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Intrepid Woman: Betty Lussier’s Secret War, 1942–1945

8 July 2016

Intrepid Woman: Betty Lussier’s Secret War, 1942–1945, Betty Lussier, 2010, ISBN 978-1-59114-449-6, 222 pp.

Intrepid Woman: Betty Lussier's Secret War, 1942–1945 by Betty Lussier with jacket design by Chris Gamboa-Onrubia

Intrepid Woman: Betty Lussier’s Secret War, 1942–1945 by Betty Lussier with jacket design by Chris Gamboa-Onrubia

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.

Veyna’s Mural in Tulare—Richard “Dick” Bong and more

6 July 2016

 

Rankin Aeronautical Academy Mural by Colleen Veyna--Nick Veronico image

Rankin Aeronautical Academy mural by Colleen Veyna—Nick Veronico image

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.

Rankin Aeronautical Academy Mural by Colleen Veyna--Nick Veronico image

Rankin Aeronautical Academy mural by Colleen Veyna showing top USAAF WW II ace Richard “Dick” Ira Bong and his P-38 “Marge”—Nick Veronico image

Rankin Aeronautical Academy Mural by Colleen Veyna--Nick Veronico image

Rankin Aeronautical Academy mural by Colleen Veyna—Nick Veronico image

Rankin Aeronautical Academy Mural by Colleen Veyna--Nick Veronico image

Rankin Aeronautical Academy mural by Colleen Veyna—Nick Veronico image

Rankin Aeronautical Academy Mural by Colleen Veyna—Nick Veronico image

Rankin Aeronautical Academy mural by Colleen Veyna (the website now has another URL which is http://veynadesignstudios.com/index.html)—Nick Veronico image

 

Happy Birthday USA!

4 July 2016
The American flag waves overhead during the U.S. Marine Corps passage of command ceremony held at Marine Barracks, in Washington, Sept. 24, 2015. Gen. Joseph F. Dunford relinquished command to Gen. Robert B. Neller. Dunford will take over as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Sept. 25, 2015. (DoD photo by Army Staff Sgt. Sean K. Harp/Released)

The American flag waves—DoD photo by Army Staff Sgt. Sean K. Harp

USN SEaL Leap Frog tethered flag jump--USN image by James Woods

USN SeAL Leap Frogs on a tethered flag jump—U.S. Navy image by James Woods

Fireworks over Ford Island HI--US Navy image Mass Comm Spec 2nd Class Laurie Dexter

Fireworks over Ford Island HI—U.S. Navy image Mass Comm Spec 2nd Class Laurie Dexter

160226-N-IQ655-172 HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Feb. 26, 2016) - Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Trevor Thompson, member of the U.S. Navy Parachute Team "The Leap Frogs," presents the American flag during a training demonstration at Homestead Air Reserve Base. The Leap Frogs are in Florida preparing for the 2016 show season. (U.S. Navy photo by Jim Woods/Released)

Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Trevor Thompson, member of the U.S. Navy Parachute Team “The Leap Frogs,” presents the American flag—U.S. Navy photo by Jim Woods

EAA Oshkosh: the Best Airventure Photography

1 July 2016

EAA Oshkosh: the Best Airventure Photography, Hal Bryan/James P. Busha/Dick Knapinski, 2016, ISBN 978-0-7603-5184-0, 244 pp.

EAA Oshkosh: the Best Photography by Hal Bryan, James P. Busha & Dick Knapinski

EAA Oshkosh: the Best Photography by Hal Bryan, James P. Busha & Dick Knapinski

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.

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Zenith Press provided a copy of EAA Oshkosh: the Best Airventure Photography, as is the publishing custom, for an objective review.

 

Unusual Falcon

29 June 2016
A Polish air force F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft taxis to the runway May 13, 2013, at Lask Air Base, Poland, to depart on a training mission with U.S. Air Force F-16s. Nearly 100 U.S. Airmen with the 115th Fighter Wing, Wisconsin Air National Guard traveled to the base for a two-week deployment in support of Poland Aviation Detachment, rotation 13-2. Detachment 1, 52nd Operations Group, the first permanent U.S. military presence in Poland, supported Poland's continued defense modernization and standardization with the U.S. and NATO. (DoD photo by Tech. Sgt. Kenya Shiloh, U.S. Air Force/Released)

A Polish Air Force F-16D Fighting Falcon aircraft taxis at Lask Air Base, Poland (note the conformal fuel tank on the side of the fuselage above the wing as well as the dorsal rectangular section added atop the fuselage)—DoD photo by Tech Sgt Kenya Shiloh

The French

27 June 2016
A French fighter aircraft backs away after refueling from a KC-135 Stratotanker March 17, 2013, over Africa. The 351st Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, which flies the tankers, completed the 100th refueling mission of French fighter aircraft conducting operations over Mali. Airmen and aircraft from the 100th Air Refueling Wing, RAF Mildenhall, England, deployed as the 351st EARS to a location in southwest Europe on Jan. 26, 2013. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Jason Smith)

A French Air Force Rafale fighter aircraft backs away after refueling from a USAF KC-135 Stratotanker over Africa—U.S. Air Force photo by Capt Jason Smith

A French air force Mirage aircraft breaks formation after refueling from a U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft assigned to the 351st Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron (EARS) over Mali, April 9, 2013. The 351st EARS has been supporting the French fighter aircraft over Mali since Jan. 27, 2013, allowing the fighter aircraft the ability to provide their ground forces with around-the-clock close air support. (DoD photo by 1st Lt. Christopher Mesnard, U.S. Air Force/Released)

A French Air Force Dassault Mirage 2000 fighter breaks formation after refueling from a U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker over Mali—DoD photo by 1st Lt Christopher Mesnard

A French Mirage 2000D aircraft receives fuel from a U.S Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft over Iraq April 8, 2016. President Barack Obama authorized U.S. Central Command to work with partner nations to conduct targeted airstrikes of Iraq and Syria as part of the comprehensive strategy to degrade and defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Corey Hook)

A French Mirage 2000D aircraft receiving fuel from a U.S Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft over Iraq—U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt Corey Hook

A U.S. Marine Corps KC-130J Super Hercules aircraft with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron (VMGR) 352 refuels a French air force Dassault Mirage 2000-5 aircraft during a refueling training mission over Djibouti Nov. 22, 2012. The mission was intended to improve interoperability between U.S. and French forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Joseph McKee/Released)

A U.S. Marine Corps KC-130J Super Hercules (with one of the best photography platforms ever) refuels a French Air Force Dassault Mirage 2000-5 fighter over Djibouti—U.S. Air Force photo by Tech Sgt. Joseph McKee

Milestones of Flight: the Epic of Aviation with the National Air and Space Museum

24 June 2016

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.

Milestones of Flight: the Epic of Aviation with the National Air and Space Museum by F. Robert van der Linden, Alex M. Spencer, Thomas J. Paone

Milestones of Flight: the Epic of Aviation with the National Air and Space Museum by F. Robert van der Linden, Alex M. Spencer, Thomas J. Paone

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.

Why?

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

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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.

 

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