Read The Aviators: Eddie Rickenbacker, Jimmy Doolittle, Charles Lindbergh Online

Authors: Winston Groom

Tags: #History, #Military, #Aviation, #Biography & Autobiography, #General, #Transportation

The Aviators: Eddie Rickenbacker, Jimmy Doolittle, Charles Lindbergh

A
LSO BY
W
INSTON
G
ROOM

Nonfiction

Conversations with the Enemy
, (1982, with Duncan Spencer)

Shrouds of Glory
(1995)

The Crimson Tide
(2002)

A Storm in Flanders
(2002)

1942
(2004)

Patriotic Fire
(2006)

Vicksburg, 1863
(2009)

Kearny’s March
(2011)

Shiloh, 1862
(2012)

Fiction

Better Times Than These
(1978)

As Summers Die
(1980)

Only
(1984)

Forrest Gump
(1986)

Gone the Sun
(1988)

Gump and Co
. (1995)

Such a Pretty, Pretty Girl
(1998)

Published by the National Geographic Society

1145 17th Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036

Copyright © 2013 Winston Groom. All rights reserved. Reproduction of the whole or part of the contents without written permission is strictly prohibited.

E-book ISBN: 978-1-4262-1157-7

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Groom, Winston, 1944-

The aviators : Eddie Rickenbacker, Jimmy Doolittle, Charles Lindbergh, and the epic age of flight / Winston Groom.

p. cm.

Includes bibliographical references.

ISBN 978-1-4262-1156-0 (hardback : alkaline paper)

1. Rickenbacker, Eddie, 1890-1973. 2. Doolittle, James Harold, 1896-1993. 3. Lindbergh, Charles A. (Charles Augustus), 1902-1974. 4. Air pilots–United States–Biography. 5. Air pilots, Military–United States–Biography. 6. Heroes–United States–Biography. 7. Adventure and adventurers–United States–Biography. 8. Aeronautics–United States–History–20th century. 9. Aeronautics, Military–United States–History–20th century. 10. United States–History, Military–20th century. I. Title.

TL539.G73 2013

629.13092′273–dc23

2013015171

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.

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Interior design: Melissa Farris

13/QGF-CML/1

v3.1

For Theron Raines (1925–2012),

author’s representative.

For thirty-five years, a mentor, confidant,

business partner, and friend: Well done.

Oh Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;

The ship has weathered every rack, the prize we sought is won
.

—W
ALT
W
HITMAN
(1865)

For I dipt into the future, far as human eye could see,

Saw the Vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be;

Saw the heavens fill with commerce, argosies of magic sails,

Pilots of the purple twilight dropping down with costly bales;

Heard the heavens fill with shouting, and there rain’d a ghastly dew

From the nations’ airy navies grappling in the central blue;

Far along the worldwide whisper of the south-wind rushing warm,

With the standards of the peoples plunging thro’ the thunder-storm

—A
LFRED
, L
ORD
T
ENNYSON
(1809–1892)

We loop in the purple twilight

We spin in the silvery dawn

With a trail of smoke behind us

To show where our comrades have gone.

So stand to your glasses steady,

This world is a world full of lies.

Here’s a toast to those dead already,

And here’s to the next man to die.

—W
ORLD
W
AR
I–
ERA AVIATOR

S TOAST

In flying’s Hall of Fame

There’s a special breed of men,

The Old Gray Eagle

Is among the best of them.

You see him totter on his cane

As he goes walking to his plane

So old you wouldn’t think they’d let him fly.

But when he gets into the air,

And if you ever meet him there

You’ll know that he’s a master of the sky.

His snowy hair is so much whiter

Than all the rest of them,

The Old Gray Eagle

Among the best of men.


COMBAT PILOT

S DRINKING SONG
(
SUNG TO THE TUNE OF
“T
HE
O
LD
L
AMPLIGHTER
”)

CONTENTS

Cover

Other Books by This Author

Title Page

Copyright

Dedication

Epigraph

Image Gallery

Map of Pacific Theater in World War II

ONE:
These Three Men

TWO:
The King of Dirt

THREE:
The Man with the Outside Loop

FOUR:
Can Those Be Stars?

FIVE:
Air Combat Is Not Sport, It Is Scientific Murder

SIX:
New York to Paris

SEVEN:
Man’s Greatest Enemy in the Air

EIGHT:
I Was Saved for Some Good Purpose

NINE:
An Inspiration in a Grubby World

TEN:
His Halo Turned into a Noose

ELEVEN:
The Raid

TWELVE:
We Were Slowly Rotting Away

THIRTEEN:
The Lone Eagle Goes to War

FOURTEEN:
Masters of the Sky

Notes

Notes on Sources and Acknowledgments

Bibliography

Illustrations Credits

 

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