Dive Bomber : LEARNING TO FLY THE NAVY'S FIGHTING PLANES

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194 pages - 1991 - Used, mint condition
Beautifully illustrated with black and white drawings, this book describes a young American naval aviator who remembers his flight - training experiences.

Characteristics

Book cover finish Canvas finish, Headband, Hardcover ( square back binding )
Special features Reprint ( First printing, Originally published in 1939 ), Slightly damaged dust jacket
Condition Used, mint condition
Number of pages 194
Published date 1991
Language English
Size 15 x 21 x 2 cm
Author Robert A. Winston
Editor Naval Institute Press

Description

This lively memoir focuses on the author's flight school experiences in Pensacola during the golden days of the late 1930s, when training was a leisurely affair and young aviators were enveloped in an aura of glamour and distinction.

 

He tells his engaging story with wry, self - deprecating humour. The excitement he feels about flying Navy fighter planes, first in training and then aboard the carriers Lexington and Enterprise, is contagious, giving the reader a sense of what it was like to be doing what one loves most in the world.

 

Originally published in 1939 and out of print for decades, the author's witty and sympathetic memoir deftly illustrates the calm - before - the - storm era of growth and expansion in U.S. naval aviation. With the publication of this facsimile edition, a whole new generation of readers can come to appreciate this popular book.

À PROPOS DE CET AUTEUR
Robert A. Winston

Robert Alexander Winston ( October 25th, 1907 - June 3rd, 1974 ) was born in Washington ( Indiana, United States ). 


He earned an A.B. degree from Indiana University Bloomington ( Indiana ) in 1935, and worked for both the New York Times and New York News ( 1930 - 1935 ). In August 1935, he joined the U.S. Navy as as a Naval Cadet at the Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn ( New York City, New York, United States ). He completed his training course at Naval Air Station Pensacola ( N.A.S., Florida, United States ). 


Here is the list of his subsequent assignments and appointments : 


- Carrier qualification landings aboard the U.S.S. Saratoga ( CV - 3 ) in 1937. 

- Fighter Squadron 1 ( VF - 1, " Wolfpack " ) on the U.S.S. Lexington ( CV - 2 ), flying the Boeing F4B - 4 biplane fighter in the Pacific ( 1937 - 1938 ). 

- Fighter Squadron 6 ( VF - 6 ) on the U.S.S. Enterprise ( CV - 6 ), flying the Grumman F3F - 2 biplane fighter ( 1937 - 1938 ). 

- Instructor at N.A.S. Pensacola ( 1938 - 1939 ). 

- Commissioned an Ensign ( 1939 ). 


Upon finishing his 4 year obligation with the Navy in 1939, Robert A. Winston entered the Naval Reserve. During February and March of 1940, Robert A. Winston and a team of mechanics from the Brewster Aircraft Company assisted in the delivery of 44 Brewster F2A Buffalo fighter aircraft that were sold to Finland and delivered through Sweden. He would test fly each aircraft after it was reassembled at the Saab factory in Trollhättan ( present - day Västra Götaland County, Sweden ) and work with the pilots of the Finish Air Force to familiarize them with the American fighter. He would meet his future wife, Annrika Boberg, while in Stockholm ( Sweden ). 


After the Finish contract was completed, the company requested Robert A. Winston to go next to Belgium to test more aircraft that were being delivered to that country. But on May 10th, 1940, Nazi Germany armed forces invaded Belgium before any aircraft arrived. He, along with the other Brewster employees, fled to Paris ( France ) in the hopes of assembling the aircraft on French soil. Just days before Paris fell to the Nazi German Army, Robert A. Winston left for the United States, a trip that would take him across France, through Spain and Portugal, and finally aboard a Pan Am Yankee Clipper flying boat for a flight from Lisbon ( Portugal ) to New York City. For his service in Sweden and Finland, he was awarded the Royal Order of the Sword ( Kungliga Svärdsorden ) by Sweden, the Mannerheim Cross of Liberty ( Vapaudenristin 2.luokan Mannerheim - risti ) and Winter War Medal ( Talvisodan muistomitali ) by Finland. 


After his escape from Occupied Europe, Robert A. Winston was reactivated in active service as a Lieutenant ( junior grade ) as Fligth Training Officer at N.A.S. Pensacola ( Aviation Support Division ) and N.A.S. Corpus Christi ( Advance Flying Training Course, Texas, United States ). He was transferred to the Navy Department's Bureau of Aeronautics in Washington, D.C., in 1941 and became the Director of Naval Public Relations. 


After December 7th, 1941, following the surprise attack by the Imperial Japanese Navy aircraft on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor ( Hawaii, United States ), Robert A. Winston requested to be transferred to active duty : 


- Refresher Course in fighter tactics and training as an Air Group Executive Officer, N.A.S. Jacksonville ( Florida, 1941 - 1942 ). 

- Ordered to N.A.S. Atlantic City ( New Jersey, United States ) as Lieutenant Commander and appointed Commanding Officer of the newly formed Fighter Squadron 31 ( VF - 31 ), on May 1st, 1943. 

- Training on the new Grumman F6F Hellcat fighter. 

- The VF - 31 has chosen its nickname : " Flying Meataxes ". 

- The VF - 31, along with the Torpedo Squadron 31 ( VT - 31 ), will form the Air Group 31.

- Commander James Vredenburgh is relieved as C.O. of Air Group 31 ( December 6th, 1943 ). 

- Robert A. Winston is appointed C.O. of Air Group 31 ( December 20th, 1943 ). - Embarked on U.S.S. Cabot ( CVL - 28 ), part of Task Force 58. 

- Flight Leader of Division 1. 

- Ordered back to Washington, D.C. ( June 29th, 1944 ). 

- Promoted to Commander and appointed to the Division of Fleet Training ( Navy Operations, Navy Department ). 

- Transferred to the Advanced Headquarters of Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, Sr. ( 1885 - 1966 ) in Guam ( Mariana Islands, Territory of the United States ). 


During his tour of duty, Robert A. Winston shot down five enemy aircraft. For his service with the VF - 31, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star, the Air Medal and two Gold Stars ( two Air Medals ). 


After the war, Robert A. Winston was assigned as the Naval Air Attaché with the U.S. Ambassador's Office in Stockholm ( 1945 - 1948 ). He then returned to Washington, D.C., and served as the Director of Public Relations ( Navy Department ) and with the Central Intelligence Agency ( C.I.A. ). He was also a Special Assistant for Morale and Welfare to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for personnel and Reserve forces. In 1950, he retired from the U.S. Navy with the rank of Captain. 


From 1955 to 1958, Robert A. Winston worked as the manager of corporate press relations for General Foods Corporation. He was the President and Publisher of Freedom Press New, Inc. ( 1958 - 1967 ) and President of Fargo Press, Inc. ( 1967 - 1974 ). 


Married since October 20th, 1940, and father of four children, Robert A. Winston passed away in Northern Westchester Hospital, Mount Kisco ( New York, United States ), at the age of 66. 


As a journalist and a writer, Robert A. Winston has published several articles and books, such as : Navy Wasp Powered Grumman Antics ( The Sportsman Pilot Magazine, May 1937 ), Formation Night Flying ( The Sportsman Pilot Magazine, July 1937 ), Wheels over Water ( Readers Digests, July 1939 ), Aces Wild ( 1941 ), Aircraft Carrier ( 1942 ), The Pentagon Case ( as Colonel Victor J. Fox, 1958 ), The White House Case ( as Colonel Victor J. Fox, 1968 ). 


( sources : www.tracesofwar.com, www.vf31.com, navy.togetherweserved.com, www.nytimes.com, www.indiana.edu, webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu, Wikipedia )

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