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Come Up and Get Me: An Autobiography of Colonel Joe Kittinger Paperback – April 16, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
In Come Up and Get Me, Joe Kittinger calls Col. John Paul Stapp the bravest man he ever met. The bravest man I have ever met is Joe Kittinger. "Col. Joe," Air Force test pilot, Air Force fighter pilot, Vietnam POW, balloonist extraordinaire, world's-record-holding parachutist, barnstormer, even alligator hunter! To say they don't make lives like this anymore is grossly understating the case. Joe's life and his devotion to flying began in what's become known as "the golden age" of aviation, a time when airplanes came with at least two wings, big piston engines, and big wooden propellers up front. It was a time when young boys dreamed of adventure and acted on those dreams. Joe left Florida for Air Force flight training with a couple years of college and a few private flights under his belt. Eventually he landed in test pilot work assisting Col. Stapp in developing high-altitude survival equipment and procedures, the stuff the U.S. would need to win the space race. That assignment led to Project Excelsior, Joe's record-breaking balloon ascent, parachute jump, and free fall, all records that still stand--though they might fall later this year with Joe's help. The summer of 1960 would have provided more than enough excitement for most men, but Joe hadn't yet experienced aerial combat and a strong sense of duty led him to Vietnam and command of the Triple-Nickel Tactical Fighter Squadron.Read more ›
Lightly and tightly written with great humor moving succinctly through many momentous events, most worthy of their own book, it provides a portrait of the values and strengths that made our nation great. Qualities all but forgotten in our Me-Now self centered society.
The introductory account of Kittinger's early life on the river with his dad demonstrate the importance of male role models in the family. A major tragedy in our society today is that few boys have the opportunity to experience the agony and ecstasy of surviving on the water at night, especially in alligator infested swamp. Such experiences imprint us indelibly for life as demonstrated here.
On the surface Kittinger's story appears to be an account of super human courage.
Courage comes in several forms. "Blind Courage" generally underpinned by ego and pride and "Calculated Courage " underpinned by "Will" and "Skill". Kittinger's is clearly the latter. The will to study, dig and probe every eventuality and the skill to determine and execute the best possible course of action.
The "Determination" Kittinger displayed during his internment as a prisoner of war speaks volumes about his character.
The many aviation episodes also testify to the vital role "Passion" plays in achieving great things. Kittinger's extraordinary passion to fly for noble purposes(a very important distinction) propelled him well beyond the average self centered adventurer.
Kittinger's selfless "Generosity" in faithfully recognizing the contributions others, great and small, made to all of his achievements.Read more ›
One thing I liked about this book is Kittinger does not "name drop" and try to drag down others (like other pilots have done in thier books). I love how Kittinger praises Colonel Stapp for all of his accomplishments. He also gives credit to his teams which to me shows the true character of the man. I recommend this book to anyone interested in Aviation, Space and ballooning.
This is an excellent companion to go with "The Pre-Astronauts" as well as "Touching Space" as it offers a personal first person rememberance but Colonel Kittinger also speaks of his other experiences making this a very worthwhile read.
-Wilfred A. Roberge
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I loved this book. It portrays the humorous nature and dedication to a life and a profession and as a read it is very uplifting. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Faissal
After seeing the small basket (now I know is a replica) he jumped out of, at the Air Force Museum in Dayton OH...this is a must read book. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Michael G. Hodges MD
Good , down to earth writing. Just enough tech info to keep we geeks interested.Published 15 months ago by Earl Osborn
If you like aviation history, you'll enjoy this book. A very good read. Col. Kittenger has an interesting story that goes well beyond Excelsior.Published 15 months ago by Robert Blanken
I read the book and don't understand the negative reviews. The book is obviously not intended to be about the 102,800 foot jump, Col. Read morePublished 17 months ago by John Fischer
Recommend this book for anyone interested in our American Hero, Joe Kittinger. Col. Kittinger was the REAL First Man in Space.Published 19 months ago by Joseph
I really enjoyed this book. I wish there was a bit more information on his family but otherwise a good book. Read morePublished 20 months ago by PedroPat