Academic journal article Air & Space Power Journal

All the Young Eagles

Academic journal article Air & Space Power Journal

All the Young Eagles

Article excerpt

All the Fine Young Eagles by Lt Col David L. Bashow. Stoddart Publishing, Toronto, Canada, 1996, 384 pages.

Anyone who has ever wondered what it was like to be a fighter pilot in World War II should read All the Fine Young Eagles. David Bashow's book is an exciting, historically accurate, funny, and terrifying account of the day-to-day life of Canadian Spitfire, Hurricane, Kittyhawk, and Typhoon pilots serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force and Royal Air Force during World War II from the Battle of Britain to Malta to Burma to the Aleutians and back to Northwest Europe. He has compiled the personal accounts of the men who trained in Canada, moved to England, turned back Goring and the Luftwaffe over the English Channel, dueled with Messerschmitts and Focke-Wulfs in the Mediterranean out of Fortress Malta, faced Zeros in Burma and Alaska, and swept the skies clear of the Nazis over Northwest Europe. He covers their exploits, triumphs, and tragedies in a chronological fashion, moving crisply through the campaigns and giving the reader strategic and operational background, as well as an up-close perspective on the equipment, tactics, and people involved in Canada's significant contribution to the air campaign in World War II.

This is a fascinating story, largely expressed in the words of the fighter pilots themselves. Bashow, who is a serving jet fighter pilot of the Canadian Forces, has assembled an impressive collection of anecdotes related to him by the surviving veterans or uncovered in their writings and memoirs, which reflect the pilots' unvarnished perspectives on equipment, each other, and their allies and opponents. …

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