Dead Reckoning: Experiences of a World War II Fighter Pilot

Alan K. Abner

  • Dead Reckoning: Experiences of a World War II Fighter Pilot

World War II fighter planes were more akin to the Spads and Fokkers of the First World War than they were to today’s combat jets. Eddie Rickenbacker and the Red Baron could immediately relate to the likes of Gentile, Bong, and Yeager. World War II fighter pilots in all branches of service, Army, Marines, and Navy, in Europe and the Pacific theaters still flew Aby the seat of their pants.” Combat quickly became a one-on-one deadly duel. After the battle was over and the various squadron elements were scattered widely over enemy terrain, the fighter pilots then became navigators. Each pilot had to traverse the 500 or so miles back to home base, surely to be diverted only by possible enemy aircraft encounters, or to escort a struggling, defenseless allied bomber home to friendly territory. Dead Reckoning describes how it was in the cockpit of a Mustang fighter plane as a member of the 357th Fighter Group which scored a record 56 victories on January 14, 1945.

Dead Reckoning is an aviation term that describes the navigation technique used in flying an aerial course relying on visual landmarks. Dead Reckoning is a double entendre of the term which describes the ultimate decisions made by an Oregon farm youth, influenced by months of intensive training and 50 missions of combat over Europe in 1944 and 1945. These decisions demonstrate vividly how a cow hand can become a professional fighter pilot.

"As few have done, Abner captures not only the innocence of youth who went off to war, but the innocence of the nation that sent them to fight for the salvation of democracy." "Dead Reckoning" is great reading for those who lived a part of the war, in foxholes, in the air or beside radios at home. It is also a lesson in courage integrity, selflessness and a portrait of forebears for those who began their lives after the war."

Reno Gazette-Journal, Mike Henderson

Author Alan K. Abner
Pages 142
Images 10
Maps 0
Bibliography No
Index No
  • $24.95

Tags: 9781572490253, Alan K. Abner