The experiences of two American pilots in the Great War
When the First World War broke out, volunteers from many nations of the free world rushed to join the French in their struggle against the invading Hun. These were the first days of combat in the air, so a number of adventurous young Americans were eager to earn their wings and fight in the skies above the Western Front. Their lives were thrilling, dangerous and, for many, tragically short. Nevertheless, these aviators became the dog-fighting knights of the air, legends both in their lifetimes and since the end of Great War. Hall served with distinction in the French Flying Service, survived the war, and in 1918 published an account of his wartime experiences as a fighter pilot. The second book in this special Leonaur edition is based on the correspondence of another American flyer. John Grider’s story is somewhat different, in that he volunteered initially to serve in the American flying service, but was sent across the Atlantic Ocean to serve in the Royal Air Force. Grider’s letters are initially cheerful, but soon reveal a hard and brutal war of attrition that inexorably killed his comrades, by accident or combat, until he realised that his own death was inevitable. This proved tragically prophetic, for Grider was shot down and killed behind German lines in 1918. These are two essential first-hand accounts of the air war over the trenches.
Leonaur editions are newly typeset and are not facsimiles; each title is available in softcover and hardback with dustjacket; our hardbacks are cloth bound and feature gold foil lettering on their spines and fabric head and tail bands.