Intrepid Woman: Betty Lussier’s Secret War, 1942–1945, Betty Lussier, 2010, ISBN 978-1-59114-449-6, 222 pp.
Betty Lussier is quite the woman, aviator and intelligence officer.
She flew as a ferry pilot for Great Britain’s Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) during World War II. Her recounting of training as well as flying all manner of aircraft is as exciting as it is educational. Adventures, near misses, tragedy and boredom—her writing has the reader vicariously experience them all.
Alas for Betty Lussier, but not the United States, the ATA reneged on its promise to allow their female pilots to ferry flight on the continent after the invasion of Europe. She did not wish to remain well behind the front and took the opportunity to join in a newly formed agency—the OSS, forerunner of the CIA—to get there. Lussier does so well to have readers experience her life at the time. The confusion, adventure, rolling up spy rings, how Nazi Germany operated spies in recently lost territories—the details only a person who was there can know.
Betty Lussier has an exciting life and her trials and triumphs during the 1942–1945 years are premier. Her writing style flows in a smooth and lively though intimate style making her book a wonderful one for readers of nearly all levels.
Thanks to Nick Veronico—author of many books—we have the awareness of Colleen Veyna’s mural tribute to the Rankin Aeronautical Academy and its star pupil, Ira Bong. The effort to train pilots during World War II was huge and fostered 62 contracted flying schools with Rankin Aeronautical Academy training 1.4 million students in primary flight training. Our thanks to Nick for this find in Tulare CA! Place his name in the search box to see reviews of his recent books—all thoroughly enjoyable.
EAA Oshkosh: the Best Airventure Photography, Hal Bryan/James P. Busha/Dick Knapinski, 2016, ISBN 978-0-7603-5184-0, 244 pp.
Oshkosh. Magical. Military aircraft. Historic aircraft. Inventive aircraft. Homebuilt aircraft and mass produced aircraft. And all of it flying
EAA Oshkosh: the Best Airventure Photography is the book to get for EAA Oshkosh history, culture and amazement—all through top-of-the-line photos and crisp, refreshing and intuitive writing. The air-to-air images are the most populus though all the photos, whether shot from an accompanying aircraft, from on high or down low are One-A. The life and culture that is Oshkosh is also lovingly treated and sets the book apart from its kin.
Historical, unique, oddball and inventive images of aircraft show aviation’s history as well as spectrum. Warbirds, seaplanes, utralights, autogyros and others fill the pages between the covers with most from the USA but many from other countries refreshingly presented as well.
Everyone’s favorite aircraft is likely present in EAA Oshkosh: the Best Airventure Photography. The Lockheed Hudson to the Supermarine Seafire, the Short Bros. Sunderland to the Lockwood Drifter. The Republic Seabee to the Fairey Gannet. And so many, many more!
EAA Oshkosh: the Best Airventure Photography is cozy in size though large in impact. Literally dozens upon dozens of aircraft are included with amazing photography. The writing and insights are inspirational and allow vicariously experiencing this grand aviation event—including not to be repeated visits of some aircraft. The scope of beautiful writing and world-class images, by well over a dozen world-class photographers and three top tier authors, mark this book as destined for anyone’s library or wish list.
Zenith Press provided a copy of EAA Oshkosh: the Best Airventure Photography, as is the publishing custom, for an objective review.
Milestones of Flight: the Epic of Aviation with the National Air and Space Museum, F. Robert van der Linden|Alex M. Spencer|Thomas J. Paone, ISBN 978-0-7603-5027-0, 206 pp.
The National Air & Space Museum (NASM) is the home to much of aviation’s history treasures and traveling to see them is a must for everyone from a buff to historian to those who were part of, or witness to, aviation’s history. Milestones of Flight though, enhances any visit immenely—as well as serves in lieu of a trip to the NASM.
For these excellent reasons:
- The museum quality photography as well as historical images—the photos of the NASM aircraft cannot be better in quality or more artful. Interior images and details which make each aircraft unique populate the pages.
- The timeline from the beginning to end of the book delivering the context of aircraft development as history aviation progressed
- The backstories of how aircraft got to the NASM—some logical, some remarkable and a few intriguing to say the least!
This is a dangerous book to get. It is difficult to not open and nearly impossible to put down once opened as the reader will revel in the insights, the human history and the images so lovingly captured. Pick a library. Any library. Milestones of Flight belongs in it.
|Aircraft in Milestones of Flight|
|1903 Wright Flyer||Bell XP-59A Airacomet|
|1909 Wright Military Flyer||Messerschmitt Me 262A 1a Schwalbe|
|1911 Wright EX Vin Fiz||Boeing B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay|
|Blériot XI||Little Gee Bee|
|Curtiss D-III Headless Pusher||Bell X-1|
|Caudron G.4||North American F-86A|
|Douglas World Cruiser DWC-2 Chicago||Boeing 367-80|
|Ryan NY-P Spirit of St. Louis||McDonnell F-4S-44 Phantom II|
|Lockheed Vega 5B||North American X-15|
|Lockheed Vega 5C Winnie Mae||Arlington Sisu 1A|
|Piper J-3 Cub||Bell UH-1H Iroquois “Huey” Smokey III|
|Explorer II||Lockheed SR-71A “Blackbird”|
|Douglas DC-3||Aérospatiale-BAC Concorde|
|Douglas SBD-6 Dauntless||General Atomics MQ-1L Predator|
|North American P-51D Mustang|
Zenith Press provided a copy of Milestones of Flight: the Epic of Aviation with the National Air and Space Museum, as is the publishing custom, for an objective review.