Frank Luke, Jr was an unlikely pilot In the Great War, when fliers were still knights of the air, Luke was an ungallant lonera kid from Arizona who collected tarantulas, shot buzzards, and boxed miners But during two torrid weeks in September 1918, he was the deadliest man on the Western Front In only ten missions, he destroyed fourteen heavily defended German balloons and four airplanes, the second highest American tally in the entire war Author Blaine Pardoe retraces and refreshes Frank Lukes story through recently discovered correspondence Frantic, short, and splendid, the life of Frank Luke, Jr dramatizes the tragic intervention of an American spirit in the war that devastated Europe....
|Title||:||Terror of the Autumn Skies: The True Story of Frank Luke, America's Rogue Ace of World War I|
|Publisher||:||Skyhorse Publishing July 27, 2011|
|Number of Pages||:||336 pages|
|File Size||:||863 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Terror of the Autumn Skies: The True Story of Frank Luke, America's Rogue Ace of World War I Reviews
Mr. Pardoe certainly did his research and knows his subject. His follow-up to Luke's final flight and the aftermath is excellent and wonderfully documented. I guess what bothered me about the book, being a life long Frank Luke admirer who had read and absorbed every word about Luke, is that Mr. Pardoe tends to "suppose" evidence or testimony and surmise this statement or that statement is fact. As a former investigator, you follow the evidence, but Mr. Pardoe tends to examine subjective documents or statements and assume this one or that one is fact. That's his privilege as the author, but I'd rather he present the evidence or document and allow me, the reader, to decide on one or the other. I tend to feel, for example that the German statements and evidence were highly suspect and subjective and that the French statements were slightly exaggerated, but eyewitness. It's like believing Davy Crockett surrendered at the Alamo, based on Mexican documents, when a couple of eyewitnesses saw his mutilated body outside the church. Luke was giving the Germans hell, I can believe they kicked his body, stole his belongings and shot him when he pulled his pistol to fight. It's a good book, not the great Luke bio we all deserve.
Like many young boy aviation enthusiasts of the 1930's I read about Frank Luke's air combat accomplishments. Pardoe's meticulously researched work tells the true story, sans myths, of Frank Luke's life growing up in Arizona and his exploits in the air. Details of his victories are narrated and his relationship with his fellow airmen is explored. Pardoe presents controversial accounts and argues for the truth based on extant records. Although there is some unnecessary repetition, and the narrative could have benefitted from further editing, the book is an excellent account of WW I aviation and Luke's amazing contribution. It cuts through the romance of the pulp magazines I read and describes the real risks, dangers and inglorious death of pilots who failed to survive. The unreliability of the aircraft and the difficulty in flying them, let alone in combat, is clearly presented. I recommend Terror of the Autumn Skies to anyone interested in early aviation, WW I and Frank Luke. James Watson
Besides Waldo Pepper, Rickenbacker, Richthofen and Brown are the only pilot names that come to mind from World War I. So, learning about America's very first Ace of Aces, who was also the first aviator to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, was a great discovery for me as a pilot and a history buff. Luke's missions against German observation balloons also revealed aspects of the air war over the trenches I had never known.
I have to admit that I did not know of this WWI pilot until recently and am very happy to have learned at least something of his short life and service. This is a very good read although it may seem a wee bit like an apologists view. It's difficult to say for sure but this brash,defiant and often undisciplined soldier is just what the brand new air service needed; much like the Union forces needed Custer during the Civil war in spite of his recklessness and distaste for discipline. In the end they were heroes whose lack of control and attitude....ego, contributed to their demise. I recommend this book.
If WWI aviation is your thing, this is the book for you. Though centered around Frank Luke, “The balloon buster,” it also relates a great deal of the lives and personalities of many of the WWI aviation heroes. Manically accurate; no fake history here.
Takes you right into the open cockpit and freezing skies of world War One. Flying primitive aircraft against often superior German planes, poorly trained men barely out of their teens fly into battle without parachutes. A gripping examination of one such man's efforts.
A very enjoyable read. Anyone with an interest in the history of US aviation or military aviation will appreciate the attention to detail in this book. Mr. Pardoe obviously did a tremendous amount of work to ensure that Frank Luke is portrayed as not only an incredible WWI Flying Ace, but also as a human being with the usual foibles, drama and faults we all have. His interest and commitment to Frank Luke's story is apparent in each chapter as he describes the events of his life from his promising start in Phoenix, to his tragic end in Europe. Mr. Pardoe paints a picture of how brave and - quite frankly - crazy these Aces were by carefully describing what it must have been like in a dog fight, with little more than stiffened fabric as feeble protection. I appreciated how Mr. Pardoe focused not only the events surrounding the circumstances of Mr. Luke's death, but also the richness and depth of his short life. He brings the reader along for the ride with the extreme joy of the wonder of flight, and the sacrifices everyday heros must sometimes make.
A true American hero who met his end far too early, Frank Luke is not recognized by people in the U.S. the way Roland Garros is in France or Manfred von Richtofhen is in Germany, but he is not a figure. Eddie Rickenbacker, who arguably has the status in his country that Garros and the Red Baron have in theirs, regarded Luke to be every bit his equal in the skies. But they were very different kinds of pilots. Whereas Rickenbacker was calculating and cautious and reluctant to attack when he did not have every advantage, Luke was predisposed to attack headlong without regard to danger or whether the circumstances might dictate, retreat and fight another day. Luke Air Force Base in Phoenix, his home town, is a very active base and still provides training for the sophisticated aircraft of today. Back when plywood, wire and painted canvass were combined to constitute war machines, the pilots had to be very skilled to stay alive. Although Luke was only 21 years old when he died in combat, he deserves to be admired as one of our Nation's foremost war heroes who earned his Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously.