The Korean War began 50 years ago this June. In this fine contribution to anniversary commemorations, Montreat College historian Forstchen and Chancey, the daughter of aviation historian Jeff Ethell, collate recollections from American pilots who saw combat over and around the 38th parallel.
Military buffs will know that the air war in Korea was significant because it was the first time American aviators engaged in jet-to-jet dogfighting, thus ushering in the modern age of jet warfare. But few will be familiar with the dramatic tales of heroism, hardship and hope the coauthors have painstakingly gathered.
Pilots discuss the evolution of air-combat tactics, the primitive field conditions, ""the social caste system of the Air Force"" and the incidental difficulties particular to the Korean War. But the absolute must-read section here is the riveting saga of Col. Harold Fischer, a ""double ace"" with 10 enemy kills to his credit, who relates his capture, transfer to China, harrowing escape, recapture and eventual release two years after Eisenhower's 1953 declaration that America's peacekeeping role was over. Anyone seeking to remember the Forgotten War will find the stories of Fischer and other pilots, along with the 40 b&w photos, an excellent starting point.
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