Silent Wings at War: Combat Gliders in World War II

Silent Wings at War: Combat Gliders in World War IIThe Memoirs Of War From The Viewpoints Of The Suicide Jockeys Who Flew Combat Gliders During World War II Are Chronicled To Create A Vivid, Gritty, Jocose Testament Of War As The Author And His Fellow Glider Pilots And Riders Knew It John L Lowden was a World War II pilot of gliders That s a bit like saying his job was to be pulled behind an unarmed C 47 transport into enemy airspace and then to deliberately crash land an overloaded, powerless, canvas boxes while under enemy fire World War II combat journalist Walter Cronkite, who rode a glider into Holland in order to cover Operation Market Garden would later write I ll tell you straight out If you ve got to go into combat, don t go by glider Walk, crawl, parachute, John L Lowden was a World War II pilot of gliders That s a bit like saying his job was to be pulled behind an unarmed C 47 transport into enemy airspace and then to deliberately crash land an overloaded, powerless, canvas boxes while under enemy fire World War II combat journalist Walter Cronkite, who rode a glider into Holland in order to cover Operation Market Garden would later write I ll tell you straight out If you ve got to go into combat, don t go by glider Walk, crawl, parachute, swim, float anything But don t go by glider Cronkite s admonition is quoted by him in the foreword he has written for John Lowden s account of flying and riding gliders into combat in World War II drawing upon his own recollections and those of thirty nine fellow veterans of combat glider operations as well as other published histories and sources.Lowden tells his own fairly common story of washing out of power flight school in 1942 before applying for glider pilot training after six days spent inventorying army blankets in a steel roofed warehouse in 90 degree temperatures Chapter by chapter, he carries the story of the U.S Army s glider pilots and glider troops forward from recruitment and training and on to operations in North Africa, Sicily, Burma, Normandy, the South of France, Holland, Bastogne, and the Rhine River crossing by an entire airborne army He goes beyond the straight retelling of one anecdote after another to offer information on the principles of flight as they apply to combat gliders versus sail or soaring planes which try to stay in the air while combat gliders are all about the landing and describes how the gliders were built, tested, and sent to the theatres of war He also traces the evolution of the tactical, operational, and strategic use of combat glider forces.The author relies primarily on his own first hand accounts as well as of other glider pilots and glider troops, as well as the major published works on the subject These include James Mrazek s The Glider War and fellow glider pilot Milton Dank s The Glider Gang Lowden s work goes beyond Dank sstrictly narrative account in about the same number of pages and is probably a quicker read, but it is less thorough and detailed than Mrazek s extensive history of all glider operations during World War II whether by Allied or Axis nations A veteran passenger on several glider missions, Mrazek remains the dean of authors on the topic with several combat glider related works in addition to the one cited here Also among the many sources that John Lowden draws on for his account is the art work of Glider Pilot and animator at the Walt Disney studios, Dale Oliver Silent Wings opens with a chapter dedicated to these cartoons which illustrate Great Moments in the Life of a World War II Combat Glider Pilot Interested readers will find Dale Oliver s work at the World War 2 Glider Pilots Association website

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  • Hardcover
  • 187 pages
  • Silent Wings at War: Combat Gliders in World War II
  • John L. Lowden
  • English
  • 15 October 2018
  • 1560981210