The Spirit of Attack: Fighter Pilot Stories
Authored by Bruce Gordon
SCRAMBLE! In a couple of minutes my wingman and I would be airborne on another adventure. Sometimes we intercepted an airliner, sometimes a misplaced B-52 bomber, and sometimes Russian bombers probing our defenses; Russian warships; MIG fighters; or troops in contact in Vietnam, calling for napalm only yards from their positions. Twice it was UFOs – Unidentified Flying Objects!
This book is a series of short stories, supported by more than 90 photographs. The first part has my own stories; later stories were contributed by my fellow pilots. The last story is from WW II of our P-38 fighters attacking the Romanian oil fields and getting badly mauled by defending Romanian fighters – and a Romanian pilot’s view of the battle!
Only the spirit of attack borne in a brave heart will bring success to any fighter aircraft, to matter how highly developed the aircraft may be. That quote from Adolf Galland, an Ace of the German Luftwaffe in WW II, was the motto of our 317th Fighter Interceptor Squadron in Alaska. The fighter pilot is a hunter, and his quarry is the most dangerous in the world – men who want to kill him! The best defense is a good offense – ATTACK!
The US Air Force had a program called Every Man a Tiger. A tiger does not kill impulsively or in anger, but plans his attack carefully and strikes with cool ferocity. We were tigers!
Fighter pilots tell stories around the bar, but they seldom write them down. These stories were written by the fighter pilots themselves! Come with me and hear of the beauty of flight, the mortal danger of electrical power failure at night in a snowstorm, and the thrill of attack with 20mm cannons firing right under your feet!