War Bird Ace: The Great War Exploits of Capt. Field E. Kindley

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Texas A&M University Press, Feb 6, 2007 - History - 224 pages
Capt. Field E. Kindley, with the famous Eddie Rickenbacker, was one of America’s foremost World War I flying aces. Like Rickenbacker’s, Kindley’s story is one of fierce dogfights, daring aerial feats, and numerous brushes with death. Yet unlike Rickenbacker’s, Kindley’s story has not been fully told until now.

Field Kindley gained experience with the RAF before providing leadership for the U.S. Air Service. Kindley was the fourth-ranking American air ace; his exploits earned him a Distinguished Service Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster from the United States and a Distinguished Flying Cross from the British government.

In February 1920, during a practice drill Kindley led, some enlisted men unwittingly entered the bombing target area. “Buzzing” the troops to warn them off the field, Kindley somehow lost control of his plane and died in the ensuing crash.

Using arduously gathered primary materials and accounts of Great War aces, Jack Ballard tells the story of this little-known hero from the glory days of aerial warfare. Through this tale, an era and a daring flyer live again.
 

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Contents

The Early Years
1
Training for the Big Show
18
Ferrying Aircraft
36
First Combat
42
Four Victories
59
Becoming an Air Ace
79
The Postwar Experience
108
Return to the United States
127
Fallen Aerial Warrior
145
Appendices
157
Notes
167
Bibliography
187
Index
201
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

JACK STOKES BALLARD, who, before retirement, worked in the aeronautics industry and the U.S. Air Force, has had a lifelong fascination with Field Kindley. Ballard holds a Ph.D. from the University of California–Los Angeles and taught history for five years at the Air Force Academy. He currently resides in Centennial, Colorado.

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