A former civilian flight instructor, Jim Doyle has been flying for thirty-five years and did tours in both the Air Force and the Navy. He lives in Columbia, California.
Flying Through Time: A Journey Into History in a World War II Biplaneby Jim Doyle
Tens of thousands of America's pilots during World War II trained
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Imagine what it would be like to talk and fly with the men who flew the airplanes of World War II. What was in their minds as they made their first solos? And what was air combat like? Flying Through Time is the closest many of us will come to understanding what it was like to be a WWII aviator.
Tens of thousands of America's pilots during World War II trained in the Boeing Stearman biplane. For most, it was their first airplane in a series of larger, faster, and more dangerous aircraft that they used to fight the war. The pilots would never forget their first flights in a Stearman and the adventures that followed. Jim Doyle, owner of a restored 1941 Stearman, retraced the wartime journeys of his plane, crossing the country twice; flying over California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas; and touching down at each of the eight bases at which it served. Flying Through Time is the story of Doyle's challenging flight and of the uncertainties of piloting a sixty-year-old biplane almost 8,000 miles. His experiences meeting, talking, and flying with the men who flew the legendary Stearman paint a vivid picture of the intense, emotion-filled days of World War II. The pilots' recollections, refreshed for many when they took the controls of Doyle's plane, are woven throughout the narrative of his trip. These anecdotes, and new information from an archive discovered during the flight, tell of fears, courage, humor, and the sheer adventure of the events that owned the veterans' youth. This is seat-of-the-pants flying at its most thrilling, recalling a time when ordinary young Americans were called upon to be heroes.
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