Terror of the Autumn Skies
[the True Story of Frank Luke, America's Rogue Ace of World War I]Book - 2008
A portrait of the first pilot to win the Congressional Medal of Honor traces his rise from a young loner to a formidable soldier on the western front, documenting his military contributions throughout ten missions as well as the daredevil spirit that placed him at perpetual odds with his superiors.
An accurate, thoroughly researched, and riveting tale of a World War I American fighter ace.
Frank Luke, Jr., was an unlikely pilot. In the Great War, when fliers were still "knights of the air," Luke was an ungallant loner, a kid from Arizona who collected tarantulas, shot buzzards, and boxed miners. But during two torrid weeks in September 1918, he was the deadliest man on the Western Front. In only ten missions, he destroyed fourteen heavily-defended German balloons and four airplanes, a rampage unequaled even by the dreaded von Richtofen, and the second highest American tally of the entire war. Cocksure and constantly reprimanded, Luke was actually under arrest on the day of his final flight, but he stole a plane to join the fatal action that won him the first Congressional Medal of Honor awarded to a pilot. Blaine Pardoe retraces and refreshes Frank Luke's story through recently discovered correspondence. What emerges is a portrait of a life out of an "Old West" that was, by the late Teens, colliding with modernity. Frantic, short, and splendid, the life of Frank Luke, Jr. dramatizes the tragic intervention of an American spirit in the war that devastated Europe.
From Library Staff
IndyPL_RyanD May 04, 2020
Blaine Pardoe documents the life of the U.S. fighter ace Frank Luke Jr. who became known for shooting down German observation balloons near heavily fortified positions during the final months of World War I amongst other exploits. In shooting down observation balloons, Luke became proficient at d... Read More »