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

Overview

WINNER OF 2014 SAN DIEGO BOOK AWARD FOR BEST PUBLISHED HISTORY, MILITARY AND POLITICS

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 ...

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

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Overview

WINNER OF 2014 SAN DIEGO BOOK AWARD FOR BEST PUBLISHED HISTORY, MILITARY AND POLITICS

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 .

REVIEWS

Jay Stout has written one of the finest tributes to the fighting men of the greatest generation, concentrating not on the famous aces whose actions are well known, but on the “ordinary man” who rose to greatness when the situation demanded it. The author’s deep research and innate writing ability merge to make this book a must for every aviation library.
Walter Boyne, former director of the National Air & Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, and best-selling author.
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Through the recollections of airmen whose deeds were largely unrecognized, Jay Stout--a veteran fighter pilot himself--gives the reader a real understanding of who these men were and what they did in answer to their nation's call.
--Tom Ivie, author of Patton's Eyes in the Sky, and 352nd Fighter Group
----------------
"Finally, a serious aviation historian has written an exciting book about the unheralded heroes who fought World War II from the sky. This book--in which the veterans tell their own stories--is a long overdue tribute. Most highly recommended."
--Bob "Punchy" Powell, World War II fighter pilot and author of, The Blue Nosed Bastards of Bodney
---------------
Jay Stout writes smart, interesting books because he's always on the lookout for interesting people to interview, and he always asks them interesting and unusual questions born of his own curiosity. Unsung Eagles is smart, interesting, well written and pleasantly unusual. It will take you off the beaten track,
Eric Hammel, author of Aces against Japan

Unsung Eagles offers a rare cockpit perspective of World War II in the air. Jay Stout’s anthology features an extraordinary variety of accounts from airmen--many now deceased—that will become more valuable as the generation that fought the greatest air campaigns of all time continues to depart the pattern.”
Barrett Tillman, Author of Whirlwind: The Air War Against Japan, 1942-1945

"... a fine book about the citizen of airman of World War II. This is an oral history instead of a traditional history. It is the remembrances of the ordinary men who answered the call of their country. ..It doesn't give you the global, geopolitical strategies or the military master plan. Instead you get snap shots of the young men as you put their piece of the puzzle into the larger picture. It helps to see the bigger picture a little more clearly from the average airman's point of view...enjoyable, easy reading, and well worth the purchase price. Well done!
Kepler's Military History

An incredible work that captures the true voices of America's World War II flyers before they are gone forever. Stout—through the eyes of these unsung eagles—gracefully navigates us through stormy skies and whirling dogfights in a way that is enthralling, heartbreaking, and sometimes funny but never boring."
Michael Franzak, author of A Nightmare's Prayer: A Marine Harrier Pilot's War in Afghanistan

"...crisply written book. It is an engaging history that gives a personal context to the great air battles of Of World War II."
Flypast

the finest compilation of first person accounts of what it is like to go to war in the air…
Air and Space Magazine

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What People Are Saying

Bob "Punchy" Powell
Finally, a serious aviation historian has written an exciting book about the unheralded heroes who fought World War II from the sky. This book--in which the veterans tell their own stories--is a long overdue tribute. Most highly recommended.
— Bob "Punchy" Powell, World War II fighter pilot and author of, The Blue Nosed Bastards of Bodney
Eric Hammel
Jay Stout writes smart, interesting books because he's always on the lookout for interesting people to interview, and he always asks them interesting and unusual questions born of his own curiosity. Unsung Eagles is smart, interesting, well written and pleasantly unusual. It will take you off the beaten track.
— Eric Hammel, author of Aces against Japan
Walter Boyne
Jay Stout has written one of the finest tributes to the fighting men of the greatest generation, concentrating not on the famous aces whose actions are well known, but on the “ordinary man” who rose to greatness when the situation demanded it. The author's deep research and innate writing ability merge to make this book a must for every aviation library.
—Walter Boyne, former director of the National Air & Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, and best-selling author.
Tom Ivie

Through the recollections of airmen whose deeds were largely unrecognized, Jay Stout--a veteran fighter pilot himself--gives the reader a real understanding of who these men were and what they did in answer to their nation's call.
— Tom Ivie, author of Patton's Eyes in the Sky, and 352nd Fighter Group

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781612002095
  • Publisher: Casemate Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/3/2013
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 296,036
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

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