The author was smitten by aviation early in World War II when buzzed by two AAC P-40 Warhawks, changing his career goal from tugboat captain to pilot in one fleeting moment. He soon could detail all of the front-line aircraft and even identify them by the sound of their passing overhead. Growing up in Connecticut, he had the opportunity to watch the development of the Sikorsky helicopters and the Chance-Vought aircraft, albeit from a distance. Long bicycle rides to airports in the area merely whetted his appetite further. Shortly after graduation from the U. S. Coast Guard Academy, he was selected to attend U. S. Navy Flight Training at Pensacola and Corpus Christi., and then assigned to the Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, NC. “Aloft” relates the experiences of a 23-year career in Coast Guard Aviation in many different roles; a career that was punctuated by the good, the bad and everything in between, but never far from where the action was. Retiring from the Coast Guard as the Commanding Officer of the Air Station Cape Cod, MA, he launched his second career in aviation, most of it in the new aircraft production, or the modification of existing aircraft. “Aloft” provides insights into the transition from military aviation, to the industrial world of constant pressures, union tension, tight schedules and unstable economies. Throughout the book, the reader will found the thread of aviation and its lore woven through fast-moving vignettes.
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