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Horses Don’t Fly: the Memoir of the Cowboy Who Became a World War I Ace

18 September 2017

Horses Don’t Fly: the Memoir of the Cowboy Who Became a World War I Ace, Frederick Libby, 2012, ISBN 978-1-61145-710-0, 274 pp.

Horses Don’t Fly: the Memoir of the Cowboy Who Became a World War I Ace by Frederick Libby

This book was gifted and what a gift it was. Capt. Libby led an exceptionally gifted life from another time. He wrote the way he thought—with clarity and absolute logic. His prose is a joy to read with no extra words, an eye toward humor, and telling the tale of a man meeting extraordinary circumstances with daring and common sense. How nice to hear of these days!

Libby led the life of a cowboy as he grew up in the late 1800s and readers learn of how things were done—from going to school to running horses and all that was between the two. His telling the tale of his wild ride in his best Sunday-going-to-church outfit while tied to an antelope is absolutely a hoot. From Libby was also learn that good experience often comes from bad decisions.

Later he pilots fighters in World War I while losing his U.S. citizenship in the process though regained thank to Billy Mitchell. Libby also knew Billy Bishop and has opinions of him, as well as many other famous aviators, telling his opinion in the context of the day. Wonderfully observant and salient, his experiences are valuable to read—the happy ones, the sad ones as well as the description of his flight missions. Beginning as an observer, where we learn the position was one of many duties, then advancing to pilot learning that training was extraordinarily brief due to the precipitous loss rate of aircrews. Yes, in Horses Don’t Fly, readers learn the harsh realty of World War I statistics as if living it and not in revisionist history retelling.

This book is a memoir. A rich memoir written excellently by a man who can be trusted to relate his experiences accurately. Read this book to learn of an exceptional life well led. Read this book to comprehend and feel the life of an aviator on the first lines of World War I. Read this book.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 21 September 2017 11:43

    Fabulous history. I want to get the book and read about this unusual man.

    Sent from my iPad


    • travelforaircraft permalink*
      21 September 2017 18:35

      Read it–you will like that you did 🙂

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