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Reference Section: WWI Aviation Books

Article about: "Wild Blue Yonder" - An Air Epic, by Don Clark. Hardcover, 172 pages, illustrated. This book focuses on "The 300" Yankee Warbirds in Canada, Texas, and France. Heavily il

  1. #1

    Arrow Reference Section: WWI Aviation Books

    This first book entitled "With the French Flying Corps" was written by Carroll Dana Winslow in 1917. Winslow pens his personal experiences and observations based on his time with the Flying Corps. The book is written as if he is telling a story to a listener. The amount of detail he includes is extremely valuable to an aviation collector.

    In one chapter, he describes how the Squadron Commander is frustrated as are the pilots because the US was very slow in forwarding their commissions. At one point Winslow and some other pilots are thinking of quitting, and the commander intervenes on their behalf.

    What is interesting, is that they were instructed by him to wear the insignia of an officer on their enlisted uniforms until their commissions came through so that they would be recognized and respected for their position.

    There are many colorfully descriptive accounts of flight and the characteristics of each plane he flew. A very good read and look back in time to the day to day life of early aviators. Carroll Dana Winslow was a decorated Lafayette Flying Corps pilot, and died of pneumonia in New York City on 27 December 1932, at the age of 43.

    This book is available on Google Books:

    With the French flying corps - Google Books
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Steven M; 02-13-2010 at 08:29 PM.
    [B][COLOR=Black][SIZE=3][FONT=Book Antiqua][I] Steve[/I][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/B]

    [CENTER][I][FONT=Georgia][COLOR=orange]Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?[/COLOR][/FONT]
    [/I][/CENTER]
    [B]
    [SIZE=3][COLOR=lemonchiffon][I][CENTER][FONT=Georgia]"Fly on dear boy, from this dark world of strife. On to the promised land to eternal life"[/FONT][/CENTER]
    [/I][/COLOR][/SIZE][/B]

  2. #2

    Default Re: Period Aviation Books Written by Pilots

    "Contact" 'A Romance of the Air', by Elliott White Springs was written in 1930. The "romance" part involves aviation and a girl. I love a fictional story that has some basis in reality from personal experience. A bit sappy, but a good night time read before bed.

    Springs was one of the finest, bravest, and most daring pilots produced in World War I. He was the fifth-ranking American ace of the war, with 11 kills to his credit and many more that were not officially confirmed. At the end of the war, in 1918 and a year after he graduated from Princeton, he was 22 years old, a squadron commander, a captain, and holder of the British Flying Cross and the American Distinguished Service Cross. He returned to military service during World War II and left with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

    Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) USA

    The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Elliott White Springs, First Lieutenant (Air Service), U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action near Bapaume, France, August 22, 1918. Attacking three enemy planes (type Fokker), who were driving on one of our planes, Lieutenant Springs, after a short and skillful fight, drove off two of the enemy and shot down the third. On the same day he attacked a formation of five enemy planes (type Fokker), and after shooting down one plane was forced to retire because of lack of ammunition.
    General Orders No. 23, W.D., 1919

    Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) Great Britian

    On 3 August 1918, whilst leading his patrol, which was escorting DH9s to Bruges, this officer shot down in flames three Fokker biplanes which were diving on the DHs and succeeded in driving off the rest of the EA and escorted the bombers safely back to our lines. On the morning of 22 August [1918], he attacked five Fokker biplanes, one of them he shot down which was seen to crash in a wood south of Velu. He engaged another EA and sent it down out of control and immediately turned to attack another which he drove east. Having shot away all his ammunition, Lieutenant Springs pulled out of the fight. On the afternoon of 22 August [1918], he engaged three Fokker biplanes that were diving on a lower flight. One of the three pulled out of his dive; another turned east and the third Lieutenant Springs shot down out of control. It was last seen by one of the patrol diving into the ruins of Bapaume. Lieutenant Springs has been on active service in France since 22 May 1918. He has destroyed five EA and driven down out of control, two. This officer has at all times shown the greatest determination and courage and his work as Flight Commander in this squadron has been marked by a rare combination of cool judgment and most aggressive fighting tactics.
    Supplement to the London Gazette, 1918
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    Last edited by Steven M; 01-09-2010 at 06:12 AM.
    [B][COLOR=Black][SIZE=3][FONT=Book Antiqua][I] Steve[/I][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/B]

    [CENTER][I][FONT=Georgia][COLOR=orange]Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?[/COLOR][/FONT]
    [/I][/CENTER]
    [B]
    [SIZE=3][COLOR=lemonchiffon][I][CENTER][FONT=Georgia]"Fly on dear boy, from this dark world of strife. On to the promised land to eternal life"[/FONT][/CENTER]
    [/I][/COLOR][/SIZE][/B]

  3. #3

    Default Re: Period Aviation Books Written by Pilots

    "Flying for France", James R. McConnell - Lafayette Escadrille

    1918 edition of FLYING FOR FRANCE book features flights over Verdun & Somme, personal letters from Sergeant McConnell, how France trains pilot aviators & many illustrations.

    I haven't read this one yet as I just received it the other day. I will post notes on it when I am done.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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    [B][COLOR=Black][SIZE=3][FONT=Book Antiqua][I] Steve[/I][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/B]

    [CENTER][I][FONT=Georgia][COLOR=orange]Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?[/COLOR][/FONT]
    [/I][/CENTER]
    [B]
    [SIZE=3][COLOR=lemonchiffon][I][CENTER][FONT=Georgia]"Fly on dear boy, from this dark world of strife. On to the promised land to eternal life"[/FONT][/CENTER]
    [/I][/COLOR][/SIZE][/B]

  4. #4

    Default Re: Period Aviation Books Written by Pilots

    Elliot Springs came back to the US and was quite the playboy author, spending time between New York and North Carolina.
    When his family business, The Springs Cotton Mills, was hit hard by his fathers death and the depression he came home and was instrumental in turning the comany around into profitability.
    He became the President of Springs and ran the firm through the late 50's. He wrote almost all of their advertising including creating the legendary Springmaid Girl campaign which moved Springs from a mid line sheet maker to the #1 sheet and towel maker in the US.

    He wrote a number of aviation related novels while running the Springs empire and it was rumored that some of his stories were used as background in a number of WWI and 1920's themed movies (Flyboys is one).

    Later in the 1940's he wrote a great book called "Clothes Make the Man" which is a collection of his letters, writings and communications with customers, employees and government officials. He was well known for his vermissilitude and wry humor. His friends always referred to him as "Col Springs" when speaking of him to others.

    I have had the honor to meet and interview a number of his former friends and drinking buddies and from what I have been told he was a hell of a guy!


    Quote by Steven M View Post
    "Contact" 'A Romance of the Air', by Elliott White Springs was written in 1930. The "romance" part involves aviation and a girl. I love a fictional story that has some basis in reality from personal experience. A bit sappy, but a good night time read before bed.

    Springs was one of the finest, bravest, and most daring pilots produced in World War I. He was the fifth-ranking American ace of the war, with 11 kills to his credit and many more that were not officially confirmed. At the end of the war, in 1918 and a year after he graduated from Princeton, he was 22 years old, a squadron commander, a captain, and holder of the British Flying Cross and the American Distinguished Service Cross. He returned to military service during World War II and left with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

    Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) USA

    The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Elliott White Springs, First Lieutenant (Air Service), U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action near Bapaume, France, August 22, 1918. Attacking three enemy planes (type Fokker), who were driving on one of our planes, Lieutenant Springs, after a short and skillful fight, drove off two of the enemy and shot down the third. On the same day he attacked a formation of five enemy planes (type Fokker), and after shooting down one plane was forced to retire because of lack of ammunition.
    General Orders No. 23, W.D., 1919

    Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) Great Britian

    On 3 August 1918, whilst leading his patrol, which was escorting DH9s to Bruges, this officer shot down in flames three Fokker biplanes which were diving on the DHs and succeeded in driving off the rest of the EA and escorted the bombers safely back to our lines. On the morning of 22 August [1918], he attacked five Fokker biplanes, one of them he shot down which was seen to crash in a wood south of Velu. He engaged another EA and sent it down out of control and immediately turned to attack another which he drove east. Having shot away all his ammunition, Lieutenant Springs pulled out of the fight. On the afternoon of 22 August [1918], he engaged three Fokker biplanes that were diving on a lower flight. One of the three pulled out of his dive; another turned east and the third Lieutenant Springs shot down out of control. It was last seen by one of the patrol diving into the ruins of Bapaume. Lieutenant Springs has been on active service in France since 22 May 1918. He has destroyed five EA and driven down out of control, two. This officer has at all times shown the greatest determination and courage and his work as Flight Commander in this squadron has been marked by a rare combination of cool judgment and most aggressive fighting tactics.
    Supplement to the London Gazette, 1918

  5. #5

    Default Re: Period Aviation Books Written by Pilots

    Thank you very much for the additional information - much appreciated.

    I would add that I picked up all three of these books on ebay for less than $15 each. They not only provide a period look into the time period on a personal level, but they compliment the collection as well...functional and collectible history.
    [B][COLOR=Black][SIZE=3][FONT=Book Antiqua][I] Steve[/I][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/B]

    [CENTER][I][FONT=Georgia][COLOR=orange]Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?[/COLOR][/FONT]
    [/I][/CENTER]
    [B]
    [SIZE=3][COLOR=lemonchiffon][I][CENTER][FONT=Georgia]"Fly on dear boy, from this dark world of strife. On to the promised land to eternal life"[/FONT][/CENTER]
    [/I][/COLOR][/SIZE][/B]

  6. #6

    Default Re: Period Aviation Books Written by Pilots

    Steve-
    If I may....

    I have a book that I would like to add to your interesting thread. This is a free digital version available on Google books. The author needs no introduction...

    Fighting the Flying Circus by Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker

    Fighting the flying circus - Google Books

    -Chuck

  7. #7

    Default Re: Period Aviation Books Written by Pilots

    Absolutely, thanks Chuck!
    [B][COLOR=Black][SIZE=3][FONT=Book Antiqua][I] Steve[/I][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/B]

    [CENTER][I][FONT=Georgia][COLOR=orange]Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?[/COLOR][/FONT]
    [/I][/CENTER]
    [B]
    [SIZE=3][COLOR=lemonchiffon][I][CENTER][FONT=Georgia]"Fly on dear boy, from this dark world of strife. On to the promised land to eternal life"[/FONT][/CENTER]
    [/I][/COLOR][/SIZE][/B]

  8. #8

    Default Re: Period Aviation Books Written by Pilots

    Steve,
    Very nice thread, everyone interested in WW1 Aviation should read as much as possible on the exploits of these magnificant men. We can't possibly imagine what it was like flying in combat during that early period. I set and marveled when I actually talked to WW1 pilots prior to their passing. There are so many stories to be told that are now lost to history with their passing. I have several very good books written by those early pioneers of military aviation and will post them over the next week or so.

    This one Flying Fury is an excellent book by Major James T.B. McCudden VC, RFC. Considered one of the 10 best narratives on WW1 Aviation.

    McCudden had 54 victories to his credit. He worked his way up throught the ranks from bugle boy in the Royal Engineers to Major in the RFC. In combat he was never defeated but instead died as a result of an accident.

    Terry
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Period Aviation Books Written by Pilots

    Thanks for the addition Major. I just picked one of these up today, and it will make a nice addition to my growing reference section of books written by the men who actually lived these events.
    [B][COLOR=Black][SIZE=3][FONT=Book Antiqua][I] Steve[/I][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/B]

    [CENTER][I][FONT=Georgia][COLOR=orange]Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?[/COLOR][/FONT]
    [/I][/CENTER]
    [B]
    [SIZE=3][COLOR=lemonchiffon][I][CENTER][FONT=Georgia]"Fly on dear boy, from this dark world of strife. On to the promised land to eternal life"[/FONT][/CENTER]
    [/I][/COLOR][/SIZE][/B]

  10. #10

    Default Re: WWI Aviation Books: Reference Section

    "America's First Eagles" - The Official History of the US Air Service, A.E.F. (1917-1918), Lt. Lucien H. Thayer. Forward by Douglas Campbell. Hardcover, 360 pages, illustrated...many of which I have never seen before.

    ISBN 0-912138-24-6

    Includes Battle Participation and organization of the Air Service, as well as all aerial victories by Allied Pilots - an EXCELLENT reference.
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    [B][COLOR=Black][SIZE=3][FONT=Book Antiqua][I] Steve[/I][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/B]

    [CENTER][I][FONT=Georgia][COLOR=orange]Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?[/COLOR][/FONT]
    [/I][/CENTER]
    [B]
    [SIZE=3][COLOR=lemonchiffon][I][CENTER][FONT=Georgia]"Fly on dear boy, from this dark world of strife. On to the promised land to eternal life"[/FONT][/CENTER]
    [/I][/COLOR][/SIZE][/B]

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