Football Flyboy: First Lt. Bill Cannon, Piloting More than His Own Aircraft

Bublish, Inc.
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 Does a good man’s life end at his death?

The answer for daughter Lisa Reinicke was, “No.” Her father was known by many

names: Buster, Bill, Billy, Dad, and the Football Flyboy. His deeds, no matter how small,

should be passed down to family, friends, and anyone looking for inspiration, and

life-lessons from one who worked, lived and part of the Greatest Generation. The

Football Flyboy was young, newlywed and a pilot in WWII. He was a good man.

One weekend morning, she determined that his spirit should not stay silent just because

his mouth could no longer speak words. “I open my dad’s old air force footlocker - still

solid, battleship grey, weathered, and a little rough from travel and age. His name is in

white lettering on the front: First Lt William R Cannon.”​

What she discovered were yellowed envelopes bound in twine - hundreds of them - that

her father had written to her mother. Letters written daily during the last year of WWII

and received by his bride. Her daily letters disappeared - only three times during the

year, did the “mailman” catch up with him and teased with just a few of the hundreds.

“Before reaching inside, there was a feeling of the hands of time grabbing onto my heart,

knowing that this was such a huge part of not only his life but my mom’s as well.”

Meet Bill “Buster” Cannon, the Football Flyboy ... a good man with a good life who made

a difference.

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About the author

 Lisa Reinicke is an author, speaker, business owner and philanthropist, working

passionately for charities supporting military veterans. She owes her company's

success to her dad - the Football Flyboy - for instilling priceless life lessons of never

giving up, doing the right thing, and being creative in leadership. He ingrained the

moto: “The more you have, the more you give,” into her fabric. A gifted storyteller,

Lisa was honored with the Mom’s Choice Gold Award for lifetime literary excellence

for her children’s book Wings and Feet. Her website is

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Additional Information

Bublish, Inc.
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Published on
Apr 18, 2018
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Biography & Autobiography / Historical
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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When I returned home after being discharged from the army in September 1947, my mother gave me a carton containing all of the letters I had written home, in their original envelopes, with the pictures and other memorabilia that came with them. That carton stayed unopened for 60 years, because I never felt any compulsion to read the letters or in any way relive my army experience. In fact, this book might never have been written if it were not for that carton and for the fact that our daughter, Paula Yudenfriend Green, persisted in overcoming my resistance to being videographed with my wife, Minya, for the purpose of describing our life experiences for our progeny. The evening before we were scheduled to be videographed, I opened the box of letters, and read about ten of them. It was then that I realized the need to read all of the letters, and I began the next day as soon as the videographers had left. I was amazed at the amount of personal and American history they contained, especially since all the letters were written when I was between 17 and 19 years old. I was also impressed with their clarity and perceptiveness. Ive never been the same since I read the letters, and this book is the result. Many things contained in the book were not included in the letters. Events occurred about which I didnt write, because I didnt want to cause concerns at home about my physical condition or the potentially dangerous or ugly situations in which I was involved. I have also included clarifications and elaborations of events described in the letters that I think are appropriate to better understand the experiences which I had. After more than 60 years, I have forgotten details of some of the things that happened, and the names of people with whom I had contact, some on a daily basis. On the whole, however, I found that putting this book together was a fascinating journey, and I hope you find it so as you read it.
Book Description: Pat was a teenage boy who came of age during the tumultuous times of World War II. He entered the Army during his eighteenth year as a voluntary inductee. Basic training was administered at Ft. Bragg N. C. After basic training, he was scheduled to be shipped to the South Pacific as a member of a pack artillery unit but an untimely bout of the flu forced a change in his assignment. He was placed in a replacement pool, a pool of young soldiers who would step into the vacancies caused by the inevitable casualties that would occur during the planned invasion of Europe, codenamed “Operation Overlord.” Pat shipped over seas in a small wooden vessel that once carried fruit from South America to Boston. It had been requisitioned to carry troops to Great Britain. It was a very large convoy that included Pat ́s ship. The speed of the crossing was no greater than the speed of the slowest vessel in the fleet. The crossing took weeks in a constant attempt to evade German U Boats by an erratic course across the Atlantic. The port of debarkation was Liverpool, England. A troop train transported the soldiers from there to a military establishment in Cardiff, Wales. Here the soldiers continued to train and bide their time, waiting for the inevitable invasion of Europe. Soon the soldiers were transported to the Channel Coast where they remained on standby alert for the invasion to commence. D Day, June 6, 1944, arrived, Operation Overlord was unleashed. The gruesome casualties of Omaha Beach were endured and the beach head prevailed. Six days after D Day, the contingent of replacements that included Pat landed on Omaha Beach and fulfilled the purpose of their existence. They replaced the soldiers that had been killed or wounded in the preceding six days. Pat was assigned to the first howitzer gun crew of A Battery, 15th Field Artillery Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division. The Fifteenth Battalion was the artillery support and a part of the 9th Combat Team (9th CBT) that included the 9th Infantry Regiment of the 2nd Infantry Division. Pat learned his job as a 105 howitzer gun crew member as A Battery fired their guns in support of the 9th Infantry, moving from position to position through the French hedgerow country. He learned his job well and eventually was assigned the job as loader for his crew. Pat formed two close friendships in his military experience, Ed who he had known since basic training and Ben, the Texan on his crew, who became his pup-tent partner. After the successful conclusion of the Normandy Campaign, the 2nd Division was ordered to subdue the port city of Brest on the Breton Peninsula. A 220-mile road march brought the 2nd Division to the outskirts of the city. Brest was defended by a garrison of 36,000 German soldiers, the core of which were the vaunted 2nd Paratroop Division. After the surrender of the German garrison at Brest. Pat ́s unit had a short respite before embarking on another road march of 710 miles through liberated France to the German boarder. The 15th Battalion took defensive positions in the Schnee Eiffel forest. Here for the next month, the 15th Battalion ́s Artillery Batteries engaged in counter battery, observing and harassing fire missions in this sector of a thinly held front. Log bunkhouses and mess halls were constructed to combat the increasingly severe winter weather. German Buzz Bombs were observed here for the first time. Early December found the 9th CBT on the road heading north to begin an attack on the Siegfried Line. Pat and his buddies reluctantly gave up their comfortable quarters to a green division fresh from the States that relieved them. After heavy fighting and artillery bombardment, a critical crossroads on the Siegfried Line, Wehlerscheid, was taken, only to be given back the next day. The Germans had started their infamous winter offensive, The Battle of the Bulge. Our troops were ordered to withdraw several miles and establish a defensive line. This unprecedented withdraw
The #1 New York Times bestseller, and the inspiration for the hit Broadway musical Hamilton!

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Chernow presents a landmark biography of Alexander Hamilton, the Founding Father who galvanized, inspired, scandalized, and shaped the newborn nation.

"Grand-scale biography at its best—thorough, insightful, consistently fair, and superbly written...A genuinely great book." —David McCullough

“A robust full-length portrait, in my view the best ever written, of the most brilliant, charismatic and dangerous founder of them all." - Joseph Ellis

Few figures in American history have been more hotly debated or more grossly misunderstood than Alexander Hamilton. Chernow’s biography gives Hamilton his due and sets the record straight, deftly illustrating that the political and economic greatness of today’s America is the result of Hamilton’s countless sacrifices to champion ideas that were often wildly disputed during his time. “To repudiate his legacy,” Chernow writes, “is, in many ways, to repudiate the modern world.” Chernow here recounts Hamilton’s turbulent life: an illegitimate, largely self-taught orphan from the Caribbean, he came out of nowhere to take America by storm, rising to become George Washington’s aide-de-camp in the Continental Army, coauthoring The Federalist Papers, founding the Bank of New York, leading the Federalist Party, and becoming the first Treasury Secretary of the United States.Historians have long told the story of America’s birth as the triumph of Jefferson’s democratic ideals over the aristocratic intentions of Hamilton. Chernow presents an entirely different man, whose legendary ambitions were motivated not merely by self-interest but by passionate patriotism and a stubborn will to build the foundations of American prosperity and power. His is a Hamilton far more human than we’ve encountered before—from his shame about his birth to his fiery aspirations, from his intimate relationships with childhood friends to his titanic feuds with Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Monroe, and Burr, and from his highly public affair with Maria Reynolds to his loving marriage to his loyal wife Eliza. And never before has there been a more vivid account of Hamilton’s famous and mysterious death in a duel with Aaron Burr in July of 1804.

Chernow’s biography is not just a portrait of Hamilton, but the story of America’s birth seen through its most central figure. At a critical time to look back to our roots, Alexander Hamilton will remind readers of the purpose of our institutions and our heritage as Americans.

The National Book Award winning history of how racist ideas were created, spread, and deeply rooted in American society.

Some Americans insist that we're living in a post-racial society. But racist thought is not just alive and well in America--it is more sophisticated and more insidious than ever. And as award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi argues, racist ideas have a long and lingering history, one in which nearly every great American thinker is complicit.

In this deeply researched and fast-moving narrative, Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti-black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. He uses the life stories of five major American intellectuals to drive this history: Puritan minister Cotton Mather, Thomas Jefferson, abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, W.E.B. Du Bois, and legendary activist Angela Davis.

As Kendi shows, racist ideas did not arise from ignorance or hatred. They were created to justify and rationalize deeply entrenched discriminatory policies and the nation's racial inequities.

In shedding light on this history, Stamped from the Beginning offers us the tools we need to expose racist thinking. In the process, he gives us reason to hope.

Praise for Stamped from the Beginning:

"We often describe a wonderful book as 'mind-blowing' or 'life-changing' but I've found this rarely to actually be the case. I found both descriptions accurate for Ibram X. Kendi's Stamped from the Beginning... I will never look at racial discrimination again after reading this marvellous, ambitious, and clear-sighted book." - George Saunders, Financial Times, Best Books of 2017

"Ambitious, well-researched and worth the time of anyone who wants to understand racism." --Seattle Times

"A deep (and often disturbing) chronicling of how anti-black thinking has entrenched itself in the fabric of American society." --The Atlantic

Winner of the 2016 National Book Award for NonfictionA New York Times BestsellerA Washington Post BestsellerOn President Obama's Black History Month Recommended Reading List
Finalist for the 2016 National Book Critics Circle Award for NonfictionNamed one of the Best Books of the Year by the Boston Globe, Washington Post, Chicago Review of Books, The Root, Buzzfeed, Bustle, and Entropy

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