The backdrop for the story is Sierra Sue IIs appearance at the huge Offutt Air Force Base Open House in 1989. There, we go behind-the-scenes for glimpses of warbird pilots and jet jockeys alike, preparing for their air show acts. We also go six stories underground for a rare, chilling visit to our nuclear command post.
But the real story is the history of Sierra Sue II, and the remarkable pilots who flew and loved her: from 1st Lt. Bob Bohna who flew her in combat during World War II and nearly became a reverse ace, to Sten Soderquist who flew her in Sweden in the early 50s when more than thirty Swedish pilots died in Mustang crashes, to Nicaragua where she was involved in several of dictator Luis Somozas military adventures in the late 50s, to California where Dave Allender modified her with the intent of setting a new world speed record for piston aircraft.
Almost forty years after her combat missions in the war, Sierra Sue II is bought by a hard-flying Minnesota physician known on the air show circuit simply as Doc. His romance with Sierra Sue II continues where Bohna and Soderquist and Allender leave off. But Doc is more than just another ardent admirer in her long history. While an Air Force jet pilot in the 50s, Doc crashed and suffered major injuries that ended his Air Force career. During his long recuperation, he took up a study of medicine that led to a general practice in Minneapolis. Now, he is determined to restore Sierra Sue II to her World War II condition and take her on the Midwest air show circuit. We follow that restoration in California by a mechanical genius named Jack Cochrane, and then Docs cross-country flight to Minnesota, ending in a harrowing landing at nightfall on a remote airstrip on the Minnesota prairie.
Millions of air show fans have enjoyed the sight of Sierra Sue IIs ageless beauty. Now, here is her story.
John Christgau is a California writer whose books include the novel SPOON, two non-fiction works entitled ENEMIES: World War II Alien Internment, and THE ORIGINS OF THE JUMP SHOT: Eight Men Who Shook the World of Basketball. He is also the author of MOWER COUNTY POEMS.
For most of World War II, the mention of Japan's island stronghold sent shudders through thousands of Allied airmen. Some called it â€œFortress Rabaul,â€? an apt name for the headquarters of the Imperial Japanese forces in the Southwest Pacific. Author Bruce Gamble chronicles Rabaulâ€™s crucial role in Japanese operations in the Southwest Pacific. Millions of square feet of housing and storage facilities supported a hundred thousand soldiers and naval personnel. Simpson Harbor and the airfields were the focus of hundreds of missions by American air forces.
Winner of the "Gold Medal" (Military Writers Society of America) and "Editor's Choice Award" (Stone & Stone Second WorldÂ War Books), Fortress Rabaul details a critical and, until now, little understood chapter in the history of World War II./div
Christgau?s account of the war between white settlers and the Dakota Indians in Minnesota examines two communities torn by internal dissent and external threat, whites and Native Americans equally traumatized by the short and violent war. The book also delves into the aftermath, during which thirty-eight Dakota men were hanged without legal representation or the appearance of defense witnesses, the largest mass execution in American history. With its unusually nuanced perspective, Birch Coulie brings a welcome measure of clarity and insight to a critical moment in the troubled history of the American West.
Michael and the Whiz Kids tells the story of the team?s 1968 championship season. It is a tale of cliffhanger games and players as outsized in character as they are short in stature, from the wild-haired, bespectacled ?Professor? to the well-traveled Latvian dubbed ?Suitcase? to the quiet and tenacious ?Salt,? as in ?of the earth.? But it is also a tale of the time?of counterculture, suburbia, integration, and racial brawls erupting on the court. In Christgau?s deft telling, it is an absorbing, often comic story of coming of age, for coach and Whiz Kids alike.
In Incident at the Otterville Station, John Christgau relates the true story of the rescue of Walkerês thirteen slaves by soldiers of the Ninth Minnesota Regiment and the soldiersê subsequent arrest for mutiny. The controversial incident became national news, with President Lincoln ultimately sending Secretary of War Edward Stanton to investigate. Christgauês compelling narrative of the Otterville Station rescue and its aftermath illustrates the complex process of emancipation during the American Civil War, particularly in border states such as Missouri. The end of slavery was the product of many actors, from Union soldiers to the president and Congress to abolitionists and the enslaved themselves. This detailed account examines the critical role that individuals played in determining the outcome of emancipation and the war.