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  3. [PDF] Terror of the Autumn Skies: The True Story of Frank Luke, Ameri…
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In reality it was a harrowing and bloody business. Luke's personality made him unique in many regards and his independence and risk taking approach led him to become Ace of Ace's before leading him to his demise. Blain The first aviators in combat have always fascinated me.

Terror of the Autumn Skies

Blaine Pardoe does a very engaging and balanced presentation of the hero and his times. As Luke was the first aviator to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, Pardoe pieces together the reality of his last battle and seems to separate the fact from the fiction that surrounded it. There is no doubt he deserved the honor for his record of bravery during the war on balance Mar 10, Vince rated it it was amazing.

What a well put together book. The author uses first source material to lay out the life and few days of glory of Frank Luke. He debunks a few of the myths but does it gently, you have no doubt that the author really likes Luke, which makes the book more believable. For those of you who don't know who Frank Luke was he was for 10 days the worlds premier air ace averaging close to two kills a day.

His specialty was balloon busting, more dangerous than going head to head with another plane. At his What a well put together book. At his accelerated pace it was only a matter of time before he was killed and it came quickly. Jan 26, Michael rated it it was amazing. There was an age when heroism meant something, something more than appearing on a reality TV show, a time when a person had to do something heroic to be a hero.

In the early days of aviation the planes were fragile sturctures made of cloth, glue and wire, with unreliable engines, where it was a full time job for the pilot just to keep the craft in the air. There were few gauges in the open cock There was an age when heroism meant something, something more than appearing on a reality TV show, a time when a person had to do something heroic to be a hero.

There were few gauges in the open cockpits, the pilots were exposed to the elements and the aircraft could actually collapse from structural failure during normal use. The great war began in when aviation was less than a decade old and it was quickly seen that airplanes could play a valuable role in warfare. At first pilots dueled in the air with pistols and rifles but soon a way was found to mount machine guns in the planes and the real killing began.

Above the gore filled trenches valiant airmen, called knights of the air, stalked each other, trying to knock each other out of the sky. As dangerous as air combat was, "balloon busting" was even more so. In order to see what the enemy was doing, both sides sent up hydrogen filled balloons with baskets occupied with observers to watch troop movements and direct artillery fire.

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The balloons were tethered to the ground with winches in place to yank them quickly out of the air when a threat appeared. Since the balloons were expensive, a hundred thousand dollars or more each, antiaircraft batteries were clustered around them and fighter planes lingered nearby to fight off any threat. America entered the war in the waning months of fighting and immediately needed fighter pilots for combat duty. In Arizona, just recently a made a state, Frank Luke, a young Catholic man of German descent, who had just become engaged to be married, signed up to fly for his country.

Luke reached the front in and, probably because no one else wanted to do the job, decided to make it his personal duty to bring down as many enemy balloons as possible. In just forty-four days at the front, Luke lost both of his wingmen, shot down eighteen balloons and aircraft, and was shot down and killed himself.

The effort made him the second ranking American ace of the war and won him a posthumous award of the Medal of Honor. In typically western American style though, Luke was always a disciplinary problem for his commanders. In fact, he had disobeyed orders when taking off on what would be his last mission. It was very well researched and debunked a few Frank Luke myths such as the one that, when he crashed his plane, he had a western style shootout with German troops.

He was most probably hit by a richochet off his engine and struck in the lung with what would surely be a fatal wound. I would recommend this book highly, a great read. Sep 08, M. Bass rated it really liked it Shelves: aviation , history. Luke's missions against German observation balloons also revealed aspects of the air war over the trenches I had never known. Mar 27, Melwrenched rated it it was amazing. The story was captivating. I listened to it on audio and it made for an enjoyable trip to Portland.

I got into the life of Frank Luke and there are prolific details about flying a WW1 airplane. The story had so many rich details, it is still so vivid for me. An excellent read and highly recommended on audio.

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[PDF] Terror of the Autumn Skies: The True Story of Frank Luke, Ameri…

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