Hidden Warbirds: The Epic Stories of Finding, Recovering, and Rebuilding WWII's Lost Aircraft

Hidden Warbirds: The Epic Stories of Finding, Recovering, and Rebuilding WWII's Lost Aircraft

by Nicholas A. Veronico
     
 

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Shot down, crash-landed, or sometimes just abandoned, the warbirds of World War II, both Allied and Axis, rust away in strange and surprising locations—in lakes and oceans, glaciers and garages, jungles and swamps. Specialized teams compete to salvage these historic aircraft and, if possible, return them to flyable condition.
 
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Overview


Shot down, crash-landed, or sometimes just abandoned, the warbirds of World War II, both Allied and Axis, rust away in strange and surprising locations—in lakes and oceans, glaciers and garages, jungles and swamps. Specialized teams compete to salvage these historic aircraft and, if possible, return them to flyable condition.
 
In Hidden Warbirds, aviation historian Nicholas A. Veronico tells the stories of the pilots and planes as well as the recovery and restoration teams that get these aircraft out of the wilds and into the air. Remote and dangerous locations provide many challenges for salvaging the damaged and deteriorating aircraft. Whether sunken in swamps or perched on mountainsides, buried under snow or resting on lake bottoms, the teams struggle to remove aircraft in a way that will allow them to put them all back together later on.
 
Incomplete wrecks can be combined into one airworthy plane, while surplus and fabricated parts finish the restoration. Often painted and named for specific historical aircraft, these recovered warbirds become stars of museums and airshows, the roar of their piston engines bringing the past back to life.
 
Hidden Warbirds covers a wide range of aircraft, from U.S. bombers and fighters to Japanese Bettys and Zeros, discovered all over the world in locations like Alaska, Greenland, Lake Michigan, and Papua New Guinea. Each recovery demands its own unique approach, and Veronico interviews the men and women who solve the problems and save the warbirds. This work is illustrated throughout with two hundred photos, including archival photos from World War II as well as before and after photos of recovery and restoration.

Nicholas A. Veronico is a public affairs officer at the Astronomical Society of the Pacific for NASA's SOFIA Program and a past president of the Society of Aviation History. He has written more than two dozen books on U.S. aviation, including The Blue Angels: A Fly-By History, and runs the website www.wreckchasing.com.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"

... we look forward to a second volume equally as fascinating as this one. Make sure you grab a copy of this book. It is full of the "WOW" factor!" - Classic Wings (UK)

Hidden Warbirds provides richly detailed accounts of warbird recovery and restoration, crossing through the decades with amazing stories of finding and recovering forgotten warplanes from around the world. Everything from P-61 Black Widows to Japanese fighters to B-17s to Navy Helldivers, this book gets behind the scenes in text and rare photos to document how these airplane were found and recovered, and tempts with stories about those still out there waiting to be discovered. Highly recommended for anyone interested in warbirds, warbird history, or adventure stories in general. - Scott Thompson, Author ofFinal Cut: The Post-War B-17 Flying Fortress and Survivors"

Veronico combines one part history and one part adventure to come up with an engaging and informative tribute to the people and organizations that have saved rare hidden warbirds for the future. Nick Veronico has pulled together a fascinating mixture of stories and photographs that trace the saving of many historic warbirds. He has unearthed a treasure-trove of historic photos and combined them with an engaging story to guide the reader through the fascinating efforts to save some of the hidden warbirds." - Dennis R. Jenkins, Author and Historian"

This work details the art and science of World War II-era aircraft recovery and restoration. Zenith has produced a handsome, full-color book printed on archival quality stock, sturdily bond in cloth that easily lays flat when open, and obviously is intended to serve as a handbook of repeated reference." - Air Power History"

I wholeheartedly recommend this book to you. I sincerely hope that this book is but the first in the series and if so, I will be the first one in line to purchase volume two." - WarbirdsResourceGroup.org"

The tales of aircraft rescue and rehabilitation told in Hidden Warbirds: The Epic Stories of Finding, Recovering, and Rebuilding WWII's Lost Aircraft demonstrate that many of the World War II aicraft we see today in aviation museums around the world exist solely due to the efforts of an array of eccentric collectors and aviation enthusiasts. Hidden Warbirds is in many ways a thank you to those salvagers and restorers who are still hunting the jungles, oceans, and deserts in search of World War II aircraft." - DefenseMediaNetwork.com "

This is a comprehensive reference work that begins with an insightful history of how interest in war surplus aircraft evolved into today's warbird movement. Hidden Warbirds is a beautiful book, published on high-quality paper with plenty of color." - Aviation History"

Read this book if you are interested in learning about the culture of people and organizations which search and find historic aircraft wrecks of the Second World War. Better, read this book if you want to learn the back stories of the recovery of many of these warbird wrecks from WW II to flying status as well as becoming exhibits in museums. Best, read this book for the stories of the service personnel who died within or survived the crashes that wrecked these aircraft - often, incredible stories of survival after becoming stranded in the remotest of territories are part of each war wreck's tale. Veronico also does what the best non-fiction authors do - he provides context as well as perspective. He tells us how warbird restoration began and evolved with the times including the influence of internet resources. He also describes how restoration, at first basic, became a craft of the highest order with incredible attention to detail and authenticity. This story is told by a person who has been there and can relate his knowledge in a gifted way. Nicholas Veronico finishes with an epilogue that will make most of this book's readers jump up and look for the many more remaining Hidden Warbirds." - Travel for Aircraft Blog, Seattle Post-Intelligencer"

In many ways, Hidden Warbirds is a treasure hunt for adults; a delightful way to enjoy the magic of finding and recovering increasingly rare pieces of aviation history. Not everyone has the money or expertise to actively participate in such adventures, but Veronico has done an excellent job of placing readers right on the ground with those who do recover these planes and with many of them in such remote locations, the tales are quite epic." - AlaskaDispatch.com"

Fans of World War II aircraft will love this unique book!" - Military Officer"

Warbirds is lavishly illustrated with color photos - many before and after - which I found hypnotic. That some of these hulks and wrecks could be reassembled and brought back to life and flown again even after the passage of more than 60 years is simply incredible." - The Baltimore Sun

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780760344095
Publisher:
Zenith Press
Publication date:
06/17/2013
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
332,812
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

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