Aircraft Down!: Evading Capture In Wwii Europe (potomac Books' History Of War Series)

  • Manufacturer: Potomac Books Inc.
Aircraft Down! recounts the thrilling stories of six extraordinary adventures that took place in Holland, Belgium, France, Spain, Italy, Albania, and Greece during World War II. Based on interviews with the airmen and the Europeans who helped them at the risk of their own lives.

Customer Reviews

Detailed & Entertaining, October 31, 2001
By B. Barrett

I found this book gives a lot of insight to evaders and some of the less well known facts of the war. The book has a fairly fast pace but also has a lot of detail. The first three stories deal with downed flyers in France and Belgium who eventually made it to Spain and then British held Gibraltar. Spain was sympathetic to Germany, and treated evaders harshly until 1943 when it became politically necessary for them to develop a better relationship with the Allies. The fourth story is of a later evader in Belgium who was able to meet the oncoming Allies in 1944 instead of going to Spain. The fifth story details the evasion of an entire bomber crew from the island of Corfu over to Albania. They stayed at a guerilla camp in the mountains and eventually escaped by ship to Italy after much hardship. The final story is of of a flyer who evaded through Italy. Originally captured by the Germans upon landing, he was released from jail with many others when Italy signed an armistice with the allies. He spent the rest of his time evading the Germans and travelling around Italy (with much help from Italian partisans) and finally escaping to the Allied lines after many setbacks. One of the central themes of the book is the sacrifice made by the occupied population to feed and help the Allied fliers escape. Every story has a follow-up at the end about the later life of the evader and what happened to the people that helped them evade (if known).

Personal Memoirs., May 25, 2004
By John P. Rooney "John"

"Aircraft down" by Philip D. Caine, sub-titled: "Evading Capture In WWII Europe". Brassey's, Dulles, Virginia, 1997 The author is a retired Brigadier General, United States Air Force, where he was once responsible for training at the Air Force Academy for "SERE (survival, evasion, resistance, escape). This gave him a professional interest in the history of evaders in Nazi occupied Europe. Philip D. Caine has also written books on Americans serving in in the Royal Air Force, (e.g. in the "Eagle Squadron") including "American Pilots In The RAF". In this book, "Aircraft Down", he has drawn on his training and experience to write six separate stories, of individuals and crews, shot down behind the lines in enemy held Europe. The first three stories deal with Americans who were flying in the RAF. These three were fighter pilots, who came down alone. They were not alone on the ground, however, as they all needed the help of the local populace to escape Nazi searchers. The fifth story is different: the entire crew of a B-17 Flying Fortress comes down on the island of Corfu, off the coast of Albania/Greece. Here, again, the common thread is that he local populace has to work together to first provide refuge for the evaders and then to provide a means of escape. In all of the stories in this book, the author has worked to put a human face on the evaders. His research has been sufficient to give a personal memoir flavor to each story, and his follow-up on post war meetings, provides a sense of closure to the story. He relates the excitement when an evader meets the same woman working in the same field as on the day he was shot down, some 40+ years ago. The book is concluded with a very short chapter entitled, "The Art Of Evasion And Survival", which points up that the personal resourcefulness of the downed pilot is often the key to a successful escape. General Caine has avoided the usual impersonal book, often written by General Officers, dealing with statistics numbers and unit identification, all at the "higher" strategic level. Instead, happily, he has used personal interviews and much research to provide a fine book telling the stories almost as if they were all personal memoirs.

Great stuff!, February 19, 2007
By Eugene W. Harmes III "World War II History Buff"

Fast paced and very hard to put down, this book really gets you into the WWII evasion experience. The sense of urgency and suspense really comes heart was racing as I read about downed airmen stealing clothes to blend in with the locals and racing away from the scene of the crash, sometimes right through German troops. This book really highlights the efforts and risk of the collaborators, and just how dedicated they were to doing their part in the war effort. A very highly recommended read!

Gripping, August 4, 2000
By timothy c dooley

Do not start reding this book if you have important things to do because you will not be able to put it down. The book chronicles the evasion of several downed airmen in WWII Europe, how they evaded, the people that helped them and the trials and risks they endured. It is well written and informative and will make you glad that you never had to fly in combat, bail out of a plane or crash land and find yourself in a lonely and hostile land.

True stories make the best stories, April 7, 2008
By Pat M

A very good read. And what makes it fascinating is the fact that they are all actual events. It vividly illustrates what lengths the locals went to to help these airmen. Literally putting their lives at stake to help strangers for a common cause.

Great look back at an interesting part of the war, April 9, 2010
By Donald L. Taylor "Donald T"

I enjoyed this book.
Interesting part of WWII history. It shows great courage of both the pilots and Europian families willing to risk their lives to help.

I respect all involved.

Highly Entertaining, October 9, 2009
By Jerry B. Wilt "JBW857"

This book is a highly readable tome of the experiences of downed bomber crews and fighter pilots. The willingness of the underground and the general population of the occupied countries to help these evaders at the risk of their own lives in highly inspiring. Mr. Caine describes the terrifying experiences of the evaders - their fight against hunger and the cold, their courage, the loneliness. This book make for exceptional reading and is worth a space in your library.

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Experimental & Prototype U.s. Air Force Jet Fighters (specialty Press)

  • Manufacturer: Specialty Pr Pub & Wholesalers
The United States Air Force was late in developing a jet fighter, definitely behind Germany and the United Kingdom. Nevertheless, a small number of Lockheed P-80 Shooting Stars did make it to the European and Mediterranean
theaters of operations before VE Day, although they did not see combat. After the war, the sheer size of the U.S. aviation industry guaranteed that American fighters would soon dominate the skies.
However, the state of the art was advancing so fast that many development efforts never resulted in production aircraft; concepts that had seemed reasonable, even ideal, at the time were quickly overcome by newer and better technology. In the United States alone, several dozen different fighter designs made it to the prototype stage during the 1950s and 1960s.
In this book, Dennis R. Jenkins and Tony R. Landis look at the variety of different jet-fighter concepts developed by the U.S. Air Force after World War II. These pages cover all experimental and prototype jet fighters that made it to the hardware stage design studies and paper airplanes are not
discussed since other current books are dedicated to those subjects. The rationale for developing each aircraft is covered, along with a discussion of the technology needed to build it, its flight-test program, and the reasons it was cancelled or ordered into production. The text is derived mostly from official Air Force documents, and all of the aircraft are well covered photographically, usually with seldom-seen images showing
them as they appeared during their flight-test program.

Customer Reviews

One of the Best Aviation Books in Years, May 16, 2008
By Terry Sunday

No one presents aviation history better than the team of Dennis R. Jenkins and Tony R. Landis. Few authors match the scope and breadth of their research, their painstaking accuracy and their meticulous attention to detail. Virtually none match their ability to unearth previously unpublished information on interesting aircraft. "Experimental & Prototype U.S. Air Force Jet Fighters" is an outstanding example of Jenkins and Landis at their best. Very much in the tradition of their earlier works "Valkyrie: North American's Mach 3 Superbomber" and "Hypersonic: The Story of the North American X-15," this latest book covers some of the most fascinating aircraft ever built. There are no "paper airplanes" here. All of them reached the hardware stage.

The decade just after the end of World War II saw a bumper crop of experimental and prototype aircraft, as the U.S. Air Force, faced with the nuclear challenge of the Soviet Union in the Cold War, tried to tame the relatively new jet engine technology for its fighters and bombers. This was the time when the famous "Century Series" fighters--the North American F-100, McDonnell F-101, Convair F-102, Lockheed F-104, Republic F-105 and Convair F-106--first flew, and when other even-more-advanced concepts, such as the Republic XF-103 and North American XF-108, were on the drawing boards.

The first eight chapters of "Experimental & Prototype U.S. Air Force Jet Fighters" (about 75 per cent of the book) cover this period, separated into logical, bite-sized chunks such as "The First Jets," "All-Weather Fighters," "Point-Defense Interceptors" and "Penetration Fighters." Chapters 9 through 12 look at later aircraft, such as the Lockheed YF-12, General Dynamics F-111 and F-16, Lockheed F-117 and the Boeing and Lockheed Martin prototypes that led to today's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).

Exquisitely printed on thick, glossy paper, "Experimental & Prototype U.S. Air Force Jet Fighters" is filled with crisp, sharp, well-captioned photographs and drawings (some of them in stunning full-color) that perfectly complement the authoritative, comprehensive, informative text. The balance of illustrations and text is perfect. Jenkins and Landis did a superb job of digging up rare photographs from government and private archives, and of unearthing hidden details about the aircraft of this period. Their efforts make this volume an exceptional addition to any aviation enthusiast's bookshelf. As an added bonus, you'll find an appendix with historical summaries of the companies that built these aircraft. Most of them eventually succumbed to the frenzy of takeovers and mergers that created the three mega-firms that today dominate America's aerospace industry (Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman). But true aviation "buffs" will never forget storied names, now vanished, such as Bell, Chance Vought, Seversky and Vultee. Here you'll find out what happened to them. Most highly recommended.

Another Winner from Specialty Press, May 16, 2008
By Fleener

This is another outstanding aviation book from Specialty Press and is a fitting companion to their U.S. NAVAL SUPERIORITY: DEVELOPMENT OF SHIPBORNE JET FIGHTERS - 1943-1962. The quality of the writing is excellent and authoritative, and the protographs are of high quality and illustrate the subject matter very well. More color would have been welcomed; however, the quality of the black and white photos in the book is probably far superior to most surviving color photos from the 1940s and early 1950s.

Coverage of the topic is comprehensive and begins with some of the last propeller-driven designs that were developed in an attempt to squeeze out the last bit of performance prior to the transition to jets. It finishes with the JSF prototypes, which brings the book right up to the present.

I highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in military aircraft development.

5 Stars for Jenkins and Landis, May 13, 2008
By Michael L. Shakespeare

In 2001, Lockheed Martin struck the mother lode of aircraft design contracts -- the Joint Strike Fighter. The winning design team amalgamated the F-35 fighter in three high-grade versions that will please the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps for a long time to come.

Back in the cold war days, enterprising aircraft designers like Jack Northrup scrambled against other greats like Bud Flesh and Alexander Kartveli to develop a wide range of jet fighter types. The Air Force's shopping list included all-weather fighters, point-defense fighters, penetration fighters, interceptors and long-range interceptors -- lots of development work for all the manufacturers.

Dennis R. Jenkins and Tony R. Landis, also authors of X-15 Photo Scrapbook, cover these gold rush days and have delivered just what Air Force junkies have always wanted: the bonanza of jet fighter development books.

They have done a superior job of explaining the ancestral charts of successful and dead-end jet fighters in great detail with a clear, concise, readable style.

"Experimental & Prototype U.S. Air Force Jet Fighters" is a high quality, glossy, format book with a "jackpot" of intriguing photographs (many in color), instructive drawings and illustrations in 12 chapters.

Many of the wonderful interior photographs, diagrams and engineering drawing were taken from U.S. Air Force documents. The graphics alone make this one of the finest aircraft books, I have ever seen.

Readers will enjoy the extensive coverage of the famous Century Series from the cold war days, as well as jet fighters participating in the Gulf Wars.

Of great interest, the authors have featured the development of the hot new stealth fighters such as the Lockheed Martin YF-22, and Lockheed X-35 as well as their rivals: Northrop YF-23 and Boeing X-32.

Surprisingly, the flashy Lockheed XF-90 penetration fighter from Kelly Johnson's famed Skunk works assayed out as only pyrite. Jenkins and Landis explain, "the airplane looked every inch the modern, high-performance fighter, but produced disappointing results." A thorough reorganization at Lockheed lead to a steady flow of high-grade designs to the present day.

During the cold war, fighter technology had not progressed enough to deliver a good all-purpose fighter. Using the 'shotgun' approach, manufacturers were simultaneously tasked with developing specific jets to fill the all-weather, point-defense, penetration fighter, and long-range interceptor missions.

Readers will rediscover fool's gold in the comprehensive chapters of long forgotten early jets like the Lockheed XP-80, Bell XP-83, Republic XP-84 Thunder series, and Curtis XP-87 Blackhawk -- complete with excellent photographs.

This book is a must buy for jet fighter fans. "Experimental & Prototype U.S. Air Force Jet Fighters" continues the publishing excellence of previous works from Specialty Press.

pure enjoyment, July 27, 2008
By David M. Peoples

I have always enjoyed reading and watching film and videos of the history of flight,especially the early days of supersonic flight. This book is a terrific historical tome on the evolution of the US AIR FORCE fighter force during the years since the days of the P-80 and the early supersonic testbeds that have lead to legends such as the F-86,F-100, F-4 Phantom and the other fine jet fighters of the second half of the 20th century.

I recommend this read to anyone who loves aviation and is interested in its history

Ditto, December 29, 2008
By L. Shuler

Well, I'll echo what the others have said. I've resigned myself to buy everything these guys have put out. I already had Magnesium Overcast: The Story of the Convair B-36(Specialty Press) that I bought from a vender at a local show. I got the cheaper book on the XB-70, but now I'm somewhat compelled to get this one: Valkyrie: North American's Mach 3 Superbomber (Specialty Press). I've waited for years and tried many other books, but these are the first comprehensive works I've seen that satisfy my curiosity. Keep it up, you two.

Outstanding!, July 13, 2010
By TheeeHC

Any aviation book produced by the Jenkins & Landis team is worthy of consideration, and their latest effort easily clears the high bar that they have set with their previous works. The depth of research is outstanding, the stories intriguing, and the photos marvelous in both number and quality. As an aviation artist, I find this book to be an invaluable mainstay of my research efforts. As an aviation buff, I find that this book is really fun to graze simply for fun. This is a truly remarkable work and an important addition to any aviation library.

This book pushers the outside of the envelope!, August 27, 2008
By G. Loseby

Any aviation enthusiast will enjoy this book as it documenters the early years of Edwards Air force base testing jet aircraft beyond mach one to the super fast X15 to the present day fly off of the joint strike fighter project.

Full of high quality photographs and brief history of each aircraft from prototype to production models and some that only made the mock-up stage.

Highly recommended.

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P-47 Pilots: The Fighter-bomber Boys

  • Manufacturer: Zenith Press
P-47 Pilots Glenn Subtitled: The Fighter-Bomber Boys. Join the Fighter-Bomber Boys as they terrorize the crack German ground troops and battle-wise panzer divisions. Live with a squadron of these glory hungry air warriors who dive into battle at 5mph with their bombs, and fight at treetop level with their machine guns. Glenn vividly conveys what it was like to fly the magnificent Thunderbolt into combat, and tells how WWIIs maniacal P-47 pilots lived life in the fast lane, on and off duty.

Customer Reviews

Two Jobs Well Done, July 23, 2000
By robert budnik

We owe Mr. Glenn a double debt of gratitude. He put his life on the line as a P-47 pilot in WWII and now he has put his experience in writing which has to be a courageous act in itself. I have read many accounts of aerial warfare. Mr. Glenn's Fighter Bomber Boys is by far the most exciting and captivating. This book is destined to become a military history classic. Finally a book to fill in a critical missing gap in the history of airwar, that of the P-47 pilot's down and dirty and tragic story of the strafing and bombing of the enemy. Mr. Glenn has a thoroughly unpretentious and enjoyable style of prose. His chapters are short, to the point, and graphic. You simultaneously feel that you are looking over his shoulder as he progresses through the war and you feel as if you are sitting across from him in his living room as he recounts his experiences. The book is a sheer joy to read. Mr. Glenn pulls no punches. Be prepared for the real nitty-gritty of the fighter pilot's struggle for survival. I am the son of a 9th Air Force P-47 Fighter Bomber pilot. My Dad could only tell me very little before emotionally choking up. Thank you Mr. Glenn for having the courage to put your experience in writing. You have helped me to further understand and appreciate my father.

P47 Pilots The Fighter Bomber Boys, August 2, 2000
By Susan A. England

Tom Glenn tells an exceptional story exceptionally well. Glenn brings you into his cockpit and his muddy tent. There you can inhale the horrifying, glorifying experiences of these air warriors. In their Thunderbolts, the fighter bomber pilots soar beyond incredible and dive to the brink of impossible. The book is insightful, riveting and an eye-opener. If you only have room for one book in your current time/money budget--pick this one. Sadly, the missions, the contributions, the victories (& the staggering casualty rate) of the fighter bomber pilot is barely mentioned or omitted entirely from most WWII chronicles. My thanks to Tom Glenn for not letting this bit of history disappear and to he and his fellow pilots who risked all for us.

Window on their World, March 16, 2000
By Joseph Ormond

I read this book and loved that Tom Glenn pulled no punch in telling the story of himself and other pilots who did one of the most dangerous pilot jobs in WWII - Air Ground attack. Both my father and uncle were fighter pilots who did not survive the WWII. Tom's book gave me a window into their world which I would not other wise found. There is some much written about air to air combat but so little about this critical part of WWII History.

Roy Downing's> >Fighter - Bomber Boys Review, May 5, 2003
By Charles L. Roy Downing

This has got to be the best publication on P-47 air to ground work. The author details information such that you feel that you are right in the middle of the action. A very well put together piece of work. well worth the expense of purchasing and reading, for those interested in this type of action and history of the WW II Air War. I did.

Outstanding book, August 20, 2001
By Ken

Ihave the good fortune to know someone who flew with Mr. Glen, who wrote this book. I have read the book over and over. It makes you feel as though you are right there in the cockpit with them, which is something I have dreamed about doing since I was a child. These men truly were a breed apart. This book is time well invested for the Thunderbolt enthusiast.

One of the Best WWII Memoirs, November 28, 2009
By D. Keel "dkeel1"

I have read several WWII pilot memoirs. IMO, Tom Glenn's account of his days as a fighter-bomber pilot in a P-47 in the last year of the war is one of the best-on a par with Charles Lamb's classic account of his Fairey Swordfish career "To War in a Stringbag". The P-47 did double duty in WWII-as a fighter plane in air-to-air combat and as a primarily air-to-ground aircraft. Glenn flew his in the air-to-ground role, hence the title "Fighter-Bomber Boys".

Glenn provides great insight to the "citizen soldier" concept of America in WWII. Death and carnage would shock most people in everyday life, but Glenn shows how the fighter-bomber boys had to rise above such squeamishness and sensibilities and become numb to such horrors in order to continue doing a dangerous and important job. A telling story is when Glenn describes accidentally running into a pedestrian who had walked in front of his car after he returned home from the war. Glenn felt bad for the old guy, but was ready to move on from the accident almost immediately. He had lost the ability to stand around and grieve and angst over such an event, because that was what was required of a pilot in WWII. One could not get lost in loss and grief when it was a day-to-day occurrence as it was for the fighter-bomber boys. He really shows the difficulty of returning to normalcy after daily exposure to death and destruction.

Glenn describes the strategy behind the use of the P-47 as a ground attack weapon. Patton felt that the fighter-bomber boys could serve as a protective flank for his ground troops as they moved across France and Germany. Strafing and troop support were their primary occupations in the final campaigns. He vividly describes the shock when the Battle of the Bulge showed that the Germans were not yet totally defeated, and the allies still had a life-and-death battle ahead of them before the war in Europe was truly won.

Another interesting episode is his squadron's encounter with a Hollywood entertainment group headed by Bing Crosby. Glenn got to spend some time with Fred Astaire (who got stranded with the tour). Astaire was visibly awed and moved to be in the presence of men who were fighting and dying for the freedom; quite a contrast to some of the Hollywood types today.

I have read this book a couple of times, and will re-read it many more times. I was fortunate to order a copy direct from the publisher in which Glenn autographed a copy for me. The gratitude we owe to men such as Glenn is immeasurable, and one gets a sense of this when reading this well-written and entertaining book.

You will enjoy this book a lot..., March 14, 2009
By Honest John

I completely agree with all the previous reviews about how written this book is and how the chapters convey personal war experiences and viewpoints which others have not described. I've read many personal memoirs of WWII, and this is one of the best. And if you've ever wondered what fighter pilots do when they need to "answer nature's call", then you will learn things like that as well as more substantive experiences in WWII. Truly a classic war memoir and a good read.

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Dutch Naval Air Force Against Japan: The Defense Of The Netherlands East Indies, 1941-1942

  • Manufacturer: Mcfarland & Company
December 7, 1941, opened up a new theater of war in the Pacific and a new threat for what was then the Netherlands East Indies. The Dutch, with their Naval Air Force or Marine Luchtvaart Dienst (MLD), made a significantâ€"and often overlookedâ€"contribution to the Allied effort. With their 175 aircraft, the MLD in Southeast Asia outnumbered American and British naval air reconnaissance forces combined. Three months of intense fighting left the Dutch bereft of thousands of naval personnel and over 80 percent of their aircraft. This work details the actions of MLD during the Japanese invasion of the Netherlands East Indies. Beginning with a look at the origins of the MLD, it provides an overview of the force, including an analysis of its aircraft, equipment, personnel and training. Operations of the United States Navy and Royal Air Force seaplane units are included in order to provide a thorough history of the campaign. Final chapters cover the MLD’s ill-fated attempts at evacuation of the island battleground and offer an overall review of the MLD’s performance. Appendices contain such information as Allied and Japanese aircraft specifications, squadron tables of organization, and MLD bases and operational areas. The result is by far the most comprehensive English-language account of the Allied naval air war in the Netherlands East Indies.

Customer Reviews

I Am The Author Of This Book, February 16, 2006
By T. Womack

As the author of this text, I am perhaps being somewhat biased when I say that this book easily represents the most complete description of the naval air war in the Netherlands East Indies compiled to date in any language. The result of 11 years of research, it details the role of the Dutch Naval Air Force (MLD) and its doomed from the start effort to stem the Japanese invasion of the former Netherlands East Indies between December 1941 - March 1942. While there have been a number of English language sources highlighting the role of American and British naval air operations few, if any, have detailed the actions of their Dutch allies in any measurable detail. It is for this reason that I undertook this project.

At the same time, the invasion of the Netherlands East Indies represented a fundamental reason for the pre-emptive Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Yet, this key fact eludes many casual readers and amateur historians of the Second World War alike. In addition to providing a brief overview of the who, what, when, where, why and how of Japan's prewar strategy, I have also sought to provide a detailed review of the savage, yet hopeless, air campaign fought by the Dutch in order to preserve a colonial empire that had stood for 300 years. It was a magnificent fight by the airmen of a valiant and loyal Allied nation whose story deserves to be told.

Too Little Too Late, March 8, 2007
By Gary Warne "Gary Warne"

This is an area of warfare I am very interested in. Unfortunately, books like this only come along once every 10 to 20 years. This fills a gap in our knowledge of events leading up to and through the Pacific War against Japan.
The MLD, or Dutch Naval Air Force of the Netherlands East Indies, probably had the best organized reconnaissance force in the southwest Pacific area at the time. Maintaining neutrality in wars spreading around the globe was difficult, but the Netherlands East Indies were doing all they could not to become involved, and to be a haven for those trying to escape the European, African and Chinese theatre wars. The Japanese had different plans.
Once the fighting started though, the MLD was right in the thick of it, fighting hard right alongside their British, Australian and American allies against a Japanese war machine far superior to anything the allies could cobble together. Flying older German designed Do-24s, American PBYs, and Fokker seaplanes, the MLD kept up what pressure they could as the Japanese invasion forces swept through the East Indies, southeast Asia and into the Indian Ocean in the late fall of 1941, and the winter and spring of 1942. Most of the MLD crews paid with their lives to keep the allies abreast of where the Japanese forces were located and what they were doing. Some of the "invincibility" that became associated with the superb Japanese Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter, and in general the Japanese naval forces, was established and enhanced during this campaign.
When the smoke cleared, the Japanese were in control of the Netherlands East Indies, and the remaining MLD crews and ground personnel, if not captured, were evacuated to Australia or Ceylon. It was a story of too little, too late. The Dutch had tried to get more aircraft, AA guns and ordinance prior to the Japanese invasion, but a lack of interest on the part of her future allies, and a greater concern for the European conflict, even by the Dutch government-in-exile, left the MLD with only a handful of aircraft and hardware with which to face battle-hardened Japanese forces.
The book has many excellent and previously unpublished photographs of personnel, aircraft, and bases of the MLD. If your interests are for stories of some of the little known campaigns and more exotic places that became embroiled in the global conflagration known as World War Two, you will enjoy this book. Tom Womack is to be commended for researching, compiling and fleshing out this story,

An Unknown War gets some light shined upon it, April 4, 2007
By N. Trachta

Over the past few years I've been expanding my knowledge of WWII by focusing on the early portion of the war, more specifically, the war in the South Pacific. For awhile, Amazon has been recommended this book to me because of my rating of other related books. Anyway, I decided to give this book a try.

I'll open by saying this book only deals with the Dutch Naval Air Force (referred to as the MLD [Marine Luchtvaart Dienst]), the aircraft they flew, and the missions they performed in defense of the Netherlands East Indies. Passing references are made to US, British, Australian, and the Dutch Army Air Force (ML-KNIL). These passing references are usually related to the different patrol aircraft used by these forces, occasionally to the fighters or bombers.

Mr. Womack opens by describing the aircraft used by the MLD and the MLD's state of condition, prior to the start of WWII for the Dutch and once the Netherlands had been overrun by the Germans. While Mr. Womack describes all of the aircraft used by the Dutch, particular attention should be paid to his descriptions of the Dornier Do24's (called X boats by the MLD) and the PBY Catalina (Y boats). At times the other aircraft of the MLD are mentioned, but usually it's the X and Y boats going to war with the Japanese.

Having established pre-war conditions and how the Dutch attempted to improve their position, Mr. Womack brings us to December 1941 and the initial actions between the Japanese and Dutch. This is followed (rather rapidly) by the steady advancements the Japanese made in the South West Pacific and ending with the fall of Java. The book concludes by describing how the MLD evacuated from the East Indies and their general participation in the rest of WWII.

This book is a very solid 4.5 star book. The writing is clean, Mr. Womack describes things as a historian, not one translating oral history. There are some great photo's in the book showing the Dutch aircraft and other equipment. The maps are nice, but a little on the weak side, they show where the Japanese are able to threaten at any one time but I found it a little difficult finding where the different bases were that the aircraft were operating from. The appendices are nicely put together, providing very good information on the aircraft (there's a breakdown of what happened to every X and Y boat), squadrons, and losses. The charts should have been done considering a black and white printing (because of the grey scaling used, you can tell that the originals were in color). Also I wish Mr. Womack would have given us a little more of his analysis than he did. However, since Amazon doesn't grade on half stars, I need to decide on 4 or 5. Since this is obscure material and Mr. Womack has put together a very informative book on something most people aren't aware of, and he used excellent references (without regurgating what the original author said), I'll give him the nod to 5 stars. A very good job sir!

Great book on MLD, April 25, 2006
By F. van de Peppel

Tom Womack has written an very thorough book on Dutch naval aviation in the East. As a Dutchman it's interesting to read about the history of the MLD from an outside perspective. Well, researched, nice new pictures. Well worth reading!

A great read, February 5, 2010
By David M. Knights "David Knights"

I was able to read this book over the last week. I've always had a special interest for the period of history in the Pacific that is covered by the first few months of WWII. A friend recently allowed me to borrow this book, which he read and highly recommended.

As usual, he was right. This is an excellent book and a quick read. It covers the subject well. I particularly liked the fact that even though it was a big picture history of the events of the time, it had lots of personal stories and detail. The appendix alone makes it a must have for any modeler considering building any of the MLD (Dutch Naval Air Service) aircraft of the period. Highly recommended.

Dutch Naval Air Force, December 11, 2010
By mr katcup "red"

This is the first book I've seen covering this aspect of the begining of WW 2 in the Pacific. The author has done a fine job but leaves a few questions. Namely how this ties into the overall picture of the lose of the Dutch West Indies in regard the land campaign. I assume that the Dutch Army had an air arm-how did this effect the Navy for instance.

Enormous Info on Obscure Battle, May 17, 2006
By Mark Tate

Mr. Womack is to be commended for his attention to a particular element of World War II. Rather than trying to encompass the entire war into a single book he spends time examining a pivitol yet widely unknown saga of WWII. Historians and war buffs will want to read this book.

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Flying Through Time: A Journey Into History In A Wwii Biplane

  • Manufacturer: Potomac Books Inc.
Relive history on an 8,000-mile journey to historic airfields in a classic aircraft

Meet the men who fought World War II above the clouds

An aviation travel book similar to best-sellers Biplane (Bach) and The Cannibal Queen (Coonts) but the first to weave in the stories of the pilots who flew these planes decades ago.

Imagine what it would be like to talk and fly with the men who flew the airplanes of World War II. What was in their minds as they made their first solos? And what was air combat like? Flying through Time is the closest many of us will come to understanding what it was like to be a WWII aviator.

Tens of thousands of America’s pilots during World War II trained in the Boeing Stearman biplane. For most, it was their first airplane in a series of larger, faster, and more dangerous aircraft that they used to fight the war. The pilots would never forget their first flights in a Stearman and the adventures that followed. Jim Doyle, owner of a restored 1941 Stearman, retraced the wartime journeys of his plane, crossing the country twice, flying over California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas, and touching down at each of the eight bases at which it served.

Flying Through Time is the story of Doyle’s challenging flight, of the uncertainties of piloting a sixty-year-old biplane almost 8,000 miles. His experiences meeting, talking, and flying with the men who flew the legendary Stearman paint a vivid picture of the intense, emotion-filled days of World War II. The pilots’ recollections, refreshed for many when they took the controls of Doyle’s plane, are woven throughout the narrative of his trip. These anecdotes, and new information from an archive discovered during the flight, tell of fears, courage, humor, and the sheer adventure of the events that owned the veterans’ youth. This is seat-of-the-pants flying at its most thrilling, recalling a time when ordinary young Americans were called upon to be heroes.

Customer Reviews

Retracing 8,000 miles of journeys in a restored biplane, August 6, 2003
By Midwest Book Review

Flying Through Time: A Journey Into History In A World War II Biplane by aviation expert James M. Doyle is an aviation history book that examines the legendary Boeing Stearman biplane, featuring the author's personal experience in retracing 8,000 miles of journeys in a restored biplane. Conversations with World War II survivors who piloted a Stearman; the exciting impression of flying through time, space, and history; the expansive description of both the wonder of flight; as well as the more mundane problems of mechanical upkeep on an aged plane distinguish Flying Through Time as a very highly recommended read for Aviation History reference collections and biplane enthusiasts.

Good Reading for Everyone, June 3, 2003
By J. L. Matthews

Not being a history reader and not partial to aviation, I was reluctant to read this recommended book. However, I was pleasantly surprised and after just a few chapters, I was completely drawn into Flying Through Time. These stories, from both past and present pilots, are captivating and often times humerous and makes one truly appreciate the significant impact these pilots had on our future. This book is good reading for anyone!

A trip that few will duplicate!, July 17, 2003
By milton sue

This is one of those books that would make a great PBS documentary! I can just see Mr. Doyle doing the local station PBS tour and maybe bringing some of the WWII pilots from his book along to talk about their exploits. I am enjoying this book like the author flys his Stearman, slow and leisurely. And enjoying the sidetrips to places I'll (unfortunately) probably never be able to go. The book is half an engaging walk through WWII air combat and half modern-day adventure. Buy and read this book-it's funny, enlightening and you'll know more about a Stearman than you ever thought you would! Happy flying!

A great book that is hard to put down, June 15, 2003
By T. Law "teddylaw"

Even though I know little about airplanes and flying, this book held my attention and kept me turning the pages. The old soldiers' stories are funny and touching and exciting. The author has caught just the right tone in relating them, frequently displaying a dry sense of humor.

Flying through Time: History in a WWII BiPlane, September 25, 2010
By Dr Willis

Book was effectively new and came faster than anticipated.
Will SEARCH for this vendor when buying other books.
Dr Willis

Flying Through Time: A Journey into History in a WWII Biplane, September 13, 2010
By Don "Woody" Wood

I have always had an interest in WWII aircraft but knew little about the pilots that flew them. This book has a wonderful way of transitioning between the author's own experience in flying the Stearman Biplane that most of the WWII pilots trained in, their experiences with it and many of their battle stories. A very easy reading book good for most age groups.

An excellent read, December 9, 2005
By ragwing

Ho hum, another 'flying across America' book ... it's been done before (e.g., "Zero Three Bravo", "Flight of Passage", "Flight of the Gin Fizz", "The Cannibal Queen", "Biplane", etc. etc.); do we really need another? Suffice it to say that "Flying Through Time" is superbly written. The author's personal experiences are carefully interwoven with 'flashback' narratives from former WWII pilots, a literary technique that works surprisingly well. Highly recommended!

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