Fifty-two men and women who made America's air power the most respected in the world are profiled in this award-winning series. The series features exclusive interviews with Legends such as Chuck Yeager, Jim Lovell, Buzz Aldrin, and Paul Tibbetts. Spanning the first century of flight, Legends of Airpower effortlessly relates the life and times of these heroes.
George McGovern has spent a large portion of his life in the political arena, holding office as U.S. Congressman for South Dakota for 22 years, as well as running as the Democratic presidential nominee in 1972. However, it is his outstanding military career that makes him a true LEGEND OF AIRPOWER.
Lorraine Zilner Rodgers was a member of The Women Airforce Service Pilots, known as the WASP, the first group of women pilots to serve the United States Army Air Force in WWII. Out of 25,000 women who applied to the program, Rodgers was one out of 1830 who were accepted.
James Stockdale spent his time as a prisoner of war in Vietnam defying orders and doing everything in his power to stay true to his country. Stockdale remains one of the most highly decorated officers in the United States Navy, leading the U.S air squadron in the Gulf of Tonkin and earning 26 personal combat decorations, including four Silver Star medals.
Glenn Curtiss, an aviation pioneer, started out building gasoline engines and eventually went on to build his own aircraft company. Named the "fastest man on Earth" in 1907, when his motorcycle set a speed record of 136.3 miles per hour, Curtiss began constructing engines for airships. The first U.S. Army aircraft, was powered by a Curtiss engine.
David Lee "Tex" Hill was recruited to the American Volunteer Group, the group known as the Flying Tigers, in 1941. Under the leadership of General Claire Chennault, Hill was one of the top aces in the unit. After the deactivation of the Flying Tigers, Hill went on to fight with the 23rd Fighter Group, as well as the 75th Fighter Group.
Albert Scott Crossfield's military career spanned from flight and gunnery instructor to test pilot and record-breaking flyer. After attending an experimental flight test pilot school at Edwards Air Force Base, the outbreak of the Korean War left him to take full responsibility for the Edwards test program. Under his leadership, the program flourished.
Richard Bong was the top scoring ace of WWII, shooting down 40 enemy aircraft. He began flying his P-38 in the Pacific Theater in late 1942 and had already surpassed Eddie Rickenbacker's 26 kills by April of 1943. Bong achieved his 40th and final kill in 1944. He went on to become a test pilot of jet fighters, but died tragically on a routine flight when his P-80 malfunctioned after takeoff.
Amelia Earhart's remarkable aviation career was tragically cut short when Earhart and her navigator went missing over the Nukumanu Islands. Before her disappearance, Earhart's name became a household one, in 1932, when she was the first woman to make a solo-return transcontinental flight.
Eddie Rickenbacker's love of speed started in the form of auto racing. Rickenbacker raised the money to buy Indianapolis Speedway in 1927, where he had raced in the first Indianapolis 500 in 1911. His attention turned to airplanes during WWI, when he enlisted in the army and after aerial gunnery training was assigned to the 94th Aero Pursuit Squadron, quickly becoming an ace fighter.
John Boyd was known as "Forty-Second Boyd" throughout the Air Force because of his promise to beat anyone in simulated air-to-air combat in forty seconds or less. He was taken up on his offer many times and never lost. Boyd turned his natural combat skills into teaching tools for his fellow pilots, coining his famous Energy-Maneuverability Theory.
Charles Bolden has logged more than 6,000 hours of flying time in his lengthy aviation career. Bolden enlisted in the Marine Corps after graduation from the Naval Academy and went on to fly more than 100 combat missions in North and South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. Bolden graduated from the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School and flew numerous test projects as an ordnance test pilot.
Harry Combs started his love affair with aviation at the age of 13 with a $2.50 ride in the cockpit of a mail plane. By his mid-teens, Combs was building his own flight-worthy aircraft. His education led him to try investment banking, a path that he would later modify to successfully run Combs Aircraft.
Richard "Steve" Ritchie was the only Air Force pilot named an ace during the Vietnam War. After completing his training at the Air Force Fighter Weapons School at Nellis Air Force Base Ritchie in 1969, he became one of the youngest instructors in the school's history.
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Legends of Airpower is an excellent series featuring real heroes I would recommend this series to anyone who has an interest in the history of wars America participated and the heroes that came out of them.