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Four U.S. aviation heroes sign a book celebrating The Great Planes Book signed: "Col Scrappy Johnson/ ALTITUDE RECORD/ 91,246' 1958", "Fred J.…"

Sale Price $450.00

Reg. $500.00

Condition: Fine condition
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Four U.S. aviation heroes sign a book celebrating The Great Planes
Book signed: "Col Scrappy Johnson/ ALTITUDE RECORD/ 91,246' 1958", "Fred J. Olivi/ co-pilot B-29/ 'Bockscar'/ Nagasaki Mission/ 9 August 1945/ Nagasaki -/ The Atomic Bomb that Ended WWII - (Fat Man) Bomb was/ Dropped on Nagasaki/ 9 August, 1945" on half title page. Also signed on separate bookplates affixed to facing page: "Gabby Gabreski", "Robert L. Scott/ 23rd Fighter Group/ China - 1942", "Robert L. Scott/ 23rd Fighter Group/ China - 1942", 251p, 8½x11¾. The Great Planes, written by James Gilbert. New York, N.Y.: Grosset & Dunlap, 1970. Hardcover with plastic-covered dust jacket. Illustrated with many color and b/w photo reproductions. FRANCIS S. "GABBY" GABRESKI (1919-2002) ranks as the all-time top U.S. Army Air Force ace. He was one of only seven USAF pilots who was an ace in both WWII and the Korean War. Beginning his career flying sorties against the Japanese at Pearl Harbor, the Polish-speaking pilot started to fly Spitfires in January 1943 with the 315 (Polish) Squadron of the RAF. After a few weeks, Gabreski was assigned to Zemke's 56th Fighter Group, flying P-47 Thunderbolts without seeing any action until August 24, 1943, when he scored his first victory. From then on, he downed 28 enemy aircraft, leading all pilots in the European theatre. After 193 missions, the Air Force was ready to send him home but, shortly before boarding the plane, he discovered that a mission was set for that morning. On July 20, 1944, Gabreski crash-landed during a strafing sortie and hid out for five days. Although he persuaded a Polish-speaking forced laborer to bring food and water, Gabreski was captured and imprisoned in Stalag Luft I, a German POW camp for the remaining eight months of the war. He returned to military service in the Korean War and shot down six MIG 15s. He was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross, a Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross, a Bronze Star, the Air Medal and awards from the French and Polish governments. ROBERT L. SCOTT (1908-2006), assigned to routine air transport duties in the China-Burma-India Theatre of World War II, commandeered a P-40 fighter and began flying missions as a "Flying Tiger." At the request of Chinese President Chiang Kai-shek, he was placed in command of the newly formed 23rd Fighter Group in 1942. He became one of the wars earliest US aces, shooting down 13 planes (1942-1943). His post-war commands included the Jet Fighter School and the 36th Fighter-Bomber Wing in Germany. Scott retired as a Brigadier General in 1957, but continued to flying, piloting a B-1 bomber on his 89th birthday. He wrote a dozen books, the most famous of which was God Is My Co-Pilot, made into a film. In May 1958, HOWARD C. "SCRAPPY" JOHNSON broke the previous world altitude record by nearly two miles when he piloted the F-104A Starfighter jet aircraft to 91,249 feet (3 feet higher than the number he cites here) on a flight that lasted precisely 27 minutes. He had made six trial runs to 75,000 and 85,000-foot altitudes before lifting off at 9:40 a.m. for the record-breaking flight, which took place over Edwards Air Force Base, California. (The record was broken 1½ years later.) Johnson, a fighter pilot during WWII and the Korean Conflict, later became Director of Operations for the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing in Vietnam. Johnson, who flew over 100 missions over North Vietnam, was a co-founder and the first President of The River Rats (The Red River Valley Pilots Association), an association formed by military pilots to honor their fallen comrades. His autobiography, Scrappy: A Fighter Pilot's Story and Memoirs of a River Rat (co-written by retired U.S.A.F. Colonel Ian A. O'Connor), is set for publication in the fall of 2007. FRED J. OLIVI (1921-2004) was one of over a dozen men aboard Bock's Car when it dropped the Fat Man. The pilot was in his early 20s when he watched the nuclear weapon drop on Nagasaki, Japan. Following WWII, Olivi got a job as an engineer in his hometown of Chicago, Illinois. In 1999, he published a book about his experiences titled Decision at Nagasaki: The Mission That Almost Failed. Fine condition.

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