Ernest Kellogg Gann ( October 13th, 1910 - December 19th, 1991 ) was born in Lincoln ( Nebraska, United States ). Rebelling against his father's strong desire that he seek a career with the telephone business, Ernest K. Gann pursued several other interests as he matured. He was fascinated by topics including photography, movie - making, and aviation.
As a young man, he showed little interest in school and performed poorly. His parents decided that he needed discipline and that he should attend a military school. He was sent to the Culver Military Academy ( now Culver Academies, Indiana, United States ) for his high school years. Despite many misadventures and struggles, he graduated at the age of 19 ( 1930 ).
Ernest K. Gann elected to pursue filmmaking, and matriculated with the Yale School of Drama ( New Haven, Connecticut, United States ). After his studies, he worked in New York City ( New York, United States ) at Radio City Music Hall as a projectionist and later as a commercial movie cartoonist. While working on the feature Inside Nazi Germany in 1936, Ernest K. Gann narrowly escaped Hitler's troops as they marched into the Rhineland.
Returning to New York, he moved near the Christie Brothers' airport in New City, rekindled his interest with aviation. He purchased a half partnership in a Stinson Reliant aircraft with actor Burgess Meredith ( 1907 - 1997 ), obtained his pilot license, and soon became an accomplished aviator.
The continuing Great Depression soon cost him his work, he decided to move to California. Ernest K. Gann took odd jobs and flight instructed at Burbank and nearby airports and began to write short stories. During the late 1930's, he moved back to New York where he was hired by American Airlines to fly DC - 2 and DC - 3. During the Second World War, Ernest K. Gann and many of his co - workers at volunteered to join the Air Transport Command ( U.S.A.A.F. ). His wartime flights took him across the North Atlantic to Europe, and then to Africa, South America, India, and other exotic places.
After the war, Ernest K. Gann decided to quit American Airlines, and was hired as a pilot with a new company called Matson Airlines. He flew from the U.S. West Coast across the Pacific to Honolulu ( Hawaii ). This experience created ideas that were developed into one of his best - known works, The High and the Mighty. Matson ultimately ceased operations. After a few more short - lived flying jobs, Ernest K. Gann became discouraged with aviation and began writing as a full - time occupation.
His life was then shared between his family, his writing, and fishing for a short period. Ernest K. Gann described his writing methods as torturous. Despite his successful career, he continued to have strong feelings of self - doubt and often expressed surprise at the critical praise he received.
Here are some of his publications : Island in the Sky ( 1944 ), Fiddler's Green ( 1950 ), In the Company of Eagles ( 1966 ), Band of Brothers ( 1973 ), Masada ( TV miniseries, 1981 - story : The Antagonists, 1970 ), The Black Watch : The Men Who Fly America's Secret Spy Planes ( 1989 ).
( source : Wikipedia )