Hardcover - 142 pages (September 1997)
Officers, the fighter pilots of the P-40's, would come and go. They
would be transferred, wounded or killed but the ground crews lived on and
stayed the same. The ground crews maintained the airplanes and kept
them in perfect condition. However, none of the pilots would trade
places with the ground crews. Abner, fresh from an Oregon farm tells
his story from being a farm boy to becoming a P-40 Warhawk pilot in World
War II. This book has a five star rating.
"Dead Reckoning" is the autobiography of an Oregon farm boy
who became a fighter pilot ace. Our chapter appears to have few members who were
fighter pilots. Our concentration seems to be of bomber people and the heavier
the better. Yet where would the bombers be without the protection of our "little
Remember the horrific casualty rates when the fighters did not have the range to
provide protection deep inside enemy territory? Many members do.
Author Alan K Abner who flew with the 357th Fighter Group of the 8th was
credited with 50 missions . He tells of blazing action over the Bulge, the
Battle for Berlin and countless other engagements. He even saw the advent of the
jet age when the dread ME262 made its appearance.
Abner say the fighter planes of WW2 had much more in common with the pilots of
Spads and Fokkers than they would with the jet pilots of today. Jet jockeys
rarely have to fly by the seat of their pants Rickenbacker and Von Richthofen
could sit down and have a fine gab fest over foaming bier with Bong, Gentile and
Yeager. They would be all but lost talking to the fighter pilots of today in
their elaborate flight suits who speak of flitting at speeds rarely dreamed of
in earlier times except in science fiction.
Isn't it amazing that some who never sat in a jet cockpit call others who have
flown jet fighters "dumb"! Family wealth and powerful relatives don't help when
you are up there alone.
You'll enjoy "Dead Reckoning". The title comes from the practice of finding
one's way by visual landmarks. This is not a new book but my Massachusetts
library had no trouble getting it for me and yours shouldn't either.
This review is another indication that the doors of the AFHS are always to new
members. Come on! Tighten your chin straps and get cleared for take-off!
Adventure and God knows what else awaits you over the Rhine. Crewmen on the 17's
and 24's are anxious to see you if not quite as anxious as they were in the old
days when having you in company might well mean the difference between living