The Way of the Eagle (Google eBook)

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C. Scribner's sons, 1919 - World War, 1914-1918 - 297 pages
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Very interesting book. Mr. Biddle does a good job of describing the life of a U.S. Pilot during WW1. He was a hit with the women who were under 12 years old or over 45 years old. Even getting flowers from one young girl (unde 12 years old) which he poses with in front of his captured German two seater.
Great pictures and narrative of how to stay alive and shoot down German planes.
 

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Page 58 - I have met over here who came over long before America entered the war, simply because he felt it was his duty to fight for what he knew was right. That was why he was fighting and what he was fully prepared to die for. His ideals were of the highest, and he was morally I think the cleanest man I have ever known.
Page 184 - I don't feel at all vindictive about it, as it was a perfectly fair 'fight, but just the same it would give me more satisfaction to bring that boy down than any five others. It would also be interesting to see whether his hide is thick enough to stand a good dose of armorpiercing bullets at short range. An incendiary bullet in his gas tank might also make his old boiler factory a warm place to fly in. As soon as I was sure that the machine was really a Hun I dove down after him and made up my mind...
Page 187 - ... All my efforts were useless, however, and I saw that there was nothing for it but to smash up as gracefully as possible. The thing that bothered me most, however, was not the smash, for that would probably only result in a little shaking-up, but I thought I was farther in the Hun lines than I really was and had most unpleasant visions of spending the rest of the war in Germany, which is not at all my idea of a good time. If, however, it was No Man's Land where I was going down, I thought the...
Page 185 - ... could shoot, and I tried to stay under him, swerving as he did, and at the same time slowing down my motor to the limit, so as to let him get ahead of me enough to allow me to start shooting again. The Boche and I were at this time about twenty yards apart, and if he had only had a trapdoor in his bottom he might have brought me down by dropping a brick on my head. However, he did not need it. The Hun gave a twist which took me for an instant beyond the protection of his fuselage. It was only...
Page 185 - ... point it in your direction. While he is doing this, you have time to duck. In this case, however, I saw a black-helmeted head appear over the edge of the Hun machine and almost at the same instant he fired, as quickly as you could snap-shoot with a pistol, or with a shotgun at a quail in the bush, for instance. In trying to slow down as much as possible I had almost got into a loss of speed, so that my machine did not perhaps answer to the controls as quickly as it would otherwise have done....
Page 56 - Ferme Carnot." According to the report, the French machine went to the assistance of an English one that was being attacked by a Boche, and at the same time was itself attacked from the rear by two other Boches. The French machine was nettement descendu, as they say, and took a sheer fall of over 6000 feet, until it crashed into the ground. I had hoped against hope that there might be some mistake; that the machine was merely forced to land, or perhaps that it was not Oliver's machine at all, or...
Page 185 - He started swerving from side to side to get me out from under him, so that the machine-gunner could shoot, and I tried to stay under him, swerving as he did, and at the same time slowing down my motor to the limit, so as to let him get ahead of me enough to allow me to start shooting again. The Boche and I were at this time about twenty yards apart, and if he had only had a trapdoor in his bottom he might have brought me down by dropping a brick on my head. However, he did not need it. The Hun gave...
Page 186 - ... and caught me just on top of the left knee. It felt more like a crack on the leg from a fast-pitched baseball than anything else I know of, except that there is also a sort of penetrating feeling one gets from a bullet. How many more hit the machine I don't know and never had a chance to find out. My motor went dead at once, so that knocked out all chance of any further shots at the Boche. I dove under him out of his line of fire, and then twisted around and planed back for our own lines, trying...
Page 75 - I have already written you, he was small and of a frail appearance. I believe his health was very far from good and the high altitudes sometimes made him so sick he had to come down. He would fly for a week and then go away for a rest, as he was not strong enough to stand any more. In the course of several hundred fights he had been shot down seven times and twice wounded. To keep at it under such circumstances and after all he had gone through, a man's heart has to be in the right place and no mistake....
Page 187 - ... best thing to do would be to get out and away from it as quickly as possible. I held my machine off the ground as long as I could with the double purpose of getting as far toward our own lines as possible, and also so as to reduce my speed to a minimum before I touched the ground and the crash came. I braced myself inside my cockpit and tucked in my head like a blooming turtle in his shell. Just at the last moment I veered the machine a little to one side to avoid landing in the middle of a barbed-wire...

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