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

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

by Jay A. Stout


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“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

“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

The nearly half-million American airmen who served during World War II have almost disappeared. And so have their stories. In Unsung Eagles, award-winning writer and former fighter pilot Jay Stout has saved 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.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781612003948
Publisher: Casemate Publishers
Publication date: 05/03/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Sales rank: 803,075
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Jay Stout is a native of Indiana and a 1981 graduate of Purdue University. He was commissioned into the Marine Corps that same year and earned his designation as a naval aviator in 1983 with orders to fly the F-4 Phantom. He later served as an instructor on the T-2C Buckeye and transitioned to the F/A-18 Hornet. As a Hornet pilot, he flew 37 combat missions during Dessrt Storm.

Table of Contents


1 Americans Under Other Flags: John A. Campbell
2 tigers in the Fray: Ken Jernstedt
3 Dive Bombers at Guadalcanal: Jesse Barker
4 Army Fighters Over Guadalcanal: Julius Jacobson
5 North Africa and the Pacific: Hamilton McWhorter
6 The Early Fight: John “Jack” Walker
7 Heroes at Home: Mort Blumenfeld
8 Civilians in Uniform: Rudolph W. Matz
9 Americans Over China: Walt Kaestner
10 Crushing the Reich: Howard “Jack” Dentz
11 Photo Reconnaissance: Willard Caddell
12 Attack and medium Bombers Over Northern Europe: Harry “Bob” Popeney
13 Low Level Fury: Roman Ohnemus
14 Second Battle of the Philippine Sea: Ray Crandall and Richard Deitchman
15 Downed in Yugoslavia: Howard O. Wilson
16 Breakout Across Europe: Robert Macdonald
17 Night Armed Reconnaissance: Alvin E.“Bud” Anderson
18 The Sharecropper’s Son Bombs Hitler: George M. Kesselring
19 Cold and Deadly Sea: Donald Whitright
20 Escorts Over Europe: Herman Schonenberg
21 A Can of Peaches: Emilius Roger Ciampa


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