Flying Without Wings

Flying Without Wings

by Sallie Guy


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This is the extraordinary story of a poor Tennessee farm boy growing up during the depression of the 1930's who longed to be a pilot. His dream was realized when he enlisted in January 1941 as an aviation cadet and, despite being terminated from the basic training program in a disciplinary action, he ended up as a liaison pilot instead as a "flying sergeant". In New Guinea he flew observation in an unarmed piper cub for the 218th heavy Field Artillery Battalion, earning the Silver Star, the Soldier's Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and promotion to second Lieutenant. With the ingenious help of his flight surgeon friend, he was transferred to the 43rd Bombardment Group, the 65th Bombardment Squadron of the Fifth Air Force. He flew 32 missions in B-24 four engine bombers without regular pilot's wings, a feat unequaled in World War II.

When Lieutenant Guy was sent home with injuries in December 1944, his superior officers in New Guinea notified Lieutenant General Henry (Hap) Arnold, Commandant of the United States Air Force, about his remarkable story. General Arnold summoned Guy to the Pentagon to have his wings pinned on him by an aide.

Guy stayed in the US Air Force for a total of 26 1/2 years, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel, with chief command pilot's wings. Throughout his career he "bucked the system", defying colonels and generals when he thought he was right, and they were wrong.

I have told his story from boyhood to retirement, recounting experiences that appear unbelievable. With World War II veterans dying by the thousands on a daily basis, I felt it was important to tell my husband's unique story while he is still alive, depending upon taped interviews, personal recollections, and his official military records.

Dr. Milton Gusack, a flight surgeon with the 43rd Bomb Group, commented: "I loved the book. It is classic Kelly, showing he was a combination of guts, capability, loyalty and stubbornness. This story is a truthful revelation about warfare and how the American spirit was able to survive the most horrible experiences and still maintain a sense of humor."

Dr. Ken Wolf, Murray State University history professor said: "Kelly made me think of Forest Gump: Placed in unusual situations, he was unphased by meeting celebrities and persisted in achieving the impossible."

Even back in 1958, a writer for the Olmsted AFB newsletter in Pennsylvania wrote a feature about Kelly in the war. Hal L. Eustace, chief of Advertising and Publicity, sent a copy of the story to Tinker AFB where Kelly had been stationed, with a letter stating: "This is one of the most unusual stories that I ever ran across in the service."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781598584967
Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing
Publication date: 01/03/2008
Pages: 116
Sales rank: 1,041,036
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.28(d)

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