Book Review: Fighting the Flying Circus: The Greatest True Air Adventure to Come out of World War I

Fighting the Flying Circus: The Greatest True Air Adventure to Come out of World War I

Eddie Rickenbacker an amazing pilot and a gifted story teller. His account as a member 94th Aero Squadron reads like a well written story rather than a dry history. He brings all aspects of the air war into play: the good and the bad. 

The 94th started with members of the somewhat illegal Lafayette Escadrille coming under American control as President Wilson threw his hat into the ring. The hat in the ring would become the painted symbol on the side of the 94ths aircraft. America unprepared for war and proud of its neutrality, had no planes to provide for its pilots. The 94th and other American squadrons had to rely on older French planes. France sold the US its previous generation of planes for American pilots to use. American squadrons took the these planes and excelled. 

World War I was the point in history where America became a major player on the world stage. From being the new player who both France and England want to use as filler for their depleted armies, America walked away from the war respected and its soldiers and Marines decorated. It was a different time; a time when the world moved from the 19th century into the 20th (although few years late by the calendar) and set the stages for all the struggles of the 20th century.

Fighting the Flying Circus is an outstanding read for anyone interested in the air war or someone just looking for a great story of some truly brave men. As a former Marine, I am a bit hesitant to sing the praises of the other services, but these men had what it took and are an example to all that have served.

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