From the Editor

Article excerpt

The lead article in this issue is Sarah Rickman's account of how Barbara J. Erickson managed to rise from "Rosie the Riveter" to become a B-17 pilot during World War II. One of only seven surviving WAFS, "B. J." was recently inducted into the prestigious Women in Aviation International Hall of Fame.

Second, we revisit the Royal Air Force's famous raid on the Ruhr Valley dams. Launched on the night of May 16-17, 1943, by 617 Squadron it was first hailed as a triumph of British arms but subsequently denigrated in importance. Now, sixty years later, T. M. Webster places the "Dam Busters" raid in perspective, arguing that it was a significant victory after all, albeit for different reasons than originally intended.

In the third article, Gary Leiser unveils the "Dawn of Aviation in the Middle East" in 1909, barely six years after the Wright brothers' historic flight in North Carolina. Demonstration flights by Pierre de Caters and Louis Bleriot sparked the interest of Turkish newsmen, bent on educating their countrymen about flying.

George Farfour seeks to dispel the significant amount of misinformation associated with America's first combat action of World War II. Concentrating on the role played by one fighter pilot, 2d Lt. Kenneth M. Taylor, Farfour tells what really happened on December 7, 1941.

Fifteen books are reviewed in this issue. Some merit praise, while others are given "two thumbs down." Check them out for yourself to see whether or not you agree with the reviewers. And, write to tell us your opinions. We welcome hearing from our readers. Also, look over the list of new books received. …