Unlike the equally heroic ground forces they protected, the Aces of these wars were on their own, relying on their individual skills, determination and daring to prevail in engagements that were the aerial equivalent of a bare knuckle brawl. The stakes—control of the airspace over which the battles that would determine the course of history—couldn’t have been higher. No wonder the Ace is an iconic figure with such a strong and durable hold on the American imagination!
At one time there were over 1,400 fighter aces. Because of the changing technology of war and the shifting nature of war itself, these men of Wings of Valor are considered the last of the traditional aces. Wings of Valor takes a last look at these larger than life fighter pilots, enters the timeless drama of their dogfights one final time, and makes their achievements a living legacy. It describes their battles and the planes they flew. Most of all it tells their stories—who they were and where they came from before the aerial combat that that made them heroes; and the lessons each of them learned from his rendezvous with destiny. This book honors the content of their character via formal photographs of these valiant men, the last of their breed. As Wings of Valor shows, theirs are stories that never grow old and never die.
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