Synopses & Reviews
The intrepid fighter pilots of World War I live again in this thrilling true account of the men who risked their lives for our country and who became America's first heroes of the skies.
Published to coincide with the one-hundredth anniversary of the Wright Brothers' historic first flight and the birth of aviation, Echoes of Eagles is a rousing chronicle of American air combat during the first world war.
In 1917, Charles H. Woolley, the author's father, enlisted in and trained as a pilot with the newly created U.S. Air Service. He and his fellow pilots of the 94th, 95th, and 49th Aero Squadrons flew at 20,000 feet in open-cockpit French biplanes, with no oxygen, no parachutes, and no radios. Death was their constant companion. This extraordinary book takes readers into the cockpits of these fragile fighter aircraft and into the souls of the men who fought for their country in a new environment-the air. The grit of muddy airfields is balanced by the women and champagne of Paris.
From tales of dog-fighting with German aces to strafing enemy trenches, Echoes of Eagles describes the risks and the dangers of flight, feats of incredible heroism and acts of stunning cowardice, and the camaraderie among men dedicated to a common goal. Based on diaries and letters and never-before-published interviews with the heroes themselves, and featuring amazing photographs, this unforgettable account of America's first fighter pilots is also a son's stirring tribute to his father.
Published to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers' historic first flight and the birth of aviation, "Echoes of Eagles" is a rousing chronicle of American air combat during the first world war.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -294) and index.
About the Author
Charles Woolley (left) served in Air Force Intelligence during the Korean War. He was an editor of the Cross and Cockade Journal of World War I Aero Historians, is the current curator of the Vermont Veterans and Militia Museum, and serves on the committee of management of the Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection at Brown University. A member of the Company of Military Historians, he lives in Rochester, Vermont. Bill Crawford is a Harvard-educated author and frequent contributor to The Austin Chronicle and Texas Monthly, among other publications. He is the creator of The Dad Show, a talk radio program, and has appeared as a commentator on Fox News Channel, MSNBC, and C-SPAN.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. In the Beginning 1
Chapter 2. Some Family History 10
Chapter 3. Uniforms Without Rank 22
Chapter 4. Fledglings Gather 34
Chapter 5. Honing Their Skills 54
Chapter 6. First to the Front 69
Chapter 7. Guns, Champagne, and Spies 83
Chapter 8. Losses, Victories, and a Mule 94
Chapter 9. Tempered in Battle 113
Chapter 10. Newcomers in Their Midst 125
Chapter 11. A Death in the Family 140
Chapter 12. From Joy to Despair 155
Chapter 13. Flight Commander 170
Chapter 14. All-American Offensive 186
Chapter 15. The Final Push 203
Chapter 16. The Meuse-Argonne with the Wolf Pack 220
Chapter 17. Costly Victory 233
Chapter 18. Post-War Progress 244
Chapter 19. Boom, Bust, and Back to the Air 257
Chapter 20. Full Circle 266
Descriptions and Diagrams of Aerial Maneuvers 275
Glossary of Terms 281
Sources and Suggestions for Further Reading 289
About the Authors 309