Mavericks of the Sky: The First Daring Pilots of the U.S. Air Mail

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Harper Collins, May 3, 2011 - History - 368 pages
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It was the pilots of the U.S. Air Mail service who made it possible for flight to evolve from an impractical and deadly fad to today's worldwide network of airlines. Nicknamed "The Suicide Club," this small but daring cadre of pilots took a fleet of flimsy World War I "Jenny" Biplanes and blazed a trail of sky routes across the country. In the midst of the Jazz Age, they were dashing, group–proud, brazen, and resentful of authority. They were also loyal, determined to prove the skeptics wrong. MAVERICKS OF THE SKY, by Barry Rosenburg and Catherine Macaulay, is a narrative non–fiction account of the crucial, first three years of the air mail service – beginning with the inaugural New York–to–Washington D.C. flight in 1918, through 1921 when aviator Jack Knight was the first to fly across the country at night and furthermore, through a blizzard. In those early years, one out of every four men lost their lives. With the constant threat of weather and mechanical failure and with little instrumentation available, aviators relied on their wits and instincts to keep them out of trouble. MAVERICKS OF THE SKY brings these sagas to life, and tells the story of the extraordinary lives and rivalries of those who single–handedly pulled off the great experiment.

 

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Rueben Hollis Fleet took a different path from the fur trappers and lumberjacks of his hometown in the Pacific Northwest in the 1800s: he became a major in the U.S. Army and helped the Post Office ... Read full review

Contents

CHAPTER
1
CHAPTER
55
LETTERS WHAT LETTERS?
178
DEAR MR PRAEGER
190
STRIKE
198
WILSON
207
A KILLER YEAR
217
KNIGHT
232
EPILOGUE
242
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
277
NOTES
279
INDEX
325
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Barry Rosenberg is a longtime journalist specializing in aviation, technology, and issues of national defense. He has written for respected industry publications such as Aviation Week & Space Technology for the past twenty years, and regularly writes reports on issues of peace and security for the Carnegie Corporation of New York and others.

Catherine Macaulay has contributed to many publications over the years. Her work has appeared in magazines ranging from E/The Environment Magazine to the Daily Racing Forum. Coauthors and partners, Rosenberg and Macaulay have shared their lives with a retinue of cats, dogs, and horses for the past two decades. Currently, they divide their time between Westchester, New York, and Calabasas, California.

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