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Mustang Ace: Memoirs of a P-51 Fighter Pilot Hardcover – October 1, 1991
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
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America in WWII, October 2006
“Goebel’s eye for telling detail, descriptive power, and story-telling skills are so strong that if you wish to read only one book on the life of a WWII fighter pilot, this is it…Goebel skillfully weaves recollections of his prewar life into his narrative. These eruptions of memory are seldom expected and are always insightful or entertaining. His descriptions of nitty-gritty aspects of the pilot’s life are the best I have ever read…The brillians of Mustang Ace is the world of characters and experiences it preserves for us, in and out of combat. Few other books are so successful in re-creating the WWII fighter pilot’s mindset and pulling you into it. Mustang Ace is well-written, insightful, and dramatic. Anyone with any interest in military aviation or World War II will find this killer memoir rewarding and worth rereading.”
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I learned a lot by reading this book. There were a number of things I didn’t know about the P-51 specifically or the raids the 31st Fighter Group participated in. I was particularly intere4sted in a series of raids they participated in in Yugoslavia and covering the invasion of France from the Mediterranean Sea.
Many people do not realize the important of Italy’s physical location in relation to fighting the war against Germany. These men played a critical role in defeating the Germans on behalf of the Russians. One of the best moments is the description of an attack on a railway station where a train is destroyed. I
One of the most astonishing moments in the book occurs at the end. The author mentions that he was a Captain, father of two, an ace with 11 victories, and more than 60 combat missions totally over 300 hours of combat time; all by the time he was twenty-one-years old.
My life was not nearly as well squared away at the same age. I suppose he lived his life about the same speed as his P-51 could could perform full speed in a drive. And from what he writes in his book that’s over 400 miles per hour.
If you are interested in the air war in Europe I would strong recommend, “Thunderbolt: Memoir of a World War II fighter Pilot,” by Marvin Bledsoe was a great read on topic of fighter pilots in Europe. In the Pacific I would recommend the classic, “Baa Baa Black sheep,” as written by Gregory Boyington. For more on the bomber side of things try the book, “Two Gold Coins and a Prayer,” by James H Keelfe.
The substance of his tale is of historical significance: The first-hand experiences of a newly-minted P-51 pilot who learns the hard way to become a fighter ace and combat commander.
The Italian theater of WWII was eclipsed by its European counterpart. Yet the fighting there was tough, without quarter, and chillingly bloody. Goebel lost many comrades in ways he recounts with refreshing, yet not maudlin, emotion. He fought. He felt. He cared.
Goebel's memoir is one of the dozens of WWII accounts I recommend unreservedly, both for its accuracy, and its emotion and literary impact.
Five stars. With respect to Robert Goebel.