Flying Tigers
3rd edition 2016


The third edition of Flying Tigers is now being rolled out. You can find the e-book ($7.95) at Amazon and other online stores. The paperback ($14.95) of course is a bit slower to percolate through the system, but it's for sale on Amazon's stores in North America (including Canada) and Europe (including the Brexiting British). Or go to the distributor's website and use this coupon code — 4EDMM32V — for a four-dollar discount. You can also get an autographed copy from me. (PayPal runs your credit card; I put the book in the mail, usually the following day.) Thanks to the clever gnomes at Amazon, you can read the first chapter online. That happens to be the Kindle edition, but they're pretty much the same. I'm told that the magic doesn't work if you have ad-blocking software installed.

What with juggling the myriad chores of getting a book out of my head and into the stores, I fell far behind on my reading in June. My usual quota is three books. But after finishing Spain in Our Hearts, we were inspired to stream Hemingway & Gellhorn, in which the Spanish Civil War plays a central role. The movie is surprisingly good, for an HBO made-for-telly production. Nicole Kidman is more than acceptable as a stand-in for Martha Gellhorn, and while the British actor Clive Owen is an odd fit as Ernest Hemingway, he does seem (literally) to grow into the role once his character reaches Madrid. The great part about the flick is the artful way it blends 21st century cinematography with 1930s newsreels. Here we see our heroes in glorious color, then again in grayscale, and in sepia tones, or in washed-out color. Sometimes indeed the movie actors are actually (well, virtually) incorporated into the newsreels. Great stuff, even if all the government cruelties are fobbed off onto the Russians. (We are now permitted to tell the truth about the Soviet Union, but not, apparently, about the Spanish Republic.)

Unfortunately, after Spain, the newlyweds go to China, then Gellhorn goes off alone to liberate Europe from the Nazis. Hemingway has been airbrushed out of the war! Maybe you should just stop watching after the two get married.

And that in turn led me to Everyone Behaves Badly: The True Story Behind Hemingway's Masterpiece The Sun Also Rises, the highly amped title of a lovely rumination on Papa as a young man on the make in Paris and Spain. (Why is it that so many titles now shrill about the true story of something that changed the world forever? Blame it on Amazon, I suppose. All we see of a book these days is the cover and the title splashed upon the computer screen.) I am a sucker for anything by or about Ernest Hemingway, as you may have guessed. I also spent many fond days in Paris as a young man, first as a vagabond, then as a soldier. So this book is meat for me. I'm enjoying it hugely.

One last thing! For the Glorious Fourth, if we're still allowed to call it that, grab a hanky and watch this interview with Jerry Yellen, one of the pilots on the last combat mission of the Second World War. He doesn't regret it in the slightest, though he now has a Japanese daughter-in-law and Japanese-American grandchildren. Blue skies! — Dan Ford

Poland's Daughter

Welcome to the forum!

Here are a thousand or so files on airplanes, pilots, and the wars of the past hundred years, grouped under these headings:

Annals of the Flying Tigers
Annals of the Brewster Buffalo
Annals of Poland: war and exile, 1939-1948
Japan at War, 1931-1945
Annals of the Chinese Air Force
Glen Edwards and the Flying Wing
Remembering Bluie West One
The Spadguys Speak (carrying a nuke to Sevastopol)
Annals of Vietnam
War in the Modern World

Plus these excellent places to look for more: