Hot Shots: An Oral History of the Air Force Combat Pilots of the Korean War



Known as the "Forgotten War," the Korean War heralded a new era of warfare--one where countries from around the world struggled over the fate of a relatively small peninsula jutting into the Sea of Japan. Between 1950 and 1953, more than fifty thousand Americans gave their lives in pursuit of democracy for the Korean people. The Korean War was also the proving ground for post-World War II aviation, when the first generation of jet aircraft took to the skies to tangle in deadly combat. It was the battlefield of Sabres and MiGs, American Hot Shots and Communist Honchos. And more than ever before, control of the skies meant victory or failure in the ground war raging below. Now, fifty years after the war's outbreak, Hot Shots captures the voices of the original top guns, the pilots who flew Mustangs, Sabres, and Shooting Stars and confronted a superior number of enemy aircraft. Among the men who tell their stories are Lieutenant Colonel Duane E. "Bud" Biteman, one of the first fliers in the war; Lieutenant General Frederick "Boots" Blesse, double ace who led efforts to refine tactical training for the new jet pilots; Colonel Cecil Foster, who fought in one of the longest-running air-to-air jet encounters; and Colonel Harold Fischer, a double-ace flier who was captured behind enemy lines and held as a POW until 1955, two years after the official end of the war. Editors Chancey and Forstchen combine these compelling firsthand accounts with dozens of never-before-published photographs of air force pilots at work, as well as a history of the major events of the war. Hot Shots brings to vivid life the risk, dedication, and bravery of these forgotten heroes. May their sacrifice not be in vain.

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