo Reconnaissance Willard Caddell 151

12 Attack and Medium Bombers Over Northern Europe Harry "Bob" Popeney 159

13 Low Level Fury Roman Ohnemus 175

14 Second Battle of the Philippine Sea Ray Crandall Richard Deitchman 189

15 Downed in Yugoslavia Howard O. Wilson 205

16 Breakout Across Europe Robert Macdonald 213

17 Night Armed Reconnaissance Alvin E. "Bud" Anderson 221

18 The Sharecroppers Son Bombs Hitler George M. Kesselring 231

19 Cold and Deadly Sea Donald Whitright 243

20 Escorts Over Europe Herman Schonenberg 251

21 A Can of Peaches Emilius Roger Ciampa 261

Acknowledgments 274

Index 275

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Unsung Eagles: True Stories of America's Citizen Airmen in the Skies of World War II 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's nice to get a solid departure from the "hero" formula and showcase the backbone of US air power. It is also great that a repeated theme from all these in connected men is how they overcame their fears to get the mission done or to not let down their group. The author's decision to jump from the different locales and roles the men had, underscores the scale of the conflict and the amazing growth of the Air Corp to meet these challenges. Highly recommended reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A compilation of the Airmen, mostly kids, who did heroic things in WW II that to them, at that time, was , what you did. Fascinating read.
greg233 More than 1 year ago
If you like real human interest stories this is the book for you. It is not about the battles but about the pilots individual experiences while flying for their country. These short stories brought to light some details that are missing from the general battle stories which are designed to tell the overview of historical battles. I always read reviews before I purchase a book and I highly recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was interesting and informative from the soldiers stand and visions.
TaylorPlayer More than 1 year ago
I agree with the previous review. This was a great idea to hear of the exploits and adventures of veteran pilots who are not the celebrated Black Sheep Or Zemkes Wolf Pack. These pilots were the ordinary guys you knew as a neighbor, fellow churchgoer or your friends granddad. I recommend this to you WW2 aviation buffs. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ravine's: <br> Old Mortality result 2 or 3 <p> Hawkie's: <br> Light Storm result 12 <p> Deerlight's: <br> No idea
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bio at old mortality res 3
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At zoe res 4... or 3 <br> my name is now lionheart and my rank is a warrior.