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Spitfire Wingman from Tennessee Perfect Paperback – November 9, 2006


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Product Details

  • Perfect Paperback: 217 pages
  • Publisher: Stormwatch Press; 2nd edition (November 9, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979000203
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979000201
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 8.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,112,557 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Dear Jim: Your autobiography is all I knew it would be once you got around to it! It has handed me a lotta laughs and much enjoyment. In the tradition of LeMay and Yeager, if a commander turned out to be a S.O.B., you said so. BRAVO! When I was with the Office of Air Force History, I interviewed so-o-o-o many top echelon retirees who insisted on bronzing everybody...I can relate to every chapter. Keep on pressing on. --Jim L. Delaney - Lebanon, Tennessee

Dear Col. Haun: I have just finished reading your autobiography. I wanted to thank you for the memories. I have been flying for about ten years now and dream of flying the planes you have flown...It sounds like you had an exciting career. I would love to fly an old pre-war biplane. The beautiful lines of the fabric birds combined with the sounds of the "round" engines brings to life dreams of days gone by. Maybe one day I will get to meet you at an air show somewhere. Respectfully, Rod W. --Rod Wrakley - Dayton, Ohio

To Jim Haun, the best pilot I ever knew. Sure would like to be there for your 89th birthday celebration, but don't think I can make it. The following weekend is the 12th Squadron reunion at Colorado Springs. There aren't many of us left who remember Godman Field...God bless. Affectionately, Johnny --John E. Florence - Orlando, Florida

From the Publisher

This second edition, in order to accomodate over 230 text-relevant photos and graphics, expands the format to 8.5 X 11 inches in a 5/8 inch thick perfectbound laminated softcover book. Produced after the author's death in 2001, this new edition adds Forward, Epilogue, and Appendix plus helpful editorial notes.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Having thus been able to confirm the author's credibility, I devoured this most interesting and unusual story.
Maj Gen Hs Vandenberg, Jr.
This book will be a favorite read for anyone who enjoys flying stores and is, at the same time, a wonderful tribute to one of the true characters of military aviation.
Lawrence Mayes
This is a technical book for his fellow flyers, but also a lovely romantic reminisance of an era gone by for the rest of us.
Vickie Williams

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lawrence Mayes on March 19, 2009
Format: Perfect Paperback
This is one of the most enjoyable flying memoirs in this reviewer's experience. Author Haun actually flew every major Army Air Corps combat aircraft of WWII except for the B-24 and P-38. While he had some memorable moments flying Spitfires with a New Zeeland fighter squadron, he also flew combat in P-40s, P-47s, P-51s, B-20s and B-25s, just to name a few of his other aerial mounts. He is a great story teller, sometimes with tongue firmly in cheek, as he relates some touching and sometimes seriously funny stories about his brushes with notables during the war, including Winston Churchill and Generals George Patton, Pete Quesada and Hoyt Vandenberg. Haun began flying in 1929 and his early experience includes flying several planes he either built or modified himself when there was no CAB or FAA to guide aviators. The many brushes with death and accidents that ensue make riveting reading. His very seriously maverick personality is revealed in these early days and, if anything, he becomes even more unconventional once he enters the Army Air Corps and throughout his distinguished Air Force career. His involvement in the Berlin Airlift gives great insights into how the inadequate and dangerous early days of resupply became the logistics miracle of the 20th century under Major General Tunner. Later he is a senior pilot and Commander of President Truman's personal Air Force, what today is the 89th Airlift Wing, at Andrews AFB. His experiences as a greeter and horse holder while flying many distinguished Senators and Congressmen are hilarious. His frequent brushes with authority and regulations make for humorous reading and his self deprecation lends credibility to some tales that might otherwise just be "hangar flying.Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John C. Taylor on June 19, 2007
Format: Perfect Paperback
A fascinating book!. I got the First Edition from Col Haun, himself, then the new, expanded book from his son, Jim. Col Haun saw the Air Force from a very wide perspective-fighters, transports, Europe and the Hump. A son of the Depression,he was sworn into the Tennessee National Guard by then-Major William Tunner, who became the foremost proponent of military airlift.

With the advent of World War Two, Jim Haun flew the P-47 in Europe. In fact, for a long time, he had his very own Thunderbolt; two, in fact. When a Luftwaffe attack destroyed the first one,a new one was cobbled together. Later in the war, Col Haun transferred to the China-Burma-India (CBI)Remembering An Unsung Giant - The Douglas C-133 Cargomaster and Its People Theater, where he flew transport missions over the Hump.

Col Haun continued in the Air Force and transports. Near the end of his service, he was assigned as vice-wing commander of the 1501st Air Transport Wing, Travis AFB, CA, where he checked out in the huge Douglas C-133 Cargomaster. His years of experience stood him in good stead in several situations with that airplane, including a seat-of-the-pants landing at Cape Canaveral, after the airplane lost all electical power.

After his retirement, Col Haun returned to Tennessee. There, he stayed in aviation as an instructor and working on home-built aircraft.

James Haun was a pilot who did his own thing, in many instances, and succeeded. He was a proud pilot and patriot who exemplified the highest qualities as a man, a an officer and a pilot. He was fittingly admitted to the Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame.

His book is interesting, fun and very informative.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Vickie Williams on June 20, 2007
Format: Perfect Paperback
I had the good fortune of personally meeting Col. James Haun in his later years. Still a formidable man and quite handsome, I was struck by the sparkle in his eye and his dashing demeanor. At the time, his memoirs had not yet been published, but as I read them recently in "Spitfire Wingman" I could envision this dashing young pilot and all the daring adventures retold his his book. This is a technical book for his fellow flyers, but also a lovely romantic reminisance of an era gone by for the rest of us. A great read! Vickie Williams, Nashville, TN
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Format: Perfect Paperback
Excellent memoir comprised of aviation stories with lots of photographs that document the life and flying exploits of Col. James R. Haun, born in Memphis, but whose flying took him all over the world. Developed as a cross between an informal autobiography and an annotated family scrapbook, one cannot help but be amazed at Haun's flying career.

While there's too little room to go over all the hundreds of planes Haus flew, I'll touch upon a few of the stories: Starts with his love of flying that he traces back to seeing his first plane while in first grade in 1917; learned to fly in a Waco 9 that he bought for $400 in Memphis and a "Standard" that belonged to his friend, Ed Ackerly; in 1933, hopping a train to take a freighter out of New Orleans to Europe and touring Paris, Rotterdam, and Brussels ; his marriage during the Depression; barnstorming in a Curtis Junior, a "Pusher," a Commandair and Waco 10; going into the pre-war Army Air Corps Reserve and flying 0-47 observation planes, Martin B-10's, L-5's, O-52's and A-20's; then, P-43's out of England, then P-47's, P-51's and P-38's all over Europe during the early part of the war; and, working on the allied Combined Operations Staff toward the end with access to his own P-47.

Haun spent the immediate post-war years in India, China and the Far East, gaining a regular commission as a Captain while keeping his reserve rank and pay of a Lieutenant Colonel.
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