Memoirs

Above the Thunder. Reminiscences of a Field Artillery Pilot by Raymond C. Kerns

By Raymond C. Kerns

An notable memoir of an aviator's provider within the Pacific Theater — "If you are looking for macho, fighting-man speak, you will have picked up the incorrect ebook. . . . this is often simply a good narration of a few of my studies . . . in the course of my carrier within the U.S. military among 1940 and 1945." —Raymond C. Kerns — The son of a Kentucky tobacco farmer, Raymond Kerns dropped out of highschool after the 8th grade to aid at the farm. He enlisted within the military in 1940 and, after education as a radio operator within the artillery, used to be assigned to Schofield Barracks (Oahu) the place he witnessed the japanese assault on Pearl Harbor and took part within the resulting conflict. within the months sooner than Pearl Harbor, Kerns had handed the Army's flight education admission examination with flying colours. yet simply because he lacked a highschool degree, the military refused to provide him flying classes. Undaunted, deepest Kerns took classes with a civilian flying tuition and was once truly scheduled for his first solo...

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Extra resources for Above the Thunder. Reminiscences of a Field Artillery Pilot in World War II

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In another place, he saw naval shells landing too close to American Rangers advancing inland, and called a cease-fire there that allowed them to continue their advance. He kept the commanders apprised of the location of the front line as it moved forward from the beachhead and reported on the progress as it occurred. When he ran out of fuel that afternoon, he landed his Cub on a road near friendly troops and begged some truck gas, refueled his plane, and was back in the air in short order, continuing his mission.

That is how my father, Donald A. Baker, who had never been near an airplane in his life before he entered the Army, came to be—like this author of this book—one of the most highly skilled flyers in the world: an Army artillery liaison pilot. His story is a fairly typical one and will serve to illustrate the experiences of many others who became L-pilots in World War II. Like my father, many of them had been ground-bound civilians before the war, with no thought of becoming aviators. When the war began, my father was a warehouse clerk in a furniture store in Omaha, Nebraska, preoccupied with playing semipro softball in the city leagues, and had never even been up in an airplane, much less considered piloting one.

Immediately after it acquired airplanes, the Army set about recruiting pilots to fly them from within its ranks, awarding them the distinctive L-wings to wear on their uniforms upon successful completion of their training. Liaison pilot Capt. Donald A. Baker with an L-5 Stinson, Luzon Island, Philippines, 1945. Note the grasshopper logo painted on the cowling (Photograph courtesy of Tom Baker). That is how my father, Donald A. Baker, who had never been near an airplane in his life before he entered the Army, came to be—like this author of this book—one of the most highly skilled flyers in the world: an Army artillery liaison pilot.

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