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By the USAF F-16 legend behind the bestselling memoir Viper Pilot, this is the first comprehensive history of fighter pilots and air combat—a unique, riveting look at the aces of the sky, their machines, their most daring missions, and the epic conflicts they shaped, from the trailblazing aviators of World War I to today's supersonic jets
Lords of the Sky is a thrilling history of the fighter pilot, masterfully written by one of the most decorated aviators in American history. A twenty-year USAF veteran who flew more than 150 combat missions and received four Distinguished Flying Crosses, Lt. Colonel Dan Hampton draws on his singular firsthand knowledge, as well as groundbreaking research in aviation archives and rare personal interviews with little-known heroes, including veterans of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. In a seamless, sweeping narrative, Lords of the Sky tells the extraordinary stories behind the most famous fighter planes and the brave and daring heroes who made them legend.
In the Great War, aces such as Manfred von Richthofen ("The Red Baron"), Eddie Rickenbacker, and Roland Garros faced horrific survival rates and became romantic heroes. The Second World War saw the RAF locked in a struggle for the fate of civilization during the Battle of Britain; on the Eastern Front, the German Luftwaffe and Soviet Air Force grappled in some of the fiercest and bloodiest air battles in history. In the Pacific, Japanese pilots terrorized Asia, culminating in their attack on Pearl Harbor. American flyboys quickly became instrumental to the Allies' ultimate victory, ravaging the enemy's navy, providing life-saving air support for ground troops, escorting bombers, and dogfighting with Japanese Zeros and Nazi Messerschmitts. During the Cold War, conflicts in Korea and Vietnam featured the dawn of the jet age, in which American pilots battled Soviet-made MiGs and increasingly sophisticated anti-aircraft weaponry. Hampton then draws on his own experience as an F-16 pilot who fought in the 1991 and 2003 wars against Iraq to bring to life the dangers and demands of today's modern fighter pilot.
Here are the stories behind history's most iconic aircraft and the aviators who piloted them: from the Sopwith Camel and Fokker Triplane to the Mitsubishi Zero, Supermarine Spitfire, Nazi Bf 109, P-51 Mustang, Grumman Hellcat, F-4 Phantom, F-105 Thunderchief, F-16 Falcon, F/A-18 SuperHornet, and beyond. Here, too, are the Lafayette Escadrille, Flying Tigers, RAF Eagles, Wild Weasels, and other legendary units. Throughout this definitive history, Hampton clarifies the astonishing debt we owe to these daring Lords of the Sky who have ruled the air for more than a century.
Dan Hampton has been able to create an extremely well researched book that blends history with gripping real life drama.
One of the unique aspects of the book is the detailed description of the selection and training of fighter pilots by each of the combatant sides in each war.
I am confident that Hampton will continue to arouse my emotions and deepen my appreciation and respect for the all of the heroes in our sky.
As a former military officer and lifetime aviation enthusiast and modeler, I found the book to generally be an interesting read. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Pet magnet
This book is a great read regardless if you like military history or not.Dan Hampton has been able to create an extremely well researched book that blends history with gripping... Read morePublished 6 days ago by Michael Kraska
If you like history and you enjoy reading about the special people who fly fighter planes, this book is for you. Read morePublished 10 days ago by James L King
Gave me a new insight on the history of Fighter Pilots and everything they went through to survive combat.
I really enjoyed reading this. Dan Hampton has put together a well researched history of fighter pilots that is not only educational but enjoyable to read, telling the history... Read morePublished 17 days ago by Rusty Williamson