PDA

View Full Version : Good first-person/auto-biographical books on WWI/II aviation?



XyZspineZyX
08-07-2003, 12:37 AM
Does anyone own or know of some good books about aviation in the first and second world war from a first-person perspective or a good autobiography of an average pilot or ace or bomber crew? Something like a "Forgotten Soldier" for the sky?.....

XyZspineZyX
08-07-2003, 12:37 AM
Does anyone own or know of some good books about aviation in the first and second world war from a first-person perspective or a good autobiography of an average pilot or ace or bomber crew? Something like a "Forgotten Soldier" for the sky?.....

XyZspineZyX
08-07-2003, 01:12 AM
I believe Yakovlev has an auto-biography. My dad read it a LONG time ago, of course it was in Russian.

AMD Athlon XP 1700+ T-Bred B
Epox 8K9AI
PC2100 512MB DDR
GeForce 4 Ti4600 128MB
Game Theater XP w/ Sony MHC-BX6AV

XyZspineZyX
08-07-2003, 01:25 AM
First Light, by Geoffrey Wellum, is excellent. His account of his carrer in the RAF from training, onto Spitfires, through the BoB, 100+ sweeps over France, Malta, and being stood down owing to battle fatigue, all by the age of 21! Very well written, highly readable.

Spitfire on my Tail, by Ulrich Steinhilper, is also very good. A similar kind of book from the German perspective as he goes through his early life, training, and combat posting to JG52 during the BoB.

Fighter Pilot, by Paul Richey, was the first of this kind of air-fighter's autobiography and is excellent. He recounts his experiences with No1 Squadron RAF during the Battle of France, 1939-1940

Duel of Eagles, By Peter Townsend, is also good. Takes you from WW1 up to the BoB with perspectives from both British and German sides.

These I recommend because I've read and enjoyed them.

"If I had all the money I've spent on drink....I'd spend it on drink!"

XyZspineZyX
08-07-2003, 01:25 AM
Got a good one for you. Read Chuck Yeager's autobiography, as told to Leo Janos, "Yeager: An Autobiography". This book is great! Read it a few years ago, and laughed all the way through it. The man is amazing. Should be at your library, or you can buy it on Amazon.com. Tells his life from the young years to after he retired. Yeager also wrote a second book, that was just as good, but can't remember the title. It is just as funny.

Another good book is Jane's "Battles with the Luftwaffe".
I'm currently reading the book, and it gives great detail on the battles between the bomber crews over western europe, and the German fighter pilots, with a lot of first person accounts from both sides. Very detailed, and sometimes very graphic.


Happy Reading /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif !


663rd_Olds

XyZspineZyX
08-07-2003, 02:21 AM
Um...the dual biography on the two Eastern Front aces Hermann Graf & Alfred Grislawski will be published within the next few...days!!

http://www.graf-grislawski.elknet.pl/index.htm

XyZspineZyX
08-07-2003, 02:35 AM
I always recommend "Double fighter knight" by Ilmari Juutilainen. Finlands highest ranking ace, covers the finnish - russian conflict from the beginning of the winterwar 1939 until the end of the continiuation war 1944.

XyZspineZyX
08-07-2003, 02:38 AM
There's "Le Grand Cirque" by Clostermann (sorry, don't remember the English title exactly... "The Big Show"?) which is WW2 western theatre. A good read, I understand that a more recent edition includes parts that were omitted from the first edition (the info was still classified at the time)-

Not exactly what your looking for but very "edifying" is Nevil Shute's "'Round the Bend"- which is aviation related, but oh so much more, I HIGHLY recommend this latter book.

happy reading /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

Cold_Gambler

XyZspineZyX
08-07-2003, 02:50 AM
in the last month i read;

woodbine read leader by james? loving 5kills p-51 ace

it was good, woth the read.

gunther rall's authoraized autobiography

it sucked the author messed up bigtime. no enought detail.


I'm currently reading the best WW2 fighter book I have ever read!! It is beautifuly written and is very detailed. The chapter where he describes when he got shop up is riveting and will be burned in my mind forever. I completely RECCOMEND THIS BOOK!!! BUY TRUST ME....

THUNDERBOLT! By Robert Johnson member of the wolfpack fling p-47's

the best book so far by far....

<html>
http://www.socalsportbikes.com/xmb/viewthread.php?action=attachment&tid=2000&aid=3815
</html>

"I like Boobies" - Me

XyZspineZyX
08-07-2003, 03:06 AM
ChBergstrom wrote:
- Um...the dual biography on the two Eastern Front
- aces Hermann Graf & Alfred Grislawski will be
- published within the next few...days!!

All ready ordered a copy /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

XyZspineZyX
08-07-2003, 03:13 AM
"An Ace of the Eighth" by Norman Fortier

XyZspineZyX
08-07-2003, 03:23 AM
Cannot agree more than with EPP Gibbs' recommendation of First Light. Picked it up by happenstance a few months back. It is unequivocably the best written first-person book that I have read, taking one not only inside the cockpit, but more importantly, inside his head, his emotions - the fears, apprenhension, and, at times exhiliration. Well before finishing it, I could not help but ask myself where he has been and why he had not written anything for some 60 odd years!

REDLTE

XyZspineZyX
08-07-2003, 03:29 AM
"Happy Jack's Go Buggy" JackIlfrey, available from Schiffer Books

XyZspineZyX
08-07-2003, 02:52 PM
Winged Combat : My Story as a Spitfire Pilot in WWII by Arthur Bishop is a great read if you are interested in all aspect of a pilots life during war. The book covers quite a bit, is both humerous and interesting because Arthur wasn't an ace by any stretch of the word but he survived and has some great stories to tell. Plus he is the son of Billy Bishop http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

XyZspineZyX
08-07-2003, 03:17 PM
"Baa Baa Black Sheep" i highly recommend this one although pappy put some facts wrong but he was an alcoholic so what /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif .

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
<table border="0" width="100%"><tr><td width="50%"><font size=2><font size="-1"> and did those feet in ancient times
trod america's pastures of green?
and did that <font color="#FF0000">anthropocentric</font> god <font color="#FF0000">wane</font>
with their thoughts and beliefs all unseen?
I don't think so,
he's up there with the others lying low,
<font color="#FF0000">vying</font> with those who you've traded
your life to bless your soul,
and have they told you how to think,</font></font></td><td width="50%"><font size=2><font size="-1">
cleansed your mind of <font color="#FF0000">sepsis</font> and autonomy?
or have you escaped scrutiny,
and <font color="#FF0000">regaled</font> yourself with <font color="#FF0000">depravity</font>?
now we all see, "religion is just synthetic
<font color="#FF0000">frippery</font>, unnecessary in our expanding
global culture efficiency"
and don't you fear this impasse
we have built to our future?
ever so near,
and oh so <font color="#FF0000">austere</font> </font></font></td></tr></table>

"God Song" by Bad Religion

http://www.rocket-fuel.com/news/images/bad_religion.gif

XyZspineZyX
08-07-2003, 03:22 PM
Actually while on the subject of The Black Sheep Squadron, check out:

VMF-214 - Black Sheep Squadron USMC WWII
by Bruce Gamble

It's an awesome read and gives the definitive account of the 214 squadron from it's inception to it's end.

XyZspineZyX
08-07-2003, 03:25 PM
Or "Once they were Eagles" It's the complete account about the Black Sheeps. It only coveres the time of the original outfit, i.e. the first Black Sheep. They were reformed afterwards with new pilots. They just took the name "Black Sheeps"

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
<table border="0" width="100%"><tr><td width="50%"><font size=2><font size="-1"> and did those feet in ancient times
trod america's pastures of green?
and did that <font color="#FF0000">anthropocentric</font> god <font color="#FF0000">wane</font>
with their thoughts and beliefs all unseen?
I don't think so,
he's up there with the others lying low,
<font color="#FF0000">vying</font> with those who you've traded
your life to bless your soul,
and have they told you how to think,</font></font></td><td width="50%"><font size=2><font size="-1">
cleansed your mind of <font color="#FF0000">sepsis</font> and autonomy?
or have you escaped scrutiny,
and <font color="#FF0000">regaled</font> yourself with <font color="#FF0000">depravity</font>?
now we all see, "religion is just synthetic
<font color="#FF0000">frippery</font>, unnecessary in our expanding
global culture efficiency"
and don't you fear this impasse
we have built to our future?
ever so near,
and oh so <font color="#FF0000">austere</font> </font></font></td></tr></table>

"God Song" by Bad Religion

http://www.rocket-fuel.com/news/images/bad_religion.gif

XyZspineZyX
08-07-2003, 03:31 PM
Yup, Once they were Eagles is a good read too, and it's written by Frank Walton, a member of VF 214 (I can't remember what his position was in the squadron though), so lot's of first hand experience there.

XyZspineZyX
08-07-2003, 03:39 PM
Read "War In the Air" by Stephen Coonts. It's a collection of first-hand reports from some of this century's greatest air battles.

It's has a lot of great books listed in it~! Right now I'm going through an excerpt from Joe Foss's autobiography. Foss was an F4U pilot and a former US senator from South Dakota. You might remember that Mr. Foss passed away just recently.

The reading is great~!!

/i/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif


SURLYbirch <center>KKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK
This sig is under 30 K's
http://surlybirch.tripod.com/mudbar.txt </center>
<left>"Show me a hero and I'll prove he's a bum."
- Pappy Boyington</left>

XyZspineZyX
08-07-2003, 03:44 PM
AFAIK he was the Doctor or something like that. Btw, i also have the book you mentioned /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif .

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
<table border="0" width="100%"><tr><td width="50%"><font size=2><font size="-1"> and did those feet in ancient times
trod america's pastures of green?
and did that <font color="#FF0000">anthropocentric</font> god <font color="#FF0000">wane</font>
with their thoughts and beliefs all unseen?
I don't think so,
he's up there with the others lying low,
<font color="#FF0000">vying</font> with those who you've traded
your life to bless your soul,
and have they told you how to think,</font></font></td><td width="50%"><font size=2><font size="-1">
cleansed your mind of <font color="#FF0000">sepsis</font> and autonomy?
or have you escaped scrutiny,
and <font color="#FF0000">regaled</font> yourself with <font color="#FF0000">depravity</font>?
now we all see, "religion is just synthetic
<font color="#FF0000">frippery</font>, unnecessary in our expanding
global culture efficiency"
and don't you fear this impasse
we have built to our future?
ever so near,
and oh so <font color="#FF0000">austere</font> </font></font></td></tr></table>

"God Song" by Bad Religion

http://www.rocket-fuel.com/news/images/bad_religion.gif

XyZspineZyX
08-07-2003, 03:57 PM
Mr. Foss passed away? Darn. I wonder why they didn't announce that at SimHQ.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
<table border="0" width="100%"><tr><td width="50%"><font size=2><font size="-1"> and did those feet in ancient times
trod america's pastures of green?
and did that <font color="#FF0000">anthropocentric</font> god <font color="#FF0000">wane</font>
with their thoughts and beliefs all unseen?
I don't think so,
he's up there with the others lying low,
<font color="#FF0000">vying</font> with those who you've traded
your life to bless your soul,
and have they told you how to think,</font></font></td><td width="50%"><font size=2><font size="-1">
cleansed your mind of <font color="#FF0000">sepsis</font> and autonomy?
or have you escaped scrutiny,
and <font color="#FF0000">regaled</font> yourself with <font color="#FF0000">depravity</font>?
now we all see, "religion is just synthetic
<font color="#FF0000">frippery</font>, unnecessary in our expanding
global culture efficiency"
and don't you fear this impasse
we have built to our future?
ever so near,
and oh so <font color="#FF0000">austere</font> </font></font></td></tr></table>

"God Song" by Bad Religion

http://www.rocket-fuel.com/news/images/bad_religion.gif

XyZspineZyX
08-07-2003, 05:05 PM
Stressky wrote:
- Does anyone own or know of some good books about
- aviation in the first and second world war from a
- first-person perspective or a good autobiography of
- an average pilot or ace or bomber crew? Something
- like a "Forgotten Soldier" for the sky?.....
------------------------------------------------------

Some good links for you :

THE best military literature resource on the net ! Hundreds of books, memoirs, documents and research materials. This site is russian, but you may use some translation software to read the texts from this site. - http://militera.lib.ru/

WWII Ace stories - http://www.elknet.pl/acestory/aces.htm

Soviet GPW Aviation - http://wio.boom.ru/ww2a.htm

Russian Aviation page - http://aeroweb.lucia.it/~agretch/RAP.html

Planes and Pilots of WWII - http://home.att.net/~C.C.Jordan/index.html

Air Force RU (in russian) - http://www.airforce.ru/index.htm

Lend-Lease on Air Force RU (in english) - http://www.airforce.users.ru/lend-lease/english/index.htm

Aeroflight Homepage - http://www.aeroflight.co.uk/index.html

Aviation History Page (great links! recommended!) - http://rwebs.net/avhistory/

Sky Corner (virtual aviation reference)
in russian - http://www.airwar.ru
in english - http://www.airwar.ru/indexe.html

Bud Anderson's P-51 Mustang Old Crow Web Page - http://www.cebudanderson.com/index.html

Forgotten Battles of the second world war - http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/Bunker/3351/campaigns/russrd.html

Soviet Fighter Tactics - http://luthier.stormloader.com/home.html

Air Power Over the Normandy Beaches and Beyond - http://www.aero-web.org/history/wwii/d-day/toc.htm

WWII AIR ACES - http://my.tele2.ee/airacesww2/airaces/homeeng.htm

XyZspineZyX
08-07-2003, 05:23 PM
I'll second Townsend's Duel of the Eagles. I also enjoyed Band of Brothers, not the Ambrose book about the 101st but a book by a guy named Blount who flew B-25Js modifed as commerce raiders agaisnt the Japanese. Also Rudel's Stuka Pilot.



I know not what course others may choose, but as for me, give me computer games or give me television!

XyZspineZyX
08-07-2003, 05:30 PM
Few more to add to the list

Thunderbolt! by Robert Johnson

Ace by Melvyn Paisley



S!
609IAP_Recon

Forgotten Wars Virtual War
Forum: http://fogwar.luftwaffe.net/forums/index.php
Website: http://forgottenwars.dyndns.org
Visit 609IAP at http://takeoff.to/609IAP

http://www.leeboats.com/609/sig/609_recon3.jpg

Agnus Dei, Qui Tollis peccata mundi, Miserere nobis. Dona nobis pacem

XyZspineZyX
08-07-2003, 06:36 PM
"Wing Leader" by Johnnie Johnson... RAF's top ace.
This was the first air combat book I ever read and still one of the best.