Our Aviation Book of the Month June 2021

Looking for a new book to read this month? Each month we select one of our favorite aviation books to be our book of the month.

Here you will find an in depth look at our selection along with what makes it such a great read. Learn the backstory, read reviews, and find out how the story is included in our museum. These are the books that inspire us and help us learn more about the wonderful world of Aviation.

Devotion: An Epic Story of Heroism, Friendship, and Sacrifice

by Adam Makos

 Photo of Devotion: An Epic Story of Heroism, Friendship, and Sacrifice


Devotion tells the inspirational story of the U.S. Navy's most famous aviator duo, Lieutenant Tom Hudner and Ensign Jesse Brown, and the Marines they fought to defend. A white New Englander from the country-club scene, Tom passed up Harvard to fly fighters for his country. An African American sharecropper's son from Mississippi, Jesse became the navy's first black carrier pilot, defending a nation that wouldn't even serve him in a bar. While much of America remained divided by segregation, Jesse and Tom joined forces as wingmen in Fighter Squadron 32. Adam Makos takes us into the cockpit as these bold young aviators cut their teeth at the world's most dangerous job-landing on the deck of an aircraft carrier-a line of work that Jesse's young wife, Daisy, struggles to accept.

Deployed to the Mediterranean, Tom and Jesse meet the Fleet Marines, boys like PFC "Red" Parkinson, a farm kid from the Catskills. In between war games in the sun, the young men revel on the Riviera, partying with millionaires and even befriending the Hollywood starlet Elizabeth Taylor. Then comes the war no one expected, in faraway Korea.

Devotion takes us soaring overhead with Tom and Jesse, and into the foxholes with Red and the Marines as they battle a North Korean invasion. As the fury of the fighting escalates and the Marines are cornered at the Chosin Reservoir, Tom and Jesse fly, guns blazing, to try and save them. When one of the duo is shot down behind enemy lines and pinned in his burning plane, the other faces an unthinkable choice: watch his friend die or attempt history's most audacious one-man rescue mission.

A tug-at-the-heartstrings tale of bravery and selflessness, Devotion asks: How far would you go to save a friend?


Photo of Lieutenant Tom Hudner and Ensign Jesse Brown and F4U Corsairs

Connection To The Museum of Flight

Untold Stories
While this story does not directly connect to our museum, here at The Museum of Flight we strive to tell stories that have been overlooked. The Korean War is known as the forgotten war as many stories were kept private for many years. This unforgettable story of heroism and friendship is one that everyone should know.

About the Author

Adam Makos
Hailed as "a masterful storyteller" by the Associated Press, Adam Makos is the author of the New York Times bestsellers "A Higher Call," and "Spearhead," as well as the critically-acclaimed "Devotion." Inspired by his grandfathers' service, Adam chronicles the stories of American veterans in his trademark fusion of intense human drama and fast-paced military action, securing his place "in the top ranks of military writers," according to the Los Angeles Times. In the course of his research, Adam has flown a WWII bomber, accompanied a Special Forces raid in Iraq, and journeyed into North Korea in search of an MIA American airman.


4.48 Stars on Goodreads      4.8 Stars on Amazon

  • "An amazing story of the bonding between a black Mississippi sharecropper’s son and his white Ivy Leaguer wing man as they learned to fly off carriers, trained in the Mediterranean, and fought in the Korean War, the Forgotten War... After I read it, I couldn’t wait to get others to read it. I loaned my copy to five friends in two months. They all read it and loved it. Two Korean War veterans."—Museum of Flight Gallery Ambassador
  • "This a story of contrasting lives of two pilots coming from extremely different backgrounds. Jesse Brown being the first Black pilot in the Navy coming from a very poor family with a keen desire to learn and work diligently to achieve his objectives. In contrast to Tom Hudner being white and coming from an affluent family and expected to succeed at whatever he chooses. It's disappointing that Jesse still gets hassled even when wearing his Navy aviator's uniform. Their initial encounter on a carrier faces it's first challenge as Tom is assigned to be Jesse's wingman and not the leader; because Jesse has more experience. Refreshing is the acceptance of Jesse by all the pilots. And the desperate unselfish attempt of Tom to try saving Jesse's life. A truly interesting read."—Museum of Flight Volunteer
  • "A masterful storyteller…[Makos brings] Devotion to life with amazing vividness…. [It] reads like a dream. The perfectly paced story cruises along in the fast lane—when you’re finished, you’ll want to start all over again."—Associated Press
  • "My great respect for Tom Hudner knows no bounds. He is a true hero; and in reading this book, you will understand why I feel that way."—President George H. W. Bush
  • "In this beautifully written book, Adam Makos reveals a long-lost story of heroism set in the frozen realm of North Korea. You won’t be able to put it down."—Joseph L. Galloway

Pick Up Your Copy Here!

 Photo of Devotion: An Epic Story of Heroism, Friendship, and Sacrifice

See May's Book of the Month Here