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Posted October 28, 2011
In common with some of us, author Tom Cleaver was introduced to aviation by his father at a young age. This has grown into a real love for aircraft and an interest in the people who flew these planes. Life then took him to becoming a screen writer where he learned how to tell a story and make it interesting.
Over the decades, he has interviewed a number of famous and near-famous pilots about their wartime experiences. Every pilot who has flown in combat has had a story to tell and could not have told a more interested and knowledgeable author. We are those who now benefit from this as Tom Cleaver has taken a number of those interviews and put them into one publication.
These interviews cover WWII, Korea, and Vietnam; and are not just American pilots as the view from the other side is equally as important and interesting.
The book covers a wide range of missions from Lamar Gillet, the only P-35 pilot to shoot down a Japanese fighter, to Vic Tatelman's B-25 mission to Rabaul, to Hubert Childress' F-5E recon Lightning mission over France in 1944, to Kyosti Karhila a Finnish Hawk 75 ace, to Tom Hudner's Korean War Medal of Honor Corsair mission, to Ken Lee's MiG-17 kill while flying an OV-1.
That is just a taste of what is in the book. Other pilots' tales flying well known aircraft types including the P-40, B-24, P-47, Me-262, Spitfire, F-84 and others are covered; each one with a tale that will grab your attention and hold it.
Tom is a good friend of mine so you might think I am biased, but I have to say this is by far one of the best 'I was there' books that I have ever read; and I have read a lot.
Since this is an e-book, you do not have to pay a fortune to be able to download it and enjoy it at your leisure. The book is a real treat and you owe it to yourself to get this one.
Posted October 26, 2011
In the past there have been some wonderful anthologies of aviation, books that selected the best writing of the best authors, and were well worth the time spent on them. None of them has the first hand authenticity nor the unusual approach of Air Combat Annals. These unique stories are not excerpted from printed books, but rather from the lives of the pilots involved. And these are stories that veteran pilot Tom Cleaver compiled in a life-long endeavor to gather the most exciting, the most unusual, and very often, the most heroic aviation stories available. The reader will be amazed by the consistency of these stories as Cleaver sustains a high level of suspense throughout the book. Highly reccommended for all--but especially for pilots!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.