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View Full Version : Good read on a 51 and 47



ronison
08-07-2007, 12:37 PM
Hay guys, got lucky a few months back and found a book that turned out to be much better than I thought it was going to be.

In the fiction section of all places I found a book that shouldn't have been there. It turned out to be a true story written by a 51 pilot. The book is called "Dumb But Lucky! Confessions Of A P-51 Pilot In World War II" by Richard K. Curtis.

I wont go into it with much detail but it does have some first hand accounts that I think some may find interesting. Including Bearcat due to the fact this guy was stationed very close to the 332nd which he mentions visiting a few times. He also discusses many planes that had the wing sheadding problem, so I guess those that want to deny that to be a truth may not want to read this book.

Anyway if you can find a copy and like reading that kind of thing I highly suggest it.

Another book I read the other day was one my dad had bought years ago and gave me to read. It may be very hard to find now being the last printing I know about was 1961 with the first being 1958. The book is called Thunderbolt and was written by Robert S Johnson who flew P-47s with the 56th FG.

Both are well written and have good first hand accounts. For those looking for pilots scoring victories you may be a bit disappointed with "Dumb But Lucky" because Curtis doesn't mention any of his own but I still found it fascinating for what he went through and in many ways how true the title was for him.

ronison
08-07-2007, 12:37 PM
Hay guys, got lucky a few months back and found a book that turned out to be much better than I thought it was going to be.

In the fiction section of all places I found a book that shouldn't have been there. It turned out to be a true story written by a 51 pilot. The book is called "Dumb But Lucky! Confessions Of A P-51 Pilot In World War II" by Richard K. Curtis.

I wont go into it with much detail but it does have some first hand accounts that I think some may find interesting. Including Bearcat due to the fact this guy was stationed very close to the 332nd which he mentions visiting a few times. He also discusses many planes that had the wing sheadding problem, so I guess those that want to deny that to be a truth may not want to read this book.

Anyway if you can find a copy and like reading that kind of thing I highly suggest it.

Another book I read the other day was one my dad had bought years ago and gave me to read. It may be very hard to find now being the last printing I know about was 1961 with the first being 1958. The book is called Thunderbolt and was written by Robert S Johnson who flew P-47s with the 56th FG.

Both are well written and have good first hand accounts. For those looking for pilots scoring victories you may be a bit disappointed with "Dumb But Lucky" because Curtis doesn't mention any of his own but I still found it fascinating for what he went through and in many ways how true the title was for him.

HayateAce
08-07-2007, 02:44 PM
http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

P51 wing shed had very specific reason and was followed up by a very specific FIX.

Get a life.

mortoma
08-07-2007, 02:46 PM
A book not to read is "Big friend, little friend" by Richard E. Turner. I thought it was too devoid of action sequences and dogfight accounts. Too much about his non-flying life before, during and after the war. He was a Mustang pilot with ( IIRC ) the 354th fighter group, 356th fighter squadron, based in England. He got 7 victories in the Mustang and no victories in the F-86 in Korea. Overall a boring book. The one interesting part is where he descibes how they attacked waves of Jerry fighters hellbent for the bombers. They'd simply try to intercept them by trying to figure the proper angle to get to them before they got to the bombers. And shoot as they zipped by, usually at weird angles. Sometimes almost head on. Then of course turn onto their tails after the first pass. And of course they constantly were looking around for them and hoped to catch them still climbing so they could dive down and catch 'em. He flew with some legendary pilots like James Howard and others.

Bearcat99
08-07-2007, 02:50 PM
Thunderbolt I have.. Dumb butr Lucky I dont thanks for the heads up..

VW-IceFire
08-07-2007, 03:10 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by HayateAce:
http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

P51 wing shed had very specific reason and was followed up by a very specific FIX.

Get a life. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
If only things were that simple.

Waldo.Pepper
08-07-2007, 04:32 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by VW-IceFire:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by HayateAce:
http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

P51 wing shed had very specific reason and was followed up by a very specific FIX.

Get a life. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
If only things were that simple. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


Must re re re...resist temptation to comment...

MrMojok
08-07-2007, 06:20 PM
I heard 'Dumb but Lucky' was pretty devoid on descriptions of missions and long on narration of time spent sitting around at base and out in town on liberty. Is that not true?

ronison
08-08-2007, 01:10 AM
MrMojok, it covers both but if you are looking for what the pilots went though as in life and not just the cocpit then the book is a good read. It also goes through his training fairly well, or lack there of, and would probalby be a good read for people who find that thing interesting.

I have been interested in WWII sience I was about 6 years old but in 1991 I decided I wanted to try to figure out a bit about my grandad who I never knew, he died five years before I was born.

Because he could have stayed working in an essential war production or join the Army Air Corps I figured learning more about the people at that time, from air crew to service men to civilian, would help me know him a bit better.

My grandmother didnt talk about him much and untill just before his death my dad and he didnt get along very well. Because of that I have many gaps in knowing who he was. Dumb but Lucky helps me fill in some gaps even though he was an enginer/ gunner on a B-26.

Much diffrence there but the thoughts and feelings of people at the time can add much to knowlage if you read many accounts.

mortoma
08-08-2007, 06:24 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by MrMojok:
I heard 'Dumb but Lucky' was pretty devoid on descriptions of missions and long on narration of time spent sitting around at base and out in town on liberty. Is that not true? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>I can't say for sure but the book I posted about is like that!! Big Friend, Little Friend was also published under the title "Mustang Pilot".
Avoid it at all costs. Don't waste your money, it's a boring book, one of the worst fighter pilot books ever. Although Richard E. Turner was a great guy and fair to decent pilot, he was no author of exciting books by any stretch of the imagination!!!